Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24
                               Journal of Discourses,
                                      Volume 24
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / John
          Taylor, February 11, 1883
                           John Taylor, February 11, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                              Sunday February 11, 1883.
                                        OF A
                                       DID NOT
          to assist us? The Lord, and if He does not I am sure we cannot do
          it, and if He does not show us how we cannot do it. Well, some
          people come and try to convert us. Very well, let them convert
          away. If they have anything to convert you to, I say for God's
          sake take it, if they have something that is more intelligent
          than that which has been communicated to you. We are desirous to
          obtain all truth from whatever quarter it comes, and every good
          thing that can be made manifest, and if anybody has got any
          truths that we have not we are prepared to embrace them, but we
          have no truths to barter away for the fictions, ideas, theories
          and opinions of men. It is written: "They shall be all taught of
          God." Have those men received anything from God to communicate?
          If they have let them state it, and if they have not let them
          hold their peace. "They shall be all taught of God." He will be
          their instructor, their judge, their guide, their director and
          their lawgiver, and he will give them the light and intelligence
          which they require. We are operating with and in possession of
          principles that are great, grand, glorious and intelligent, that
          have existed in ages past, that exist to-day, and that will exist
          for ever and ever, worlds without end, Amen. We are building up
          the Zion of God, and He is to be our instructor. We are building
          up the kingdom of God, and He is to be our guide. We are building
          up the Church of God, and unless we are under the guidance and
          influence of the Spirit of God, we neither belong to the Church
          of God, the Zion of God, nor the kingdom of God. And hence it is
          necessary that we should comprehend the position we occupy.
          We have been in the world and we have preached the Gospel to the
          world and are doing it, and that is part of our duty, and we are
          fulfilling it as fast as the Lord opens the way. We have done a
          great deal. I think that at an assembly some little time ago
          there were twenty-five nationalities represented. Is there any
          difference of sentiment among these diverse people? No. In
          speaking with a gentleman recently on some of the difficulties
          between the English and the Irish people, I told him that it was
          lamentable that such a feeling should exist. Well, said he, they
          are two different races and they cannot affiliate, one being
          Celtic and the other Anglo-Saxon, and their sympathies and
          feelings are dissimilar. Their ideas and feelings differ; their
          education and their instincts differ. That is very true so far as
          it goes. But what of us? We are gathered here under the
          inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and that as I before said,
          produces a unity of feeling and spirit, a oneness and sympathy
          that does not exist in the world and Jesus has said, By this
          shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye love one
          another. We have people among us from all part of the United
          States, from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, from England, France
          and Germany, from Denmark, Norway and Sweden; also from Iceland,
          Australia, New Zealand, from the islands of the sea, and in fact,
          from nearly every civilized country. And how is it brethren? Are
          we Scandinavians; are we English; are we Scotch, Swiss or Dutch,
          as the case may be? No; the Spirit of God, which we obtained
          through obedience to the requirements of the Gospel; having been
          born again, of the water and of the Spirit, has made us of one
          heart, one faith, one baptism; we have no national or class
          divisions of that kind among us.
          What, then, are we aiming at? We are aiming to introduce among us
          the principle of virtue, integrity, honesty, and a knowledge of
          God and of His laws. This is what we are seeking to do. And do we
          injure any man or set of men in so doing? I think not. I will say
          to the credit of our merchants, that they are spoken of as
          honorable men, as men who pay their debts better than the
          majority of mankind. Such is the report I hear from gentlemen
          with whom I communicate. This is pleasing to hear. It is pleasing
          to see the principle of honor introduced in our trading; and we
          ought to be honorable one with another and with all men, treating
          all with the respect they deserve and merit at our hands. But
          because we do this are we to submit to every kind of indignity;
          are we to submit to be outraged, to be traduced; are we to
          permit, in a social capacity, evils and crimes to be introduced
          in our midst, and never lift up our voice against them? Are we to
          permit our sons and daughters to affiliate and associate with
          corrupt men and women? No. But if our youth choose to pursue a
          course of that kind, all well. No, I will not say it is well; it
          would be better if they did better. We are here to introduce
          correct principles; and we profess to be moving on a more
          elevated plane; we profess to be under the influence of the
          inspiration of the Almighty; and God cannot look upon sin with
          the least degree of allowance.
          Let me read that prayer a little more: "Our Father, who art in
          heaven." What, is He indeed my Father? Yes. Is He our Father?
          Yes. "Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name." We
          are children of God; that is the relationship that we sustain to
          Him. Being born of the Spirit, we become the sons of God. And
          what else? The heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ
          our Lord. Is this the position we occupy? So say the Scriptures.
          And what is the difference between those who have been born of
          the water and the Spirit, and those who know not the Gospel, and
          who possess none of the gifts thereof? Let us stop and inquire.
          You have sons, have you not? Yes. What will the boys be when they
          are grown up. They will be men, will they not? They are now the
          sons of men. If a man be inducted into the family of God, and
          becomes a son of God, what will he become when he gets his
          growth? You can figure that out yourselves. 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." What shall we be? Heirs of God. What
          else? Joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What, joint heirs with Jesus
          Christ our Lord? Yes. What do a man's heirs possess when he
          leaves this world? They inherit the possessions of the deceased
          father or benefactor. We say that God is the God of the universe,
          the Maker of heaven and earth, the Sustainer of all things
          visible and invisible. And are we to be joint heirs with Him? So
          the Bible states. Well may the Lord say in one of the revelations
          given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, "He that hath eternal
          life is rich." Jesus said to the Samaritan woman when asking her
          to give him a drink of water, "If thou knewest the gift of God,
          and who it is that sayeth to thee, give me to drink, thou wouldst
          have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water."
          "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall
          never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him
          a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Again; Jesus
          said to His disciples: "In my father's house are many mansions;
          if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place
          for you." Where? In heaven, of which we have very little
          knowledge, and about which we comprehend very little. "And if I
          go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
          you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also." What was
          there in His Father's house? Many mansions. What! Mansions in
          heaven? Yes? What else? He declares He was going to prepare a
          place for them--mansions, that where he was there they might be
          also. It is very plain, if we could only open our eyes and
          understand it as it is. There is a great difference between this
          principle and the ideas that men entertain regarding earthly
          things. The first is in accord with the eternal duration and
          exaltation of man, and is in consonance with his highest and most
          exalted aspirations; the other is momentary, transient, fleeting
          and evanescent. Men are grasping and grabbing at the world, and
          at the riches of the world. I might mention the names of
          prominent men of this nation--no matter, I do not like to deal in
          personalities--men who gather together their millions. By and by
          they drop down into a little place just about two feet by six,
          and that is all there is of it. And what of their
          riches?--anything pertaining to the future? No. Such men are
          foolish, if they could comprehend it; but they cannot. They,
          however, think that we are big fools. There was a prominent man
          whose name I have forgotten, but I remember some lines that he
          wrote. When I am gone, he said, men will erect a splendid
          monument to my memory, upon which they will write: "Here lies the
          great!" If I could rise and speak, I would say, "False marble,
          where? Nothing but poor and sordid dust lies here." Has any man
          ever taken anything out of the world? No. Naked they come into
          the world, and naked they return; they leave all their wealth
          behind them. Then if, as intelligent beings, made in the image of
          God, we disregard the teachings of our heavenly Father, and are
          led by influences that are wrong, improper, impure and incorrect,
          and suffer ourselves to make shipwreck of our faith and our good
          consciences, shall we not be the veriest fools when we stand
          before the Judge of all the earth? But if we can succeed in
          securing eternal life and exaltations, thrones and
          principalities, powers and dominions, which we sometimes talk
          about and which are as true as anything can be--if we can succeed
          in doing this, we shall be amply repaid for all the
          inconveniences that we may have to put up with, and all the
          trouble that we may have to endure.
          Now we will return to the old prayer again. "Our Father who art
          in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come." What kingdom?
          The kingdom of God. What does that imply? Government, rule,
          authority, dominion. "Thy kingdom come." What, that God shall
          dictate affairs upon the earth? Yes. That His word, His will, His
          law shall go forth? Yes. One of the ancient Prophets in speaking
          of these things said, "The law shall go forth from Zion, and the
          word of the Lord from Jerusalem." You will find those things
          written in your Bible, and can look for them at your leisure. Now
          if we are to expect a thing of this kind to take place, when the
          knowledge of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the
          sea, and when the will of God is to be done on earth as it is
          done in heaven, ought we not to try as citizens of the kingdom of
          God to introduce it and be governed by and to be under its
          influence? I think we ought. Are we then to yield ourselves to
          the false traditions, ideas, notions and opinions of men? I think
          not. We want to strive in all the relations of life, in our
          family relations, in our individual relations, in our marital
          relations, and in our associations with men, to conduct ourselves
          in that way that God would have us do if He were here Himself to
          speak on that subject; and to seek to place ourselves in
          conformity with His law, His word and His will.
          Now, people take a great deal of pains to try to interfere with
          us in our marital relations. What have they got to give us in
          exchange outside of these things? O you Gentiles, present us
          something superior to that which God has revealed, and we will
          embrace it. But you cannot do it. We are at the defiance of the
          world to bring forth any better, purer or more exalting
          principles. What would they give us in return for that of which
          they seek to despoil us? Would they introduce all the
          institutions of a pseudo-Christianity, with its prostitution, the
          houses of assignation, its social evil, its foeticide and
          infanticide and the political and social hypocrisy and depravity,
          and its debauching, demoralizing, and corrupting influence, and
          call this a fair return for virtue, purity, honor, truth and
          integrity? Would they induct us into some of their leading
          ministers of using the sword, the bayonet, and the cannon to
          extirpate what they term heresy, set man against his fellow-man
          and deluge the nation in blood? What do they tell us? They set
          themselves up as our exemplars, and among other things say, we
          must marry as they do. And how is that? Let me ask some of you
          venerable, white-headed men that were married in various places,
          what kind of a covenant did you make? You were asked if you would
          take the woman to be your lawful wedded wife, for how long? Until
          death did you part. What a miserable thing. And this is what they
          have to offer. A woman takes a man as long as he lives, and then
          when he dies all is gone into oblivion; no eternal unity, no
          claim pertaining to heaven or the future; no sons, no daughters,
          no wife, no husband. That is nihilism, I think. This is the
          condition they would put you in to-day, if you would listen to
          them. But we are told that we should remember the rock from
          whence we are hewn, and the pit from whence we were dug. God has
          shown us principles that are ten thousand times more exalting and
          ennobling than anything they have to offer. No; you may continue
          in such operations; that is your business. You may revel in the
          idea of living with your wives in time, and then dropping into
          the grave without hope of any further union. But let me have my
          wives and children, and my associations in the eternal world. Let
          me have a religion that will live in time, and exist whilst
          eternal ages roll along. That is the kind of religion I want, and
          if you like the other, all right, take it. But give me, if you
          please, the liberty to pursue happiness in my own way; if not I
          shall try to take it. I want none of those evanescent principles
          that vanish when time ceases. I profess to be an immortal being,
          as we all are. A spark of Deity, struck from the fire of His
          eternal blaze, dwells in us, a portion of that intelligence that
          dwells with the Gods; which, if we will follow out through the
          influence of the Holy Ghost, of which I have spoken, will bring
          us back again into the presence of God; and with us our wives,
          our children, and our associations. Godliness, indeed, as stated
          by the Apostle Paul, "is profitable unto all things, having the
          promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come,"
          and despite the ideas, the opposition and the contumely of
          ignorant and unenlightened men, we will rule and reign and
          triumph, not only in time but throughout the countless ages of
          eternity. That is the kind of religion that I want. I would not
          give a straw for the other; if other people like it, all well and
          good. I do not want to interrupt them. But they want to interrupt
          us; and they do it, many of them, though we treat them never so
          kindly. They seem to have a perfect mania on these points; they
          run wild about our private affairs.
          Now, there are certain inalienable rights that some men in this
          nation consider belong to all men, one of which is, the right to
          live. The government of the United States did not give men life;
          they received it from another and higher source. God himself is
          the author of life and existence, more so than we ourselves
          sometimes think. There is not one of you could leave this place
          to-day unless God permitted it, and not only permitted it, but
          sustained you and empowered you to do so. We live in Him, we move
          in Him, and from Him we have our being.
          Do you believe that these men are sincere when they allege that
          we are so very wicked and that they desire to improve our morals?
          It would be something like their marriage--it ends in death, and
          sometimes even before that. What has been the proceeding here?
          Who are the authors and abettors of the iniquities that prevail
          in our midst? Wicked and unscrupulous men, the professed
          advocates of reform and a hypocritical civilization, such as
          ministers, politicians and others. Who are the introducers and
          originators of our gambling hells, or bagnios, and of the open
          and flagrant acts of debauchery and corruption that prevail in
          our cities where Gentiles reside? Who are the protectors of
          drunkenness and other vices? Our professed Christian reformers.
          These are their institutions; and their emissaries have been
          trying to introduce the murder of the innocents in the shape of
          foeticide and infanticide. Can we believe in the sincerity and
          truthfulness of such hypocritical, corrupt and degraded men? They
          tell us it is contrary to law for a man to be married as we are,
          especially if he has more wives than one. They talk about
          polygamy; but that is not the thing which they are aiming at. I
          will mention these things some other time.
          There are one or two statements that I wish to make before I
          close. Have they manifested a desire to rid us of lasciviousness?
          Where are the bagnios? Who are they kept for? For our good
          neighbors who love virtue so much. Again when thousands of men
          withdrew from the polls that they might not be considered
          obstructionists, what did they crowd upon us? You have heard a
          statement about Mayor Little and his son. Talk about purity! Was
          there any purity about that! The young man was obliged to object
          to his father, who was an honorable man, registering, because he
          had what? Broken any law? I do not think he had ever broken a
          polygamic law, but he had two wives some time ago when there was
          no law against it. Some of these things we mean to contest yet.
          We have not laid aside our franchise. If any think so they make a
          great mistake. There is not one man or woman in twenty who have
          refrained from exercising their franchise at the polls who, if
          the law of the United States was carried out and constitutional
          principles sustained could be interfered with according to the
          most rigid interpretation of the so-called polygamic laws, and we
          shall contest these rights. We are not going to give up
          everything. In the interests of peace some of us hold our
          franchise in abeyance at the present time; but as I stated at
          Conference when I spoke of these things--we mean to contend for
          our rights legally and constitutionally, inch by inch to the last
          end, and to maintain the principle of human rights in the
          interest of ourselves, in the interest of our children, in the
          interest of the honorable men of this nation, and in the interest
          of the freedom of man throughout the world. So do not think we
          are giving up everything: we have not given up one solitary iota.
          Yet we thought it better to withdraw until we had a fair
          opportunity to contest all these things peaceably and quietly,
          and to contend for our rights legally and constitutionally as
          American citizens and as men. Can we think that men are very
          sincere who pursue the course that has been adopted toward us?
          And what on the back of the refusal to let Brother Little
          register? It is purity they are after; is it? Here comes along
          the keeper of a bagnio and its inmates? Can they be registered?
          Yes! Because, according to a ruling, not a law, but a perversion
          of law, an oath is prescribed to American citizens, wherein
          loathsome, damning vices are protected. And they can register
          while the honorable and virtuous are rejected. And our good,
          Christian folks try to crowd these things down our throats. Well,
          we can bide our time.
          I will prefer to another affair that took place. Another man,
          when he came to be registered, after looking at the oath said: "I
          don't think I can take it, because I have got a wife and keep a
          mistress." But he was requested to read the oath. After having
          done so, he said: "I see the crime is here, in it being in the
          marriage relation, and though I have a mistress as well as a wife
          the mistress is not in the marriage relation, and I can take it.
          This man was said to be candid. Of course he was, and people say
          that he was honorable to tell his feelings. Yes, he was
          honorable, if it can be honorable for a man to pledge himself
          before the altar to be true to his wife and to the covenants he
          had made before God and witnesses--and then break those
          covenants; if that is honor, he may be called an honorable man,
          but we do not call it very honorable amongst us. This shows that
          lascivious cohabitation can be tolerated and protected by men who
          would seek to be our teachers and our reformers. Such men and
          women under the old Mosaic law would have been stoned to death. I
          say, my soul, enter thou not into their secrets, and, mine honor,
          be thou not with them united.
          Furthermore, there is a little thing which I wish to refer to
          that has lately come to my knowledge; I have a knowledge of a
          great many things--for men come to me with all kinds of affairs.
          It is a circumstance that is to be deplored. A married man
          considered here an honorable man, an upright man, a man that has
          taken an active part in some of the schools, who has given
          considerable to the building of churches and it has been thought
          that he was really seeking to do good amongst us--has lately
          sought to abduct an honorable young lady, or tried to persuade
          her to leave her home clandestinely with him and go to a distant
          land. How can we trust these people? These are facts; I have the
          letters; I know what I am talking about, and yet these are
          reformers, identified with churches, schools, and other places of
          improvement, who do not shrink to associate themselves with those
          infamies. A very low state of morality exists among them, as we
          know. How is it with us? Do we have men that sometimes do wrong?
          Yes. Do we sanction the wrong? Can an adulterer have a place
          amongst us? I tell you No, he cannot, and any Bishop who would
          permit anything of that sort ought himself to be removed. We are
          in favor of chastity, purity and virtue, not nominally but
          really, and we should make a distinction between one thing and
          the other and maintain virtue and correct principles in spite of
          the hypocrisy and corruption that exists, for it is among us and
          around us. And it is for us to look after our wives, our sons and
          daughters, and preserve our chastity, our honor and our virtue in
          all these matters. Let us seek the blessing of God, and He will
          help us and direct us. But because some of these men do wrong,
          and act iniquitously, shall we condemn the whole? By no means.
          There are thousands and hundreds of thousands of honorable,
          upright men and women in this and other nations, who outside of
          religion, would scorn to be associated with such infamies. Treat
          all men aright; but be careful of that loose system of morals
          that exists in the world; be careful how you associate with such
          people or permit them in your habitations. Look well to
          yourselves and to your families, to your sons and to your
          daughters; and let us seek to do right and cultivate the
          principles of truth and God will sustain us, and Zion will go
          onward, and our enemies will be confounded, from time to time,
          and salvation will flow to Israel if Israel will be true to
          himself, and we will try and carry out the things that god has
          ordained, and accomplish the work that He has given us to do. For
          if ever the will of God is done on earth as it is done in heaven,
          it ought to commence in the land of Zion. May God help us to do
          it in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Joseph
          F. Smith, October 29th, 1882
                         Joseph F. Smith, October 29th, 1882
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, October 29th, 1882.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
           F. Smith
          Brother Woodruff in the course of him remarks made the assertion
          that Joseph Smith was the greatest Prophet that has ever lived of
          whom we have any knowledge, save and except Jesus Christ Himself.
          The world would say that he was an impostor; and the Lord said
          that his name should be had for good and for evil among all the
          nations of the earth, and this much, at least, so far as his name
          has become known, has been fulfilled. This prediction was made
          through the Prophet Joseph Smith himself when he was an obscure
          youth, and there was but little prospect of this name ever
          becoming known beyond the village where he lived. It was at an
          early period of his life and at the beginning of the work that
          this prophecy or revelation was given, and it has been truly
          verified. To-day there is not another man, perhaps, who has
          figured in religion whose name is so widely known, and the report
          of whom has gone so far and is so wide spread among the nations
          as that of Joseph Smith. In connection with the work of which he
          was the instrument in the hands of God of laying the foundation,
          his name is spoken of in nearly every civilized nation upon the
          globe for good or for evil. Where it is spoken of for good; it is
          by those who have had the privilege of hearing the Gospel which
          has come to the earth through him and who have been sufficiently
          honest and humble to receive the same; they speak of Him with a
          knowledge which they have received by the inspiration of the Holy
          Spirit, through obedience to the principles which he taught as a
          Prophet and as an inspired man. They speak to his praise, to his
          honor, and they hold his name in honorable remembrance. They
          revere him and they love him as they love no other man, because
          they know he was the chosen instrument in the hands of the
          Almighty of restoring the Gospel of life and salvation unto them,
          of opening their understanding of the future, or lifting the veil
          of eternity as it were from before their eyes. Those who have
          received the principles which he promulgated know they pertain
          not only to their own salvation, happiness and peace, spiritual
          and temporal, but to the welfare, happiness, salvation and
          exaltation of their kindred who have died without a knowledge of
          the truth. The work in which Joseph Smith was engaged was not
          confined to this life alone, but it pertains as well to the life
          to come and to the life that has been. In other words, it relates
          to those that have lived upon the earth, to those that are living
          and to those that shall come after us. It is not something which
          relates to man only while he tabernacles in the flesh, but to the
          whole human family from eternity to eternity. Consequently, as I
          have said, Joseph Smith is held in reverence, his name is
          honored; tens of thousands of people thank God in their heart and
          from the depths of their souls for the knowledge the Lord has
          restored to the earth through him, and therefore they speak well
          of him and bear testimony of his worth. And this is not confined
          to a village, nor to a State, nor to a nation, but extends to
          every nation, kindred, tongue and people where the Gospel, up to
          the present, has been preached--in America, Great Britain,
          Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and upon the islands of
          the sea. And the Book of Mormon, which Joseph Smith was the
          instrument in the hands of God of bringing forth to this
          generation, has been translated into the German, French, Danish,
          Swedish, Welsh, Hawaiian, Hindostanee, Spanish and Dutch
          languages, and this book will be translated into other languages,
          for according to the predictions it contains, and according to
          the promises of the Lord through Joseph Smith, it is to be sent
          unto every nation and kindred and people under the whole heavens,
          until all the sons and daughters of Adam shall have the privilege
          of hearing the Gospel as it has been restored to the earth in the
          dispensation of the fullness of times.
           F. Smith
          The world presume that we have not received a knowledge of the
          truth. Those who are in ignorance in regard to the character,
          life and labors of Joseph Smith, who have never read his
          revelations or studies or investigated his claims to divine
          authority and are ignorant of his mission, revile him, sneer at
          his name, and ridicule his claims to prophetic inspiration, and
          call him an impostor. Jesus was also called an impostor in His
          day, except by a few that hearkened to His instruction, and
          believed His testimony. The great majority of mankind then living
          who knew of Christ, deemed Him an impostor, and considered him
          worthy to be put to death; precisely the same feeling existed
          towards Joseph Smith.
           F. Smith
          The disciples of Jesus Christ anciently were regarded in the same
          light as their Master, the Savior; so it is not at all surprising
          that the people of the world to-day, who know not the truth,
          should pronounce Joseph Smith an impostor and try to ridicule the
          doctrines which he taught; but in so doing they make themselves
          ridiculous, for they know little or nothing about them; indeed,
          in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred where the doctrines of the
          Latter-day Saints--which are no other than the doctrines which
          were taught by the Savior himself or contained in the Bible--are
          ridiculed and pronounced false and evil, they are so pronounced
          by a class of people who, being ignorant of, or wilfully
          perverting the truth, build aerial castles in order that they may
          tear them down, or "make a man of straw" to shoot at so that they
          can create a great noise and excitement about the "Mormons," and
          thus we are often charged by those who abuse us and write and
          preach against us with believing and practicing the most absurd
          things--things which no Latter-day Saint ever dreamt of believing
          or accepting as a principle of his faith. As I have said, in
          ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the Latter-day Saints are
          accused by their enemies of believing doctrines which they do not
          believe, and which are not the doctrines of the Latter-day Saints
          at all. They accuse us of every abominable thing. They call us
          murderers; they say we are immoral, ignorant, superstitious; they
          call us dupes, they say we are deceived, that we are enslaved by
          the Priesthood; that we are fettered and in bondage. Now, is it
          true that the Latter-day Saints are ignorant? If so, then I am
          sorry for the great majority of mankind, for millions of them are
          in a far worse condition than we are, in this respect. I will say
          here, and not without good and sufficient proof to back it, that
          the Latter-day Saints will compare favorably with any other
          people upon the face of the earth for good, sound common-sense,
          and every other good thing. Hence, to say that the Latter-day
          Saints are an ignorant people is saying only what may truthfully
          be said of the whole world. Taking the best evidence that we have
          to prove the facts, the statistics of the schools as compared
          with the statistics of the schools in the various States and
          Territories and of European countries, it appears that the people
          of Utah stand in the front ranks in relation to education, and
          are in advance of many of their neighbors and stand equal with
          many who have far greater advantages than they have. Yet we do
          not boast of being very intelligent; and only claim the credit
          which belongs to us, that we stand on a par with our neighbors
          and with our fellow-citizens throughout the United States; and
          for that matter, will compare favorably with any people on the
          face of the globe.
           F. Smith
          But we are called an "immoral people." Well, is the world so very
          moral? Are our accusers so very pure and holy and so extremely
          righteous that they should accuse us of being immoral?
          Consistency would demand that he that is without guilt should
          throw the first stone. But it is a fact that in our case our
          bitterest accusers--and this has been well demonstrated hundreds
          and perhaps thousands of times--are themselves reeking with
          corruption. Generally those who are the most immoral themselves
          are the first to make the charge of immorality against the
          Latter-day Saints! But I deny the charge in total, and I assert,
          without fear of successful contradiction--that there is not an
          equal number of people upon the face of the globe to-day who
          present to the world as much pure and simple morality and virtue
          as do the people called Latter-day Saints. In other words, there
          is not a more moral people upon the face of the earth to-day than
          the Latter-day Saints, taking them all in all. Not but what there
          are some "black sheep" among them. But who can fathom the depths
          of crime and corruption which exist in all the great cities of
          the world? You may go to the rural districts throughout the
          United States, and gather therefrom the most virtuous of our
          country to the number that are gathered together as Latter-day
          Saints, and I will venture to say that there are half as many
          children murdered among them annually, either before or after
          their birth, by their own mothers or fathers, as are born to the
          Latter-day Saints in the same period. The Latter-day Saints are
          proverbial for NOT murdering their children. They have hosts of
          them, and they do not try to destroy them neither before nor
          after birth, but endeavor to rear them to manhood and womanhood,
          that they may teach them the principles of the Gospel of
          Christ--the highest code of morals known, that they may be able
          to bear off the kingdom of God upon the earth, and to regenerate
          the world. This is the object for which the Latter-day Saints are
          raising children, that God may have a pure and a righteous
          people. How much the Latter-day Saints neglect their
          opportunities or privileges or fall short of their duties in
          regard to training their children, and instructing them in the
          principles of morality, virtue, purity and uprightness, is
          difficult to say; but of this I feel sure that while they are the
          best people that I know of there is great room for improvement in
          this direction.
           F. Smith
          But, it is said, the immorality of the Latter-day Saints consists
          in their marrying more wives than one! We are not charged with
          the crime of frequenting houses of ill-fame, of fostering illicit
          intercourse, of infidelity to our wives--of child murder, of
          drunkenness, profanity, dishonesty, cruelty or indolence, or if
          we are the charge is utterly false, but our great offence is in
          marrying our wives and protecting them and our children as all
          honorable men should God forbid that I should undertake to
          compare the honorable marriage of the Latter-day Saints with the
          debauchery and sexual crimes of our accusers! If our actions and
          our faith in regard to marriage are called wicked and immoral by
          them, in the name of God and humanity what will you call the
          crimes of those that accuse us? There is no adequate term in the
          dictionary of the English language with which to make a
          comparison, hence "Mormon" plural marriage cannot be degraded to
          the level of a comparison with the sexual crimes and iniquities
          of the world; there is no similitude between them. One is the
          antipode of the other--one is virtuous, pure and honorable, and
          the other is corrupt, treacherous and debasing to the utmost
          degree. Our system of marriage promotes life, purity, innocence,
          vitality, health, increase and longevity, while the other
          engenders disease, disappointment, misery and premature
          death--that is the difference. Hence there is no resemblance for
          they are not allied to each other at all.
           F. Smith
          The people of Utah are charge with having committed terrible
          murders and robberies. "Danites" or "Destroying Angels" are
          talked about by sensational writers and believed in by the
          uninformed. Now, what is the fact? Utah stands head and shoulders
          above every other Territory in the United States so far as the
          crime of murder is concerned. You cannot find a western Territory
          or State within the United States where there has not been a
          hundred per cent more murders, lynching and lawlessness than can
          be found in the annals of Utah. Take the State of California, the
          State of Nevada, and all the surrounding Territories, and it will
          be found that there has been less violation of law, fewer murders
          and less lynching in Utah than in any one of these from the
          beginning. There is no man that knows anything about the history
          of the western States and Territories for the last thirty years
          but knows this to be absolutely the fact. But because a few horse
          thieves and murderers have per chance been summarily dealt with
          by officers of the law--who were the appointees of the United
          States, and acting under the authority of the parent government
          and the laws of the Territory--the whole people of Utah are
          accused of being murderers. I attended a Methodist revival
          meeting held in a big tent in this city a few years ago by some
          itinerant preachers, who had spent but a few days in Utah, and
          were totally ignorant of her history, and it fairly made one's
          blood run cold to hear them relate their pious suspicions of the
          horrible murders that had been committed in Utah. They thought,
          or pretended to believe, that if the rocks of these mountain
          gorges could only speak, that nearly every rock could some
          terrible tale unfold of horrible secret murder and rapine. The
          most damnable nonsense that was ever uttered by man. But this is
          the sort of preaching that is generally done against the
          Latter-day Saints by this class of men, and as I have said, those
          who denounce the doctrines of this people as heresies and as
          abominable, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred know nothing
          whatever of the facts. If the Latter-day Saints had not been
          Latter-day Saints, if it had not been for their religion, and
          their faith in God and in His omnipotence to deliver them from
          the power of their enemies; or if the Territory of Utah had been
          inhabited by the same number of people composed of the various
          sects and denominations of Christianity, so-called, and the
          one-thousandth part of the infamies that have been perpetrated
          upon this people had been perpetrated upon them, many of the
          perpetrators of these infamies would have been long ago summoned
          to their final abode by "Judge Lynch." But the patience of the
          Latter-day Saints, and their willingness to leave their cause in
          the hands of God has spared them from shedding the blood of their
          enemies, and preserved them from violence or harm. Men that have
          not deserved to live, and would not have been suffered to live in
          any other community under the same circumstances, have equal
          protection with the very best citizens, and no man would harm a
          hair of their heads. We have too much good sense to make martyrs
          of such characters, and consequently they are left alone to
          pursue their nefarious course. Sometimes it seems rather hard to
          bear it, but it is the best to do so, I suppose. We are engaged
          in the work of the Lord, and He will bear it off victorious.
           F. Smith
          Let us return to the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was accused of
          nearly everything that was vile, by his enemies, who, as is well
          known by the Latter-day Saints, were generally entirely ignorant
          of his true character and mission. What did Joseph Smith do? Was
          human blood found upon his hands? No, verily no. He was innocent.
          Was he a slanderer and vilifier? No, verily, he was not. Did he
          wrongfully and unjustly accuse men of wickedness? No, he did not.
          Did he institute an order of things that has proven injurious to
          the human family? Let the people who have become acquainted with
          his doctrines, and with the institutions which he established
          upon the earth and his own life's labor answer. He was born
          December 23, 1805, in the State of Vermont. His parents were
          American citizens, as had been their ancestors for generations.
          In the Spring of 1820 he received the first supernatural or
          heavenly manifestation. He was then fourteen years of age.
          Ordinarily we do not expect a very great deal from a boy who is
          only fourteen years of age, and it is not likely that a boy of
          that tender age could have become very vicious or wicked,
          especially when he was born and reared on a farm, apart from the
          corrupting vices of great cities, and free from contact with the
          debasing influences of vile associations. It is not likely that
          he spent many idle moments during the working years of his life
          up to fourteen years of age; for his father had to labor for his
          living and earn it from the soil by the labor of his hands, being
          a poor man with a large family to support. In 1820, as I have
          said, Joseph Smith received a revelation in which he claimed that
          God had declared that He was about to restore the ancient Gospel
          in its purity, and many other glorious things. In consequence of
          this, Joseph Smith became very notorious in the neighborhood
          where he resided, and people began to regard him with a great
          deal of suspicion. He was at once called an impostor, and a few
          years later he was styled by his enemies, "old Joe Smith." His
          fame became known throughout the United States. He was called "a
          money digger," and many other contemptuous things. If you will
          look at his history, and at the character of his parents, and
          surroundings, and consider the object of his life, you can
          discover how much consistency there was in the charges brought
          against him. All this was done to injure him. He was neither old
          nor "a money digger," nor an impostor, nor in any manner
          deserving of the epithets that they applied to him. He had never
          injured anybody, nor robbed anybody--he never did anything for
          which he could be punished by the laws under which he lived. When
          he was between 17 and 18 years of age, he received another
          heavenly manifestation, and some great and glorious things were
          revealed to him, and for four years subsequently he received
          visits from a heavenly messenger. He did not claim he was in
          communication with wicked men or demons from the lower regions.
          He claimed he was in communication with Moroni, one of the
          ancient Prophets who lived upon this continent. He was a good man
          when he lived here and it is not likely that he had become wicked
          since he went away. This personage, he claimed, revealed to him
          the mind and will of the Lord, and showed him the character of
          the great work that he, in the hands of God was to be
          instrumental in establishing in the earth when the time should
          come. This was the labor that was performed by the angel Moroni,
          during the four years intervening between 1823 and 1827. In 1827
          he received from the hands of the angel Moroni, the gold plates
          from which this book [Book of Mormon] was translated by him
          through the inspiration of the Almighty, and the gift and power
          of God unto him. I heard it read when I was a child, I have read
          it many times since, and I have asked myself scores of times,
          have you ever discovered one precept, doctrine, or command within
          the lids of that book that is calculated to injure anybody, to do
          harm to the world, or that is in contradiction to the word of God
          as contained in the Bible? And the answer invariably came, No,
          not one solitary thing; every precept, doctrine, word of advice,
          prophecy, and indeed every word contained within the lids of that
          book relating to the great plan of human redemption and salvation
          is calculated to make bad men good, and good men better. Did
          Joseph Smith, during the three years intervening between 1827 and
          1830, while he was laboring with his hands for a scanty
          subsistence, dodging his enemies and trying to evade the grasp of
          those who sought to destroy him and prevent the accomplishment of
          his mission, struggling all the while against untold obstacles
          and depressing embarrassments to complete the translation of this
          book, have much chance of becoming wicked or corrupt? I do not
          think he had. When he had finished translating the book he was
          still only a boy, yet in producing this book he has developed
          historical facts, prophecies, revelations, predictions,
          testimonies and doctrines, precepts and principles that are
          beyond the power and wisdom of the learned world to duplicate or
          refute. Joseph Smith was an unlearned youth, so far as the
          learning of the world is concerned. He was taught by the angel
          Moroni. He received his education from above, from God Almighty,
          and not from man-made institutions; but to charge him with being
          ignorant would be both unjust and false; no man or combination of
          men possessed greater intelligence than he, nor could the
          combined wisdom and cunning of the age produce an equivalent for
          what he did. He was not ignorant, for He was taught by Him from
          whom all intelligence flows. He possessed a knowledge of God and
          of His law, and of eternity, and mankind have been trying with
          all their learning, wisdom and power--and not content with that,
          they have tried with the sword and cannon--to extirpate from the
          earth the superstructure which Joseph Smith, by the power of God,
          erected; but they have signally failed, and will yet be
          overwhelmed by their efforts to destroy it.
           F. Smith
          Again, the world say that Joseph Smith was an indolent person.
          The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized
          April 6th, 1830. Joseph Smith was martyred in Carthage, Illinois,
          on the 27th of June, 1844--14 years after the organization of the
          Church. What did he accomplish in these 14 years? He opened up
          communication with the heavens in his youth. He brought forth the
          Book of Mormon, which contains the fullness of the Gospel; and
          the revelations contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants;
          restored the holy Priesthood unto man; established and organized
          the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an organization
          which has no parallel in all the world, and which all the cunning
          and wisdom of men for ages has failed to discover or produce and
          never could have done. He founded colonies in the States of New
          York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, and pointed the way for the
          gathering of the Saints into the Rocky Mountains; sent the Gospel
          into Europe and to the islands of the sea; founded the town of
          Kirtland, Ohio, and there built a temple that cost about a
          quarter of a million of dollars; he founded the city of Nauvoo in
          the midst of persecution; gathered into Nauvoo and vicinity some
          20,000 people, and commenced the building of the temple there,
          which when completed cost one million dollars; and in doing all
          this he had to contend against the prejudices of the age, against
          relentless persecution, mobocracy and vile calumny and slander,
          that were heaped upon him from all quarters without stint or
          measure. In a word, he did more in from 14 to 20 years for the
          salvation of man than any other man save Jesus only, that ever
          lived, and yet he was accused by his enemies of being an indolent
          and worthless man! Where shall we go to find another man that has
          accomplished the one thousandth part of the good that Joseph
          Smith accomplished? Shall we go to the Rev. Mr. Beecher or
          Talmage, or any of the great preachers of the day? What have they
          done for the world with all their boasted intelligence,
          influence, wealth, and the popular voice of the world in their
          favor! Joseph Smith had none of their advantages, if these are
          advantages. And yet no man in the nineteenth century, except
          Joseph Smith, has discovered to the world a ray of light upon the
          keys and power of the Holy Priesthood or the ordinances of the
          Gospel either for the living or the dead. Through Joseph Smith,
          God has revealed many things which were kept hid from the
          foundation of the world in fulfillment of the Prophets--and at no
          time since Enoch walked the earth has the Church of God been
          organized as perfectly as it is to-day--not excepting the
          dispensation of Jesus and His disciples--or if it was we have no
          record of it. And this is strictly in keeping with the objects
          and character of this great latter-day work, destined to
          consummate the great purpose and designs of God concerning the
          dispensation of the fullness of times. The principles of baptism
          for the redemption of the dead, with the ordinances appertaining
          thereto, for the complete salvation and exaltation of those who
          have died without the Gospel, as revealed through Joseph Smith,
          is alone worth more than all the dogmas of the so-called
          Christian world combined. Joseph Smith is accused of being a
          false prophet. It is, however, beyond the power of the world to
          prove that he was a false Prophet. They may so charge him, but
          you who have received the testimony of Jesus Christ by the spirit
          of prophecy through his administrations are my witnesses that
          they have not the power to prove him false, and that is why they
          are so vexed about it. In my humble opinion many of our enemies
          know that they lie before God, angels and men, when they make
          this charge, and they would only be too glad to produce proof to
          sustain their accusations, but they cannot. Joseph Smith was a
          true prophet of God. He lived and died a true prophet, and his
          words and works will yet demonstrate the divinity of his mission
          to millions of the inhabitants of this globe. Perhaps not so many
          that are now living, for they have in a great measure rejected
          the Gospel and the testimony which the Elders of this Church have
          borne to them; but their children after them and generations to
          come will receive with delight the name of the Prophet Joseph
          Smith, and the Gospel which their fathers rejected. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Moses
          Thatcher, March 7th, 1883
                           Moses Thatcher, March 7th, 1883
                          SYNOPSIS OF A TEMPERANCE LECTURE,
          Delivered by Elder Moses Thatcher, before the Young Men's Mutual
                 Improvement Association of Hyrum, March 7th, 1883.
                               (Reported by C. C. S.)
                                  STATISTICS, ETC.
          In responding to the invitation of the Young Men's Mutual
          Improvement Association of Hyrum, I beg to say that press of
          other matters has prevented me from preparing myself to speak
          upon this subject as its importance demands, but I can submit
          some statistics which show the effects of intemperance on the
          human body and soul more forcibly than anything I can say.
          Intemperance, license and prohibition have recently been somewhat
          fully discussed through the columns of the Utah Journal. Those
          who advocate strict prohibition as a means of checking
          intemperance among our people, seem firmly impressed with the
          idea that every possible safeguard should be thrown around the
          youth and those of mature age who have not, within themselves,
          the power to resist temptations that are fast sapping the
          foundations upon which have rested the prosperity, morality, and
          purity of great Christian nations, that are now wallowing in the
          filth and degradation of intemperance. Holding that there are
          some, even among the Latter-day Saints, too weak to resist the
          tempting cup when pressed to their lips by the hands of false
          friends, yet who are too good to be left to destroy peace and
          happiness, desolate home, and die, perhaps, in the gutter, I am
          an uncompromising advocate of prohibition. No man is permitted to
          sell poisoned food. Who does so knowingly, to the destruction of
          life, answers the law on the charge of murder. Why should any be
          held less guilty of crime for dispensing liquid poison?
          Put the essence of tobacco into the mouth of a rattlesnake and
          see if the venom which makes its fangs the instrument of death,
          possesses neutralizing force sufficient to counteract the more
          deadly poison of the vegetable drug. And yet I have seen tobacco
          in pieces larger than my hand in barrels from which my brethren
          and friends had drank the whisky that extracted from that tobacco
          its deadly narcotic properties.
          I have beheld with horror the effects of double-distilled,
          tobacco-poisoned whisky. Untainted by it, I have seen man face
          perils that spoke of death, and under the sway of reason and calm
          judgment offer his coat to save the life of his companion; when
          the fierce blast of a winter storm was searching the marrow of
          his bones, chilling his vitals and clutching with icy hand the
          benumbed, almost frozen spark of life. That was the natural man,
          whose generosity the fear of death could not conquer.
          Driven wild with whisky, the heart beating like the quick throb
          of an overworked engine, reason dethroned by distilled poison
          burning like living coals in the brain, he who offered the coat
          to save, sped the ball which pierced the heart of his friend,
          whose warm blood, rushing through the murderous rent, curdled in
          crimson clots on the frozen snow, and the hearts of two mothers
          Who shall declare that to be a legitimate business which, in its
          effects, makes man a demon, dyes his hands in blood, and
          sacrifices tender and loving hearts upon the altar of
          intemperance? How can any man with one spark of the milk of human
          kindness in his heart, offer to his fellow-man that which he
          knows may destroy the body and ruin the soul? How can any father
          or brother ask our lawmakers to legalize and thereby become
          responsible for the crimes of those who seek to lead the weak and
          unsuspecting into temptations, which if yielded to, generally end
          in misery, pauperism, and ignominious ruin?
          Look at the home of the drunkard who would move heaven and hell
          in order to secure the means for gratifying his unnatural
          appetite! Is it a cheerful, prosperous, beautiful and healthful
          home? Does he educate his children and feed and clothe them well,
          or does he permit them to go bare-footed, half-clad, and
          otherwise exposed to disease and suffering? Does he not pay
          whisky bills while denying wife and children the means with which
          to keep the wolf of want from his door? Look at the waste of
          property all around him! If he has a house, look at the tattered
          rags hanging from the broken windows, the leaking roof, creaking
          doors, fireless hearth and general cheerlessness of the place he
          calls home. Gaze through the sorrowful eyes down into the
          painstricken heart of his wife, and see if you can find a
          sentiment there which calls for a single blessing upon the head
          of the man who has assisted in the degradation of her husband.
          Look at his lean horses and starving cattle, if he has any left,
          as they perish in the pitiless storms that chill their marrowless
          bones, and say that no act of prohibition should be enforced to
          assist in checking such an one in his downward course.
          Is it possible for the inebriate to confine the results of his
          intemperance to himself? No, it is not possible! It extends to
          others in spite of all he can do, and in so far as it injures
          them, his agency should be curtailed. With kindness and long
          suffering, with gentleness and good will? Yes! and if necessary,
          by removing with every legitimate and lawful means the temptation
          which he cannot resist unaided.
          Should the acts--the agency of the brother who, short time ago,
          left exposed, by reason of his engendered love of liquor, a
          hundred thousand dollars' worth of property intrusted to his
          care, be in any way restrained?
          Do intemperate men usually stand at the head of banking,
          railroad, manufacturing and commercial affairs? Do they stand at
          the head and control matters in which the Lord and good men have
          Contrast the intelligent look, the energy, the mental and
          physical endurance of the temperate man with those of the
          intemperate. Contrast the difference between their surroundings,
          homes and families, and then say which you prefer, and which you
          will imitate.
          I will now submit for your consideration an account of some of
          the evils of intemperance in England, and its cost: In the year
          1879, the inhabitants of the United Kingdom expended for
          intoxicating drinks, $640,716,320. The names of 3,000,000 persons
          were registered on the books of the "Poor Law Unions" during that
          year, and $4,000 lunatics were in the asylums. In 1877, 320,000
          were apprehended for drunkenness; 75,000,000 bushels of grain--an
          amount equal to what Utah, at our present rate would produce in
          forty years--is used yearly in the manufacture of intoxicants,
          which cause there annually 120,000 premature deaths. "It is the
          opinion of the best informed individuals that the cost of the
          mischief resulting from drinking, viz., Pauperism, Crime,
          Disease, Waste of Grain, Accidents, Loss of Labor, &c., amounts
          to fully as much as the cost of the drink itself, and, therefore,
          if the direct and indirect cost of the drink be added together,
          it will give about thirteen hundred millions of dollars as the
          amount the nation loses yearly through intoxicating liquors."
          In return for this stupendous outlay the nation reaps a harvest
          of crime, misery, destitution, vice, disease, ruin and death. If
          the money was paid to rid the nation of such evils, it would be
          proof of common sense, "but to buy them at such a price, is
          supreme folly," and would seem utterly impossible to an
          intelligent people. "During the seven years ending in 1877 the
          inhabitants of the British Isles spent for drink, $4,820,189,180,
          and paid for Poor and Police Rates $505,723,590. During the same
          time, 3,334,110 persons--nearly ten per cent of the entire
          population--were convicted of crime, and 1,271,838 were
          apprehended for drunkenness.
          From the above tables (taken from Parliamentary returns) it will
          be seen what an enormous amount of money is spent on intoxicating
          liquors. Side by side we see the crime and drunkenness with the
          consequent taxation, &c. How we suffer in other ways from the
          liquor traffic can never be realized.
          The money paid for drink during those seven years would cancel
          England's national debt, and leave $1,000,000,000 to spare. It
          would pay for 26,082 miles of railway which is 10,000 miles more
          than was then being operated in the United Kingdom. Had the money
          been invested in building houses it would have erected a new one
          for every family there, and built schools to accommodate all the
          children in that country.
          Had the money spent by the English people during the past 50
          years for liquors, been invested in securities realizing five per
          cent per annum, principal and interest would now exceed by
          $5,000,000,000 the entire capitalized value of all the wealth of
          the United Kingdom, including its money, lands, railways,
          collieries, ironworks, quarries, mines, houses, mills, and every
          other description of property.
          Now all these things have grown and developed under the fostering
          care of legalized crime. In other words, intemperance in England,
          and intemperance in the United States, if not the offspring of
          legalized crime is at least the bloated pauper of a system of
          license that encourages drunkenness. And for this reason, having
          shown you some of the fearful effects of intemperance, I
          unhesitantly condemn the system of license under which it has
          grown to such proportions. In contrast I cite you to statistics,
          compiled by the best authority, showing that drunkenness has
          decreased from 40 to 90 per cent, in the State of Maine, where
          prohibition has been enforced. [The lecturer here read from the
          writings of Hepworth Dixon, a beautiful description of the happy
          condition of the people of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, who had
          adopted "prohibition," and concluded by adopting as his
          sentiments the following sound principles of Dr. Albert Barnes,
          enunciated in his sermon, "The Thorne of Iniquity."]
          "I lay it down as a sound principle in regard to legislation that
          society should not by its law protect evil. This, perhaps, is
          sufficiently clear from the remarks already made; but the
          importance of the principle in itself, and the application which
          I intend to make of it, require that it should be made a little
          more distinct and prominent. The position is that the purpose of
          society in organizing a government, and the purpose of a
          government under such organization, should not be to protect evil
          in any form. The law is made for the lawless and disobedient, for
          the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for
          murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
          for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind,
          for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons (1 Tim. 1:9,)
          and not to protect those who practice these vices, or protect
          anything which will give facility in practicing them. The true
          object of legislation is to prevent, not to protect evil. God
          never instituted a government on earth with a view to its
          throwing a protecting shield over vice and immortality. He has
          never commissioned men to sit in high places to accomplish any
          such work. The end of government, so far as it bears on that
          point at all, is to suppress crime, to punish wrongdoers, to
          remove iniquity, to promote that which is just and true. And it
          matters not what the evil is, nor how lucrative it may be, nor
          how much capital may be invested in it, nor how much revenue may
          be derived from it, nor how many persons may have an interest in
          its continuance--the business of the lawgiver is to suppress
          it--not to protect it; to bring it to as speedy an end as
          possible, not to become the panderer to it, or the patron of it.
          What would be thought of a government that should, under any
          pretext whatever, take under its protecting care thieves,
          counterfeiters, and burglars? A third principle in regard to
          legislation is equally clear, and equally important: It is that
          society should not undertake to regulate evil by law. Its
          business is to remove it--not to regulate it."
          Having an abiding faith in prohibition, backed by local option, I
          would have the Y. M. M. I. A. of Hyrum, use their influence to
          have illicit liquor dealers here, discontinue their degrading,
          unlawful traffic. This failing, rise up and help the city
          authorities to enforce the law.
          If there are any in favor of license to sell liquor in Hyrum,
          please manifest it. [Not a hand was raised.] Who are in favor of
          temperance and prohibition? [Every hand was raised.] May God
          bless and preserve you from the blight of intemperance and the
          sin of drunkenness.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Orson
          Pratt, October 26, 1879
                            Orson Pratt, October 26, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE ORSON PRATT,
                            Delivered in the Tabernacle,
                          Salt Lake City, October 26, 1879.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                              FULFILLING THEIR DESTINY.
          I will read a few passages of Scripture which will be found in
          the 54th chapter of Isaiah. (The speaker then read most of the
          chapter referred to.) Continuing, he said:
          I hope that the congregation will pardon me for undertaking three
          Sabbaths running to instruct them when there are so many of our
          brethren--those who are ordained and filled with the spirit of
          truth--who would be glad, no doubt, to speak to the people; but a
          great many of my younger brethren, younger than I am, may perhaps
          have a great many opportunities after I may pass away, provided
          that the Lord sees proper in His wisdom to call me hence.
          I feel a great pleasure in standing before a congregation of
          Latter-day Saints, or a mixed assembly of those who belong to the
          Church and those who have not received the great message which
          the Church has received. It gives me great joy and great
          satisfaction to speak to them in the name of the Lord, and
          unfold, as far as the Spirit will give me utterance, that which
          the Lord has said concerning His people in the latter days. I had
          nothing upon my mind when I arose and walked into the stand, but
          upon opening the Bible my eyes fell upon this chapter, and I
          thought that I would read it--and perhaps something might occur
          in relation to this chapter that would be interesting in regard
          to the latter days, for certainly what I have read relates to
          future times--times that have not yet come.
          "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the
          curtains of thine habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and
          strengthen thy stakes" is the exhortation of the prophet to some
          class of people that should dwell on the earth. If we wish to
          know what class of people the Prophet had reference to, read the
          last verse of this chapter: "This is the heritage of the servants
          of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."
          It would seem then, from the declaration given in that clause of
          the seventh verse of this chapter, that the Prophet was speaking
          of his servants and their heritage--that is, the heritage that
          his servants should occupy--that they were not to be narrowed and
          contracted in their feelings in regard to their inheritance as
          though it were to be in a small tract or region of country. The
          Lord had otherwise determined according to the words of this
          chapter. He intends they should inherit a great land, that they
          were to stretch forth the curtains their habitations, and for
          fear that they would be limited in their views and contract
          themselves to a small region of country, the Lord says expressly,
          "Spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes." Well,
          we are trying to do this as Latter-day Saints. When we first came
          here we located this city in the month of July, 1847, some 32
          years ago this last summer. Then it was thought by many that had
          not a knowledge of prophecy, that we were too expanded in our
          views to lay out a city--being only a handful of pioneers--to lay
          out a city covering several miles of ground, when there was not
          yet a house built; when comparatively there was before us a great
          dry, barren desert. It seemed almost folly to even some of the
          Latter-day Saints to see the surveyor with his measure line,
          others with their instruments of observation, getting the height
          of this land above the sea level--making great preparations,
          while we yet camped, a little handful of us, in wagons and in a
          few tents. It seemed folly to lay out a city covering an area of
          several square miles; but those who did this work were under the
          direction and inspiration of the Almighty. We knew that this
          people would become a very great people. We knew that the words
          of Isaiah would be fulfilled which are recorded in the 60th
          chapter, "A little one shall become a thousand, and small one a
          strong nation." Now we believed that. It was not merely an
          opinion such as might be formed by the enlightened judgment of
          the human family, but by the inspiration of that Spirit which
          knows all things, we laid out a city sufficiently large in extent
          to accommodate and gather together an extensive population for
          this inland country and desert. Have we been disappointed? Has
          the Lord disappointed us in our expectation? Go over the area of
          this whole city, over these northern wards and western wards, and
          travel and traverse all the different lots and streets, and see
          if you find many vacant places. Is not the land generally taken
          up? Is it not generally occupied? Are there many vacant lots,
          where there are no houses or habitations? Are there many places
          where there are no fruit trees, no gardens? Are there many
          streets where there are no ornamental trees, no water ditches? We
          find after we have traveled several days and traversed nearly all
          the streets of this city, gone for miles each way, that all the
          lots with some very few exceptions, seem to be occupied, and not
          only so but some of the lots originally intended only for one
          family are now split up, divided and subdivided, and contain
          several habitations in the same lot, and scarcely room enough at
          that. We find the population coming into this city so great that
          there seems to be scarcely room, and even our water in dry
          seasons seems to be very scarce, not sufficient to water even the
          trees that are so necessary to be kept alive, to say nothing of
          gardens and flowers and shrubbery. "Enlarge the place of thy tent
          and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations;
          spare not;" that is don't be stingy, don't be contracted, don't
          limit yourselves to a small area of country but break forth on
          the right hand and on the left. Already within the last 32 years
          we have been fulfilling this commandment. We have stretched forth
          the gardens of our habitation several hundred miles in the south
          especially, and one or two hundred miles in the north, into the
          Territory of Idaho. Utah does not seem sufficient for us, hence
          we have built many large towns and villages in Idaho. We have
          spread forth our towns, our villages and our settlements to the
          south for some 300 or 400 miles, and even after doing this we
          find the place is too strait, and the saying is: "give place to
          me that I may dwell." We would scarcely suppose that a work of
          this great and important magnitude would have been accomplished
          in so short a time as scarcely one-third of a century, when all
          this great basin--nearly all with the exception of one or two
          small portions of the country traversed by Fremont and a few of
          his followers--was explored and considered an unprofitable
          desert, considered unfit for the habitation of man, in
          consequence of the dryness and parched condition of its soil. But
          the Lord when He begins to fulfill and accomplish a work among
          His people does so by degrees. He did not convert this great
          American desert, several hundred miles in extent, into a fruitful
          garden in one day, nor in one year; but in a few years,
          comparatively speaking, He has accomplished this work and has
          done it too with an eye to the predictions that were uttered by
          His servant Isaiah, the Prophet, and His servant, David, the
          The Sabbath before last I addressed the congregation and spoke of
          the people inhabiting the great mountain territory, removing. You
          will recollect this. You know our enemies have had a great many
          speculations about our moving. A great many have supposed that we
          would remove to an island of the sea; others have pointed out
          Vancouver's Island, others Russian American, as it used to be
          called; others have pointed out Mexico; others the islands of the
          Indian Ocean; and others South America, as the future destination
          of the Latter-day Saints. But Sunday before last I endeavored to
          point out to you our hopes, our views as contrasted with the
          views of our enemies, in relation to our future destination. I
          will repeat again, to bring to the remembrance of the Latter-day
          Saints, and those who might have been present on that occasion,
          what was then said. We expect that these mountains will not be
          the residence of all the Latter-day Saints; we expect that the
          great majority of the people will emigrate. We want to tell you
          where our eyes are fixed. As stated in our former discourse, they
          are fixed upon a land--not in the distant islands of the Indian
          Ocean, nor in the Pacific Ocean, nor in South America, but our
          eyes are fixed upon a land on the western boundaries of the State
          of Missouri and the boundaries of the State of Kansas. We expect
          to go there just as much as we expect the sun will rise and set.
          We have no other expectation. We expect to return there just as
          much as the Jews expect to return to old Jerusalem in the latter
          days. Perhaps you may inquire if we expect to return as a
          majority. Yes. Do we expect to return as a great people? Yes. Do
          we expect to return with our wives and our children? Do we expect
          to return in a peaceable manner? Of course. Have you ever seen
          any other feeling on the part of the Latter-day Saints, only to
          promote peace wherever they may settle? What has been our object
          from the commencement? Peace and goodwill to all men. But perhaps
          you may still further inquire concerning our emigration to the
          eastern boundaries of the State of Kansas, and to the western
          boundaries of the State of Missouri, what we intend to do in that
          part of the country? We expect to be farmers, a great many of us.
          We expect to introduce all kinds of machinery and manufactures.
          We expect to build mills. We expect to become a very industrious,
          frugal, economical people. We expect to have our merchandise and
          our stores and storehouses in that land. We expect to build a
          great many hundred school-houses in that country, just as the
          same as we have already done in this country and in the two
          adjacent Territories, Idaho in the north and Arizona in the
          south. We do not calculate to neglect our children in regard to
          their education. We expect to build a great number of academies
          or the higher schools, and besides a great many school-houses. We
          expect to erect universities for the still higher branches to be
          taught. We expect to build many hundreds of meeting houses, and
          we expect to be a people very densely located there--not one man
          taking up six or eight miles of land, and calling it his farm; we
          don't expect to settle a very dense settlement in that region of
          country. We expect to own the land, too. How? By purchase. We
          expect to purchase the land that we have not already purchased.
          We have already purchased a great deal of land in Jackson County
          and Clay County, Missouri, and our purchases are on record if
          they have not destroyed the record; but we were driven from that
          land, from our farms and homes; our houses were burned down, our
          merchandise that we had in our store was taken and strewn through
          the street; our printing office--one of the most distant western
          offices in the Union--was also destroyed; the type was taken out
          and scattered through the streets; our hay stacks were burned,
          our cattle were shot down, and we were driven in the cold month
          of November from our houses and lands purchased of the general
          Government, and we fled before our enemies. "Well," says one,
          "are you not afraid to go back again to purchase land in that
          country when you were thus treated in the early settlement in
          1833, when you were driven from your homes, some of you
          massacred, your property destroyed--are you not afraid to
          return?" O, I expect they are more civilized now. Do you think
          civilized people would murder now? Do you think they would drive
          people from their homes now? We may give them a chance to see. At
          any rate we shall fulfill our part, purchase the land, gather
          together upon our own purchased land, and we calculate to obey
          all the laws of the State of Missouri, and all the laws of the
          State of Kansas that are constitutional in their nature. But,
          says one, suppose the people should rise up and say you should
          not possess the land, what would you do? We would leave the
          matter in the hands of the Lord, just the same as we did at first
          when He led us by revelation to where the great central stake of
          Zion should be built. We went there because the Lord told us to
          go. We settled upon the very spot where the Lord commanded us. We
          commenced to lay the foundation of a temple about three-quarters
          of a miles from Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. It was
          then a wilderness, with large trees on the temple block. I
          visited that place 47 years afterwards, namely, a year ago last
          September, and not a tree was to be found on that temple
          block--not so much as a stump--everything seemed to be cleared
          off, and one would scarcely know, unless very well acquainted
          with the ground, where the temple site was located. There,
          however, we expect to build a temple different from all other
          temples in some respects. It will be built much larger, cover a
          larger area of ground, far larger than this Tabernacle covers,
          and this Tabernacle will accommodate from 12,000 to 15,000
          people. We expect to build a temple much larger, very much
          larger, according to the revelation God gave to us forty years
          ago in regard to that temple. But you may ask in what form will
          it be built? Will it be built in one large room, like this
          Tabernacle? No; there will be 24 different compartments in the
          Temple that will be built in Jackson County. The names of these
          compartments were given to us some 45 or 46 years ago; the names
          we still have, and when we build these 24 rooms, in a circular
          form and arched over the centre, we shall give the names to all
          these different compartments just as the Lord specified through
          Joseph Smith. Now, our enemies do not believe one word of this.
          They think we are enthusiastic, they think that this is all
          nonsense, and I do not know but there may be some of the
          Latter-day Saints that begin to partake of the same spirit, owing
          to their assimilating themselves so much to the fashion of the
          world, that they have lost their strong and powerful faith in
          that which God has predicted by the mouth of his servants.
          Perhaps you may ask for what purpose these 24 compartments are to
          be built. I answer not to assemble the outside world in, nor to
          assemble the Saints all in one place, but these buildings will be
          built with a special view to the different orders, or in other
          words the different quorums or councils of the two Priesthoods
          that God has ordained on the earth. That is the object of having
          24 rooms so that each of these different quorums, whether they be
          High Priests or Seventies, or Elders, or Bishops, or lesser
          Priesthood, or Teachers, or Deacons, or Patriarchs, or Apostles,
          or High Councils, or whatever may be the duties that are assigned
          to them, they will have rooms in the Temple of the Most High God,
          adapted, set apart, constructed, and dedicated for this special
          purpose. Now, I have not only told you that we shall have these
          rooms, but I have told you the object of these rooms in short,
          not in full. But will there be any other buildings excepting
          those 24 rooms that are all joined together in a circular form
          and arched over the center--are there any other rooms that will
          be built--detached from the Temple? Yes. There will be
          tabernacles, there will be meeting houses for the assembling of
          the people on the Sabbath day. There will be various places of
          meeting so that the people may gather together; but the Temple
          will be dedicated to the Priesthood of the Most High God, and for
          most sacred and holy purposes. Then you see that, notwithstanding
          all these Temples that are now building in this Territory, and
          those that have been built before we came here in Kirtland and
          Nauvoo, the Lord is not confined to an exact pattern in relation
          to these Temples building in the different Stakes any more than
          He is confined in the creation of worlds to make them all of the
          same size. He does not make them all of one size, nor does He set
          them rolling on their axes in the same plane, nor does He
          construct any in many respects alike; there is variation as much
          as there is in the human form. Take men and women. There are
          general outlines that are common to all, but did you ever see two
          faces alike among all the millions of the human family? What a
          great variety, and yet all are constructed in general outline
          alike--after the image of God. So in regard to the building of
          Temples. The Lord will not confine Himself to any one special
          method to be so many feet long, so many feet wide, and so many
          places for the Priesthood to stand, but He will construct His
          Temples in a great variety of ways, and by and by, when the more
          perfect order shall exist in yonder heaven. And when I speak of
          yonder heaven I do not refer to that kind of heaven the sectarian
          world sings about, beyond the bounds of time and space. I have no
          reference to any heaven beyond space, but I have reference to the
          heaven that the Lord has sanctified and made heaven in other
          worlds that he has created, consisting of all kinds of materials
          the same as our world is, and when this world passes through its
          various ordeals, it, too, by and by, will pass away and die like
          the body of man and be resuscitated again, a new heaven and a new
          earth, eternal in its nature. The new worlds that are thus
          constructed and quickened by the fullness of the celestial glory
          will be the heavens where the Gods will dwell, or in other words,
          those that are made like unto God, when their bodies are changed
          in all respects like unto His glorious body, changed from
          materiality and cleansed from sin and redeemed, they will then be
          immortal and dwell in a heavenly world. Now, in this world there
          will be Temples, and these Temples will be constructed according
          to the most perfect law of the celestial kingdom, for the world
          in which they are built or in which they stand will be a
          celestial body. This last Temple that I am speaking of, or this
          last one to be built in Jackson County, Missouri, will be
          constructed after that heavenly pattern in all particulars. Why?
          Because it will never perish, it will exist for ever. "What! Do
          you mean to say," says one, "that the materials of that temple
          will not wear?" "Do you mean to say," some of you may inquire in
          your hearts, "that age will have no effect upon the walls and the
          materials of that temple" This is what I mean--I mean to say that
          not only the Temple, but all the buildings that shall be built
          round about that Temple, and the city that will be built round
          about it, which will be called the New Jerusalem, will be built
          of materials that never will decay. "But," says one, "that will
          be contrary to the laws of nature." You may cite me to some of
          the buildings that existed before Christ that were built out of
          the most durable materials that could be found, and yet when the
          storms of hail, rain and snow came, these buildings began to
          waste away until they could scarcely be recognized. Well, I do
          not ask you to think that this temple and the city round about it
          will defy the rough hand of time and the work of the elements of
          our globe, and exist for ever, so far as natural laws are
          concerned; but there is a principle higher than these natural
          laws. Did you never think of it--a higher principle, a higher
          kingdom that governs all these laws of nature, such as you and I
          have been accustomed to understand ever since our youth. I say
          there is a higher law, a controlling power over all the laws of
          nature, that will prevent these buildings from decaying; and I
          wish while dwelling upon this subject to say a little about
          another subject; that is, the building up of Palestine with the
          new Jerusalem. It will be the old Jerusalem rebuilt upon its
          former site. Now, will that city ever be destroyed, will it ever
          decay? Will the Temple to be built in Palestine ever be thrown
          down or ever be furrowed with hail, rain, snow and frost--will
          these ever have any effect upon it? No, not in the least.
          Why? Because God will be there. So He will be in the temple of
          Zion on this continent, and by His power, by His laws--which are
          superior to all those grosser laws of nature--He will preserve
          both of these cities, one on the western hemisphere, and one on
          the eastern hemisphere, from any decay whatever. Now, we have it
          recorded here in this book, in the 31st chapter of Jeremiah, that
          this city on the eastern continent shall not be thrown down any
          more forever. It seems, therefore, to be an eternal city, never
          to be destroyed. "But," says one, "I cannot believe that; I
          cannot believe but what these cities will be subject, just as
          much as anything else to decay." Do you believe this good
          book--the Bible? If you do, you are obliged to believe that such
          things are possible. Do you want to know some of them? I will
          mention one instance. You will recollect that Moses commanded
          Aaron to take a pot of manna and lay it before the Lord, to be
          kept for their generations. Now it was a noted fact that if the
          children of Israel gathered more manna than would last them until
          after the next morning, it would decay, but on the last day
          before the Sabbath they gathered manna for two days, and they
          found that on the Sabbath day it was preserved. Who preserved it?
          Why did it last two days instead of one? Because God counteracted
          those lesser laws, or laws of nature, by His divine power, which
          is greater than them all, and He therefore preserved for two days
          that which would not last longer on the other days of the week
          than twenty-four hours. Well, we find that the Lord ordered the
          manna to be placed in the tabernacle to be kept for their
          generations, that they might see the bread wherewith He had fed
          them in the wilderness, when He brought them forth from the land
          of Egypt. Did that manna decay? No, it remained fresh and pure in
          the tabernacle. Why? Because God was there; His divine power was
          there; a miracle was wrought to counteract the general laws of
          nature such as we generally understand them to be, and this manna
          was preserved from generation to generation. Now the Being that
          could produce this effect upon a small quantity of substance on a
          pot of manna could He not do the same in regard to whole
          buildings, or is His arm so limited that He has to work in a
          little narrow corner and preserve a little handful of manna from
          spoiling through decay. I would say that the same Being that
          could perform this, which we might term a lesser miracle, could
          extend the same power to stone, wood, and to all kinds of metal
          and material that might enter into the construction of a Temple.
          Shall I limit that power to the preserving of a Temple! No. The
          same Being could preserve the city round about the Temple, hence
          it is a city that shall never be destroyed nor thrown down from
          that time henceforth and forever. God will be in the city. He
          will take care that the building materials suffer nothing from
          the laws of nature. He will take care that the city is
          illuminated by His divine power, and especially the Temple, the
          most sacred of all the Temples, where He will have His throne,
          where the Twelve Apostles will have their thrones, as the judges
          of the twelve tribes of Israel; He will take care that there is
          nothing in that Temple that shall decay in the least degree. So
          it will be in the New Jerusalem. Zion upon this great western
          hemisphere will have a city called the New Jerusalem (because it
          has never been built before) and God will preserve it by His
          divine power. Read what the Psalmist, David, has said in the 50th
          Psalm: "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
          Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall
          devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about
          Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth,
          that He may judge His people. Gather my Saints together unto me,
          those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." Perhaps
          you may ask why it is called "the perfection of beauty." Shall I
          read from the chapter I opened with? In the 11th verse of that
          chapter we read: "O though afflicted, tossed with tempest, and
          not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors,
          and lay thy foundation with sapphires. And I will make thy
          windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy
          borders of pleasant stones." Now any person that has studies
          these things to any great extent, knows concerning these precious
          stones how very precious they are esteemed, and how a small
          portion of these stones is very frequently valued at more than
          its weight in gold, some of them one hundred times their weight
          in gold, and yet the Lord will bring or create, or form, as the
          case may be, or tell His children how to form those precious
          stones in great abundance, sufficiently pure and crystalized in
          order to complete the foundations and also the temples and the
          public buildings of that great city called the New Jerusalem. But
          before this shall commence, the Lord has addressed them as a
          people afflicted: "O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not
          comforted." Just as the Latter-day Saints have been now for
          upwards of forty years driven from place to place before we
          emigrated to this great mountain desert, persecuted by our
          enemies, our cities taken from us, our villages taken from us,
          our farms taken from us, our flocks and herds shot down; we were
          robbed of all these things, and yet without any redress from the
          Government under which we live. We then came forth beyond these
          great rocky chains of mountains, hoping that in the distant
          desert, where no other people would have thought of locating
          themselves, we might live undisturbed. We have been greatly
          prospered in this desert. We have lived here long enough to
          fulfill a great many of the prophecies that are contained in this
          good Jewish Bible. But we have not yet got through with
          fulfilling prophecies. We are designed as a people to fulfill a
          great many prophecies. We shall move however, as I have already
          stated, down into that region of country. But you may say--that
          is, some of the weak Latter-day Saints may say--that it will cost
          so much; we will have to purchase all that country sufficiently
          extensive to give place to all this people. How are you going to
          obtain means enough to purchase a country large enough for all
          this people to dwell in? Well, now, the Lord has that in His own
          hands, don't you know it? Is it a difficult thing for the Lord to
          make his people rich when they are prepared for it, after days of
          tribulation, after passing through a great many afflictions and
          difficulties, tossed to and fro; would it be a difficult matter
          for the Lord to open up whenever He pleases, means of
          unmeasurable riches, more than all the Latter-day Saints would
          know how to use? Hear what the Lord says: "For brass I will bring
          gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and
          for stones iron. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land,
          wasting nor destruction within thy borders." Who were the people
          here spoken of? They were people that should be clothed upon with
          this light that I have been speaking of, this glorious light; the
          presence of the lord will be in their midst, and it will radiate
          over their temples, it will light their city by night and by day.
          "But are you sure." says one, "that such a thing will take
          place?" I have no time to read all the Lord says on the subject,
          but if you read the 60th chapter of Isaiah, you will find that
          the sun shall be no longer necessary by day, nor the moon by
          night, to give light to a certain people. Why? Because "the Lord
          shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
          Thy sun shall no more go down." Not like our sun which arises in
          the morning and exists above the horizon for a few hours, then
          descends, and darkness covers the earth. Not so with this light,
          the glorious divine light that will lighten up the heights of
          Zion. It will never go down, it will be a standing miracle by day
          and by night, from one week to another, month after month, year
          after year, until the one thousand years shall have rolled away
          over the heads of the people that dwell on the earth. But let us
          see what more is said. That same God that has spoken of these
          great riches, brass for gold, iron instead of silver, for wood
          brass, and for stones iron--I say that that same God has exhorted
          the latter-day people called Zion to "Arise, shine, for thy light
          is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." I do not
          mean something that never can be discerned. I mean that true
          light that emanates from the great fountain of light, the
          Messiah, the Redeemer; that true light that lighteth every man
          that cometh into the world; that true light which is in all
          things and giveth light to all things; that true light that
          lighteth up the understanding of the children of men and
          quickeneth their memory; that true light that quickens the eyes
          of this mortal tabernacle, that we are able to discern objects
          round about us; that true light which is of God, will be rendered
          visible to the eyes of all the inhabitants of that city. And
          shall I limit it there? No. The light will shine so conspicuously
          from that city, extending to the very heavens, that it will in
          reality be like unto a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid,
          and it will have quite a tendency to strike terror to all the
          nations of the earth. Will all see it? No, some may be too far
          off, beyond the ocean, to behold that miraculous light that will
          shine forth in this city, but I will tell you the effect it will
          have upon the kings, queens, rulers, congressmen and judges of
          the earth--they will hear of it by telegraph; the news will be
          flashed over the civilized nations of the earth, but they will
          not believe it. They will say, "Let us cross the ocean, and let
          us see this thing that is reported to us by telegraph; let us see
          whether it is so or not." Well, when they get within a day or
          two's journey of the city they will be alarmed. Some of these
          kings and nobles, when they see the light shining forth like the
          northern lights in the arctic regions, illuminating the whole
          face of the heavens--when they see this light shining forth long
          before they reach the city, fear will take hold of them there,
          says the Psalmist, in the 48th Psalm, they will become weak, and
          their knees will smite together like the knees of Belshazzar.
          They will try to haste away from the glory of God and from the
          power of God, and to get out of the country as soon as possible.
          Fear and terror will be upon them. It will have an effect upon
          many other kings and nobles, more pure in heart, more honest,
          that are willing to receive the truth; it will have a different
          effect upon them, so much so, that they will say with Isaiah,
          "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord
          is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness covers the earth and
          gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee,
          and His glory shall be seen from thee. And the gentiles shall
          come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."
          These are the different effects which it will have upon the
          rulers of the various nations, some believing, some trembling,
          some humbling themselves and willing to forsake their thrones and
          their kingdoms and their empires to come and dwell with the
          people of God, while others more wicked, more corrupt, will not
          be able to endure it. This shining light will be seen for many
          miles distant, and the wicked will flee away; they will be
          fearful lest they be smitten by that power that illuminates the
          people of God, hence the terror of the Lord will be there. Terror
          will take hold of the wicked when Zion becomes as fair as the sun
          and as clear as the moon, and her banners will be terrible to all
          nations. One would naturally suppose when we see the present
          hardness of heart that exists among our enemies, when we see our
          Elders waylaid, young peaceable boys that are taking their first
          mission abroad to proclaim the Gospel of the Son of God--when we
          see them shot down and their murderers tried by a jury and
          acquitted of that--one would naturally suppose that a people so
          hard in their hearts would not be converted to believe even if
          they should see the power of God manifested. But do you suppose
          that among these people where such things are carried on in the
          light of day, where murderers go free and where judges say,
          "commit murder, commit riots, take the life of the innocent; we
          will free you"--do you suppose that there are no honest hearted
          among the people that are allowed to do this? If you do you are
          mistaken. There are many of the honest in heart deceived by the
          cunning craftiness of the children of men, by priestcraft which
          lies at the foundation of all the persecutions endured by the
          Latter-day Saints. Priests, afraid of their craft, afraid of this
          little one, afraid that the little one will become a thousand,
          and the small one a strong nation, say: "let us down upon them,
          let us drive them from their homes, let us burn their houses, let
          us persecute them from city to city, let us fall upon their
          missionaries and put them to death." We would hardly suppose that
          there could be found an honest person among such a people, but
          there are. There are good-hearted people all through the States.
          In Missouri, where they first drove us? Yes, many. In Ohio, where
          we were also driven? Yes, many which are honest before God, and
          will receive the testimony of the Gospel, and unto this Zion that
          I have been speaking of such will gather together, to swell the
          numbers of the Latter-day Saints, and we will become a strong
          nation and they cannot help themselves, and this is what makes
          them feel so bad. But, says one, we can help ourselves. We have
          got the Secretary of State, Mr. Evarts, and he in connection with
          others of the Cabinet, have published a circular unto the nations
          of Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, asking
          their help; "Will you not step forward," say they, "and put a
          stop to the emigration of the Latter-day Saints. We are afraid
          they are growing too strong. We are afraid there are too many of
          them in yonder hills. O, Great Britain, help us! O Germany, help
          us! Let your arm stretch forth and allow no more of these
          Latter-day Saints to gather to the mountains of Utah! O keep them
          back. Shut up the ports of Liverpool, of Europe, and let no more
          emigrate to that land!" Do you think they can shut the ports of
          heaven? Do you think that yonder spirits that dwell in the
          presence of God the Father, will be kept back, and will not come
          here and take infant tabernacles to swell the borders of Zion?
          Think you, you can shut down the gates of heaven and control this
          matter? Stretch forth your arm and try to stay the arm of the
          Almighty, that He send no more spirits here to swell the borders
          of Zion! Would it not be well to pass laws to prevent these
          spirits coming, to prevent this heavenly emigration? Think you,
          you can stay the purposes of the Great Jehovah? No; these spirits
          will come and our streets will be full of children, sons and
          daughters, and they will say, as they crowd up: "The place is too
          strait, Give place to me that I may dwell," and they will stretch
          forth the curtains of their habitations, they will lengthen their
          cords and strengthen their stakes in spite of all the powers of
          earth and hell combined. "A little one," says the Prophet Isaiah,
          "shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation."
          Daniel caught the same spirit. He saw a little one planted in the
          mountains. He saw a kingdom organized, an ecclesiastical
          government called the Kingdom of the God of Heaven. He saw it
          organized--not in the lower countries of the earth, but he saw it
          organized in a high and lofty region; in other words, as is
          recorded in the 18th chapter of his prophecies, he saw an ensign
          lifted up upon the mountains. What is an ensign? "Why," says one,
          "according to our dictionary, and according to our opinion upon
          this subject, I should suppose an ensign, or standard, to be
          something unto which the people will gather." You have thought
          right. This ensign, says the Lord, shall be lifted up upon the
          mountain. What is an ensign? It is not only something unto which
          the people will gather, but it is something of divine
          appointment, something that the Lord organizes, something that
          will be a pattern to all peoples, nations and governments erected
          in the mountains, and He calls upon all the inhabitants of the
          earth to see it. In another place the Prophet Isaiah says: "And
          He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the
          outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah
          from the four corners of the earth." Can you hinder it? Can you
          oppose the almighty hand of Jehovah that he shall not accomplish
          His purposes? It cannot be done. You may afflict, you may pass
          laws, you may call upon distant nations to help you, you may shut
          down the emigration against the Latter-day Saints, you may drive
          them, you may burn their houses--you may do all this, but they
          will continue to live and to stretch forth in spite of all the
          powers beneath the heavens, and become a great people under the
          Constitution of this great land. We never want to be freed from
          the Constitution of our country. It is built upon heavenly
          principles. It is established as firm as the rock of ages, and
          when those that abuse it shall moulder in corruption under the
          surface of the earth, the American Constitution will stand and no
          people can destroy it, because God raised it by our ancient
          fathers, and inspired them to frame that sacred instrument. The
          Constitution is one thing; corrupt politicians are another thing.
          One may be bright as the sun at noonday, the other as corrupt as
          hell itself; that is the difference. Because we have a good
          Constitution that is no sign that the strong arm of the law,
          founded upon that Constitution, will protect the minority as well
          as the majority. The politician may suffer the majority to
          trample upon the rights guaranteed by that Constitution to the
          minority. They have done it before, and perchance they will
          continue to do it until they are wasted away. Then will be
          fulfilled another saying in this same chapter which I have
          read--"For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the
          left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the
          desolate cities to be inhabited." Now, there are a great many
          cities in the United States that will not be totally destroyed
          when the inhabitants are swept off the surface of the earth.
          Their houses, their desolate cities will still remain unoccupied
          until Zion in her glory and strength shall enlarge the place of
          her tents, and stretch forth the curtains of her habitations.
          That is the destiny of this nation, and the destiny of the
          Latter-day Saints. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / John
          Taylor, January 21st, 1883
                           John Taylor, January 21st, 1883
                          REMARKS BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                             Delivered at Ogden, Sunday,
                                 January 21st, 1883.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                            WITH THE RELIGION OF OTHERS.
          We convene in Conference in the various Stakes that everything
          pertaining to the interests of the Stakes may be considered in
          those conferences, and that all matters may be properly
          represented, and all the Saints have the privilege of voting for
          or against those officers who are presented to the Conference for
          their acceptance. It is also usual to vote for the officers of
          Wards in the Wards over which they preside, such as Bishops and
          their Counselors, with all the Lesser Priesthood, so that there
          may be perfect unanimity in all our acts. Because the Church of
          God is based upon the principle of perfect freedom of action. And
          while, as was said this morning, we have a Priesthood and an
          organization, and proper authority in the Church and Kingdom of
          God, it is proper that all of these authorities should be
          presented from time to time before the people, that all the
          people everywhere, not only in a Stake, but in all the Stakes, as
          well as at the General Conference, may have the opportunity if
          they know of anything wrong, anything immoral or unrighteous
          associated with the acts of any of the leading authorities of the
          Church, of speaking of it, that everything and everybody may be
          properly presented and that the conduct of all men may be
          intelligently scrutinized; for, if we cannot bear the scrutiny of
          our brethren upon earth, how shall we be able to meet the
          scrutiny and investigations of our heavenly Father when we shall
          stand before Him. And if there is anything immoral or
          unrighteous, of any kind, it is proper and expedient that it be
          righted; and this applies quite as much to the Presidency, the
          Twelve and the leading authorities as to any other individual in
          the Church; in order that everything may be presented in its
          proper form, and everybody have a full opportunity of offering
          their ideas and views in regard to these matters.
          Now I want to say a little on some of the votes that have been
          taken this afternoon, in order that we may comprehend the
          situation. You have had a new name presented before you for the
          President of your Stake. Brother Peery, who was your former
          President resigned his office, which he had a perfect right to
          do; and we have nothing to say about it. It was according to his
          own feelings freely expressed to me and to others. It was
          necessary that his place should be filled. We selected Bishop L.
          W. Shurtliff, for whom you have just voted; and that is all
          right, and having done so you ought now to sustain him. In regard
          to the Counselors of the President, when he resigned and his
          place was filled, they also ceased to act as Counselors; they
          were dropped as authorities of the Stake with the President of
          the Stake, not because of any act of theirs. These brethren are
          good men. Here is Brother Herrick, for instance, he has
          maintained a good reputation, and a good position in the Church;
          but he was Counselor to a man who resigned his office; and as I
          have said, when the President resigned to whom they were
          Counselors they also ceased to act as such. The question arises,
          who shall be the Counselors to the new President? That rests with
          the new President and those that put him in office; and it seems
          that he has retained one of the old Counselors, Brother
          Middleton, and has chosen a new one; and that is right. Is there
          any disposition to hurt Brother Herrick? Not in the least. I
          speak of these things for your information, in order that all may
          comprehend the true position. For instance, supposing that I, as
          President of the Church, were to resign, or anything should occur
          to me, what would be the result? My Counselors would drop into
          their former place in the Quorum of the Twelve; and whoever
          succeeded me would have the selection of his own Counselors with
          the approval of the General Conference. He might and he might not
          retain as his Counselors those whom I have chosen. It is proper
          that we should understand these things in order that the right
          kind of feeling may exist, and no improper reflection be cast
          upon any person.
          The High Priests occupy a position in their Priesthood whereby
          they are enabled to perform the various duties that they may be
          called upon to fill. You will find in reading the Doctrine and
          Covenants the following statement regarding the quorum of High
          Priests: "Which ordinance is instituted for the purpose of
          qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or
          servants over different Stakes scattered abroad." That is, it is
          the duty of High Priests to preside; the principle of Presidency
          is connected with them. You have a High Priest's Quorum over
          which Brother Farr presides; what is the duty of that quorum? To
          meet together to instruct one another in regard to the principles
          of the government of the Church and kingdom of God; that its
          members may understand the various organizations of the Church,
          the laws and the principles of government thereof, and the
          various duties they may be called upon to fill; it may be to
          occupy the position of a President of a Stake; it may be a
          Counselor to the President; it may be a High Counselor; it may be
          a Bishop or his Counselor. There are divers positions that High
          Priests are called to occupy, as deaths and other changes often
          transpire, and new Stakes and Wards are being organized. But the
          changes do not affect the status of the individual at all, as in
          the case of Brother Herrick, referred to. Here is Brother
          Shurtliff called from acting as Bishop to be the President of a
          Stake; have we a right to do that? Yes. Who is the Bishop? A High
          Priest. His place being vacated, that position needs supplying,
          and who shall supply it? These things are left for the counsel
          and the deliberation of the proper authorities to operate in for
          the welfare of the Church as far as they know how, and according
          to the best judgment they possess; and then they should be
          presented to the people for them to vote upon. But in dropping a
          President it drops his Counselors. They were selected to be his
          Counselors, not somebody else's; and when some one else takes his
          place, then he should have his own Counselors. These are the
          views entertained on this subject, and they are correct and very
          proper. The order of the Church is for us to fulfill and magnify
          the calling to which we are called, and do it with an eye single
          to the glory of God, each man fulfilling the various duties and
          responsibilities of his office. I referred this morning to the
          feelings that prompted the acts of the Savior while upon the
          earth. He came not to do His own will, but the will of His Father
          who sent Him. It was a hard thing for Him to do. Did you ever
          think of it? When He found the accumulated weight of the sins of
          the world rolling upon His head, his feelings were so intense
          that He sweat great drops of blood. Could I tell it, or could
          you? No. Suffice it to say that He bore the sins of the world,
          and, when laboring under the pressure of those intense agonies,
          He exclaimed, "Father, if it be possible, let his cup pass." But
          it was not possible. It was the decree of God; the fiat of the
          great Jehovah, and he had it to do. And on the cross He was heard
          to exclaim, "It is finished." And he gave up the ghost; and went
          to move in another sphere, having atoned for the sins of the
          world and fulfilled His mission given Him in the flesh.
          We also have been called and set apart to perform a certain
          mission; and the Holy Priesthood has been conferred upon us that
          we may be enabled to perform the various duties devolving upon
          us. And many of our duties are not of the most pleasing nature,
          and yet we cannot shrink from them any more than Jesus could; we
          have them to do. It is not a very pleasing thing for our Elders
          to go forth to the nations of the earth to preach the Gospel
          without purse or scrip, and then to be opposed, persecuted,
          maligned and abused, and even outraged in many instances. Yet it
          is a duty placed upon us by the Almighty, and we have to perform
          that duty as Jesus performed His, and our Elders go forth
          weeping, bearing precious seeds, the words of life and salvation,
          carrying in some instances their lives in their hands. This is
          required of us. Why? Because all men are the offspring of God, in
          whom He is equally interested.
          Then we are Saints of God have duties to perform. We have to
          build up His Church according to the plan which He has appointed,
          and according to the order that He has revealed. Those of you who
          heard Brother Lyman yesterday, heard him describe the manner of
          entering into the Church of God, also the power and privileges
          associated therewith. Those who heard Brother Joseph F., this
          morning, heard him speak about the organization of the Church,
          and the various orders and principles, powers and authorities
          associated therewith. These are so many principles introduced by
          the Lord. None of us, as was remarked, introduced any of them;
          none of us know them, neither do the world know them to-day. God
          introduced and put in order those principles that have been
          communicated to us in regard to the Gospel and in regard to the
          organization of the Church, and the various offices thereof, and
          everything pertaining thereto. And this Church and kingdom has
          been placed in communion with the kingdom in the heavens, with
          the Church triumphant, as it is sometimes called. And the Church
          is a living principle, a living power, a living communion; and as
          in former times God placed in the Church Apostles and Prophets,
          Pastors and Teachers for the perfecting of the Saints, for the
          work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ,
          until we all come in the unity of the faith, and a knowledge of
          the Son of God; so it is in these latter-days. He has revealed
          His will, His law, His power and His Priesthood; and He has been
          pleased to receive us as members and officers of His Church. And
          it is for us to magnify our calling and honor our God in any and
          every position that we may be called upon to fill. Paul said on a
          certain occasion, that a dispensation of the Gospel had been
          committed to him, and it was woe unto him if he preached it not.
          So we may say, that a dispensation of the Gospel has been
          committed to us; and woe be unto us if we preach it not; woe be
          unto us if we fulfill not the duties and obligations that are
          devolving upon us. I would say that this Priesthood is not for
          the honor of man, not for his exaltation alone; but it is
          imparted to man in order that he may be made the medium of
          salvation to others. It is true it is honorable to be a servant
          of God; it is true it is honorable to hold any office in the
          Church and kingdom of God; it is true there is not a more
          honorable position that a man can hold than to be found in the
          family of faith and the household of God, to belong to the Church
          and kingdom of God--there is nothing more honorable than that.
          Talking of the Elder, why he is a herald of salvation; he is a
          legate of the skies; he is commissioned of the great Jehovah to
          bear a message to the nations of the earth, and God has promised
          to sustain him. He has always sustained His faithful Elders, and
          He always will. And what of the Elder? He is commanded to call
          upon men to believe in Jesus Christ, to repent of their sins, and
          to be baptized for the remission of sins, promising them the gift
          of the Holy Ghost; and all who obey the requirements receive this
          divine gift. Is that true? Do you Elders not know that to be
          true? Does not this congregation know that it is true? And when
          you obeyed the Gospel, when you had hands laid upon your heads
          for the reception of the Holy Ghost, did you not receive it? If
          you were honest, you did; if you were true and sincere you did,
          and you are my witnesses as to the truth of these things of which
          I speak. What does it prove? It proves that God is with the
          Elders of Israel; it proves that God lives. Is not that a great
          witness to the Latter-day Saints, and is it not a witness to the
          world? Who dare come before the world with such a statement?
          Nobody but those that have the authority, as the Lord sanctions
          and acknowledges none excepting those that are authorized of Him.
          Is there are any greater position that man can occupy upon the
          earth than to be engaged as a herald of salvation, commissioned
          of the great Jehovah to proclaim the words of life to a fallen
          world, and to call upon them to repent and be baptized in the
          name of Jesus for the remission of sins, promising them if they
          do it that they shall receive the Holy Ghost? This is the
          position occupied by our Elders, as well as that occupied by
          Seventies and High Priests. They go forth in the name of the
          Lord; and people believe their testimony and gather here. And
          why? Because they would not allow you to worship God in the world
          whence you came, and they will scarcely do it here.
          We talk a great deal about the religious liberty that is
          guaranteed unto us in this land of the free, home of the brave
          and asylum for the oppressed; yet men are contriving all the time
          to deprive us of the rights of conscience, and of religious
          liberty. And what of it? Would we treat them as they treat us?
          No, no, no; a thousand times no. Why not? Says Jesus, "The
          servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me,
          they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they
          will keep yours also." On the same occasion He said to His
          disciples, after commanding them to love one another, "If the
          world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If
          ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because
          ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
          therefore the world hateth you." There was then, and there is
          to-day, and there always has been, a spirit of antagonism between
          the powers of light and the powers of darkness. There has been a
          conflict in the world ever since the creation of man to the
          present time. And that spirit of antagonism to the truth that
          existed in former ages exists in this age, and we have reason to
          know it. Is it because we are wicked that we are opposed? We are
          not as good as we might be by a great deal, it is true; we ought
          to be better than a great many people, and we are; and our lives
          and conduct prove it, notwithstanding there are a great many
          evils among us that we ought to repent of and put away. Yet, do
          we injure anybody? I do not know that we do. Do we wish to
          deprive anybody of his rights? Not that I know of. We are accused
          a good deal of this and everything else, in fact. Do we wish to
          interfere with anybody's religion? I hope you do not do it here.
          You have Methodists and Presbyterians and Catholics, as well as
          other different sects; would you want to interfere with them? I
          do not think for a moment that you would. We may think that their
          ideas are foolish in many respects, but then they have a perfect
          right to entertain them, and there are none, I think, that
          recognize that right sooner than we as Latter-day Saints. We
          believe in freedom of conscience; we believe that all men should
          be guaranteed the right to worship God according to the dictates
          of their conscience. Some may want to worship a God without body,
          parts or passions; a God that sits on the top of a topless
          throne; although to me the idea of worshiping such a God would be
          most ridiculous, if other people desire to do it, all right, and
          they should be protected in that right. But while we accord to
          all men the right to think, and the right to worship as they
          please, we claim the same right for ourselves. And then we do not
          want to have a set of men placed over us in a governmental
          capacity who do not recognize the rights of humanity; men who
          want to control the human mind. We want to maintain correct
          principles; and we want to sustain all men that do maintain them.
          We have a right to do that. Some, however, think that we have not
          that right even; and they are frequently trying to introduce
          principles that are at variance with our constitutional rights.
          But it is our duty to maintain our rights; it is our duty to
          stand up for those principles which guarantee freedom to man, and
          we intend to do it, God being our helper; and not permit the
          wicked and ungodly, the corrupt and depraved to deprive us of our
          rights. But I shall be talking about politics if I keep on much
          longer; what I have said, however, is correct, and it affects us
          as American citizens. We posses just as many rights as any other
          American citizens; and if there is anything contrary to this, it
          is contrary to the genius of the institutions of our country. We
          are all free and equal, at least, we are supposed to be; but we
          are not. We may as well laugh as cry about these things though,
          as it makes but little difference. We are engaged in doing the
          work of God; and we are seeking to do the will of God; and He has
          established a Church, which we, in the name of Israel's God, will
          help to sustain. And we should not be concerned about the
          consequences of our acts. The Lord has all men in His keeping,
          and He has us in His keeping; and we cannot do anything only as
          He permits us. How could you Elders, who have been out preaching
          and baptizing, and confirming members into the Church, have
          imparted to them the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on
          of hands, excepting God were with you. And if God were not with
          Israel to-day, Israel could not be sustained. But God is on the
          side of Israel; and He will sustain His people if they will
          observe His laws and keep His commandments. And no man can
          successfully fight against Jehovah, for He will say to any that
          oppose Zion, as He did to the waves of the mighty ocean,
          "Hitherto shalt thou come and no further, and here shalt thy
          proud waves be stayed." We are in the hands of God; and the
          nation is also in the hands of God; and we can do nothing unless
          He permits us; neither can this or any other nation. He controls
          them according to the counsel of his own will; and He
          manipulates, manages and directs the affairs of the children of
          men. He has appointed us to do a work. It is not our work; but we
          are willing to do it with His help. Will He be thwarted in His
          designs? I tell you, No. The Kingdom of God will roll forth, and
          no man can stay it. And woe to that man who lifts up his hand
          against it; for the Lord is managing this work, not us, and it is
          His business to take care of His Saints. Therefore, we feel easy,
          comfortable, joyous and happy. And I feel all the day long like
          singing hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, the Lord God
          Omnipotent reigneth; and He will reign until all His enemies are
          put under His feet. And Zion will progress and triumph, and the
          work of God will go forth, and the kingdom of God will be
          established, and the Zion of God built up, and all things spoken
          of by the holy Prophets will be fulfilled; and the kingdom of God
          will progress until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom
          of our God and His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever,
          and unrighteousness and wickedness, corruption and evil will be
          trampled under His feet. God bless you, and lead you in the paths
          of life, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / George
          Q. Cannon, June 25, 1882
                           George Q. Cannon, June 25, 1882
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON, 
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                               Sunday, June 25, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I am exceedingly thankful to have the opportunity once more of
          being with you and of partaking of that peaceful and sweet
          influence which prevails in the midst of this much despised and
          terribly abused people. The contrast, to me, is exceedingly
          marked between the circumstances in which I have been placed and
          the influences that I have had to meet, and those which surround
          me to-day. There have been some things which have transpired
          which have not been very pleasant; but on the whole, I can
          truthfully say, that I have enjoyed myself better than I
          expected, and probably much better than many of you would suppose
          that one under the circumstances could do. At no time, in my
          experience--in my life, have I ever seen a more embittered
          feeling manifested against the Latter-day Saints than prevailed
          during this past winter. You have had opportunities of
          understanding this to some extent, for you have felt that
          influence here, and you have seen its effects in the results that
          have been wrought out. And I suppose if we were like other people
          we should have been terribly alarmed at the manifestations we
          have witnessed. There was a time when it seemed as though all
          hell had broken loose, and that nothing less than the entire
          destruction of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints would satisfy popular clamor. A most
          extraordinary manifestation, especially when we consider the
          absence of all provocation for such an outburst of wrath. If a
          person last winter had come into Utah Territory and traveled
          through our settlements, visiting the houses of the people and
          examining the condition of affairs here, he would have found it
          difficult to understand the cause of all the excitement that was
          raging throughout the United States concerning this people. If
          there are those who do not believe in the existence of spiritual
          powers and influences, let them examine into this Utah question
          and the effects of its agitation upon the public mind, and it
          seems to me they must be convinced that there are unseen powers
          which operate upon the minds of the people at large, to produce
          such extraordinary outbursts of prejudice and passion as we have
          witnessed--fifty millions of people stirred up from one end of
          the land to the other by a tornado of passion, unreasoning,
          blind, besotted, bloodthirsty, which has carried men and women
          before it, and has dethroned reason, concerning a people who were
          quietly pursuing their avocations, molesting none, doing nothing
          that could be construed by any reasonable person into anything
          that would be offensive.
          It is generally supposed that we are living in an enlightened
          age. Popular preachers claim that this is the crowning generation
          for light, and knowledge, and truth; that we are living in fact,
          in the full blaze of Gospel light and glory. Politicians also
          claim that this republican government of the United States is the
          fruit of the ripened experience of all the ages; the product of
          the accumulated wisdom of the centuries; that human aspirations
          finds the fullest development under our form of government. This
          is the boast of the press, and these are the teachings of the
          pulpit. And yet, through agencies which boast of their
          enlightenment, this whirlwind of passion to which I have
          alluded--this spasm of feeling that has convulsed the nation, has
          swept over the land, and everything has been done that was
          possible to make it destructive in its effects upon the objects
          of its wrath. I have thought, and have sometimes expressed
          myself, that if lies could destroy a people, we should have been
          buried out of sight long ago. The basest and most malignant and
          most cruel, the most unfounded and causeless misrepresentations
          and falsehoods have been circulated, and men and women who knew
          nothing about us, preachers who had no idea of our real belief,
          and editors who had no conception of the true condition of
          affairs in this Territory, have all lent themselves, sometimes
          understandingly, and other times ignorantly to do everything in
          their power to destroy an innocent people. And what has been the
          crime? We have been accused of immorality. God knows if that were
          to be a crime sufficient to evoke destruction, there would be
          other communities visited with wrath beside ours, even if we were
          all that we are painted. But the fact is, there is no other
          Territory or State in the United States--and I say this knowingly
          and understandingly--where virtue is respected, revered and
          protected as it is in Utah. There is no other community in the
          United States in which more young men grow up to manhood pure, in
          proportion to the population than in the Territory of Utah.
          As I have repeatedly said, we believe in marriage, we have opened
          the door in that direction, and we say to the sexes marry; but we
          close the door in the other direction, and say, you shall not
          commit adultery, you shall not seduce, defile, prostitute or lead
          astray innocent beings; if you do, and we had the power, we would
          punish you. It seems like a paradox that those who do that which
          is according to their religion should be punished, while those
          who trample upon their religion should go free. And yet this is
          really true. All that we can be accused of is, we have embodied
          in our religion practices that belonged to the Patriarchs, which
          we believe, and so declare, God has revealed to us, for the
          purposes of salvation and of producing greater purity and of
          checking the flood of vice that is sweeping through the land and
          sapping the foundation of this nation and all the nations of
          Christendom. We have adopted the principle of plural marriage as
          part of our religion. We have not led women astray, we have
          protected them. We have not coerced them or used violence, but
          have thrown around them a shield of protection, and at the same
          time have left them to exercise the fullest liberty and the most
          extensive right of free choice in every respect. But this is a
          sin; this shocks, we are told, the moral sense of the nation.
          While, on the other hand, there are communities who say they do
          not believe in adultery or in seduction--that is, their religion
          teaches them that these things are wrong; but many of whose
          members practice these crimes, and yet they pass along unnoticed
          and undisturbed.
          Salt Lake City is 2,400 miles from Washington--a remote place; it
          might be supposed the effect of our examples, if they were bad,
          would not reach that distance; that if there was any contagion
          flowing from our practices it would have expended its force
          before traveling that far. But in Washington City, at the head of
          the government, where Congress has unquestioned jurisdiction,
          there is no law against adultery; no one can be punished in the
          District for violating the marriage vow; that escapes the
          attention of Congress. So with fornication; its goes unpunished,
          unless it should be of so flagrant a character, done in so open
          and indecent a manner as to excite public condemnation. Now if
          morality were to be achieved it might be thought that Washington
          would be a fine field for the exercise of the power that is
          unquestionably invested in the Congress of the United States. I
          presented this view of the question to Senator Edmunds, when this
          bill, which has since become a law, was being discussed. I called
          his attention to the fact that it was not an unfrequent thing, in
          taking up an evening paper in Washington City, to read accounts
          of the finding of two or three infants that had been cast away or
          deserted by their inhuman mothers, found in vacant lots and in
          out-of-the-way places, and that too in the most elegant city to
          be found in the United States. It appeared to me, as I said to
          him, that Washington was a splendid field for the exercise of the
          power of Congress. If it was a sincere wish to check immorality,
          and to put down vice that prompted the Edmunds' bill, however
          mistaken its author might be in his ideas respecting the
          existence of these evils in Utah, the best place to commence was
          at the head. But it was plain to be seen that nothing in that
          bill was designed to reach real vice, to strike down immorality;
          it was a blow at our religious practices. To be sure, however, as
          to what the intent of the bill really was, and to know this from
          his own lips, I asked him if adulterers could be punished in Utah
          Territory under the provisions of the bill. His reply was that if
          a man who had one wife were to live openly and continuously with
          another woman he could be punished under it; but adulterers would
          not be very likely to expose themselves to the operations of the
          law in that manner. He said that "sporadic cases of adultery
          could not be punished by this bill." I thought the reply one of
          which a Senator of the United States should be ashamed. I have
          known Senator Edmunds for some time, and have had some admiration
          for him, but I declare I blushed for him when he made the reply
          that "sporadic cases of adultery" could not be punished under the
          provisions of this bill, now become law.
          Now, you can see what the design is. It is not to punish
          immorality. If immorality were the object to be reached, that law
          would have been made broad enough for every case, whether they be
          practices, what they term under religious guise, or practices in
          violation of religion. What then is the object of the measure? It
          is to strike down a prominent feature of our religion; that is
          its object, and there is no other object to be achieved. It is
          the fact that we make marriage a part of our religion that
          excites animosity, and they are determined to destroy us.
          "If you were to protect immorality and not call it religion," I
          have been told many and many a time, "we should not object to it;
          but you are sanctioning by the forms of religion that which we
          cannot endure, and which is hateful to our civilization." It is
          the marriage ceremony, that is the offensive part of it; it is,
          in other words, the marrying that excites dislike and hatred.
          Now, is this to be wondered at? I do not wonder at it; I am not
          surprised at all at this feeling; for the reason that I have
          always expected that this doctrine, like every doctrine connected
          with this Church, would excite the bitter hatred of those who
          oppose the work of God. It was the fact that the Prophet Joseph
          Smith, and the Elders of this Church declared that revelation had
          been received from God, that excited animosity in the first
          place. The Elders of this Church might have preached any
          doctrines they pleased and not said they had been taught them by
          revelation, nor by special divine assistance, nor by angels
          having come from heaven, but preached them as the speculations of
          men, as doctrines discovered, framed and arranged by men, by some
          theologians of eminent ability, and they would have had no
          particular difficulty. In preaching precisely the same doctrines
          we now preach, that is, the first principles of the Gospel, a
          church might have been made one of the most popular churches upon
          the face of the earth.
          But what was it that excited animosity? It was the declaration
          that God had spoken from the heavens and had restored the
          primitive Gospel in its original purity and power, and that we
          had the power and authority to administer in the ordinances of
          the Gospel through which had been restored the gifts and
          blessings and powers that pertained to the Gospel in the days of
          Jesus. It was this declaration that excited animosity throughout
          the religious world against the Latter-day Saints in the
          beginning. Every preacher felt that he was condemned by this
          declaration. If we had stood upon the same platform as they,
          saying that our organization was the result of man's wisdom, we
          should then have had some sympathy from them. But because our
          Elders declared that God had spoken, and that we preached that
          which had been revealed to us, animosity was excited, and mobs
          rose against us, entertaining the most bitter feelings, and
          committing the most terrible outrages.
          It is interesting reading now, in this year of our Lord, 1882, to
          go back to that which occurred fifty years ago, in Missouri, soon
          after this Church was organized. The charges against us then were
          that we believed in Prophets, that we believed in revelation,
          that we believed in healing the sick, according to the pattern in
          the New Testament, that we were so credulous as to believe that
          God would work miracles; and the crowning accusation was that we
          were Yankees and abolitionists, and therefore were unfit to live
          in the State of Missouri. I say, it is interesting in these days
          to go back and read the documents issued by the mob in 1832-3 in
          Jackson Country, Missouri. There was no plural marriage then to
          cause offense. The cry against us then was, that we believed that
          God was a God of revelation as He was in ancient days; that He
          was the same God in this, the 19th century, that He was in the
          first century of he Christian era, when Jesus and the Apostles
          ministered among men. This was considered sufficient cause for
          mobs to organize themselves and drive our people from their homes
          and lands, and to kill some of them.
          If we were to practice plural marriage in some other manner, and
          not sanctify it by the forms of religion; if we were to be guilty
          of anything of this character, separating it entirely from all
          religious ceremonies and ordinances, there would be little, if
          anything, said about us. To judge from expressions I hear, I do
          not suppose it would excite any particular animosity.
          We, as a people, have to pass through these ordeals. It is a
          great consolation to me, it has been while I have been absent, to
          know that we are fighting the battles of religious liberty for
          the entire people; it might be said, for the entire world. And
          there is no people on this continent in so good a position to do
          this to-day as we are, for there is no people so well organized
          as we are. No man, single-handed, could do what we are doing; no
          half dozen could do it; they would be crushed. Let any man go out
          from this place and attempt, single-handed and apart from any
          other organization, to fight the battle that we are fighting, and
          he would soon be overwhelmed. But we are an organized community;
          we can live here as we did in the early days without help from
          any other source except God. We can raise our food; we can make
          our clothing. If it be necessary we can pinch ourselves, dispense
          with luxuries, and can live on those things which are barely
          essential to life. We do not necessarily have to depend upon
          other people for support. If grasshoppers come and sweep our
          fields, as they have done, there is no cry from Utah to the
          general government for help. We have borne these afflictions
          unassisted by our fellow-citizens; and we have proven to our own
          satisfaction, if not to the nation at large, that we are capable
          of sustaining ourselves. Therefore, when wrath is excited against
          us, we do not lose employment, we do not lose food, we are not
          turned out of our houses nor otherwise impoverished; because we
          have the elements in our own midst from which we can draw a
          living; and we know how to use them for our own sustenance, and
          for the preservation of those who are dependent upon us. Hence we
          are in an excellent position to fight the battles of freedom; and
          it is the most glorious warfare that men or women were ever
          engaged in. I expect we shall continue to contend for liberty,
          not with physical weapons but with steadfast moral courage,
          despite the Edmunds' law, despite the Poland law, despite the law
          of '62, or any other law that may be made in violation of the
          Constitution, and of the Bill of Rights. We shall have to contend
          unceasingly for those principles, without wavering or yielding
          one iota in our determination. I claim this not for Latter-day
          Saints alone, but I claim it for every man and woman in this
          Republic; for I say that the men and women in this great nation
          have the right to worship God according to the dictates of their
          own consciences, as long as they do not, in so doing, interfere
          with the rights of their fellow-citizens; and I claim that they
          have the right to do this, despite the Supreme Court decisions,
          despite the action of Congress, despite the expressions of pulpit
          and press; and I am willing to contend for that liberty for every
          man and woman whether they be of the Methodist, the Presbyterian,
          the Episcopalian, or any other persuasion, or whether they be
          believers in the doctrines or views of Col. Robert Ingersol. God
          has given us this right, and He has given unto us our agency. If
          we violate His will He will punish us; He has threatened us with
          punishment if we do so, and we are responsible to Him, and not to
          the Congress of the United States, not to the President of the
          United States, nor to any human being; we are responsible alone
          to our God, and there is no power upon the earth that can justly
          deprive me or deprive you of this right. They may, by force of
          power, by illegal measures and unconstitutional laws do this; men
          may be imprisoned or slain; but the principle that I now declare
          is a fundamental, a constitutional principle, and it will endure.
          And the day will come in this land when every man will have this
          right, regardless of his profession. Are we to be dictated to by
          popular preachers? Such men say to the Congress of the United
          States, "You must enact certain laws; we demand it of you; our
          congregations demand it; you must put down 'Mormonism.' We do not
          want that religion. We are Methodists; we are Presbyterians, or
          we are somebody else, and we call upon you to maintain orthodoxy
          and to put down heterodoxy." I would just as soon be dictated to
          by the Pope of Rome, by Mr. Ingersol or by a "Mormon" Bishop, as
          to be dictated to by popular preachers, as to what I must accept
          as religion.
          Fault is found with us in this Territory because it is said the
          hierarchy dictates legislation; but you know this is not true. I
          wish we could dictate it more than it is done. We have our views
          like other citizens, but who has ever known them to be forced
          upon any? And, yet, this is the head and front of our offending,
          namely, that in Utah there is a theocracy dictating legislation.
          Now, who is it that has demanded of Congress this Edmunds' law
          against Utah? It has been the pulpit of our nation, the orthodox
          pulpit. It is at their behests this legislation has been enacted.
          They would destroy us; and if they could do this then they would
          turn their attention to somebody else--the Catholics, the
          Infidels, the Spiritualists,--they would not be satisfied until
          they obtained what they call "uniformity." They do the very thing
          themselves that they charge us with doing, and which they pretend
          they desire to prevent in this Territory.
          It is this principle of freedom of which I have been speaking
          that we are determined to maintain; we shall contend for it to
          the very uttermost as long as life remains. This is the feeling I
          have. Do you not feel the same? I am sure you do; I know you all
          do; I need not call for any expression of your feelings. We
          cannot fight law; we must submit to law, the law being more
          powerful than we are; but we can do as John Bunyan said: "I
          cannot obey, but I can suffer." We cannot renounce our religion;
          we cannot throw it aside; we cannot trample upon the commandments
          of God; but we can endure the penalty of obeying God's law, even
          if it be imprisonment. It is part of the contract. We know what
          others had to endure for the religion of Jesus, and if we expect
          to obtain the same glory as they, we must be prepared to endure
          the same consequences.
          I do not make these remarks to stir up feelings of defiance. It
          would be a most unwise and a most unfortunate position for us to
          occupy, to place ourselves in an attitude of defiance against the
          laws of the land; but while we do not defy, we at the same time
          shall maintain, I hope, the principles of liberty, and claim them
          for every man and woman as well as ourselves. We shall never
          cease our effort, I hope, until from one end of the land to the
          other men and women can worship God whether they be Mormon or
          infidel, or whether they believe in Buddha, or are believers in
          the God of Israel, the Lord of the whole earth, or worship a
          wooden god, without interference or interruption from others as
          long as they do not trespass upon or interfere with the rights of
          their fellow-citizens. All ought to have this right, and no one
          should seek to deprive them of it.
          The most nonsensical arguments have been used against us in
          consequence of our claiming liberty of this kind. Say some men:
          Suppose there were Thugs in this country, or Hindoos who believed
          in burning widows as they did in India, shall the government not
          have the right to put down such murders and such ceremonies of
          cremation? Suppose that human sacrifice was deemed proper by some
          religious ordinance, do you mean to say that government has not
          the right to interfere with and to stop the taking of life in
          such a way?
          Certainly, I have never said it had not, neither have I claimed
          it when I have said that we had a right to practice this feature
          of our religion. There is a very wide distinction, but many do
          not seem to understand the difference. There are certain acts
          that are crimes in and of themselves; they are not made so by
          statutory law; one of these is murder. It always was a crime
          against nature and always will be. He who takes the life of a
          fellow being commits a crime, even if it should be in a land
          where there is no law; it is in and of itself a crime--malum in
          se. It needs no statutory law to make it so. Marriage occupies a
          very different position from this. Before the law of 1862 was
          passed by Congress a man might have married in this Territory two
          or more wives, there being no law--human nor divine--that we had
          any knowledge of, prohibiting it. There was no law of the United
          States against it; there was no law of the Territory against it,
          and it was not in and of itself a crime. It was made a crime by
          the law of July 1, 1862, which, we assert, was in violation of
          the first amendment to the Constitution. It was malum
          prohibitum!--a crime made so by statutory law. There is a wide
          distinction between the two; and every ordinary mind must, I
          think, readily admit that there is no comparison between marriage
          and murder, robbery, theft and crimes of a kindred character.
          Still there are a great many people who do not seem to understand
          this. They say, "Suppose you believed in murder, in human
          sacrifice, do you mean to say that we would not have the right to
          interfere with you; that we could not do anything to check that
          Certainly they could and should. They could check any practice
          that we might be guilty of that would interfere with the rights
          of our fellow men. Government has the right, and owes it to its
          citizens, to protect them in their rights--to protect their
          lives, to protect their property, to protect them in all their
          civil rights and in their religious rights also, and to prevent
          others from doing them violence. Beyond this it should not go.
          And they call our system of marriage, bigamy. Such confusion of
          terms! The essence of the crime of bigamy is that a man, already
          married to one wife, clandestinely marries another. Both women
          are wronged and deceived; the first by his marrying a second time
          during her lifetime; the second by his concealment of the fact
          that he already has a living wife. In the anxiety to attach odium
          to our system of marriage, our enemies call it bigamy, ignoring
          the fact that, according to our rules, a man who has one wife
          does not take another wife without the consent of the first wife;
          no advantage is taken of her by keeping her in ignorance. The new
          relationship has been entered into by common consent. There is no
          element of crime about this--that is, of the crime of bigamy. It
          is, as I have said the concealment that makes it a crime; it is
          the fact that both women are deceived and wronged by the act of
          the man. And such a man ought to be punished. That which has been
          done has been done in the face of high heaven, in the light of
          day, believing, as we did, that it would be the means of
          preserving this community in purity, that if every means were
          used to provide for marriage there would be no margin of
          unmarried women left for lust to prey upon.
          Men have said to me: "Mr. Cannon, we cannot understand why it is
          that women will consent to such arrangements."
          "My dear sirs," I have said, "do you not think that the ladies
          who occupy questionable relationships to gentlemen in this city
          (Washington) would be very glad to have that relationship
          sanctified by marriage; do you think they would object to it?
          Would any true woman, if she loved a man, put herself in such a
          false position in society, and yet not marry him if she could do
          so honorably? Which relation would be the better and more
          I do not wish to convey the idea that plural marriage can be
          universal. In the very nature of things as I have often said, it
          is impossible; the equality of the sexes would prevent this, were
          men ever so desirous to make it so. Take our own Territory: the
          males outnumber the females; it cannot therefore be a practice
          without limit among us.
          No one need be afraid of the extensive spread of this system even
          if the Edmunds' law were not in operation. Besides all this, it
          should be borne in mind, that God did not give this revelation
          and commandment to us to urge upon the world for its practice.
          The greatest foe we have to contend with is ignorance. We are not
          known. We are lied about most extensively, and every avenue is
          blocked against us. Popular journals are afraid of injuring their
          circulation by speaking the truth concerning us. The publishers
          are affected by the same influences as the politicians--the
          pulpit and this popular clamor cause men to be afraid. If we
          could be known as we really are--not in Salt Lake alone, for this
          city is not a fair sample of Utah; if it were possible for the
          people generally, who reiterate these popular cries against us,
          to travel through our settlements north and south, and see our
          people, there would be a very different public feeling in regard
          to us. But we have been inundated by falsehood, we are nearly
          covered by its waves, and people who know nothing about us are so
          startled at this idea of polygamy, as it is called, that they are
          prepared to believe anything that may be said about us. We have
          this to contend against. In the end, however, we shall be
          abundantly successful, for a people possessing the qualities that
          the people of Utah do, can and will live--a people who are
          united, a people who are honest, a people who are frugal, a
          people who are temperate, a people who are orderly in their lives
          and who are virtuous, truly virtuous, can withstand a tremendous
          amount of pressure. There is only one way in which this people
          can be checked and that is by extirpation. Otherwise, the
          qualities they possess are bound to live in the struggle. The
          doctrine of "the survival of the fittest," applies to us, and
          insure us a long, a prosperous, an uninterrupted and a glorious
          career. We can live in spite of adverse legislation, in spite of
          commissioners, in spite of governors, in spite of acts of
          persecution; we can live and still flourish, and still grow and
          still increase; and we shall do it. I am not at all afraid as to
          the result. Of course legislation of the Edmunds' kind can pinch
          us; it can be made excessively disagreeable to us. It may test us
          in ways that may be new to us; but sincerely I say to you, my
          brethren and sisters, that I dread other things that exist in our
          midst more than I do hostile legislation.
          I dread the increase of luxury; I dread the increase of class
          distinctions which I see growing up. The disintegrating
          influences of wealth are far more to be dreaded than any outside
          pressure of this character. All that is being done in this
          direction is to hoop us up, as the copper hoops up barrels. This
          has been the case already. During the last five or six months I
          have had letters from all parts of our Territory, and they
          uniformly bespeak a determination to cling together.
          But watch the effect of wealth; look at its effects. Communities
          get wealthy and they begin to think about their wealth. Where
          their treasure is there is their heart also. Especially is this
          the case if they are divided into classes. Then the rich are in a
          position to be tempted and tried far more than they would be if
          they were on the same plane with their fellows. If we are nearly
          alike temporally we feel alike. In this has consisted much of our
          strength in the past. We were not divided into classes, with
          interests diverse one from the other. The sacrifices we had to
          make fell pretty equally upon all, and there was no temptation
          offered one class because of its greater wealth, to compromise
          with principle, or to question the policy of standing up
          unflinchingly for principle, or to feel different from the bulk
          of the community.
          The increase of wealth, therefore, and the consequent increase of
          fashions are more to be dreaded than hostile legislation. Let a
          wife follow all the fashions of the day, and then let her
          children do the same, and a man must have a deep pocket to
          sustain such a family. Give him two or more wives and their
          children of this kind, and how long can he keep up? Introduce
          fashions among us, and make women fashionable, and make their
          daughters fashionable, and what is called "the problem" will not
          be long in being solved. If a man then had more than one wife he
          would need a large income to sustain them. Some women might be
          shrewd enough to understand this, and if not wanting their
          husbands to have another wife, might take pains to consume all
          the income.
          Well, our enemies never have had and never will have wisdom
          enough to adopt any plan that will hurt this work. Why, instead
          of injuring this people in what they have already done against
          us, they are only advertising us. The effect of this
          persecution--I cannot call it anything else--has been to call
          forth three able productions by men who personally knew little or
          nothing about us. One man had visited here and the other two were
          prompted in the interest of justice to write and speak as they
          did, feeling that a great injustice was being done to us, and
          that Constitutional rights were being trampled upon. One of
          these, a gentleman in Boston, delivered an able lecture; and
          another Bostonian wrote an able pamphlet; another gentleman in
          New York, wrote one of the best pamphlets on life in Utah, that I
          have seen for many years; and besides these there have been many
          correspondents who have written upon the subject, and the result
          is that men and women have been awakened to the consideration and
          examination of this question. But if they had been silent
          concerning it, many never would have thought of it. We must be
          advertised, and I do not know any better way than that which has
          been adopted.
          As far as my own case in Congress is concerned, I have not
          allowed myself to be annoyed. Remarks have been made very
          frequently about my bearing the attacks upon me so pleasantly. I
          have replied, "why should I not feel so--I am the wronged man? I
          had a larger majority in my favor than any other man upon the
          floor of the House. I am the representative of the people of
          Utah, properly elected, and fully qualified and eligible for the
          position. This the committee of the House, after the close of the
          strictest examination--and it might be said, the most prejudiced
          examination, have decided. Fourteen out of fifteen of the
          committee on elections, after making a full examination of the
          case, have decided that I was properly entitled to the
          certificate, and as a consequence to the seat. If the
          consciousness of being right ought to make a man feel pleasantly,
          then I am entitled to the feeling. I feel as one who is called to
          make sacrifices for a glorious cause."
          Great pressure was brought to bear upon republican members to
          have them vote solidly on this question. One somewhat prominent
          man purposed to make a speech denouncing the wrong which was
          being attempted against me. He told me that Speaker Keifer heard
          of his intention and "bulldozed" him out of making it. One member
          said to me: "Mr. Cannon, in voting against you as I did, I told
          those around that I did the most cowardly act of my public life."
          Another said, "Mr. Cannon, I wrote to my wife and told her that I
          had done the meanest thing I ever did since I have been a member
          of Congress, in voting as I did against you." "But," said he,
          "what could I do?" These are samples of expressions made upon the
          subject. You can understand that my position was one not to be
          ashamed of. The man that is wronged has no occasion to feel the
          blush of shame on his cheeks; it is those who commit the wrong
          who ought to have that feeling; and they cannot help feeling that
          they are inferior to the one they have injured. But
          notwithstanding the pressure of which I speak that was brought to
          bear upon members, the conspirators against the liberties of Utah
          dared not trust my case to the House till the Edmunds' bill had
          passed. There were some strong men who could not see their way
          clear to vote against my taking my seat. It was felt therefore
          that the only way my case could be reached was by the Senate and
          House passing a law and having it signed by the President of the
          United States. In this way, by using all the power of the
          government, except the judiciary, the case was reached; but then
          they had to trample upon the Constitution to do it; for the law,
          as applied to me, was ex post facto. 
          I had gone to Washington eight years previously; I had been at
          the bar of the House four times to be sworn in, the same man in
          every respect. It was not charged that I had violated any law
          since that time, or rendered myself ineligible. After a
          determined contest I had been confirmed in the seat by the 43d
          Congress--a Republican Congress--also by the 44th Congress--a
          Democratic Congress; also by the 45th and 46th Congresses. Now by
          what law could a man in my position, having the majority of the
          votes, and the fact being conceded that the election had been
          fair and that there had been a full expression of the people's
          will, according to the forms of law--I ask, upon what principle
          of right could such a man be excluded from a seat in the 47th
          Congress? Legally he could not. There is only one way in which
          that could be done, that is by trampling upon the principle of
          representative government and the Constitution of the United
          States. This was done in my case, and this action will stand on
          the books as a precedent that will cause men to feel ashamed of
          it in days to come.
          Now, my brethren and sisters, I return here feeling, as I have
          said, excellently, and cheerfully, full of courage and hope, not
          at all weakened in my feelings. I feel exceedingly hopeful and
          joyful and am satisfied that we are in the right path, that we
          are on the winning side, because we have right, we have justice
          and we have truth on our side. The only fear I have is that we
          shall fail to make use of the opportunities God has given unto us
          of maintaining our integrity and being true and faithful, for God
          has said, "I have decreed in my heart that I will prove you in
          all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto
          death, that you may be found worthy; for if ye will not abide in
          my covenant, ye are not worthy of me." He has also told us,
          "whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name's sake,
          shall find it again, even life eternal: Therefore, be not afraid
          of your enemies."
          This exhortation God has given unto us. And we may as well
          prepare ourselves, if we are not already prepared, for everything
          of this kind. The time must come when the principles of truth and
          righteousness will prevail over the land; and it is our destiny
          to maintain them and make them universal. The prophecies that
          were made by the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning this nation and
          us will be fulfilled. He said that the time would come when the
          Latter-day Saints would be the only people that would maintain
          constitutional principles upon this land. I have been taught from
          my youth that that was the destiny of this people; that this
          nation would drift away from the Constitution and Constitutional
          principles; that mobocracy would reign, and the principles of
          right would be sacrificed to the power of might. And we can see
          this coming to pass.
          In former times mobs came against us with cannon and muskets,
          with powder and ball, and the torch, and life and property alike
          fell sacrifices to their violence. That was the expression of the
          popular will; it found vent in illegal forms, the laws being
          trampled upon to satisfy its demands. But matters have changed.
          Mobocracy to-day assumes the forms of legality, and, therefore,
          in meeting this power you have to wrestle with it under the form
          of law. In the early days when the mob came upon us we could take
          our guns and meet it, but when a mob comes backed up by law,
          clothed in the garb of the law, claiming shelter under the
          Constitution, it is very different; and that is our position
          to-day. We have fought mobs from the beginning; there have been
          times when we have held our own, determined to stand our ground;
          at other times we have been driven; until, at last, we found
          refuge in these mountains.
          Now we are subjected to another sort of test, and I look upon it
          as necessary to develop us and to prove us. I accept this, in the
          providence of God, as a means to school this people. It will make
          statesmen and legislators of us; it already shows the necessity
          of education; it will have the effect also to broaden our views,
          to enlarge our intellects, and to stir up our young men and our
          young women to prepare themselves for usefulness. We have to be a
          superior people; we have to educate our children, and make them
          the peers, and I may say, the superiors of all others, for we
          have the principles which will make us a superior people. And in
          order to become such a people, I do not know any better training
          that we could have than that which we are now receiving,
          unpleasant though it may be. Read the history of New England and
          you will see that we are passing through precisely the same
          training that the colonists there did. It developed them, and was
          the means of making them the great people that they have since
          I pray God to bless you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, and
          help you to remain faithful and true to Him and to one another,
          that you may never lose your courage or falter for a single
          moment, but maintain your integrity to the last, and teach your
          children to do likewise, that you and yours may be found among
          those who shall be recognized as having been valiant in the cause
          of God upon the earth. Let us be wise and prudent in all our
          talk, and cautious in everything we do, feeling to submit to
          wrong rather than to do wrong, trusting the Lord to overrule the
          intentions of our enemies for our good and the final triumph of
          truth over error, and good over evil. There need be no rashness,
          no defiance or manifestation of feeling. Let us show the world
          that God has given unto us principles which lift us up above
          these clouds that now envelope us; and that we have not been
          taught in vain, that we have not passed through the scenes of the
          past fifty years without having learned many valuable and
          excellent lessons. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 /
          Wilford Woodruff, January 27, 1883
                         Wilford Woodruff, January 27, 1883
              Delivered at Nephi, Saturday Afternoon, January 27, 1883.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          We meet with the Saints of the several Stakes at the Stake
          Quarterly Conferences for the purpose of giving instruction which
          all need in order to qualify themselves to magnify their callings
          as Saints of God, engaged in establishing and building up the
          Church and kingdom of God. And I will here say, as I have often
          said, that all men, and all women, regardless of the position
          they occupy, or the office they hold, are dependent upon the Lord
          for His Spirit to assist them in their labors.
          I made a covenant with the Lord, years ago, that whatever He
          would impress me to say, I would preach to the people. If we are
          not able to speak to your edification, it is not because there
          are not truth and knowledge, principles and laws sufficient
          within the pale of this Church, and connected with the work in
          which we are engaged. I look upon the cause of God and the
          mission that He has given each of us connected with it, as
          requiring the whole attention, the might, mind and strength of
          each one of us, in order to magnify our calling and accomplish
          the work committed to our hands.
          The Lord raised up Joseph Smith specially to do the work that he
          performed. He was ordained and appointed before he was born to
          come upon the stage of action in this age of God's mercy to man,
          through the loins of ancient Joseph who was a descendant of
          Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to lay the foundation of this great and
          glorious dispensation--a dispensation that will be marked and
          distinguished in the annals of human history for its grand and
          mighty, and also its serious and awful events. The day has
          already dawned when the light of heaven is to fill the earth; the
          day in which the Lord has said that nothing should be kept
          hidden, whether it be things pertaining to one God, or many Gods,
          or to thrones, principalities or powers; the day in which
          everything that has been kept from the knowledge of man ever
          since the foundation of the earth, must be revealed; and it is a
          day in which the ancient prophets looked forward to with a great
          deal of interest and anxiety. It is a day in which the Gospel is
          to be preached to every nation, tongue and people for a witness
          of what shall follow; a day in which the Israel of God who
          receive it in their dispersed and scattered condition are to
          gather together to the place appointed of God, the place where
          they will perform the "marvelous work and wonder" spoken of by
          the ancients who, in vision, saw our day; and where they will
          begin to inherit the promises made to the fathers respecting
          their children. The work that is to be so marvelous in the eyes
          of men has already commenced, and is assuming shape and
          proportions; but they cannot see it. It will consist in preaching
          the Gospel to all the world, gathering the Saints from the midst
          of all those nations who reject it; building up the Zion of God;
          establishing permanently in the earth His kingdom; preparing for
          the work of the gathering of the Jews and the events that will
          follow their settlement in their own lands, and in preparing for
          ourselves holy places in which to stand when the judgments of God
          shall overtake the nations. This is truly a good work; and it is
          a marvel (when we look at it with our natural eyes) how this
          people are sustained in their faith and hope of accomplishing it,
          besides having to provide for the wants of themselves and
          families, which is of itself as much as most men can accomplish.
          We cannot do the work which God through us intends to have done,
          unless we place ourselves under His care and direction, and take
          the sentiment, "The Kingdom of God, or nothing," for our motto,
          as well as the end and aim of our life. This we must do to be
          truly the servants of God. We cannot serve God and mammon. We
          cannot build up the Kingdom of God and withhold our hearts from
          Him. We must either come under the dominion of God, and be led
          and directed by Him, or under the dominion of Satan, and be ruled
          over by him. It is for us, through our faith and works, our
          desires and course of life, to choose which we will take, as we
          must take the one side or the other.
          Nobody in this world has cause to rejoice as we have. None have
          the encouraging future before them that we have; for Zion is not
          to be moved out of her place, neither is "the kingdom" to be
          given to another people. God rules and reigns, and we are His
          people, and He is our God.
          This work, this marvelous work and a wonder, the work that will
          eventually fill the whole world--and neither man nor the devil
          can prevent it--commenced, as all the works of our God begin, in
          a small way. It was likened by the Savior to the mustard seed,
          the smallest of all seeds, put in the soil, which grew until the
          fowls of the air could lodge in the branches thereof. This
          certainly is the characteristic of this Church and Kingdom,
          commencing as it did on the 6th day of April, 1830, with only six
          members. But the Lord told Joseph in one of the revelations that
          he was laying the foundation of a great work, how great he knew
          not. Joseph was young at that time, and could not comprehend
          fully the nature of the work which he had been called and
          appointed to commence in the earth.
          When Joseph presented to the Christian world the principles that
          God had communicated to him, he at once aroused their prejudices;
          he had to struggle against traditions which they had inherited
          from their fathers who knew not God nor His ways, traditions
          which had come down to them through the ages, which were
          antagonistic to the saving truths of heaven. And hence his life
          was one continual struggle, meeting with opposition on every
          hand, especially from the priests of the day; but he lived
          through it and rejoiced greatly in his labors until he finished
          his testimony in the flesh, after laboring some fourteen years to
          that end. He had to wade through deep waters; but he never was
          discouraged or disheartened, notwithstanding he had to contend
          against foes without and foes within. He never lost sight of the
          majesty of his calling, nor the divinity of this work; but spake
          and acted in the midst of the people under all circumstances the
          man that he was--the Prophet of God, the Seer and Revelator of
          the last dispensation. He left us under painful circumstances,
          sealing his testimony with his blood; but his works follow him.
          The Gospel of the Kingdom which he preached, flourished under the
          wise administration of God's servants who followed him. The Lord
          blessed and sustained His Apostles, and led them to this land,
          where the standard of Zion has been planted, which begins already
          to attract the notice of the nations afar off. And here in this
          land, notwithstanding the difficulties we have had to wrestle
          with, incident to settling a new country a thousand miles from
          civilization, having also to protect ourselves against the raids
          of the wild and untutored Indians, the Lord has prospered us, and
          blessed us on every hand; and we are to-day a blessed people. Yet
          the Christian world is opposed to us, and the Christians
          generally hate us. The Savior himself had the same spirit and
          feeling to contend against. There was no man more unpopular than
          He; no man more persecuted than He. And why? Because He preached
          false doctrine? No. The real reason was, as He himself declared,
          because they loved darkness better than light, because their
          deeds were evil. There are but the two powers, that of God and
          that of the devil. There is but the one true and living God, and
          He is our Eternal Father, the creator of this earth: and He will
          give it to His children to inherit.
          We are nearing the end of the 6th thousand years. We have the
          history, or a partial history, of the dealings of God with the
          nations from the day of Father Adam down as contained in the
          Bible and the Book of Mormon, from which we may learn many
          valuable lessons. God has raised up at different ages certain men
          to do a certain work, as He raised up father Abraham. He was a
          noble spirit, we are told, before he left the realms of glory to
          come and tabernacle in the flesh. He had the spirit of the Gods
          with him when he was born; and he was faithful to God, and He had
          confidence in him; and whatever God required at his hands, he
          performed. So with Enoch. He stood at the head of the
          dispensation in which he lived. He, in the course of time, some
          350 years, built and perfected the city called Zion. He, however,
          met with all kinds of opposition from the people among whom he
          labored; but the power of God was manifested to such an extent
          that his enemies stood and trembled through fear; and through
          that power he was enabled to perform the mighty work which he and
          his people did; it was not because the devil and his party were
          any more kindly disposed towards the Saints of God, but because
          they could not help themselves; and in the wisdom of God Enoch
          and his people and their city were taken away from the earth.
          The devil in different ages has made war against the Saints and
          overcome them; and he has tried his best to destroy this Church
          and Kingdom. As I have said, Joseph and the first Elders met with
          the fiercest kind of opposition; but, with some exceptions, we
          have stood it all, and are the better to-day for having passed
          through the fire. When we went upon our first foreign mission,
          Joseph said to us, "No matter what may come upon you, round up
          your shoulders and bear it, and always sustain and defend the
          interests of the Church and Kingdom of God." When we took our
          departure his demeanor in parting was something that I had never
          noticed or experienced before. After crossing the Mississippi
          River I crawled to the side of a house and lay down upon a side
          of sole leather, while suffering from the chills and fever. While
          resting there the Prophet Joseph came along and saw me. He gave
          me some parting advice in answer to some remarks made, and then
          told me to get up and go on, and all would be well with me. That
          is the way I parted with him upon that occasion. From that day to
          this I have noticed the steady growth and increase of this
          people. We have nothing else to do but to build up the Kingdom of
          God. If we do this He will keep us and provide for us. We want to
          labor as a body of Priesthood, to enter into the holy of holies;
          we want to come before God, and pray until we get the spirit of
          this work, until we comprehend our calling before God.
          There has never been such a dispensation upon the earth as the
          present one. In other dispensations men had to lay down their
          lives, and others to hide up in dens and caves of the earth, and
          wander in sheep skins and goat skins, for the word of God. We
          have had a taste of the same treatment in our day. And we have
          also seen days of poverty. When for instance, we left to go on
          our first English mission, two dollars would have bought
          everything I left to feed and clothe my wife and children. I
          hardly had a day's provisions in my house. It was a good deal so
          with my brethren; but we did not stay to nurse our wives. Those
          were the days of our poverty; and we never knew what it was to be
          comfortably well off until we came to these valleys of the
          mountains. We had a great many trials in those days or what we
          called trials. I want to get this principle into your minds, that
          God Almighty is guiding the course of this Church and Kingdom,
          and not we; and He has organized it for this day and generation
          and it never will be rooted out of the earth again. The Prophet
          Joseph knew what he was doing; in fact, he knew much more than he
          dared to tell on account of the prejudice, traditions, and
          unbelief of the people. I used to have peculiar feelings about
          his death and the way in which his life was taken. I felt that
          is, with the consent and good feelings of the brethren that
          waited on him after he crossed the river to leave Nauvoo, Joseph
          could have had his desire, he would have pioneered the way to the
          Rocky Mountains. But since then I have been fully reconciled to
          the fact that it was according to the programme, that it was
          required of him, as the head of this dispensation, that he should
          seal his testimony with his blood, and go hence to the spirit
          world, holding the keys of this dispensation, to open up the
          mission that is now being performed by way of preaching the
          Gospel to the "spirits in prison." But those who shed his blood,
          and the people and nation who sanctioned it in their hearts, have
          that to meet, and they can more escape the death of the body. My
          views and feelings in regard to the Twelve and leading men of
          this Church have been this, that when they leaven this stage of
          action they will be permitted to lie down in peace surrounded by
          their families and friends; and also, that God will never require
          them to stain their hands with the blood of their fellow men, in
          order to protect themselves from violence; but, that the Lord
          will fight our battles, and frustrate the measures that would
          lead to such an issue. And the wisdom of this is manifested in
          the fact that part of our duty is to build Temples, and officiate
          in the same; and this we could not do so acceptably to God if our
          hands were stained with the blood of our fellow-men, even in our
          own defense. Hence I believe that God will cause the wicked to
          slay the wicked; and that He will cut off our enemies by judgment
          from time to time, as it shall be deemed prudent by Him. All is
          peace in Zion, and I thank God for it. I am reminded of a saying
          made by Brother Cannon upon entering the well furnished parlor of
          one of President Merrill's houses, of Richmond, in Cache County.
          "What," he said, "all this and heaven too?" Yes, God intends to
          give to His Saints the good things of the earth, as well as the
          blessings of heaven, as they shall become able to use them
          The Lord intends to build up His Zion through us His weak and
          feeble creatures. He intends to make Zion strong and powerful in
          the earth. He will bless us with means and He will put it into
          our hearts to build Temples to His name, in which His Saints may
          perform the work that is required at their hands in redeeming
          their dead.
          Brethren and sisters, you should live by faith, realizing every
          day that all power rests with God, and that it is through Him
          that we are able to live in peace and enjoy plenty; that it is
          through Him the wrath of our enemies is turned aside from time to
          time, and that it will be through Him that the remainder of their
          wrath will be restrained. You should enter your secret closets,
          and call upon the name of the Lord. Many of you have learned how
          to pray; then fail not to let your prayers ascend up into the
          ears of the God of Sabaoth; and He will hear you. I think
          sometimes that we do not fully comprehend the power that we have
          with God in knowing how to approach Him acceptably. All that
          these men holding the Priesthood, and all that our sisters need
          do, is to live near to God, and call upon Him, pouring out their
          soul's desires in behalf of Israel, and their power will be felt,
          and their confidence in God will be strengthened. But the
          blessings of heaven can only be obtained and controlled upon the
          principles of righteousness. I have heard the Prophet Joseph pray
          when the power of God rested down upon him, and all who heard him
          felt it; and I have seen his prayers answered in a marvelous
          manner almost immediately. Governor Reynolds on one occasion
          employed men to try and kidnap Joseph, and they almost
          accomplished their designs, but Joseph had some Gentile friends
          as well as his brethren, through whom he was rescued, and was
          taken to Nauvoo and released under a writ of habeas corpus. But
          the Governor continued to harass him with writs, and was
          determined to destroy Joseph. Joseph and the Twelve went before
          God in prayer, offered up prayer, and asked God to deliver him
          from the power of that man. Among other things he told the Lord
          that he was innocent before Him, and that his heart was heavy
          under the persecutions he endured. In about forty-eight hours
          from that time word reached Joseph that Reynolds had blown his
          brains out. Before perpetrating the deed he left a note on his
          desk stating, that as his services were not appreciated by the
          people of the State, he took that course to end his days.
          There is another instance that occurs to my mind. A certain man
          took a stand against Joseph, and endeavored to bring persecution
          on him. He went to his God and laid the matter before Him, asking
          to be delivered out of the hands and power of that wicked man.
          Joseph was a Prophet, a Seer, a Revelator. He was acquainted with
          God; he knew the voice of the Spirit when it spoke to him. After
          offering up his prayer, the whispering of the still small voice
          came to him saying, "Wait with patience." The next day that man
          was taken sick with cholera, and died in a few hours. See how
          quickly the Lord answered his prayer offered up while a prisoner
          in Liberty Jail. At that time, Presidents Young, Taylor and
          several of the Twelve were on their way through Clay County to
          lay the corner stones of the Temple, in fulfillment of the
          revelation given in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 118.
          Joseph had no sooner called upon God than he was liberated; and
          his prayer answered to the very letter. The voice of the Spirit
          again spoke to him, speaking peace to his soul, and telling him
          that his troubles should be of short duration. It was but a few
          days when he had the pleasure of shaking hands with his brethren,
          and enjoying the society of his family and friends. Joseph lived
          to accomplish the work that was required of him notwithstanding
          the persistent and determined opposition that he had to contend
          against. And after his death the work still went on, God and His
          angels all the while guiding and sustaining by His Spirit the
          Prophet Brigham. And He will continue to sustain His servants;
          and through them and His people Israel He will bring to pass the
          greatest and grandest work that the world has ever known. It is
          for us to wake up to a sense of our duty, and call upon the Lord
          in humility, and live near to Him; and our eyes will be opened,
          as in the case of the young man the servant of the ancient
          Prophet Elisha, and we will see that there are more for us than
          against us; and that the element of opposition tends only to
          hasten the fulfillment of the purposes of God. Put your trust in
          God and rely on His promises, living up to the light and
          knowledge you possess; and all will be well with you whether
          living or dying. God bless you, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / George
          Q. Cannon, March 18th, 1883
                         George Q. Cannon, March 18th, 1883
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON,
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, March 18th, 1883.
                             ARGUMENT--EFFECTUAL PRAYER.
          I am glad to have the opportunity once more of meeting with my
          brethren and sisters in this place. And while I speak to you this
          afternoon I trust I shall have the assistance of the Spirit of
          God. I have had excellent health since I have been gone. But this
          morning, from the effect of a cold which I have taken, when I
          arose I felt worse than I have done since I left home, and as
          though I could scarcely come to meeting. The ride in the air,
          however, has helped me, and I feel better than I did.
          There is a natural curiosity on the part of the Latter-day Saints
          to know everything connected with our political affairs as well
          as everything connected with our religious operations throughout
          the earth. Everything of this character is so intimately blended
          in the work in which we are engaged, that it is an exceedingly
          difficult thing to draw the line of distinction between the
          temporal and the spiritual, between that which pertains to the
          body and that which pertains to the spirit, or which pertains to
          the dissemination of the Gospel and the welfare of the people in
          political matters. It has been a cause of frequent comment in
          newspaper articles and in works that have been published
          concerning us and our organization, that we are a peculiar people
          in this respect, and that this intimate blending of the practical
          and the theoretical, of the temporal the spiritual, in our
          meetings and in the addresses of our Elders, is a marked
          peculiarity. The reason of this is very apparent to those who are
          familiar with the character of our work and with our belief
          concerning these matters. We attach an importance to the physical
          organization which God has given unto us, greater, I believe,
          than any other religious people that I have ever met with. In
          like manner our religion extends its ramifications into every
          department of our lives, leaving nothing untouched, nothing
          connected with our earthly existence uninfluenced by its power
          and its teaching. I am thankful that this is the case, because it
          gives religion full scope, it gives it an opportunity to exercise
          its proper influence upon the man and to make him more perfect
          and more godlike. Our God is not a religious God alone. The God
          we worship does not confine himself to religious matters,
          so-called, in contradistinction from those that are secular. He
          is not a God that concerns himself alone with the spirit of man,
          but He is a God of science, He is a God of mechanism, He is a God
          of creative power, a God of government, a God who attends to all
          the departments of human life and progress, as we see them
          exemplified here upon the earth. The first acts that are recorded
          of Him in the record that has come to us were creative acts, acts
          of organization, labors that might in one respect be termed
          temporal labors. Among the first communications He had with man
          He taught him how to live practically, to make himself clothing,
          and to perform other necessary labors connected with his comfort
          and his happiness upon the earth. And where they have been
          willing to be taught He has taught men government, the principles
          of government, from the beginning. He has established the best
          forms of government where men have listened to His
          teachings--governments best adapted for the person for whom they
          were intended and for the objects that were to be accomplished;
          and He knew in the days of Moses, as He did in the days of Enoch,
          the principles of government that were best calculated for the
          happiness of those peoples. So far as they listened to Him, so
          far as they were governed in righteousness and in truth, each
          received the laws and the necessary instructions that were best
          suited to their condition and circumstances, for the progress
          that they had made and the progress that it was anticipated they
          would make. And He knew all that was necessary to be known,
          without the benefit of the experience that each nation has
          received from their labors and from their progress under the
          forms of government that they have had. Our government to-day is
          considered the ripened fruit of the ages of experience that men
          have gained upon the earth. Yet there is not a principle
          connected with it that was not known to God, that was not taught
          by the Almighty in the earliest days, and that has not been put
          into operation under His instruction at one time or another among
          men. And these principles are embodied in what we call the
          Gospel. It has been truthfully and very forcibly said many time
          in our hearing that there was no principle connected with man's
          existence upon the earth that is not a part and parcel of that
          Gospel which God has revealed unto us and commanded us to obey;
          that that which the world call "Mormonism" embraces within its
          scope every good thing upon the face of the earth, leaving
          nothing outside. Every true principle of science, everything
          connected with the cultivation of the earth, with the government
          of cities and of nations, with the management of all the
          multiplied affairs of men in their great and varied
          diversity--that everything of this character comes within the
          scope of the Gospel which God has revealed, in the system of
          salvation that He has commanded us to receive.
          There is one great principle connected with the Gospel of Jesus
          Christ as it has been taught among all the people who have ever
          received it, as we find from their teachings in the records that
          have come down to us, the same principle that lies at the
          foundation of our form of government, and makes it the most
          valuable feature connected with it, and that is, the equality of
          man before God. No man can be a true follower of Jesus Christ; no
          man ever could be--anterior even to His coming--a true follower
          of God, without embodying in His faith and practice and in every
          feeling of his heart this principle to which I have referred, the
          equality of man. There could be no class distinctions wherever
          this Gospel was received and put into practical operation. Every
          man who received it became the equal of his fellow-man; he would
          be recognized, a proper place be assigned unto him, and he would
          have his proper influence in the society of which he was a
          member. It is this principle of the Gospel that will make us,
          also, a thoroughly free people, a thoroughly great people, a
          people who shall have place in the earth, and have influence in
          the affairs of the children of men.
          There have been fears indulged in many times, and expressions
          have been given to those fears, that the growth of the Latter-day
          Saints was a menace to surrounding peoples and to the government
          under which we live. There can be no menace in the growth of such
          principles as are taught and as are recognized and enforced among
          such a people as we are. It would be impossible for tyranny to
          flourish for any length of time in our midst. Oppression of every
          form would sooner or later have to disappear, or else there would
          have to be apostasy from the true principles of the Gospel on the
          part of the people. Oppression, tyranny, misrule, cannot co-exist
          with the principles of the everlasting Gospel as they are taught
          in our midst and received by us. There must be the greatest
          possible liberty of thought, of expression and of action in our
          midst--that is the greatest possible consistent with good order,
          and the preservation of the rights of others. Liberty cannot be
          permitted to degenerate into license, but the utmost liberty can
          be enjoyed so long as it does not overstep that boundary. It
          becomes, therefore, a natural duty devolving upon us, with our
          views concerning these eternal principles that have come down
          from God, that were taught by God in the early ages unto man,
          that have been re-enforced from time to time by Him through the
          silent, unseen agency of His power in various ages--I say it
          becomes our natural duty to see that these principles are carried
          out and maintained in the earth. We become their natural
          champions. Besides advocating and maintaining them, it becomes
          our province to struggle for their supremacy.
          As I have said these principles were taught in the very
          beginning. If we had the records we would find that they were
          taught to our father Adam, because they are consistent with man's
          agency. God gave unto man when He placed him upon the earth, the
          fullest agency--the power to do that which was right in his own
          sight without let or hindrance. He taught those principles to
          Enoch, and He taught them from time to time to all the men of
          note who would be taught by him. Abraham became in his turn the
          great expositor of those truths; and you will find by tracing the
          lives of these men in the record that has come down to us, that
          in every instance they were men who were champions of the right,
          who stood out boldly and fearlessly in the midst of their fellow
          men, contending for those God-given principles which they
          believed to be the inalienable right of every human being. You
          will find that the opponents of truth, or, to speak more plainly,
          according to our phraseology and our methods of expressing ideas,
          the followers of Satan--you will find that whenever there was
          persecution upon the earth, they were its authors. Whenever men
          were trampled upon and their rights were denied them, when men
          fell victims to violence and the mal-administration of the laws,
          it was those who were led by Satan's influence and yielded to his
          power, who were the instruments in committing those evils. Hence
          you find that good men never persecuted bad men; never destroyed
          wicked men when they had power. They were not oppressors, they
          were not tyrants, they were not persecutors, they did not
          infringe upon the rights of their fellow men, upon the liberty of
          conscience, nor upon its proper exercise, nor upon the exercise
          of man's agency; they never sought to restrain it. If wicked men
          were disposed to do wickedly, so long as they did not transcend
          certain well-defined bounds that found their expression in law,
          you will find no account of good men interfering with bad men.
          You will not find them, as I say, taking upon themselves the role
          of oppressors, nor saying that men shall not do that which their
          conscience and that which they in their agency think it is their
          right to do. God does not do it. Jesus did not do it, and no
          servant of God ever did it that had a true conception of his
          calling. God has given to every man his agency, and he respects
          that agency. He might grieve over its exercise, angels may weep,
          and the heavens themselves may weep over the wrong exercise by
          man of the agency that God has given unto him, but he
          nevertheless has it to its fullest extent; but the devil and
          those under his influence would, if possible, destroy man's
          agency and prevent him from exercising it to suit himself.
          I am thankful that we are surrounded by such delightful
          circumstances to-day. We have escaped another peril, and we still
          are a free people. Is there anyone in this congregation who
          professes to be a Latter-day Saint who is not filled with
          profound thankfulness to God for that which He has done for us?
          Is there any man or woman, or child of age sufficient to
          comprehend these things, who has not come this day to this house
          of worship with a feeling of profound thankfulness to our God for
          His mercy and His loving kindness, as manifested unto us His
          people? Though I have been taught and always have believed that
          not one word of His promises would fail, still I say that I am
          almost amazed myself when I see how wonderfully God hath wrought,
          when I look at our circumstances, when I see the liberty that we
          enjoy, knowing as I do the plans and the concerted efforts which
          have been made to deprive us of our liberty, and to bring us into
          a bondage that would be intolerable to us. A paean of rejoicing
          went up from all quarters of the land about a year ago, that is,
          on the 22d of March. Every man who desired to see the overthrow
          of the Latter-day Saints, to see their system obliterated,
          rejoiced from one end of this land to the other--there were among
          them preachers, politicians and journalists, and the rabble
          everywhere, who rejoiced that a deadly blow had been struck at
          the Latter-day Saints. Men, while they admitted that the
          Constitution had been violated, justified the act in
          consideration of the great good that they supposed would be
          accomplished. Yet we to-day have all the happiness, the peace,
          the enjoyment, and the quiet that we could reasonably desire. If
          it were not for God's power; if it were not for His overshadowing
          protection; if it were not for the promises that He has made unto
          us, how long could we endure? How long could we maintain
          ourselves in our present position?
          But God made promises unto His people; and those promises have
          been abundantly fulfilled thus far, and they will be fulfilled to
          the very letter. And this Church and this people, and this
          organization will continue to grow and spread, and gather
          influence and power in the earth, until every word that has been
          spoken under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost will be fulfilled,
          and not a single word fall. It cannot fail, for God has spoken
          it. Already the influence of this work is being felt to an extent
          that none without the eye of omniscience can comprehend. We can
          see little glimpses of it here and there where our eyes are open
          to perceive; but the full extent of the influence that is being
          wrought in the earth through this work that God has established,
          is impossible for man to comprehend. I do not believe that any
          power short of omniscience itself can comprehend it. The
          principles of this Gospel which God revealed through the Prophet
          Joseph, have been like a little leaven, and they have been
          gradually leavening the whole lump. The effects have gone forth
          and the influence is being felt in every direction throughout the
          world. Though we are but a small people, but a handful, so to
          speak, and in some respects quite insignificant, yet an influence
          has gone forth from this people, from the teachings of the Elders
          of this Church that is being felt everywhere. It has invaded
          every domain of thought, and gradually made itself felt--the
          leaven of truth has; and men begin to acknowledge principles as a
          part of their faith which but a short time ago they denied and
          scouted at. In this way the work of God is being carried on far
          beyond that which we can see with our natural eyes. The work of
          the preparation of the earth, and of its inhabitants, is pressing
          forward with a rapidity that we who are taking part in it do not
          realize. We look at ourselves too much, we think that God's
          operations and labors are confined to us who comprise this Church
          of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In doing so we make a great
          blunder. He is operating among the nations of the earth. His
          spirit has gone forth; and it is accomplishing that which He said
          should be accomplished. And this great work of the last days will
          be cut short in righteousness. It is not the conversion of men
          and women and their baptism into the Church that is alone to be
          accomplished. The work of God is not to be measured by the number
          of souls that are brought into the Church. The progress of events
          connected with this last dispensation cannot be thus gauged; and
          when we think so we make a great mistake. Look abroad in other
          realms. Look at the religious world, and see how fast the
          principles that we believe in are being received. It may be said
          that they are not received properly. True, but notwithstanding
          truth is progressing; and the mind of man is being emancipated
          from many errors.
          Repentance after the grave is now taught--you have heard it, and
          read about it in the newspapers. Prominent preachers talk about
          it and receive it; and actually preach as scriptural doctrine,
          that it is possible for spirits to receive the Gospel in the
          spirit world.
          Another step has been made in advance, through the preaching of
          the Elders of this Church, or rather by means of the revelations
          of God through the Prophet Joseph Smith, in scientific truth
          which is astonishing; I refer to the doctrine of the eternal
          duration of matter. When first this was made known it was
          ridiculed everywhere by religious people, who viewed it as a
          principle, the teachings of which detracted from the dignity and
          glory of God. The popular idea was that this earth was created
          out of nothing. This was the almost universal belief among
          Christians. Joseph Smith said it was not true. He advocated the
          doctrine that matter always had an existence, that it was eternal
          as God Himself was eternal; that it was indestructible; that it
          never had a beginning, and therefore could have no end. God
          revealed this truth to him. Now who is there that does not
          believe it?
          So with regard to the periods occupied in the creation of the
          earth. Joseph taught that a day with God was not the twenty-four
          hours of our day; but that the six days of the creation were six
          periods of the Lord's time. This he taught half a century ago; it
          is now generally received as a great truth connected with the
          creation of the world. Geologists have declared it, and religious
          people are adopting it; and so the world is progressing.
          Again: It is not an uncommon thing at all now to hear of faith
          being exercised, of healings being produced through the prayer of
          faith. The daily papers frequently publish accounts of people
          being healed in this way. The adversary is trying, of course, to
          take advantage of it to rob God of the glory. He is determined
          that God shall not have any credit for these things. But it
          matters not how much he may struggle, mankind are receiving these
          truths, and progress is being made and error is being overcome.
          So it is with regard to religious liberty. We are contending
          to-day for liberty on the old platform. God, as I have said, gave
          it in the beginning, and we stand on that platform, and are
          contending for those rights, and we will achieve the victory, and
          this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be
          recognized as occupying the foremost rank in this work. The
          principles of liberty, the rights of man will be established, and
          will be guaranteed to every man as in olden times; but there will
          be a struggle first.
          The effect that the defence of our system, this last winter, had
          upon one of the great political parties of the United States was
          most remarkable. I was amused at it, and it afforded me a great
          deal of interesting reflection. There are a great many members of
          this Church who do not seem to have a thorough comprehension of
          their own doctrines, who nevertheless call themselves Latter-day
          Saints; and they are Latter-day Saints so far as their profession
          goes. But if asked about the principles of their belief some of
          them are ignorant of the extent of their application. It is in
          politics as in religion. There are a great many men who make a
          profession of politics, professing to understand, to act upon,
          and to stand upon certain political principles, which are
          embodied in their platforms, or which, however, they are really
          ignorant. You may have thought it very strange that any members
          of the democratic party, for instance, which professes to be the
          champion of home rule, as well as other great fundamental
          principles, should be found so oblivious to their own principles
          as to take any part whatever in attacks upon us for the purpose
          of depriving us of our rights as citizens. But so it has been. If
          it had not been for the recreancy of some Democrats the Act of
          March 22, 1882, known as the Edmunds' law, would never have
          become one of the statutes of the United States. Mr. Edmunds
          succeeded in cajoling some of the Democrats. An astute man is
          Senator Edmunds. In their action towards us these Democrats
          seemed to be blind to the fact that they were apostatizing from
          their own principles; and that in doing so they were striking a
          deadly blow at the platform on which the party stood. We had been
          reasoning against this action; but our voices were unheard; we
          were considered heterodox upon religious matters, and it was
          supposed that we were heterodox upon political matters: therefore
          all that we said upon this subject fell heedlessly upon their
          ears. But we succeeded in getting an apostle of democracy to aid
          us, one of the old leaders of democracy--Judge Jeremiah S. Black.
          He began to preach the true doctrines of democracy to his
          Democratic brethren; and to their amazement, some found that they
          had, in voting for this law, been trampling upon their own
          principles. And he proved it to them so thoroughly, that some of
          them became ashamed of it; and they said, "We have gone far
          enough." He explained the principles of the Constitution and the
          rights that men had under that instrument when properly
          administered. Good doctrine for every politician, and every
          class, not for democrats so-called alone, but for republicans
          also. There is something in such doctrine that strikes a chord in
          every freeman's breast. It calls forth a response from every
          lover of liberty by whatever name he may be called. He says, when
          he hears the rights of man explained by an authority that is
          entitled to respect: "There is something in that which I cannot
          but accept." Such men hesitate before flying in the face of
          principles expounded in this way, to commit acts, the effects of
          which are to deprive people of liberty. The effect of Judge
          Black's argument upon some of the Democrats was to stiffen their
          backbone so much that they could not consent this time to have
          other measures enacted as were proposed.
          I was very much struck by a statement made to me by President
          Taylor since my return, showing that faith when connected with
          works accomplishes wonderful results. Brother Caine and myself,
          with some other Utah friends, were in the Senate chamber on the
          23d of February last, watching Senator Edmunds' attempt to get
          through his special legislation of which you have read. It seemed
          as though nothing could prevent it. Senators with whom we had
          conversed said that they saw no possible chance of stopping it;
          that its passage seemed inevitable. But a Cabinet minister gave a
          dinner party that evening, and one by one those who were invited
          stole from the Senate Chamber while the bill was under discussion
          to the dinner party; and the first that was known when a vote was
          called was that a quorum was not present. In the absence of a
          quorum, you know, a legislative body is powerless to act. For
          four hours Senator Edmunds did all in his power to get action on
          his bill; but every attempt was resisted by the Democrats upon
          the ground that there was no quorum, and they accordingly
          fillibusted until Edmunds, disgusted and tired, called for an
          President Taylor told me upon my return that, on the 22d of
          February, feeling exercised in his mind about our political
          affairs, and that it was a time of peril, he called a few of the
          brethren together and they met at the Endowment House according
          to the holy order, and besought God, in the name of Jesus, to
          baffle the plans of our enemies and frustrate them in their
          designs, and put them to confusion and shame. In watching Senator
          Edmunds that evening, I thought that if ever there was a man
          confused, chagrined and confounded at the futility of his own
          attempts, it was he. And there is no doubt in my mind that the
          prayers of President Taylor and the brethren ascended favorably
          unto the ears of the God of Sabaoth, and were heard and answered.
          The dreadful wrong was defeated and failed, and it may be said,
          it met with its death blow; for every attempt afterwards made to
          bring it up, was unsuccessful. In this way God has wrought out
          deliverance for Zion.
          I mention this because there are a great many people who think
          that prayer is not effective. It is effective in not only
          producing desired results, but in increasing faith in the hearts
          of those who exercise it in that manner. If you pray to God--as I
          have no doubt you did, that He would baffle the attempts of our
          enemies to injure us--you have had the satisfaction of knowing
          that He heard your prayers, and that your prayers were answered;
          and you can go before Him now with increased confidence and ask
          again, because you see the fulfillment of your prayers, and you
          share in the gratification and joy and thanksgiving in which
          answers to prayer always bring to those who offer them in faith.
          I have talked longer than I expected. I rejoice with you, my
          brethren and sisters, to-day; and I bear my testimony, as I have
          so often done in your hearing, that God lives; that He is the
          same God to-day that He was in days of old, and that if he will
          continue faithful to Him, He will lead us back to His presence,
          there to reign with Him eternally in the heavens, which may God
          grant, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 /
          Erastus Snow, April 6, 1883
                             Erastus Snow, April 6, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE ERASTUS SNOW,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                Friday Afternoon, (Annual Conference), April 6, 1883.
                           (Reported by Gibbs and Irvine.)
          If the Lord gives me strength to make myself heard, I shall feel
          it a pleasure to occupy a little time this afternoon, accorded to
          me by my brethren. 
          I feel to express unto my heavenly Father, and to my brethren and
          the people, my gratitude for their prayers and faith for the
          blessings of God to me in permitting me to appear before you on
          this occasion, and to feel the degree of health and strength
          which is vouchsafed to me, thus enabling me to continue my
          efforts and labors with my brethren and the people of God. For
          some two or three months my health has not been of such a nature
          that I could labor with the satisfaction which has attended me
          heretofore; and I fully realize what Elder Woodruff said this
          morning concerning the aged Elders of Israel passing away, and
          that the responsibility and labor of bearing off this kingdom
          will soon rest upon the generation which is growing up in our
          midst, upon which will devolve the work of carrying the Gospel to
          those who have not heard it among the nations of the earth, and
          gathering Israel and establishing Zion and building up and
          maintaining the Kingdom of our God upon the earth, which must be
          done through faith, by righteousness, and by defending and
          maintaining the rights of man and the liberty and freedom which
          God has ordained for the welfare of all flesh, for the protection
          and blessing of the human family, and which it has been His
          purpose to establish and maintain upon this American Continent.
          Latter-day Saints, especially those who have grown up with this
          people, as I have done from my childhood, and witnessed the
          manifestations of the overruling providence of God in guiding the
          destinies of this people, inspiring His servants who have led and
          directed the movements of this great people, and in defending
          them and fighting their battles by the sword of His Spirit, and
          the invisible power that have labored with us and for us--I say
          to those who are able to see and comprehend these things, it is
          clear and plain that God has had His eye upon this American
          continent as the place where He first commenced His great work on
          the earth, where the greatest manifestations of His power were
          exhibited in the days of the fathers before the flood, when the
          fathers were gathered in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman and
          received their last instructions and blessings from Father Adam,
          the Patriarch of this earth, and where Enoch gathered his people
          and established Zion, and where Noah preached righteousness to
          the people and prepared the ark of safety, and where He has
          determined ultimately to establish His Zion and gather together
          His people, establish, maintain and defend His government and the
          Priesthood which he has revealed for the salvation of the human
          family, where He will bring again Zion that He has taken away,
          even the Zion of Enoch; for when He shall bring again Zion, says
          the Prophet, the Lord will appear in His glory. And He has long
          been laboring in His own marvelous manner among the nations of
          the earth, turning and overturning, to bring to pass His purposes
          and to gather together His elect; and He has moved upon the
          oppressed of many lands and climes--those who sought for enlarged
          freedom and liberty whose minds reached out for more light and
          more truth, and whose understandings were expanded--to gather
          upon this American continent, and implanted in the hearts of our
          fathers a love of freedom and liberty and equal rights. He led
          them through schools of oppression. They passed through many
          difficulties, and endured the rule of tyrants. They bore
          oppression and suffered until they learned how to appreciate
          freedom and liberty, and how to detest misrule, tyranny and
          oppression; they struggled to burst the shackles that bound the
          human soul; they struggled for freedom of thought, of speech, of
          action; they struggled unitedly to burst the bonds, to break the
          yoke, from off their necks; they vied with each other in this
          labor of love from north to south, from east to west, in all the
          colonies which were early planted upon this continent. The Lord
          guided their labors to a successful issue, resulting in freedom
          from the tyranny of the effete governments of the old world; He
          directed the combined efforts and labors of those men in
          consolidating the result of their labors and framing the system
          of government under which we are now permitted to live.
          [At this point part of the congregation moved from the body of
          the Tabernacle to the gallery causing a stay in the proceedings.
          Quietness having been obtained the speaker continued.]
          I was saying that God our heavenly Father had moved upon the
          nations and sent out from the nations of the old world streams of
          emigration to the new world, who were panting for freedom and
          liberty, and who struggled to burst the bands with which they
          were bound, and the yoke from off their necks, and were striving
          to learn how to be free. And in penetrating the new world and its
          wilds, and in grappling with and overcoming the difficulties
          attending the forming of new settlements and planting colonies in
          the new world, they learned the value of freedom, and therefore
          studied to preserve it; and they labored to establish a form of
          government under which it might be maintained. In all these works
          and labors we discern an overruling providence, and
          manifestations of the mercy and loving kindness of God to His
          people, and the revelations of His Spirit imparted, to a greater
          or less degree, unto the wise and patriotic fathers of our
          country, who were thus enabled to unite upon the best form of
          government existing among men, or which, perhaps, ever has
          existed, unless it has been those which God himself directly
          revealed through the Patriarchs and Prophets of older times. But
          so far as any political organizations of government upon this
          earth, the Republican or Democratic form of government
          established in these United States--(the foundations of which
          were laid by our fathers over a hundred years ago), is the best
          calculated to promote the objects sought, and to maintain the
          rights of man, and the guarantees of religious and political
          freedom, of any form of government known to mankind. But that it
          or any other form, in this imperfect and sinful world, is
          altogether perfect is not to be expected, and therefore cannot
          endure for ever. But we regard the present form of government of
          this nation as embodying the greatest amount of virtue and
          principles best calculated to maintain and preserve the rights of
          In the early history of this Church a revelation was given
          through the Prophet Joseph in which the people are commanded to
          observe the Constitutional laws of the land, and to uphold by
          their votes and sustain upright and honorable men to administer
          them [.] which also stated that He had inspired the fathers to
          establish this form of government for the good and benefit of
          man. I will read a few paragraphs found on the 342d page of the
          Doctrine and Covenants, new edition:
          "And now, verily, I say unto you concerning the laws of the land,
          it is my will that my people should observe to do all things
          whatsoever I command them;
          "And that the 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;
          "Therefore I, the Lord, justify you and your brethren of my
          Church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law
          of the land;
          "And as pertaining to the law of man, whatsoever is more or less
          than these, cometh of evil.
          "I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed;
          and the law also maketh you free.
          "Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.
          "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."
          I deem it of much importance that these principles should be well
          understood and thoroughly impressed upon the minds of the
          Latter-day Saints throughout the world, and especially those
          dwelling upon this American Continent and within the pale of this
          government, that they may implant in the hearts of our children a
          love of freedom and human rights, and a desire to preserve them,
          and to aid in maintaining a defending them in all lawful and
          proper ways; and to study the constitutional laws of the land,
          and make others acquainted with them; knowing the principles
          contained therein, and of learning how to apply them to
          ourselves, to our children, and to our fellowmen who are willing
          to be governed thereby; study them that we may also learn how to
          use them in suppressing tyranny, misrule and other evils that
          affect mankind; for God has ordained this form of government in
          this age of the world, and has chosen His own instruments to
          further His great purposes on the earth--the organization of his
          Church, the proclamation of the everlasting Gospel, the
          establishment of His Zion, and bringing to pass His wonderful
          works which He predicted by the mouths of the ancient Prophets.
          And this political system and order of government is a power in
          His hands established, preserved and defended thus far by Him,
          which He will continue to use as long as the people are worthy of
          it, as long as they will maintain their integrity, uprightness
          and virtue; and at no time will the Latter-day Saints, as a
          people, ever stand approved before God in violating those
          principles or slackening their efforts to maintain and defend
          them. They are closely allied to the teachings of the ancient
          Prophets and Apostles, to the doctrines, practices and teachings
          of the Savior and His disciples, and they are the best means and
          aids of extending and promoting those principles on the earth.
          Whatever some may have thought of the mal-administration in our
          government and of the efforts of individuals and sometimes of
          large faction, to abridge the rights of the people, and of their
          blind zeal and efforts to reach the Latter-day Saints, and to
          stamp out the religion we profess--whatever may have been thought
          of the efforts of such individuals, cliques, or factions, and of
          their warfare trample under foot constitutional provisions of our
          Government--undermine the foundations upon which it rests--we
          must never in our feelings charge any of these things to this
          system of government, or to the principles enunciated is the
          Constitution, which we are commanded to observe and keep. We must
          charge it always where it belongs--to the bigotry, the ignorance,
          the selfishness, ambition and blind zeal of ignorant and corrupt
          politicians, their aiders and abbettors, and all this should only
          serve to make us try more earnestly, anxiously and faithfully to
          combat such efforts upon constitutional grounds, calling upon God
          to help us therein.
          We were told this morning by Brother Woodruff--quoting the word
          of the Lord given through the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning the
          promises He has made to His people--that inasmuch as we will be
          true to ourselves, true to God, true to our covenants and to our
          holy religion, that He will fight our battles, defend and
          maintain our cause, make it triumph and flourish, so that the
          wicked shall have no power to prevail against us. These promises
          have often been repeated to us, and last October we had a renewal
          of this assurance and this promise in the word of the Lord given
          unto us through His servant President John Taylor, and at a time
          and period, too, when many in our midst were weakening and their
          knees were beginning to tremble a little, and there were others
          who were inclined to falter and doubt, and fear was upon some.
          Our enemies--especially the bigot, the hypocrite, the demagogue,
          the political quacks of the country--rejoiced, thinking that they
          were succeeding in their efforts to weave webs around us, to
          forge fetters for our feet and yokes to place upon our necks, and
          to lash us into obedience to them. But the great majority of the
          Latter-day Saints were calm in their feelings as a summer's
          morning, trusting as they have ever done in the promises of God,
          inspired with faith and hope in his overruling providence; and
          while we were doing what we might do properly under the
          Constitution and institutions of our country for the maintenance
          of our freedom and liberty, leaving the rest with God, exercising
          faith in His promises, continuing to pray for His blessing to
          attend our efforts and to hedge up the ways of our enemies, yet
          we have waited calmly for the result of the promises of God, and
          the answer to our prayers and the fulfillment of those things
          that have been spoken to us; and how signally have we seen them
          fulfilled. We have seen the very means which the enemies of this
          people have devised and intended for their enslavement become
          before us as chaff, as thorns crackling under the pot, as a
          broken yoke to be used to kindle the fires of freedom and
          liberty. In former times the efforts that have been made in
          Congress and out of Congress to press the representatives of the
          people to hostile and unconstitutional legislation as a means to
          help religious bigots to suppress the doctrines of Christ, the
          ordinances of life and salvation, the rule and reign of
          righteousness among the people of God--I say, in their efforts to
          reach our religious principles and faith, and the exercise of
          those principles under that faith, and to crush it out from the
          earth--in their efforts to do so, they have moved upon statesmen
          to violate the Constitution of our country and the principles of
          human freedom on which our government has been founded in order
          to accomplish this purpose. But all those who have thus
          stultified themselves before the world, and before the heavens,
          and have done violence to their oath of office and to the
          Constitution, to the rights of man, and to the principles of
          freedom and liberty, have weakened, have gone down, the sceptre
          of their power has fallen from their grasp, they have been
          dishonored before the heavens and before their people as a rule,
          and sooner or later we will witness others going down into the
          pit of forgetfulness as their predecessors have done. For the
          Lord has decreed it. And to-day the young men of Israel who are
          assembling in their Improvement Associations in all the Stakes of
          Zion, in all the Wards and settlements of the people throughout
          the land, and in their quorum meetings, and in their political
          assemblies, are all learning and cultivating these principles of
          liberty in their minds, introducing and extending them among the
          rising generation, the sons of Zion, and not only the sons, but
          the daughters that are coupled with the sons, the wives that are
          coupled with the husbands, in this labor of love, the struggle
          for the maintenance of freedom and liberty. It is a source of
          satisfaction to me that the Lord has moved upon His servants and
          the Legislature of our Territory to be among the first to lead
          the van of human progress in the extension of the elective
          franchise to women as well as men, and to recognize the freedom
          and liberty which belongs to the fairer sex as well as the
          sterner; for the Gospel teaches that all things are to be done
          among us by common consent, and the Prophet Joseph commanded and
          introduced in our midst the custom we are following to-day, that
          of presenting to all the congregations of Israel, at our General
          Conferences, and our local or Stake Conferences, the General
          Authorities of the Church, to be justified or condemned by the
          voice of the people, to be upheld and sustained by the
          confidence, faith and prayers of the people; or otherwise to be
          reproved by the votes of the people for the misdeeds or
          mal-administration. These are things continually before the
          people, as well as the revelations which God has given unto us,
          and which are written and taught in our Sabbath schools and
          public gatherings, and to all who come within the scope of these
          instructions, viz., a love of freedom and liberty. 
          The leaders of this people are charged with being blind, leaders
          of the blind; and the people are charged with being blind, led by
          the blind. I deny the charge and brand it false. We know and
          understand perfectly that our leaders are neither blind nor are
          the people blind. On the contrary, we have received the light,
          the light of truth, the light of God. We have come to the
          understanding that every soul of man, both male and female, high
          and low, is the offspring of God, that their spirits are
          immortal, eternal, intelligent beings, and that their entity
          depends upon their agency and independent action, which is
          neither tramelled by God himself nor allowed to be restrained by
          any of His creatures with His sanction and approval; that the
          whole theory of God's rule and government in heaven and on earth
          is founded upon this principle of agency--self, independent
          action. And it is upon the free and independent exercise of this
          agency that the decree of God is founded, that all men shall be
          judged according to the deeds done in the body, none having it in
          his power to say that he was not at liberty to exercise this
          agency untramelled.
          So far as relates to the administration of government and the
          exercise of political power, or the exercise of any manner of
          influence--political, religious or social--every man and every
          woman will be held accountable to God for the manner in which
          they exercise it. Kings and emperors, presidents and statesmen,
          judges and all officers of the law, will be held responsible for
          the administration of the power reposed in them. And if, while
          acting officially, they disregard their oath of office and
          violate the principles that should govern them, they become
          guilty of mal-administration, and will be held accountable unto
          God, and should be strictly accountable to the people who place
          them in power. But every individual capacity, will be held
          answerable to God for all his acts of whatsoever character, and
          so far as, in the exercise of that agency, men trespass upon the
          rights of their fellow-men they must be held answerable to their
          fellow-men for such trespass and wrong. And for this purpose
          human government is instituted, approved by the people, to hold
          each other responsible unto each other or unto the community, for
          the abuse of their freedom and liberty, and for this purpose laws
          are enacted and judges provided to judge according to the law,
          and to administer the law when it becomes necessary to punish
          transgressors. And God has commanded us in the revelation which
          He gave to us, that in case Church members violate a law of the
          land, they shall be delivered up to be dealt with according to
          the law of the land; that if they shall murder, rob or steal, or
          commit perjury or any other crime of which the law of the land
          takes cognizance, they shall be delivered up to be dealt with for
          their offence. But that for all manner of iniquity they shall be
          delivered up to the law of God to be dealt with according to the
          law of God; and those laws which are given unto you, as the laws
          of God, for your government in the Church must be treated as
          such. And it becomes our duty as good Saints, as those that are
          bound together by the ties and in the fellowship of the Gospel,
          as those that have covenanted to serve God and to keep his
          commandments, to work righteously and to deal justly one with
          another, that if we violate the principles of the Gospel and the
          laws which God has given unto us, that we shall be delivered up
          to the judges in Israel, and the Teachers shall labor with such,
          and their labors of love shall be directed earnestly to the
          reformation and repentance of all persons that have done wrong
          and done violence to the feelings, faith and fellowship of their
          brethren and sisters. And for every manner of sin shall they be
          held accountable unto the Councils of the Church, to the Bishops
          who are common judges in Israel; and to the High Councils. And
          though we may succeed in winning them to repentance, and they
          turn away from evil and will do so no more, and succeed in
          eliciting the sympathy and forgiveness of their brethren, still,
          if they have violated a law of the land, they must be made
          subject to that law, and to endure the penalty. And if they pay
          the penalty with patience, which is but the legitimate fruits and
          testimony of genuine repentance, satisfying all that they
          appreciate their wrong and determine to do so no more, when the
          penalty is paid, they may with renewed determination begin to
          serve their God, and prove to their brethren that their
          repentance was genuine and sincere. And although we are required
          to forgive whomsoever He will, because he searches all hearts and
          knows, as we cannot know, how far their repentance is genuine,
          and how far they ought to be forgiven.
          It is important that we as Latter-day Saints, understand what God
          requires of us towards each other in the Church of Christ, and
          also what He requires of us towards the State. For the
          constitutional laws of the land are for the protection of the
          rights of all flesh; the liberties of Saints as well as those of
          sinners. And if sinners can afford to dishonor the law, surely
          Saints cannot, neither can they justify others in so doing;
          neither can Saints afford to override the laws of God, or to wink
          at others who may do so.
          God will not hold us faultless if we do. He requires us as
          Elders, as Apostles, as Presidents, as Bishops, as Seventies, as
          parents, to teach (wherever it is our prerogative and duty,)
          correct principles, and observe them ourselves and seek to
          enforce them upon others. And it is not alone the duty of High
          Councils and Presidents of Stakes, and of Bishops and their
          Counselors to labor to correct the errors of the people, but it
          is the duty of every Elder, High Priest and Seventy--and
          especially the Priests, Teachers and Deacons that are appointed
          and called to be standing ministers in the Church, to visit the
          house of each member and become familiar with every family, and
          every individual member of the family, and their daily walk and
          life and conversation; and ascertain whether they are living as
          Saints should live; whether the heads of families preside in
          righteousness in their houses; whether their houses are set in
          order; whether they have an altar erected whereon are offered up
          their daily, morning and evening devotions; whether every member
          is taught to reverence and respect that altar; whether each
          individual prays in secret as well as responds to the calls made
          upon him to pray in the family circle and in public; whether each
          one that has enrolled himself in a quorum attends his quorum
          meetings and is obedient to the President of his quorum, his
          counsels and instructions; and if they are enrolled in the Mutual
          Improvement Associations, whether they sustain that institution
          and the leaders thereof, and are performing well their part;
          whether the parents are faithful in sending their children to
          Sunday school and to other institutions of learning; whether they
          teach their children to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,
          etc. These are duties and obligations that we cannot ignore, that
          God will not justify us in neglecting, and those who are called
          to bear a part of the Holy Priesthood cannot be justified if they
          neglect all these duties, or any portion of them; for the Lord
          has said, "blessed are they who hear my sayings and shall keep
          them all, for the same shall be great in the kingdom of heaven;
          but if any one shall fail or neglect to observe and keep the
          least of these my sayings and teach others to do so, the same
          shall be least in the kingdom of heaven." For the Lord is not to
          be mocked; and though we may excuse ourselves in many ways for
          carelessness and neglect, and we may supplicate for forgiveness,
          as we are in duty bound to do for all our transgressions and
          shortcomings, yet we cannot in any wise plead justification, or
          suppose that God will justify us, for He has said He cannot look
          upon sin with the least degree of allowance, and yet He showeth
          mercy and kindness unto thousands of those who repent and seek to
          turn away from their follies.
          Over fifty years have passed away since the light of the glorious
          Gospel in its fullness began to dawn upon us, and still we are
          measurably walking in darkness. Yet the Lord has said that we are
          the only people and the only church--speaking as a whole--upon
          the face of the earth with which He is well pleased. As a whole
          we are the best people He can find. He has sent out His word
          throughout the earth. He has sent His servants abroad carrying,
          as it were, a torch in their hand--the light of the Gospel,
          inviting all to come to it, that as many as love the light may
          see it and follow it as one would follow a light in a dark place,
          or until the dawn of day. The Holy Spirit has been upon His
          servants and in the gathering together of this people. It is the
          Holy Ghost that has moved upon the people in the islands of the
          sea, in all the different nations of Europe, in the various parts
          of America, and in all lands where the light of the Gospel has
          been carried and the testimony of Jesus has been sounded. It is
          the testimony of the Spirit from on high bearing witness to and
          moving upon the hearts of the people that has drawn them into the
          light of truth and that has gathered them together with the
          Church of Jesus Christ. It was not worldly prospects held out
          before them that induced them to gather. I speak now of the
          people as a whole and not individually; for there may be
          individuals who have been influenced by worldly considerations,
          by personal, selfish motives. But all such, sooner or later, get
          their eyes open and see their folly and sin and wickedness, and
          repent, or they are purged out from among the Latter-day Saints.
          They apostatize, they turn away from us; they go back into
          Babylon, and they strike hands with our enemies and fight against
          God, and go down into perdition; for none can remain and continue
          to stand among the Saints of God, and hold fast to the principles
          of the Gospel, and enter into life only on the pure principles of
          virtue, integrity and righteousness, as we heard this morning,
          and as we are told by the Lord in certain revelations to the
          Church, namely, that the powers of the Priesthood are inseparably
          connected with the powers of heaven, and the powers of heaven can
          in no wise be used except on the principles of righteousness. And
          no man or woman can continue long in sin in the midst of the
          Saints, where the Gospel is preached in power, and where those
          who minister, do so in the power of their Priesthood and by the
          Holy Ghost, without being purged out from their midst. For that
          spirit will reveal and make manifest what sort they are. If the
          law of the Lord is properly administered among them and they are
          found violating it they will be judged according to the law of
          the Lord, and be separated from the Saints. And although we do
          not look for entire separation of the sheep from the goats, of
          the tares from the wheat, until the Great Judge Himself shall
          come to complete the separation, it is nevertheless expected that
          all men who act as judges in Israel should be helps in separating
          the sheep from the goats, the tares from the wheat, as fast as
          they are made manifest, and the tares may be plucked up without
          destroying the wheat; and it becomes our duty to do it. But He
          enjoins us to be wise lest we in our zeal and anxiety destroy or
          pluck up some of the wheat that may be growing under the shade of
          the tare, whose roots may be intermingled with it. We must
          therefore be prudent. It is better in some instances to allow the
          tare to remain until its character be more fully developed and
          made manifest, until it can be plucked up without endangering the
          I testify unto all Israel, and unto all the world, that God has
          called us, and required us to observe and practice these things;
          and that it is not the work of man, and that the institutions of
          this Church are not the institutions of man. And when we speak of
          the institutions of our common country, we say in the main,
          though God has used man in instituting this form of government,
          and in establishing its institutions and maintaining freedom upon
          this land, they are nevertheless the institutions of heaven; and
          God has revealed unto us that He did establish them by the hands
          of wise men, whom He raised up for that special purpose, and
          redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. It is therefore part
          of His great work, as much so as the part of revealing the keys
          of the Priesthood to Joseph, and the ordinances thereof, for the
          salvation of His people. For the political organization upon the
          land was designed by heaven to be a protection to the righteous.
          "But," says one, "is it not designed to protect the wicked?" No,
          not in wicked acts, but in their freedom and liberty, to think
          and to speak and to act, and to choose for themselves; for in
          those rights all must be protected. God has always protected
          them, both in heaven and on earth. And he designed that all men
          should protect one another, and if necessary be united for the
          protection and welfare of all flesh. Not that the laws of the
          land or the laws of God will protect the wicked in doing
          wickedly, but on the contrary, will condemn and judge them. They
          are left to choose for themselves their course of life in
          exercising their agency in all things pertaining to themselves
          and the service of their God, and to use freedom and liberty in
          doing good, that which is right; but there is no such thing as
          liberty to do wrong and be justified in that wrong, neither on
          earth nor in heaven, neither by the laws of God, nor the just
          laws of man.
          Now, the Supreme Court of the United States, in its great zeal to
          establish and maintain monogamy upon this American continent, and
          to strike a blow at the patriarchal order of marriage, believed
          in by the Latter-day Saints, in its decision in the Reynolds'
          case announced the doctrine that religion consists in thought and
          matters of faith and concerning matters of faith, and not
          actions, and the government is restrained by the terms of the
          Constitution from any efforts to curtail this freedom and
          liberty. Wonderful doctrine! A wonderful strain of judicial
          thought to announce to the world, this wonderful doctrine that
          the government should not attempt to restrain the exercise of
          thought, or the exercise of faith! I would like somebody, that
          knows how to defend this doctrine, to tell me how any one man, or
          any set of men on the earth could go to work and catch a thought
          and chain it up and imprison it, or stop its flight, or root it
          out of the heart, or restrain it, or do away with it. Let them go
          to and try to chain the lightning, stop the sun from shining,
          stop the rains from descending and the mist from arising from the
          ocean, and when they have done this, they may talk about
          restraining men's faith, and exercising control over the thoughts
          and faith of the people. The fathers who framed our Constitution
          were not such dunces, I am happy to say, as Attorney-General
          Devens, who put that nonsensical language and doctrine into the
          mouths of the chief justices of the Supreme Court of the United
          States--the fathers who framed our Constitution, I say, were not
          such dunces, they did not attempt to place constitutional
          restrictions upon the law-making power from any effort at making
          law for the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
          exercise thereof. And the exercise of religion implies something
          more than mere faith and thought. I may think about being
          baptized for the remission of my sins, I may believe it is right
          I should do it, I may be convinced that God has required it of
          me, and I may think I ought to do it, and think I will; but all
          this faith and all this thought don't amount to as much as you
          can put in your eye, until I arise and go forth to be baptized,
          and when I do this, then I exercise the faith which is in me, and
          it produces the works. This principle may be equally true of
          everything else pertaining to the exercise of religion. I may
          believe it is right for me to be enrolled with a religious
          community that meets to worship, and I may believe it is right
          and a religious duty to meet with them from time to time to
          celebrate the supper of the Lord and partake of bread and wine,
          and when I partake of the bread and of the wine in commemoration
          of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, it is but the exercise of
          that faith which is in me. I may believe that God meant what he
          said when he gave that general commandments to His children to
          multiply and replenish the earth, and I may think about it; but
          it is my duty, if I want to raise potatoes, to plant the seed; if
          I desire to raise fruit I must go to and plant the fruit trees;
          if I desire to cultivate the earth I must use the proper means
          necessary to cultivate and improve it before I can gather the
          fruits of it. And then to do the other thing, to form a union as
          God has enjoined in the holy bond of matrimony, we must enter
          into that bond for the purpose of multiplying our species and
          thus bring forth the fruits of our bodies. I may believe this
          doctrine, as contained in the revelations of God; but what will
          this amount to unless I exercise myself in it. I shall remain a
          bachelor, worse than a hermit--a parasite in the
          commonwealth--unless I rise up and put my faith in practice and
          exercise myself in my religious belief.
          I say also, when the time comes that God sees in the midst of His
          people an increase of the female element, and the wicked ready to
          devour that element and appropriate it not in the way to
          "multiply and replenish the earth," but for the gratification of
          fleshly lust, and will actually take and employ hellish means to
          prevent the increase of their species, and show that they are not
          only beneath the brute, but beneath the vegetable creation, by
          refusing to bear fruit, thereby placing themselves in the
          category of the trees that are dried up, fit only to be cast into
          the fire, he can take measures to counteract this evil. And I say
          before God, angels and men, that every man and woman who joins in
          unholy wedlock for the gratification of fleshly lust, and
          studiously plan to frustrate the command of God in the
          multiplication of their species, show that they are
          unworthy--what shall I say?--unworthy to be classed among the
          honorable of the earth. And we have reason to believe that many
          have done, and are to-day, in the great cities of Babylon, taking
          steps to destroy their own offspring, committing infanticide and
          foeticide, all of whom, and their aiders and abettors, are but
          ripening for the damnation of hell. And when God sees this
          damnable doctrine taught, and taught by such men as Mr. Henry
          Ward Beecher and other modern divines falsely so-called, who
          teach the world that it is a positive evil to multiply and
          increase so greatly in the land--when such doctrine is taught by
          leading lights, and so readily accepted by the masses, the Lord
          says, the time has come for Him to take measures to counteract
          this great evil, by introducing laws in the midst of those who
          fear Him and work righteousness and live according to the
          principles of life; men who are upright, honest and faithful, men
          who are willing to assume the responsibility; to take the
          daughters of Eve to wife and multiply and replenish the earth,
          for those men are unworthy of them. It is as Jesus said
          concerning the man who hid it in a napkin; he laid it carefully
          away, and by and by brought it out, saying, here it is as I
          received it, not having increased at all; in other words, we are
          just where we were when we started. Another one says I received
          two talents; and have increased to four, another says I received
          five talents, and now have ten: the master says to the one who
          hid his talent, who perhaps laid it carefully away and kept it
          nice, watching over it with the greatest care; or in other words,
          to him who did not multiply and increase, but on the contrary
          took pains to avoid doing so, "Take from him that which he seems
          to have and give to him that has ten; for he that has and
          improves upon that which he receives, shall receive more
          May God bless and keep us in the way in which He can sustain and
          defend us, and lead us onward, as He has done hitherto, is my
          prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Joseph
          F. Smith, February 2d, 1883
                         Joseph F. Smith, February 2d, 1883
              Delivered at the Funeral Services of the late James Urie,
              in the Sixteenth Ward, Salt Lake City, February 2d, 1883.
                                SPEAKER'S TESTIMONY.
           F. Smith
          It is a very difficult matter to say anything at a time of sorrow
          and bereavement like the present that will give immediate relief
          to the sorrowing hearts of those who mourn. Such griefs can only
          be fully relieved by the lapse of time and the influence of the
          good spirit upon the hearts of those that mourn, by which they
          can obtain comfort and satisfaction in their hopes of the future.
          For the loss of a father or mother in the family there is no
          adequate reparation; no remedy in this world which will supply
          such a loss, and about the only consolation we have is in the
          hope that we may so live that we may be permitted to meet again
          with our beloved, faithful and true friends who go before, or who
          come after us, and enjoy their society once more in another
          sphere or state, which will be immortal. If we can only be
          satisfied in our minds by the witness of the good spirit, to know
          that the course we pursue in this life is such a will secure to
          us this privilege, then, in this reflection there is a degree of
          comfort and satisfaction, if not of joy, notwithstanding our
          separation, in time, from those that we have loved and cherished,
          for although they are gone from us, we know we shall meet them
          again in a better and more enduring sphere. I remember my
          feelings when first called upon to part with one of my
          children--my first born. It seemed to me to be an irreparable
          loss--a calamity, and if I had not restrained my feelings I
          should have felt that it was cruel for the Lord to suffer one so
          bright, so pure and innocent to be taken away by the hand of
          death, after remaining with us just long enough to become the joy
          of our hearts and the light of our home. Indeed it was a severe
          trial of our feelings to part with one who seemed so
          indispensable to our happiness, and for a time it seemed that the
          substance of our joy and hope had fled forever; but I have
          learned that there are a great many things which are far worse
          than death. With my present feelings and views and the
          understanding that I have of life and death I would far rather
          follow every child I have to the grave in their innocence and
          purity, than to see them grow up to man and womanhood and degrade
          themselves by the pernicious practices of the world, forget the
          Gospel, forget God and the plan of life and salvation, and turn
          away from the only hope of eternal reward and exaltation in the
          world to come.
           F. Smith
          Far better, in my judgment, follow them to their graves before
          they have commenced such fearful acts, or fall into such fearful
          errors. I would rather a thousand times die while I have the
          faith of the Gospel in my heart and the hope of eternal life
          within me, with the prospect of becoming worthy of inheriting a
          crown of eternal life which is the greatest gift of God unto man,
          than to live in possession of all the world affords and lose that
           F. Smith
          It would be far better for me and my whole family to die in the
          faith than to live and deny it and bring shame, disgrace and ruin
          upon us for ever.
           F. Smith
          The Gospel has been revealed to us in this dispensation. The
          revelation of the Gospel is a reality; there is no fiction about
          it. It is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. The
          plan of salvation has been revealed for the redemption of the
          world. Shall we deny it after we have become acquainted with its
          glorious truths?
           F. Smith
          No person can turn away from the truth into darkness and error
          and into "by and forbidden paths," and continue in that course
          without forfeiting all claim to the blessings and privileges of
          the first resurrection.
           F. Smith
          If the truth had not been revealed to the world and mankind had
          been left in ignorance in relation to these principles, it would
          have been a very different thing; there would have been some
          excuse for them; but the fact that light has come into the world,
          that the truth has been revealed and the way of salvation marked
          out and made plain and simple for all to walk in it, makes it
          absolutely necessary for all to come to the knowledge of the
          truth, to walk circumspectly, and to keep the commandments which
          the Lord has given. It would be immeasurably better for us to lay
          down our bodies now, in the faith of the Gospel, than to live to
          ripe old age and turn away from it, thereby forfeiting our claim
          upon eternal life.
           F. Smith
          If we live and turn away from the truth we will be separated
          throughout the countless ages of eternity from the society of
          those we love. We will have no claim upon them, and they will
          have no claim upon us. There will be an impassable gulf between
          us over which we can not pass, one to the other. If we die in the
          faith, having lived righteous lives, we are Christ's, we have the
          assurance of eternal reward, being in possession of the
          principles of eternal truth and shall be clothed with glory,
          immortality and eternal lives. While we sojourn in the flesh we
          pass a great portion of our life in sorrow; death separates us
          for a short time, some of us pass behind the vail, but the time
          will come when we will meet with those who have gone, and enjoy
          each other's society forever. The separation is but for a moment
          as it were. No power can separate us then. God having joined us
          together we have a claim upon each other--an undeniable
          claim--inasmuch as we have been united by the power of the
          priesthood in the Gospel of Christ. Therefore it is better to be
          separated in this life for a little season, although we have to
          pass through deprivation, sorrow, trouble, toil, widowhood,
          orphanage, and many other vicissitudes, than to be separated for
          all eternity. By complying with the principles of the Gospel we
          become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. The
          anticipation of these great privileges brings happiness to us
          now, and strengthens our hopes of exaltation and eternal reward
          in the kingdom of God hereafter. No other power but that of God,
          through the knowledge of truth, can give such enjoyment, peace of
          mind, consolation and happiness to the sorrowing hearts of
          mortals. The Gospel has been revealed for the salvation and
          exaltation of the children of men, and if they would only receive
          it, it would bring, finally, unalloyed and perfect happiness to
          all, even a "fullness of joy."
           F. Smith
          Let us look into the future. We should not brood over the
          hardships which we have passed through. This is a world of
          sorrow, of care, of probation; a world of disappointment, anxiety
          and toil. We find it as it is, and many of us help to make it no
          better. When God organized the world, he pronounced it good, but
          men have transgressed the laws and departed from the paths of
          life. Mankind do not live by principles of justice, truth,
          righteousness and equality. They are violators of the law, and
          will come under its condemnation. I am sorry to say that mankind
          bring evil and therefore suffering upon themselves. Men rise up
          and oppress their neighbors. Many take delight in oppressing
          their fellow creatures, and they do it because they have not the
          Spirit of God or the love of the Gospel in their hearts. They
          hate justice and righteousness and are strangers to mercy,
          because they know not God nor His law, nor comprehend the results
          of their own acts. Whereas, if they were imbued with the good
          spirit, they would comfort and elevate those by whom they are
          surrounded. Were men to use properly the blessings which God has
          given them for the good of all mankind, we would soon see the
          effects in the amelioration of the world; but many are so fallen
          and degraded that they care nothing for themselves nor for
          anybody else.
           F. Smith
          Many are lovers of pleasure and lust more than lovers of God.
          They delight in the lusts of the flesh, the gratification of
          their appetites, having virulent desires, living in corruption,
          debauchery, revelry and all manner of wickedness. Many people do
          not know how to be happy, not knowing how to use the blessings
          that God has given unto them. If they had all the world, they
          would use it for the gratification of their own base passions and
          desires, to their own destruction. But if they possessed the
          right spirit, they would seek to promote the peace and happiness
          of mankind and extend the influence of the Gospel of light and
          truth to all the world. They would love purity, virtue, honesty,
          sobriety and righteousness. We should use the blessings that we
          receive to the glory of the Lord. We should comfort the mourner
          and provide for those who are in need. If we were to use the
          blessings that God has given unto us to His honor and glory, all
          would be happy; but we do not all see nor do alike. Inasmuch as
          we do not use our gifts or talents that are given unto us of God
          for the elevation of mankind, we know too well the sad results.
          They are misery and ruin for time, and perhaps for all eternity.
           F. Smith
          Every man will have to render an account of his stewardship, and
          every one off us will be held responsible for his own works,
          whether good or evil. We will be judged for the deeds done in the
          flesh; if they have been evil we will have to pay the penalty and
          satisfy justice and the demands of a broken law. Those that have
          sinned against the Holy Ghost will have no redemption. All will
          be saved with this exception, and come out of the "prison" and be
          exalted and receive a reward and an inheritance in the mansions
          prepared for them in the house of God. God does not judge men as
          we do, nor look upon them in the same light that we do. He knows
          our imperfections--all the causes, the "whys and wherefores" are
          made manifest unto Him. He judges us by our acts and the intents
          of our hearts. His judgments will be true, just and righteous;
          ours are obscured by the imperfections of man. We are required to
          obey the laws of God revealed unto us in the Gospel. It is for
          Sister Urie and her little ones to comply with these laws
          throughout their lives. It is for the widow and the fatherless to
          live to the principles of the Gospel, be faithful and keep the
          covenants they have made. If they do this, they will be exalted
          in His kingdom, and they will receive all that their hearts can
          rightfully desire. They will receive the reward, if they are
          faithful, and will lose nothing. God will not suffer the
          righteous to be deprived of the blessings they justly merit; they
          will gain their exaltation. No eye hath seen, no ear heard,
          neither can the heart of man conceive of the glory and exaltation
          that is laid up in store for the faithful.
           F. Smith
          This is my testimony in relation to this matter. I have known
          Brother Urie for quite a number of years; he was a man who had a
          good heart; he was a friend to mankind, so far as it lay in his
          power to be, which he has proved by many acts of kindness to his
          fellow man. He has acted sometimes unwisely towards himself and
          family. I am sorry to say this, but we can not ignore the fact,
          it is too well known. I do not believe that he has injured any
          individual but himself and family. They will forgive him, we will
          forgive him, and I trust God will forgive him for this folly. I
          do not believe that he would have harmed a hair of any man upon
          earth, or raised a finger to injure any one. He has befriended
          the cause of Zion and the Elders of Israel. He will receive his
          reward if he has been true to his covenants with God. I do not
          believe for a moment that he forsook them or ever denied the
          faith. He will answer for the wrong which he has committed
          against himself and family. God will not forsake him, inasmuch as
          he forsook Him not and was true to Him, and he will be preserved,
          but he will have to suffer the consequence of his folly and pay
          the debt. This I will say, if I had the power, as a savior upon
          Mount Zion, I would forgive him, and nothing would give me more
          joy and pleasure than to administer reclamation, salvation and
          exaltation to Brother Urie.
           F. Smith
          Let us obey our religion. Keep the commands of God, and bring up
          our children in the way of life and salvation, teach them the
          principles of the Gospel, to be virtuous, honest and pure, that
          they may lead pure and holy lives and cleave to the faith, that
          they may all come off victorious and receive the crown and the
          blessing of endless lives. Bishop Kesler was saying that we are
          mortal beings. It is true all of us are clothed with mortality,
          but our spirits existed long before they took upon them this
          tabernacle that we now inhabit. When this body dies, the spirit
          does not die. The spirit is an immortal being, and when separated
          from the body takes its flight to the place prepared for it, and
          there awaits the resurrection of the body, when the spirit will
          return again and re-occupy this tabernacle which it occupied in
          this world.
           F. Smith
          This great and glorious principle of the resurrection is no
          longer a theory as some think, but it is an accomplished fact
          which has been demonstrated beyond all successful contradiction,
          doubt or controversy. Job, who lived before the resurrection of
          Christ, possessing the spirit of prophecy, looked forward to the
          time of the resurrection. He comprehended the fact. He understood
          the principle and knew the power and design of God to bring it to
          pass, and predicted its accomplishment. He declares:--"I know
          that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day
          upon the earth;" he further says, "and though after my skin,
          worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." He
          looked forward to something not yet done, something which had
          never been done in this world before his day. It was not
          accomplished till long after this time. Having received the
          spirit of the Gospel and of revelation, he was enabled to look
          down into unborn time and see his body which had mouldered and
          crumbled into dust raised from the dead. What we saw by the eye
          of faith has become actual history unto us, and we possess not
          only the history of the fact but a knowledge by the testimony of
          the Holy Ghost of its truth. We are not therefore situated as Job
          was, we live in the "latter times which are pregnant with grand
          and glorious events, among the greatest of which is this glorious
          principle of the resurrection of the dead, which is no longer a
          mere prediction, a cherished hope, or a prophetic promise, but a
          reality; for long before our day it has actually been
          accomplished. Christ Himself burst the barriers of the tomb,
          conquered death and the grave and came forth "the first fruits of
          them that slept." But says one, how can we know that Jesus was
          put to death or resurrected? We have plenty of evidence to show
          that Jesus was crucified and resurrected. We have the testimony
          of His disciples and they produce irrefutable evidence that they
          did see Him crucified, and witnessed the wounds of the nails and
          spear which He received on the cross. They also testify that His
          body was laid away in a sepulchre wherein no man had lain and
          they rolled a great stone to the door and departed.
           F. Smith
          Now the chief priests and Pharisees were not satisfied with the
          crucifixion and burial of our Lord and Savior, they remembered
          that while living He had said that after three days He would rise
          again, so they established a strong guard to protect the
          sepulchre and set a seal upon the stone lest His disciples should
          come by night and steal the body away and say unto the people,
          "He is risen from the dead," and thus perpetrate a fraud upon the
           F. Smith
          Lo and behold! by this act those unbelieving guards became actual
          witnesses to the fact that a heavenly personage came and rolled
          away the stone and that Jesus came forth. The disciples witness
          and testify to the resurrection, and their testimony can not be
          impeached. It therefore stands good, and is true and faithful.
           F. Smith
          But is this the only evidence we have to depend on? Have we
          nothing but the testimony of the ancient disciples to rest our
          hopes upon? Thank God we have more. And the additional evidence
          which we possess enables us to become witnesses to the truth of
          the testimony of the ancient disciples. We go to the Book of
          Mormon; it testifies of the death and resurrection of Jesus
          Christ in plain and unmistakable terms; we may go to the book of
          Doctrine and Covenants containing the revelations of this
          dispensation, and we shall find clear and well-defined evidence
          there. We have the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the
          testimony of Oliver Cowdery, and the testimony of Sidney Rigdon,
          that they saw the Lord Jesus--the same that was crucified in
          Jerusalem--and that He revealed Himself unto them. Joseph and
          Sidney testify to it, as follows:--
           F. Smith
          "We, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the spirit of
          the sixteenth of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand
          eight hundred and thirty-two, by the power of the spirit our eyes
          were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to
          understand the things of God--even those things which were from
          the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the
          Father, through His Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of
          the Father, even from the beginning, of whom we bear record, and
          the record which we bear is the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus
          Christ, who is the Son whom we saw and with whom we conversed in
          the heavenly vision." (Doc. and Cov., sec. 76, verses 11-14.)
          They were called to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ and His
          death and resurrection.
           F. Smith
          We have also the testimony of the ancient disciples who lived on
          this continent of the crucifixion and resurrection. You will find
          their testimony recorded in the Book of Mormon. The disciples who
          lived upon this continent knew what transpired at Jerusalem; the
          Lord shewed them these things. After His resurrection He
          manifested Himself to His disciples on this continent, and shewed
          them the wounds He had received on Calvary. They were convinced
          that Jesus was the Christ and the Redeemer of the world. They
          beheld Him in the flesh and they bear witness of it, and their
          testimony is true. We have the testimony of many witnesses. We
          have the testimony of eleven special witnesses to the divine
          authenticity of the Book of Mormon, which book testifies of
          Christ's resurrection, containing as it does the records of the
          ancient prophets and disciples of Christ on this continent, thus
          confirming their testimonies.
           F. Smith
          Is it all the evidence we have? No. Joseph Smith boldly declared
          to the world that if mankind would sincerely repent of their sins
          and be baptized by authority they should not only receive a
          remission of their sins, but, by the laying on of hands, they
          should receive the Holy Ghost, and should know of the doctrine
          for themselves. Thus all who obey the law and abide in the truth
          become witnesses of this and other equally great and precious
          truths. To-day there are thousands of Latter-day Saints living in
          Utah and throughout the world who have attained to the possession
          of these things, both men and women. If we witness by our acts,
          and from our hearts our determination to carry out the mind and
          will of the Lord we shall have this double assurance of a
          glorious resurrection, and be able to say as the Prophet Job
          said--his was a glorious declaration--"For I know that my
          Redeemer liveth and that He shall (again) stand at the latter day
          upon the earth; and though after my skin, worms destroy this
          body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for
          myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my
          reins be consumed within me." Thousands have received this
          testimony and can witness unto God and testify from their hearts
          that they know these things. 
           F. Smith
          I bear my testimony, and surely it is of as much force and
          effect, if it be true, as the testimony of Job, the testimonies
          of the disciples at Jerusalem, the disciples on this continent,
          of Joseph Smith, or any other man that told the truth. All are of
          equal force and binding on the world. If no man had ever
          testified to these things upon the face of the globe, I want to
          say as a servant of God, independent off the testimonies of all
          men and of every book that has been written, that I have received
          the witness of the Spirit in my own heart, and I testify before
          God, angels and men, without fear of the consequences that I know
          that my Redeemer lives, and I shall see him face to face, and
          stand with Him in my resurrected body upon this earth, if I am
          faithful; for God has revealed this unto me. I have received the
          witness, and I bear my testimony, and my testimony is true. The
          testimony of the Latter-day Saints is in addition to and
          consonant with that of the disciples of Jesus Christ who lived at
          Jerusalem, those who lived on this continent, the Prophet Joseph,
          Oliver, Sidney and others, of our crucified and risen Redeemer,
          because they received it not of them, but by the same spirit by
          which they received it. No man ever received this testimony
          unless the Spirit of God revealed it unto him.
           F. Smith
          We will see Brother Urie again. Sister Urie will meet him on the
          other side of the grave. The spirit and body will be re-united.
          We shall see each other in the flesh, in the same tabernacles
          that we have here while in mortality. Our tabernacles will be
          brought forth as they are laid down, although there will be a
          restoration effected; every organ, every limb that has been
          maimed, every deformity caused by accident or in any other way,
          will be restored and put right. Every limb and joint shall be
          restored to its proper frame. We will know each other and enjoy
          each other's society throughout the endless ages of eternity, if
          we keep the laws of God. It is for us to remain true and faithful
          and keep our covenants, and to train our children up in the paths
          of holiness, virtue and truth, in the principles of the Gospel,
          that we may with them be prepared to enjoy the perfect and
          eternal day.
           F. Smith
          May God bless you, and my earnest prayer is that the Lord will
          bless Sister Urie and her dear little ones in this bereavement;
          that He will preserve their lives, establish them firmly in the
          faith of the Gospel and in the love of the truth, that they may
          be worthy to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection,
          crowned with glory and eternal lives. I pronounce this blessing
          upon them, inasmuch as they live faithful, in the name of Jesus.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 /
          Charles W. Penrose, March 4th, 1883
                         Charles W. Penrose, March 4th, 1883
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER CHAS. W. PENROSE,
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, March 4th, 1883.
                           (Reported by Gibbs and Irvine.)
                             RELIGION--"PROBATION AFTER
                                       FOR THE
          Having been called upon this afternoon, to speak to this
          congregation, I earnestly desire that I may be so influenced by
          the spirit of truth that I may be able to bring forth such things
          as will be profitable for us to reflect upon. I feel that we are
          greatly blessed in being privileged to meet in this house,
          dedicated to the worship and service of our Heavenly Father,
          where we can attend to those things which are required of us, in
          peace and in unity of spirit, and receive instructions as the
          Holy Spirit may prompt.
          We meet in the name of the Lord. All that we do should be done in
          the name of Jesus Christ, for so we have been commanded. The
          Church to which we belong is the Church of Jesus Christ. It is
          composed of people called Latter-day Saints, but it is Christ's
          Church. He has set it up, He has organized it, and all the
          principles and doctrines which have been made known to us have
          been revealed through Him. It is His work and He will watch over
          it and direct it and consummate it. And He has commanded us that
          we shall do all things in connection with our faith in His holy
          name, and in that way only will it be acceptable to our Heavenly
          Father; for all the blessings that come from our Father to us His
          children, will come to us through Jesus Christ. His is the only
          name given under heaven whereby man can be saved. The Gospel of
          Jesus Christ must be preached to every creature. For it would not
          be just for our Heavenly Father to condemn any of his creatures
          who did not believe in Jesus Christ, without giving them an
          opportunity of understanding who He is and what His commandments
          are. All people, then, must hear the Gospel and have an
          opportunity of receiving it or rejecting it. Jesus Christ sent
          out His Apostles, after His resurrection, to preach the Gospel to
          all the world in that day and generation, and they went forward
          and fulfilled the commandment which he gave to them. Since that
          time a great many false doctrines have been introduced into the
          world, and a great many churches have been established, according
          to the notions and ideas of men not authorized by the Lord Jesus,
          not accepted of Him, not recognized by Him in any way. They are
          the churches of men, and the doctrines preached therein, in a
          great many respects are the doctrines and commandments of men.
          They are not of God. They are not recognized by Him. They are not
          acceptable to Him. And so with many ordinances which have been
          introduced since that day. Some men have introduced them in the
          name of Jesus Christ, but they were not authorized by the Lord to
          do so, and therefore He will not accept them, and they are of no
          benefit to the children of men so far as their salvation is
          concerned. But in the day and age in which we live the Lord Jesus
          has manifested Himself again, and has re-organized the Church
          which He set up in ancient days, in the same form and shape, with
          the same officers, with the same ordinances, with the same
          commandments, and with the same spirit, power, gifts and
          blessings. And in this Church, if we live under the inspiration
          of the spirit and attend to the duties and obey the commandments
          which He reveals, in the way He has pointed out, we will be
          accepted of Him, and that which His servants perform on the earth
          in His name in the way He has appointed, will be the same as
          though it was performed by Himself in person, and will be
          accepted of the Father, just the same as though performed by the
          Lord Jesus Christ, and what they seal on the earth will be sealed
          in the heavens, and what they loose on the earth will be loosed
          in the heavens, according to His word. We have this great
          blessing and privilege, then, in belonging to this Church, that
          we become the people of the Lord Jesus, the Saints of the Lord,
          members of the Church of Christ, not members of any church made
          by a man, or a set of men, but the true church of the living God,
          established by Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ. And if we
          offer up our sacraments before Him in the way He has appointed,
          they will be accepted by Him, and we will receive the benefits
          that result from properly attending to these things. At the
          present time there are a great many different sects professing to
          be the churches of Christ. A great variety of doctrines are
          taught therein. Generally speaking these doctrines are supposed
          to be taken from the book called the Bible. Ministers usually
          read a portion of scripture either from the Old Testament or from
          the New Testament and preach discourses therefrom. But although
          these different religions and these different discourses are
          supposed to be taken from the one book, yet they are very
          conflicting. The notions and ideas of one sect in regard to the
          things contained in the book, differ from those that are
          entertained by another sect, also professing to be the church of
          Christ. And even in each of these various sects the people do not
          all believe alike. They do not understand alike the doctrines
          that pertain to their particular sect. For instance, the people
          in what is called the Methodist church do not all believe alike.
          The people of the Baptist church do not all believe alike. There
          is not only a difference existing between the Baptist and
          Methodist, but the Methodists differ among themselves, and
          Baptists differ among themselves; and so with the rest of all the
          different sects in Christendom. The reason of this is because
          they have no real and definite standard. They take the Bible--or
          rather profess to take the Bible as their standard; but their
          ideas concerning the Scriptures differ. They do not all
          understand the Bible alike. If they all understood the Bible
          alike there would be a unity of faith; but their ideas differ in
          regard to the meaning of the things contained in the Bible. At
          the present time there is a great controversy going on in the
          Christian world in regard to the manner in which this book should
          be read, and in regard to its authority. Some claim that every
          word in the book is inspired; that the word contained in the
          Bible must be relied upon implicitly as the very word of God.
          Others dispute this, deny the plenary inspiration of the
          Scriptures, and some of them think the book should be regarded in
          the same light as secular history. And so the notions and ideas
          concerning the Bible are quite varied. Outside of the Bible they
          have no standard. We may perhaps except the church called the
          Roman Catholic Church. That church has a standard in the person
          of the supreme head of the church--the Pope, the traditions, and
          the decisions of the councils of the church. But neither the
          Roman Catholic Church, nor the Episcopal Church, which has come
          out from it, nor any of the sects which come out from the
          Episcopal Church, have any inspired standard among them save and
          except the things that were written of old contained in the
          Bible, which they do not comprehend alike. In the Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints we have something besides the written
          word. We have the living oracles of God, men that have been
          called and ordained and set apart to minister in Christ's stead,
          men in whom the Lord has place His spirit, and not only His
          spirit, but His authority that they may act in His name; and they
          have access unto Him. It is their privilege not only to expound
          the things that were written of old which have been preserved and
          placed on record, and which are contained in the books of the
          Bible, but also to receive intelligence from the same source from
          which these things that are inspired that are in the Book were
          given. The same fountain from which the Prophets of old partook
          is open to us, and the servants of God in the Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints can learn the mind and will of God
          respecting us as it exists in His own bosom, because the fountain
          of revelation is not dried up. Access is open unto our Heavenly
          Father as it was in times of old; and if Peter could learn the
          word of the Lord and teach it to the former-day Church, so the
          servants of God holding a similar position to-day can call upon
          the Lord and receive His word and declare it to the Latter-day
          Church. If the Prophets of God of old wrote and spoke as they
          were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, there are Prophets of God
          living upon the earth to-day who can speak and write as they are
          moved upon by the same power. And the word of God that comes down
          from heaven in our day is just as authoritative as the word of
          God that came in times of old and that is written in the old
          books, and it is of much more importance to the people called
          Latter-day Saints, because it comes direct to them from our
          living head. It does not come in any ambiguous phraseology; it
          does not come in a shape that would leave it open to controversy;
          but it comes to us clear, plain and straightforward, so that all
          may understand. We have the benefit of the living oracles; not
          only the words of the oracles that are dead, but the words of
          those that are living.
          And we find when we come to investigate the things that God makes
          manifest in our own day through the living oracles, that in
          spirit and in doctrine they correspond with the things that God
          revealed in days of old. We, then, have "a more sure word of
          prophecy" than the things that were written aforetime. The
          Apostle Peter spoke of this in his day. He said that holy men of
          God wrote and spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost,
          and that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private
          interpretation. He said further, "We have also a more sure word
          of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a
          light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and they
          day star arise in your hearts." They had the living oracles. The
          people who lived in Peter's day had not only the words of Isaiah,
          Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the other prophets, and the Book of the
          laws, as written by Moses, the inspired prophet of God, who
          looked upon God and talked with Him face to face--they not only
          had these things written in the ancient records, but they had
          living oracles, men in their midst who were authorized to speak
          in the name of the Lord and declare to the people of the living
          word of God for their present benefit. And as it was with the
          people in that day, so it is in this Church that Jesus Christ our
          Savior has re-established on the earth. We have the living
          oracles, those who are called and ordained to stand between us
          and the Lord. And in addition to all this we have the great
          privilege of the Holy Ghost universally diffused throughout the
          body of the Church for the benefit of every member thereof; for
          every man and for every woman, for every individual who has been
          baptized into it and has received its ordinances. Every person in
          the Church may receive of this spirit which is the light of God,
          which is the spirit of inspiration, which bears record of the
          things of God, and makes plain to all who have it the things that
          God reveals through the living oracles. If a servant of God
          speaks or writes under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, the
          same spirit by which He writes or speaks is in the members of the
          church, and it is their privilege to see as He sees, to
          comprehend as He comprehends, that we may all see "eye to eye"
          and understand the things of God alike.
          Some people have an idea that it is impossible to bring a great
          number of individuals to understand religion exactly alike.
          People sometimes point to the difference that there is in human
          character. It is true that our characters vary, as do our
          countenances. The faces that are before me to-day are all
          different, although we are all of the same race. We are all
          different in our appearance. Even brothers and sisters of the
          same family differ in their appearance in some respects. So it is
          with all things that God has made. It is not only so in regard to
          the human family, but it is so with the brute creation. No two
          blades of grass are exactly alike. No two leaves upon the trees
          in the forest are exactly alike. No two worlds that God Almighty
          has made that glitter in the firmament on high at night are
          exactly alike. There are some peculiarities about each of them,
          distinct and different from others. This is all true. But is it
          impossible to bring people who are thus organized, people of
          different characters and different minds, to see and comprehend
          exactly alike? No, there is no difficulty about it when the thing
          is properly understood. Take any of what are called the exact
          sciences, and people can be brought to understand them just
          exactly in the same way. Take a sum in arithmetic, for instance.
          When a dozen people understand the rules in the same way they
          will work out the sum in the same way, no matter where they were
          born, or what language they speak. When they understand the
          principle and rule that governs the workings of the sum they all
          work it out in the same way, and what a dozen or a hundred can do
          a million can do. It makes no difference about the number. If all
          understand the principle alike they will work it out alike, and
          the result will be exactly the same. Why cannot this be done in
          those things called religion? It is true that religious
          principles are not governed altogether by the same rules and laws
          as those which govern secular things. But yet if people are in
          possession of the same spirit, and the truth is made clear before
          their understandings, they can all be brought to see exactly
          alike, and we have proven this in our own experience. For
          instance, when the Gospel of Jesus Christ came to us, it found us
          when we were scattered abroad in different nations. We have
          people here from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and from
          different parts of the European continent; from Sweden, Norway,
          Germany, Italy, and from the various cantons of Switzerland; a
          great many from the various States of America, from the islands
          of the sea, from the East Indies, from Africa--people from all
          quarters of the globe. Now, when the Gospel came to us, it found
          us in a scattered condition. We lived in different countries, we
          spoke different languages; we had different ideas in regard to
          God and His ways. But we were taught that we must believe in the
          true and the living God; that we had all sprung from Him; that He
          was our Father, and that we were made in His image; that the idea
          prevalent in the world that the Deity is a being without body,
          parts or passions, an incomprehensible nonentity, was altogether
          wrong. We were told that we had sprung from God, and being His
          offspring we were like Him, and that, therefore, in some respects
          He is like us; that He is a personage, and as every seed begets
          its own kind, and we are the offspring of God, we could form some
          conception of what He is like, and we put away our old ideas. We
          came to a unity of the faith concerning God, that He is an
          individual; that although He is a spirit, yet He dwells in a
          tangible tabernacle. Man is a spirit as well as God, because we
          have sprung from Him. The spiritual part of our being is the
          offspring of God, which spiritual part dwells in our natural part
          that has come from the dust. In this way we could form some idea
          concerning the Deity, and we all formed the same idea; we all
          came to the unity of the faith in this respect. We were also
          taught that it was needful for us to believe in the Lord Jesus
          Christ, and when we had full faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to
          obey His commandments, that we were to repent of our sins. Now
          there were different ideas in the world as to what constituted
          repentance; but we were taught that in order to repent acceptably
          before God, we must come to the determination in our minds to
          leave off sinning, to cease doing that which is wrong, and to get
          to understand and to do what is right. Then we were taught that
          in order to receive remission of sins we must be baptized. Now
          there were different notions in regard to baptism in the world.
          Some people believed that the marking of the sign of the cross
          with a little water on the forehead by a priest was baptism.
          Others believed that sprinkling water upon the face was baptism.
          Others that it was needful to immerse the whole body in water to
          constitute baptism, and still others that a person ought to be
          immersed three times. But we were taught that baptism was at once
          a burial and a birth; that in order to be properly baptized the
          person who administers the ordinance should have authority from
          God, because he uses the name, of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
          and he has no right to use the names of the holy trinity without
          being expressly authorized of God to do so. We learned that in
          the first place, then, an individual who administers the
          ordinances must have authority to administer, and he must
          administer in the way that the Lord has appointed--not the way
          that man may think is right, but the way the Lord has ordained,
          or else it would not be acceptable to God. And we were taught
          that the individual to be baptized must believe and repent, for
          without faith and repentance baptism would be of no avail. So the
          individual who was baptized must be a repentant believer, and the
          individual who administered the ordinance must be an ordained
          servant of God having legitimate authority from on high--not that
          which he had taken upon himself, not that which he may have felt
          called upon to do in his own heart; but he must be a bona fide
          representative of Deity, a man called and ordained and set apart
          by authority from God to administer in His name, or it would not
          be valid. And then the individual who baptizes must go down into
          the water with the person to be baptized--the candidate must be
          buried in the water in the likeness of Christ's death and burial,
          and then be raised out of the water in the likeness of His
          resurrection--and the object of this was for the remission of
          This was very different from the doctrines which prevailed in the
          world. But when this was taught to us in plainness, and we were
          baptized in this way, we received a testimony in our hearts that
          we were made clean, that our sins were remitted, that they had
          been washed away--not by the water, but through our obedience to
          the ordinance which God had established and the blood of Jesus
          Christ, which was shed for the remission of our sins. We had the
          conviction sealed upon our hearts that we had received this
          blessing. As the result thereof we were thus brought to the unity
          of the faith. Then when the servants of God laid their hands upon
          us, according to the pattern revealed from heaven, and conferred
          upon us the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, we received the same
          spirit from on high, the same Holy Ghost. The people who received
          this ordinance in Scandinavia had the same spirit come down upon
          them as the people who received it in England or in Scotland, and
          the people on this Western Hemisphere on which we live have
          received the same spirit as the people received on the Eastern
          Hemisphere. In every part of the globe, wherever this ordinance
          was administered the same spirit rested down on the people and
          bore the same testimony to them. Now, although there are a
          variety of operations of this spirit, yet the spirit is the same
          and the light that it brings is the same. People do not all
          receive that light to the same degree, but the light is the same,
          just as the light of the sun is the same to all. Some people can
          see a great deal further than others with their natural eyes.
          Their eyesight is better, but the light by which both see is the
          same. So it is with regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost. All
          people do not receive it in the same degree, because they are not
          all gifted with the same capacity, and all have not the same
          desires; but the difference is not in the spirit, it is in the
          individual. Some people are very earnest after the things of God,
          and he who seeks finds, and the more he seeks in the right
          direction the more he finds. He that is dilatory in searching
          after the things of God, obtains but little; he that is diligent
          obtains much. All may receive it, but they must obtain it in the
          way that God has appointed, all receiving their measure according
          to their diligence and desire; but the spirit is the same. And
          this spirit has operated upon our hearts in such a way as to make
          us--a people of diverse feelings and opinions--of one heart and
          one mind in regard to this matter. And wherever this Gospel has
          been preached and people have received it, they have been brought
          to a "unity of the faith." They no longer have many faiths and
          many baptisms, but one faith, one baptism and one God, having
          commenced to walk in the same straight and narrow way that leads
          to life and which is the only way of salvation. And all people
          who desire to enjoy the fullness of His glory must walk that
          straight and narrow way; "for wide is the road, and broad is the
          gate that leads unto death, and many there be," we are told,
          "that go in thereat." There is only one way of life, only one
          plan of salvation, because there is but one God to serve. If
          there were many Gods to worship, there might be many different
          ways to salvation; but as to us there is only one God, there can
          be but one Gospel, one Church, one gate leading to the celestial
          I have shown that it is possible for a great many people of
          different ideas and notions to be brought to understand things
          alike. And if this can be done in regard to one or four things (I
          have named four) or principles, it can be done in a million or
          any number of principles. And we are told in the Scriptures that
          the time is to come when all shall see eye to eye; because all
          shall know God from the least unto the greatest. There is, too, a
          time to come when the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all
          flesh, "when the sons and the daughters will prophesy, the old
          men dream dreams, and the young men see visions," etc; and when
          the earth and all that live upon it shall be redeemed and
          sanctified; the earth will then be as it was when it rolled out
          of the hands of the Creator, and the people will understand God
          and His ways; they will understand them alike. There will not be
          a thousand different religions; but there will be one only, one
          God the Father of all, and one Holy Spirit burning in the hearts
          of His children.
          At the present time there is a diversity of opinions and notions
          and ideas concerning God and His ways; but I have stated that
          this one way in which the Saints have begun to walk, is the only
          true way. That may sound very exclusive; it may seem also to some
          a little inconsistent. That is because they may not understand
          the matter in all its bearings. I say, there can be but one true
          religion, simply because there is only one true God. True
          religion is that religion which comes from God; and that religion
          which is man-made cannot be the religion of God; it is therefore
          not binding; nothing religious is binding upon mankind but that
          which is revealed from God. That which comes from God through His
          servants and is declared to the people is binding; he that
          receives it will be saved; and he that rejects it will be
          condemned. This must be so because it comes by authority, from
          Deity himself. It is His word; it is His will; and he who rejects
          it, rejects it against his own salvation; and none can be saved
          who do not obey.
          Some may ask. "Do you mean to say that all the people that have
          lived upon the earth since the days when Jesus and the Apostles
          preached, who did not hear and who did not obey the Gospel, are
          all damned and lost forever?" I answer, No. We merely hold to the
          proposition that there is but the one true way. I will refer you
          to the language of the Savior himself upon this point spoken to
          Nicodemus, one of the rulers of the Jews, who sought an interview
          with Jesus by night: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a
          man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
          Kingdom of God." There is a very plain declaration, and a very
          conclusive one. There are millions of people who have lived upon
          the earth who have not been "born of water and of the Spirit."
          Take, for instance, the millions of Jews alone who lived before
          the introduction of the Gospel by Christ, and after it was
          preached to their ancestors. For, let me tell you, the Gospel was
          preached before Christ preached it. When Jesus came, he did not
          introduce anything new, he came to restore something that had
          been lost. The Gospel was known by our first parents when they
          came out of the Garden of Eden. It was known to Abraham. It was
          preached to Israel before the law was added. It is stated by Paul
          to the Hebrews. "All our fathers were under the cloud, and they
          all passed through the sea; and they were baptized unto Moses in
          the cloud and in the sea, and did partake of the spiritual rock
          that followed them, which rock was Christ." They were baptized
          the same as we have been, but they did not receive the faith of
          the Gospel fully in their hearts; they did not profit by the word
          preached, therefore, God added the law as a schoolmaster, to
          bring them to the right way. He added the law of carnal
          commandments because they would not receive the fullness of the
          greater law in faith. When Jesus came, He restored the Gospel;
          but there had been millions and millions of people among the
          Jewish nation alone, from the days of Moses to those of Jesus,
          who had not been "born of water and of the Spirit." They termed
          nations outside the Jewish nation the heathen, and none of them
          for hundreds of years had obeyed the Gospel--had received
          ordinances by which they could be born of water and of the
          Spirit. So in regard to the people from the days since the
          ancient Apostles were put to death, who had authority from God,
          who were sent forth to minister in His name, to preach the Gospel
          to all people, and baptize them in the name of the Father and of
          the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and to teach them all things
          whatsoever he had commanded them. From their day to the time in
          which we live, thousands and millions of people have passed away
          without receiving or obeying the Gospel of the Son of God.
          According to the doctrines of men, because they did not hear it,
          they will be condemned for ever. The heathen nations for ages
          past have not even heard the doctrines of men professing to be
          Christian. They worship idols; they worship beasts; they worship
          the heavenly bodies, etc. Many millions of them are outside the
          pale of Christendom. What is to become of them? "Verily, verily,
          I say unto you, except ye are born of water and of the Spirit, ye
          cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." So says the Savior; and
          there is no other name given under heaven whereby man can be
          saved than the name of Christ Jesus; and yet there are millions
          and millions of people who have passed away from the earth never
          having heard the name of Jesus Christ. A great many millions more
          have died without a knowledge of the true Gospel. And what is to
          become of them all? According to the doctrines of modern
          Christendom, they are all destroyed, they are all damned. That is
          a horrible thing to think of.
          There is considerable controversy going on in the Christian world
          to-day, not only in reference to the plenary inspiration of the
          Bible, but in regard to probation. There is a discussion in
          progress now in regard to what is called "probation after death."
          The question is whether there is a probation after people leave
          this world, or is it confined to the sphere in which we now move.
          Some of the ministers are beginning to think that there must be a
          chance for souls after they leave the earth to learn the way of
          life and salvation, but the great majority of modern divines,
          representing popular religious opinions, believe that this is the
          only state of probation; that when death overtakes a man, that is
          the end of his opportunities for salvation. According to that
          rule all those millions of people who have died without hearing
          the name of Jesus Christ have gone to hell.
          There are different ideas about hell now-a-days. A few years ago
          there was only the one idea, which was that hell is a great,
          bottomless pit full of flaming fire and brimstone, into which the
          wicked are cast never to return, whilst the devils are
          continually stirring up the flames for the everlasting torment of
          the doomed. And this scene used to be described by popular
          divines in the most hideous and shocking manner. People have
          recently modified their ideas concerning future punishment, and
          the change is greatly due to the teachings of the Elders of this
          Church, and the doctrines which have been set forth and published
          as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The controversy
          that is now being conducted by leading theological minds upon the
          subject of probations, has been brought about through the effects
          upon the public mind of the preaching of the Elders of the
          doctrine revealed in the very beginning of the Church. You will
          find in the Doctrine and Covenants that God revealed to Joseph
          Smith as early as March 1830, that "eternal punishment is God's
          punishment." Because God is an eternal being. His laws are
          eternal, and there are penalties attached to all of them. But it
          does not follow that because a person may be banished into the
          eternal punishment it is intended that he shall stay there
          eternally. He may go into eternal punishment, he may go to the
          place prepared for the rebellious and the sinner and stay there
          but for a certain period. Some may stay longer than others. In
          the language of the Scriptures, some are beaten with many
          stripes, and others are beaten with but few stripes; but all stay
          until they have paid the uttermost farthing;" all are punished
          according to the gravity of their guilt. It will be "more
          tolerable" in the day of judgment for people who did not hear the
          word of God in the flesh, and who were wicked, than for the
          wicked who did hear the word of God and rejected it. But the time
          will come when all men will be judged, and the Apostle Paul says
          they will be judged by the Gospel; all will appear before the
          judgment seat to be judged according to their works, receiving
          according to their merits or demerits, gauged by their light and
          their opportunities.
          Now, the Lord made this very plain in the revelation he gave to
          Joseph Smith. The term eternal damnation God said had been used
          to work upon the hearts of the children of men altogether for His
          glory. That is, in the low condition of humanity in which most
          people are placed there must be a threat of punishment and a
          promise of reward to influence people to do what is right simply
          because it is right; to love truth for its own sake. But humanity
          is in a low, degraded condition, and a promise of reward has to
          be held out to induce people to do right, and threats of
          punishment to restrain them from doing wrong. That is not the
          higher plain on which men are yet to stand. If people are trained
          aright they will love that which is true and dislike that which
          is untrue; they will love that which is virtuous, pure and
          Godlike, and dislike everything contrary thereto. They will do
          good, but not for reward; they will turn from evil, but not from
          fear of punishment. They will love truth and work righteousness
          for their own sake. But in the degraded condition of humanity
          this eternal punishment that has been preached has been allowed
          to go forth to work upon the hearts of the children of men
          altogether for the glory of God, that evil mighty be curbed, that
          transgression and sin might be restrained, that people might be
          checked from going headlong to destruction through fear of the
          consequences. On the 16th of February, 1832, the Lord made this
          matter plainer. He gave to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, one of
          the most glorious visions that human beings ever gazed upon. It
          is the most complete and delightful that I have ever read. There
          is nothing in the book called the Bible that can compare with it.
          It is full of light; it is full of truth; it is full of glory; it
          is full of beauty. It portrays the future of all the inhabitants
          of the earth, dividing them into three grand classes or
          divisions--celestial, terrestrial, and telestial, or as compared
          to the glory of the sun, the glory of the moon, and the glory of
          the stars. It shows who will be redeemed, and what redemption
          they will enjoy; and describes the position the inhabitants of
          the earth will occupy when they enter into their future state. In
          that glorious vision we are told that there is only a certain
          class who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord. I
          will read a few verses:
          "Thus saith the Lord, concerning all those who know my power, and
          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;
          "These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and
          brimstone, with the devil and his angels;
          "And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power;
          "Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due
          time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath;
          "For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of
          the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was
          slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were
          "And this is the gospel, the glad tidings which the voice out of
          the heavens bore record unto us;
          "That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the
          world, and to bear sins of the world, and to sanctify the world,
          and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
          "That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into
          his power and made by him;
          "Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands,
          except those sons of perdition, who deny the Son after the Father
          has revealed him."
          I do not intend to read from this vision the condition of the
          people who will be redeemed in the different degrees of glory;
          you can do that for yourselves. I merely refer to it that the
          point may be made clear, that there are only a certain few who
          will not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, through the
          merits of the atonement wrought out by Jesus Christ. The sons of
          perdition are to go away into this everlasting punishment and
          abide there. And as we are told in another part of the
          revelation, the height and the depth, and extent of their misery
          no man knoweth. It is not revealed except to a few, and then the
          vision is closed up, as the things they behold are unlawful to be
          The "sons of perdition" are those who have received the Gospel,
          those to whom the Father has revealed the Son; those who know
          something concerning the plan of salvation; those who have had
          keys placed in their hands by which they could unlock the
          mysteries of eternity; those who received power to ascend to the
          highest pinnacle of the celestial glory; those who received power
          sufficient to overcome all things, and who, instead of suing it
          for their own salvation, and in the interest of the salvation of
          others, prostituted that power and turned away from that which
          they knew to be true, denying the Son of God and putting Him to
          an open shame. All such live in the spirit of error, and they
          love it and roll it under the tongue as a sweet morsel; they are
          governed by Satan, becoming servants to him whom they list to
          obey, they become the sons of perdition, doomed to suffer the
          wrath of God reserved for the devil and his angels. And for them,
          having sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no forgiveness
          either in this world or the world to come. But all the rest
          Christ will save, through the plan of human redemption prepared
          in the beginning before the world was.
          Now the question may be asked, how can these things be? If no man
          can enter into the Kingdom of God except he be born of the water
          and of the Spirit, and only a few are to receive this eternal
          condemnation, how can the rest obtain this great salvation, how
          can they escape eternal punishment? The Lord has provided a plan
          for them, and it is very simple when properly understood. I
          noticed in reading the reports of recent discussions on probation
          after death that it was admitted by the learned men engaged in it
          that they did not know anything definite about it. The notions
          and ideas of even the most advanced divines are but theories and
          speculations. But here we have the revelations of God concerning
          these things, that we may not be in the dark; so that we can all
          come together and see eye to eye and understand alike. For it is
          true, and truth can be made plain to all that desire its light.
          But when people do not want to see the truth, they can shut their
          eyes and exclude it from their spiritual vision, as people
          sometimes shut their eyes and exclude it from their spiritual
          vision, as people sometimes shut out from their eyes the light of
          the sun, from their "best rooms," which, by the way are their
          worse rooms, for the very reason that the blessed sunlight does
          not enter there--so people can close the windows of the soul and
          shut out the rays of the sun of righteousness; but he who desires
          to behold the truth may see it and comprehend it. As we now see
          each other by the light of the sun, so people of different minds
          and different races may turn their eyes towards the truth, and by
          the light of the Holy Ghost, they will see it exactly alike. They
          will no longer be divided on principles of doctrine.
          But how can salvation come to those who never heard the Gospel
          while living; who never had the opportunity of being born of the
          water and the Spirit, of being baptized by one with authority,
          for the remission of their sins, and having hands laid upon their
          heads for the reception of the Holy Ghost--how can they hear, how
          can they understand, how can they obey? People have fallen into
          the common mistake that it is impossible to learn the will of God
          when they leave this world. I do not know where the idea sprang
          from. I think it came from some of the monkish cells of the old
          Romish Church, descending down through the various sects that
          have come out from that Church. Why should not a person when out
          of the body be able to understand as when in the body? If we
          believed like some of the people of India, that when the spirit
          leaves the body it goes back to Brahma, or emerges into the
          generally diffused spirit of the universe, then we might conclude
          that they would not understand anything when they leave the body.
          If the spirit becomes a nonentity when it is disembodied we might
          have reason for entertaining such a notion. But we understand
          that the spirit is the real man, and that body is but the outside
          covering; that when the change we call death comes, the body
          returns to the earth as it was, but the spirit returns to God who
          gave it. That the spirit is the actual person, that which thinks
          and reasons, the body being but the medium conveying impressions
          to the real man operating inside of it. That when the spirit is
          liberated, although not subject to the same laws as when in the
          tabernacle, yet it is the same person, a son or daughter of God;
          a being capable of thinking; of receiving inspiration; of
          accepting or rejecting that which is presented; and therefore is
          a subject of salvation. If not, why not? What is the reason? I
          think we will find when we shuffle off this mortal coil, when we
          get rid of the trammels of the mortal body, and enter into the
          spirit state, we shall be if anything more intelligent than when
          in the body. We shall not be bound by the same laws that now bind
          our mortal flesh, and we will be able to comprehend a great many
          things which were very hard for us to get a little inkling of
          while in the mortal tabernacle. "Well," somebody may say, "that
          is very reasonable; but how does it coincide with the Christian
          religion, with the doctrines laid down in the Scriptures?" Let us
          see. Jesus Christ, we read, was put to death by wicked men. They
          took His body down from the cross and laid it in a new tomb hewn
          out of the rock. But where was Jesus ? That was not Jesus in the
          tomb. It was his mortal body that was laid away. Where was Jesus?
          People generally suppose that He went to heaven. Stop a moment.
          After Jesus Christ was raised from the dead a woman whose name
          was Mary, was weeping at the sepulchre, when Jesus appeared
          before her. Mary stepped forward apparently to embrace Him,
          whereupon He said to her: "Touch me not; for I am not yet
          ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren and say unto them, I
          ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your
          God." Three days had elapsed between the time when the body was
          taken down from the cross--the time when he said, "Father, unto
          thy hands I commend my spirit," and the time of His resurrection.
          Where had He been in the interval? Peter tells us in his first
          epistle, 3d chapter, from the 18th to the 20th verses: "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 long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah." It
          appears that after being put to death He went somewhere. Where?
          "By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison."
          What spirits? "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the
          long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark
          was preparing." Now, that makes the matter very clear to a person
          that wants to understand. But you take a learned divine whose
          mind has become befogged by the traditions of men and he does not
          want anything to do with that scripture, or if he does he will
          try to explain it away. How do the clergy explain it? They say
          the spirit of Jesus in Noah preached to the people before the
          flood. Now, compare that idea with the text I have quoted. It was
          not Noah who was put to death. But it was He that was put to
          death in the flesh, and quickened by the spirit, that went and
          preached to the spirits in prison. Again, in the 4th chapter of
          the first Epistle of Peter, and the 6th verse, we read this: "For
          this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead,
          that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, and live
          according to God in the Spirit." Here were people that were
          preached to who were not men in the flesh. Who were they? They
          were spirits in prison, and they were in prison because of their
          disobedience in the days of Noah. They had been there about 2,000
          years, and Jesus went and preached to them. What did he preach?
          He preached the Gospel. What did he preach to them for? That they
          might be further condemned and taunted with their miserable fate?
          Oh no. He went there that He might preach to them the Gospel, "so
          that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live
          according to God in the Spirit." This is what the ancient prophet
          predicted concerning Jesus. We read that he went into the
          synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up for to read. He took
          the book of the Prophet Isaiah, and what he read was this: "The
          spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because He hath anointed me to
          preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the
          broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the
          opening of the prison to them that are bound." That was Christ's
          mission--not only to preach to men in the flesh, but to preach to
          men in the spirit. Isaiah says in c. xlix, 9v., "That thou mayest
          say to the prisoners, go forth, to them that are in darkness,
          shew yourselves;" and in c. xlii, 7v., "to bring out the
          prisoners from the prison and them that sit in darkness out of
          the prison house."
          Jesus left His body sleeping in the tomb and went to the spirit
          world, and the repentant thief who died by His side went there
          also. Some people think that because the thief said, "Lord,
          remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom," and Jesus
          replied, "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise," that he (the
          thief) went direct to heave and in the presence of God. Now, if
          he did, Jesus Christ broke His own word; for he said, "Except a
          man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
          kingdom of God." Where did the thief go? Wherever Jesus went, the
          thief went, and he had the privilege of hearing Jesus preach the
          Gospel, so that he might have the chance of being judged
          according to men in the flesh, but according to God in the
          spirit. And how could he do that? By receiving the same Gospel
          that men had in the flesh. Jesus, then, left his body in the tomb
          and went to the spirit world. Those everlasting gates had to be
          lifted up. "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up,
          ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in." He
          went and preached deliverance to the captives, and opened the
          prison doors to them that were bound. He went to proclaim the
          acceptable day of the Lord. He came back to His sleeping body,
          and having the keys of hell He also grasped the keys of death,
          and His body was quickened. He stood upon His feet and ministered
          to His disciples. He could then go to His Father and report the
          accomplishment of His mission. He could say: "I have done the
          work thou gavest me to do; I have preached the Gospel to the
          meek; I have bound up the broken-hearted; I have preached
          deliverance to the captives; I have opened the prison doors of
          them that were bound; I have led captivity captive; I have shed
          my blood as an atonement for the sins of the world; now, Father,
          accept of me and my labors." Then He could come to the earth and
          say: "All power is given unto me both in the heavens and on the
          earth." He had fulfilled His mission, and had received immortal
          keys and honors and powers as a reward of the fulfillment
          thereof. He shall occupy the highest place among all the sons of
          God, because He is the firstborn, and has performed the work of
          the firstborn in the plan of human redemption. He will be exalted
          above every creature, because He was the most obedient of every
          creature. He will be the greatest, because He was the humblest.
          He will be the richest, because He was the best. He is the
          sinless Christ, and therefore He wears the eternal crown.
          There is another question that arises here. If men can hear the
          Gospel in the spirit world, can they obey it fully in the spirit
          world? Let us look at that a little. Here are the Gospel
          ordinances. Are ordinances of any effect? Yes, they are. "Except
          a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into
          the Kingdom of God." Just the same as if an alien does not obey
          the naturalization laws he cannot become a citizen of the United
          States. God's house is a house of order. He has a way of His own,
          and he that will not accept that way cannot obtain the blessing.
          Then can those spirits who hear the Gospel in the spirit world
          obey the Gospel fully? Can they believe? Yes. Can they repent?
          Why not? It is the soul of man, or the spirit of man in the body,
          not the body, that believes. It is the spirit of man in the body
          that repents. What is it that obeys the ordinances? Why, the
          spirit. But these ordinances belong to this sphere in which we
          live, they belong to the earth, they belong to the flesh. Water
          is an earthly element composed of two gases. It belongs to this
          earth. What there is in the spirit world, we know little about.
          But here is the water in which repentant believers must be
          baptized. Can they be baptized in the spirit world? It appears
          not. What is to be done, then. The Apostle Paul asks this
          question in the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle of the
          Corinthians: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the
          dead, if the dead rise not all?" Why are they then baptized for
          the dead?" It seems that the people to whom that was written were
          familiar with the ordinance called baptism for the dead, and they
          were baptized for their dead. Paul was arguing upon the literal
          resurrection of the body, and says, What shall they do if the
          dead rise not; why are they then baptized for the dead? Our
          learned divines may presume from that that the doctrine is not
          laid down sufficiently clear to endorse it; but to us there is no
          doubt concerning it, the Lord having revealed the principle to
          the Prophet Joseph Smith. He also explained the manner in which
          the ordinances should be administered, like everything else He
          has revealed, in great plainness. And that is why we are building
          Temples. People who visit our city frequently say, "What a fine
          meeting-house you are building." No, that is not a meeting-house;
          this Assembly Hall and the adjacent Tabernacle are
          meeting-houses. That is a Temple, a building in which we expect
          to perform ordinances for the living and the dead; wherein we may
          be baptized for our dead, that they may receive the benefit of
          that ordinance, provided they believe and repent and do the
          spiritual part, while we do the material part, that they may
          receive the blessings of obedience to the Gospel, and live
          according to God in the spirit. Some will say, "I cannot see why
          a thing done by one person should stand for another." How do you
          understand the doctrine that Jesus Christ has done something for
          all of us? We read that "without the shedding of blood there is
          no remission of sins." Not my blood or your blood is to be shed
          for the remission of sins; but He who was without sin allowed His
          blood to be shed as a sacrifice for our sins. Now the whole
          question hinges on that. If you reject the doctrine of proxy in
          baptism, you must reject the doctrine of proxy in the atonement.
          Now, there is no dubiety in the minds of the Latter-day Saints on
          this subject. We have learned these things from God, and we
          understand them alike. Why? Because we desire the truth; we do
          not care about the nonsense of men, we want divine truth which
          comes from God. And when it comes we are anxious to receive it;
          we seek for it; we ask for it; and He enlightens us by His
          Spirit, and when the Good Shepherd speaks, we know His voice; and
          it is that voice that has made plain to us the doctrine that we
          who have obeyed the Gospel in the flesh may be baptized for our
          ancestors in the spirit world.
          If you will look at this in the spirit that accompanies its
          unfoldment, your hearts will be filled with joy at the mercy and
          goodness of God. If there are men or women here who have not
          believed this, and they will ponder upon it, and seek to God for
          light upon it, they will have their eyes opened to see that it is
          one of the most glorious principles. It opens the way for the
          redemption of our fathers who lived and died without hearing the
          sound of the Gospel. It opens up the way for the redemption of
          the heathen nations who never heard the name of Jesus Christ. It
          opens up the way for the hosts of Israel, with their posterity,
          who ages ago fell away from the truth and went into darkness; for
          those whose hearts have been heavy, and whose eyes have been
          blinded--for it is written "blindness in part has happened unto
          Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all
          Israel shall be saved: as it is written, "There shall come out of
          Zion a Deliverer, and He shall turn ungodliness from Jacob. For
          this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their
          sins." Those that will live upon the earth of their lineage who
          shall obey the Gospel, in the latter times will perform the
          outward ordinances for and in behalf of their dead ancestors.
          This glorious doctrine lifts up the dark curtain of sectarianism
          and lets in the light of heaven, and makes plain the justice of
          God, and the mercy of God. The mercy of our God extends to all of
          his children, not only to one little branch through the loins of
          Abraham. All shall hear, all shall have opportunity of knowing
          the ways of life and truth, and the opportunity of knowing the
          ways of life and truth, and the opportunity of rejoicing therein;
          and this is the means that God will adopt to accomplish this
          great and stupendous result! Every heart shall be gladdened with
          the tidings of salvation. The living and the dead shall be
          visited and even those who have been thrust down to hell, who
          have been beaten with many stripes, and have suffered their
          portion in the eternal punishment, will have the arm of sweet
          mercy extended to them when stern justice is satisfied; and in
          due time every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that
          Jesus is the Christ to the glory of God the Father. And the time
          will come when death and hell shall be destroyed, and there will
          be no more death, neither sorrow nor pain, but every creature, in
          heaven above and the earth beneath shall be heard to sing,
          "Blessing, and honor, praise and power, be unto God and the Lamb
          forever, who has redeemed us by His blood out of every nation and
          tribe and tongue and people!"
          The Gospel is plain and simple and easily understood and
          appreciated by the honest seeker after truth. The reason that
          people generally do not receive it when it is preached to them by
          the servants of God--it is a hard saying, but true
          nevertheless--is because their deeds are evil; because they love
          the things of the world more than the things of God, and the love
          of the Father is not in them. And because they reject the truth
          when presented to them, and delight in the spirit of the world,
          they oppose the truth; and if not openly, in their hearts they
          sanction acts of persecution and hatred against the Saints of
          God. Some of them are corrupt in their practices, and such
          persons are ever ready to assail and traduce the character of our
          leading men, men whom we know to be pure in their lives, and to
          be righteous before God; it is the very worst of men who take
          this course, and thus the Evil One, the destroyer of the souls of
          men worketh in them and through them. And when they have opposed
          this work all that they possibly can, they will find that it
          flourishes and grows and spreads forth, while they will go to the
          place prepared for them, where they will remain until they shall
          have paid the uttermost farthing for their willful wickedness.
          All men who fight against the Holy Priesthood of God, will have
          to meet that some day. Their acts are not hidden from the eyes of
          Him who does not slumber. Their evil deeds and wicked sayings
          will be revealed openly. The time will come when the first angel
          of God will sound the trump declaring the secret acts of men
          during the first thousand years; and the second angel will sound
          his trump and reveal the secret acts of men and the thoughts and
          intents of their hearts during the second thousand years, and so
          on down to the last thousand years, even until it shall be
          declared that time shall be no longer, and the secret acts of all
          men in all the ages shall be brought to light. My brethren and
          sisters, let that be a caution to you and to me. When we went
          down into the waters of baptism and were immersed by the servants
          of God having authority to administer that ordinance for the
          remission of sins, though our sins were as scarlet they were
          washed whiter than snow; and we came forth from the water clean
          and pure, cleansed by the blood of Christ from all sin. But since
          that time the acts we have performed will have their effect upon
          us for good or for evil, and we shall be accountable for them
          when we stand before the bar of God. They will be seen and known
          of all; they are written in the books out of which we are to be
          judged, and every man's acts are stamped upon his own being, in
          characters that will speak for themselves, in the day when we
          shall see as we are seen and know as we are known.
          Then let us try and do right for the sake of the right, live in
          the light of the spirit, see eye to eye, and prove ourselves
          worthy of the great salvation; and may God help us to do, in the
          name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / George
          Q. Cannon, September 24th, 1882
                       George Q. Cannon, September 24th, 1882
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                       Sunday Afternoon, September 24th, 1882.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                    MARRIAGE NOT
                                      EFFECT OF
          I am thankful this day for the peaceful circumstances that
          surround us. I am thankful that throughout these mountain valleys
          a goodly degree of liberty prevails, and that the people are able
          to meet to worship God without molestation or fear. The saying of
          the Savior is exceedingly applicable wherein He taught His
          disciples that sufficient to the day is the evil thereof. If we
          Latter-day Saints did not enjoy the present and lived in
          anticipation of the dreaded future, I imagine that we should be a
          very unhappy people, for there never has been a day, or at least
          a period in our history when, so far as threats were concerned,
          the future--if we look at it naturally, from men's
          standpoint--did not look forbidding. But we have proved that
          dreaded evils, when met courageously and with an undaunted
          spirit, generally vanish.
          We are in an excellent position to-day, as we have been at many
          times in the past, to have our faith tested to the proof, to see
          whether we really have faith in God or not. The idea generally
          prevails among those who are not familiar with us and with our
          methods of preaching and teaching, that in order to gather the
          people together from the various nations the Elders of this
          Church hold out extraordinary inducements to their converts,
          telling them flattering tales about the life that they will lead
          if they will only gather to Utah; and by these means they are
          successful in beguiling the ignorant and unsuspecting, inducing
          them to forsake their homes and connections. But those who have
          been familiar with the teachings of the Elders of the Church know
          that the very opposite of this has been the course and the style
          of the teaching adopted by those who have faithfully preached
          this Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth. From the beginning
          we have been taught to expect that our adherence to this Gospel
          might cost us everything that was near and dear to us upon the
          earth; that God designed to have a tried people, a people that
          should be tested to the very utmost, that should be felt after in
          the most trying manner, a people that would be willing to pass
          through and endure faithfully the most severe ordeals. And up to
          the present time those who have entered this Church, who have
          espoused the doctrines taught by the servants of God, have not
          been disappointed. It is true that in many respects the faithful
          people of God have had a much better time, have enjoyed
          circumstances that have been more pleasant and prosperous than
          they were led to expect; but this has been because they have had
          the faith to overlook the evils by which they were threatened,
          and attached no importance to them, and did not allow them to
          disturb their peace or to annoy them in any manner. For [ it] had
          not been for faith, the faith that God planted in the hearts of
          those who espoused the truth, it would have been impossible for
          them to have endured; they would have been so frightened that
          they never could have remained faithful to this work. And one of
          the most striking evidences that this people offer to the world
          of the divinity of this work, which the world opprobriously call
          "Mormonism," is the fact that in the midst of the most severe
          trials and persecutions, surrounded by circumstances that in some
          respects have been the most threatening in their character, the
          people of God have remained true and faithful, united and
          One by one the falsehoods that are propagated concerning us are
          exposed. The idea has been industriously circulated, printed and
          published, that the people throughout the valleys of Utah were
          only held together by the strength of superstition and delusion;
          that the few cunning men who had succeeded in gaining power and
          place among them, by their shrewdness and by the cunning arts,
          had succeeded in duping the people and holding them together. I
          do not suppose that any single idea has been more widely
          circulated concerning us than this; and I do not suppose that any
          other idea is more widely believed about us than this.
          The great majority of people who do not understand by actual
          contact with us, or who take no pains to investigate our
          doctrines, imagine that it is by this means that the Latter-day
          Saints have been gathered together and held in these mountains.
          Why, it is not 20 years ago that one of the stories most
          frequently circulated, published and dwelt upon, upon the
          platform and in the public press, was that no man or woman could
          leaven Utah without the consent of President Brigham Young; that
          no man or woman could write a letter from Utah Territory without
          it being inspected by him; that we lived here in a condition of
          terror imposed upon us by President Young and those who were
          immediately associated with him; and that if a man or woman
          attempted to leaven, especially if he or she had left the faith,
          he would be followed by destroying angels, and that if he escaped
          at all it would be at the risk of his life and probably the
          entire loss of all that he owned. So firmly had this idea
          obtained possession of many minds that to-day it forms the staple
          of two or three dramas that are played upon the stage and that
          receive considerable patronage east and west.
          When Albert Sidney Johnson came here with the army in 1857-8, the
          popular idea was, that as soon as the troops reached this valley
          there would be a complete outburst on the part of the people;
          that they would hail with unbounded joy the presence of the stars
          and stripes in the midst, and that women by hundreds would leave
          the bondage in which they were supposed to be living.
          Now, as I have said, one by one we have proved the falsity of
          these statements. But does this misrepresentation and slander
          concerning us cease? Not in the least. The manufacture still
          continues. Every conceivable slander is manufactured and put in
          circulation. No sooner is one lie nailed to the counter than
          another is started and passes current, until there are many
          people who scarcely know what to think, they having such
          exaggerated ideas concerning the people of Utah Territory.
          The railroad has done us an immense amount of good in making us
          better known. The travel to and fro across the continent,
          together with the travel throughout these valleys north and
          south, east and west, has had the same effect. But with increased
          knowledge there has come an increased dread. A feeling has taken
          possession of a great many minds that we are a people greatly to
          be dreaded. This brings to my mind a remark made by a man whose
          name you are familiar with, he having taken a very prominent part
          in the discussion of our case in Congress, in the House of
          Representatives, a representative by the name of Haskell, a sort
          of half preacher. One day in conversation with me, at the time
          the Edmunds' bill was being discussed, he remarked: "I have had
          occasion, Mr. Cannon, to examine Catholicism and am somewhat
          familiar with the Roman Catholic organization. I have also paid
          some attention to the organization of your Church. I think it the
          strongest and most magnificent organization that exists at the
          present time in Christendom, or within the range of my
          knowledge--where did you get it?"
          It was no feeling of admiration that prompted these remarks. He
          followed them up by stating that the time would come, if this
          legislation did not answer, when the army would be brought to
          bear upon us and our organization would be wiped out in blood.
          You see the feeling he had was one of dread, of apprehension.
          Instead of viewing this organization in its true light he looked
          upon it as an engine of evil that would be likely to accomplish
          dreadful results, that was in antagonism to existing
          institutions, and that would have to be put down by such law as
          the Edmunds' law, or if such legislation failed, then by the
          strong arm of the military, by the use of weapons of war and the
          shedding of blood. That is the feeling that some men have
          concerning us. In the course of our conversation I invited him to
          come out to Utah. "Come out," said I, "and know what you are
          talking about; you have ideas about us which are entirely
          incorrect. If you will travel through our valleys, as I will
          furnish you opportunities to do, if you will come out, I will
          give you letters of introduction which will enable you to see our
          people at their homes, and if you are a fair man, a man disposed
          to accept the evidence of your own senses, you will change your
          views concerning the people I represent.
          There are men who make use of us to gain favor with the ignorant
          and with those who have strong religious prejudices and but
          little knowledge concerning us. There are men who seek to gain
          popular approval in this way, and instead of telling the truth,
          or being willing that the truth should be told and known, they
          are ever willing to have every kind of story propagated however
          false it may be. Will there be any change in this respect? We
          have been looking for it for the past 52 years, ever since the
          Church was organized, but that change has not come. As I have
          said, as soon as one slander has been disproved, another has been
          put in circulation. There is no end, neither will there be to the
          falsehoods that will be told and circulated concerning us. It may
          be asked: Why is this? For the best of all reasons, that whenever
          God has attempted to do anything upon the earth, from the days of
          Father Adam down through the centuries that have intervened until
          to-day, all hell has been aroused against that work and against
          those engaged in it. Even when men have had only partial truth,
          and have attempted to reform existing errors, they have had this
          opposition to contend with to a greater or less extent; and no
          great reform has ever been effected upon this earth without
          costing the best blood of the generation in which the reform was
          attempted. Our generation is no exception in this respect. Even
          in this land, under our glorious form of government, the most
          glorious ever framed by man, under which the largest amount of
          liberty is to be enjoyed--even under it, the blood of Prophets
          and Apostles has been shed and has stained the earth; and we,
          because of our religion, were obliged to flee from our homes and
          take refuge in these mountain wilds and build up new homes in
          order that we might live in peace and in quiet, unmolested by
          those who hate us.
          This is not a new thing in the earth, the antagonism between
          error and truth, between wrong and right, between the followers
          of him who seeks to usurp dominion upon the earth, and the
          followers of the Son of God. That antagonism has been a perpetual
          one, an undying one. It cost the blood of the best Being that
          ever trod the earth, even the Son of God Himself, and all His
          Apostles and all the prophets--they all, with few exceptions laid
          down their lives for the truth. And yet we talk about our
          civilization, the enlightened nineteenth century, and we say as
          did the generation in which the Savior lived: "If we had lived in
          the days of our fathers, we would not have slain the Prophets, we
          would not have been guilty of shedding their blood." This was the
          cry of the generation in which the Savior lived, yet that same
          generation crucified Him in the most ignominious manner.
          Now, it has been said to us--and I cannot tell how many times I
          have been told it--"if you 'Mormons' would only do away with some
          of your doctrines that are so objectionable, there would be no
          trouble." I have had men speak to me in this strain whose opinion
          I respect very highly, who were friendly, who were kindly
          disposed, who were anxious to have these difficulties settled,
          and to have us escape the evils with which they believed we were
          threatened and might perhaps be overwhelmed. It is not many days
          since a prominent man said to me, "Why, Mr. Cannon, there are
          fifty millions of people that are opposed to you. Now cannot you
          waive some of your peculiarities. If you will say that you will
          do this this year, or next year, or within a certain period,
          while I am not authorized to speak for the government, yet I can
          say there need be no trouble about your affairs."
          Now, I have not a single doubt in my mind that there are
          thousands of well-meaning people, who would like to see us enjoy
          peace in these valleys, and enjoy the land, which we have
          reclaimed at so much toil and sacrifice from a wilderness,
          undisturbed by outside influences. They firmly believe that this
          is attainable if we only would forego some of our peculiarities.
          There never was a greater mistake, never a more mistaken idea
          entertained by anybody. How do we know it? By the sad and bitter
          experience of the past. It is true if we were to apostatize; if
          we were to renounce our religion; if we were to put aside that
          which we believe God has entrusted to us and commanded us to
          impart to the world, I do not doubt but what we would get along
          so far as the world is concerned, without the antagonism that we
          now have. But, then, who can do this? If a choice has to be made,
          as it would have to be made by us, of rejecting salvation on the
          one hand, and accepting peace and favor with the world on the
          other, who is there that is prepared to make that exchange? But
          friends have said to me, "O, you make a mistake when you think
          that we ask you to renounce your religion."
          Now, there is something more than marriage as a point of attack
          that rises in the minds of men in talking about this. Mr. Haskell
          expressed it. It was not plural marriage alone that was in his
          mind. It is not plural marriage alone in the minds of hundreds,
          and I may say thousands, who have examined this question. There
          is something more than this; there is something behind this,
          something that is greater than this, and that is the organization
          of the people, the union of the people, that which many men call
          the theocracy of this organization. It was that which excited the
          mob, in the earliest days of the organization. While at Far West,
          in Caldwell County, in the year 1838, the General who headed the
          militia that came out under the exterminating order of Governor
          Boggs of Missouri, in his address to the "Mormon" people said,
          "You must scatter and live like other people, and do without your
          Bishops and your Prophets and your leading men, and not listen to
          their counsel." This is not the exact language, but these are the
          ideas. In other words you must break up; we cannot endure your
          organization, your coming together and being united as you are.
          We fear you will take possession of our principal counties, and
          your political influence will be so great that in time you will
          hold control of this country; and we cannot endure it, and you
          must go. Governor Boggs' order said, if the people in a given
          period, they would be exterminated. So the people had to flee in
          the depth of winter, and cross the Mississippi into the State of
          Illinois. Now, whoever heard then of plural marriage? It was not
          practiced. It was the organization of the people that was
          objectionable; and so it was afterwards when we were compelled to
          leave Nauvoo. The mob burned our houses and killed our cattle,
          and destroyed our grain, not because of any feature of this kind,
          but because we were "Mormons," and believed in a form of religion
          that they did not believe in. So they were determined that we
          should leave there.
          And that reminds me of another falsehood that went the rounds in
          those days to justify the outrages against us. All manner of
          stories were circulated concerning our thieving; it was said that
          we were a band of thieves and robbers; that the people near
          Nauvoo and along the upper part of the Mississippi, through all
          that region of country, were living in a state of terror, so it
          was alleged, because of the proximity of the "Mormons," and it
          would be a great blessing to drive them out, for they were
          outlaws. So the mob deemed themselves justified in their outrages
          for those reasons; and public opinion was created against us
          which sustained them in killing the Prophet Joseph Smith and
          Hyrum, his brother, in shooting President Taylor, and in killing
          other men and women. And public opinion was created so
          unfavorable to the "Mormons" that other people thought, "Well,
          they are a bad lot; they deserve extirpation; we are sorry to see
          the laws trampled upon and violence restored to, but something
          must be done with these 'Mormons.'" "We must get rid of them in
          some way; and if the law cannot reach them," as was remarked by
          the mob, when Joseph had been tried and acquitted for treason,
          "powder and ball can."
          The same process is now going on. What is it that produces the
          condition of affairs that exists here to-day? It is a public
          opinion that is adverse and hostile to us which justifies the
          outrages and illiberal acts to which we are subjected. It is this
          which actuates men to trample upon the Constitution and all the
          institutions of the government. It is this which permits the
          right of representation to be stricken down and causes a Governor
          of a Territory, who is guilty of the most outrageous acts of
          tyranny, to be sustained by three administrations, and a voice
          scarcely heard in protest against it--republican government
          stricken down and the people of these mountains, without
          exception the best and most quiet people to be found within the
          confines of the republic, deprived of the right of
          I allude to this, though it is a political matter, as it comes
          appropriately within the line of my remarks. What is the cause of
          it? It is, as I have said, because God has stretched forth his
          hand to do a work in the earth, and the devil is determined that
          it shall not be done. He is determined to shed the blood of every
          man connected with it, and he puts it into the hearts of the
          children of men to hate the truth and to hate those who teach it.
          Yet there are a great many people who say there is no God and no
          devil. I would like them to explain why we have suffered as we
          have; why it is that a people who, were it not for their
          religion, ought to be applauded for what we have done in these
          mountains, are treated as we are treated. When we had the control
          of these valleys, from one end of the land to the other, from
          north to south, drunkenness was unknown; a woman might then have
          traveled our streets and our highways, even to the most remote
          parts of our Territory; and never hear a word of disrespect,
          never witness a gesture that would cause her to blush; she could
          travel in perfect peace and safety throughout all our cities and
          settlements. Robbery was unknown, and human life was sacred. So
          with property. Peace reigned in our borders. We look back to it
          now--I do, I look back to those days and contrast them with the
          present, and ask myself, How long is this condition of things to
          continue? We could leave our doors unlocked; no one thought of
          thieves. Virtue was cherished, and a man who would be guilty of
          unvirtuous acts was denounced. And such industry as we
          practiced--and it is no boasting to say so--was unparalleled. We
          dwelt here in peace--people from various nations speaking various
          languages, of various modes of thought, and various educations,
          living here in peace and quiet, each man pursuing his own course
          unmolested by his neighbors. This was the condition of our
          Territory. It might be thought that a people thus living, living
          in a country that no other people could possibly covet, that is
          so far as agricultural interests, the pursuits we follow mainly
          in Utah, were concerned--it might be thought that such a people
          might be left unmolested to enjoy the fruits of their industry
          and toil.
          We did not touch the mines, for we knew if we opened them and
          embarked in mining that they would be coveted by others, and
          therefore it has not been our policy to touch mines. In the
          beginning it would have been a most unwise policy to have done
          this; it would have unsettled us, and instead of spending our
          time in raising the food necessary to sustain life we would have
          been prospecting in the mountains, hunting for the precious
          metals. But when the railroad was finished and it was then
          possible to obtain supplies from other places if we ran short, it
          was even then impolitic for us to take up mines from the fact
          that if we had obtained rich mines we could not have hoped to
          have held them; they would have been coveted, and in the courts
          the probabilities are we should not have stood as good a chance
          as other people.
          If you think, my brethren and sisters, that we are to be
          unmolested and left free from attack, you are deceiving
          yourselves. It is not written in the heavens above, or in the
          earth beneath; just as sure as we live we shall have opposition,
          persecution and violence to contend with. God has stretched forth
          His hand to establish a power in the earth. That power has
          excited antagonism in the past; it excites antagonism to-day, and
          it will continue to excite antagonism to the end, until God
          reigns, and the inhabitants of the earth bow to His sceptre. This
          book (the Bible) is full of predictions concerning it. All the
          prophets who have ever spoken concerning the last days have
          foretold that God would do a mighty work in the last days; and he
          is doing it.
          "Well," says one, "Do a handful of people like you expect to
          revolutionize the earth and accomplish these results?" Yes, we
          expect it; we believe it with all our hearts; we labor for it; we
          teach it to our children. We would make this country a peaceful,
          a delightful place for people to reside; we would make this union
          of which I have spoken possible in these valleys; and if our
          principles were extended over the earth, they would make the
          earth in the same condition. I thank God with all my heart that
          there is such a work going on. When I hear of people coming from
          remote lands, impelled by their faith, who have heard the
          preaching of the Elders who have gone forth in their weakness,
          and in many instances, yes, in the most of instances, in their
          scholastic ignorance, to proclaim the Gospel--when I see the
          wonderful results of their preaching, men and women from foreign
          lands with the testimony of God in their hearts, that this is His
          work, which they have received through repentance and being
          baptized by a man having the authority, each man testifying in
          his own language--the Scandinavian, the German, the French, the
          British, the people of far of Africa and of the islands of the
          sea, and the various countries where our Elders have gone, all
          flocking together like doves to their master's windows, many of
          them never having seen an Elder from Utah, but having heard men
          who had the authority to teach this Gospel--all coming from the
          various points of the compass, testifying in all humility and in
          the name of Jesus, that God has given unto them a knowledge of
          the truth--when I see these things my heart is filled with
          gladness and thanksgiving. I thank God that my lot has been cast
          in these valleys; that we live in a day when God is doing so
          mighty a work; when He is gathering His people together; when He
          is pouring out upon them the spirit of union, for that is the
          spirit of the Gospel. Jesus in his last prayer adds: "Neither
          pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on
          me through their word; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father,
          art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; that
          the world may believe that Thou has sent me." He prayed for them
          all, that they might be one with Him as He was one with the
          Father; that the same union, that the same love might be in their
          hearts. The Latter-day Saints are an unlettered people, far from
          being what we hope they will be; but they are an honest people,
          honest enough to embrace the truth when they hear it; honest
          enough to forsake houses and lands and homes, and everything that
          men hold dear in this life, for the sake of the Gospel as they
          believe it. It requires moral courage to be "Mormons," to take
          upon them the opprobrium of the world, to know that it may cost
          their lives before they get through with it, and it requires the
          power of God to be with men and women to enable them to do this.
          And I thank God that He has found such, here a few and there a
          few. In the various nations where the Elders have gone they have
          found them, God directs them to them, and they come; and their
          children will inherit the earth and they will be intelligent and
          they will become a great people. For they will possess all the
          virtues which constitute true greatness among men. I have no
          fears in my own mind for this people. When I have been spoken to
          as to the effect of this legislation, I have remarked that such a
          people as are in Utah Territory cannot be crushed out by adverse
          legislation. They will endure an immense amount. You take a
          people who are united; who are industrious, who are frugal, who
          are acquainted with hardship, who have endured persecution in the
          past and are familiar with it and expect it, you take such a
          people, having in their hearts the love of God and the love of
          each other, believing that the best expression they can give of
          the love of God is to love their neighbor as themselves; a people
          of that kind cannot be crushed. They are bound to live upon the
          earth in the struggle for existence; bound to have their place
          among mankind; they are perfectly fitted to survive any struggle
          or any condition that may be brought upon them.
          As for this legislation, I want to say to you, that in some
          respects I am thankful for it. Let persecution come if it will
          have a good effect. And as for the rules which have been made by
          the Commissioners, as I stated myself personally, to those
          gentlemen, I disagree with their construction of the law, and I
          think the rules are wrong; nevertheless, I am thankful they have
          made them in their present form. Brethren have said to me: Cannot
          we represent to the Commissioners how wrong and unjust those
          rules are, and endeavor to have them changed so as to make them
          applicable to the people out of, as well as those in the marriage
          relations? I told them, Yes; try it if you wish; and if you can
          effect a change, all right; but in my own heart I am thankful
          that the Rules have been made as they are. They are made
          applicable to all--those who have never broken any law; as well
          as those who have. There is no distinction between those who
          entered into plural marriage before and those who entered into
          the state after 1862. Until the law of 1862 was passed, you
          should understand, there was no law of the United States, no law
          of this Territory, that made plural marriage a crime. You ought
          to understand this, and I have not doubt you do understand the
          difference between that which is a crime in and of itself, per
          se, and that which is made a crime by statute. Plural marriage is
          not a crime in and of itself, it is malum prohibitum, made so by
          a law, and that law was enacted in 1862. Now unless legislation
          is made ex post facto persons who married prior to 1862 violated
          no law; but the rules as they have been enforced exclude these
          people from registration; they exclude even a wife whose husband
          took plural wives prior to 1862. Most extraordinary ruling. But I
          have been thankful for it. Why? Because it puts us all in the
          same boat and does not divide us. A better plan could not have
          been devised to make us one than the ruling they have made in
          regard to those "in the marriage relation." There are hundreds of
          people who can take that oath that if those words were not in it
          could not take it. They can register because of these four words.
          They can walk up boldly and take that oath that they have done
          nothing of the kind "in the marriage relation." I am thankful
          that is the case. Why? I should feel extremely bad, I think, if
          we were reduced to the level of those who have violated the laws
          of God and of man. We have violated, some of us, the laws of man,
          but we have not in our faithfulness violated the laws of God. We
          are sincere in our belief; and give me a fanatic any time in
          preference to a scoundrel. I can tolerate a fanatic who does what
          he believes to be right; but I have no sympathy for a man or
          woman who commits an act knowing it to be wrong. We have been
          excluded from registering because we have done something enjoined
          upon us by the Lord; but men who have done things knowing them to
          be wrong, who have acted contrary to the laws of God and of man,
          men and women both, can take the oath and register.
          Well, I am glad of it; I am glad I am not in that category; I do
          not want to be in that crowd. I want to be able to say, as I can
          say, that because of my religion, because of my doing that which
          I believe I should be damned if I did not do I have been
          disfranchised. I believe with all my heart that God gave a
          command of that kind, and it rested with such power upon me that
          I believed I would be damned if I did not obey it. Now, I am
          willing to take the consequences of that; but I would hate to be
          put on a level with every adulterer and seducer in the land; and
          I am not by the ruling of the commissioners. There is a sharp,
          well defined line of demarcation drawn between the Latter-day
          Saints, who practice plural marriage because of their religion,
          and the adulterer and seducer.
          I see the hand of the Lord in it all, and I acknowledge it. God
          is overruling and will overrule these things for our good. He
          will test us, He will prove us, and if there is a weak spot in us
          that is not seen He will find it out. We expect to attain to the
          glory that Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, has attained to. We
          pray for it, we have striven for it, that we might be counted
          worthy to sit down at the right hand of God, our Eternal Father;
          be counted worthy to dwell with Jesus in the eternal worlds, and
          with the holy ones who have gone before, with men whose blood has
          been shed, who have not counted their lives dear because of their
          religion--we expect to be with them. Can you imagine, then, for
          one moment that we can attain unto that glory unless we, like
          them, are willing to endure all things for the sake of the
          Now, the world thinks this is a very strange practice for a
          religion; they wonder at it; they cannot understand it. Yet, let
          any man look abroad in the earth and see the floodtide of
          corruption, the evils under which mankind groan in the various
          nations of Christendom, as also the division and strife that
          exist in all religious matters. Marriage and morals rightfully
          belong to religion and are part of it. Go out into the world and
          ask the ministers of religion: "What shall I do to be saved?" One
          will tell you one thing and another another thing, each man
          walking his own road, every congregation divided from its fellow
          congregation--strife and confusion of every kind amongst those
          professing to be the followers of Jesus Christ. But I have often
          thought, when I have been traveling in the world and seen the
          spirit that is manifested, that if I had no other hope than that
          which I see all around me, I would not care to have a family, I
          would not care to have children, there would be so little to live
          for; men seeking to take advantage of their fellow men in every
          possible way; men seeking to destroy their fellow men; professors
          of religion having none of the spirit that the Bible teaches us
          is the Spirit of God. I never go from home without turning my
          face towards these valleys, and the people of these mountains,
          and without a profound feeling of thankfulness to God that my lot
          has been cast among this people, with all their faults, and they
          are numerous, and with all my faults, and they are numerous. We
          have a love for each other and are striving to overcome our
          faults and to cultivate that love which belongs to the gospel of
          Jesus Christ.
          Now, let us be patient. As I said to some friends whom I met
          yesterday, I never felt happier in my life than I do at the
          present time. True, I have had to endure domestic affliction,
          which has made me sorrowful. Yet I am gladdened by the hopes I
          have for the future, and I can truly say I never felt happier
          among our people than I do now. All is peace; God is with us, His
          angels are around about us, and His Holy Spirit is being poured
          out upon us. I do not know that the sun is any less bright, that
          the moon is any the less clear, that the elements are any less
          pure and delightful than they were twelve months ago. Our grain,
          our vegetables, our fruits, all ripen, the earth yields of its
          strength and gives us of its increase for our good. Peace reigns
          in our habitations; peace reigns in the hearts of the people. We
          know that God overrules all, and that He will control all things
          for His glory, and for the accomplishment of His purposes. Why,
          then, should we be sad? Why should we mourn? Why should we dread
          the future? Why should we anticipate that which will never occur?
          There is no need for it. Let us enjoy to-day. Let us rejoice
          to-day in the goodness of God, and when to-morrow comes it will
          be laden with blessings as to-day is. And so it will be every day
          and every week and every year until we are ushered into the
          fullness of the glory of our God.
          I have not had the opportunity before of thanking you for your
          faith and good feelings towards me while I have been gone. I can
          assure you, my brethren and sisters, I have appreciated them. Men
          have said to me, in view of that which we are passing through,
          and the bitter feeling manifested towards us--How cheerful you
          seem to be! I replied that I had cause to be cheerful; that there
          was not a man on the floor of Congress that had more cause for
          cheerfulness than I had. Behind me stood my constituents in solid
          columns, giving me their support and kind feelings and love. And
          I have several times said, that from almost every habitation in
          Utah, from north to south, where Latter-day Saints dwell, I knew
          that prayers to Almighty God ascended morning and evening, not
          from men alone but from women and children, in my behalf. I knew
          that, and it gave me great comfort; yea, indescribable comfort. I
          thank you for your kind feelings, as I do all my brethren and
          I pray God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon you; to preserve you
          from every evil; to keep you in the truth; to cause you to love
          it more than anything else in the earth, and to follow it even to
          the end, which I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Moses
          Thatcher, April 7th, 1883
                           Moses Thatcher, April 7th, 1883
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER MOSES THATCHER,
             Delivered in the Large Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Saturday
                     at the Annual Conference, April 7th, 1883.
          I feel very grateful indeed for the happy and peaceful
          circumstances with which we are surrounded this day, and I cannot
          help realizing how different they are to those which surrounded
          us a year ago. The pressure from the outside world at that time
          was very great, and the power of him who has been an oppressor
          from the beginning was exercised throughout this nation for the
          hurt of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But when
          perils have threatened we have learned to appeal to the invisible
          forces of heaven against the visible forces of earth, and in no
          failed to succeed if those who maintained it were directed,
          sustained and upheld by the power of God our eternal Father. When
          men make it their special mission to contend against this great
          work, they do not realize that God is a power, they cannot
          comprehend that exercise of faith that turns aside the shafts of
          our enemies and delivers us from the snares which shrewd
          politicians and wicked and ungodly priests lay to entrap the
          people. How well I recollect a conversation I had about a year
          ago, with a very thoughtful man, a man connected with the Church,
          but who at times is given to view things from the natural
          standpoint. It was shortly after the arrival of the Commissioners
          who came to Utah to administer the provisions of the Edmunds'
          law. This brother was not ignorant of the exertions which has
          been made throughout the Union to secure the enactment of that
          and other proscriptive measures, nor was he ignorant of the
          intent of leading politicians in the Republican party to forge
          chains with which to bind us, while depriving us of our
          liberties. He understood full well the means which had been used;
          he was not ignorant of the fearful waves of prejudice which had
          swept every State in the Union. Realizing what the intentions of
          the wicked were, and understanding the mighty power of a mighty
          nation, he felt exercised and desired to know if something could
          not be done to compromise the question; in other words; if it was
          not possible to submit to the President and Cabinet certain
          propositions by which the people might be enabled to maintain
          their rights and liberties. I have not forgotten what my
          reflections were while listening to his remarks, and I remember
          the reply which I was led to make. It was this: We had been
          gathered from the nations of the earth. We came to these
          mountains to serve God without respect to the thoughts or
          suffrages of other people. We came here to maintain liberty of
          conscience and freedom of worship, the provisions of the
          Constitution of our common country, and not to compromise them
          upon any terms whatever; that I knew of no earthly wisdom upon
          which we could safely rely in maintaining those rights; that if
          the religious, political and social affairs of the people were
          given over to the management of a hundred of the wisest
          uninspired men to be found in Zion, they would utterly fail to
          accomplish the purposes of God, though they might in their
          efforts to please man, sacrifice liberty and the freedom of
          conscience, violate the sacred provisions of the Constitution,
          and make those whom they sought to serve pliant slaves, unworthy
          of the blessings which of right belong to a free people; that the
          adoption of such a policy would, within six months, place us in
          such a condition of confusion and misery that God alone could
          relieve our distress; that if, on the other hand, we would
          exercise faith in Him, live our religion, be prayerful and
          humble, He would bring us off, as He has done many times before,
          victorious. Can we not see how the Lord has stayed the passions
          of men and made their wrath to praise Him? Let us reflect upon
          the difference between the power exercised by the great leading
          light of the Republican party during the passage of the Edmunds'
          bill in the Senate of the United States a little over a year ago,
          and the exercise of the influence of the same man a year later.
          Senator Edmunds, when he first called up his bill was, in the
          Senate, almost supreme. By the power of his intellect and the
          fierce invective of his tongue, he ruled, as it were, absolute
          master, and his bill unconstitutional and unjust, passed the
          Senate with but little opposition. Few statesmen cared then to
          measure arms with him, but mark the results when God did so a
          year later.
          Had the faith of this people changed? Did we believe more in the
          laws of God in March, 1882, than we did in March 1883? Certainly
          not. Why then was Senator Edmunds unable to carry out his views
          and measures regarding this people in the latter as he had
          succeeded in doing in the former year? Because God is a force in
          the world and its affairs, whether men acknowledge it or not. His
          power always has been, and always will be greater than man's
          Men may think what they please and sneer at what they may be
          pleased to call fanaticism, but this I know, shame and confusion
          was the part of Senator Edmunds when, after six hours vain
          endeavor to force the passage of another infamous measure against
          us, he stood up in the Senate and confessed that he could see by
          the ruling of the presiding officer, and by the votes of his
          opponents, that it was impossible to carry the measure which he
          had in hand, and therefore moved for an adjournment. Was his
          defeat, chagrin and shame accomplished by the wisdom of man? We
          think not. We at least are willing, as we always have been, to
          acknowledge the hand of God in these things. God not only holds
          the destinies of nations in His hands, but He holds also the
          destiny of individual man. He can humble those who measure arms
          with Him, as He has done many times in the past. We fear not the
          power, nor do we gloat over the fall of man, public or private,
          but we have learned by experience that when they rise up and
          contend against this people and the principles of liberty and
          right, God marks them, and their course thenceforth is not upward
          but downward. In March, 1882, when in Washington, D. C., in
          company with other brethren, visiting Brother George Q. Cannon,
          then our honored delegate, I remember the sentiments expressed by
          some members of the Republican party. They would come privately
          and say: "We view this bill--referring to the Edmunds' bill--as
          infamous in its measures; we can see that it is unconstitutional,
          that it seeks to rob a whole people of their political rights.
          But our profession is that of politics; we have no other
          business, and numerous petitions are coming here daily from our
          constituents, praying us, commanding us, to pass some law for the
          suppression of "Mormonism." Now what shall we do? If we comply
          not with their demands our constituents will, at future
          elections, reject us at the polls." Was not a similar argument
          used by the Jews, when they said, "If we let him thus alone, all
          men will believe in him, and the Romans shall come and take away
          our place and nation?" Fearing that, they crucified him, and what
          was the result? The very thing they sought to save was that which
          was speedily lost. When weighed in the balance they were found
          corrupt, cruel, vindictive, murderous; unable to maintain
          principle, defend justice, or do what they knew to be right. A
          disposition to oppress swayed their hearts and tyranny marked
          their actions to such an extent, that God rejected them as a
          people, scattered to the four winds and made of them, in the
          midst of nations, a hiss and by word.
          In this connection let any one who feels disposed, take the pains
          and trouble to look over the Congressional Record and see how
          those who were willing to sacrifice principle at the shrine of
          everything that was wrong, willing to sacrifice the liberties of
          a people poor and oppressed, examine and see how many of that
          character have been returned. Have not more than fifty per cent
          of them been rejected at the polls? Ask the democrats how this
          has come about, and why it has come about, and they cannot tell
          you. Ask the Republicans and they cannot tell you. But ask God,
          who holds the destinies of nations and peoples in His hand, and
          He can tell you. On the other hand examine the record of those
          who fearlessly stood up in defense of Constitutional liberty,
          maintained inviolate their oath of office, sustained the right,
          and were true to themselves. They too felt the pressure of
          priestly inflamed public sentiment, but bowed not to its
          tyrannical demands. They too realized the dangers and perils that
          might beset their efforts for future recognition at the polls,
          but having moral courage they planted themselves on principle,
          not prejudice, and their constituents, in a great measure, have
          endorsed their policy and sustained their heroic conduct. If I
          have been correctly informed, a much great percentage of those
          who sustained right on the "Mormon" question in the 47th, have
          been returned to the 48th Congress, than of those who pursued the
          opposite policy. We should entertain no fear of men or nations,
          for they cannot prevent the Almighty from accomplishing His
          purposes, or bringing to pass His decrees. History, so far as I
          have been able to trace, no where records success gained by
          hatred and persecution over men pledged to principle, justice and
          Mens' convictions, religious beliefs and just religious practices
          cannot be persecuted out of them. The nearest approach to success
          in this direction was, perhaps, the massacre of St. Bartholomew
          in France, wherein seventy thousand defenceless Huguenots
          perished miserably, victims of the malice and cruelty of Roman
          That shocking butchery of men, women and children was acquiesced
          in by Charles IX, then King of France, and when his ally Philip
          III, of Spain heard of it he laughed, the only time he was known
          to laugh in his life. The Pope of Rome illuminated the eternal
          city, caused medals to be struck off, mass to be performed, and
          named Charles "the defender of the faith," in commemoration of
          those horrid deeds of blood and misery.
          Notwithstanding the Pontifical approval bestowed upon the king
          for that seventy thousand-fold murder he was till his death daily
          and nightly haunted by the thought of his victims until his
          misery and remorse caused, it is said, drops of blood to ooze
          through the pores of his skin. Through these cruelties the
          Huguenots received a fearful shock, but the consciousness of men
          continued to assert independence and the right to worship God
          untrammeled continued to grow. The freedom we now enjoy is but
          the fruit of the struggle for right, which persecution ultimately
          solidified, united and made strong in the broad, deep foundations
          of the freest nation on earth; thereby preparing the way for the
          mission of Joseph the Prophet. Much improvement had been made,
          but in religious matters Joseph found the people insincere, and
          the practices of the Christian world inconsistent and unsound.
          Guided by the light of heaven he struck a death blow at the
          idolatrous worship of a bodiless, passionless God, which the
          teachings of false priests had erected in the imagination of the
          people. In doing so he disturbed a sea of malice which since has
          known no rest. But though that angry sea may roll fierce billows
          of persecution, skepticism, infidelity and priestly hypocrisy
          must yield, for Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Almighty came as
          a forerunner and teacher of true faith in God that cannot be
          conquered; it will prevail. God's kingdom will rise and shine.
          They say we are endeavoring to establish a theocratic government.
          What is theocracy? The kingdom and government of God. Who will
          contend against it--will the Latter-day Saints? No. It is our
          duty to contend for it, and to assist to build it up. It is a
          government of purity. It is a government of the people, and for
          the people; it maintains liberty and right, and is always opposed
          to oppression and misrule. I would like to dwell upon the
          subject, but time will not permit, as I desire to touch upon
          another at present, of deep interest to us.
          We have been called out from the nations of the earth to serve
          the Lord. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers
          of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." In this
          connection I desire to touch upon a few practices existing among
          us that are not pleasing in the sight of God. Intemperance is one
          of them; the use of alcohol, the use of intoxicating drinks that
          fevers the blood and maddens the brain, incites to sin, debases
          man, destroys his better judgment, drives the Spirit of God from
          his heart, and renders the daughters of Zion unsafe in his
          company. What is the condition of the Christian nations in this
          respect to-day? Two hundred thousand men and women crowd the
          poorhouses, prisons and asylums of Great Britain alone.
          Seventy-five per cent of them the wretched victims of alcoholism.
          Can we think a business legitimate and honorable that deprives a
          hundred and fifty thousand men and women of comfortable homes,
          drives them wild, and sends them as driveling idiots and paupers
          to the asylums and jails of a Christian nation, which derives a
          revenue from the liquor traffic of $150,000,000 per annum, and
          finds even that enormous sum inadequate to meet the expenses
          entailed by reasons of its use? We cannot consistently so
          consider it.
          Aside from the debauchery, misery, ruin and death caused by the
          use of intoxicants, the waste in Great Britain is simply
          startling. Seventy-five million bushels of grain--equal at our
          present rate of production to what Utah would yield in forty
          years--is annually consumed in the manufacture of liquors there.
          The inhabitants of Britain expend yearly for intoxicating drinks
          over $640,000,000. During the past seven years they have expended
          for the same purpose more than sufficient to cancel their
          national debt, or build a new house for every family in the
          kingdom, and school-houses in which to educate all their
          Had the money expended there for liquor during the past half
          century been invested in five per cent interests bearing
          securities, it would now be equal to the entire capitalized
          wealth of the nation, including her cities, railroads, ships,
          factories, mines, farms, fields and gardens. And yet in view of
          these figures, taken from parliamentary returns we hear of the
          cry of want and complaints of oppression. Do the people not
          oppress themselves in the use--excessive use of things that
          weaken and corrupt their bodies and darken their minds?
          Is the condition of our own nation in this regard much better?
          But little if any. In 1882, according to official reports, the
          people of the United States paid nearly twice as much for liquor
          as they did for bread. More than the entire value of the products
          of all our woolen, cotton, boot and shoe factories. An amount
          equal to seventy per cent of the wages earned in all the
          manufacturing institutions of the country, during the same
          period. Three hundred millions of dollars, more than was paid for
          Governmental, state, territorial, county, city and school taxes
          combined. Enough to school the children of a nation numbering
          300,000,000, or six times as numerous as ours for the same year.
          The nation consumes in liquor the value of all the public and
          private libraries of the country every sixty days, and spends
          annually nine times as much for drink as for printing and
          Now what can we say for the people of Utah? In the main they are
          temperate, but there is room for much improvement. Here, I have
          no means for acquiring exact knowledge from statistics, but I
          venture the assertion that more money is spent even in Utah for
          alcohol than is expended for the education of our children, or
          the support of the Territorial government. Do we not expend more
          means in the purchase of stimulants than we pay to sustain the
          Church and Kingdom of God on earth? And in doing so are we not,
          though perhaps thoughtlessly, undermining the virtue of our boys,
          and the chastity of our girls? Do not inebriates and harlots
          usually go hand in hand, and saloons and houses of ill repute
          grow up side by side?
          Had we the means of ascertaining the facts I am satisfied we
          should find that nine out of every ten cases of the lapse of
          virtue among us, could be traced to the use and influence of
          liquor of some kind. I am led to this conclusion by positive
          knowledge in a few sad cases that have come under my personal
          observation. Again, the love of liquor is transmissible. No man,
          therefore, can be a true servant of God while entailing
          misfortune and misery--perhaps decrepitude and idiocy upon his
          posterity. If any among us cannot control their appetite for
          drink, at least let them not transmit their thirst as a heritage
          to their children, who should be begotten in purity and brought
          forth untrammeled by unnatural and debasing appetites that tend
          to the lust of the flesh. A man addicted to intemperance cannot
          subject himself to the will of God, nor can he govern his
          passions to the sanctification of his body, failing in which he
          cannot reasonably expect to govern others in righteousness for
          their salvation. How then, are such worthy to stand at the head
          of families in Zion? To me few sights are more painful than to
          see a sorrow stricken wife bending over the wash tub and working
          like a slave to support herself and children; and perhaps her
          drunken husband, who warms his miserable useless body on the
          sunny side of walls frequented by others of his kind. If we could
          gaze through the sorrowful eyes down into the painstricken hearts
          of such wives--and there are some even in Zion of that kind--we
          should hardly find a blessing there for those who lift the
          tempting cups to the lips of their fallen husbands. It is true
          the liquor traffic, among Christians, is regulated by law and
          disposed of generally under license, but that does not make it an
          honorable business, nor does it in any way, so far as I can see,
          restrict the evils that follow its use. To regulate and license
          the manufacture and indiscriminate sale of whisky may, in some
          places, be a necessary and unavoidable evil, but such laws as
          moral and reformatory agencies have certainly proven failures.
          The poor, half-starved children, depraved men, and ruined women
          that nightly visit the gin palaces of London, Liverpool, New
          York, Chicago, and other great cities, speak unmistakably of
          failure. The crowded prisons, poor-houses, insane asylums,
          testify of failure. The gambler who resorts to forgery as a means
          with which to retrieve his fortune, the sot that wallows in the
          gutter and blasphemes the name of God, the raving maniac whose
          reason drink has dethroned, the murderer who took the life of his
          brother while intoxicated and dies with a curse upon his lips as
          he falls through the trap of the gallows, all testify of the woe,
          utter failure and irreparable ruin wrought by the use of alcohol,
          made easy of access by the regulations of law.
          Let me, in the name of the Lord, urge the Saints to abstain from
          its use. It weakens the body and impairs the mind. When the
          highest order of physical excellence is required, science
          interdicts its use. Men trained for great bodily effort and long
          endurance are forced to be temperate or be defeated. Those who
          compete for collegiate or literary honors understand the value of
          temperance. In view of these facts, the Elder, High Priest or
          Seventy who is addicted to the use of liquor, is unfit to perform
          the labors which God requires of him. Is it possible that we as
          Elders of Israel, at home and abroad, cannot see the results of
          these things? Do we not know that like begets like? Do we not
          know that men whose blood is fevered and whose judgment is
          blinded are not fit to multiply and replenish, not fit to be in
          that holy law of matrimony ordained and made sacred by the
          Almighty? Let the world talk about and deride the institution of
          celestial marriage. What concerns us more in Utah is the fact
          that there are not men enough who understand the laws of life,
          and who stand pure and holy, upon the higher basis of that sacred
          law, to become the husbands of all the pure and to-day
          marriageable women in Zion. God foresaw what the nations would
          do. We were told yesterday by Elder Erastus Snow that men of
          great influence in the world were preaching the doctrine of human
          limitation, which leads to murder. And yet these very men will
          preach morality to you and me. While killing their own offspring,
          and urging others to do it, they tell us we shall not obey the
          laws of God pertaining to increase. I say we will. And upon
          natural principles, upon scientific principles. The boys and
          girls who live according to the law of the Lord will become the
          head and not the foot. They will have stronger bodies, stronger
          minds, and by the force of the "survival of the fittest," will,
          eventually, under the direction of divine revelation, govern the
          affairs of the world. It has been so predicted; God has decreed
          it, who will prevent it? Let us therefore unite in turning our
          faces against the evil practices so prevalent in the world. Let
          us begin to understand and live according to the laws of nature,
          realizing that violations thereof bring penalties which sometimes
          are transmitted to the third or fourth generation. In the
          transmission of life God has devolved upon His creations the
          highest and most delicate functions, and which, if abused, entail
          misery and often premature death. God has His glory in the
          perpetuation of life. With wonder and admiration we behold life
          everywhere. We see it struggling in the vegetable kingdom and
          breathing in the animal creations. Cut down and trample under
          foot the noxious weed, and yet by the law that governs its
          increase it struggles upwards, and unless utterly destroyed
          matures seed for new life, and thereby perpetuates itself. All
          nature responds to the eternal law of increase. Man, being
          prompted by him who rebelled in heaven, alone seeks to defeat
          life, and bring confusion and death. While he and his emissaries
          strive through the commission of horrid crimes, even murder, to
          limit human increase, let us as Saints sanctify body and soul
          being pure in heart and mind, a fit lineage through which noble
          spirits may possess tabernacles unto the glory of God the Father
          of spirits. Let fathers and mothers in Zion beget children, as
          Samuel the ancient prophet was begotten, and I tell you there is
          no power on earth or in hell that can stop the progress of this
          people. We will increase and spread abroad until Zion shall arise
          and shine, and the Kingdom of God shall have supremacy and sway
          forever. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 /
          Franklin D. Richards, April 7, 1883
                         Franklin D. Richards, April 7, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE F. D. RICHARDS,
                        Delivered at the General Conference,
                          Saturday Morning, April 7, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          It is a very pleasing privilege that we have of meeting together
          in Conference assembled in this manner. I have been very much
          gratified, interested and instructed, as I am sure all the
          faithful have been, who have been present and shared or partaken
          of the spirit of this Conference. I hope and pray that while we
          shall remain together we may feel the spirit of inspiration
          resting upon us to guide our minds in our reflections and our
          speech into those channels of communication that shall be most
          profitable to the people.
          We have this day extraordinary reason for gratitude and praise to
          God our Heavenly Father for the peculiar manifestation of His
          kindness and mercy to us during the past year; not only in
          granting that the earth should be fruitful in yielding abundantly
          for the returning wants of His people, both for man and beast,
          but for the protection and deliverance of His people from the
          machinations and devices and the subtle plans of men high in
          authority, who have set themselves to ensnare us, and if it were
          possible, to hinder the work of God--men who have thought to
          destroy or cripple the great cause which God has established in
          the earth for the redemption and exaltation of the human family,
          from degradation and sin to the realms of intelligence and glory
          in His kingdom. Surely all Saints who have been making "first the
          kingdom of God and His righteousness," their aim and study,
          cannot fail to have both seen and felt this. It is but another
          assurance from on high of his good pleasure in not only having
          given unto us the kingdom, but in preserving the rights, the
          powers and blessings thereof from encroachment or invasion and
          from injury by the hands of the wicked and ungodly.
          I am reminded that the time at my disposal this morning is short,
          there being several yet to address the Conference. I will,
          therefore, proceed directly to call your attention to a passage
          of Scripture found in the 15th chapter of John:
          "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
          "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away, and
          every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring
          forth more fruit.
          "Now, ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
          "Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
          itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except you
          abide in me.
          "I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I
          in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can
          do nothing.
          "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is
          withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and
          they are burned.
          "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you; ye shall ask what
          ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
          "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall
          ye be my disciples."
          One of the Prophets, I think it was Jeremiah, said that the vine
          was the noblest or choicest of all the trees of the forest. The
          Savior, no doubt, in view of this general understanding, adopted
          the vine to figuratively represent the precious principles which
          He undertook to illustrate in the foregoing passages of
          Scripture, and which I wish to make some allusion to, in
          illustration of the importance of our being in a proper position
          to attend to our duties faithfully, which is necessary for the
          complete growth and progress of the vine, to which we are
          attached in all its branches, leaves, flowers and fruits.
          Christ's Church is frequently spoken of as a vine of the Lord's
          planting in the earth. Our Savior and the ancient Prophets Nephi,
          Jacob, Zenos, and others, spoke of the husbandman going forth in
          the morning to employ the workmen to labor in his vineyard,
          during the heat and burthen of the day; and also about the
          eleventh hour, of his employing laborers to go into the vineyard
          and prune it for the last time. I wish to remind you my brethren
          of the Priesthood, especially those who are called to occupy
          important leading positions in the Wards, the Stakes and councils
          of Zion, that you are the men who were spoken of and written
          about in their parables.
          The Prophets of those early days were so filled with the spirit
          and power of the Gospel and of revelation, that they looked into
          the future and saw in vision the birth of Christ and the work
          that he was to perform. They also beheld our day, and the work in
          which we are engaged. It must be borne in mind, that we are not
          working alone for our dear selves, but for those coming after us;
          and that our work bears a strict relation to those that have been
          here and gone before us to the spirit world, to whom we are as
          closely related; and without whom we cannot be made perfect, any
          more than they without us.
          Therefore, every Elder clothed with the Priesthood has a right to
          officiate in ordinances affecting the happiness of those who have
          gone before, as well as of being the means of bestowing blessings
          upon those who follow him; and for the use of this power he will
          be held accountable.
          Now let it be understood, Jesus said, "I am the true vine."
          Everybody acquainted with the art of pruning, knows, that to make
          a tree bear the greatest amount of fruit he must trim it so that
          there will be no small branches springing up around the roots,
          but that there be one vine with all the sap running through it.
          He has not only said, "I am the true vine;" but also "ye are the
          branches." If the tree be properly trimmed the sap, which is the
          life of it, will go from the roots through the vine to all the
          branches thereof. Jesus said in connection with this "every
          branch in me that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring
          forth more fruit."
          Let it be understood that the healthy, thrifty growth of the
          limbs, the leaves, the bloom and the fruit, all depends upon the
          close adherence of the "branches" to the "vine"--the body of
          Christ. And every man bearing the Holy Priesthood must be made
          conscious of this in his experience and observations at one time
          or another if he is of any use as a living branch in this Church.
          To this vine, in our dispensation there are three branches--the
          First Presidency--who are closely allied to the powers behind the
          veil; and they are the first to receive the mind and will of God,
          and communicate the same to the Church. This is that spirit of
          revelation, the sap that comes from the vine, that goes to all
          the branches. And not only do we see these three main branches
          next the trunk, but a little further along are twelve other
          branches, spreading out and each of them, shooting forth other
          branches, twigs, tendrils, leaves and fruit, if they abide in the
          Now if those branches by any means become injured, or are not in
          a healthful condition from any cause--no matter what--so that the
          free flow of the sap from the trunk and main branches is
          arrested, or retarded, the consequence is that the lesser
          branches, the twigs, leaves and fruit depending for nourishment
          and life upon the injured or deadened limb, are more or less
          affected, hindered in their growth, dwarfed in their development,
          and must suffer death unless relieved by a healthy pruning.
          I wish now to call the attention of the Presidents of Stakes to
          the consideration of this fact.
          It is the duty of every President of a Stake to attend the annual
          and semi-annual Conferences, which are held in this place so far
          as practicable, but if it should so happen that a President
          himself could not be present, then he should see that one or both
          of his Counselors come, or some faithful man of an excellent
          spirit from his Stake who shall be capable of receiving the
          instructions given, and who is able to communicate the same to
          his President and to the people. And such a person or persons
          should be men whose duty it shall be to stay until the Conference
          is over, attending every meeting, and paying the strictest
          attention to all instructions given and to all Church business
          They should not come here in a hurry to get away before the
          business of the Conference is attended to; they should not feel
          as though they could leave before receiving all that the
          Presidency have to say to them; so that when they do return to
          their homes they may go laden with counsel and filled with the
          spirit of the Conference, ready to impart the same to the people
          of their several Stakes. The President who does this keeps alive
          the fire, the Spirit of the Lord in the hearts of his people. By
          attending such conferences he goes home with more efficient
          instructions to convey to the people at home, and at the half
          yearly or quarterly conference over which he presides, he is
          enabled to impart to all who were unable to attend, the spirit of
          this general conference.
          I hold it, then, to be of the utmost importance that the
          Presidents of Stakes do make it their business to see that they
          as branches abide more carefully and more strictly in the vine,
          and that they receive the sap and nourishment of these
          conferences to the utmost capacity and carry it home to support
          every twig, every leaf, and every particle of fruit on the vine,
          for their proper, healthy growth and maturity. This principle is
          not only applicable to the Presidents of Stakes, but it is
          applicable in like manner in your quarterly conferences to every
          In those conferences every Ward should be represented by the
          Bishop and his Counselors, and as many of the people as possible
          should be present to receive the counsels there given. What is
          the result sometimes when instructions have been given by
          President Taylor through the Presidents of Stakes, and only a
          part of them were present? Why, it is found, when some important
          matter comes up, that this counsel has been neglected, and those
          who ought to have been well informed are heard to say, "Why, we
          never heard of this before." Why did you not hear of it? Why were
          you not there in your place to hear of it, and thus be prepared
          to carry out the instruction given?
          In like manner every branch in all the mission abroad should
          observe and secure a correct and proper representation in all the
          conferences that are held in the various missions wherever the
          Gospel is preached and branches are raised up. This is an
          absolute requirement. (See Doctrine and Covenants, section 20,
          verse 81 and on). By this means, and in no other way, can the law
          of the Lord go forth from Zion, and the spirit of Zion extend to
          the most remote branch or member of the Church on the face of the
          whole earth. 
          This is the principle. You brethren of the Priesthood, as
          branches of this vine, are expected to abide in it, to have the
          fullest connection with it, and be prepared to convey the sap,
          which has been conveyed to you, through the trunk to the extreme
          branches, the tendrils, the leaves and the fruit that are under
          your care. But unless you do this your people will suffer for
          want of intelligence; they will have to go short of that
          spiritual food which you are made the dispenser of and which you
          are expected to impart for nourishment and support, not only in
          spiritual matters, but in temporal things as well.
          Now, there is a feeling among mankind--it is a feeling that is
          common in the world, and it is not strange that some who have
          been brought up in the world should retain it--a feeling of
          independence, a feeling of self-sufficiency, a feeling that we
          are capable of doing without counsel, and that we can do this and
          that as we think best. My brethren, the less of this feeling we
          carry with us, the safer and better for us and for the people we
          have to instruct. We should understand our dependence on God and
          on our brethren who are placed over us in the Priesthood for that
          counsel necessary to sustain us and that will enable us to bear
          off the Kingdom of God in righteousness.
          Let me cite you to an instance of a man in the early days of the
          Church--Lyman Wight showed this kind of spirit when Joseph lived.
          It was all Joseph could do to keep him in subjection to the
          counsels of the Priesthood, but he did conform when brought to a
          consideration of his position in the Church so long as Joseph
          lived. But when the Prophet Joseph died he did not recognize the
          right of Apostle Brigham or his brethren of the Council to
          preside over him. And where did he go? He started an offshoot of
          the Church by himself, and both he and those who followed him
          when out into the world to destruction and to the devil together.
          This is the fate of those who think they can "run" themselves and
          can "run" the affairs of the Church and Kingdom of God separately
          and independent of their brethren. If he had continued and abode
          in the vine and made himself one with Brigham Young and the
          Apostles, he would have gathered with us to these valleys of the
          mountains, rejoiced with us, and laid down his bones here, and
          been one with the people of God. But, no; he went off by himself,
          feeling totally independent of his brethren. He abode not in the
          vine, and brought forth no fruit.
          If there be any among us who say in their hearts I received my
          blessings from President Young, he bestowed upon me all
          blessings, authority, Priesthood, and keys of power that any one
          else has received, not excepting President Taylor or any of the
          Apostles, and I have just as much right to advise and build up
          according to my own direction as he or they have--let such take
          warning by the course of Lyman Wight, Geo. Miller, and others,
          who have struck out independently and see the end which their
          course has led them to. As the Savior said, "If a man abide not
          in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men
          gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
          There is no other way for the brethren of the Apostles, the
          Presidents of Stakes, the Bishops of Wards and for all those who
          stand in authority in the Church--there is no other way for men
          to have the love of Christ in them, to have the power of the
          Priesthood, to grow with God's Kingdom, but that they abide in
          the vine, be one with their brethren, keep fast to the truth, and
          derive their full share of the sap that comes from the roots
          through the body of the vine.
          This is the principle I wish the brethren would consider. It is a
          beautiful figure which the Savior draws, and beautifully
          represents the great truth that should be fastened upon our
          minds, as He tried to fasten it upon the Apostles and Priesthood
          of His time. "Every branch in me that bringeth not forth fruit he
          taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it,
          that it may bring forth more fruit."
          Then, we must look out and see that nothing offends us; that we
          live in harmony with all the instructions and counsels of the
          Church; we want to see the spirit of love and power flowing not
          only through the body, but through all the branches, until it
          reaches the utmost extremity of the vine. Not only the Apostles,
          Seventies and High Priests, but the Deacons and members, all who
          have been baptized into Christ and who abide in Him.
          Some of you may have noticed and seen that there are vines whose
          branches extend quite to the tops of the tallest trees, and that
          it was difficult to fell such trees because of the sustaining
          power of the vine. The vine bears the choicest of all fruits.
          This vine which God has planted in these last days is the
          choicest and greatest of all, and it will make itself manifest as
          such. And we wish all those brethren who are called to labor in
          the vineyard, to be in a position to attend these conferences,
          especially our annual conference, so that they may hear--and if
          they have not minds sufficiently strong to remember everything,
          to bring pencil and paper and take notes of all matters that need
          to be remembered and carried home and imparted to the people who
          reside in their various Stakes and Wards, Conferences and
          There is another beautiful illustration that might be made with
          regard to the vine, but I have not time save to refer to it this
          morning. It is this: If you take a vine that has had growth for
          awhile and you go carefully and dig it up from the earth, you
          will find that there is a very striking similarity in the roots
          to the appearance and character of the branches above. Did you
          ever notice this? Did you ever think of it? Well, this is a
          beautiful illustration of the order of the Priesthood in the
          eternal world. The Apostle in speaking concerning these matters,
          refers to a "hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and
          steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." The
          Priesthood behind the veil are all interested in us, all anxious
          for us, all ready to minister to us as far and as fast as
          occasion permits or requires, as the roots continually generate
          nourishment and minister to the branches or top of the tree; so
          that we may be found efficient in our spheres and in our fields
          of labor. We ought never to feel that we are alone. We cannot be
          alone. We ought to know we cannot live without them, nor they
          live and be glorified without us. And while this responsibility
          is extended to us, we should sense that we and they are parts of
          the great whole of father Adam's family, and that there is a
          responsibility resting upon us that is great and that is general.
          This vine has yet to yield great and glorious fruits, while its
          branches must fill the earth and the fowls of heaven, the angels,
          will lodge in them. What are we doing to bring forth these
          fruits? What to promote the growth of this vine in the earth?
          What are you Presidents of Stakes doing? Do you realize that you
          are raising up and professedly educating in the name of the Lord
          a nation of Kings and Priests to God? Do you impress upon the
          hearts of the Saints that this is our work? Do you instruct the
          Teachers, and those of the lesser Priesthood how to deal with the
          people, and to see that there is no iniquity permitted in their
          midst? This is the kind of fruit that grows on this vine,
          brethren, and this is the kind of fruit that you are called upon
          to nourish, strengthen and protect. And don't you know the grape
          must not only grow but it must gain color. The fruit must be
          fully ripened. It is a fruit that needs a good deal of warm sunny
          weather, the sunshine of the Holy Spirit. It can only ripen in
          that right kind of climate, and that climate is right here--the
          shining of the sun of the Holy Spirit and the understanding
          thereof. This nation of "kings and priests" must be so reared
          that when the Savior comes He will find a people ready to receive
          Him; a people who shall be full of the faith and the power of the
          Gospel; a people whose lives shall in all respects comport with
          the character of Saints of God; in fact, who shall be the people
          that the Apostle John speaks of when he says: "They sung a new
          song, saying, 'Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the
          seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God
          by thy blood out of every kindred, tongue, and people and nation;
          and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall
          reign on the earth.'" This was their song of joy and rejoicing,
          which was expressive of the glory and power, exaltation and
          gladness that filled their souls.
          There are other interesting and important phases of our great
          work which bear a striking analogy to the vine and its branches,
          but I cannot take time to dwell upon them now, lest I wrong those
          who have yet to address you. I think perhaps I have said enough
          to call your attention to the subject and the Spirit will aid you
          to pursue it. My earnest desire is that we may master this and
          all principles of the Gospel, and make them our own eternal
          riches, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / John
          Taylor, April 8th, 1883
                            John Taylor, April 8th, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
               Sunday Afternoon, (Annual Conference) April 8th, 1883.
                           (Reported by Gibbs and Irvine.)
          We have had a very interesting Conference, and a great many very
          excellent principles have been presented to the people. As I told
          the Priesthood last evening we are occupying a very peculiar
          position in the earth, a position that has not been of our own
          seeking. God has set His hand to accomplish His purposes upon the
          earth, and for this purpose He has revealed Himself from the
          heavens, as we have heard since this Conference commenced. In
          pursuance of this He has manifested Himself and His Son Jesus
          Christ, and has restored the Holy Priesthood by and through the
          medium of a Priesthood, or various parts of a Priesthood that
          existed in former ages--those holding that everlasting
          Priesthood, which administers in time and in eternity, have been
          commissioned from the heavens to come to the earth to bring to
          pass the very things of which they themselves had prophesied.
          Although we are, comparatively speaking, a small people, few in
          number, yet as it was in the days of Jesus so it is to-day. The
          Gospel is like a little heaven put into a certain portion of
          meal, and it is working and operating, and the ultimate result
          will be that the whole lump will be leavened. Not that everybody
          that is in the world will obey the Gospel; but the Lord will have
          His own way in manipulating His affairs, and great tribulation
          will overtake the inhabitants of the earth. As you have heard,
          many of the wicked will slay the wicked; but after these things
          have taken place the good, the honorable, the virtuous, the pure,
          those that are desirous to serve God will all have their
          position, and that thing will be fulfilled which was spoken of by
          Jesus--"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."
          The time will yet come when the Saints of the Most High will take
          the kingdom and hold the dominion under the whole heavens. These
          are principles that are familiar to us all. In the meantime,
          however, many important events have to take place, and a great
          labor has to be performed, and will be performed by the agencies
          which have been introduced by the Lord, and which will be
          hereafter introduced by Him for the accomplishment of His
          purposes, and the bringing to pass of His righteous will. For
          this purpose the Holy Priesthood has been restored; for this
          purpose the message of life and salvation has been proclaimed to
          the nations of the earth; for this purpose after the reception of
          the Gospel, the people have been gathered together in order that
          the Lord might have a people who would be under the influence of
          His Holy Spirit. We have all been baptized by one baptism, and
          have all partaken of the same Spirit, and wherever these
          ordinances have been administered according to the order of God,
          and have been received by the faithful among the nations of the
          earth, these effects have always followed. I have been among the
          nations myself, and I have been baptized people and confirmed
          them at least in three different languages, and the same spirit
          rested upon all of those different people, and so it is
          throughout all nations. The Lord has said he would gather
          together His elect from the four quarters of the earth. And how
          does He do it? By operating upon the minds of those who obey the
          Gospel. Jesus said in His day and it is true to-day--"My sheep
          hear my voice and know it, and follow me and a stranger they will
          not follow because they know not the voice of a stranger." It is
          under the influence of this Spirit that we have been gathered
          together. We used to sing:
          Whither shall we follow, follow, follow;
                 Whither shall we follow, follow thee?
                 All the way to Zion, all the way to Zion,
                 All the way to Zion,
                 We will follow thee.
          What made you gather here? The impulse of the Spirit of the
          living God, and you could not keep away. We have representatives
          here from very many nations to-day. Here are Elders who have
          preached the Gospel in many nations. A few years ago we had some
          twenty-five nationalities represented at one of our public
          demonstrations. And thus our work is to go on and spread and
          increase. The Apostles, the Seventies, the Elders, and men who
          have received the light of truth, will spread forth that light to
          others of the family of God throughout the world. This is a labor
          resting upon the Elders of Israel, and until it is accomplished
          we shall not have fulfilled our mission here upon the earth.
          Then, again, we have other works to perform associated with the
          Church, with the Kingdom and with the Zion of God. I think
          sometimes that we as a people are a good deal sectarian in our
          feelings, and it is necessary for us occasionally to look at the
          pit from whence we were dug, and the rock from whence we were
          hewn. We are all too ready to cry out, as the sectarians do in
          their different orders,
          "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord,
                 The temple of the Lord are we."
          And we are apt to forget sometimes the mission that God has
          placed upon us, which is a mission of mercy, a mission of light,
          a mission of intelligence, a mission that is calculated to
          elevate the world of mankind even all those who will receive and
          obey it. It is not intended for us alone; it is intended for all
          men. Who are the world, and who are we? We say we are the
          children of God our Heavenly Father. That is true; we are the
          children of God our Heavenly Father. And is God our Father? The
          Scriptures say so. But what of the rest of the world--say of this
          nation, and all other nations--what of them? Whose children are
          they? They are also the children of our Heavenly Father, and He
          is interested in their welfare as He is in ours; and as a kind
          and beneficent father towards His children, He has been seeking
          from generation to generation to promote the welfare, the
          happiness, and the exaltation of the human family. And let me say
          here, that He is the fountain of life, the fountain of light, and
          the fountain of intelligence, as we used to say in the Church of
          England when I was a little boy, and I suppose they say so now;
          it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His
          people and the sheep of His pasture," He provides for us. We
          sometimes talk about the hand of God being over us. Of course it
          is, and will be over us forever, if we will only serve Him, for
          He is always true. But His hand is over the nations of the earth
          also. He is interested in the welfare of this nation and all
          other nations and all other peoples as well as in our welfare.
          What was the greatest blessing conferred upon Abraham? One was
          that his seed should be numerous as the stars of heaven, and as
          the sand upon the sea shore. I do not know that he would have got
          along very well in this land now adays; they would have been
          after him for polygamy. People do not believe so much in these
          things now as they did formerly. Nevertheless, the Lord told him
          to take another wife; but, then, perhaps the Lord made a mistake,
          He had not studied modern Christianity; He was, to use the
          language of the advanced Christian, behind the times. But
          whatever may be thought or said about it, according to the record
          that has come down to us, He used to talk to people in that day.
          But let me refer you to another blessing connected with Abraham,
          namely, that in him and his seed should all the nations of the
          earth be blessed. Or, in other words, that God would honor him by
          making of him and his seed agents through whom He would
          communicate truth, intelligence and salvation to the world. It is
          said "the glory of God is intelligence," and He is desirous to
          impart this intelligence to the human family, that through it
          they may be exalted to the Godhead. Abraham's posterity were to
          stand as messengers of God, as legates of the skies, commissioned
          of the great Jehovah to proclaim His word to fallen man, even to
          His children; for God has made, we are told, of one blood all the
          families of the earth, and has given unto them a portion of His
          Spirit, if haply they would feel after Him, although He is not
          far from any one of us. For in Him we live, and move, and have
          our being. And under the influence of His Spirit man has
          accomplished very much good; and to-day there are hosts of
          honorable, upright men who in their hearts fear God, but they
          have not yet found the right way. But in the providences of His
          mercy He has gathered a people from the nations that they may be
          taught and instructed in regard to the laws of life and
          salvation. And this has been brought about in fulfillment of
          ancient prophecy. Jeremiah, for instance, in referring to it
          said, that he would take them one of a city and two of a family,
          and bring them to Zion. And what was He to do with them when He
          should get them there? He would give them pastors after His own
          heart who should feed them with knowledge and understanding. And
          the same great event is referred to by other Prophets.
          I was very much pleased with the remarks made by Brother Erastus
          Snow, with regard to our own nation, in which he said that it had
          been by and through the power of Almighty God, and in accordance
          with the words of the Lord as contained in the Book of Mormon,
          that the people were, in the first place, impelled to come here,
          and after coming here, to contend for human freedom upon this
          land; and it was by and through the power of God, that the
          fathers of this country framed the Declaration of Independence,
          and also that great palladium of human rights, the Constitution
          of the United States. There is nothing of the bigoted, narrow,
          contracted feeling about that instrument; it is broad and
          comprehensive. And they had a bell in Philadelphia, which I, and
          perhaps many of you have seen, upon which was written, "Proclaim
          liberty throughout the land, and to all the inhabitants thereof;"
          but I was sorry to see that the bell was cracked. I suppose it
          got cracked after the grand effort that was made to proclaim
          liberty throughout the land; and I have thought since that it has
          not been soldered up yet. But with all the weaknesses and
          imperfections associated with men, the government of this nation
          has been a great bulwark for human freedom, and I felt proud at
          the time when Mr. Edmunds, with his colleagues, introduced his
          bill, known as the Edmunds' bill, that there was such a number of
          gentlemen who had the manhood and the moral courage to oppose it
          in the bold and manly way in which they did, showing plainly that
          they cherished in their bosoms the principles contained in the
          Constitution. I respect such men, and they command the respect
          and esteem of all honorable, right-thinking people. They could
          afford to render themselves unpopular in the eyes of religious
          bigots and fanatical politicians, but they could not afford to be
          amongst those that are ready to tear down the bulwarks of human
          freedom, and trail in the dust the flag of our country. They did
          not believe in our religion. Of course, that is a matter of their
          own, it is none of our business, neither is our religion any of
          their business, which they understand and appreciate. There are
          two things that I have felt very decided upon ever since I could
          comprehend anything; one was that I would worship God as I
          pleased without anybody's dictation; and that I would dictate to
          no man his faith, neither should any man dictate to me my faith;
          and the other was that I would vote as I pleased. And I entertain
          the same sentiments to-day. When the Commissioners, operating
          under the Edmunds' law, made their extraordinary rulings and
          authorized the administering of the test oath, declaring who
          should vote and who should not, I could not help remarking that
          people were acting very foolishly, that they did not know what
          they were doing; but whether they knew it or not their attempts
          to wrest from this people their rights and liberties, were not
          more or less than indirect attempts to tear down the bulwarks of
          American liberty. But in this inexcusable attack upon human
          rights and the principles of liberty we can take no part. What
          then will we do? They have no right, it is true, to interfere
          with us in the way they have done; they have no right, it is
          true, to prohibit us from voting without a hearing and without a
          trial; they have no right, it is true, to present to us a test
          oath, it being illegal and contrary to our rights as American
          citizens. But we will submit gracefully for the time being,
          withdraw from the polls, rather than act in the capacity of
          obstructionists; and when the time comes we will test these
          proceedings according to the laws of the land, and the principles
          of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States,
          which we recognize and respect. Have we yielded up our
          franchises? No, we have not. Will we ever do it? No, never; no,
          never. Have we in the least backed down from the principles by
          which we have been guided from the beginning? No; we still mean
          to live by them and to maintain them, and to contend for our
          rights, not by dynamite or nitroglycerine, but to do so legally
          and constitutionally, not only in defense of our own rights, but
          the rights and liberties of our children and those of every free
          man throughout the land. This is the course we propose taking.
          As I before stated we have been called from the nations of the
          earth by Him who is our Father, we being His children. And He has
          told us to ask, and we shall receive. He has told us to seek and
          we shall find; to knock and it shall be opened to us. Very well.
          What shall we do? We will use the best means we can to defend our
          rights; and after we have done this we will then go to our
          Heavenly Father and ask Him to help us. Will He do it? Yes. Has
          He done it? Yes, and we acknowledge His hand in regard to these
          things. He has heard our prayers without noise, without tumult.
          He has told us thus far that if we will continue to obey Him and
          to observe His laws, He will deliver us and direct us even to the
          end. And we need have no fears whatever about the result. He has
          promised us that inasmuch as we do His will and keep His
          commandments, He will fight our battles. And I feel confident and
          perfectly easy, and I felt just as easy during the furore and
          commotion that raged through the land a few months ago as I do
          to-day; knowing, as I do, that if we will perform our part, the
          Lord will not fail to do His. Because others act foolishly we
          cannot afford to imitate them. We profess to be the Zion of God,
          the pure in heart. We profess to be men and women of integrity,
          of truth and virtue, and to have faith in God. This must not only
          be our profession, but our practice; we must carry out and
          fulfill the word and will and law of God. Jesus taught His
          disciples how to pray. Said He: "Our Father who art in heaven."
          That is, your Father and my Father, the God and Father of the
          spirits of all flesh. "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be
          thy name," O, God, we reverence thee; we observe thy law, and we
          wish to keep thy commandments, and purge ourselves from all evil,
          that we may be acceptable to thee. "Hallowed be thy name; thy
          kingdom come." We reverence thee, O, God, and attribute to thee
          all that we have in this world, and all that we expect to have in
          the eternities to come. "Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come."
          Thy what? Thy kingdom come. That is the rule of God, the
          government of God, the dominion of God, the time when men will
          not be ashamed to acknowledge God as their Father, their friend
          and benefactor. "Thy kingdom come." When all will submit to thy
          rule, to thy law, to thy jurisdiction, to thy dominion; that thy
          will may be done on earth as it is done in heaven. How was it
          done in heaven? God spake, chaos heard, and this world rolled
          into existence; and so did other worlds under the same divine
          impulse and power. And all those systems that revolve around us
          were made and are upheld by the mighty power of God, who governs
          in the heavens above, and upon the earth beneath, and among the
          worlds. Whether men acknowledge that or not, the time will come
          on this earth when every knee shall bow to Him, and every tongue
          shall confess that Jesus is the Christ, to the glory of God the
          Father. That time will come. It is not here now; but as I have
          said He has introduced this Gospel as the entering wedge, as the
          little leaven by which he can operate, that He may have a people
          under the influence of the Holy Ghost, a people that can hold
          communion with him, like so many thousand strings penetrating the
          eternal worlds and drawing down blessings from the Almighty,
          drawing fire, and life, and intelligence from Him; for we
          ourselves are sparks struck from the blaze of His eternal fire,
          emanating from God our Father, and we wish to operate with Him
          and for Him and under His guidance, for the accomplishment of His
          purposes here upon the earth. This is what we are here for. Now I
          come to another point. We pray "Thy will be done on earth as it
          is done in heaven." How is it done there? As I said, God spake,
          chaos heard, and the world rolled into existence, and it is
          supported by the mighty power of God, and who can stay His hand.
          Do you think that if all the Legislatures, all the Congresses,
          all the Parliaments, and all the Reichstags, all the Chambers of
          Deputies and Senates of the earth were to get together and pass a
          decree that the sun should rise five or ten minutes or half an
          hour later or earlier than it does--do you think it would have
          any effect upon it? I do not think it would--I think it would
          still go on in its usual course, and they would feel that they
          were dependent upon God. Do the world know that in Him we live
          and move and have our being? Does this congregation know that
          there is not one of them could leave this house unless God
          permitted it and sustained them in so doing? Do the nations of
          the earth comprehend that they are in His hands, and that he puts
          down one nation and raises up another according to the counsels
          of His will, and none can say, "Why doest thou thus." What have
          we to do? To begin with, we should deal justly and honorably with
          all men, and should seek to protect all men in their rights so
          far as we have the power to do so, and then to maintain our own
          on the same principle. And what then? Fear God and observe His
          laws, and we ought every one of us to place ourselves in
          communication with the Lord, and He has tried to make us
          understand this, but it seems very difficult for us to do so. It
          was in former times, and it is now. He says, "ask and ye shall
          receive." Is it not a very simple thing? "Seek and ye shall
          find." Is it not very easy. "Knock and it shall be opened unto
          you." But says He, you do not understand it aright. Now, let me
          mention a thing to you. If a child ask of you bread, would you
          give it a stone--you fathers and you mothers? I think not. If the
          child asked a fish would you give it a scorpion." Why, no. The
          mother would say, "Sammy, or Mary," as the case might be, "you
          want some bread--well I will give you some with butter and
          molasses." The mother would try to meet the wishes of the
          children, and sometimes give them a little candy to boot. Now,
          then, says the Lord, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give
          good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father
          which is in heaven give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him." It
          is very plain when you get at it, and it is very simple, and
          people wonder sometimes, they think it an astonishing thing that
          God should hear people's prayers. Why, bless your souls, that is
          the strongest fort we have, and when we get into any difficulty
          in the nation or anywhere else, we humble ourselves before the
          Lord--and we all need to do this, for we all have our weaknesses
          and imperfections; and it is necessary that He should be very
          merciful to us. And He is, and knows how to bear with us. We need
          also to know how to bear with one another, and to place ourselves
          in communion with God, and in doing this to purge ourselves from
          everything that is wrong and evil. And I tell you--you Elders of
          Israel, you brethren and you sisters, that if you will begin to
          do the will of God on the earth as it is done in heaven, the
          power and blessing of God will rest upon you and upon this
          people, and no power will be able to injure you from this time
          forth. God expects us to do His will, to carry out his purposes,
          and if His will is ever done on the earth as it is done in
          heaven, where in creation will it start, if it does not start
          here? Let every man put himself right, and every woman and every
          family do the same, and all the Priesthood in all its various
          departments and ramifications, and let every one walk up to the
          line and perform his duty, and in the name of Israel's God, Zion
          shall arise and shine, and the glory of God shall rest upon her.
          Our progress is onward and upward, until the kingdoms of this
          world become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ, and loud
          anthems be sounded from among the nations--glory and honor and
          power and might and majesty and dominion be ascribed unto Him
          that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever and
          forever. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / George
          Q. Cannon, May 27th, 1883
                          George Q. Cannon, May 27th, 1883
                        DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, May 27th, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                      THE SAME.
          It is some weeks since I have had the opportunity of meeting with
          the Saints in the Tabernacle. Our time has been spent in visiting
          the various settlements north and south, and has been spent most
          agreeably in holding quarterly conferences. A great change has
          been effected in our Territory within the past few years in
          furnishing facilities for traveling to and fro and visiting the
          settlements which were once quite remote from this city. I have
          no doubt that these visits are appreciated by the people who are
          visited. They certainly are by those who make the visits. The
          growth and the development of the people, their increase in the
          knowledge of those principles that pertain to salvation as well
          as to this earthly existence, is so apparent that it is
          exceedingly gratifying to witness it. The Lord is very visibly
          working out His great designs and purposes in connection with
          this work with which we are identified. Every one who is
          connected with the work and who realizes its character does seek,
          as I believe by observation, more diligently to comprehend the
          nature of the duties and responsibilities which rest upon him or
          her. The various organizations in the shape of Primary
          Associations, of Sunday Schools, of Mutual Improvement
          Associations, of Relief Societies, as well as the meetings of the
          various quorums of the Priesthood, are all having a very marked
          effect as I can observe myself, upon the people. I probably am in
          a better position than many to judge of the effect of these
          organizations; for the reason that it has not been my privilege
          to visit the settlements of late years so extensively as some of
          my brethren. I notice a great increase of zeal, of devotion, and
          above all, of knowledge concerning the work of the Lord and the
          labors connected therewith. And I am thankful that this is so,
          for certainly with the increase of the facilities to which I have
          referred in our Territory, there has been a corresponding
          increase of evils which have to be contended with and overcome,
          and knowledge and understanding and wisdom are necessary on the
          part of the Latter-day Saints to enable them to cope successfully
          with these evils. In our former condition of isolation it was not
          a matter of such great moment for the people to be trained as
          they now are. They were not exposed to the influences of an
          adverse and hostile character like they are to-day. With the
          change in circumstances there has come a corresponding change, it
          may be said, in strictness of organization, and, as I have
          remarked, I am happy to say a corresponding increase of
          knowledge. We have many things to cope with at the present time,
          which those who resided here 25 years ago knew little or nothing
          about. And it is an excellent feature of this system which God
          has established, that it is so admirably adapted to all the
          circumstances which may surround the children of men. God bestows
          wisdom according to the occasion and to the necessities of the
          case, and He gives strength and power to those who seek after
          them in the right spirit. He has done so from the beginning and
          He will do so until the end.
          When the Elders of this Church have gone forth and preached the
          Gospel, calling upon the inhabitants of the earth to believe in
          the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of their sins and to be baptized
          for the remission of them, those who submitted to these
          requirements received the strength and the grace necessary to
          enable them to contend with the difficulties which immediately
          surrounded them. God poured His spirit upon them. God gave unto
          them a testimony concerning the truth of the work with which they
          had identified themselves. He gave unto them the strength
          necessary to overcome all the obstacles which laid in their
          pathway, and they were filled with joy and peace, and from that
          day until the present the man or the woman who has thus bowed in
          submission to the requirements of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus
          Christ has been sustained, upheld, strengthened and delivered.
          The strength and the grace, the gifts and the blessings which God
          has promised have been abundantly bestowed and have made the
          individual who has received them equal to every emergency. And
          that which is true concerning individuals is true concerning this
          entire people in their collective capacity. As difficulties have
          increased, as obstacles have had to be overcome, and the
          condition of affairs has changed and seemingly grown more
          threatening, they have had strength and grace and power given
          unto them commensurate with the trials they have had to meet. And
          God's hand has thus been manifested in the most wonderful manner
          in the eyes of those who believe and who have had faith, and they
          have had causes for thanksgiving and praise to God every day that
          they have lived.
          Now, the whole work from its inception until the present time is
          a marvel and a wonder. It may be termed phenomenal in the earth.
          It is unlike anything else that we know of. It differs from every
          other system that is extant among men. There are features
          connected with it which cannot be witnessed anywhere else. Human
          nature exhibits itself, it may be said, in new forms.
          Characteristics are developed in connection with this work which
          may truly be said to be unique. You cannot witness their
          exhibition among any other people, nor in any other land. And it
          is a remarkable thing that though the Latter-day Saints number so
          few, comparatively speaking, there is no topic to-day that can be
          broached in the hearing of any of the people of Christendom that
          excites the interest that "Mormonism" does. And yet if you ask
          men the reason of this, it would be difficult for them to account
          for it. They only know that the fact exists; that to them and to
          the world at large it is a topic of unflagging interest. The
          "Mormons" are looked upon as a peculiar people. Let a "Mormon"
          travel anywhere in the United States or in Europe or in other
          lands, and it be known that he is a "Mormon," he will attract
          more attention than any other man. Why is this? Is it because the
          people are so numerous? Is it because they are so wealthy? Is it
          because they exercise such political power? Is it because they
          wield such influence in the affairs of the children of men! No,
          it cannot be said that any of these causes exist to any extent.
          The "Mormons" are not a numerous people. The "Mormons" are not a
          wealthy people. The "Mormons" do not wield political influence to
          any extent, nor influence of any other character outside of their
          own society. What, then, is it that constitutes this, I may say,
          attractiveness or this interest in men's minds concerning this
          organization? "Oh," says one, "it is because you marry more wives
          than one. You believe in plural marriage, and that excites
          interest and causes talk and attracts attention; it is that that
          makes you so noticeable."
          Perhaps so. But it is not many years since we did not believe in
          this, since it was not a practice of this Church, and yet in
          those days a "Mormon" was as much an object of curiosity as he is
          to-day--that is, in proportion to the celebrity that attended the
          name. "Mormonism" was as much talked about according to the
          extent it was known as it is to-day. It excited as much
          curiosity. It aroused as much hatred. It called forth as much
          persecution, in fact, the most severe persecution that, as a
          people, we have ever endured, we received prior to the
          announcement by our Church that we believed in this peculiar
          doctrine. I have no doubt that our espousal and advocacy of this
          doctrine has given us considerable notoriety. It has added to our
          celebrity. But our celebrity has not consisted alone in this. As
          I have remarked, our organization aroused as deep antipathies
          prior to the revelation of this doctrine as it has ever done
          Now, we have our own method of accounting for this great interest
          that it taken in this work. It is admitted too freely for the
          truth that we are an illiterate people. It is said that we are
          under the control of impostors, shrewd men, who lead the masses
          and bend them to their will. This is said concerning us
          everywhere. To account for the ingathering of the people from the
          nations of the earth men have recourse to many theories, or to
          several at least, one of which is that our Elders go out to the
          ignorant and unlearned and the down-trodden, and depict in
          glowing colors the beauties of this land of ours and the
          blessings that they will receive if they will only gather here;
          and that by these glowing tales and by persuading them that they
          can have all the wives they want when they come here, they induce
          the ignorant hordes of Europe to come to this country. This is
          one of the popular methods of accounting for the ingathering of
          the people from the nations of the earth and their adhesion to
          the "Mormon" cause.
          Well, now, if this were true, I would consider it one of the
          greatest miracles ever wrought among men, for this reason, that
          people influenced by such notions could not be held together in a
          land like this. It would be an impossibility to bind people
          together in such bonds as exist among the Latter-day Saints in
          Utah Territory, if they were people of this character. They would
          fall to pieces by their own corruptions. There would not be any
          cementing influence among them to hold them together one month if
          these were the influences which drew them here. But no observing
          man or woman who travels through this Territory, and mingles with
          the people can be deceived by any such nonsense as this. They
          would see in a few days that there was some other influence, that
          there was some other power, that there was a principle of union
          among this people that could not originate in such a system as
          "Mormonism" is popularly represented to be.
          What, then, is it that causes the Latter-day Saints to be so much
          noticed? What is it that has drawn them together from the various
          nations of the earth and produced this phenomenal condition of
          affairs that we witness here? Is it the shrewdness of men? Is it
          the power and authority of men? Then for God's sake and for the
          sake of suffering humanity, let some men band themselves together
          and do, in the name of God and true religion, that which the
          Latter-day Saints are accused of doing in the name of imposture
          and false religion. Here is an opportunity for Christendom to
          test this matter. They have learning, they have wealth, they have
          everything at their back--the popular sects, who claim to be
          orthodox and to worship God according to the Bible, and to divine
          truth, have all these--if they can do, in the name of God and
          true religion, that which we are doing, as they say, in the name
          of a false religion and as impostors, let them go to work, unite
          themselves together, and accomplish something like this for the
          sake of suffering humanity. The Latter-day Saints are gathered
          from the nations of the earth--the poor, the unlearned, the
          ignorant. Our Elders preached the Gospel to them as they
          understood it, and under its influence and by its influence they
          are successful in gathering out a few. This Territory is being
          peopled by them. They are being taught how to live, how to better
          their earthly condition, how to improve their minds, how to
          acquire sound education and sound knowledge; they are being
          taught to live in love, in peace, to avoid litigation, to avoid
          strife, to avoid contention, to avoid everything of this
          character, and to love one another. How successful we are in this
          let those who travel through the Territory bear testimony. If we
          had our way there would be no drinking saloons from Franklin in
          the north to St. George in the south. If the courts would let us
          have our way, we would banish drunkenness from our land, or
          rather we would keep it from our land as we did in the beginning,
          for there was a time when there was nothing of the kind to be
          witnessed. But, unfortunately for us, it seems, some of our
          charters were defective. We found we did not have the power that
          we thought we had. The courts ruled against us, against the
          exercise of such power as we wielded, and we were compelled to
          let down the bars. Hence in Ogden, in Salt Lake City, and perhaps
          in some other few places, there are drinking saloons. But if we
          had our way, as Latter-day Saints, there would be no drinking
          saloons, there would be no houses of ill fame, there would be no
          gambling saloons, there would be nothing of this character
          permitted in our cities or in our settlements. We would not only
          be free from litigation and strife, as I have said we are as a
          people, but we would be free from those other evils, those other
          Now, we know very well that according to the word of God as it
          has come down to us in this sacred volume [the Bible] union and
          love were two of the great characteristics that attended the
          preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "By this," says one of
          the Apostles, "we know that we have passed from death unto life,
          because we love the brethren." Jesus taught His disciples to be
          one. He prayed to the Father that they might be one as He and the
          Father were one, and not only that they might be one, but that
          those who should believe in their words might be one also. That
          prayer of the Savior was answered upon His disciples. They were
          distinguished everywhere for their oneness and for their love,
          and wherever they went preaching the Gospel that Jesus committed
          unto them, those who obeyed their teaching and submitted to the
          ordinances which they administered, received the same spirit.
          Now, it is a remarkable feature of this organization called the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that the same
          effects follow the proclamation of its principles; not in one
          land, but in every land where it has been carried by the Elders
          of this Church.
          When Joseph Smith in his youth had revealed to him that God was
          about to restore the old Gospel in its ancient power and
          simplicity, and accompanied by its ancient gifts, and was told
          that the authority to administer its ordinances should also be
          restored, it seemed, I suppose, to look at it naturally at that
          time, as though it would be an impossible thing to accomplish.
          The earth was full of religion, so called. There were any number
          of men professing to be followers of Jesus Christ, any number of
          men professing to be His ministers, professing to have the power
          and authority to administer the ordinances of His Church, until
          men were actually confused and distracted in their thoughts--and
          especially when they came to select the form of doctrine that
          they wanted to espouse--by the multiplicity of sects, each one
          claiming to be the true church of Christ. But Joseph Smith was
          told that this would be the effect when God would reveal His
          Gospel. It was foreshadowed to him in the plainest possible
          manner that which we now behold. The effect of the preaching of
          the true Gospel would be that persecution would be aroused. He
          was shown the hatred he would have to contend with, and all the
          adverse influences that have had to be overcome from that day
          until the present. Joseph Smith was told that there was no
          authority upon the face of the earth to administer the ordinances
          of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was told that there was no
          church which God recognized as His own, while there were many
          that had parts of the truth, portions of the Gospel. There was no
          church which God acknowledged amid the multiplicity of sects as
          His. He was told to wait until the Lord should give the power and
          communicate the authority. Now, though he had received this
          communication from heavenly messengers, Joseph Smith did not
          presume to take one step towards organizing a church because of
          the fact that he had received communications of this character.
          According to popular ideas, if a man had received a communication
          of this kind from heaven it would have been sufficient
          justification to him to have gone to work and organized a church.
          But he did not do this. He waited, and a heavenly messenger, as
          he testifies, came and laid his hands upon his head and ordained
          him to the authority that was necessary for man to hold in order
          to baptize his fellow-men in the name of Jesus Christ for the
          remission of sins. When he received that authority he commenced
          to baptize, and not till then. But there was still a power
          lacking. The Apostles had a power beyond that which John the
          Baptist exercised. John said, "I indeed baptize you with water
          unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,
          whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with
          the Holy Ghost, and with fire"--referring to the Savior. And when
          He came He came in the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood,
          as it is termed. John held merely the authority to baptize for
          remission of sins. But he could not lay on hands for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost. And when, on one occasion after the
          death of the Savior, Philip went and preached the Gospel to
          Samaria, and people were converted and baptized, he did baptize
          them, but he did not lay on hands for the reception of the Holy
          Ghost. He did not have, apparently, the authority to do so. But
          when the Apostles heard that people in Samaria had received the
          Gospel, they sent unto them Peter and John, who, when they came,
          laid their hands upon them and they received the Holy Ghost. In
          like manner Joseph Smith received the authority by divine or by
          heavenly administration to baptize men for the remission of their
          sins, but he had not then the authority to lay on hands for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost. He afterwards did receive it, as he
          testifies, through the administration of the three Apostles, who
          presided over the Twelve in the days that they lived upon the
          earth, namely, Peter, James and John; they came to him and laid
          their hands upon him and ordained him to the Apostleship, the
          same authority that they themselves held, and authorized him to
          go forth and to build up the Church of Christ as it was built up
          in ancient days; and then having baptized people he commenced to
          lay on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost.
          "But," says one, "I do not believe in the administration of
          angels. I think that angels have ceased to come. While I believe
          that many ancient servants of God did receive the administration
          of angels, I think they have ceased to administer, and when I
          hear people assert that they have not, it always creates in my
          mind a feeling of doubt, and I think anybody an imposter who
          asserts he has received the administration of angels in these
          Perhaps so. But suppose that the statement that Joseph Smith says
          the angel made to him should be true--that there was no church
          upon the face of the earth whom God recognized as His, and whose
          acts He acknowledged--suppose this were true, and that from the
          Catholic Church down to the last church that was organized there
          was no one church that held the authority in its primitive power
          and purity--suppose this were so, how in the world can the
          authority be restored unless heavenly messengers do come and
          bring it from heaven? If the Priesthood, and the authority, power
          and gifts of the Priesthood were taken from the earth and taken
          back to heaven, how can man ever receive it again unless some
          beings from the heavenly world come and restore it to man again?
          You can readily see that if you grant one proposition, the other
          must necessarily follow. There must be divine communication from
          heaven or the authority could not be restored. But how shall we
          tell that it is restored--by what signs? What are the evidences
          by which we can judge of the restoration of this divine power?
          Joseph Smith went forth and he ordained other men to go
          forth--gave them the authority under God, he being commanded of
          God to impart this authority to others who were suitable, on the
          same principle that Moses imparted the authority to Aaron, "being
          called of God as was Aaron." And they went forth and called upon
          the people to believe in Jesus and to repent of their sins, and
          to be baptized for the remission of them, and they promised them
          that if they would believe in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins
          and be baptized in His name for a remission of them, they should
          receive the Holy Ghost, and it should produce the same effects
          upon them in these days that it did upon those who received it
          anciently. Now, here was a promise that no man that we know
          anything about was authorized to give aside from him. In all the
          churches of which we have any knowledge, there has yet to be
          heard the promise made by one of its ministers to the humble
          believer who submits to its ordinances, that he shall receive the
          Holy Ghost as they did in ancient days, with its accompanying
          gifts and blessings and powers. But Joseph Smith made this
          promise. The world have the opportunity of testing it. If people
          did not receive the Holy Ghost, then he was an impostor. If they
          did receive it, then his ministry was sealed by the power of God,
          and it was indisputable. The best possible means was given to the
          human family of testing his claims and his statements. He was
          either an impostor, trying to deceive the people, or he was a man
          of God, for it cannot be supposed that heaven would lend itself
          to an imposture, or that heaven would aid in any manner in
          fostering a deception. But wherever the Elders of this Church
          have gone preaching this Gospel, declaring unto the people these
          tidings, there have been men and women who have come forward and
          submitted to the ordinances which they administered, and who
          testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, that they did receive the
          promised blessings; and they have gathered out from the various
          nations of Europe, some from Asia, some from far-off Africa and
          the islands of the sea, and every State in the United States;
          they have gathered out, until now they are numbered by thousands
          and tens of thousands throughout these valleys, and wherever you
          mingle with the people and talk to them, either in their own
          habitations, by their firesides, in the streets, in the public
          gatherings, or wherever they may be, the universal testimony of
          these people called Latter-day Saints is that they, in obedience
          to the requirements which were communicated unto them by the
          servants of God, received the promised blessings, and the Holy
          Spirit has been poured out upon them, and the gifts thereof have
          rested down upon them. And as an evidence of this we see this
          union that I have spoken of. We witness this love. We see the
          gathering of the people together. We see such a love as is an
          example anywhere upon the face of the earth--the love that exists
          in the midst of the Latter-day Saints in these mountains. You may
          traverse the wide earth and go to every religious denomination,
          and even to those of Pagan belief, and nowhere else will you see
          such an exhibition as this I have spoken of, as you witness here.
          And yet these people are illiterate. These people are unlearned.
          These people are weak. These people have come from various
          nations of the earth. These people have been brought up in
          different creeds, belonging to different churches, speaking
          different languages, they have been trained in different habits;
          not of one nation, not of one form of thought, not gathered
          together from one township, or from one neighborhood, but from
          various nations and neighborhoods with this diversity of
          belief--that is, of former belief and education and training.
          Now, what would this principle accomplish amongst a more
          homogeneous people than ours?--a people more united then ours
          originally, more one in thought and training--what, I say, would
          this principle accomplish among such a people as this that I
          allude to? Why, we can imagine what it will be in years to come,
          as the rising generations of this people grow to manhood and
          womanhood under the influence of this principle--we can imagine
          what the results will be--a people banded together as no other
          people upon the face of the earth are by the bonds of the new and
          everlasting covenant, by the bonds of the Holy Priesthood that
          God has restored to the earth, and by the administration of those
          divine ordinances which constituted the power of the Church of
          Christ when it was upon the earth. It is the old Gospel restored
          again. You cannot point to a single feature that characterized
          the Gospel of Jesus as it was administered by His Apostles that
          is not to be witnessed among the Latter-day Saints--not a single
          feature. I defy the world to point to a single one. Every
          characteristic that made it great, that made it divine, belongs
          to this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Were the
          ancient Saints persecuted? So are we. Did they die for the truth
          of their principles? So have many of our people. Did they have to
          flee from their homes? Were they driven by their enemies because
          of their religion. So have we had to flee from our homes in this
          nineteenth century, in this land of boasted liberty, the proudest
          nation and the freest nation upon the face of the globe--we have
          had to flee to these mountains and take refuge here because we
          believed in those ancient principles, and because we contended
          for the restoration of this ancient power. And now even in these
          mountains our homes are envied and men would destroy us; not
          because we are vile; not because we do injury to our fellows; not
          because our land is a land of wickedness, because it is not; not
          because we are full of strife and war upon our neighbors and seek
          to destroy them; not because of any of these things is our
          destruction sought; but because we believe that God has spoken
          from the heavens; because we believe in a Church that has
          Prophets and Apostles, and has the Holy Ghost and its gifts in
          it; because we believe in living together in love and not
          fighting each other, and are not pitted against each other in
          parties; and because of this we are considered dangerous, and our
          existence is considered a menace to our neighbors. Hear and think
          of it! That a people with the virtues that I declare we possess,
          are looked upon as a menace to our neighbors, and that our
          destruction is a desirable thing.
          Now, while we do not profess to have the faith that we should
          have--we could all do with more--yet it is the aim, it is the
          object of the teachings of the Elders of this Church to endeavor
          to instill into the minds of the people faith in God, to have
          them contend earnestly, as the Scriptures say, "for the faith
          which was once delivered to the Saints." While this is the aim
          and the object of the teachings of the Elders--and we are well
          aware of the weakness of the people--yet we do testify, in the
          most solemn manner, that God has restored the ancient gifts that
          were in the Church. The sick are healed. There are hundreds of
          families in this Territory, thousands of them who never think of
          anything else but sending for the Elders, as the Apostle James
          said they should do, in cases of sickness. "Is any sick among
          you? let him call for the Elders of the Church; and let them pray
          over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the
          prayer of faith shall save the sick," said the Apostle. Now,
          among the people called Latter-day Saints, this is an almost
          universal practice, and we solemnly testify that--while we are
          far from being what we should be, far from having that faith we
          should have--there are numerous instances of the sick being
          healed by the laying on of hands. You know this, my brethren and
          sisters. Not only have the sick been healed, but the blind have
          been restored to sight, the deaf have been made to hear, and the
          power of God has been manifested in accordance with the promises
          he has made. And it is the outpouring of the Spirit in this
          manner, the confirmation of God's promises upon the people, that
          makes the Latter-day Saints so united. It is not the strength of
          imposture. It is not the delusion of shrewd men. It is not
          because wicked men have deceived this people. It would be
          impossible to hold them together under such conditions. To do so
          would be a great miracle than that which we now behold in the
          existence of the people. To see a people united together and
          scattered as they are over this extent of territory held together
          by a few impostors,--no, such a thing is abhorrent to reason. No
          man with reason can believe such a statement, and accept that as
          the solution of this organization--that is, of the problem
          connected with it. No man can think of it. There is something
          more than this. There is some power beyond this; for, as I have
          said, if it were not so, we should have some exhibition on the
          part of good men in establishing such a system as we now behold.
          One would think they would show their power in organizing. But it
          is the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Men and women and
          children, throughout all the congregations of the Latter-day
          Saints in all these settlements, if they had the opportunity,
          would bear solemn testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, that
          they did receive those promised blessings, that that was the
          cause of their continuing their association with the people of
          God, and that that was the reason of their gathering with them to
          this land or of their coming here.
          Now, I know that in talking in this strain it may sound strange
          to many who have no knowledge of these things. They may think it
          a very strange thing that men should testify in our day
          concerning the existence of these things. But let me ask you:
          Where is the man of God of whom we have any account in this book,
          from Genesis to Revelation, that did not have communication with
          God? Where is there one? Not one. You have no account of a single
          individual who was a servant of God from the days of Adam, our
          father, to John the Revelator, who did not have communication
          from our Father in Heaven. God communicated with the people
          always when they were faithful.
          "But," says one, "we have none now, and we have not had, and
          therefore God has ceased to communicate His mind and His will to
          His children."
          Do not deceive yourselves. This is the cry of men who themselves
          are destitute of this power and of this knowledge, and who take
          this means of accounting for it, and of making people believe
          that the present condition of things is the condition that should
          exist and that God designed to exist.
          I do not wish to reflect upon any other body of people or upon
          any sect; I believe there are thousands of excellent people in
          the world--people as good as any that are numbered in the Church
          of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--scattered through all the
          sects and in the Pagan world and in the infidel world. I do not
          confine my feelings of admiration to those who believe even in
          Jesus, the Son of God, whom I view as my Redeemer and my Savior.
          I believe that there are thousands, and it may be said millions
          of well-meaning, good people, whom God loves, that are numbered
          among the Pagans and that are numbered among the infidels to
          Christianity. But at the same time while I thus believe, I know
          that God has revealed His everlasting Gospel to be preached to
          the inhabitants of the earth, and when light comes, if men reject
          it, condemnation follows. And this is the condemnation of our
          present generation. A great prophet has arisen in their midst.
          They do not believe it. They do not believe that Joseph Smith was
          a Prophet of God. They basely and cowardly slew him. Yet he was a
          Prophet of God, just as much as Elijah, or as Isaiah was, or as
          any of the ancient Prophets were, and he has founded a system
          that will grow, that will increase, that will yet be the
          dominating power in the earth, because the promises of God are to
          this effect. And this is the sin of this generation. This man
          came in their midst bringing to them gifts from God, bringing to
          them a message of love and salvation, and they cruelly and basely
          slew him in the most abominable manner. But like all the
          Prophets, his blood has not been avenged. Who ever heard of
          people being punished for killing a Prophet? Who ever heard of
          the people turning round and punishing his murderers? Such a case
          is not known in the history of the world. And it is true
          concerning Joseph Smith. His blood stains the soil of one of the
          sovereign States of the nation. He was slain under the pledged
          honor of that State that he should be protected, and yet his
          murderers have never been punished. And as I say, that is the sin
          of this generation. A church was organized by the command of God,
          and members of that church have been cruelly treated. They have
          been driven from their homes. Their pathway has been marked by
          the graves of those who have died in consequence of their
          suffering. Our track can be traced, or could be traced from
          Illinois by the graves of our people-- men, women and
          children--who died of suffering, because they chose to worship
          God according to the dictates of their own consciences. And who
          is there that has raised his voice and said one word against
          this? A few men have done so--a few honorable men--have protested
          against it; but the great body of the people have assented to it,
          and have not only assented to it, but they have endeavored to
          follow us to our retired homes here and destroy us. They are not
          content we should live in this wilderness land which we found so
          dreadful, in many respects, and so hard to conquer. We have come
          here. We have conquered. We have subdued the land by continuous,
          persistent, and unlimited toil, and we will not cease our
          exertions to make this a beautiful land, and to extend
          hospitality to all who visit us. But we have been envied our
          little possessions--the fruits of our toil, the hard earnings of
          the last 35 years; we have been envied these; and there are those
          who think that the best thing that could be done with us is to
          extirpate us from the face of the earth, blot us out of
          existence. Now, I say that this is the sin of this generation.
          God has sent a mighty Prophet who predicted, among other things,
          the civil war that took place in 1861. It is on record in this
          book (the Book of Doctrine and Covenants). Joseph Smith warned
          this nation of it--twenty-eight years before it occurred. He told
          them the cause of it, and the consequences that would follow.
          This great Prophet has been in their midst, and they have slain
          him, and have destroyed as far as possible those who believe in
          his doctrine. God will hold this generation who slew the Apostles
          and those who lived contemporaneous with the Apostles. We may be
          feeble people, but we are God's people; no more than our fellow
          men in some respects, only so far as we obey His laws more than
          they do; but nevertheless we are God's people; no more than our
          fellow men in some respects, only so far as we obey His laws more
          than they do; but nevertheless we are God's people, and God will
          not allow His children to be slain without cause, nor be cruelly
          treated. He reigns in the heavens. I thank God that He has
          revealed himself, and that we know Him. He reigns. His justice
          never sleeps. We will be protected and preserved, and His anger
          will be poured out upon those who have merited it by their
          transgression. We therefore call upon them in the name of Jesus,
          to repent of their sins, to turn away from wickedness and return
          to righteousness. And if they desire to know whether we tell the
          truth, let them go to God in the name of Jesus and ask Him, and
          we will be satisfied with the answer. That is what our Elders
          tell everybody wherever they go. They tell them to ask God in the
          name of Jesus, whether the testimony they bear be true or false.
          Is not this fair? Certainly it is.
          May God help you, my brethren and sisters and friends, to receive
          the truth and to cling to it all your lives, to love it more than
          life itself, that in the end you may be saved and exalted in the
          Kingdom of God. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / George
          Q. Cannon, May 6th, 1883
                        DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON,
          Delivered in the Quarterly Stake Conference, held in Logan, Cache
                           Sunday Morning, May 6th, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          I feel greatly pleased at the opportunity of meeting once more
          with the Saints in Conference in this place. It is nearly two
          years since I have had this privilege, during which time many
          important events have transpired. There is one thing, however,
          connected with the work of God which is very gratifying, that
          notwithstanding the perils through which we have passed, though
          our liberties have been menaced, and the perpetuity of the
          institutions of the kingdom of God have to human appearances been
          endangered, we still meet together this day in this Tabernacle
          unembarrassed from the efforts of our enemies and free to worship
          our God according to the dictates of our own consciences. This
          land to which God led us and in which He has planted us is still
          a land of liberty to us and to all those who are of our faith. To
          me this is a cause of profound thankfulness, for it is an
          evidence that God has not forgotten us, that the promises which
          he has made are still kept in remembrance by Him, and that as a
          people we have been living so as to receive the fulfillment of
          those promises and the benefits which flow from them. And there
          is no doubt in my mind that if the Latter-day Saints will still
          continue to do as they have done, will be faithful to God, and to
          the covenants we have made with him, and will persevere in the
          path which He has marked out and which we have commenced to
          tread, that we shall still be preserved, that we shall still have
          our liberty, that our enemies will not have power to disturb or
          interrupt us to any extent, or to bring down upon us those evils
          which they have sought after so diligently.
          I believe that the testimony of the servants of God concerning
          the condition of the Saints in this Stake, and in other Stakes is
          true, and that as a people the Latter-day Saints are striving to
          live nearer unto their God, and to put in practice more perfectly
          those holy principles which He has revealed unto us. I believe
          there is more diligence being manifested in the various Wards and
          throughout the various Stakes than has been manifested in the
          past. I believe that there is a higher standard of life being
          sought after by the Latter-day Saints. I believe that the
          Priesthood themselves are seeking more diligently to carry out
          the counsels which God has given and to set examples unto the
          people that they shall imitate, and I know that the Spirit of God
          rests down upon His servants to make them more rigid in the
          enforcement of the laws that God has revealed unto us concerning
          the government of His church, so that there may be more purity, a
          higher standard of purity enforced and maintained among us than
          has been in the past.
          We have had from the beginning of this work revelations given to
          us concerning the lives that we should lead. We consider the
          Christian world who have this Bible as their guide, very
          delinquent, because they do not live up to the commandments which
          are herein contained, because they come short of obeying the
          requirements that God has made through the gospel as contained in
          the Bible, the Old and New Testament. But I often think of our
          own condition. We have in this book, the Book of Doctrine and
          Covenants, which is the word of God to us, a perfect law. Here
          are contained the ordinances that God requires this people,
          called Latter-day Saints, to obey. Now, let me ask you, brethren
          of the Priesthood, let me ask you, brethren and sisters of the
          Church, how many of us who are here to-day live in accordance
          with the requirements of God's word as contained in these
          revelations? I can truthfully say that as a people we do not live
          up to the requirements that God has made of us. I can truthfully
          say that as a people we do not obey God's commands to us--the
          revelations which are contained in this book, and which we
          receive as the word of God, not to a past generation, not to a
          people who lived 1800 years ago, but the word of God to us who
          live now and who constitute this Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints. This is our rule of life. This is the law for
          our guidance. It is embodied in this book. And how many of us, I
          ask again, live in conformity with it? How many of us have obeyed
          and do obey the word of God as it is here revealed and as it is
          here printed and given to us? And yet we condemn the sectarian
          world--all of us who have gone forth to preach the everlasting
          Gospel--for not obeying God's word given 1800 years ago, and have
          said that in consequence of this the gifts and graces and the
          blessings of the Gospel have been withheld from them. We have
          thus reasoned, we have thus proclaimed to the people and said to
          them that the cause of the absence of the gifts, the cause of the
          disappearance of the power, the cause of there being no faith in
          the land among the children of men to receive the blessings and
          the gifts of God, was to be found in the fact that they had not
          obeyed the commandments of God as revealed to them, or as
          revealed to the ancients rather, in the New Testament by the Son
          of God. Yet, I believe, notwithstanding what I now say respecting
          us, that there is a growing disposition among the people--I can
          feel it myself among the Priesthood, and I believe it extends to
          the whole body of the Church--a growing disposition to obey the
          word of God, as it is given to us in its plainness, in its
          simplicity and in its fullness, and because of this growing
          disposition God, having mercy upon us in our weakness and in our
          infirmities, blesses us as He does, and He saves us from our
          enemies. But you can readily perceive, if you will reflect a few
          moments, how much the power of this Church would be increased in
          the land and before the heavens if the Latter-day Saints were all
          to obey the word of God as it is given to us in His latter-day
          revelations. You can readily perceive how united and strong a
          people we would be, and how much the heavens would be moved in
          our behalf, the power that would be evoked and that would be
          brought down to aid us and to deliver us if we only lived in
          strict conformity to the words of God as they are contained in
          this book (the Book of Doctrine and Covenants). Each man and each
          woman can interrogate himself and herself upon this point. Each
          man can ask himself in the light of the Holy Ghost, how near he
          comes to fulfilling all the requirements which are here made, or
          how far he is from arriving at that perfection which these
          revelations demand, and each woman can do the same, and we can in
          this mirror of divine truth look at ourselves in our true light
          and see our reflection by the Spirit of God as it is revealed
          unto us in these revelations.
          For one I know that I am far, individually, from coming up to
          this perfection. Yet is has been the labor of my life to be a
          Latter-day Saint. It has been the strongest wish of my heart all
          my days to be a Latter-day Saint, to be a perfect man if I could
          be before the Lord. Yet when I read these revelations; when I see
          the requirements which God has made of us as a people, I bow
          myself before the Lord and confess in His presence that I am far
          from being that which I should be, and it may be said that the
          same is the case with the Church.
          Now God designs that we shall be just such a people in every
          respect as these revelations describe. God did not give us these
          revelations in vain, they were not spoken idly, they were not
          given through the prophet of God without a purpose. There was a
          design on the part of God in giving them, and when you come even
          to the very weakest, it may be said, of the revelations, or that
          which is the least obligatory upon us, that which was given
          merely as a word of counsel--the Word of Wisdom I refer to--we
          can judge of the rest by the manner in which that is observed
          among us as a people--a matter which pertains to our bodily life
          and health, and which is so simple that the weakest can receive
          and obey it. There will be a people raised up, if we will not be
          that people--there will yet be a people raised up whose lives
          will embody in perfection the revelations contained in this book,
          who will live as the doctrines here taught require, as the laws
          here revealed show unto us, and they will be raised up, too, in
          this generation, and such a people will have to be raised up
          before Zion can be fully redeemed, and before the work of our God
          can be fully established in the earth. In this book, as I have
          said, is the pattern of the Zion of God. Here are embodied the
          doctrines, precepts, laws, ordinances,--everything in fact that
          is necessary in order to make us a perfect people before the
          The perfection that we have arrived at to-day is due to these
          revelations. The organization of this people is such as is not to
          be witnessed anywhere else on the face of the earth. You may
          travel from one end of the land to the other; you may travel from
          the equator to the poles, and in no land and among no people will
          you find such an organization as that which we have in this land,
          or rather that which belongs to this Church. And it is due to the
          fact, that God gave commandments through His servant Joseph
          Smith, by which we have been organized upon a principle and a
          platform that is superior to anything known among men. There is
          nothing to equal it. This church in its organization is adapted
          to a branch, to a small handful of people. It was well adapted to
          the condition of the six persons who composed the Church on the
          6th day of April, 1830. It is as well adapted to the condition of
          the Saints to-day, covering hundreds of miles of territory, as it
          was to the six persons who composed the Church at that time. It
          will be as well adapted to the government and organization of the
          people when the Church of Christ shall extend itself throughout
          the earth, and when the whole people will become the people of
          God, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that
          Jesus is the Christ--just as well adapted then as it is now. God
          organized it; God has prepared the way for it; and when Zion is
          organized properly, it will be found to be as admirably adapted
          to the wants of the children of men as the organization of the
          Church is to-day to the wants of the people. There will be
          nothing lacking. In every particular it will be found adequate to
          the wants of humanity. The evils under which mankind groan
          to-day, are attributable to the false organization of society.
          The evils under which we groan as a people and from which we
          suffer are not due to any lack of knowledge as the method or the
          means that will correct these evils, but they are due to the fact
          that we ourselves fail to conform to the organization which God
          has prescribed, which God has revealed.
          I wish we could all understand this; but it is true, it is as
          true as God lives, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is admirably
          adapted, in fact, perfectly adapted to save man from every evil
          under which he groans to-day. What has it done for us? Why, as
          far as it has gone it has saved us; it has saved us from every
          evil so far as we have gone. And as for adultery, to which
          allusion has been made, and fornication, there are no people on
          the face of the earth that will be damned with a greater
          damnation for that sin than we, if we be guilty of it. Why?
          Because there is no necessity for it. The necessity that men may
          plead as an extenuation for their practices with the opposite sex
          in the world ceases to exist in the midst of the Latter-day
          Saints. What necessity has any man to meddle with any woman that
          does not belong to him? In other lands the laws make men
          adulterers in many instances. That is a hard saying, but it is a
          true one. Men are driven by their passions, very frequently,
          because of unjust laws, to commit crimes that their souls revolt
          at. But is it so with us? No. God has given unto us a more
          perfect law. He has commanded us to marry, all that can marry;
          and there is no man among us that can plead that which others may
          in a different state of society; no man can do that amongst us;
          and therefore I say that those men and women among us who commit
          adultery and fornication will be damned with a deeper damnation
          than any other people, because there is no necessity for it. If a
          man wants a wife he can get one among the Latter-day Saints. You
          organize society aright, as God contemplated in these
          revelations, and those evils under which we now groan--this
          dishonesty and this disposition to take advantage of each
          other--will be done away with. God has devised a plan and has
          revealed it, that in its operations will relieve mankind from
          those evils and the commission of those sins to which they are
          now subject. When we are organized properly theft will cease
          among us, for the temptation to steal will be removed. Organize
          us properly, and the temptation to take advantage of our neighbor
          will cease, because there will be no profit in it or connected
          with it. And it is all contained in this book. God has revealed
          it fifty years ago in plainness to this church, and we for fifty
          years have been crawling along at our slow gait without obeying
          the word of God, that is so plainly revealed, and that might
          relieve us, if we did obey it, from all those evils.
          Now, my view of the Gospel is, that when it is obeyed by mankind
          the power of the devil will cease. That is my view respecting a
          part of the power that will be brought to bear to bind Satan.
          Satan will be bound because he will not have power over the
          hearts of the children of men. Why? One reason will be because
          they will have obeyed the more perfect law which will have
          relieved them from his power. You take the majority of the Elders
          of this Church, who are faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
          and Satan has but little or no power to tempt them to commit
          adultery, to commit sin with their neighbor's wife or with the
          opposite sex; they are to a great extent relieved from that, and
          so far as that crime is concerned Satan has but little power to
          tempt them, because they have obeyed a more perfect law. In the
          Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as God has revealed it unto us,
          there are laws so perfect that when this people called Latter-day
          Saints shall obey them they will be so far lifted up above the
          power of Satan that he will have but little power to tempt them.
          But we never shall be emancipated from the power of Satan until
          we do obey these laws of God. An obedience thereto will bring
          emancipation to us and to every human being on the face of the
          earth, and it is upon no other principle that emancipation can be
          brought. It will not be as many suppose by our being withdrawn,
          without volition on our part, from the influences of Satan; but
          it will be by our obedience to the laws of God, by our conforming
          to the requirements which He makes of us, by our putting into
          practice all those higher laws which God has revealed, and which
          He designs we shall practice. Any soul that is waiting for some
          outward deliverance, waiting for some time to come when by some
          extraneous means, and independent of our action and the exercise
          of our agency, deliverance will be brought, he will wait in vain,
          I am afraid. Not that I would convey the idea that God is not
          going to help us, that God is not going to do it by His power; I
          would not convey any such idea, because I know and you know that
          without God's help all our efforts are powerless, and it is vain
          to seek to do anything in and of ourselves; we cannot do it.
          Human nature is too fallible to do anything of this kind; but we
          must exercise the powers God has given to us by obeying His law,
          by conforming to His requirements. In this way we will be
          emancipated through the blessing and aid of God upon us, and in
          this way the earth will be redeemed from the power of Satan. The
          more people obey the laws of God, as God has revealed them, and
          as they are embodied in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the nearer
          they approach unto God, the more they become like Him, the more
          power they get over themselves and over the adversary. If there
          could be a man or a community found who lived in strict obedience
          to all the laws taught in this book, [Doctrine and Covenants] you
          would find almost a perfect people; you would find a people in
          the condition of the people of Enoch--that is, they would be
          approximating to that perfection which he and his city obtained,
          and which caused them to be translated.
          When God revealed the Gospel, He designed that we should obey
          these laws. He taught us in the first place that it was necessary
          to have faith in Jesus Christ, then to be baptized for the
          remission of sins, then to have hands laid upon us for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost. Then the people that were scattered
          were taught to gather out from the nations of the earth. Every
          law that they obeyed brought salvation. Every time they bowed in
          obedience to the requirements of God, they brought, by their
          obedience, salvation to themselves and to their families, so far
          as their families conformed to the requirements. When they got to
          Zion, if they obeyed the law of tithing, it brought salvation.
          And so with every other law that God has taught in the
          revelations that have been given unto us, and the men, as I have
          said, who have the most faithfully complied with those
          requirements have emancipated themselves, through the blessing of
          God, the most perfectly from the power of Satan. I look upon the
          men and upon the women who have entered into the new and
          everlasting covenant concerning patriarchal marriage as being
          more advanced than their brethren and sisters who have not obeyed
          that law. And if a community were found who would enter upon the
          order of Enoch as God has revealed it and who would hold
          themselves and their property subject to that law, I should look
          upon them as still more in advance and still nearer to that
          perfection which God designs to bring about in Zion among the
          Latter-day Saints. It should be the aim of every man and every
          woman in this Church to thus conform to the law and to the will
          of God, because by so doing they bring salvation to themselves
          and to their children, and if they persevere in doing so, God
          will bless them in all their efforts, and they will eventually be
          brought to live with Him and to dwell in His presence, and to
          receive the exaltation and glory that He has in store for them.
          Now, I have obeyed those laws thus far, because I know they have
          these effects. I obey the Word of Wisdom--or try to obey
          it--because I know it brings a blessing. And in like manner I
          obeyed the ordinance of baptism; in like manner I submitted to
          have hands laid upon me for the reception of the Holy Ghost in
          like manner I pay my tithing; in like manner I have gone on
          missions and done that which God has required of me, because in
          each and every act of this kind I knew that God intended to bring
          salvation to me if I would be obedient. And I obeyed the doctrine
          of patriarchal marriage, upon the same principle, because I knew
          that it was a principle of salvation and of exaltation, and that
          if I would be exalted in the presence of God I must obey the law.
          So it will be with other laws which are yet in the future, and
          which God will reveal to us as we grow in grace and in the
          knowledge of the truth. He will continue to give revelation upon
          revelation, precept upon precept, and He will reveal unto us more
          light and more knowledge and give unto us more power and more of
          the gifts and graces of the Gospel as we become more perfect in
          keeping the laws He has already revealed.
          It has been said--and I think all who have had any experience
          know that it is true--that in families where the Word of Wisdom
          is obeyed there is greater faith in administering the ordinances
          of the house of God unto those who are sick. We have a Bishop in
          Salt Lake City who, I believe, took an account of the number of
          those who were sick in his Ward, and he brought a statement to
          the President's office to the effect that in the families where
          the Word of Wisdom was strictly observed fewer deaths had
          occurred than in families where the Word of Wisdom was not
          observed. Diphtheria or some other disease was raging at that
          time in the city, and in his ward in particular, and his mind was
          turned to this matter, and after making inquiries he satisfied
          himself that there were more cases of healing and restorations to
          health through the administrations of the Elders by the laying on
          of hands in families where the Word of Wisdom was observed than
          in families where it was neglected, and that deaths were more
          frequent in the latter.
          [President Taylor: There were none died in the families where the
          Word of Wisdom was observed.]
          President Taylor says there were none died in the families where
          the Word of Wisdom was observed. Is it not natural that this
          should be the case? Have we not as Elders proclaimed to the world
          that the sectarians do not have the gifts and graces of the
          gospel because they do not keep the word of the Lord, do not keep
          the commandments of God? Has not this been our testimony to the
          nations of the earth? Yes, all of us who have gone forth to
          proclaim the word have thus testified time and time again. Will
          not that rule apply to us as a people? Certainly it will. The men
          who obey the laws of God most perfectly, and the women who do so,
          have the greatest faith, and God will bless them in proportion to
          their faith; He will bless their families according to their
          faith; the gifts of the Spirit will be manifested more in their
          behalf than upon those who deliberately violate or are careless
          concerning the word of God. This is certainly true. So it is with
          every law that God has given. The nearer we approach unto God the
          more perfect we live in accordance with the revelations He has
          given, the more faith undoubtedly we will possess, the more God
          will hear us, the nearer the heavens will draw to us, the more
          the heavens will be opened to us to hear our cries and to answer
          our petitions. And, as I have said, the day will come, if we obey
          the laws that God has given, that Zion will be redeemed and the
          adversary will not have power over us to tempt us, and try us, an
          to afflict us as he does at the present time.
          It may be thought I am enthusiastic in thus speaking, but I think
          I am not; I do not think I am the least enthusiastic on this
          point--that is more than I am warranted in being from that which
          God has said unto us as a people. I do not expect any salvation
          or redemption for Zion upon any other principle than this I speak
          of. I do not expect that Satan will be bound in any other way. Of
          course God will bring His power to bear; He will do it. God will
          have the glory of it, because it cannot be done by man. Man's
          power is insufficient to accomplish it. It must be done by man's
          obedience, by man's submission to God's law, by man's continually
          doing that which God commands him and requires of him, and in
          this way alone can it be brought about.
          It may be said, as has been said, that the seed of the righteous
          shall multiply and increase in the land and possess the land. But
          supposing we do not marry, supposing we remain single, can that
          blessing be brought about? In our case, certainly not. It
          requires obedience to law on our part to bring about the
          fulfillment of that promise. We must marry as a people. Men must
          take wives. The daughters of Eve must marry the sons of Adam in
          order to bring about the fulfillment of that promise. But
          supposing this people were to refuse to marry, neither this
          prophecy nor promise could be fulfilled through them; it would
          have to be fulfilled through some other people. Obedience is
          necessary on the part of the people to bring about the
          fulfillment of this prediction, and so also respecting the
          binding of Satan. God bestows the gifts and graces of the Gospel
          according to their obedience, and it should be the aim of every
          man in this Church not to rest satisfied with his own condition
          until he has bowed in obedience to the laws of God. If a man had
          but one wife, and the Spirit of God moved upon him to take more
          than one, should he refuse to obey the promptings of God in that
          respect? Not to gratify lust, not to gratify any improper
          passion, but to obey the law of God, because if he did not obey
          that he could not receive the blessing. So with all the laws in
          this book which are yet unfulfilled. If there be a law that we
          have not fulfilled, it should be the aim of every individual in
          this Church to prepare himself to fulfill that law as fast as he
          can. I look upon this as an obligation devolving upon every man,
          woman and child in Zion; not upon the First Presidency alone, not
          upon the Twelve alone, not upon the Presidents of Stakes alone,
          not upon the High Councilors alone, but upon every man and every
          woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; going
          on from the first principles to perfection, carrying out in our
          lives all the laws that God has revealed to us, until Zion shall
          be fully redeemed, and the way be prepared for the coming of our
          Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
          It is very wonderful to me what God has done and is doing with us
          as a people. When I look at this work; when I contemplate how the
          Prophet Joseph commenced it and how it has grown; when I see this
          immense congregation assembled here this morning, I cannot help
          thinking that if the Prophet had lived to behold such a scene,
          his heart would have been filled with gladness. There has been no
          word, no promise given unto us by the servants of God from the
          beginning that has not been thus far fulfilled, and the remainder
          will be fulfilled. God is carrying forward this work with an
          irresistible power, and those who will not obey the law of God
          will be left behind. This is an awful thought to me, there is
          something awful in the reflection. When I read the history of the
          Church and see the names of many men who have been prominent in
          it, I ask myself, where are these men to-day? Where is their
          posterity to-day? Men who in their day and generation were mighty
          in this work, who helped to establish it, who helped to spread
          it. And they have disappeared. Their names are lost from among
          the Saints of God. Their families have disappeared--gone into
          oblivion. When I think of it the thought is almost too awful to
          contemplate--the idea of being lost in connection with this work,
          this work in which all our hopes are centered, and which is
          dearer to us than life. Who is there among us to-day, who has the
          Spirit of God, who would not rather be taken out and shot on this
          public square than lose the spirit of this work, than be
          separated from the church and lost to all hope, all the promises,
          and all the glorious prospects of our salvation and redemption?
          Why, it is the most awful thought I can contemplate. The thought
          of it fills the soul with horror. But there is only one way in
          which we can remain connected with this Church, and that is by
          keeping step with it, by marching onward, obeying the counsel
          that God gives through His servants, and by being pure in all our
          thoughts, in all our words, and in all our actions. In no other
          way can any human being--however great the blessings he may have
          received, however great the promises which have been given unto
          him--ever remain connected with this work.
          Therefore, let us be obedient. Let us correct our lives if we are
          in fault. Let us repent of our sins and put them far from us. If
          we have sinned let us humble ourselves before God, and in the
          very depths of humility ask forgiveness of our transgressions,
          and let us lay ourselves and all we have--everything that God has
          given to us, every faculty of our mind, every power of our body,
          everything that God has placed within our control, all the
          property and everything that he has placed in our
          stewardship--let us hold all subject to His will and to His
          counsel, willing to go, willing to come, willing to give, willing
          to withhold, willing to do everything that God requires of us
          with glad hearts, for in doing so we secure unto ourselves our
          salvation and exaltation.
          My brethren and sisters, you who have tasted of this precious
          word of God; you whose souls have been filled with the Holy
          Ghost; you who have felt its joy, its peace, and the glorious
          feelings that it produces in the human heart--would you forego
          this for anything else upon the face of the earth? Would you
          exchange it for anything else? No, you would not. You have seen
          the time--every one of you who have had the Holy Ghost resting
          down upon you--when you have felt as though you would rather part
          with your lives than you would part with that spirit.
          Well, now, be entreated of me, a humble servant of God, this
          morning, to repent of your sins and put them away from you;
          repent truly and sincerely of your follies, hardness of heart,
          rebellion, stubbornness--repent, I say, in the name of Jesus, and
          bow yourselves before Him, and entreat Him for the outpourings of
          His Holy Spirit until your hearts are filled therewith and you
          have receive a forgiveness of your sins. And then when you have
          done that, go forward, seeking diligently to comply with all the
          requirements of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it has been
          revealed unto us, until we shall be brought back into the
          presence of our God and be crowned with glory, immortality and
          eternal lives, which I ask in behalf of all, in the name of Jesus
          Christ, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Joseph
          F. Smith, December 3, 1882
                          Joseph F. Smith, December 3, 1882
                      Delivered in the Tabernacle, Provo City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, December 3, 1882.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
           F. Smith
          I am deeply interested in the welfare of Zion. There is nothing
          that tends to benefit the people of God in the least degree in
          which I have not a deep and abiding interest. My feelings and
          desires are interwoven and centered in this latter-day work. I
          should have no other interest, desire, or feeling, and so far as
          I know I have not. I am thankful for this, because it does not
          seem to me to be any task to do, so far as I am capable, whatever
          the Lord calls me to do in the work of the ministry, or in the
          building up of Zion. I am proud to say this comes natural to me.
          I have no praise to bestow upon myself for it, and I ask none. I
          have no credit to claim on that score. I have this disposition
          and desire and I thank God for it. I feel that if Zion prospers
          all is well, and if Zion does not prosper, then my own happiness
          and prosperity is in jeopardy. For I expect nothing outside of
          the Gospel. I expect to gain no favors of the world. I do not
          court nor expect the love or sympathy of the ungodly. I do not
          care for their favor. I do not seek nor desire their society any
          further than it may be possible to do some good. If I am sent to
          preach the Gospel to them I am willing to go and labor among them
          and do all the good I can; but when I get through with the labor
          that devolves upon me, by virtue of that calling and appointment,
          I feel--and I speak from experience when I say this--like other
          missionaries, most grateful for the privilege of getting home. I
          never was particularly pleased to go away. I went on a mission
          when I was quite a boy--some 25 years ago--and I have been
          engaged in missionary duties and labors more or less ever since.
          I have never been out of the harness, nor laid my armor on the
          shelf, nor have I sought to be released from that day to this. I
          have always been on the altar, so to speak, ready and willing to
          do whatever is required of me to the best of my ability. I am
          just as willing to-day as I ever was in my life. I expect to
          become more and more willing as I gain experience, as I get
          older--that is, if it is possible to advance in that direction,
          and I presume it is.
           F. Smith
          I have great faith in the destiny of this people. I never had any
          doubts or fears in regard to the destiny and final triumph of the
          people of God. I can remember the time when I was quite a little
          boy, when we were hurried very unceremoniously across the river
          Mississippi from the city of Nauvoo just previous to the
          bombardment of the town by the mob. I had a great anxiety
          then--that is for a child--to know where on earth we were going
          to. I knew we had left home. We had left it willingly--because we
          were obliged to--we left it in a hurry, and we were not far away
          when we heard the cannonade on the other side of the river; but I
          felt just as certain in my mind then--as certain as a child could
          feel--that all was right, that the Lord's hand was in it, as I do
          to-day. My feelings have been the same from that day to this. I
          know that Zion is onward and upward. I know that God has charge
          of His great latter-day work; that His hand is extended over His
          people for good; that He will work out their deliverance; that He
          will bless them and increase them upon this land until they shall
          become powerful and terrible to the wicked nations of the earth.
          We are now, it would appear, becoming troublesome to the nation
          of which we form a part, so much so that one of the greatest men
          of the nation, feeling unable to deal with this question of
          "Mormonism," this "knotty problem," actually called upon the
          government of Great Britain to help to stop the progress of this
          work. You know what Secretary Evarts did a few years ago--he
          actually appealed to the several European governments to pass
          laws, or do something else to prevent the "Mormons" coming from
          their respective countries to this "asylum for the oppressed,
          this land of liberty." I am happy to say, however, that the
          wisdom exercised and manifested by some of the notable ones of
          Great Britain was greater than that exercised by some of the
          notable ones in our own land. They had sense enough to know that
          they had no business to deal with any such question, and they
          rather snubbed the poor deluded Secretary, and through him the
          Government of the United States, by telling them that it was a
          matter over which they had no control. There--in the "effete
          governments of the old world"--a man might worship God, the
          devil, or a yellow dog, and it would be all right; but in the
          United States--the much-vaunted "land of liberty"--while a man
          might worship the devil, or a yellow dog, he must look out and be
          very chary how he undertakes to worship the true and living God;
          for if he undertakes that he will have trouble on hand the first
          thing he knows. The Methodists may worship a God without body,
          parts or passions, who sits on the top of a topless throne, and
          the Government will say nothing about it; but as sure as you
          undertake to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and
          the Apostles, they are after you with "sharp sticks" in the shape
          of inimical laws, unconstitutional enactments, missionary judges,
          governors, marshals, etc. We have proven this, and we know it is
          true. It is not because we have not the truth; it is not because
          we have not revelation; it is not because we have not Prophets,
          Apostles, and inspired men; it is not because we have not the
          Priesthood; because if we had not these we would be like the rest
          of the world, and they would be no more concerned about us than
          we are concerned about them. Why are they not as troubled over
          the rest of mankind as they are over us? Simply because they have
          nothing to fear from them; they are all sailing in the same boat,
          all going down the same stream; they are all "birds of a
          feather," if you please. But here is something that is opposed to
          that downward tendency; here is something that is going up the
          stream, something that is going in an entirely different
          direction from the rest of mankind. And they howl about it, and
          say, "If we let this kind of thing go on we shall lose our place
          and nation." Something has got to be done, they say, to stop the
          onward progress of this abominable "Mormonism." Now, mark
          it--this abominable "Mormonism!" If a man is a thief in Utah, it
          is because he is a "Mormon." If he is a liar, it is because he is
          a "Mormon." If he commits adultery, it is because he is a
          "Mormon." If he commits murder, it is because he is a "Mormon."
          It is not because he is an adulterer; it is not because he is a
          murderer; it is not because he is a liar; it is not because he is
          a thief, that he does these things, but it is because he is a
          "Mormon!" Now, why is this? Is it because the world do not know
          to the contrary? No, it is not, for they do know better--that is,
          the great majority of mankind that know anything about us. I
          acknowledge that there are a great many in the world who do not
          know anything about us; they simply believe the slanders of a few
          malicious scribblers concerning us. But it is not the ignorant
          and deceived that are seeking to bring trouble upon this people,
          but the crafty, whose crafts are in danger. They cry out,
          "delusion! delusion!" in order to distract attention from their
          own delusions, from their own sins and corruptions. They try to
          scare the people away from their own infamies, and turn them upon
          the Latter-day Saints. But it is a poor miserable dodge and will
          not succeed. Their crafts are not only in danger, but they are
          doomed to fall. But the truth is not in danger, and it is
          destined to continue until it accomplishes its mission. This is
          my testimony, and I predict this without any fear of being a
          false prophet. I do not fear to prophesy this, because the Lord
          God Almighty has foretold it. God has declared it by his own
          voice, and by the voice of angels, and of Prophets, and I believe
          their testimony. I know by the Spirit of God in my own heart that
          their testimony is true; I know that the kingdom of God will
          succeed and finally triumph. While I say this, I do not say we
          will not have to pass through tribulation, that we may not have
          to be scourged for our weaknesses, follies and shortcomings; for
          I do not know any more effectual way in which the Lord could
          bring us to our senses, that the chaff, the smut and the refuse
          may be sifted out and the wheat preserved, than to suffer to be
          scattered among us the influences of the world, the leaven of
          unrighteousness, that that which is no part of the body of Christ
          may be separated and the good perfected, cleansed and purified.
          Those who are corrupt do not belong to the body of Christ's
          Church; it is only that which is pure and holy that can have a
          part therein. We have all got to be fashioned, modelled and
          reformed, before we can become like unto our Savior. A man who is
          deformed by iniquity, lack of faith, by wicked and unrighteous
          practices, can never reflect the image of his Creator, until that
          deformity is removed. We must purify ourselves before God, and
          this is what the Gospel of the Son of God--by some called
          "Mormonism"--teaches us to do. We say that "Mormonism" is onward
          and upward, and as I have said, I have never had any fears as to
          the ultimate triumph of the kingdom of God. Upon what are our
          hopes based? What is the foundation of our expectation in regard
          to this matter? Is it that all the people will do right? Do we
          expect or hope that all the people will be saved with a full
          salvation? Do we expect or hope that all the people that are now
          numbered among the Latter-day Saints will be true and faithful to
          the end? No; we may justly fear that many will fall by the way.
          But there will always be a sufficient number of this people, and
          of their children and children's children, and of the honest in
          heart who are at present in darkness but who will yet come to a
          knowledge of the truth, who will be sufficiently faithful to the
          covenants that they make with God, that the Kingdom will never
          fall or be left to another people. I judge this from the history
          of the past. It has been so from the beginning until now, and
          this is a glorious assurance to me, besides the testimony of the
          Holy Spirit in my heart, that this will be the case in the
          future. Notwithstanding many have fallen by the way and have
          manifested intense hatred towards the work of God in which they
          were formerly engaged, and have done their utmost to destroy it,
          notwithstanding all opposition of this character, the Kingdom has
          grown steadily and unmistakably from the day it was organized,
          April 6th, 1830, until the present moment, and it will never
          cease to grow. We may be brought under affliction, if not under
          bondage. Now for my own part I do not care to be brought under
          greater bondage than I am under at the present time. I feel in my
          heart as though I was under as much bondage as I care to bear
          with out some more help from the Lord and from my brethren. When
          I am restrained by unjust laws or bills or attainder from
          exercising the rights of citizenship, from worshipping God
          according to the dictates of my own conscience, and openly
          practicing the principles of my religion, which are in strict
          accord with the holy Scriptures, the Bible; when I am legislated
          against contrary to the constitutional law of the land, and my
          rights interfered with and trampled upon without a cause, I feel
          that is about as much bondage as a free born American citizen,
          never convicted of any crime, ought to submit to. That is the
          case at present to a certain extent; but we are not yet very much
          hurt. It cools our affections a little for "Uncle Sam," or the
          administrators of government, but draws us nearer to God and
          closer to the precious principles of the Constitution, and
          excites our sympathy for our misruled country. But all the
          powerful engines that have been framed for the destruction of the
          liberties of the Latter-day Saints have hitherto proven in the
          main failures. The framers of these engines of destruction, and
          base plots, have not been able to accomplish by them the objects
          for which they were intended. In consequence of this, our enemies
          are dissatisfied with themselves and with the Government because
          of their failures. It is not because we have opposed them; it is
          not because we have used any violence; it is not because we have
          resisted any wicked and corrupt law, for we have said but little;
          we have simply let them do as they pleased, knowing that they are
          in the hands of the Lord, who will suffer them to go just as far
          as will subserve His purposes, and when they have gone that far
          He will say to them, as He says to the mighty deep, "Hitherto
          shalt thou come, but no farther: and here shall thy proud waves
          be stayed." They can go no further than He permits them, and
          inasmuch as we do right and keep the commandments of God, we need
          have no fear; but if we play into their hands, cater to them,
          encourage them, and give them of our strength and support, then
          we may some day expect to be caught in the meshes, for as Paul
          says: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to
          obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey." When we become
          servants of the enemies of the people of God, we will find we
          have got unmerciful masters. We have come to these mountains to
          serve the Lord. We have not come here to serve ourselves, nor to
          serve man, nor to serve Babylon. The voice of God has been to us,
          "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her
          sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." And, furthermore,
          it is said, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:
          for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And
          what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that
          believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of
          God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God
          hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be
          their God, and they shall be my people." This is the call that is
          made upon the Latter-day Saints. Now what will it avail us if we
          come out from Babylon and bring the customs of Babylon with us?
          What will it avail us if we come out from among the nations of
          the earth and mingle with the ungodly, the infidel worship idols,
          and do all manner of evils? What good will it do? I can tell you
          what harm it will do. It will just add that much more
          condemnation to those who have been called to be not unequally
          yoked with unbelievers, etc.; they will be held that much more
          culpable before the Lord; "for unto whomsoever much is given, of
          him shall much be required; and to whom the Lord has committed
          much, of him will men ask the more." We know what is good, and if
          we do it not, we then are guilty of sin. Much has been given unto
          us, therefore much is required at our hands. If our righteousness
          exceeds not the righteousness of the modern Pharisees and
          Scribes, what better are we than they? We are called to be the
          salt of the earth. What say the Scriptures? "If the salt shall
          lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? The salt shall
          thenceforth be good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be
          trodden under foot of men. I give unto you to be the light of the
          world; a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. * * *
          Therefore, let your light so shine before this world, that they
          may see our good works." That is our calling. We are not called
          to be infidel to the work God has commenced upon the earth, to be
          infidel to the truths He has revealed unto us, but we have been
          called out from the midst of the earth that we may be the
          servants of the Lord, that we may be His chosen people, that we
          may raise up a righteous people, and that we may so live that God
          will acknowledge and own us, and that we may claim Him to be our
          Father and our God.
           F. Smith
          When we came out here we came out from the midst of bondage and
          very much oppression and tyranny. Some of the brethren were
          talking to us yesterday about bondage; and it is said in the
          revelation that "ye must needs be led out of bondage by power,
          and with a stretched out arm." Now, the Lord also promised that
          He would raise up a man that should lead the people out of
          bondage; and, further, He promised that when He should raise up
          that man His angels should go before them and also His presence,
          not as it was in the days of the children of Israel in the
          wilderness, when His angel went up before them, but not His
          presence; but in the last days the Spirit of God and the angels
          shall go before the people and shall follow after them.
           F. Smith
          There are some wonderful events to transpire in the future, but
          one of the most wonderful events has already transpired, but that
          event, I suppose, like that witnessed by the children of Israel
          in the dividing of the waters of the Red Sea and their pilgrimage
          to Canaan, will be left to other generations to appreciate. I do
          not think that the children of Israel thought a great deal about
          their crossing the Red Sea in the way they did. Perhaps they
          thought it was done upon natural principles. They probably
          attributed the separation of the waters to some natural causes,
          and failed to see the hand or power of God in it any more than
          the people of Missouri, in 1878, saw the power of God in a
          cyclone there, which was so powerful that it lifted the water and
          mud out of a large lake in its course clean to the solid ground
          or bed rock, leaving a dry pathway from shore to shore about a
          quarter of a mile wide, carrying away and scattering thousands of
          fish over the country for miles away, and it was some little time
          before the water flowed back to its level in the lake. This was
          accounted for, I suppose, on scientific principles. It was the
          power of this electric storm that raised the water out of the
          lake, swept it clean to bed rock, carrying everything before it,
          and leaving a path upon which people could walk dry shod! They do
          not think God had any thing to do with it. But by and by their
          children may think the power of God was manifested even in this.
          Doubtless the children of Israel learned to thank God for
          dividing the waters of the Red Sea and allowing them to pass
          through dry shod, while the Egyptians who were pursuing them were
           F. Smith
          A wonderful event has occurred in these last days among this
          people, an event many times more wonderful than the marching of
          the children of Israel from Egypt to the holy land. It is only a
          short distance from the River Jordan to the land of Egypt--only a
          few hundred miles--and yet they wandered about for forty years
          seeking the goodly land, until every last one of them, except
          two, had fallen asleep because of their rebellious spirit, and
          only their posterity were permitted to enter the holy land. Now,
          what has happened in this dispensation? This people have crossed
          deserts that are beyond comparison with those traversed by the
          children of Israel. They were not fed by manna it is true,
          although they were fed with quails in great abundance on at least
          one occasion, and they performed a journey nearly four times as
          great as that performed by the children of Israel--which occupied
          them forty years--in the course of a few months. Now this was a
          wonderful thing. We had to make the roads, build the bridges,
          "kill the snakes" and withstand the attacks of the Indians while
          crossing the trackless deserts. And when President Young first
          set his foot upon the ground where the Temple now stands in Salt
          Lake City, by the testimony of the spirit of God that was in his
          heart, by the inspiration of the Almighty, he exclaimed to the
          pioneers: "Here we will make our resting place, and here is the
          spot upon which we will build the Temple." He had before seen an
          ensign descend and light upon the mountain peak--which is now
          called from the circumstance "Ensign Peak"--which was an
          indication to him that this was the resting place God designed
          for His people. God led this people from the midst of their
          persecutors, delivered them from prison bars and fettering
          chains, delivered them from bondage, brought them out here and
          made them free--as free as any people upon the earth. I am at the
          defiance of the world to-day, to show me an equal number of
          people any where that enjoy greater freedom or liberty at this
          moment than the Latter-day Saints do, notwithstanding the efforts
          of our enemies to the contrary. It cannot be done. We were led
          out of bondage by the power of God. The angels of God and the
          power and presence of the Almighty accompanied us, so much so
          that notwithstanding the country was covered with sagebrush and
          crickets, presenting the most forbidding appearance President
          Young was enabled to point out where the Temple and city would be
          built. He said: "You may go north and south, east and west, and
          explore the country all over, but when you have done it, you will
          come back and say that this is the spot where we are to settle."
          And that has been the universal experience and unwavering
          testimony of the people that have enjoyed the spirit of their
          religion from that day to this. There is no where between here
          and the Pacific coast, no where between the frozen zone in the
          north and Old Mexico in the south, where this people could enjoy
          more liberty or prosper better than we have done and do in the
          midst of these mountains. Over thirty years experience has proven
          this beyond the possibility of doubt, and this is an evidence
          that those who led the people were inspired of God, inspired to
          teach, inspired to build, inspired to cultivate and reclaim these
          deserts, inspired to dedicate the land and the waters unto the
          Lord, that they might have His blessing poured out upon them,
          that they might be changed from sterility to abundant
          fruitfulness, and this the Lord has done for the people.
           F. Smith
          Now, it is quite possible that the Lord will raise up somebody in
          the future who will be powerful and mighty to lead the people to
          rebuild the waste places of Zion, but when He does, the power of
          God which has been manifested in the leading of this people in
          the past will not be forgotten nor despised, but will be more
          apparent to future generations than to this, and will be regarded
          quite as remarkable and as wonderful as anything that will occur
          in the future to them that participate in the scene. When God
          leads the people back to Jackson County, how will he do it? Let
          me picture to you how some of us may be gathered and led to
          Jackson County. I think I see two or three hundred thousand
          people wending their way across the great plain enduring the
          nameless hardships of the journey, herding and guarding their
          cattle by day and by night, and defending themselves and little
          ones from foes on the right hand and on the left, as when they
          came here. They will find the journey back to Jackson County will
          be as real as when they came out here. Now, mark it. And though
          you may be led by the power of God "with a stretched out arm," it
          will not be more manifest than the leading the people out here to
          those that participate in it. They will think there are a great
          many hardships to endure in this manifestation of the power of
          God, and it will be left, perhaps to their children to see the
          glory of their deliverance, just as it is left for us to see the
          glory of our former deliverance from the hands of those that
          sought to destroy us. This is one way to look at it. It is
          certainly a practical view. Some might ask, what will become of
          the railroads? I fear that the sifting process would be
          insufficient were we to travel by railroads. We are apt to
          overlook the manifestations of the power of God to us because we
          are participators in them, and regard them as commonplace events.
          But when it is written in history--as it will be written--it will
          be shown forth to future generations as one of the most
          marvelous, unexampled and unprecedented accomplishments that has
          ever been known to history.
           F. Smith
          I believe with all my heart that President Brigham Young was a
          man mighty and strong whom God Almighty raised up to lead this
          people out of bondage. What do you believe about it? And I
          believe He did it by the power of God and the help of his
          brethren. I know that he did it, and I know since that event that
          this people have been comparatively, to a great extent, free from
          malicious courts, from imprisonments, from chains and fetters,
          from mobocracy, and from injury by persecution, and they have
          thriven, prospered, multiplied, built and inhabited, planted and
          reaped the fruits of their labors and rejoiced in them ever
          since. And we have never been in bondage since, and we need not
          have been under what bondage we are if we had only done our duty,
          kept the commandments of the Lord, followed the counsels of His
          servants implicitly and without doubt in our minds, we would have
          been as free to-day as we were the moment we set foot in these
           F. Smith
          This is my testimony in relation to this matter. God has led His
          people out of bondage, and he has given them these strong
          mountain fastnesses for an inheritance. This will be a land of
          Zion unto us. We shall rejoice in it and prosper exceedingly, if
          we continue to do our duty. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 /
          Erastus Snow, June 24th, 1883
                            Erastus Snow, June 24th, 1883
                          DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE ERASTUS SNOW,
                   Delivered at the Quarterly Conference, Parowan,
                         Sunday Afternoon, June 24th, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                         CRISIS--WHY THE SAINTS ARE OPPOSED.
          I want to say to the young men and the young ladies and to all
          the people--but especially our children, the youths in
          Israel--that the leaders of this people do not speak of
          themselves. That which they are striving to impress upon the
          people is of the Lord and not of man. The Latter-day Saints have
          not been gathered from the different nations of the earth, and
          brought together in these mountains to worship man, nor to serve
          man, to be their slaves, not to be obedient unto man, and if
          anybody has such an idea or intention they have got hold of the
          wrong people. The people who are gathered here are not the people
          calculated to do such a thing. The faith we teach throws
          everybody upon their own responsibility; they are at liberty to
          act and choose for themselves, and all will be held responsible
          before God for their faith and conduct. The free agency of man is
          and always has been a prominent doctrine in this Church, and no
          one advocated it more strongly than the Prophet Joseph Smith. The
          free agency of man is inseparably connected with intelligence, as
          the revelations of God in the Doctrine and Covenants plainly and
          explicitly declare, that all intelligence is independent. Without
          this agency there would be no self-existence. And because of this
          agency, which existed in eternity before the worlds were, with
          intelligent beings, with our spirits when they existed in the
          spirit world--through the exercise of this agency Satan fell, and
          all those who clung to him and rebelled against our Heavenly
          Father. Brother Cannon has impressed us with the idea that
          obedience to correct principle, believing in the truth and living
          it and obeying it, is as good an evidence of independent thought
          and character--and perhaps a little more so--than to be
          disobedient; that no man, woman or child will be more independent
          by rejecting the truth, by disobeying correct laws and correct
          principles, than those who receive and obey the truth with
          contrite hearts. Now, what say you, you must all judge for
          yourselves, and choose what you will be. My experience and
          observation of the Latter-day Saints is that they are the hardest
          people I know anything about to either drive or lead in a wrong
          direction. Brother Cannon speaks of President Young and President
          Taylor, and other good men, our leaders, being led, as it were,
          by a hair in obedience to the Priesthood, which implies simply
          obedience to truth and to correct doctrine, and to righteousness.
          This is the explanation the Prophet Joseph Smith gave to a
          certain lawyer in his time who came to see him and his people and
          expressed astonishment and surprise at the ease with which he
          controlled the people, and said it was something that was not to
          be found among the learned men of the world. Said he: "We cannot
          do it. What is the secret of your success?" "Why," said the
          Prophet, "I do not govern the people. I teach them correct
          principles and they govern themselves." I have been young, now I
          am getting old and expect to pass away soon, as well as all those
          who have been for many years before the people serving the Lord,
          and laboring to promote the welfare of the people; but from my
          youth up I have observed the dealings of God with the Latter-day
          Saints. I am pretty well acquainted with them. They are pretty
          well acquainted with their leaders. They are pretty well
          acquainted with the voice of truth, and they know it when they
          hear it as a rule--that is, all those who hare humble and
          prayerful and who love the truth and the voice of the good
          Shepherd, they know it when they hear it, and when principles are
          taught that are good, that come from God, they comprehend them
          and receive them. But as Paul said in one of his epistles to the
          ancient Saints: "There is a law in our members, warring against
          the law of the spirit and bringing our bodies into bondage to the
          law of sin and death." That is, the lusts and desires of the
          flesh and the pride of life which we have to war against. And
          this warfare commences as soon as we begin to grow up to
          maturity. It is this that lays the foundation for rebellion. As
          soon as this begins to manifest itself in us, in our youth, so
          soon we need to begin to curb it. And here comes in the duty of
          parents in their Priesthood and calling, to watch over those
          children that are given them of the Lord and the ways of the
          righteous, and to restrain them from passions, from anger, from
          strife, from contention, from envy, from jealousy, from
          disobedience; to impress them with the necessity of doing right
          and repenting of wrong whenever they do it, that they may hold in
          check the passions that are common to our nature; and to show
          them how to enjoy all that the Lord has designed for our
          happiness in this world and our exaltation in the next without
          excess, without allowing our tabernacles to be used as
          instruments of sin and wickedness.
          We have heard during this conference--and especially this
          forenoon from President Taylor--some very important principles
          advanced for our government as individuals and as communities,
          principles which we are to observe and which are essential to our
          purity and progress as a people, and as individuals, and our
          exaltation in the eternal world. For the law of the Lord is
          strict unto those who are instructed and have opportunities to
          observe it, and far more so with us as Latter-day Saints than
          with the Gentile world. The Lord will make greater allowance for
          the Gentile world than He will for us, and He has had compassion
          upon us and made greater allowance for us in the days of our
          ignorance than He will do for us in the future; for He expects us
          as a people to profit by our experience and our instruction and
          the opportunities afforded us, and to improve our condition, to
          purify our persons, our families, and our communities, and to
          purge evil from our midst. And touching moral purity and the
          intercourse of the sexes and the objects and purposes of this
          intercourse, God has revealed to the Latter-day Saints, as He
          also revealed unto our fathers, that He has a great and glorious
          and grand object in view in placing us here upon the earth, male
          and female, and commanding us to multiply and replenish the
          earth. His purposes in these things are from eternity to
          eternity. They reach back into our first or former existence, and
          consequently will reach forward through this our second, and into
          our next estate, and through all eternity. And we need a correct
          understanding of the proper use of the privileges and blessings
          that are given unto us. On this depends the glory and exaltation
          of ourselves and our children for evermore. The Lord is striving
          to educate a people that will properly understand these things
          and appreciate them, and that will not trifle with the fountains
          of life and with those choice blessings that are placed within
          their reach. When we look abroad into the gentile nations at the
          present time, those who are acquainted with their condition are
          constrained to acknowledge that we live in a wicked and
          adulterous generation. Adultery, whoredom and lust have cursed
          the gentile nations, and the wicked portion of all mankind, we
          may say, from time immemorable. But with the seed of Abraham, the
          children of Israel--who were called an holy nation, a peculiar
          people--God has sought to regulate, by His laws, those things,
          and to teach the people so that they may raise up unto Him a holy
          nation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood. He chose Abraham
          from among the nations and blessed him. He promised to multiply
          his seed like the stars in the heaven or the sands of the sea
          shore for number. He tried and proved him well as we heard this
          morning. He blessed him and blessed his seed after him, likewise
          his son Isaac and his grandson, Jacob, and promised that the
          oracles should remain with him and his seed. Nevertheless, the
          promises made were general; they were not promises to individuals
          alone. Yet the promises were conditional. They were given on
          condition that their posterity should abide in the truth, follow
          the teachings and examples of their fathers, and prove themselves
          worthy; for Nephi has said concerning these things in the Book of
          Mormon that God covenants with none except those that repent and
          believe in His Son and keep His commandments. But there are
          special promises to the children of Israel, the seed of Abraham,
          as a people; for as a people they are the elect of God. But as
          individuals every one is held responsible for his own sins. No
          promise of the father can save any individual. Nevertheless,
          according to the promise made unto the fathers, God makes
          manifest among the children of Israel the Priesthood and reveals
          unto them the Gospel, and gives them an opportunity to receive it
          and obey it and obtain exaltation through it, if they will, and
          in this respect they are more favored than the gentile nations
          throughout the whole world, though He has said that whoever fears
          God and works righteousness is accepted of Him among all nations
          and all peoples, Jew or Gentile. But the Lord has set His hand to
          gather His people, and He is selecting them by the preaching of
          the Gospel to the world by the Elders of Israel. The spirit which
          accompanies the preaching of the Gospel feels after and searches
          out and gathers together the seed of Abraham that are worthy to
          be saved. It gathers together those whom God has called to have
          part in the latter day work, in the "dispensation of the fullness
          of times"--the ten thousands of Ephraim and the thousands of
          Manasseh, spoken of by Moses when he blessed the tribes of
          Well, now, because the Lord has set His hand to gather out from
          the nations of the earth the humble and the honest in heart and
          those that will be obedient and will submit themselves to the
          truth and to the law of the Lord, therefore He reveals unto them
          a new and everlasting covenant, the holy covenant of marriage for
          time and for all eternity, the union of the sexes, the sealing of
          wives to husbands and husbands to wives, children to parents,
          etc., the uniting and sealing us in the holy Priesthood unto the
          fathers and even unto our Lord Jesus Christ, who stands at the
          head of the kingdom of righteousness, the Chief Apostle and High
          Priest of our profession; and unto this new and everlasting
          covenant has the Lord purposed and designed His people to be
          united and bound together with the Son, our Savior, and through
          Him unto His Father; for He has said, "Whosoever receiveth me
          receiveth my Father, and all that my Father hath shall be given
          unto him."
          This new and everlasting covenant reveals unto us the keys of the
          Holy Priesthood and ordinances thereof. It is the grand keystone
          of the arch which the Lord is building in the earth. In other
          words, it is that which completes the exaltation and glory of the
          righteous who receive the everlasting Gospel, and without it they
          could not attain unto the eternal power and Godhead and the
          fullness of celestial glory. Now, many may enter into the glory
          of God, and become servants in the house of God and in the
          celestial kingdom of God, who are not able to abide this new and
          everlasting covenant; but as we are told in the Doctrine and
          Covenants, with them there is an end to their exaltation. They
          may remain in their saved condition without exaltation, but they
          enter not into the order of the Gods. They cannot progress
          through the ceaseless rounds of eternity except they abide in the
          covenant, and abide the law that governs it, and the Lord will
          not be mocked in these things.
          We heard this morning how strict was the law pertaining to these
          matters. Now we say unto all Israel, old and young, these things
          are revealed unto us for our good. The strictness of the law may
          not in times past have been taught us and enforced upon us as we
          may look for it being taught and enforced in the future. But it
          behooveth us to reflect upon these things, and while it is our
          privilege to go forward, earnestly desiring and seeking after all
          that the Lord has to bestow upon us, yet we must remember that
          the more we receive and the greater privileges we are permitted
          to enjoy, the more strict accountability will be required of us,
          and the more dreadful will be the consequences of transgression
          or violation of the holy covenants and obligations which we
          Now, I wish to say that I realize that there are some in our
          midst--whether they are in your midst in this Stake of Zion or
          not, I am not prepared to say with any certainty, for I can only
          judge of the condition and feeling of the people as I am informed
          from time to time--I say, there are some whom Satan would stir to
          disobedience and try to make an impression upon their minds that
          the system of plural marriage, and those things that pertain to
          the sealing of men and women for time and for eternity, and the
          revelation which has been read in our hearing, given through the
          Prophet Joseph pertaining to this subject--that it was the work
          of man and not the work of God. We have recently had published in
          some of the Utah papers some letters on this subject, and one
          from Joseph Smith, the eldest son of the Prophet, in which a
          great deal of sophistry is made use of, special pleading, such as
          the lawyer that he is, seems only capable of using. And the
          object of this special pleading and the sophistry is to try to
          leave an impression upon the ignorant, those who know no better,
          that plural marriage was not introduced and sanctioned and
          practiced by his father, but that it has been an innovation of
          man, and does not belong to the system of religion which he
          believed and practiced and taught the people. And there are some
          among us who would fain take this view of the subject; not that
          there are many who believe it, but there are some who would like
          to believe it. And so there are in the world many people who fear
          that "Mormonism" as a whole is true and of God; they are very
          much afraid that it is, but they hope that it is not. They do not
          want to receive it; they do not want to live it, but they are
          afraid it is true, and multitudes of people have been convinced
          of its truth, but have not the honesty to acknowledge it; and
          many who would acknowledge it for a little season, would
          afterwards, because of the love of the world, fall away, and thus
          condemnation has fallen upon the world because they will not obey
          the truth when they hear it. And so it is with some among the
          Latter-day Saints. They are pretty well satisfied that this
          doctrine of plural marriage is true, and that it was revealed
          through the Prophet Joseph Smith, but they would like an excuse
          for disavowing and rejecting it. And why so? Mainly because their
          minds are closed up and have not been able to comprehend the
          principles that are embraced in this doctrine and connected with
          it. Their minds are contracted and limited. They think more of
          this present life than they do of the future. They want to lay up
          riches; they want to gather personal comforts around them; they
          want to gratify the pride of life and the lusts of the flesh.
          They do not understand that which is for their real good, their
          real happiness. But I testify that there is more real happiness
          in serving God and abiding in His law, and submitting to all its
          conditions and requirements than there can be in taking an
          opposite course. This is the testimony of all who receive and
          abide in the truth, and there is abundant evidence in their lives
          and conduct to prove that they, in receiving the truth, enjoy
          more comfort and happiness than those who reject it. And touching
          our plural families, I will say that, with all the weaknesses
          that are common to frail humanity, and that manifest themselves
          in our midst-- the men who enter into this order in the sincerity
          of their hearts and with devotion to God, and the women who also
          enter into it in the love of the truth and in the earnestness of
          their souls, fearing God and desiring to do His will--that with
          all the weaknesses that manifest themselves, I say there is
          treble the genuine comfort and happiness in those families who
          enter into this order and abide in it, than is to be found in the
          same number of families in monogamy in this Church, to say
          nothing of the Gentile world. And then we will take the
          Latter-day Saints as a whole, whether in plural marriage or
          single marriage, and we will say that there is ten times more
          genuine happiness and comfort in believing and obeying the
          Gospel--whether in plural or single wedlock--than is to be found
          among the same number of people in any part of the world outside
          of this Church. Now, in this you are all my witnesses. Many of
          you have been in the world. You know what you were, and how you
          felt, and how your neighbors felt, and what kind of enjoyment you
          had before you heard the fullness of the Gospel. You know pretty
          well the condition of the world now--the condition of those who
          have not received the Gospel--and you know what your condition is
          and has been since you received the Gospel. And who among you,
          Latter-day Saints, would exchange your present condition for the
          condition of the outside world? Are we not prepared to testify
          that our happiness is trebled, through having believed and obeyed
          the Gospel?
          Now, as I said to the Priesthood last night, we are arriving at a
          political crisis in our affairs. The priests and bigots of
          Christendom--and of America especially--are driving our
          law-makers into trying to hedge up our way and to oppress us
          politically as well as religiously. They are endeavoring not only
          to deprive us of religious freedom, but to deprive us of
          political freedom, and to bring us into bondage. Well, now, they
          will do it as far as the Lord will allow them and no further. He
          will block their wheels. He will throw obstacles in their way. He
          will stay their onward progress. But He allows His people to be
          tried to see whether they will trust Him and have faith in Him,
          or whether they will deny Him, whether they will deny their
          covenants and their principles through fear of the power of the
          wicked, through fear of oppression, through fear of prisons or of
          death. For we have among us those who will falter, those who will
          halt between two opinions, those who wish to serve the world, and
          who, at the same time, would like to serve the Lord a little.
          Well, can such people always continue in this doubtful and
          divided condition? No, they can not. They will be tried and
          proven, and by and by they must take sides one way or another;
          they must either turn their backs upon the wicked and cleave unto
          God and His people with full purpose of soul, or they will turn
          their backs upon God and His people and go down to perdition with
          the ungodly of the world.
          Well, now, in regard to those who are seeking for an excuse to
          reject plural marriage and are inclined to receive the statement
          of young Joseph Smith, I wish to say that I know that Joseph
          Smith is entirely ignorant of what he says, or he is a liar; for
          I know that he does not speak the truth. How far his mind has
          been blinded or how he has been influenced to look upon these
          things as correct, or to think that he speaks the truth, I do not
          know. But he is woefully in the dark if he thinks he does speak
          the truth in regard to this matter. I do not wish to accuse him
          of lying knowingly and intentionally. But there are multitudes of
          witnesses who know better, and know that when his father was
          murdered this son Joseph was in his eleventh year, and like other
          children of that age knew little either of his father's life or
          his teachings and the principles that governed his life. He knew
          but little of what was being taught among the people. But there
          are multitudes of witnesses that were older than he, and that
          were intimate with the Prophet Joseph, that know better. Now,
          those who take this other view, and are trying to convince
          themselves that his is an institution of man and not of God,
          bring forth the law that was given to the Nephites of old upon
          the American continent, which was given them by Jacob, the
          brother of Nephi, and which you can read, as doubtless you have
          often read, in the Book of Mormon. Jacob arraigned some of the
          people because the men were giving way to the lusts of the flesh
          and the pride of life, and whoredoms, and they attempted to
          justify themselves in their whoredoms by referring to what is
          written in the Jewish Scriptures concerning David and Solomon and
          other men having many wives and concubines, which Jacob informed
          the Nephites was an abomination in the sight of the Lord, and
          gave unto them a commandment that not any man among them should
          have save it be one wife, and concubines they should have none,
          saying that the Lord "delighteth in the chastity of woman." And
          in the same connection the Lord said: "For if I will, saith the
          Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people;
          otherwise they shall hearken unto these things." Now, there was a
          reason why the Lord gave this commandment to the Nephites. But
          this reason did not exist when the Lord called Abraham and
          promised that his seed should be like the sand upon the sea shore
          for number. He recognized the righteousness of a plurality of
          wives, and never at any time did he restrict them from the days
          of Abraham until Christ, so far as we have any record in the
          Jewish Scriptures. But there were reasons, as I said before, why
          he restricted the Nephites, but in this restriction He intimated
          that when the time should come that He should raise up seed unto
          himself, He would command His people.
          Now, when the Lord raised up the Prophet Joseph to lay the
          foundation of this Church, He found monogamy instead of polygamy
          to be the rule of Christendom, and He enjoined, in the early
          revelations to this Church, that every woman cleave unto her
          husband, and that every man cleave unto his wife and none else,
          saying that he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her who is
          not his wife hath committed adultery already with her in his
          heart. This was the law governing Christendom which had been
          inherited by the Gentiles for ages past, and introduced among the
          Roman Empire and perpetuated by the Roman church and the
          Protestant churches that had sprung out of her, and the Lord in
          the early history of this people continued this order of things,
          but revealed unto the Prophet Joseph, nevertheless, that the time
          would come when He would require His people to enter into plural
          marriage as He did Abraham and the prophets of old, to bring
          about His purposes in the latter days. Joseph revealed this unto
          some of the first Elders of the Church, taking care to enjoin
          them that they must preserve these things in their own hearts;
          that the time had not yet come when the Lord required His people
          to enter into this order, but the time would come when He would
          require them to do so. This was made manifest in the early stages
          of this Church, but not until 1843 was this law committed to
          writing and given to the people. This revelation we find in the
          Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
          Now, Joseph--I refer now to the young man that is alive and who
          was a mere boy at his father's death, and who with his mother and
          her children remained behind, though his mother did know for
          herself that her husband did teach and practice this order of
          marriage, yet she was not willing to own or acknowledge it to her
          children, and her children, the oldest of which, as I have said,
          was only eleven years old when his father was murdered--were
          studiously kept ignorant of the facts of the case as far as she
          was concerned, and therefore we can make allowance and excuse in
          part of what they assert. But there are great numbers that I can
          call to mind who know for themselves that the Prophet Joseph did
          receive from the Lord and teach this order to the first Elders of
          this Church, and did receive and commit to writing this
          revelation on the subject of plural marriage which is contained
          in the Doctrine and Covenants, and did teach it and did practice
          it, and I am one of those witnesses. I know that he taught to me
          as early as in the spring of 1842 what God had revealed to him on
          the subject; I know that he gave to me my second wife and
          assigned his brother, Hyrum, to seal her to me; and I know that
          he taught this doctrine to quite a good few others--the Twelve
          Apostles and others of the faithful Elders of Israel--and that
          very many of the faithful and good women of Israel know and
          understand and are witnesses of these things for themselves. And
          we testify of these things, that God has reserved to Himself this
          right to command His people when it seemeth to Him good and to
          accomplish the object He has in view--that is, to raise up a
          righteous seed, a seed that will pay respect to His law and will
          build up Zion in the earth. And while the wicked are hardening
          their hearts in sin and giving themselves up to whoredoms and
          lust, and seeking to prevent the increase of offspring among
          them, God is impressing upon us the heinousness of these crimes
          and showing us the beauty and glory of multiplying the families
          of Israel. When we visit the settlements of the Saints and attend
          the Quarterly Conferences throughout the land, what do we hear in
          the reports? We hear that an average of about thirty per cent of
          the entire population are children under eight years of age, and
          another one-third between that and twenty, and scarcely one-third
          of the population are yet old enough to enter into the marriage
          relation. And what do we hear? Reports from the Relief Societies
          and the Improvement Associations and the Sunday school teachers
          and superintendents that are engaged in instructing them--and
          what do we year? Why, we hear that the spirit of the Gospel is in
          them, that faith is in them, and that they possess bright,
          intelligent minds that are reaching out after knowledge, and
          hearts that are grasping the things of God. It is this that
          causes the world to fear and tremble and this is the cause of the
          opposition waged against us.
          Brethren and sisters, let us put our trust in God, who will give
          us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / John
          Taylor, May 19, 1883
                              John Taylor, May 19, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                 Delivered at Manti, Saturday Morning, May 19, 1883.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                 TRAINED--AN ACADEMY
                                  OVER THE SAINTS.
          The Gospel, it has been said, is the power of God unto salvation;
          its object is to elevate humanity. There are evils of various
          kinds existing in the world; and we ourselves are not free from
          evil in some of its forms, which should not be the case. We are
          here, as a people, gathered out from the various nations, not to
          imitate the world, unless it be in that which is good--for there
          are many good things among the people of the world, which we may
          imitate with profit--but that we may put ourselves in possession
          of every truth, of every virtue, of every principle of
          intelligence known among men, together with those that God has
          revealed for our special guidance, and apply them to our everyday
          life, and thus educate ourselves and our children in every thing
          that tends to exalt man. We, therefore, must avoid the evils of
          the world, which some of our so-called Christian brethren are
          striving to introduce into our midst; we must shun those
          corrupting influences as we would a viper, and we must further
          use our influence against evil in every form, and in favor of the
          good. It becomes the Latter-day Saints to cherish in their hearts
          the spirit of Zion; to live pure lives, that Zion may indeed be
          Zion to them. We are told that God is love, and that they that
          dwell in God dwell in love. Love is one of his attributes;
          another is justice, another is truth; another is integrity,
          another is knowledge. And we are likewise told that "the glory of
          God is intelligence." We should seek to know more about ourselves
          and our bodies, about what is most conducive to health and how to
          preserve health and how to avoid disease; and to know what to eat
          and what to drink, and what to abstain from taking into our
          systems. We should become acquainted with the physiology of the
          human system, and live in accordance with the laws that govern
          our bodies, that our days may be long in the land which the Lord
          our God has given us. And in order to fully comprehend ourselves
          we must study from the best books, and also by faith. And then
          let education be fostered and encouraged in our midst. Train your
          children to be intelligent and industrious. First teach them the
          value of healthful bodies, and how to preserve them in soundness
          and vigor; teach them to entertain the highest regard for virtue
          and chastity, and likewise encourage them to develop the
          intellectual faculties with which they are endowed. They should
          also be taught regarding the earth on which they live, its
          properties, and the laws that govern it; and they ought to be
          instructed concerning God, who made the earth, and His designs
          and purposes in its creation, and the placing of man upon it.
          They should know how to cultivate the soil in the best possible
          manner; they should know how to raise the best kind of fruits
          adapted to the soil and climate; they should be induced to raise
          the best kinds of stock, and to care for them properly when they
          come into their possession. And whatever labor they pursue they
          should be taught to do so intelligently; and every incentive, at
          the command of parents to induce children to labor intelligently
          and understandingly, should be held out to them. Again, the
          subject of architecture should receive attention from you; and
          your children should be encouraged to improve in the building of
          houses, and not be satisfied to merely copy after what their
          fathers did in the days of their poverty. The building rock at
          your command is of the very best, and it is easily procured; what
          remains for you to do is to put the material together in such a
          shape as shall reflect your best judgment and intelligence
          consistent with due regard to health and convenience. The
          building of the Temple here will no doubt have a tendency to
          awaken the desire on your part to improve in this direction. I
          have noticed that the building of our Temples affords a great
          many young men the opportunity of learning trades which perhaps,
          otherwise would not be the case; and by the time such a building
          is erected they become competent tradesmen, prepared to work in
          the various branches of mechanism that they learn on these
          buildings. Improvement in all things relating to our spiritual
          and temporal welfare should be our aim in life, and we should
          encourage in our children this desire to improve, and not feel
          all the time, "come day, go day, God send Sunday." It is highly
          necessary that we should learn to read and write and speak our
          own language correctly; and where people are deficient themselves
          in education they should strive all the more to see that the
          deficiency be not perpetuated in their offspring. We ought to
          take more pains than we do in the training and education of our
          youth. All that we can possibly do by way of placing them in a
          position to become the equals, at least, of their race, we ought
          to take pleasure in doing; for in elevating them we bring honor
          to our own name, and glory to God the Father. To do this requires
          labor and means, and it also requires perseverance and
          determination on the part of all concerned. A short time ago a
          number of our young men left Salt Lake City to go on missions to
          the United States and to Europe. They were mostly young men that
          had been trained and educated in the University of Deseret, the
          Brigham Young Academy of Provo, and the B. Y. College of Logan,
          and the High School at Ogden. They were fine looking young men,
          and quite intelligent, and a credit to any community or people.
          Sometimes the Lord chooses such men as Brother Woodruff and
          myself to do His bidding, as He in former times called fishermen
          and others, and inspired them with intelligence sufficient, at
          least, to cope with and confound the wise. I think there is a
          Scripture that says that He chooses the weak things of the world
          to bring to naught the things that are, that no flesh might glory
          in His presence. That is true, and is well enough in its place;
          but we cannot expect the Lord to do this always, it is for us to
          do our part, that is to cultivate our intellectual faculties and
          to prepare ourselves to be used by Him, having at all times an
          eye single to His honor and glory. He has shown us how to build
          Temples, but He does not build them; that is our part of the
          work. I do not think that Peter or Paul knew much about Temple
          building, but they knew something pertaining to the ordinances of
          the Temple, but more especially of the Gospel, for God taught it
          to them. But we are told to seek for intelligence by study and
          through faith, and to acquaint ourselves with the laws and
          governmental affairs of nations, that all may know how to take
          part in the affairs of the world. God has said that through His
          people He will teach nations, and "the Gentiles shall come to thy
          light and kings to the brightness of thy rising." (Isaiah ix. 3.)
          He will pour out upon His people knowledge and inspire them with
          wisdom, so that they will be able to teach all classes and
          conditions of men. That time is yet to come, but we must prepare
          ourselves to act in that position, and the way to do it is to
          commence with our children. I was pleased to hear that President
          Canute Peterson and other leading men of Ephraim had secured a
          building, which is at present in an unfinished condition, with
          the intention of converting it into an academy. You need such an
          institution, and by right you ought to have one in all your
          larger towns; and our school teachers should be the best you can
          get. They should be men of faith in God; men who believe in and
          have a knowledge of the Gospel; men capable of imparting true and
          correct ideas with regard to God and His works, and the laws that
          govern them, as well as being able to impart a regular scholastic
          education. I would advise Brother Peterson and those associated
          with him in this enterprise, to carry on to completion the work
          they have begun; and I would say to you here in Manti, bestir
          yourselves in the same direction. Whatever you do, be choice in
          your selection of teachers. We do not want infidels to mould the
          minds of our children. They are a precious charge bestowed upon
          us by the Lord, and we cannot be too careful in rearing and
          training them. I would rather have my children taught the simple
          rudiments of a common education by men of God, and have them
          under their influence, than have them taught in the most abstruse
          sciences by men who have not the fear of God in their hearts. As
          God is the fountain of all light, all truth and all intelligence,
          and He has organized matter and made what we term the laws of
          nature, and in the study of His laws is discovered the highest
          and most intellectual development--as "the glory of God is
          intelligence," the more we appreciate and comprehend those
          principles the nearer we approach to the intelligence developed
          by the All-wise Creator; the acme of scientific development in
          the world is predicated upon a knowledge of the laws of nature in
          multifarious forms. We need to pay more attention to educational
          matters, and do all we can to procure the services of competent
          teachers. Some people say, we cannot afford to pay them. You
          cannot afford not to pay them; you cannot afford not to employ
          them. We want our children to grow up intelligent, and to walk
          abreast with the peoples of any nation. God expects us to do it;
          and therefore I call attention to this matter. I have heard
          intelligent practical men say, it is quite as cheap to keep a
          good horse as a poor one, or to raise good stock as inferior
          animals. And is it not quite as cheap to raise good intelligent
          children as to rear children in ignorance.
          There is another thing I wish to speak of. Sometimes we bear too
          much and too long with the workers of iniquity. For instance, I
          heard of a certain Bishop whose First Counselor was in the habit
          of drinking, and his second Counselor also drank occasionally.
          The Bishop in excusing the weakness of his Counselor would say
          that he had a great many good traits, that he was a good meaning
          and kind hearted man, and that he wanted to save him if he could;
          and the man was permitted to indulge his appetite. Time passed on
          and the man apostatized, which he was sure to do if he kept on
          long enough. In sending in his resignation, he said he had had
          enough of "Mormonism," which I have no doubt was really the case;
          I have no doubt either but that long before that "Mormonism" had
          had enough of him. The Bishop had tried to save the man, but what
          of the people? how about the Teachers? Could they, or could the
          Bishop himself preach against a practice that the Counselors were
          guilty of? If he or they were to do so, it would not amount to
          much while the evil was being winked at in high places. By means
          such as this, evil and a loose morality may be introduced into a
          settlement because of a laxity by men in authority, in the
          performance of their duty. When I heard of this I inquired why
          the President of the Stake did not see that the Bishop did his
          duty inasmuch as the Bishop omitted to act in the matter. What
          right have these men in authority to overlook such things? I tell
          you, they have no right at all. And what is the result? It began
          gradually to be a question with a great many of the people in
          that neighborhood whether this really was the work of God or not;
          the spirit of doubt and carelessness found place among them, and
          this because the presiding authority declined to purge out
          iniquity from their midst. Then if a man repents, some say they
          do not know whether it is best to expose such things or not. Yes,
          drag them into daylight all the time, and let every man be known
          for what he is; for no presiding officer can afford to take the
          responsibility upon himself of tolerating the defalcations of
          those who are violating their covenants and trampling under foot
          the laws of God. In saying this I would not ignore another
          principle that is mentioned in the law of the Lord:
          "And if he or she do any manner of iniquity, he or she shall be
          delivered up unto the law, even that of God. And if thy brother
          or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or
          her and thee alone; and if he or she confess, thou shalt be
          reconciled. And if he or she confess not, thou shall deliver him
          or her up unto the Church, not to the members, but to the Elders.
          And it shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world.
          And if thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be
          chastened before many. And if any one offend openly, he or she
          shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed. And if he
          or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law
          of God. If any shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked
          in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess in
          secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God,
          that the Church may not speak reproachfully of him or her."
          Further, I wish to say something in regard to adultery. We are
          told in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, (sec. xiii, ver. 24,
          25, 26.)
          "Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery,
          and repenteth not, shall be cast out; but he that has committed
          adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and
          doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; but if he doeth it again he
          shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out."
          This was in the early ages of the Church, in February, 1831. But
          who is here referred to? Is it a man who has entered into the new
          and everlasting covenant, and has been sealed by the Holy Spirit
          of promise, and by that covenant has been united to his wife for
          time and all eternity, and his wife to him? No, it refers to
          those who have not entered into this covenant, who have not taken
          upon themselves obligations of that nature in a Temple or
          Endowment House; to the latter class who shall be found guilty of
          this sin, the word of the Lord comes unqualifiedly, they shall be
          destroyed. The Lord does expect us to be a pure people, a
          virtuous people, a people whose bodies and spirits are pure
          before Him. If wrong doing be practiced in our midst, the Lord
          expects His Priesthood to ferret it out, or He will hold them
          responsible. We cannot commit sin with impunity. We cannot
          violate the laws of God and enjoy His Spirit; nor can we permit
          the laws of God to be trampled upon and still receive His
          Quite recently a certain Bishop wrote me, stating that one of his
          Counselors dabbled in astrology; that he had been known to
          consult it in reference to the sick. He wanted to know what I
          thought of it. I told him to drop that counselor, that he was not
          fit to be a Bishop's Counselor, nor to hold the holy Priesthood.
          We must not permit such practices to exist among us; and if that
          Bishop declines to do his duty, I shall be in favor of removing
          him, for not carrying out the law of God. Again, we hear of
          fraudulent acts sometimes, and we permit them to be passed over.
          What are laws for? What are Bishops' Courts and High Councils
          for? That when men transgress the laws of God, they shall be
          tried according to the laws of the Church, and if found guilty,
          and are worthy of such action, they shall be cast out; that the
          pure and the righteous may be sustained, and the wicked and
          corrupt, the ungodly and impure, be dealt with according to the
          laws of God. This is necessary in order to maintain purity
          throughout the Church, and to cast off iniquity therefrom. For
          the Spirit of God will not dwell in unholy temples. You fathers,
          look after your sons; you mothers, look after your daughters; see
          that they grow up in purity and righteousness.
          There was a very painful circumstance occurred in my office a day
          or two ago. A certain man had apostatized--indeed, he had been an
          apostate a number of years; he had two wives, both of whom
          applied to me to be divorced from their husband. I asked them why
          they desired to be divorced, and they answered that their husband
          had apostatized from the Church, and to all appearance would
          remain in that condition. The husband expressed his sorrow at
          having to part with his wives, and said he could not help his
          faith. I told him I did not wish to interfere with his faith, nor
          the religious views of any man; but that I would much rather see
          him a believer than a disbeliever. But I explained to him the
          position that his wives occupied. Said I, when you married them
          you were a member of the Church, in full fellowship; you believed
          in God and the order of His holy house. Yes, he said, that is so.
          I then said, Let me tell you another thing, I have heard Joseph
          Smith say, and I presume you have--he was an old member of the
          Church--that in this world we may pass along comparatively
          unknown, but when we appear behind the veil, we shall have to
          pass by the angels and the Gods, and this can only be done by the
          righteous and the pure. He stated that he had heard the same
          thing. I said further, you are the head of this family, and as
          such you ought to take the lead; but can you lead your wives past
          the angels and the Gods? No, (I said) you cannot do it, for
          unless you change your course you will not be there; you have
          trifled with the things of God, until, as you now see, a serious
          crisis is commencing to overtake you. The result was, he and they
          parted by signing the divorce. He said in a feeling way, "I
          cannot forget my wives, they are dear to me;" and again excused
          himself on the ground that he could not help his faith. But he
          might have helped it if he had kept the commandments; but having
          trifled with the things of God, the Holy Spirit gradually
          withdrew, at last leaving him to himself. I really felt sorry for
          the man, and he too felt the position keenly. In parting with him
          I took him by the hand and said to him, "You have put yourself in
          this position, and I cannot help it. No, he said, you have
          treated me right. But (I continued) if the time ever comes that I
          can be of use to you in leading you back in the paths of life, I
          shall be happy to serve you. He thanked me, and left.
          I mention this that you husbands, may be impressed with a sense
          of the responsibility that rests upon you, and that you may be
          careful of your acts and walk in life. God expects you to be true
          to your vows, to be true to yourselves, and to be true to your
          wives and children. If you become covenant-breakers, you will be
          dealt with according to the laws of God. And the men presiding
          over you have no other alternative than to bring the covenant
          breaker to judgment; if they fail to do their duty we shall be
          under the necessity of looking after them, for righteousness and
          purity must be maintained in our midst.
          I am pleased to say that I perceive an increasing desire on the
          part of the people to recognize and stand by the right; and I
          attribute our late deliverance from the hands of our enemies to
          this fact. When there was one of the greatest furores ever gotten
          up against us, He turned their wrath, and the remainder He
          restrained. A certain gentleman well acquainted with railroad
          matters, referring to our political situation at that time,
          summed it up like this: That we, numbering only a hundred and
          fifty thousand in the Territory, were confronted by fifty
          millions of people; that the conflict appeared to him like two
          trains, a large one and a small one, traveling in opposite
          directions on the same track and about to come in collision; and
          as a matter of course the small train would be demolished. It was
          very natural, of course, that he as well as the world generally,
          should regard it in that way. But I told him that I thought that
          God could and would take care of His people. Happening to have
          some communication with this same gentleman some time afterwards,
          I told him that the large train had been shunted off on to a side
          track, and the Democrats had provided them the switch, while the
          small train was still moving on its course uninjured. And if we
          will continue to do right, keeping ourselves pure and unspotted
          from the world, and the officers of the Church will see that
          purity is preserved in the Church, and evil of every kind rooted
          out, God will direct our course and deliver us from the evil that
          wicked men design to bring upon us, and no power will be able to
          move us out of our place. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Joseph
          F. Smith, April 8th, 1883
                          Joseph F. Smith, April 8th, 1883
                Delivered at the General Conference, Salt Lake City,
                           Sunday, a.m., April 8th, 1883.
                                        TO BE
                                   OF THE SAINTS.
           F. Smith
          There never perhaps was a time since the Church was organized
          when the people of God were more prosperous or so numerous as
          they are to-day, notwithstanding all the efforts that our enemies
          have directed against us. But while we have triumphed over
          opposition and all the forces of the wicked that have been
          exerted against us by newspaper and pulpit and the power of
          Congress, it is meet that we should acknowledge the hand of God
          in all our victories. It has certainly not been by the wisdom,
          power or intelligence of man, that we have been delivered until
          now, but by the favor and blessing of God in our behalf. And we
          are to day a living monument of God's special mercy, favor and
          protection. He has not only blessed us with the privilege of
          becoming acquainted with His laws, and with the plan of
          salvation, but He has gathered us to a goodly land; and
          notwithstanding its former sterility, barrenness and forbidding
          aspect, He has modified the elements, blessed the earth, and has
          made these valleys desirable as a home for the Saints. And He has
          blessed us with an abundance of earthly things besides bestowing
          upon us the richest of all blessings that man can enjoy in this
          life--the Holy Spirit and a knowledge of the new and everlasting
           F. Smith
          We should have the utmost confidence in the power and wisdom of
          the Almighty to consummate the work which He has begun, from our
          experience and knowledge of the past. This is no day for
          trembling or fear; it is not a day for doubt or misgiving; God
          has demonstrated His power and superior wisdom in so many ways
          and at so many times, during the history of this people, in
          delivering them from the grasp of their enemies, that for us now
          to doubt Him, whatever the position in which we might be placed,
          would be an indignity to our Great Preserver, an insult to God.
          It seems to me impossible for any Latter-day Saint, in the face
          of all the Lord has done for this people, to doubt for a moment
          His ability or intention to frustrate the designs of wicked,
          ambitious men, and to continue His work in the future to ultimate
          victory and triumph over every obstacle or opposing foe.
           F. Smith
          the only real danger that I foresee in the path of the Latter-day
          Saints is in the results which naturally follow the possession of
          wealth--pride and vanity, self-indulgence and forgetfulness of
          God, and a disregard of the sacred obligations and duties that w
          owe to Him and to one another; and this because of the abundance
          of earthly blessings which He in His goodness has bestowed upon
          us. It is said that in adversity we are inclined to feel after
          the Lord, but that in prosperity we remember Him not. It appears
          to me that in this lies the greatest danger that threatens us
          to-day. This does not apply to the whole people perhaps, for we
          are not all rich in this world's goods, but to individuals, and
          they are not a few, but many, who are being blessed--if it proves
          a blessing--with an accumulation of wealth, and I am sorry to say
          that many seem to be indulging in speculation to that extent that
          their whole souls appear to be wrapt up in the love of the world.
          It is very evident that some of us are yet "of the world," for
          like them, "the more we get of it the more we want;" and it does
          seem impossible to satisfy the cravings of such minds for the
          perishable things of time. As individuals gather around them
          riches and become engrossed with the care that naturally attaches
          to them, they are prone to forget the "pit from which they were
          dug," or the "stone from which they were hewed"--to forget God
          upon whom they are quite as dependent when possessed of wealth as
          when in the most abject poverty. For wealth does not make men
          independent of God, neither does it relieve them from the
          obligations that they owe to each other. The rich are as
          dependent upon God for the light of His Spirit to guide them, and
          for the blessings and ordinances of the holy Priesthood as are
          the poorest of the poor. The Lord, in this regard, is "no
          respecter of persons." The station or worldly condition of man is
          not regarded by the Almighty. It is man's righteousness and
          humility; it is the willing mind and the obedient heart that is
          acceptable to Him, and unless we are righteous and humble,
          willing and obedient, He will withdraw His Spirit from us, and we
          will be left to ourselves, as others have been before us, "to
          reap what we sow." If the time should ever come, (which I do not
          anticipate) when the majority of this people will be swallowed up
          in the cares of the world, I know of no remedy to check the evil
          and thus prevent the destruction of the Church more effectually
          than to be subjected to the power and persecutions of our
          enemies, to be driven and smitten perhaps until we shall be
          humbled and brought to a sense of our obligations to the Lord
          Almighty, and learn wisdom by the things we have to suffer.
           F. Smith
          There are blessings which pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
          and to the world to come, which cannot be secured by personal
          influence nor be bought with money, and which no man by his own
          intelligence or wisdom can obtain except through compliance with
          certain ordinances, laws and commandments which have been given.
          And it is well, in my judgment, for the Latter-day Saints to
          continue to bear in mind that the inestimable blessings of the
          Gospel have been bestowed upon them through their faith, that a
          remission of sins has been obtained by baptism and repentance,
          and that it is only through continuing faithful that they can
          retain the gifts and blessings which pertain to eternal life.
          There are many blessings, however, which are common to the human
          family, which all enjoy, without regard to their moral status or
          religious convictions. God has given to all men an agency, and
          has granted to us the privilege to serve Him or serve Him not, to
          do that which is right or that which is wrong, and this privilege
          is given to all men irrespective of creed, color or condition.
          The wealthy have this agency, the poor have this agency, and no
          man is deprived by any power of God from exercising it in the
          fullest and in the freest manner. This agency has been given to
          all. This is a blessing that God has bestowed upon the world of
          mankind, upon all His children alike. But He will hold us
          strictly to an account for the use that we make of this agency,
          and as it was said of Cain, so it will be said of us: "If thou
          doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not
          well, sin lieth at the door." There are, however, certain
          blessings which God bestows upon the children of men only upon
          the condition of the rightful exercise of this agency. For
          instance, no man can obtain a remission of his sins but by
          repentance and baptism by one having authority. If we would be
          free from sin, from its effects, from its power, we must obey
          this law which God has revealed, or we never can obtain a
          remission of sins. Therefore, while God has bestowed upon all
          men, irrespective of condition, this agency to choose good or
          evil, He has not and will not bestow upon the children of men a
          remission of sins but by their obedience to law. Therefore the
          whole world lies in sin and is under condemnation, inasmuch as
          light has come unto the world and men will not avail themselves
          of that light to put themselves in a proper position before the
          Lord. And this condemnation rests with tenfold force upon all
          those that have yielded obedience to this law, and have once
          received a remission of their sins, but have returned unto sin,
          and have forgotten or disregarded the covenants they made in the
          waters of baptism. All men are blessed with the strength of their
          body, with the use of their mind, and with the right to exercise
          the faculties with which they are endowed in a way that seemeth
          good in their sight, without regard to religion. But God has not
          and will not suffer the gift of the Holy Ghost to be bestowed
          upon any man or woman, except through compliance with the laws of
          God. Therefore, no man can obtain a remission of sins; no man can
          obtain the gift of the Holy Ghost; no man can obtain the
          revelations of God; no man can obtain the Priesthood, and the
          rights, powers and privileges thereof; no man can become an heir
          of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ, except through
          compliance with the requirements of heaven. These are universal
          blessings, they are great and inestimable privileges which
          pertain to the Gospel and to the plan of life and salvation,
          which are open and free to all on certain conditions, but which
          no creature beneath the heavens can enjoy, but through walking in
          the channel that God has marked out by which they can obtain
          them. And these privileges and blessings when obtained may be
          forfeited, and perhaps lost for all eternity, unless we continue
          steadfast in the course that is marked out for us to pursue. It
          is well, in my judgment, that the Latter-day Saints do not lose
          sight of the great privilege that has been bestowed upon them. No
          man can become a citizen of the Kingdom of God but by entering in
          at the door: there are thousand and tens of thousands, aye
          millions of people who will never become citizens of the Kingdom
          of God in this world, because they fail to exercise the agency
          and the power that has been given to them in the right direction.
          Nevertheless, they enjoy many of the blessings that are bestowed
          upon the world in common. The sun shines upon the evil and the
          good; but the Holy Ghost descends only upon the righteous and
          upon those that are forgiven of their sins. The rain descends
          upon the evil and upon the good; but the rights of the Priesthood
          are conferred, and the doctrine of the Priesthood distills as the
          dews of heaven upon the souls of those only that receive it in
          God's own appointed way. The favor of heaven, the acknowledgment
          of the Almighty of His children upon the earth as His sons and
          His daughters can only be secured through obedience to the laws
          which He has revealed. Riches or the wealth of the world cannot
          purchase these things. Simon Magus desired to purchase the power
          to cast out devils with money, but Peter said unto him, "Thy
          money perish with thee." These blessings, powers and privileges
          are not to be purchased but by the atonement of Christ; they are
          not to be obtained by personal influence, wealth, position or
          power, or in any other way but the direct way in which God has
          decreed that they should be obtained. Now, so long as the
          Latter-day Saints are content to obey the commandments of God, to
          appreciate the privileges and blessings which they enjoy in the
          Church, and will use their time, their talents, their substance,
          in honor to the name of God, to build up Zion, and to establish
          truth and righteousness in the earth, so long our heavenly Father
          is bound by His oath and covenant to protect them from every
          opposing foe, and to help them to overcome every obstacle that
          can possibly be arrayed against them or thrown in their pathway;
          but the moment a community begin to be wrapt up in themselves,
          become selfish, become engrossed in the temporalities of life,
          and put their faith in riches, that moment the power of God
          begins to withdraw from them, and if they repent not the Holy
          Spirit will depart from them entirely, and they will be left to
          themselves. That which was given them will be taken away, they
          will lose that which they had, for they will not be worthy of it.
          God is just as well as merciful, and we need not expect favors at
          the hand of the Almighty except as we merit them, at least in the
          honest desires of our hearts, and the desire and intent will not
          always avail unless our acts correspond. For we are engaged in a
          literal work, a reality; and we must practice as well as profess.
          We must be what God requires us to be, or else we are not His
          people nor the Zion which He designs to gather together and to
          build up in the latter days upon the earth.
           F. Smith
          I am aware that this is the last day of Conference, that there
          are many to speak and much to be done, therefore brevity is
          desirable. I find, too, that it is difficult for me to speak loud
          enough to be heard by this vast assembly.
           F. Smith
          I rejoice in the work of God. I have never seen a moment since I
          became acquainted with the principles of the Gospel when I had
          the least doubt in my mind of their truthfulness. I have never
          feared, and do not know what the feeling of fear is as to the
          result of this work. I know that God is able to bear it off, and
          that He will do it. I fear often for mankind and for myself,
          knowing my own weaknesses, better, perhaps, than any living being
          except God. I often have fears and trembling for myself when I am
          made to feel my own weakness and see myself as I am seen by the
          Lord. But as to the work of God, it cannot fail, for God has
          decreed its consummation; and whilst man may oppose it and his
          efforts fail, the work of God will never fail. Now mark it! As I
          have often said, the most favorable opportunity that the
          adversary of men's souls ever saw to destroy this work was on or
          before the 6th day of April, 1830; but failing to accomplish it
          then, notwithstanding the efforts that were put forth in this
          direction, failure to do so in the future must only be the more
          apparent. There is more to grapple with now than then. "The
          kingdom" has taken deeper and stronger root in the earth, and its
          branches have expanded and spread out into many lands. There are
          more people to kill off now than ever before, and we are rapidly
          increasing. There is no use of thinking this work will be
          destroyed by martyring a few of the people, although they might
          be our leaders. "Mormonism" is a living principle in the hearts
          of all true Saints, every soul of whom must be destroyed before
          it can be wiped out. It has been, through the overruling
          providences of the Almighty, allowed to grow until it has
          attained strength and power in the earth: and thanks be unto God
          the Ruler and Maker of heaven and earth, I feel it in my very
          bones, that the Kingdom of God is beyond the reach and power of
          the devil or his agents. And in this condition it will remain,
          ever advancing, inasmuch as the Saints keep the law of God. If we
          should become corrupt and wicked, He has said that we shall be
          removed out of our place, and every individual who will not keep
          His commandments will fail. For no man can stand in this Church
          but upon the foundation of righteousness and truth; and whenever
          we undertake to build upon the foundation of error and falsehood,
          selfishness and sin, that moment our foundation will crumble
          beneath our feet; the sands will be washed away, and we will
          fall. But so long as this people continue faithful, God will be
          their friend, and He, be it remembered, is the Almighty, and this
          is His work. The stone representing this latter-day work, has
          been cut out of the mountain without hands, and will roll forth
          according to the decree, and no power will b able to stop its
          onward march. I do not feel to boast only in the strength of our
          God; and I do feel from the inmost recesses of my heart to praise
          His holy name, and to thank Him that I have been permitted to see
          the Kingdom where it is to-day. And those who come after will
          live to see the consummation of the prophecies that have been
          uttered concerning it by ancient and modern Prophets verified and
          no one word will fall to the ground unfulfilled. Not one jot or
          tittle will pass from the law or the Prophets; but all will be
          fulfilled, and I am as sure of it as I am that I live. What would
          you or I take in exchange for this knowledge, this witness of the
          Spirit? Nothing could be offered that would be an equivalent; it
          is worth everything else in the world. It is a stay, an anchor to
          the soul, a comfort and a joy to the heart for ever. It is with
          me, as it is with every man and woman that has received the
          knowledge of God, through the operations of the Holy Spirit, and
          that is true to the same--the kingdom of God or nothing; I have
          no more interest in the kingdom of God than any individual member
          of the Church. In other words, there is not a man in the kingdom
          of God that is capable of attaining to the glory of the celestial
          kingdom but has as great interest in the welfare of this work, in
          the consummation of the purposes of the Almighty, as I have
          myself, or as Brother Taylor, Brother Cannon, Brother Woodruff,
          or any of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve. We are all
          interested. Every man should feel that it is his work, his
          kingdom, his church, and that the principles of the Gospel are
          his principles, for he has embraced them and espoused them, or at
          least unless we have embraced the Gospel and received the
          principles thereof in our hearts that they have become a part of
          us, that we might become identified with the designs and purposes
          of the Almighty in the earth, we are not converted, nor are we
          worthy to be saved in the kingdom of God. It is written--and it
          is as true as that the sun shines--that expect a man is willing
          to sacrifice every earthly tie or consideration for the Gospel's
          sake, he is not worthy of the kingdom, nor of Christ. This is
          according to the declaration of Jesus while He was upon the
          earth. It is the testimony of Joseph Smith, and that of all the
          holy Prophets since the world began, who have said anything upon
          this subject, that any man who is not willing to sacrifice
          everything else for the Gospel's sake is not worthy of it, and
          the day will come when he will come short; so that the sooner we
          are converted to the truth, the better for us and our posterity.
          They will receive inheritances, and the blessings of God will
          follow upon them through us, just as they follow upon the seed of
          Abraham, because of the blessings and promises bestowed upon
          their father Abraham. The promises were made to Abraham, and the
          blessing followed upon the heads of his children, and will
          continue unto the last generation, because the promise was made
          to Abraham who was worthy of it, and he will claim the promise
          for his posterity. So it will be with you and me. The blessings
          of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been conferred upon us, and they
          will be inherited by our posterity if we prove worthy of the
          privilege, and live for it.
           F. Smith
          May God bless and help us to learn the truth and abide in it
          forever, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / George
          Q. Cannon, July 15th, 1883
                          George Q. Cannon, July 15th, 1883
                        DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, July 15th, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                NECESSARY--THE CAUSE
                                       OF THE
                          SAINTS IN REGARD TO MORALITYITES.
          In standing up to address you this afternoon, I desire an
          interest in your faith and prayers, that I may be led to speak
          upon those subjects that will be best adapted to you and your
          circumstances. I believe it to be our privilege when we come
          together, as we have this afternoon, with our hearts united,
          desirous before God for His blessing, that the very things--that
          is, the very doctrines and instructions and counsel that are
          needed by us, and that are best adapted to our circumstances and
          condition, will be given unto us by the Holy Spirit. It is for
          this purpose we meet together. I never did feel satisfied in
          attending meetings and listening to instructions, and going away
          feeling unrefreshed and without being edified and strengthened in
          the principles of the everlasting Gospel; I do not think that it
          is right that we should thus meet and thus separate. God has made
          promises unto His people. If His people do their part He will
          fulfill those promises; He will give that portion of His Spirit
          that is necessary to impart unto them everything that their
          circumstances may require. I think it wrong that men should
          prepare themselves before-hand to speak to the people. I believe
          that God has given unto us the correct rule, the rule that He
          gave to His ancient disciples--"to take no thought beforehand
          what ye shall say, but treasure up in your minds continually the
          words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that
          portion that shall be meted unto every man." When the time should
          come for His servants to address the people, He would give unto
          them the very things that were needed. How do I know, how does
          any other man in this congregation know the thoughts and the
          fears and the wants of you who are here to-day? There may be
          souls here hungering for the word of God, tried and tempted in
          many directions, annoyed and perplexed with the cares of life and
          with those anxieties that are connected with our earthly
          existence. Who shall tell these souls that which they need? Can
          any man out of his own wisdom, from the depths of his own
          thoughts, give the needed strength and comfort to those hungry
          souls? It is impossible. God must do it. God must pour out His
          Holy Spirit. God must help as he has promised to do, and we His
          children must put ourselves in a position to be helped so that we
          can claim the blessing.
          These people continually need strength from the Lord. There has
          never been a day, nay, not an hour, from the commencement of this
          work upon the earth in these last days that the Latter-day Saints
          have been destitute of the counsel of heaven, of the word of God,
          and of the guidance of that Holy Spirit that God has promised to
          bestow upon His faithful children. Having thus been led in the
          past it is still essential that we be thus led in the future,
          that we may live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of
          God--not that proceeded from His mouth 1,800 years ago, but that
          proceeds from His mouth to-day, in this year of our Lord 1883.
          And we need it just as much to-day as we ever did. We need the
          direct interposition of God's providence in our behalf, and we
          need the assistance of His Holy Spirit; we need His word, and His
          blessing, and His power, and His direct intervention in our
          behalf as much to-day as this Church did fifty years ago, or as
          the Church did 1850 years ago. It is indispensably necessary for
          our progress, for our advancement in the things that pertain to
          righteousness, in the knowledge of God, that we should be thus
          assisted and upheld and inspired.
          This great work with which we are connected is becoming so
          extensive, is spreading out in so many directions, that it needs
          more of the manifestation of God's power and greater faith on the
          part of the people to carry it forward in the earth. It needs
          greater faith on the part of those who bear any portion of the
          responsibility of the Priesthood of the Son of God, because they
          have now to act in capacities that heretofore they did not act
          in. It seems only a little while ago that we had but one Stake of
          Zion. We had but one High Council, and the Presidency of the
          Church presided over that High Council. Every matter of moment,
          every case of importance, came directly before the First
          Presidency of the Church. In fact, affairs of the most trifling
          importance--or at least that which we would now consider of
          trifling importance--had to be submitted to them. Upon their
          shoulders rested the responsibility of directing everything
          connected with the work of God in its minutest details. But this
          has changed. Instead of one High Council, instead of one Stake,
          there are at least twenty-five. Instead of the First Presidency
          of the Church presiding over High Councils, there are
          Presidencies of these various Stakes and upon them rest the
          responsibilities which formerly rested upon the First Presidency.
          There are stakes now in Zion, the number of whose members far
          exceeds the number of members in the Church in those early days.
          For years after we came to these valleys--or for some time at
          least--the whole Church in these mountains did not number as many
          souls as are now comprised within Salt Lake Stake. The
          responsibility, therefore, is being divided. It rests upon a
          great number of men, and as the people increase this
          responsibility becomes more and more divided. It is an
          impossibility now for the First Presidency to attend to anything
          but general matters of business, giving general instructions, and
          they find themselves under the necessity more and more of
          dividing this, laying it upon the shoulders of other men, calling
          helps from various quarters, to labor in various directions, and
          to perform the work which in former times was deemed especially
          their province. The Saints themselves find themselves under the
          necessity of depending more upon themselves than they did
          formerly. They cannot, in the multiplicity of cares and labors
          which devolve upon leading men--they cannot expect that help,
          that attention to minor affairs, that they formerly received.
          Hence, my brethren and sisters, it is necessary that every man
          and woman and child, connected with this work should learn as
          rapidly as possible the habit of self-dependence--to exercise
          faith before God for themselves, so that each one in his place or
          in her place, will be able to perform his or her part to the
          acceptance of our God, and in such a manner as to bring to pass
          their own salvation. This is much more easy at the present time
          than it was in the past, from the fact that doctrine is becoming
          better understood, the principles of the Gospel are more
          thoroughly disseminated by the aid of all the various agencies
          that are at work in our midst. Our children now receive in the
          Primary Associations--as soon as they are able to comprehend
          principle--such instruction as is adapted to their dawning
          intellects, and from that to the Sunday school, and from the
          Sunday school to the Young Men's and Young Women's Associations,
          and in the case of the boys to the various councils of the
          Priesthood, and in the case of the girls to the various Relief
          Societies. They are led along step by step until they become
          thoroughly indoctrinated in principle, and comprehend in the
          broadest sense the character of the work with which they are
          identified. Only this morning I had an opportunity of testing
          this to some extent. My frequent absences from home give me but
          few opportunities to meet with my children. But I said to them
          this morning: "Instead of you going to Sunday school, I will have
          Sunday school at home." I wanted to talk to them, to inquire of
          my little ones concerning their knowledge of the principles of
          the Gospel, and I was somewhat surprised at the replies which
          were made to my interrogatories concerning this work, concerning
          its character, concerning its doctrines and the principles that
          are taught by the Elders. I presume that it is the case with all
          our children, and I have no doubt from my observation, that at
          the present time there are children quite small who are capable
          of giving replies to questions which a few years ago many of our
          Elders could not answer. I am pleased with this. I think it
          As I have said this work is spreading to so great an extent that
          responsibility must rest upon individual members. The Presidency
          of the Church, the Twelve Apostles, the various presiding
          authorities, can no longer do as they have done in years
          past--carry the people along. The people themselves must learn to
          walk, to bear their own burdens, to perform their own duties, and
          to take such a course as will result in their own development,
          and in the advancement of this great work that God has
          established upon the earth. I would not give much for us, nor for
          our work, nor for our future, if the individual intelligence of
          the people should not be developed. It would be an impossibility
          for this work to achieve the high destiny in store for it, and
          concerning which we have indulged in so many glowing
          anticipations upon any other principle than this. We are told
          that intelligence is the glory of God, and it certainly is the
          glory of man. And with the obstacles that have to be overcome,
          that confront us every step in our progress, there must be
          knowledge developed among this people; there must be the highest
          attainment and grade of intelligence developed among us. Upon no
          other principle can we stand. Upon no other principle can we
          progress. Upon no other principle can we accomplish the great
          results that we have before us. It is true we testify that God
          has restored the everlasting Gospel in its primitive simplicity,
          purity and power. We bear this testimony; but the restoration of
          this alone, in and of itself, will not accomplish that which we
          have before us, unless we avail ourselves of the advantages which
          its restoration affords. We must put in practice and carry out
          practically in our lives its principles. We must be a people who
          are not only hearers of the word, but doers of it also. It will
          not do for us to have a form of godliness without the power
          thereof. We must have the power of the work that God has founded.
          We must put ourselves in a position to receive the blessings and
          advantages connected with this work, and to have these we must be
          a pure people--pure in thought, pure in word, and pure in action.
          God through us is founding a new order of things in the earth.
          The axe is laid at the root of the old tree, and sooner or later
          it will be hewn down. The restoration of the everlasting Gospel,
          the restoration of the powers connected therewith, of the gifts,
          of the blessings, and especially of the union and the peace that
          characterized it in ancient days, is bound eventually to produce
          wonderful results in the earth. Already it is conceded that it is
          a marvelous work and a wonder, just as the Prophet Isaiah said
          would be the case. This must spread. From the nature of things it
          must spread. It must continue to grow, to increase. The more
          obstacles it has to contend with the better its power is
          developed, the better its strength is exhibited. I am thankful
          myself for the difficulties we have had to contend with. I am
          thankful that we have a hard pathway to tread. I am thankful that
          we have opposition of so serious a character. Without this we
          could not be developed. Without this we could not be thoroughly
          tested, nor our principles be proved. It is by such ordeals as
          these that man exhibits his divine origin, and the qualities that
          he inherits from his divine Father. It is by such ordeals as
          these that systems are tried, and that principles exhibit their
          force and power to mankind. We are being tested as no other
          people upon the face of the earth are being tested. The
          principles that we have espoused and that we advocate are passing
          through such an ordeal as the principles advocated by no other
          people are subjected to. Every form of opposition is brought to
          bear; every kind of influence is set in motion, not even stopping
          at violence itself. If our principles withstand all these shocks
          and assaults upon them and endure, they will prove to the world
          far better than our verbal testimony will that they are of divine
          origin. If the organization of this Church cannot be broken up by
          the attacks of mobs, by the uprooting of the people, by the
          driving of them forth into the wilderness, by the attacks of
          townships, of cities, of counties, of States, or by the adverse
          legislation of the United States itself, then the world will be
          more likely to believe that which we solemnly assert, that God is
          its author, that God laid its foundation, that God has preserved
          it thus far, and that He will preserve it to the very end. These
          are proofs of that which we testify. That it has thus withstood
          all these assaults, we are living witnesses. That we exist to-day
          in our present organized capacity in these mountains is due to
          the capacity of the organization to adapt itself to every change
          of circumstances. Men may sneer, men may deride, men may publish
          false statements, men may attribute all this to various causes
          which are untrue; but the fact still remains uncontrovertible and
          unassailable, that there is a power and a strength and an
          elasticity about the organization of this Church of Jesus Christ
          of Latter-day Saints that all that is brought against it fails to
          unsettle or to shiver. Now we have been testifying--that is, some
          of the Elders have--for these 53 years that this work had this
          capacity. Joseph Smith stated it in the outset before the Church
          itself was organized. The first Elders of the Church bore similar
          testimony when but six members comprised the entire Church of
          Jesus Christ. They predicted its future. They stated that it
          possessed these divine qualities. They solemnly declared that God
          had restored it from the heavens; that it was the old
          organization brought back again; that it was the old Gospel
          restored once more to the earth, and that it would win its way in
          every land and among every people, and that it would accomplish
          all that God had predicted by the mouths of His holy prophets
          that it should accomplish. But who believed it? No more believed
          it then than can be found now to believe our testimony, that
          which we bear this day, that this work, notwithstanding all the
          opposition it may have to contend with--notwithstanding it may
          have every power on earth to oppose it, that it will win its way
          until it will fill the whole earth. There were probably no more
          who believed the testimony of the early Elders respecting the
          growth of the work than are to be found to believe our testimony
          now concerning its future. But fifty-three years have passed, and
          in their passage it has been demonstrated that it possesses the
          qualities and powers that were claimed for it by those who
          declared the testimony in the beginning. Wonderful it must have
          seemed in the early days when they all could meet together within
          a log schoolhouse--wonderful it must have seemed to them when
          their minds were enlightened by the Spirit of God, and they
          looked down and saw the future of this work--its growth,
          development and advancement, and the mighty results it would
          accomplish--it must have seemed wonderful, I say, to them at that
          time with their surroundings. But if there is anything that shows
          clearly how God dealt with this people and how plainly He could
          reveal His mind and will to them, it is the fact that those who
          lived in those days, and whose writings have been left, whose
          testimonies are on record,--saw with extraordinary clearness that
          which we now behold and the far greater results that are yet to
          be reached in the future. They saw it with plainness, they saw it
          with wonderful clearness and predicted concerning it as though
          they were writing contemporaneous history; and that which they
          testified to, as I have said, has been proved so far as we have
          There has been no lack about this work. Its principles have
          withstood all that has been brought against them. They stand
          unshaken because they are founded on eternal truth. The whole
          clergy of the world may array themselves against them, as they
          have to a certain extent; they may endeavor to controvert these
          principles, but they are founded on truth and they cannot be
          overturned. Not a single principle that has been declared or been
          testified to by the Elders of this Church from the beginning up
          to the present time can be assailed successfully by any
          religionist, nor by scientific men, because they are impregnable,
          having had their origin in God. And so it is with everything
          connected with this work. It has never taken a step backward. It
          never will take a step backward. There are no mistakes to be
          corrected connected with it, either with its doctrine, with its
          organization, or, with its movement. Who is there--I speak to
          you, my brethren and sisters, who have been connected with this
          Church from the beginning--who is there that can recall a single
          instance of recantation of any of its principles? Has there ever
          been a doctrine declared by the authorities of the Church, as a
          part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that they have had to take
          back or modify? Not one. Has there been anything in the
          organization that has had to be perfected? No. The organization
          was as perfect in theory--being revealed of God--50 years ago as
          it is to-day in practice, after years of experience, practically
          carrying it out in these mountains. That constitutes the strength
          of this work. It is its infallibility. Not that man connected
          with it is infallible, for he is fallible; but the work itself,
          its principles, and everything connected with it, is infallible,
          having a divine origin, being revealed of God. It was a wonderful
          thing to state, as was stated right at the outset of this work,
          that it should be preached in every land, that its doctrine
          should be proclaimed in every tongue throughout the world, and
          that it should gather from every nation under heaven, men and
          women who should be numbered as its converts. A remarkable
          feature, something unheard of, that the principles of this
          religion when preached should have the effect to gather out from
          every nation, kindred, tongue and people those who espoused them.
          Yet every word has been fulfilled. Wherever the Elders of this
          Church have gone they have gone accompanied by that wonderful
          power, the power of gathering the people together; not of one
          race, not of one language, but people of every race and of every
          language, showing the adaptability of its principles to the
          people of the frozen north as well as to those of the torrid
          south. Wherever these principles have been proclaimed they have
          gathered out from the nations unto whom they were proclaimed
          those who have espoused them, and as I have remarked here before,
          there is no power short of violence that can prevent these people
          from thus coming together. It has not been the inducement of the
          Elder; it has not been by persuasion; it has not been any
          influence of this character that they have sought to wield over
          the people that has gathered them together. They have come of
          their own accord. They have forsaken home, friends, old
          associations, ancestral tombs, and everything of this character
          that is calculated to bind men to their native land; they have
          severed all these and have gathered out and cast their lots with
          the people of their faith in these mountains. And this has been a
          peculiar feature of this work from the very commencement, and it
          will continue to be as long as the Gospel is preached. And it is
          this wonderful union, this Godlike union, that bears testimony
          that it is from God.
          I do not wish to say anything in relation to other forms of
          religion; I do not know that it is necessary that I should do so;
          but no thinking man can admit that Christianity so-called--I call
          it a false Christianity, untrue to its name--satisfies the wants
          of humanity at the present time. It is not a religion that
          satisfies. I comes short in almost every particular. It is devoid
          of all the powers that characterized it and gave it force in the
          early days. You look in vain for those features that
          distinguished it, and that gave it power in the earth, and that
          made it the foe of Paganism and false religions existing in those
          days, and which gave it the wonderful success it achieved. It is
          destitute of these features. It is divided, split into hundreds
          of sects, without power, having a form of godliness, but lacking
          the power thereof. It cannot stand; it cannot prevail. Monstrous
          as its power is, great as its growth is, co-extensive with the
          world it may be said, it nevertheless is destined to tumble with
          Babylon the great. It must go down. It has not the elements of
          strength. And the great cause of its weakness is, that God is not
          with it. God's power does not accompany it. Men in too many
          instances are Christian because it is popular to be so. But where
          is the power of Christianity? Where are the revelations of God?
          The idea of God having a church on the earth, and never speaking
          His mind and will unto that church! Why, I will not worship a God
          who will not speak. He is as Baal of old. I want nothing to do
          with him. I want the God of heaven, the God of Abraham, Isaac and
          Jacob, a God who can speak and who can manifest His mind and His
          will, who can guide His people, who can bestow gifts and
          blessings upon His people, who can hear and answer their prayers
          when they call upon him. I want a God of that kind if I can find
          Him, and I thank God that I have found Him, and that He has
          revealed Himself in these last days, and has established His
          Church as He did in ancient days, and has endowed it with the
          same powers that the ancient church possessed, and it has to
          undergo the same trials and temptations and the same persecution
          that the ancient church did. The blood of its members has flown.
          They have been slain for the testimony of Jesus and for the word
          of God, for claiming to be Prophets, for claiming to be apostles,
          for claiming to be servants of God, just the same as the ancient
          servants of God did. We, to-day in these mountains are here
          because we have been driven out, not permitted to enjoy those
          blessings that as free men and free women, born free, we were
          justly entitled to--that is, the right to worship our God
          according to the dictates of our own consciences. We are
          therefore a standing protest against religious tyranny, and while
          God gives us breath, we shall always be found defending the right
          of every human being to worship his God or her God according to
          his or her conscience, without anything to molest or to make
          afraid, as long as in that worship they do not trespass upon the
          rights of their neighbors.
          Now, my brethren and sisters, as I said in the beginning, there
          is a great responsibility resting upon us individually. Our
          children must grow up understanding these principles, willing to
          endure everything for them, strong in the Lord to bear them off,
          and to maintain purity in the earth. The devil has raised every
          sort of cry against these Latter-day Saints, throwing dust in the
          eyes of the people concerning us, making the world believe that
          we are unfit to live, that it would be doing God service to kill
          us off, making them believe that we are the most impure and the
          most corrupt people on the face of the earth. Why, who has done
          these things? Men who are steeped in corruption, up to their lips
          in it, and who cannot comprehend purity. And this has been the
          cry: "Kill them off, they are unworthy to live; it will be doing
          God service to destroy them." And yet in these mountains the
          virtue of woman is held sacred. There was a time when a woman was
          as safe in our streets, or in our remote byways, as she would be
          in a strongly guarded house or castle. A woman could travel from
          the northern boundary of our Territory to the southern, without
          hearing a word of disrespect or seeing a gesture or anything of
          that character that would annoy her. But how has it been of late
          years? Why, women are unsafe in the streets. There was a time
          when drunkenness was unknown in this land? How is it now? In
          spite of our protest, in spite of everything we can do--because
          we have not the power, being a Territory, to carry out our laws
          or to maintain them--drunkenness runs riot, and it is the
          constant effort on the part of every man who has a family, and
          every leading man, to guard our youth against these devilish
          influences that are growing on every hand. We say to our boys: it
          is the worst crime you can commit short of murder, to be guilty
          of illicit intercourse with the other sex. I would rather carry
          my son to the grave than that he should be guilty of such a
          thing. We say: "Marry the sisters, marry the daughters of Eve,
          take to yourselves lawful wives, but you shall not commit
          adultery, you shall not commit seduction, you shall not commit
          fornication; if you do God will curse you, and we will sever you
          from the Church." We say to our daughters that it is one of the
          worst crimes they can commit to be guilty of unchastity. We want
          to raise up a righteous seed in these mountains, pure and
          virtuous, so that a man will be so virtuous that he may be in the
          company of an unprotected woman alone for any length of time, and
          she would be as safe as if she were in heaven, or under the
          guardianship of an angel, safe from pollution, safe from
          everything that is vile. We want to teach our children to be
          sober, to be industrious, to be truthful, to be honest, to love
          God, and to love their neighbor; for they can best show their
          love for God by exhibiting their love for their neighbor. If they
          cannot love him whom they see, how can they love Him whom they
          have not seen? Let us take these things to heart, and let us be
          watchful and use all our influence to protect the rising
          generation against those sins that are sweeping over the earth,
          and God will bless us in our efforts in so doing. I pray God that
          He will bless you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Joseph
          F. Smith, June 21st, 1883
                          Joseph F. Smith, June 21st, 1883
                Delivered at Ogden, Sunday Morning, June 21st, 1883.
                             (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs)
                                   ANTIPATHY TO BE
                                       TO HOLD
                                    PRESIDE OVER
                            THEM--HOW TO SECURE JUSTICE.
           F. Smith
          There has, perhaps, never been a period in the history of the
          Church when the delusive spirits that are abroad in the world,
          deceiving the children of men, were more active than they are and
          have been for the last few years. I have never, in my
          recollection heard of so many pretended prophets and revelations,
          special messages, missions and manifestations to various
          individuals, as have come to my notice within the last few months
          or perhaps years. Some claim that they are in constant
          communication with angels, others that they have received a
          direct command from God to accomplish a certain mission, others
          claim to be Christ, and therefore assume the right to dictate and
          direct the labors of the Presidency and Twelve, and undertake to
          correct and set them right and to show them wherein they lack
          inspiration, etc., and wherein it is necessary that a strong arm
          should be raised up in order to steady the ark of Zion. There has
          been a great deal of this kind of spirit manifested of late among
          men who are and have been in the Church for years; and not only
          such, but by men who never have been members and who have no
          knowledge of the character of this latter-day work. Messages from
          the spirit world, communications from the departed through
          mediums, people that permit themselves to be used for this
          purpose by lying and delusive spirits.
           F. Smith
          It has sometimes been sorrowful to see respected members of the
          Church, men who should know better, allow themselves to become
          the tools of seductive spirits. Such men seem, for the time at
          least, to lose sight of the fact that the Lord has established on
          earth the Priesthood in its fullness; and that by direct
          revelation and commandment from heaven; that He has instituted an
          order or government that is beyond the capacity, and that is
          superior to the wisdom and learning and understanding of man, so
          far, indeed, that it seems impossible for the human mind, unaided
          by the Spirit of God, to comprehend the beauties, powers, and
          character of the Holy Priesthood. It seems difficult for men to
          comprehend the workings of the Priesthood; its legitimate
          authority, its scope and power; and yet by the light of the
          spirit it is easily comprehended, but not understanding it men
          are easily deceived by seductive spirits that are abroad in the
          world. They are led to believe that something is wrong, and the
          next thing that transpires, they find themselves believing that
          they are chosen specially to set things right. It is very
          unfortunate for a man to be taken in this snare; for be it
          understood by the Latter-day Saints that as long as the servants
          of God are living pure lives, are honoring the Priesthood
          conferred upon them, and endeavoring to the best of their
          knowledge to magnify their offices and callings, to which they
          have been duly chosen by the voice of the people and the
          Priesthood, and sanctioned by the approval of God, so long as the
          Lord has any communication to make to the children of men, or any
          instructions to impart to His Church, He will make such
          communication through the legally appointed channel of the
          Priesthood; He will never go outside of it, as long, at least, as
          the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints exists in its
          present form on the earth.
           F. Smith
          The Church of God has been organized, the kingdom of God has been
          established, and the Gospel has been restored to the earth for
          the last time; and this work which has fairly begun will never
          cease, but will continue to spread abroad and increase in the
          earth, and gather to its fold the righteous, the honest, the
          pure, the meek and the poor of the earth, until "the kingdom"
          shall be exalted to power and glory in the midst of the world;
          and it will reign triumphant when Babylon will be broken to
          pieces, and will fall to rise no more. These are the promises
          that have been made to us. This fact is indicated by the
          revelations of God to man through ancient and modern prophets,
          and through angels that have visited the earth in this
          dispensation of the fullness of times.
           F. Smith
          It is not my business nor that of any other individual to rise up
          as a revelator, as a prophet, as a seer, as an inspired man, to
          give revelation for the guidance of the Church, or to assume to
          dictate to the presiding authorities of the Church in any part of
          the world, much less in the midst of Zion, where the
          organizations of the Priesthood are about perfect, where
          everything is complete even to the organization of a branch. It
          is the right of individuals to be inspired and to receive
          manifestations of the Holy Spirit for their personal guidance, to
          strengthen their faith, and to encourage them in works of
          righteousness, in being faithful and observing and keeping the
          commandments which God has given unto them; it is the privilege
          of every man and woman to receive revelation to this end, but not
          further. The moment an individual rises up assuming the right to
          control and to dictate or to sit in judgment on his brethren,
          especially upon those who preside, he should be promptly checked,
          or discord, division and confusion would be the result. Every man
          and woman in this Church should know better than to yield to such
          a spirit; the moment that such a feeling presents itself to them
          they should rebuke it, as it is in direct antagonism to the order
          of the Priesthood, and to the spirit and genius of this work. We
          can accept nothing as authoritative but that which comes directly
          through the appointed channel, the constituted organizations of
          the Priesthood, which is the channel that God has appointed
          through which to make known His mind and will to the world. It
          was necessary prior to the organization of this Church, that God
          should select from the inhabitants of the earth some person
          through whom to reveal His will to mankind; and it pleased Him to
          select for this purpose the youthful and untutored boy Joseph
          Smith, as David of old was His choice, but as there was no
          Priesthood on the earth when Joseph was called, legally
          constituted by the authority of heaven to officiate in the name
          of the Lord, it was necessary therefore that some one should be
          selected as the first Elder for the beginning of this work, for
          there has to be a beginning, and he was the one foreordained for
          the position which he occupied and filled. After calling and
          setting him apart for the work of introducing and establishing
          this Gospel of the kingdom, the Lord of course recognized him as
          His mouthpiece, as His authorized agent, if you please, and it
          would be absolutely inconsistent, unreasonable and absurd to
          suppose that after God had called one man and appointed him to
          this work, that He should pass him by and go to somebody else to
          accomplish the same purpose. No sensible person would accept for
          one moment such a proposition. To seriously contemplate any such
          idea would be charging the Almighty with inconsistency, and with
          being the author of confusion, discord and schism. The kingdom of
          God never could be established on earth in any such way.
           F. Smith
          Through Joseph then, the Lord revealed Himself to the world and
          through him He chose the first Elders of the Church--men who were
          honest in their hearts; men whom He knew would receive the word
          and labor in connection with Joseph in this great and important
          undertaking; and all that have been ordained to the Priesthood,
          and all that have been appointed to any position whatever in this
          Church, have received their authority and commission through this
          channel, appointed of God, with Joseph at the head. This is the
          order, and it could not be otherwise. God will not raise up
          another prophet and another people to do the work that we have
          been appointed to do. He will never ignore those who have stood
          firm and true from the commencement, as it were, of this work,
          and who are still firm and faithful, inasmuch as they continue
          faithful to their trust. There is no question in my mind of their
          ever proving themselves unfaithful, as a body; for if any of them
          were to become unworthy in His sight, He would remove them out of
          their place and call others from the ranks to fill their
          positions. And thus His Priesthood will ever be found to be
          composed of the right men for the place, of men whose backs will
          be fitted for the burden, men through whom He can work and
          regulate the affairs of His Church according to the counsels of
          His own will. And the moment that individuals look to any other
          source, that moment they throw themselves open to the seductive
          influences of Satan, and render themselves liable to become
          servants of the devil; they lose sight of the true order through
          which the blessings of the Priesthood are to be enjoyed; they
          step outside of the pale of the kingdom of God, and are on
          dangerous ground. Whenever you see a man rise up claiming to have
          received direct revelation from the Lord to the Church,
          independent of the order and channel of the Priesthood, you may
          set him down as an impostor. God has not called you to go out to
          the world to be taught, or to receive revelations through
          apostates or strangers; but He has called and ordained you and
          sent you forth to teach and lead people in the paths of
          righteousness and salvation.
           F. Smith
          It is the duty, therefore, of every Latter-day Saint to seek for
          the spirit of truth, and to desire with full purposes of heart,
          and seek diligently for the gifts of wisdom and understanding
          that will lead and guide into all truth, that will enable us to
          comprehend the purposes of God, and this most perfect, most
          harmonious organizations which God has instituted by His own
          wisdom in these last days for the gathering of Israel, and for
          the communication of all His purposes as made known through His
          servants the Prophets. Men may become dissatisfied one with
          another, they may become dissatisfied towards the Presidency, the
          Quorum of the Twelve, or others, and may say in their hearts, "I
          do not like such an one; I do not believe he is as good as he
          should be, he has too many faults and weaknesses and, therefore,
          I cannot and will not acknowledge his authority, as I have not
          faith in the man." Doubtless there are those, too many perhaps,
          who feel that way, but the trouble is, and that is the worst of
          it, just because they have become dissatisfied with the
          individual and harbored feelings of bitterness in their hearts
          against their brethren, they lose sight of the designs of the
          Almighty; they turn against the authority of the Holy Priesthood;
          and through their blindness, allow themselves to be led astray,
          and at last turn away from the Church.
           F. Smith
          Now, how should it be? I will tell you. In the first place every
          person should know that the Gospel is true, as this is every
          one's privilege who is baptized and receives the Holy Ghost. A
          man may be grieved in his feelings because of some difficulty
          between him and President Taylor, or Cannon or myself; he may
          have feelings in his heart which lead him to think that he could
          not sustain us in his faith and prayers; but if this should be
          the case, what is the course for him to pursue? He should say in
          his heart, "God has established His kingdom, and His Priesthood
          is upon the earth; and notwithstanding my dislike for certain
          men, I know that the Gospel is true, and that God is with His
          people; and that if I will do my duty and keep His commandments,
          the clouds will roll by and the mists will disappear, the spirit
          of the Lord will come more fully to my relief, and by and by I
          will be able to see--if I am in error, wherein I erred, and then
          I will repent of it, for I know that every wrong thing will yet
          be made right." I think all men should feel that way. A man may
          not have confidence in his Bishop, or in one or both of his
          Counselors; circumstances might be such that according to his
          judgment the Bishop or his Counselors might be in the wrong, and
          his confidence in them, whether right or wrong, would therefore
          be destroyed; but because he may feel so, would it be right or
          consistent in him as an Elder in Israel, to set himself up as the
          judge of the Bishop or his Counselors and the whole Church? If
          one were to get in a position of this kind he would be like some
          others I have heard of, John and David Whitmer, for instance, two
          of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and Wm. E. McClellan, and
          William Smith, two of the Twelve Apostles, some of whom are still
          living, and many others, both living and dead. Do you think you
          could convince those of this class that they had apostatized from
          the Church? No; these men are firmly convinced in their own minds
          that they never apostatized. They stoutly and indignantly deny
          that they ever apostatized or turned away from the Church, but
          say that Joseph Smith and the Twelve Apostles apostatized, and
          all the Church had apostatized and become very wicked, and that
          God has cut the Church off, but that Brother David Whitmer and
          Brother Wm. E. McClellan, William Smith, and others are the only
          members of the Church in good standing, and they are all at
          variance with each other. If I were to raise my hand against my
          Bishop, against the Twelve or the First Presidency, because I did
          not like them, that moment I should place myself in the position
          that these men now occupy, and that scores of others who have
          passed away have occupied, and say: "The Church has apostatized,
          Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and John Taylor, have
          apostatized, but I am firm in the faith; all the people have gone
          astray because they will not acknowledge me." There is where the
          man is who rebels against the authority of the Priesthood, and at
          the same time endeavors to hold on to the faith. Never is there
          but one appointed at a time to hold the keys of the kingdom of
          God pertaining to the earth. While Christ remained on the earth
          He held them; but when He departed He committed them to Peter, he
          being the President or Chief of the Apostles; and it was his
          right to direct and to receive revelation for the Church, and to
          give counsel to all the brethren. After Satan and wicked men had
          prevailed against the Church, crucified the Savior and killed the
          Apostles, the keys of the kingdom were taken from the earth. John
          the Revelator describes it most clearly. And from that time until
          Joseph Smith was called by the voice of the Almighty, and
          ordained to hold those keys, no man held them upon the earth that
          we know of. It is true the Lord did appoint other Twelve upon
          this continent, and His Church flourished and prospered in this
          land for many years, but the Lord declared that Peter, James and
          John, and the Twelve that walked with Him at Jerusalem, held the
          Presidency over them. God may reveal himself to different
          nations, and establish among them the same Gospel and ordinances
          as He did anciently, if necessity require, but if these nations
          should be joined together there would be one head, and all the
          rest would be subordinate. So that from the time that the keys of
          this Priesthood were taken from the earth until they were
          received by Joseph Smith, no man ever possessed that Priesthood,
          nor the keys thereof, with authority to build up the Zion of God,
          and prepare a church or people for the second coming of Christ,
          "as a bride is adorned for the bridegroom;" unless it may have
          been among the lost tribes, yet of this we have no knowledge, but
          if so they would receive those keys necessary to administer in
          the ordinances of the Gospel for their salvation. We know not of
          their existence or the condition in which they are placed. The
          Gospel that is given to them is suited to their needs and
          condition, and is for their salvation, not ours, and yet it will
          be the same Gospel. And God will not call one from them to give
          to us the Priesthood, or to give to us keys and blessings, or to
          point out the organization of the kingdom of God, because He has
          established that Priesthood here, and we have it. If He has any
          communication to make to us He will send His messengers to us.
          And in this way He will deliver His law and give His mind and
          will to the people. He will do it through the ordained channels
          of the Priesthood which He acknowledges and which He has
          established in the earth. He will go no where else to do it,
          neither will He send us to them unless they should be without the
          Priesthood and it becomes necessary to take the blessings of the
          Gospel to them, and I presume that will be the case.
           F. Smith
          When Joseph received the keys of the Priesthood he alone on the
          earth held them; that is, he was the first, he stood at the head.
          It was promised that he should not lose them or be removed out of
          his place, so long as he was faithful. And when he died President
          Young was chosen by the voice of the people, and sanctioned by
          the voice of God. He held the Priesthood which was after the
          order of the Son of God, with the keys which pertain to the
          presidency of that Priesthood upon earth. He received it from the
          hands of Joseph, directly from him or by his authority; and he
          held it until his death. When he died that mantle fell upon John
          Taylor, and while he lives he will hold that authority inasmuch
          as he is faithful. So it was with President Brigham Young, he
          held it on condition of his faithfulness. If any man in that
          position should become unfaithful, God would remove him out of
          his place. I testify in the name of Israel's God that He will not
          suffer the head of the Church, him whom He has chosen to stand at
          the head, to transgress His laws and apostatize; the moment he
          should take a course that would in time lead to it, God would
          take him away. Why? Because to suffer a wicked man to occupy that
          position, would be to allow, as it were, the fountain to become
          corrupted, which is something He will never permit. And why will
          he not suffer it? Because it is not the work of Joseph Smith; it
          is not the work of Brigham Young or of John Taylor. It is not the
          work of man but of God Almighty; and it is His business to see
          that the men who occupy this position are men after His own
          heart, men that will receive instructions from Him, and that will
          carry out the same according to the counsels of His will. You may
          depend that he will see to it, and risk nothing upon this head.
          Hence you will have no reason to find fault or to rise up in
          judgment upon President Taylor or upon President Young, or upon
          the Prophet Joseph Smith, or upon the Twelve Apostles. We have no
          right to rise up in judgment upon the President of the Stake, or
          upon our Bishop, or upon the Priesthood in any shape or form,
          unless we can do so agreeably to the laws of the Church. If they
          decide against us inasmuch as God has conferred the keys of this
          Priesthood upon them, and the kingdom is here, and its authority
          is here, and the Priesthood is here, and the organization of the
          kingdom of God is here--and inasmuch as the decision is reached
          and rendered agreeable to the laws and commandments of God, then
          it would be our bounden duty to humbly submit, and bow to it and
          acknowledge it. You or I might think it hard, and possibly feel
          that it was unjust, but as it would be impossible to make it
          otherwise, we must submit. "What," says one, "submit to an unjust
          decision? No, sir!" Who says it is unjust? You or I say it is;
          but twelve High Councilors and the Presidency of the Stake say it
          is just, and in holding to our idea of the unjustness of the
          decision, we put our judgment against that of fifteen
          disinterested men. Who then is to decide on the justice of the
          case? They, not me; and it is my business to acknowledge it and
          yield to it. There is, however, a supervisory authority in the
          First Presidency; and they may exercise in some degree the
          pardoning power, for unto them is given power under the laws of
          God to forgive. "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted
          unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."
          President Taylor holds the keys of that authority in this Church.
          You may appeal then to the Presidency of the Church, and they may
          inquire into the justice or injustice of the decision and see if
          the case is entitled to a rehearing. But if the decision of the
          High Council should be confirmed, then you have no other appeal
          on earth. And yet God has given to us the broadest latitude
          peacefully to defend our individual rights, agreeably to just and
          righteous laws. He permits us first to be tried by the Bishop and
          his Counselors; and even before that we have the opportunity to
          settle our difficulties amicably without going to a trial; or if
          we cannot settle them amicably among ourselves we are permitted
          to call in our Teacher to assist us if possible to be reconciled
          to one another; and if that cannot be done we can then bring the
          matter before the Bishop to be formally tried. If we have reason
          to believe the decision to be unjust, we have the right then to
          appeal our case to the High Council, and then, if the First
          Presidency so decide, there may be a re-hearing. So that the Lord
          has given unto us every possible chance to vindicate our rights,
          defend our causes, and maintain our standing in the Church. No
          man is asked to bow to unrighteousness; but to say that the
          decision rendered by the Bishop's Court or High Council is an
          unjust decision is to say one of two things, namely, that these
          men, from three to fifteen of them, every one of whom should
          possess the spirit of the Gospel, and the inspiration of the
          Almighty, and is quite as likely to understand such circumstances
          as the litigants are all in error and lack judgment, or that they
          are wilfully wicked and unjust, while one individual, and he a
          party to strife, alone is right.
           F. Smith
          The moment a man says he will not submit to legally constituted
          authority of the Church, whether it be the Teachers, the
          Bishopric, the High Council, his Quorum or the First Presidency,
          and in his heart confirms it and carries it out, that moment he
          cuts himself off from the privileges and blessings of the
          Priesthood and Church, and severs himself from the people of God,
          for he ignores the authority that He has instituted in His
          Church. These are the men that generally get crochets in their
          heads, that get inspiration (from beneath) and that are often so
          desirous to guide the Church, and to sit in judgment upon the
          Priesthood. The only safe way for us to do, as individuals, is to
          live so humbly, so righteously and so faithfully before God, that
          we may possess His Spirit to that extent that we will be able to
          judge righteously, and discern between truth and error, between
          right and wrong; and then we will know when a decision is
          rendered against us that in 99 cases out of a hundred we are in
          error, and that the decision is right; and although we may at the
          time not be fully able to see and feel its justness, yet will be
          constrained to say that inasmuch as there are sixteen chances
          against one for me to be wrong, "I will gracefully and humbly
          submit." The pith of the matter is, the Lord has established His
          Church, organized His Priesthood, and conferred authority upon
          certain individuals, councils and quorums, and it is the duty of
          the people of God to live so that they shall know that these are
          acceptable unto Him. If we begin to cut off this one and that
          one, and set their authority aside, we may just as well at once
          set God himself aside, and say he has no right to dictate. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / John
          Taylor, June 18, 1883
                             John Taylor, June 18, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
               Delivered in the Bowery, Deseret, Monday, June 18, 1883
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                      SPIRIT OF
          I am pleased, as I said last night, to meet with you. I am
          pleased to talk about the things pertaining to the kingdom of
          God, and also about other matters that some think are not so
          directly associated with the kingdom of God, and yet they are;
          for all things temporal and all things spiritual, all things that
          are associated with our bodies and with our spirits, everything
          that is calculated to promote our happiness and well-being on the
          earth and to procure for us an exaltation in the kingdom of
          heaven, are things that are associated with the Gospel and that
          belong to us as Latter-day Saints. The God who is the Father of
          our spirits is He that organized our bodies. The God that made
          the heavens is He that made the earth, and we are dependent upon
          Him for every blessing that we enjoy. We had very little to do
          with our coming here, and now that we find ourselves here, we are
          incapable of sustaining ourselves. We must be sustained of God.
          There is not one among you here to-day could leave this place
          unless God gave you power. We hardly realize these things. In God
          we live; in Him we move and from Him we have our being. And He
          has gathered us together, for the purpose of instructing us and
          preparing us to do a work that He designs to accomplish in the
          interests of the living and of the dead, in the interests of the
          whole human family, that exist, or that ever have existed upon
          the face of the earth. He has gathered us here under the
          influence and auspices of the Gospel, that we might, under His
          tuition and guidance, and under the influence of the Holy
          Priesthood that exists in the heavens and on the earth, bring to
          pass all things that have been spoken by the holy Prophets since
          the world was. God is interested in the whole of the human
          family. He cannot take them all into the celestial kingdom, for
          they are not all prepared to go there, and you cannot prepare
          them and He cannot, because they have to be governed by certain
          laws and certain principles and certain feelings, and if they are
          not governed by these and will not be governed by a celestial
          law, they are not prepared for a celestial glory. There are some
          that may be governed by a terrestrial law, and may be prepared
          for a terrestrial glory, but not for a celestial glory. Still,
          they are God's children, and He is doing the best by them He can.
          Many of you here that have sons and daughters, do the best by
          them you can. Some of them you cannot do well by, because they
          will not do right. Now, the Lord had more sons than one. Lucifer
          rebelled. Adam had more sons than one, and Lucifer came down and
          operated upon one of them, and Adam could not help himself. He
          had another son who feared God, and was willing to be guided by
          the laws of God. Because of this, Cain killed his brother, the
          same as a great many would like to kill us under the same
          influence and by the same spirit. Now, as I have said, Adam could
          not help the action of his son. Cain yielded obedience to the
          spirit of the wicked one, and he became a man that fostered every
          kind of evil. He loved Satan more than he loved God. He loved the
          works of darkness more than he loved the light, and that spirit
          has existed in the world through all the ages that are past. It
          existed before the flood and it came down through the flood. It
          existed among the ancient inhabitants of this continent. It
          existed among the sons of Lehi. And if you read the Book of
          Mormon you will find the same principles--one party in favor of
          right, the other in favor of wrong; the one in favor of obedience
          to the laws of God, and the other in opposition to the laws of
          God. The Scriptures say that it must needs be that there be an
          opposition in all things; and Jesus said it must needs be that
          offences come, but woe to them by whom they come. This principle
          of opposition was manifested in the heavens. Satan was a
          personage there who had peculiar ideas, very singular ideas. He
          wanted to do the same as many men want to do to-day--to take away
          the free agency of man. Some men would like to take away our free
          agency and tell us how we must worship and what we must worship.
          Because Satan wanted to deprive man of his free agency, he was
          cast out of heaven and he came to the earth to teach that
          principle, and it has prevailed more or less in every age and
          under every government. We sometimes hear it said that we are
          living under the most liberal government there is on the earth. I
          sometimes say, God save the mark! God save the mark for that
          liberality that will not allow men to worship God according to
          the dictates of their own consciences, that will enact laws to
          prevent men marrying wives, while men having many mistresses are
          sustained. The men who comply with the laws of God are prohibited
          from voting, while the licentious, the adulterer, the
          whoremonger, the brothel keeper, the pimp, the procuress and the
          prostitute have this privilege, and are protected by law and
          sustained by lawgivers; while they profess to be shocked at our
          supposed immorality they foster and encourage by their enactments
          every kind of licentiousness and crime. Such principles as these
          are from beneath and not from God, no matter under what
          government they exist. We do not want to proscribe any man in his
          religious faith. It is none of our business. God did not
          interfere with Cain. He put a mark upon him. He deprived him of
          blessings and exaltations. He could not have him associate with
          the Gods, for He had cast Satan out of heaven who was Cain's
          instructor. Cain was the son of Adam. He listened to the
          teachings of Satan, and he became what is called the great
          "Master Mahon," full of wickedness and full of evil. He killed
          his brother for two reasons: one was that he did not like his
          religion, and another was that he wanted his property, the same
          reasons that influence people against us; and then there is not
          much love lost between us, for we do not admire their religion.
          But we do not want their property, their houses and their lands,
          nor anything that they have, only as we obtain such blessings
          properly, consistently, honorably and justly, and that is the
          kind of feeling we ought to have.
          But why is it that these things exist? There is a place that some
          of us hope to inherit, which is called the Celestial kingdom of
          God. There is a certain class of people who will obtain a seat in
          that kingdom, and there are millions and millions who will not.
          Jesus in speaking on this subject said: "Wide is the gate, and
          broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be
          which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is
          the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there are that find
          it." Now, then, in reference to celestial glory, it is necessary
          that men should be tried here upon the earth, for men upon other
          earths have been tried as we are being tried. And it was
          necessary, too, strange as it may appear, that Jesus should be
          tried. Yes, for it is written, "It became him for whom are all
          things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto
          glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through
          suffering." What! make Him perfect through suffering? Yes. What!
          had He to be tempted of the devil? Yes. Was He not tempted of the
          devil in the wilderness? Yes. Did not the devil come and offer
          Him all kinds of inducements as he does to us? Yes. And did Jesus
          maintain his integrity? He did. There is a scene that John the
          Revelator saw upon a certain occasion. He was caught away in the
          Spirit and he saw an innumerable throng. They were clad in white
          raiment, and they sang a new song. And he was led to inquire:
          "What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came
          they?" And he was answered: "These are they which came out of
          great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them
          white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the
          throne of God and serve Him day and night." Well, how did the
          world treat such people? It generally treated them very
          scornfully. Paul tells us, that by faith Moses endured, as seeing
          him who is invisible; by faith women received their dead raised
          to life again; by faith men wandered about in sheepskins and
          goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, (of whom the
          world was not worthy); they wandered in deserts and in mountains,
          and in dens and caves of the earth. Now, why was it that men that
          were aiming at an exaltation among the Gods should be so
          persecuted and cast out by men? For instance I might mention a
          few of them. I might refer to Job and the kind of trials he
          passed through; I might talk about Abraham and the trials he was
          called upon to pass through; I might mention Moses and the trials
          he had to endure; I might bring to your minds many other
          prominent men of God, but I will come to Elijah, who was a man
          that feared God and wrought righteousness. The people had
          departed from the Lord and trampled under foot His precepts, etc.
          So much so that Elijah was obliged to flee and hide himself in a
          cave away from the face of man. While in the cave the word of the
          Lord "a still, small voice--" came to him saying, "What doest
          thou here Elijah?" And he said, "I have been very jealous for the
          Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy
          covenants, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with
          the sword: and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life to
          take it away." Well, it was a critical position to be in, but it
          was just as critical for many others who lived in ancient times.
          And this spirit of murder and persecution still exists. It was
          exhibited in the mobbing and drivings of our people from Ohio,
          Missouri, Illinois, and other places, in the martyrdom of Joseph
          Smith and his brother Hyrum in Carthage jail, more recently in
          the assassination of Elder Joseph Standing, and again only a few
          days ago in an attempt to murder Brother John T. Alexander, one
          of our Elders in Georgia, the particulars of which you have
          doubtless read in the newspapers. In the face of such diabolical
          outrages as these, there is not much room to boast about our
          liberties. But I merely refer to these things to show that the
          spirit that actuated men in former times is at work to-day;
          irrespective of times, forms of government, places or
          Nevertheless, as I have said, it is necessary that we pass
          through certain ordeals, and that we be tried. But why is it that
          we should be tried? There is just the same necessity for it now
          that there was in former times. I heard the Prophet Joseph say,
          in speaking to the Twelve on one occasion: "You will have all
          kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for
          you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and
          (said he) God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you
          and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it
          you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom
          of God." Some people have wondered why so many of the Twelve fell
          away. God tries people according to the position they occupy.
          Joseph Smith never had many months of peace after he received the
          truth, and finally he was murdered in Carthage jail. I was with
          him on that occasion, and therefore know a little about it. And
          as I told this young man whose life had been attempted in
          Georgia; said I, "Brother Alexander, they shot at you and didn't
          hit you, but when they shot at me they hit me; so that you got
          off a little easier than I did." But all these personal things
          amount to but very little. It is the crowns, principalities, the
          powers, the thrones, the dominions, and the associations with the
          Gods that we are after, and we are here to prepare ourselves for
          these things. We are after eternal exaltation in the Celestial
          Kingdom of God. And we want to feel that this is the main object
          of existence, that this is why we were born, and that God has
          revealed Himself from the heavens, restored the Holy Priesthood
          and gathered us together in order that we might form a nucleus
          through whom He could communicate His will; through whom He could
          accomplish His work upon the earth and introduce the Gospel of
          the Son of God to the nations of the earth and gather together
          His elect from the four quarters of the globe; through whom He
          could introduce upon the earth the principles that exist in the
          heavens, that we might be taught to do the will of God on the
          earth as it is done in the heavens, that we might be a pure
          people, a virtuous people, a holy people, free from the vices and
          corruptions of the world, and that we might learn the laws of
          light, truth and intelligence from the fountain of all
          intelligence, for we are told the glory of God is intelligence.
          This is why we have been gathered together. It is rather a
          singular thing to see a host of people gathering here from all
          the nations of the earth. You cannot prevent people from
          gathering here. They are brought under the influence of the
          Gospel and they cannot help themselves. They have to come.
          Now, I will here relate a circumstance associated with the
          gathering, that took place in Liverpool, I suppose, about 43
          years ago. We had just been driven out of the State of Missouri,
          and were in the midst of very hard times. You sometimes think you
          have hard times now. Why, you do not know anything about it. They
          tell us they persecute us for polygamy now. What did they
          persecute us for when we had no polygamy? Yet we were driven from
          our homes, and many of our people--some of them old revolutionary
          soldiers--were shot down like dogs in many instances. We were
          driven from pillar to post, from one place to another, robbed,
          pillaged and despoiled of everything we had. There are many of
          the brethren and sisters here, I presume, who are acquainted with
          these things.
          Well, the Twelve were told to go to the Far West, some 200 miles
          distant from Quincy, Illinois, where many of the Saints were then
          staying. We did not have railroads then whereby we could travel
          as we do now. We had to go with our teams, and we had to go among
          a people that would kill everyone of us as quick as they would
          rattlesnakes. We were told to go and lay the foundation stone of
          the Temple, and thus fulfill the revelation that had been given
          on the subject. Arrived at the spot we prayed and sang hymns. We
          had with us a man to lay the foundation stone, the man that was
          appointed by revelation for that work--Alphe us Cutler, Bishop A.
          A. Kimball's grandfather. The stone was duly laid according to
          the order which was designed, after which--right upon the
          foundation stone--Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were
          ordained into the Quorum of the Twelve, and Norman Shearer and
          Darwin Chase into the Seventies. Chase apostatized and was
          afterwards with the soldiers under Col. Connor's command who had
          a fight with the Indians on Bear River a number of years ago,
          where he was mortally wounded. Many people declared that this
          revelation would never be fulfilled. But it was fulfilled; and we
          took our departure for Europe.
          Now, it was not a nice thing, after being pillaged, robbed and
          driven from our homes to leave our families and proceed on a
          mission to Europe. But the Twelve had to do it, and they did do
          it. There were two that did not go--John E. Page and William
          Smith, and both of them apostatized. The wrench that the Prophet
          Joseph spake about was too much for them. But the rest went. They
          felt it was an honor to go on that mission even under such
          unpropitious circumstances.
          The Prophet Joseph told us just before we left that we must not
          preach the gathering to the people, because at that time there
          was no place to gather to. "Preach the first principles of the
          Gospel," said he, "but do not say any thing about the gathering."
          We did as he directed us. The principle of gathering was not
          preached; but a great many came into the Church--a great many
          thousands were baptized. Myself and an uncle of Brother Joseph F.
          Smith--that is, his mother's brother--ministered in Liverpool; we
          raised up a Church there; I remember on one occasion a certain
          sister came to me and said: "Elder Taylor, I have had a singular
          dream, and I do not know what it means." We had not preached, as
          I have said, the principle of gathering, because Joseph told us
          not to preach it. "What is the nature of the dream?" I enquired.
          "I thought," said she, "there were a number of Saints standing on
          the pier head, (the place where the vessels start from), and they
          seemed as if they were bound for somewhere. They said they were
          going to Zion, and they sang the songs of Zion; and you were with
          them. Now, can you interpret the dream for me?" "I guess I
          could," said I, "but let it alone for the present." We could not
          prevent people from being impressed in this way, we could not
          help the Lord giving them dreams, neither could Joseph Smith. It
          was the privilege of the Saints to have revelation for
          themselves. John the Baptist had appeared to Joseph Smith and
          conferred upon him the Aaronic Priesthood, and he conferred it
          upon others. Peter, James and John came and conferred upon him
          the Melchizedek Priesthood. Then Moses, among others, appeared to
          him, and bestowed upon him the keys of the gathering, whereby
          Israel should be gathered from the four quarters of the earth,
          including also the ten tribes. Joseph had conferred this upon the
          Apostles, and the Apostles had conferred it upon others, and when
          they laid their hands upon the people and told them to receive
          the Holy Ghost they received it. Joseph Smith might tell us it
          was not wisdom to preach the principle of gathering; but we could
          not help the Lord revealing that principle through the medium of
          the Holy Ghost, which was to teach us all things. The Holy Ghost
          had operated upon this woman--and upon many others at the same
          time--in this way. Afterwards we received a letter from Brother
          Joseph stating that we might teach the principle and instruct the
          people to gather to Nauvoo. Now I could interpret the dream. I
          could have done so before had I not been prohibited. What, then,
          is it that makes people desire to come here? Here are people from
          Germany, Scandinavia, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and from
          different parts of the United States--what in the name of common
          sense made you desire to gather here? Why, men that held the
          Priesthood of the Son of God had, among other things, been
          instructed to teach this principle, that it was a gathering
          dispensation, the keys of which had been conferred upon Joseph
          Smith, he in turn had conferred the power upon others, and the
          Elders went forth and preached this Gospel with the power
          associated therewith. That is the great secret why people gather
          here. We have come here in order that we may fulfill the will of
          God, and the word of God, and the law of God. We have come out of
          Babylon. We have come out of confusion. There is confusion in the
          world everywhere; confusion amongst religionists, politicians,
          infidels; and there is no one anywhere, outside of this Church to
          say, "thus saith the Lord." Men do not know how to approach God,
          and none are willing to listen to His teachings but the
          Latter-day Saints, and it is sometimes hard work for them to do
          it. Men teach their own theories, ideas and opinions, and hence
          confusion and disorder prevail in the world. Hence, in order that
          God may have a people who will carry out His designs and
          accomplish His purposes, He has introduced the Gospel, and under
          its influence people have been gathered together to this land, as
          we see them here to-day, and as they are to be seen throughout
          the length and breadth of this Territory. The world, as I have
          said, is full of confusion, and there will be worse confusion by
          and by. We had a great war upon this continent some years ago;
          but there will yet be wars pass through these United States, and
          through other nations, until it will be mournful to hear the
          report of the bloodshed, the sorrow and trouble that will be
          caused thereby, as also by pestilence, famine and earthquake, and
          the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds, and
          storms and tempests, etc., etc. We have been gathered together
          from among the nations of the earth in order that God might have
          a people who would obey His law; who had been baptized into one
          baptism; who had all been partakers of the same spirit, and who
          had, as I said before, learned to approach the Lord in the proper
          way; for there is a medium opened out whereby men can approach
          God and learn His mind and will.
          Did God place in the Church in former times Apostles, Prophets,
          Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists for the perfecting of the
          Saints, for the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ?
          He has in these last days done the same thing, only more
          perfectly, because the dispensation with which we are associated
          is "the dispensation of the fullness of times." It is a
          dispensation that embraces all other times.
          What, then, have we to do? To preach the Gospel to the nations of
          the earth? What else? To gather the people together, all those
          who have made a covenant with God by sacrifice. They were to come
          from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the
          south. They were to be gathered one of a city and two of a
          family, and brought to Zion that they might be taught and
          instructed in the principles of eternal life. And I want to say
          that God having gathered us together, and we having entered into
          a covenant with Him, He expects us to obey His law, and be
          governed by the principles He has revealed. We are here to build
          up the Church of God, the Zion of God, and the kingdom of God,
          and to be on hand to do whatever God requires--first to purge
          ourselves from all iniquity, from covetousness and evil of every
          kind: to forsake sin of every sort, cultivate the Spirit of God,
          and help to build up His kingdom; to beautify Zion and have
          pleasant habitations, and pleasant gardens and orchards, until
          Zion shall be the most beautiful place there is on the earth.
          Already Zion is attracting the attention of the people of the
          world. I have all kinds of people calling on me--Lords, Admirals,
          Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Members of the
          Parliament of England, of the Reichstag of Germany, and the
          Chamber of Deputies of France--all classes come and they say,
          "You have a most beautiful place here!" Why, yes. And by and by
          the kings of the earth will come to gaze upon the glory of Zion,
          and we are here to build it up under the instruction of God our
          Heavenly Father. Zion shall yet become the praise and the glory
          of the whole earth, and, as I have said, kings and princes shall
          come to gaze upon her glory, and we shall be able to teach their
          senators wisdom, and their philosophers intelligence; for we
          shall be all taught of God. God has called upon us to do this
          work, and He expects us to do it. We must preach the Gospel, and
          we will preach it; and if we have to meet with opposition and
          with death staring us in the face, all right. We are for God and
          His kingdom, and for the principles of truth and righteousness.
          We need not trouble ourselves about the outside, for God will
          take care of them and of us. He will say to the nations of the
          earth--to this nation and to other nations--as was said to the
          waves of the mighty ocean: "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no
          further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed."
          I will tell you a feeling I had some years ago. I was over at
          Fillmore. From there you can see right on to this desert. And I
          thought--as I looked across this immense valley--if there was
          only water there, what a magnificent country that would make! I
          remember I thought thousands and tens of thousands could inhabit
          that land if it only had water. I did not then know the position
          of things. I have now had an opportunity of visiting Deseret and
          looking at the river, and am pleased to find you have such an
          abundant supply of water. An immense population could be
          sustained with the amount you have. I suppose the river shows its
          best now; the water is high; but if that water could be properly
          manipulated, it does seem to me--provided you can conquer the
          mineral in the soil--that a vast amount of land can be put under
          cultivation and an immense population sustained. I am told that
          you are troubled with saleratus in the land, but I am also
          informed that you are learning to conquer that by flooding the
          land instead of making furrows for irrigation. Already, in some
          places, where they have been troubled with saleratus they have
          the richest and most productive soils. Those lands where not too
          much saturated with the mineral are in many instances the most
          fertile that we have in the Territory. You certainly have a fair
          opportunity for development; having a large area of land, which I
          am told is productive, and with the proper application of the
          water, and a concentration of effort I can see no reason why this
          can not be made a very flourishing, beautiful and populous place.
          President Taylor next proceeded to counsel the Saints in regard
          to sundry local affairs. He appreciated the difficulties they had
          had to encounter in that region owing to the nature of the soil
          and the giving way of the dam on one or two occasions. He
          complimented them, however, on what they had been able to
          accomplish in spite of all difficulties, and counseled them to
          persevere, promising that their efforts to subdue and conquer the
          land would be blessed of the Lord. He also counseled them to come
          closer together. At present, it appeared to him, they were
          scattered over too much ground. It would be better to get
          together and begin building a nice little town on each side of
          the river, (if that suited them), than to be scattered as they
          are now. In this way the place could be made attractive. Good
          buildings of all kinds could be erected. Trees could be planted
          in the streets. Gardens and orchards could also be planted in the
          various lots. And in this manner Deseret might be made a very
          desirable place.
          He concluded as follows:
          God bless you. God bless your lands, that they may be fruitful
          and that the labors of your hands may be blessed; and God bless
          the waters, that they may be nourishing and strengthening to your
          lands, and be pleasant to use for drinking and for culinary
          purposes; and God bless your gardens and your orchards--that is,
          when you get them--that fruitfulness may rest upon them; and God
          bless the President of your Stake and his counselors, and Brother
          Lyman and his brethren of the Twelve who labor among you from
          time to time; and God bless your Bishop here, and all the Bishops
          of this Stake and their counselors, that the Spirit of God may
          rest upon them, the spirit of truth and intelligence, to enable
          them to carry out all things they desire in righteousness, that
          this land may be blessed of the Lord; and God bless your wives
          and your children and all the people, that salvation may flow
          unto them, and that they may walk in the paths of life; I ask my
          heavenly Father to seal upon you these blessings, in the name of
          Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 /
          Charles W. Penrose, May 18th, 1883
                         Charles W. Penrose, May 18th, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER CHAS. W. PENROSE,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                                   May 18th, 1883.
                           (Reported by Gibbs and Irvine.)
                                     OPPOSED BY
                                  GOSPEL--EFFECT OF
                                  RESTORED--HOW IT
                                       WORK OF 
                           GOD--DESTINY BEFORE THE SAINTS.
          We are living in the latter days, at a time which all the
          prophets of God, who lived upon the earth in former times looked
          forward to with anticipation. The servants of God whose writings
          have been handed down to us in the book called the Bible, were
          all blessed in their day and generation with some foresight in
          regard to the last great dispensation of God's mercy to man. The
          Spirit of God opened up to them views concerning the great
          latter-day work, which God should perform, in which He would
          consummate His purposes, in which He would perfect His work, in
          regard to the people of this earth. And they were strengthened in
          the performance of the duties devolving upon them by glimpses of
          the latter-day glory. They were called to pass through very
          trying circumstances. As the Apostle Paul says: "They were
          stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the
          sword: they wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins; being
          destitute, afflicted, tormented; they wandered in deserts, and in
          mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." Generally
          speaking, the prophets of God were rejected by the majority of
          the children of men. By the spirit of prophecy which rested upon
          them, they could perceive how small would be the impressions
          which they would be able to make upon the people who lived in
          their day, and they saw also that although they might be able to
          accomplish some good in the name of the Lord, yet the adversary
          would come in like a flood, so to speak, and overwhelm the
          influences which they were able to bring to bear. They saw that
          the work which they were engaged in could not continue, but for a
          little while. But they looked down to the last days when the
          kingdom of God should be established on the earth, when it should
          not be prevailed against nor be overcome, but should remain and
          continue to grow and increase and spread forth, until its
          influence should extend to the uttermost parts of the earth,
          until all things should be subdued unto the Lord, until the
          wicked should be destroyed, until misrule and tyranny and
          oppression and falsehood and false doctrine and the powers of
          evil should be banished from the earth, and the light of God
          should stream forth to lighten every land, and the kingdoms of
          this world would become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ,
          and He should rule from pole to pole and from shore to shore. In
          this they rejoiced exceedingly, and they were encouraged to
          perform the work entrusted to them, by the foresight that God
          gave to them of the great latter day work. The Apostle Paul
          referred to this dispensation in these words: "Having made known
          to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure,
          which He hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of
          the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things
          in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." By
          this we see that the Apostle Paul--and he was imbued with the
          same spirit and understanding as his brethren of the
          Apostleship--looked forward to another dispensation than that in
          which they labored, which is generally called the Christian
          dispensation, because it was introduced by Jesus who was the
          Christ. Paul called the dispensation that was to come after His
          day, "the dispensation of the fullness of times," and declared in
          that dispensation God would gather together in one all things in
          Christ; not only the things in the earth, but also the things in
          the heavens--they should all be gathered together in one.
          Now, the Apostle Paul, and others in his time--like those ancient
          prophets to whom I have referred--had the understanding that the
          work in which he was engaged, although it would accomplish that
          whereunto it was sent, would only make its impression for a time
          and for a season; that the time would come when darkness would
          come in again; when false doctrine would prevail; when the
          servants of God would be taken from the earth and false prophets
          and false teachers would arise who would, (to use the Apostle
          Peter's own words) "bring in damnable heresies;" who would turn
          away the hearts of the people from the truth. The Apostles saw
          that the time would come when the people would be "heady and
          high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a
          form of godliness but denying the power thereof;" when false
          teachers would arise and "make merchandise of the souls of men,
          even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves
          swift destruction," "and many," we are told, "shall follow their
          pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil
          spoken of." John, the beloved disciple, wrote a glorious vision
          that God gave to him when he was upon the Isle of Patmos, being
          banished there for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus,
          and in that vision the Lord showed to him that a spurious church
          should arise which would have influence over all the earth. It
          was pictured to him in the form of a woman sitting upon a scarlet
          colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, and upon her forehead
          a name written, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of
          Harlots." And he saw that she held in her hand a golden cup full
          of abominations and filthiness of her fornication, and he beheld
          that all nations were made drunk with the wine that was in that
          golden cup. It was not merely to be partaken of by a few, but by
          all nations. He also saw that the time should come,--foreseen by
          Isaiah the prophet--"When darkness shall cover the earth and
          gross darkness the people." When Jesus was upon the earth He told
          His disciples that the time would come when false Christs and
          false prophets would arise, and when because of the iniquity that
          should abound, the love of many would wax cold. And we find by
          searching both the Old and New Testaments that the prophets of
          God who lived in former times and had dispensations committed
          unto them, saw that the time would come when the work which they
          performed would seem to be lost from the earth; apostasy would
          ensue; people would go after other Gods; they would transgress
          the laws, change the ordinances, and break the everlasting
          covenant. But the ancient prophets had a glimpse of what God
          would do in the latter days. They saw the time when He would
          establish His work in the earth no more to be thrown down
          forever; when He would establish His kingdom not to be left to
          another people, not to be overcome, not to be trampled under
          foot, but to arise and shine and the light thereof go forth to
          all the world that kings might come to its light and the gentiles
          to the brightness of its rising.
          Now, my brethren and sisters, we are blessed with the privilege
          of living upon the earth in the latter days, in the time to which
          all the prophets looked forward with pleasure, with rejoicing and
          with thanksgiving; the time just preceding the coming of the Son
          of man, not as the babe of Bethlehem, not to be born in a stable
          and cradled in a manger, not to be "despised and rejected of men,
          a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," not to be lifted up
          on the cross and His life's blood poured out because of the
          wickedness of men, but as King of Kings and Lord of Lords; to
          come vested with all power on the earth and in the heavens; to
          "sit upon the throne of His father David," and to "reign from the
          rivers even unto the ends of the earth;" to subdue all things
          unto himself; to abolish wickedness, to banish evil, to bind
          Satan and his hosts, and to fill the earth with light and glory
          and the power of God; that the lion and the lamb may dwell
          together; that enmity may depart between man and man and between
          man and beast; that nation may not lift up sword against nation,
          and that people may study the art of war no more; but that peace
          may be ushered in, and that the power of God and the Spirit of
          God may be poured out upon all flesh, and all nations be
          influenced thereby. We are living upon the earth in the time
          preceding these great events--in the latter days, in the last
          The question may arise, is this great dispensation which the
          prophets foresaw, and which Paul spoke of, already ushered in?
          has the dispensation of the fullness of times been introduced for
          the benefit of the children of men? or are we still under the old
          dispensation opened up by the Savior and carried on for a time by
          the Apostles? That is a serious question, though if left to the
          Latter-day Saints to answer, one that would be settled in a very
          short time; for go where you might in this Territory, and ask the
          Latter-day Saints concerning it, and they would answer, I know
          the dispensation of the fullness of times is ushered in; I do not
          merely believe it, but I know it as well as I know that I live."
          And if you were to ask them how they know it, they would answer,
          "By the revelations of the Holy Ghost." They would tell you they
          know that God has again spoken from the heavens, that angels have
          descended from the courts of glory and communicated with man, and
          that through the direct agency of divine and holy beings, this
          great and last dispensation of God's mercy to man has been opened
          up. They would tell you further, that they know it will remain
          and prevail; that all that has been designed must be accomplished
          under its auspices; and the work which has been begun must
          continue and grow--because it is the work of God--even until the
          whole earth is subdued unto Him, and all things are prepared for
          the coming of Him whose right it is to reign; and that no man or
          nation or government or influence or society, or all combined,
          can have the slightest influence or power to stop its onward
          It would be interesting perhaps to consider how the dispensation
          of the fullness of times was to be opened up. We read that the
          works of God are one eternal round, "He is the same yesterday,
          to-day, and forever;" without variableness or any change
          whatever. As He acted in ancient times, then, so may we expect
          Him to act in latter times. That if He has a work to perform
          amongst men, He will commence and carry it out in the same way
          that He did formerly. Whenever darkness has covered the face of
          the earth, and the people have gone astray, we find, by reading
          the Bible, that God spoke from the heavens, that He sent heavenly
          messengers to some man or men whom He, not the people, chose, to
          whom He communicated His mind and will, and whom He authorized to
          preach to the rest. They went with "the burden of the word of the
          Lord," they did not go forth preaching for doctrine the
          commandments of men. They did not aim to please the eyes or the
          ears of the people. They did not as a general thing possess much
          learning; in fact, they were to some extent ignorant, that is,
          they were not versed in the learning of the world. "Not many wise
          men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called:
          but God hath chosen the foolish things of the earth to confound
          the things which are mighty." But have we any intimation in the
          Scriptures that God would act like that in the last days? If we
          had not we might reason from what He has done to what He will do.
          But we have any amount of testimony in the Scriptures, written in
          both Testaments, as to what He will do in the last days. In the
          first place we read that "God will do nothing except He reveals
          His secret to His servants the prophets." And we are told in the
          revelation from which I quoted concerning the general apostasy,
          when all nations shall become drunken from drinking the contents
          of that golden cup in the hands of the mother of abominations, an
          angel should come and bring to the earth again the everlasting
          Gospel. You will find what I refer to in the 14th Chapter of
          Revelations, and the 6th and 7th verses. John says, "And I saw
          another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting
          Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every
          nation, and kindred, and tongue and people, saying with a loud
          voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of his
          judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and
          the sea, and the fountains of water." And after this he declares
          that there followed another angel, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is
          fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of
          the wine of the wrath of her fornications."
          Some one may enquire, Did the things that John saw in the vision
          signify events that had taken place already, or were they to take
          place in the future? That can be easily settled by reading the
          1st verse of the 4th chapter of that book, which reads as
          follows: "After this I looked, and behold a door was opened in
          heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a
          trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will
          show these things which must be hereafter." And in the 14th
          Chapter he says that he saw another angel flying in the midst of
          heaven "having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that
          dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue,
          and people." So this Gospel that John saw the angel bringing to
          earth was for the benefit of generations to come, for the
          Christians as well as those who are termed the heathen. We who
          are styled "Christians" are in the habit of calling all other
          nations heathen; I am inclined to believe that there are a great
          many people who are "christian" heathen.
          This revelation that was given to John will seem very strange to
          a great many people, who are under the impression that the
          everlasting Gospel has been upon the earth ever since it was
          taught by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. But if that were so,
          what need would there be for the Lord to send an angel with it?
          As I before explained, John saw the time when the whole earth
          would be under the influence of that wicked power which he saw
          sitting on a scarlet colored beast, and out of the cup which she
          held in her hand, all nations were to drink--not merely the
          heathen nations, but all the nations of the earth without
          exception. I am well aware that this will not sit very
          comfortably on the bosoms of some of our Christian friends. But
          what we are after, or should be after, is truth; and we should be
          desirous to obtain the truth notwithstanding that it may come in
          contact with our preconceived notions. John saw that the whole
          earth would go astray; and all the Apostles spoke more or less of
          the time when people would depart from the Church, when they
          would "not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts they
          would heap to themselves teachers having itching ears;" and says
          the Apostle, "they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and
          shall be turned into fables;" their teachers shall "preach for
          doctrine the commandments of men;" and the Apostle might have
          added, that if they did not preach to suit the people, they would
          discharge them and hire others. The time was to come when
          "darkness would cover the earth, and gross darkness the people,"
          but preceding the destruction of Babylon the great archangel was
          to come to earth with the everlasting Gospel to preach to all
          nations; and the burden of his message was to call upon the
          people with a loud voice, saying, "Fear God, and give glory to
          Him, for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that
          made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water,"
          signifying that the people had gone astray and were worshiping
          some other god or gods.
          It is the general view that after the days of Jesus and the
          Apostles there were to be no more angels to visit the earth. This
          has been taught to the people diligently. What for? Because the
          men who teach this doctrine do not receive any visitations from
          heaven themselves. They have no communication with the powers on
          high. The heavens to them are indeed as brass. They pray, but
          they do not expect to receive any answer to their prayers, except
          in some mystical fashion which neither they nor anybody else can
          understand. They do not expect to receive answers to their
          prayers as the prophets of old did. And they have taught the
          people for hundreds of years that there is to be no more
          communications from heaven. And why? Because they pretend to
          greater light; because they claim to live in an age of gospel
          blaze, and christianity, as they term it, has attained such a
          high standard of excellence that they need no divine revelation.
          And yet when you investigate their condition, you will find they
          do not comprehend the Gospel; they differ amongst themselves,
          they contend with each other even on fundamental principles. They
          have no positive knowledge in regard to the things of God. Some
          of the clergy teach what they believe, and others teach what they
          do not believe, being infidel at heart. It is true there have
          been sincere men who have labored for the benefit of humanity,
          and who have done a great deal of good; and they will be rewarded
          by the Almighty for all the good they have accomplished. But
          wherein they have presumed to minister in the name of the Lord
          when He never authorized them to act for Him, they have run
          before they were sent, and will have to answer to Him for their
          presumption. Wherein men have administered in the name of the
          Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and at the same time
          acknowledge that they have had no communication with those higher
          powers, declaring that the Holy Trinity has ceased to speak to
          men, they show by their own words and make actual confession that
          they have no authority. They could not possibly have any, because
          there has been no communication from those individuals who alone
          had the right to give it, and wherein they have presumed to act
          in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost
          without authority, they must give an account when they appear
          before the bar of God. But the ministers who have preached
          religion for hundreds of years have no definite knowledge in
          regard to these matters and have to tell what they think and what
          their opinions are, and they disagree with each other in regard
          to their opinions. Yet they tell the people there is no need now
          for any revelation from on high; that there is no need for angels
          to come to the earth and make plain the way of life and
          salvation, because, forsooth, they know so much. The canon of
          Scripture they say is full; and God ceased to speak after He gave
          that revelation to John on the Isle of Patmos.
          "Well," some one perhaps will say, "does not the book itself say
          so?" No, it does not, but these ministers have taught that it
          does. In the last chapter of the Book of Revelation are we not
          told that, "if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add
          unto him the plagues that are written in this book?" Yes; but we
          are also told that, "if any man shall take away the words of the
          book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the
          book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which
          are written in this book." The angel merely told John what God
          told His servants in former times, that when He gave a
          revelation, man should not add to it. He told the same thing to
          Moses--"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you,
          neither shall ye diminish aught from it." That is quite right.
          But man is prone to do that which is forbidden. When God reveals
          anything, some one is sure to add to or take away from it, and
          try to "improve" it or make it void. Hence the angel told John
          that no man was to take away from the words of the book of this
          prophecy. What book? The book that John was writing--the Book of
          Revelation. It does not refer at all to the Bible. There was no
          such book as the Bible then. Those books that are now compiled in
          the Bible--and a great many more that are not there--were
          scattered abroad, and hundreds of years after that, they were
          hunted up and examined; those that we now have were selected from
          a great mass of manuscripts and compiled; others were thrown away
          as non-canonical. The canon of Scripture was not made up by John,
          but was made up in the way I have described; and there is no
          intimation anywhere from God to man that He would give no more
          revelations; but the whole Bible from beginning to end proves the
          contrary. We are told to fear God and work righteousness, and
          call upon His Holy name and He will be nigh to answer, "Ask and
          ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door
          shall be opened unto you; for everyone that seeketh findeth,"
          etc. That is the word of the Lord. It does not say that God would
          not give any more revelation; but it does say that man shall not
          add to that which God does give. In that very revelation we are
          told that an angel came to John and gave him a little book and
          told him to eat it. He ate the book as he was told. Then the
          angel said to him in explanation: "Thou must prophesy again
          before many people, and nations, and tongues, and kings." If John
          was to prophesy to nations, and people, and before kings, would
          not that be the word of the Lord? Yes, just as much as that which
          he wrote in the book. So it does not follow that there was not to
          be any more revelation. The injunction is that man shall not add
          to or take from any revelation that God gives, and that has been
          a standing rule in all generations.
          But if this passage in the last chapter of the Book of
          Revelations could be so construed as to make it appear that there
          was to be no more revelation, such a construction would conflict
          with what we find in the 14th chapter of Revelation to the effect
          that an angel was to come "having the everlasting Gospel to
          preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and
          kindred, and tongue, and people." And if we turn back to the
          writings of the old prophets we find that they looked forward to
          the time in which you and I live; to the time when this work
          should be consummated; to the time when no one should need to
          say, "Know ye the Lord? for they shall all know Him even from the
          least unto the greatest of them." Why? Because "they shall all be
          taught of God." They looked forward to the time when "the Spirit
          of God shall be poured out upon all flesh;" so that all mankind
          shall feel the influence and be brought into union and harmony
          and communion with the Great God, the author of their being. That
          spirit will measurably rest down upon the brute creation. "The
          lion and the lamb will dwell together, and the little child shall
          play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his
          hand on the cockatrice den." The earth itself shall feel the
          influence of that divine spirit, and cease to bring forth thorns
          and briars, and in the place thereof "shall spring up the fig and
          the myrtle tree;" and "the earth shall be full of the knowledge
          of God, as the waters cover the sea."
          How can man know God without revelation from God? "Man by
          searching cannot find out God." Wise men have been seeking to
          find out the secret of Deity for hundreds of years, and the more
          they study, the more they ponder, the less they know about Him.
          God is not to be found out in that way. Man cannot find out God,
          but God can manifest Himself to man. The only way that the Lord
          can be made manifest to man is by revelation. Jesus Christ
          thanked His Father, when he was praying, that God had "kept those
          things hid from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto
          babes." "Even so, Father:" said He, "for thus it seemed good in
          Thy sight. And no man knoweth the Son, but the Father, neither
          knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever
          the Son will reveal Him." That is the only way.
          Now, according to the Scripture I have quoted to you, an angel
          was to come to the earth and bring back the Gospel!--the Gospel
          that had been lost, the everlasting Gospel, the Gospel preached
          by Jesus and His disciples, the Gospel preached of old; for we
          read that it was preached to Abraham, and that it was preached to
          the Jews before the law of carnal commandments was given, and
          then God gave them a lesser law because they would not receive
          the greater. When Jesus appeared He merely came to bring to the
          earth that which was lost. He came to restore the Gospel that was
          preached in the beginning to the patriarchs, that was believed in
          by Abraham, and by receiving which he was able to commune with
          the Father, who called him His friend, and who said: "Shall I
          hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham
          shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the
          nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him,
          that he will command his children and his household after him,
          and they shall keep the way of the Lord." So we read in the 18th
          chapter of Genesis. The same Gospel that Abraham received; the
          Gospel preached to the people before Abraham's day; the Gospel
          preached to the Jews before the law of carnal commandments was
          given; the Gospel Jesus and His disciples preached, and of which
          John the Baptist came as the forerunner, baptizing people for the
          remission of their sins in the River Jordan--that same Gospel has
          been restored in the day in which we live. There is but one
          everlasting Gospel. There are a great many so called gospels that
          men have made, but they are not the true, everlasting Gospel; for
          as the Apostle Paul says: "though we, or an angel from heaven,
          preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached
          unto you, let him be accursed." There is but one straight path to
          the celestial city. There is but one gate into the kingdom of
          God, and "he that tries to climb up some other way will be
          accounted a thief and a robber." So said Jesus. This everlasting
          Gospel then was to be brought to the earth by an angel, and was
          to be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
          Now, when Jesus, the Son of God, was upon the earth, after His
          resurrection from the dead He appeared to His eleven
          Apostles--for one had apostatized, having sold his Master for a
          few pieces of silver--and gave them a commission. He said: "Go ye
          into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; he
          that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
          believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them
          that believe. In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall
          speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they
          drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay
          hands on the sick, and they shall recover." And the disciples
          went forth according to His word and preached, and God confirmed
          the word with signs following. Wherever they went they preached
          this one Gospel, and God blessed those that received their
          testimony. The Holy Ghost accompanied their preaching, and bore
          witness to the hearts of the people, and all who obeyed the
          Gospel were made of one heart and one mind--Greeks, Romans, Jews
          and Gentiles, bond and free, Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes,
          Herodians, etc., people from all the various sects, and some that
          did not belong to any sect, infidels also, when they accepted the
          testimony of the Apostles and were baptized, and had hands laid
          upon them, received the Holy Ghost, and were made of one heart
          and one mind; they had one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one hope
          of their calling. And we read in the New Testament that when they
          met in their assemblies one would speak in tongues, another would
          interpret, another would prophesy, etc. The Lord poured out His
          Spirit upon the people and gave them visible manifestations of
          His power, in addition to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost which
          made them all see and comprehend alike, and which bore witness to
          the divine mission of Christ and to the mission of the Apostles
          whom He had sent forth. These signs were seen in their midst,
          which comforted and made them strong. But after a time the people
          began to go astray. Wicked men took the Apostles and put them to
          death. Some were cast unto wild beasts; some were thrown into
          caldrons of boiling oil; some were crucified; others were
          tormented in various ways, persecuted and afflicted and slain.
          Then others began to depart from the faith, bringing in damnable
          heresies. Others began to preach for hire and divine for money,
          making merchandise of the souls of men. And thus the apostasy
          went on until darkness covered the minds of the people, and
          paganism was introduced into the Christian church. And the time
          came when that wicked power spoken of in the Revelation overcame
          the saints. The Spirit of God left the polluted church. The body
          became dead. Just as when the spirit of man leaves his body, the
          carcass begins to crumble; every particle seems desirous to get
          away from every other particle. So it was after the time that the
          Apostles fell. The Holy Ghost left the church. The spirit of
          revelation departed from the body and dissolution set in.
          Darkness ensued. Apostasy prevailed. In one of the homilies of
          the Church of England it is declared that: "Clergy and laity,
          men, women and children, of all ages, sects and degrees of whole
          Christendom (a most horrible and dreadful thing to think) have at
          once been buried in the most abominable idolatry, and that for
          the space of 800 years or more." This was because there had been
          no Holy Ghost in the church, no revelation from heaven, no real
          communion with the powers on high. Instead of true worship there
          was idolatry. People had gone into darkness, and it had covered
          the earth--all nations and sects and parties, "clergy and laity,
          men, women and children of whole Christendom." From that time to
          the present, sect has multiplied upon sect, and creed upon creed,
          but there has been no uniting power. The Holy Ghost not being in
          the church, the body has been segregated, every part separating
          from other parts, like the toes which Daniel saw composed part of
          iron and part of clay, the one refusing to mingle with the other.
          In this generation came forth a young man bearing the testimony
          that the Lord had sent an angel from heaven to reveal the
          everlasting Gospel; and he bore testimony that the angel had
          appeared to him, and conversed with him in a heavenly vision. And
          he testified further that a servant of God who had once lived
          upon the earth, who was no less a personage that John the
          Baptist, had come to him and ordained him and Oliver Cowdery to
          the lesser Priesthood; that he had come as a forerunner of
          Christ, that the way might be prepared for His second advent. He
          still further testified that Peter, James and John appeared to
          him and ordained him to the same Priesthood which they themselves
          held, namely, the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood, committing
          unto him the Keys of the Apostleship and of the dispensation of
          the fullness of times, the dispensation when all things are to be
          gathered together in one, including the gathering of Israel, and
          the bringing back of the lost ten tribes, and the gathering of
          the elect of God from the four quarters of the earth, that they
          may be assembled in holy places so that they may not be moved
          when the judgments of the latter days are poured out, and that
          they may be prepared for the building up of the latter-day
          kingdom. It was very easy for the young man to say this, but what
          evidence is there to substantiate the truth of his assertion? The
          evidence is here. This young man claimed to hold this divine
          authority to preach the same Gospel that Jesus preached,
          promising the same testimony, the same signs and the same power
          that attended the ministrations of the servants of God in olden
          times. Now, an impostor could bear testimony that he received
          this communication, but an impostor could not draw down the Holy
          Ghost upon the people; an impostor could not open the heavens; an
          impostor could not cause these blessings and signs to come,
          convincing believers of the divinity of the work which he
          The facts are these: People began to believe in his testimony
          because they found that he taught the same doctrines as those
          contained in the Scriptures; some went forth and were baptized.
          And upon all that yielded obedience to the requirements of the
          Gospel he laid his hands, and the Holy Ghost descended upon them.
          Some received visions; some received the gift of healing, and
          others the gift of prophesying, etc.--the same powers which were
          enjoyed by the primitive Church were enjoyed by the Church
          established by the inspiration of God, through Joseph Smith, the
          Prophet and Seer of the 19th Century. He, under the divine
          command, ordained men to go forth and preach this Gospel. Some
          went to England, some to Scotland, some to Wales, others to
          France, to Germany and Scandinavia, and to different parts of
          Europe, while others preached extensively through this nation;
          and wherever they went and the people believed their testimony
          and were baptized for the remission of their sins, and submitted
          to the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost,
          they all bore testimony that God Almighty had revealed to them by
          the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, that He had in very deed
          sent his angel from heaven and opened up the dispensation of the
          fullness of times.
          Here we have a people dwelling in these mountain valleys who have
          been gathered from the different nations under this influence.
          Our Elders go out, not to entice the people to leave their homes;
          they do not go as "emigration agents," as some people allege they
          do, but they go to preach the everlasting Gospel, and they do it
          as did they ancient servants of God; they are not paid for
          preaching, but they pay their own way, as a general thing, to
          their fields of labor, and then travel "without purse or scrip."
          I have traveled extensively myself, as have many of the men
          within my hearing, without purse or scrip preaching the Gospel of
          Christ; and wherever the people received my testimony I baptized
          them and laid hands upon them, and they testified that the Holy
          Ghost came upon them, the gifts of that spirit were bestowed, and
          the sick were healed, in many instances instantaneously, by the
          power of God. I speak of this, not as a personal matter, but
          because this is the universal testimony of my brethren, wherever
          they have been sent among all nations.
          This is not the work of man; it is the work of God, and it is God
          that bears witness to it. This is why this people are here. They
          have not come for gold or silver; they have not come simply to
          better their temporal circumstances; but they have gathered here
          "as the elect of God," the voice of God having gone forth in
          connection with this Gospel. "Come out of her, my people, that ye
          be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her
          plagues; for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath
          remembered her iniquities." And the time is nigh at hand when the
          other angel will proclaim, "Babylon the great is fallen, is
          fallen." This is the time that Jesus said His angels should go
          forth to gather His elect from the four winds, previous to His
          coming. And said He, "then shall this Gospel of the kingdom be
          preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and
          then shall the end come." The testimony of our Elders who go
          forth is that this is "the Gospel of the kingdom," and this is
          "the dispensation of the fullness of times;" and that the period
          has come for the establishment of the latter-day kingdom; when
          the people of God shall be gathered from the four winds previous
          to the destruction of the wicked, the breaking up of the kingdoms
          of this world, as Daniel saw them in his vision, that they may
          pass away and be found no more, and that "the kingdoms of this
          world may become the kingdom of our God and His Christ."
          The people who dwell in these mountain valleys labor to build up
          homes, to redeem the land and make it a desirable place to live
          in; but they are here chiefly, and as their primary object, to
          serve God and learn of Him. They are here in fulfillment of
          predictions made by Micah, Isaiah and Daniel. Isaiah declared,
          "It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the
          Lord's house shall be established in the tops of the mountains,
          and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow
          unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go
          up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;
          and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in his paths,"
          etc. The prophecies of these ancient men of God are being
          fulfilled literally; and this people called Latter-day Saints
          have come here to learn of the ways of the Lord. They learned
          something of his ways in the lands where they were born, and the
          word tasted sweet to their souls; communion was opened up between
          them and the heavens, and they received a testimony for
          themselves. They did not have to depend upon the testimony of
          Joseph Smith, or of Brigham Young, or of John Taylor, or of the
          Apostles whom God has called in our day, but they obtained one
          for themselves. They were all baptized with one spirit into one
          body, and all received of the same influence; all obtained a
          similar testimony; and the gifts and graces of the everlasting
          Gospel are enjoyed by them, according to their several faiths and
          desires for God and the truth. This, therefore, is the beginning
          of the great latter-day work, the restoration of the Gospel, the
          opening up of the dispensation of the fullness of times. The work
          now is to gather the Saints of God. First of all the Gospel is to
          be preached to the Gentiles and then to the Jews. "The fullness
          of the Gentiles" has not yet "Come in," but the time is close at
          hand when it will come in. After that the Lord will say, "Turn ye
          to the Jews also." The servants of God are going out among the
          Gentile nations preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and bearing
          testimony that it is His cause; not preaching what they think, or
          giving expression to any opinions they may have formed, but from
          knowledge of the will of God through the testimony of Jesus,
          which is the spirit of prophecy which they obtained by bowing in
          obedience to the ordinances of the Gospel. They know what they
          preach. They do not go out with the "enticing words of man's
          wisdom," but to preach the everlasting Gospel as God has revealed
          it, as He has manifested it from on high. They are not sent to
          preach to please the popular ear, but to deliver in plainness, as
          the Spirit shall give them utterance, the message of salvation,
          whether the people believe it or not. And our missionaries find
          that the same spirit exists to-day that the servants of God had
          to meet and contend with anciently. The wicked oppose the message
          of truth they bear; and the most vehement opponents to it are
          those who profess the most piety. They have it in their hearts to
          destroy or bring trouble upon this people. Why? They do not know
          why themselves. It is because they shut their own hearts to the
          truth like the Pharisees of old, who made long prayers that they
          might be heard and seen of men, and not entering the kingdom
          themselves, they will not suffer those who would, to enter
          therein. They have the same spirit in their hearts that slew the
          prophets and put Christ to death. When our Elders go out, instead
          of meeting them with argument, these men stir up the people to
          oppose them by force. They have stirred up Congress to pass
          inimical laws to oppress the "Mormons," to deprive them of the
          commonest rights of citizens, to take their leaders and put them
          to death. This is the spirit that has been arrayed against this
          Church from the beginning. Joseph Smith and Hyrum his brother,
          were slain in Carthage jail. What for? For the word of God and
          the testimony of Jesus; because they taught the truth as it came
          from God and claimed to have divine authority, to have received
          power from on high. They could not oppose the testimony of these
          men by truth, nor by Scripture, nor by argument, neither could
          they overcome them by law. But as the mob said that put these
          servants of God to death: "The law cannot touch them, but powder
          and ball shall." This is the spirit by which the prophets of old
          were put to death. This is the spirit by which Christ was
          crucified on the cross. This is the spirit by which Peter was
          crucified head downward. This is the spirit by which others were
          thrown unto wild beasts and some were cast into caldrons of
          boiling oil. And this is the spirit that is exhibited in the
          latter times by some who claim to be ministers of the Gospel.
          The work of gathering has commenced, then. That is part of the
          work of the dispensation of the fullness of times, the gathering
          of the people of God in one. The Saints of God will be gathered.
          The wicked may do what they please. They may pass laws; fulminate
          decrees; send circular letters to the governments abroad to
          prevent "Mormon" emigration; but as God lives and rules and
          reigns on high, this is His work and He will bring it about in
          His own way and time and there is no power on the earth that can
          thwart His purposes. His people will come from the east and
          gather from the west. The Lord will say to the north, "Give up;
          and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from afar, and my
          daughters from the ends of the earth." And they will gather to
          Zion as the prophet foretold, and build up temples to the living
          God, that His ordinances may be performed therein, and that they
          may learn of His ways and walk in His paths. Then the Gospel, as
          I before remarked, will be preached to the Jews. The way is now
          being prepared for this. The work is moving on for the gathering
          of the Jews to their own land that they may build it up as it was
          in former times; that the temple may be rebuilt and the mosque of
          the Moslem which now stands in its place may be moved out of the
          way; that Jerusalem may be rebuilt upon its original site; that
          the way may be prepared for the coming of the Messiah, who shall
          be seen in the midst of those whose ancestors nailed him to the
          cross, and who, when they see the marks in His hands, shall say
          in answer to their inquiries, "These are the wounds with which I
          was wounded in the house of my friends."
          This is only a small part of the latter-day work that is to be
          performed. We are just in the beginning of it. The Gospel has to
          be preached. The Saints must be gathered. The ten tribes must be
          brought from the north. The Gospel must be preached to the
          Lamanites, those red men of the forest, who are a branch of the
          house of Israel, whose forefathers came from old Palestine to
          this continent. The Lord is working among them by visions and
          dreams and by the manifestations of His divine power. What else?
          Why we are building temples in this land. We have built one in
          St. George, and have others in course of construction in this
          city, in Logan, and in Manti. Some people say: "What are you
          spending so much money for in building temples? Why don't you put
          it to better use?" People who talk thus do not understand our
          position. This is part of the work we have to perform. We have
          temples to build, that the Lord may reveal many more things to
          His people concerning this latter-day work, and we are building
          them according to the pattern He has revealed, that we may attend
          to ordinances that He has made manifest; ordinances for the
          living and also for the dead; that we may be baptized for our
          dead, so that the spirits who have been preached to in prison may
          be brought forth, and that ordinances they can not perform for
          themselves in the spirit world may be performed for them here in
          the houses we are building. There are many more things connected
          with this great dispensation that I have no time to refer to--and
          would not if I had time--because they belong only to the people
          of God, to those who have entered into the everlasting covenant,
          to those who have received the Holy Ghost, and who understand the
          things of God; for "no man knoweth the things of God, but by the
          Spirit of God." But this work will go on; the Saints will be
          gathered, and temples will be built, and Israel will be redeemed,
          and the kingdoms of this world will become more and more divided;
          and the sects and parties of Christendom will become more and
          more contentious even than they are to-day. Infidelity will
          increase, for the Spirit of God is being withdrawn from them,
          because they receive not the truth when it is presented to them.
          And nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
          and people against people. War will be poured out eventually upon
          all nations; the only place where there will be peace and safety
          will be in the Zion of God. The judgments we read of in the
          revelations will all be poured out just as the Prophets have
          predicted and just as John the beloved has declared. All the woes
          that John saw are bound to be poured out upon the inhabitants of
          the earth; every word will be fulfilled, not one jot or tittle
          will pass away without its fulfillment.
          We are here in these mountains that we may escape these troubles;
          that we may not partake of the sins of Babylon, that we may not
          share in her plagues. God has called us out from the world that
          we may be different from the world; that the object we live for
          may be different from the object which men have in view in the
          world; that we may not live for worldly gain, but live for God,
          for humanity, for the spirit of the Gospel; live to gather
          Israel, live to build temples, live that we may attend to the
          ordinances pertaining to our own salvation and exaltation, and
          those that pertain to the salvation of our dead. That the word of
          God may be fulfilled; that His kingdom may be established upon
          the earth no more to be thrown down forever. That the light of
          God may go forth from Zion and His name be honored in all the
          earth, and that He may reign from pole to pole and from shore to
          shore for ever and ever. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / George
          Q. Cannon, June 20, 1883
                           George Q. Cannon, June 20, 1883
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON,
                       Delivered in the Meeting House, Beaver,
                         Wednesday Afternoon, June 20, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                     THE COUNSEL
                                       OF THE
                                MOBOCRACY--DESTINY OF
                                  TOWARDS FAMILIES.
          I am greatly pleased at having the opportunity of meeting with
          the Latter-day Saints in this place, and I trust that our meeting
          will be profitable to all. It is a most excellent thing to come
          together as we have done to-day, and as we shall do tomorrow, and
          have an interchange of views and partake of that spirit which is
          accessible to all of us--that is, to all those who have placed
          themselves in a position to receive it, by keeping the
          commandments of God.
          We have had from Brother Lyman much good instruction, and if it
          is remembered and carried out practically in our lives it will be
          of great profit to us. There is one thing that suggested itself
          to me in listening to his closing remarks, and that is, that if
          there are any strangers here--I suppose there may be--I am not so
          well acquainted with your people as I might be--they will imagine
          that we are dwelling considerably on this idea of listening to
          the counsels of the Priesthood. If there is anything more
          objectionable than another in the eyes of those who are opposed
          to this work called "Mormonism," it is that feature of it. I do
          not think there is any feature that is so much disliked and so
          much found fault with as that peculiar feature of our religion
          which requires us to listen to the counsels of the Priesthood. In
          this respect we differ from every other people upon the face of
          the earth. It may be said that the Catholics take the same view
          that we do about listening to the Priesthood. But then the
          Catholics are not gathered together as we are, and are not
          combined as we are, and are not, therefore, in the opinion of
          those who are opposed to us, so much a menace to others as we are
          because of that feature of their religion. Nevertheless, though
          this doctrine is so distasteful, we have to preach it. It is the
          burden of the Lord upon us, and it would be woe to us unless we
          did preach this very doctrine, with all our zeal and all our
          power. I can readily understand why this doctrine is so much
          disliked, and why men find so much fault with it; because if that
          peculiarity were to disappear from among us, and we ceased to
          listen to the voice of God, as we believe it to be manifested,
          through those whom He has chosen to be His servants, this great
          latter-day work would amount to nothing in the earth; it would
          soon melt away and be like the sectarian systems from whence
          these Latter-day Saints have been gathered out.
          God had a purpose in revealing the Gospel in these days and in
          restoring the everlasting Priesthood, and that was to prepare the
          earth for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an important
          work, to prepare the earth and the inhabitants thereof for the
          coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, I think that every one who
          ever believed in Him, or that ever believed in God, will admit
          that when Jesus comes, everybody will listen to Him, and will do
          as He requires; for it is written that every knee shall bow and
          every tongue shall confess that He is the Lord. He will be
          accepted as the King of kings and Lord of lords, and the ruler
          over the whole earth; and it is the constant prayer of those who
          are most devoted upon the subject of religion that the Lord Jesus
          may come and reign king over the whole earth as He does in
          heaven; and, of course, if He does that it will be expected that
          He will sway a sceptre that will not be disputed, and will
          exercise a dominion that will not be questioned.
          Now, the first announcement that was made concerning this work of
          our God in these last days was, that the object in its
          restoration was for the purpose of preparing the way for the
          coming of the Son of Man. That was the announcement that was
          made. And when the Priesthood was restored it was told to those
          to whom it was restored that it should not be taken away from the
          earth again until the sons of Levi should offer an acceptable
          sacrifice unto the Lord; and they were also assured that it never
          would be taken away from the earth again, but that it should
          continue until it accomplished all that God designed for it. In
          the organization of this people, in the settlement of these
          valleys, in the framing of our first provisional form of
          government, in the enactment of our laws, in the building of our
          settlements, and in the polity that has distinguished this people
          from their first settlement until now, the wisdom of God
          manifested through the Priesthood which He has restored to the
          earth, has been plainly discernible. Though these are civil
          matters, its influence, through the knowledge and power which it
          possessed, has been most beneficent. I think that if there is any
          people upon the face of the earth who should listen to the
          Priesthood and to the counsel of God's servants, it is the
          Latter-day Saints; and I think if there are any men upon the face
          of the earth that can claim loyalty from the people and
          allegiance to the Priesthood, it is the men who have borne it and
          who have exercised its authority from the time we settled these
          valleys until now. I think they can do so with the best possible
          grace, for the best of possible reasons; for when ever their
          counsel has been listened to it has always been attended with
          unquestioned success, and when it has been disobeyed it has
          always been followed by disaster. The Latter-day Saints are the
          witnesses of this themselves. We can appeal to them with the
          utmost confidence upon this point, because they know, they have
          had experience; they have tested these things for themselves, and
          they know that these are not idle statements; they know they are
          true and well-founded; and that God has, in His mercy and
          kindness, confirmed the labors of His servants and the counsels
          they have given by bestowing prosperity and blessing upon all
          those who have accepted their counsels and have carried them out
          in the spirit in which they have been given. The Latter-day
          Saints themselves are living witnesses to this.
          The men who followed President Brigham Young and the Twelve
          Apostles over whom he presided when they left Nauvoo and came
          across to Iowa and followed the Indian trails to the Missouri
          River and built Winter Quarters, and then in the spring of 1847,
          traversed the plains, the untrodden--that is, to them they
          were--wilds, of which they knew nothing--people who followed him
          and them to Salt Lake Valley, and laid the foundation of Salt
          Lake City, they have been the people who have been the most
          blessed of God and most prospered; they have prospered in their
          religion, they have prospered in temporal things, and they have
          been blessed with peace all the day long; while the men who
          disobeyed that counsel and concluded that they had had enough of
          this work and of following the counsels of the leading men of
          this Church, have had sorrow and difficulty and have not
          prospered. God confirmed the leadership of these men by bestowing
          His blessing upon them and upon those who followed their
          counsels. He delivered them from perils, He delivered them from
          Indians, He delivered them from famine, He delivered them from
          pestilence, and prosperity attended their labors, and every
          settlement that has been formed in these mountains from the day
          Salt Lake Valley was reached has been attended with similar
          prosperity. The men who have gone forward and listened to the
          counsels of God's servants have been the men who have been
          blessed; they have been the men who have had influence, while the
          men who have taken a different course are the men who have not.
          Where is there any apostates from this work that have influence
          in the earth? A few have had temporal prosperity. But is that all
          prosperity consists of? Is that all success consists of? To have
          a little of this world's goods,--and there are very few of them
          that even have that. There is something else. There is the
          blessing of God; there is the peace of heaven; there is the joy
          of the Holy Ghost; there are the gifts and blessings that attend
          the faithful servants and handmaidens of Jesus Christ, in
          addition to temporal prosperity, before which temporal prosperity
          fades. I am speaking now of money and that which perishes with
          money. I have seen the richest people living in the lowliest
          homes. Why? Because they were rich in their feelings. I have seen
          the richest men who were poorer than the poorest of earth's sons.
          Why? Because they did not have that rich feeling. Such a feeling
          does not belong to riches and earthly prosperity. It comes from
          the blessing of God. In this respect the Latter-day Saints may be
          said to be the richest people on the face of the earth. They are
          rich in that glorious feeling that God gives. You may strip them,
          as I have seen them stripped, of earthly possessions, and turned
          loose in a wilderness without a place of security and not knowing
          where they would find a resting place, and yet they were as happy
          a people as I ever saw in my life. Destitute of many things that
          men and women consider essential to earthly comfort, yet they had
          that which is above price, and which riches cannot bestow,
          namely, the peace of heaven, the peace of God resting down upon
          them. And they have been a rich people from that day to the
          present. If they have not glad hearts and cheerful countenances
          it is their own fault. But this is one of their characteristics.
          They do have glad hearts and cheerful countenances. Wherever you
          go you see them. They may not have rich surroundings, an
          abundance of this world's goods, elegant houses, nor elegant
          furniture for their houses; but when they have this spirit they
          are happy and they are full of peace and joy.
          Those who have listened to the counsels of God's servants have
          had this blessing. But, as I have said, where is the apostate,
          the man that has denied his God, broken his covenants, dissolved
          his connection with the Church, turned his back upon the people
          with whom he was formerly associated, that can lay claim to this?
          It may be said that this is all delusion; but if delusion brings
          happiness, then delusion is a blessing. And is it not better to
          know and feel as we do respecting a future, to feel that there is
          a future before us that is bright and glorious, than it is to
          have our mind a blank in regard to a future, to be without hope,
          looking as it were into a horizon that is darkened by the densest
          clouds, which are impenetrable to our gaze and beyond which we
          can not see? Certainly it is. Certainly it is better to have this
          hope that God has given us. We know that it is of God. But our
          enemies say it is a delusion; but if this delusion brings peace
          and joy and happiness and certainty, and all those feelings that
          fill our soul with inexpressible delight, why, then we are in a
          better condition than those who are not thus deluded. But we know
          that we are not deluded. We know that when a wife is sealed to us
          by the authority of the holy Priesthood, that that ordinance is
          binding as eternity if we are faithful. We know that when we have
          children born to us in the everlasting covenant and death takes
          them away, we are comforted with the assurance that though they
          be consigned to the silent tomb, we shall yet have them in
          eternity. Thus the sting of death is taken away, and the grave
          has no victory. Death does not fill us with gloom and
          apprehension and doubt and uncertainty. We know as well as we can
          know anything of that character that when time ends we shall be
          united with our children and dwell with them eternally. We know
          also that when a man buries his wife, the faithful partner of his
          life, if she were married to him by the holy Priesthood, he knows
          when he lays her away in the grave that that is not an eternal
          separation, but that they will again be united. And so with the
          wife when she lays away her faithful husband, she knows as well
          as she knows she lives that they will be united, and that they
          will dwell together throughout eternity, if she continues
          faithful to the truth.
          It is the Priesthood that has brought unto us these blessings.
          There is not a thing connected with our existence in these
          valleys that I do not in my feelings give credit for, under God,
          to the Priesthood. Do we have peace in our hearts? Do we have
          order in our settlements? Do we have good order throughout these
          mountains? Yes, we have, and it is due to those men whom God has
          inspired to lead the people. This good order is due to the
          Priesthood. We cannot give any credit to anybody else, however
          much we might be inclined to do so. We have had Judges here; we
          have had Governors here, some of them men of ability; but we
          cannot in honesty and truth give them credit for any of the
          blessings we enjoy. On the contrary many of them have been our
          worst enemies, and if they could have had the power they would
          have destroyed our peace and introduced strife and disorder and
          confusion and war and bloodshed in our midst; and that these
          things do not exist is due to the Priesthood, and to the people
          also, who have listened to their counsels and been guided by
          Now, it is our duty to honor our God, and in honoring God we do
          not show dishonor to others. Because I feel in my heart to honor
          the Priesthood that God has restored to the earth, I do not
          therefore mean nor do I feel any sentiment of dishonor towards
          anybody else. It does not make me any the less a loyal citizen or
          a true man because I do this; not in the least. On the contrary,
          I am a better citizen for this, because I am more peaceful, I am
          more easily controlled, I maintain good order, or endeavor to do
          so. The influence, therefore, of the Priesthood upon me, as upon
          all the rest of the community, has not the effect to make us
          disloyal to our trust, nor to make us any worse citizens of the
          government of which we form a part. On the contrary, there is no
          more loyal men to be found within the confines of the Republic
          than are to be found in this Territory; no men more true to the
          Constitution, or who love it with more devotion, or who are
          willing to make greater sacrifices for it, than are to be found
          in this Territory, and I think I am in a position to speak
          I say there are no people who will do more to maintain true
          republican government than the people who form the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would shoulder my gun to
          defend an Episcopalian against a mob, and I would do the same to
          defend a Methodist, or an infidel. I would do as much to maintain
          the rights of all men and all women under this form of government
          as I would those of my own faith. I would consider myself
          unworthy of my position if I did not have that feeling, and this
          is the feeling, I am sure, of this entire people called
          Latter-day Saints. They hate oppression, they hate it in every
          form, and they will fight it as long as it exists upon the face
          of the earth, until it is stricken down, and until it ceases to
          exist. They are bound to do that. The principles of their
          religion compel them to do it. To resist tyranny in a governor
          who may be sent here? Yes, if he comes here and exercises unjust
          rule. And the same with a Judge. Because a man is sent here as a
          Governor or a Judge does that make him a king, or give him the
          authority to trample upon the rights of his fellow citizens, or
          upon the Constitution, and the laws of the land? Not by any
          means. And are we disloyal because we reject his claim to that
          authority, and the claim of others who band themselves together
          and say, "Oh, you poor Mormons, you poor, miserable wretches--you
          have no rights here?" No, we are not. They may try to usurp this
          authority, but they will always find us in their path under the
          Constitution, and under the laws; not by force of arms, not by
          violence, not by lynch law, not by mobocracy; but contending in
          the right place and under the right circumstances for those
          liberties that God has given to every human being and especially
          guaranteed to us as free men who were born free and who live
          under a free form of government. Mobocracy, from the bottom of
          our hearts, we hate every form of it, and every form of violence.
          Where men take the law in their own hands and seek to redress
          their own wrongs, it is abominable, and should be frowned upon
          every where. Better for us to suffer any number of wrongs than
          that we should resort to violence. It would not be right for us
          to do so, however just our cause may be. We must maintain law and
          good order, and we must frown down and put down every form of
          mobocracy and lynch law, and this disposition to execute
          vengeance outside the pale of the law. It is just as wrong for us
          to indulge in that spirit as it was for the mobbers of Missouri
          when they drove us from our homes there, or those in Illinois
          when they drove us from there. We should learn a lesson from
          these things; we should profit by this experience and stand up
          steadily and maintain constantly the rights of man, no matter who
          the man might be. He may be our enemy; he may be opposed to our
          principles; but that should make no difference in our
          determination to execute justice and right.
          Now, God has blessed us wonderfully in this land since he led us
          here. I can see a great improvement here in your place. In fact I
          see this in all the settlements. God is blessing this people. He
          is causing them to increase, and He is giving us a firmer
          foothold. I am glad of it. I want to see this work increase,
          because I love it, and because I love every thing connected with
          it. It is not a partisan feeling. It is not a selfish feeling
          that a certain portion of people may be blessed more than other
          people. I do not believe that Latter-day Saints entertain any
          such feeling. But I take delight in this work. I consider
          everything connected with the future growth of the human family
          is connected with the growth and development of this people. I
          know this is saying a great deal, but nevertheless it is true.
          And as God lives the day will come that constitutional government
          and the rights of man will have to be maintained by the
          Latter-day Saints, and that at a time when there will be no other
          power upon this land that will be able to make headway against
          the tide of evil that will flood the country. And it will be due
          to our organization that we shall be able to stem it. God has
          given us an organization that is magnificent, as our enemies
          freely admit. We are a consolidated power. And when anarchy
          reigns, as it will do, for it is coming, and every man that opens
          his eyes to see the evils that abound--if he does not
          persistently resist the truth--must have a secret dread of it in
          his heart; when that comes, there will be no power upon this
          continent that will be able to stem it, except the organization
          which God has given to us. We have shown our capacity for
          self-government ever since we came here, from the very fact that
          we had no government except that which we framed. We had to form
          our own government and make our own laws. We have had Governors
          who have fought our laws even when our Legislature has enacted
          them unanimously. So that that which we have to-day in the shape
          of good government is due to ourselves, under God. It is due in
          Beaver to the Latter-day Saints under God. If we have maintained
          order and resisted anarchy in Salt Lake City, it is because of
          this man [President Taylor] and the man that preceded him in his
          office, controlling and guiding the people all the day long; to
          them, under God, the credit is due. So it may be said with
          reference to our entire Territory. We have shown our capacity in
          the midst of all the obstacles that have been thrown in our way,
          and in the face of all the attacks that have been made upon us in
          various forms and from various quarters--we have been able to
          withstand these and maintain good government. That power we still
          retain. We are gaining experience day by day. God is training us
          in this way. We are receiving a training such as no other people
          receive. Men are being made statesmen in spite of themselves.
          Such men as John R. Murdock, and others around him, have been
          compelled to learn these things. So with others. They have had to
          acquire a knowledge of practical statesmanship, that they might
          preserve the liberties of this people. And God has given us the
          necessary wisdom to do it. I thank Him for it. He has given us
          this wisdom, and he will continue to bless us in this way. And
          the day will come when we will exercise this authority in a far
          wider sphere than in this limited Territory. The same wisdom that
          has maintained the organization of this people, and that enables
          us to withstand attacks that would swamp any other people, will
          enable us to act in a far more extended sphere.
          We have had conspiracies against our liberties from every
          quarter; we have had conspiracies of every conceivable character;
          you cannot conceive of anything scarcely in the shape of
          conspiracy that has not been formed against us, and yet we live
          and are a free people to-day. In many respects there are no freer
          people in the United States than we are. But our enemies do not
          deserve any credit for it. To God the credit is due, and He gets
          it, I believe, from all the Saints. But He has given the men whom
          He has chosen the wisdom to govern and control this people, and
          to point out the path of safety. And I predict that we will be
          just as prosperous in the future as we have been in the past, and
          more so. God will always prepare a way of escape for His people.
          Even if everything should be as dark as it was fourteen or
          fifteen months ago, when it seemed as though the whole heavens
          were covered with the blackest clouds, with no ray of light to
          break the darkness, and when it seemed as though overwhelming
          destruction was about to come upon us--even under those
          circumstances God will prepare a way of escape, He will open out
          the path and make it plain, and we will emerge from the
          difficulty stronger than we were before, and be full of
          additional thanksgiving unto God our heavenly Father, for His
          goodness and kindness to us. This will be the result in the
          future just as it has been in the past, and it will continue to
          be the result. For I tell you there is a great future before this
          people. We have all the elements which are necessary to make us a
          great people, and we cannot be deprived of them. We are a united
          people to begin with. And then we are a temperate people, we are
          a frugal people, we are a loving people, we are a virtuous
          people, we are a brave people. Yes, we are a brave people; for it
          takes courage to be a Latter-day Saint. A man that is a coward
          cannot be a Latter-day Saint. A woman who is not a heroine cannot
          be a Latter-day Saint. It requires just that kind of courage
          which is so rare in the world to be a Latter-day Saint--the
          courage to maintain one's convictions. This famous young
          lady--Belle Harris--has given us an exhibition of it. She
          preferred to go to the Penitentiary rather than answer the
          questions propounded to her. Such an exhibition of courage must
          have a wonderful influence. There is something about it, even if
          the cause were a bad one, that is admirable. Men admire that
          quality wherever they see it. There is nothing so admirable as
          courage of that description. It impresses even our enemies.
          "Why," they say, "if this girl can do such a thing, what shall we
          do with a people of that kind?"
          Well, courage is a quality that this people have always
          manifested. They have submitted to wrongs, it is true; but their
          having done so is not an indication of a want of courage. On the
          contrary, it is sometimes an evidence of the highest and the
          purest and the best courage, to be willing to suffer wrong rather
          than take a course that could not be approved of to resist it,
          and these qualities in the struggle that lies before us will
          tell. You find a people who are frugal, who are temperate, who
          are industrious, who are united, who are loving, and who increase
          as we do, and they will make their mark on the earth. Such
          qualities always did tell in the struggle for existence among men
          from the earliest days. The nations that have possessed the
          qualities which our people possess have always been the honored
          nations. They have been the nations that have won their way to
          power and have compelled admiration even from their enemies.
          These qualities we possess, and we mean to cultivate them. We
          mean to train our children in these virtues. We mean to make them
          a virtuous people above every thing else. That is the most
          desirable quality in this age of sin and corruption, when women,
          in many instances, are unsafe in the society of men. I want to
          see it in our country that our young ladies in the company of our
          young men, in any place and under any circumstances, in the
          darkest hours and in the most unprotected situations, will feel
          as safe as if they were in their mothers' bed chambers so far as
          anything wrong from the opposite sex is concerned. I would rather
          see men punished with death--which we believe is a law that
          should be put in force against any man who ruins woman--than that
          there ever should be a time in our country when corruption and
          wrongs of this character should run riot and be unchecked. Virtue
          lies at the foundation of individual and national greatness. No
          man can amount to much who is not a virtuous man, who is not
          strong in his virtue, I do not care who he is. He may be as
          talented as Lucifer; but if he is not a virtuous man his
          greatness will not amount to much. Virtue lies at the foundation
          of greatness. We mean to promote it and encourage it in the
          rising generation. In order that the rising generation should
          have it, the mothers must have it, and feel its importance, and
          the fathers also. And then we must teach all those other virtues
          that belong to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our religion is
          admirably adapted to every circumstance of life. We can carry it
          with us every day. It is not like our Sunday clothes--to be worn
          on the Sunday and laid away on Monday. It is an eminently
          practical religion, and is adapted to every day alike and not for
          special occasions alone. I like it on that account. I am very
          much pleased with it, always have been, and with those virtues
          that it instills, the every day virtues of life.
          If I am a Latter-day Saint, as I should be, I am an honest man.
          If I were to trade I would trade honestly, or else I am not
          worthy of the name of Latter-day Saint. If I had a wagon to sell
          I would tell what sort of a wagon it was and not cheat the party
          to whom I was selling, or say that he must judge of the article
          by his own eyes, that his own eyes must tell him if there is
          anything wrong. I do not consider that good Latter-day Saint
          doctrine. If I have a horse to sell to my neighbor and he asks me
          if the animal has any defect, I ought to be willing to tell what
          it is. And so with everything else. We must be an honest people;
          for I tell you those who are not honest cannot retain the Spirit
          of God. God wants an honest people, a truthful people, a people
          whose word can be relied upon, a people whose word is as good as
          their bond. I do not know whether you all do or not, but if not,
          you ought to cultivate this quality of honesty. It is always
          profitable for a man to be honest. Let him get a credit of that
          kind and it will bring him profit; but if he deceives then
          confidence is gone and people will shun him. I never trade with a
          man that tricks me more than once. I do not say much. I suppose
          every body has the same kind of feeling. I never quarrel nor find
          fault, but then I think a great deal, and I suppose most of the
          people have a good memory for these sort of things.
          As Latter-day Saints, we should be honest, truthful, frugal and
          economical, and do every thing we can to improve our condition.
          Every man that has a poor house should seek to get a better. When
          I started out in life I attached little importance to the matter
          of a house. For many years I was in the missionary field. Fifteen
          years of my early experience in life was spent in the missionary
          field. I was only some nine months at home during that period,
          and I attached little importance to a house. But I soon found out
          that my folks did not take the same view that I did about it. I
          have learned this, that a woman looks upon a house as a matter of
          much more importance than a man does. It is her home. And when I
          see wives in houses of a poor class when their husbands might
          build better, I think their husbands do not understand woman's
          nature as they should do. Women with families should have good
          houses, and husbands should labor to get them, and then leave
          them to adorn them and make them comfortable and desirable.
          Children like to have a nice house, because they can invite their
          companions to it. Men should strive to make their families
          comfortable in this way. It is their duty to do so. I was very
          much delighted with some remarks President Taylor made on this
          subject. He told the husbands to court their wives over again, to
          cultivate the feeling they had when they started out in life,
          when they were everything to each other, and when they could not
          do enough for each other. That is a feeling that should be
          cultivated. Men should never treat their wives with disrespect.
          They should manifest a feeling of love for them, and more
          especially when they become advanced in years. There is nothing
          that will excite love in a man's heart so much as to see a wife
          as willing, even in her advanced years, to sacrifice her own
          comfort for his sake as she was when they were first married; and
          I am sure it must have the same effect upon a woman--to have the
          husband, when her charms are fading and she is growing old, and
          perhaps not so attractive as she was--to have the husband tender
          and kind and loving, not forgetting her good qualities, nor what
          she has done. When a woman sees a husband manifest that feeling
          towards her, she in return will manifest her kindness and love
          for his thoughtful attentions.
          These are little things, but how much they contribute to our
          happiness and to our peace! We should therefore cultivate these
          qualities ourselves and teach them to our children. Our children
          should be made to feel that we love them and that we are disposed
          to treat them with proper respect. When we ask a child to do a
          favor, we should ask it as though he were a gentleman, or if a
          girl, as though she were a lady. A man should never talk to his
          children as though he were a tyrant. He should address them in
          kindness, and as though they were gentlemen and ladies, and they
          will grow up with that feeling and treat others with the same
          respect. Why, I would not ask my children to do me a favor
          without thanking them, any more than I would ask any grown
          person. Neither would I ask a favor of a hired hand without doing
          the same thing. I have been in such positions myself and know the
          feelings that such people have. I know that their feelings are
          tender and that in their position they appreciate kindness. And
          people who are young are more sensitive than older persons of
          more experience in life, and we cannot be too careful about their
          feelings. We should treat one another with the utmost respect and
          the utmost kindness. Women should talk to their children in
          kindness; not harshly, and not in a spirit of scolding. It is a
          dreadful habit this habit of scolding. A man or a woman who is
          always scolding, loses influence with children and with everybody
          I pray God to bless you and fill you with the Holy Ghost, in the
          name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / John
                                     John Taylor
               Selections from his Discourses delivered in the Various
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          We are occupying a position which is different from that of any
          other people upon the face of the whole earth. We have a great
          work to perform, and there are duties and responsibilities
          resting upon us that rest upon no other people. There is no man
          living or that has lived that could have organized and set in
          order the work in which we are engaged. There are no men living,
          unaided by the Almighty, who are able to carry out this work to
          its consummation. All that have operated in it have had to trust
          in the living God for instruction, guidance and support, and all
          that will hereafter operate in it or that are operating in it now
          will have to trust to the same source. This work is one which is
          associated with the purposes and designs of God which He
          contemplated and planned from before the foundation of the world.
          The day in which we live has been spoken and prophesied of by all
          the Prophets that have existed since the world was, and it is in
          the Scriptures emphatically denominated "the dispensation of the
          fullness of times," wherein God will gather together all things
          in one, whether they be things on the earth or things in the
          heavens. Neither Joseph Smith, nor Hyrum Smith, nor Sidney
          Rigdon, nor Brigham Young, nor myself, nor anybody associated
          with the Church at the present time, have had anything to do with
          the origination of these things. This work was commenced by the
          Almighty; it has been carried on by Him, and sustained by His
          power, and if it is ever consummated it will be by the power, and
          direction and sustenance of the Lord Jehovah, of Jesus, the
          Mediator of the new covenant, and then through the medium of the
          Priesthood here upon the earth. These things originated in the
          heavens, in the councils of the Gods; and the organization of the
          Priesthood and the power thereof, and everything pertaining
          thereto, has been committed from the heavens through Joseph
          Smith, principally, and through others who have been associated
          with him in this great work.
          The times in which we live are pregnant with great events, and
          there will things come to pass that will affect all people--wars
          and rumors of wars, pestilence, earthquakes, the waves of the sea
          lifting themselves beyond their bounds; these and other judgments
          will go forth among the nations of the earth until, as the
          Scriptures say, it will be a vexation to hear the report thereof.
          I would simply remark, however, in relation to these things, that
          they are the decrees of the Almighty. They are not anything which
          has originated with us. We find them referred to in the Holy
          Bible, the record of the Jews; we find them referred to in the
          Book of Mormon, the record of the Nephites, and also in the
          revelations given unto us from the Lord through the Prophet
          Joseph Smith; and there are many now living that know that these
          events will transpire by things that have been manifested unto
          Associated with this great work of God is the principle of
          gathering, and the labor of building temples. We have been
          gathered from the different nations of the earth to the land of
          Zion that we might be taught of God, and be subject to the will
          of God, the word of God, and the law of God. A temple was built
          in Kirtland, Ohio, at a very early stage in the history of the
          Church, in the year 1836, or six years after the organization of
          the Church. Some of the ordinances of God's house were revealed
          and practiced therein, and many revelations, visions, and great
          manifestations of the power of God were given unto the people.
          Afterwards there was a temple built at Nauvoo, wherein further
          developments were made, and other and more advanced ordinances
          were revealed and administered. It was by a great struggle and
          indomitable energy that these things could be accomplished at
          all. Previous to the completion of the latter temple, Joseph and
          Hyrum were killed. But finally the temple was finished and
          dedicated to God, and a great many principles that had been
          revealed to Joseph Smith--and which he communicated to the
          leading authorities of the Church previous to his death--were
          there carried out and administered in by the Holy Priesthood. We
          are now building other temples. There is one that was completed
          several years ago in St. George, and many thousands of people
          have been administered to and for in that temple, pertaining both
          to the living and the dead. We have another temple in Logan, also
          another in Manti, both of which are progressing very favorably,
          as well as the one in Salt Lake City. Now, in regard to the use
          of these temples, neither we nor anybody else living had any idea
          until it was revealed to us from God--just the same as the first
          principles of the Gospel were revealed, for they were nowhere to
          be found on the earth. Joseph Smith said to the Twelve in my
          hearing prior to their departure for Great Britain, "If you come
          across a people who have even the first principles of the Gospel
          of Christ correctly you need not baptize them, for the possession
          of those principles will be a sign that they have some portion of
          the Holy Priesthood." And to this the Apostle John bears
          testimony when he says, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not
          in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the
          doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." But I
          never found anybody--and I have traveled many thousands of
          miles--who had even the first principles of the Gospel correctly,
          nor did any of my brethren--the Twelve, Seventies, Elders, High
          Priests, etc., ever meet with such a people. We knew nothing
          about these things ourselves until they were revealed from the
          heavens unto Joseph Smith. No people outside of the Latter-day
          Saints know how to build temples. The world would not know what
          to do with them to-day if they had them. Neither religionists,
          scientists, politicians, statesmen, philanthropists, nor any
          others would know how to administer in those temples if they had
          them. They would know no more how to administer therein, than
          this table that stands before me; and then we should be just as
          ignorant on this subject as they, only for the intelligence
          imparted unto us by the Almighty. But He has given us revelation
          in relation to this matter; He has told us what to do and how to
          do it, and what will be the result of our action in the
          performance of these ordinances.
          But the world are ignorant in regard to a great many other
          things; they do not know anything even about marriage nor the
          object of it. What do they know about eternal union? Nothing. Is
          there any man living outside of this Church who will have a claim
          upon his wife on the other side of the veil? No. Why? Because in
          all their marriages, no matter by what church or denomination
          they are celebrated, the ceremony distinctly states, "until death
          do you part." This is the acme of perfection in the Christian
          world in relation to this matter! Nothing else can be found
          anywhere, among any of the professed religionists of the world;
          the nearest approach can be found, not among ministers, but in
          the yellow-backed literature of the period, for they do sometimes
          refer to the prospect of "eternal unions" hereafter, while the
          churches recognize no such principle. God has revealed, through
          His servant Joseph Smith, something more. He has told us about
          our associations hereafter. He has told us about our wives and
          our children being sealed to us, that we might have a claim on
          them in eternity. He has revealed unto us the law of celestial
          marriage, associated with which is the principle of plural
          marriage. I will speak a little upon this subject. It is very
          seldom that I refer to it, but there is need for it occasionally.
          I speak of it as that law given to us of God. I do not know, but
          I have been informed that there are those who seem to be opposed
          to this law in one or two places where we have been traveling.
          Now, I dare not oppose anything of the kind. I dare not violate
          any law of God. And I will tell you what Joseph Smith said upon
          the subject. He presented this principle to the Twelve, and
          called upon them to obey it, and said if they did not, the
          kingdom of God could not go one step further. Why could it not go
          one step further? Because we had a religion to live by, but none
          that placed our associations upon eternal principles or gave us a
          claim upon each other in the family relations in the eternal
          worlds. But through this principle we could be sealed to one
          another through time and eternity; we could prepare ourselves for
          an exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of God. It is one of the
          greatest blessings that ever was conferred upon the human family.
          It is an eternal law which has always existed in other worlds as
          well as in this world. I will here call your attention to the
          revelation itself, which reads:
          "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph, that
          inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand, to know and understand
          wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac and
          Jacob; as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching
          the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and
          "Behold! and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as
          touching this matter:
          "Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the
          instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who
          have this law revealed unto them must obey the same."
          This you will see is strictly in accordance with what I have told
          you Joseph Smith told the Twelve--that if this law was not
          practiced, if they would not enter into this covenant, then the
          kingdom of God could not go one step further. Now, we did not
          feel like preventing the kingdom of God from going forward. We
          professed to be the Apostles of the Lord, and did not feel like
          putting ourselves in a position to retard the progress of the
          kingdom of God. The revelation, as you have heard, says that,
          "all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the
          same." Now, that is not my word. I did not make it. It was the
          Prophet of God who revealed that to us in Nauvoo, and I bear
          witness of this solemn fact before God, that He did reveal this
          sacred principle to me and others of the Twelve, and in this
          revelation it is stated that it is the will and law of God that
          "all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the
          same." And the revelation further says:
          "For behold! I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant;
          and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned." Think of
          that, will you. For it is further said: "no one can reject this
          covenant, and be permitted to enter into my glory."
          There are many people who try to excuse themselves in this
          matter, and who essay to do as they please, but as the Lord God
          liveth, He will not excuse them. He expects those who profess to
          be his people to carry out that law. The revelation continues to
          "For all who will have a blessing at my hands, shall abide the
          law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions
          thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the
          "And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was
          instituted for the fullness of my glory; and he that receiveth a
          fullness thereof, must and shall abide the law, or he shall be
          damned, saith the Lord God."
          I thought I would have a little of this revelation read. The
          whole revelation is quite lengthy. But it goes to say that all
          covenants heretofore entered into amount to nothing, and that
          they will be of no benefit to people beyond the grave.
          Now, as I have already said, the reason was very obvious why a
          law of this kind should be had. As a people we professed to be
          Latter-day Saints. We professed to be governed by the word, and
          will, and law of God. We had a religion that might do to live by,
          but we had none to die by. But this was a principle that God had
          revealed unto us, and it must be obeyed. I had always entertained
          strict ideas of virtue, and I felt as a married man that this was
          to me, outside of this principle, an appalling thing to do. The
          idea of my going and asking a young lady to be married to me,
          when I had already a wife! It was a thing calculated to stir up
          feelings from the innermost depth of the human soul. I had always
          entertained the strictest regard for chastity. I had never in my
          life seen the time when I have known of a man deceiving a
          woman--and it is often done in the world, where notwithstanding
          the crime, the man is received into society, and the poor woman
          is looked upon as a pariah and an outcast--I have always looked
          upon such a thing as infamous, and upon such a man as a villain,
          and I hold to-day the same ideas. Hence, with the feelings I had
          entertained, nothing but a knowledge of God, and the revelations
          of God, and the truth of them, could have induced me to embrace
          such a principle as this. We seemed to put off, as far as we
          could, what might be termed the evil day. Some time after these
          things were made known to us, I was riding out of Nauvoo on
          horseback, and met Joseph Smith coming in, he, too, being on
          horseback. Some of you who were acquainted with Nauvoo, know
          where the graveyard was. We met upon the road going on to the
          hill there. I bowed to Brother Joseph, and having done the same
          to me he said; "Stop;" and he looked at me very intently. "Look
          here," said he, "those things that have been spoken of must be
          fulfilled, and if they are not entered into right away, the keys
          will be turned." Well, what did I do? Did I feel to stand in the
          way of this great, eternal principle, and treat lightly the
          things of God? No. I replied: "Brother Joseph, I will try and
          carry these things out," and afterwards did, and I have done it
          more times than once; but then I have never broken a law of the
          United States in doing so, and I am at their defiance to prove to
          the contrary.
          I have related this to show why these eternal covenants are
          entered into; and that man among you who would seek to pervert
          these things and teach them to others and seek to frustrate the
          designs of God in regard to them, I tell you God will lay His
          hand upon him unless he repents, and speedily takes another
          course. I don't know when I have talked so plainly as I have done
          to-day; but these are the feelings of my heart and they are true.
          It is for us to magnify our callings and not to tamper with the
          things of God. We must sustain and maintain the principles that
          God has committed to us inviolate. And about this nation and its
          ideas and feelings, we ask very little of unreasonable men who
          are not acquainted with the principles of which they speak. This
          nation will have enough to do by and by without troubling itself
          about us. It is for us to learn the ways of God and to place
          ourselves in subjection to His law. And then it is not enough for
          men to be married to wives and be sealed according to the order
          of God, they must treat them aright when they have them; they
          must treat them as they would treat angels of God; they must be
          full of kindness and mercy and long-suffering; they must provide
          for them and make them happy and comfortable, and take care of
          the families they have by them, and in this way gain the favor of
          God, and the respect of all honorable men. The laws of heaven
          must not be violated. We must keep sacred the holy covenants we
          have entered into. I will here relate a circumstance that came
          under my notice a short time ago, which will serve to show the
          terrible consequences following a violation of the law of God.
          A certain Bishop wrote to me to know what should be done in the
          following case: A man had been away from home on a mission, and
          during his absence his wife had committed adultery. I replied
          that the woman would have to be severed from the Church; but
          requested that the aggrieved husband should call upon me. He did
          so, bringing with him his delinquent wife and three beautiful
          little boys--three as beautiful little boys as I ever saw. He
          also brought with him the villain who had done the damage. But I
          told him to take him away, I would have no communication with
          such a contemptible wretch. The husband explained that he wished
          to talk with me in the presence of his wife, if it was agreeable.
          He wanted to know what was to be done in the case. I told him I
          should be under the necessity of confirming the Bishop's decision
          in the case, but I will have read to you what the law says upon
          the subject. George Reynolds, who is one of my secretaries, was
          present, and I asked him to read certain portions of the
          revelation on celestial marriage; for they had been married
          according to that order. That revelation states that, "If a man
          receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she
          be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the
          holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be
          destroyed." And in another place it says, "they shall be
          destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the
          buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord
          God." Now, said I, I did not make that law. I find it in the word
          of God. It is not my province to change it. I cannot make any
          change. I am sorry for these little children. I am sorry for the
          shame and infamy that has been brought upon them; but I cannot
          reverse the law of God. I did not commit this crime; I am not
          responsible for it; I cannot take upon myself, the responsibility
          of other peoples' acts. Well, it made my heart ache. The husband
          wept like a child, so did the woman; but I could not help that. I
          speak of this for the purpose of bringing up other things, and of
          presenting them before the people. And the principle I desire to
          impress upon their minds is, that we have no right, any of us, to
          violate the laws of God.
          The President of a Stake has no right to violate these laws; his
          Counselors have no right to do it; the Bishops have no right to
          do it; the Priests, Teachers and Deacons have no right to do it.
          God has called us to stand in holy places, and has placed upon us
          the responsibility of the Priesthood. He expects us to be as true
          to that Priesthood and to the administration thereof as the Gods
          are in the eternal worlds. We may think we can do this, that and
          the other irrespective of the word of God, but let it be
          understood that we cannot hide anything from the Lord; the
          Scriptures say, "hell and destruction are before the Lord: how
          much more then the hearts of the children of men." We may succeed
          in hiding our affairs from men; but it is written that for every
          word and every secret thought we shall have to give an account in
          the day when accounts have to be rendered before God, when
          hypocrisy and fraud of any kind will not avail us; for by our
          words and by our works we shall be justified, or by them we shall
          be condemned. It is for us to walk uprightly before God. And it
          is for the Priesthood--the Presidents of Stakes, Bishops,
          Priests, Teachers and Deacons--to be governed by the law of God,
          and to see that there is no iniquity prevailing in the Church,
          and if there is, it must be dealt with according to the law of
          God, and not according to the notions and opinions of men. We
          have no right to condone this and to change the other, and to
          think that we are going to save men by permitting all kinds of
          iniquity to abound. It is the duty of those in authority to see
          things straightened out. Matters are sometimes allowed to go on
          to that extent that hard feelings, division, contention and
          strife arise, and all this because Teachers, Bishops and others
          do not do their duty. In our Bishops' Courts, and in our High
          Councils, we must be governed by the law of God, and not by our
          notions and sympathies, or anything of that kind, and not because
          it is somebody's son, or somebody's brother, or somebody's
          relative. If I have any sons, brothers or relatives, and they do
          something wrong, bring them up and adjudge them according to the
          law of God, and do the same with me and with everybody else. We
          sometimes think we will bear with this, that and the other thing.
          Perhaps a man may be a drunkard, and being a pretty good sort of
          a fellow, we think we will bear with him. I tell you he ought to
          be dealt with according to the law of God, and the same for
          Sabbath breaking, adultery, and other violations of His laws. The
          Saints cannot violate any of the laws of God with impunity, and
          the officers of the Church ought to see that they do not do it.
          We must not be governed by sympathies. My sympathies in the case
          that I related were very strong; but I must not be governed by
          sympathies--I must be governed by the law of God.
          "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." God has
          organized His Church after the pattern that exists in the
          heavens, and has given us laws for the government thereof, and
          placed at the head of it the holy Priesthood, which is after the
          order of Melchizedek, which is after the order of the Son of God,
          and which is after the power of an endless life, and then He has
          also introduced the Aaronic Priesthood as an appendage to the
          other. And what are these Priesthoods? The Priesthood is the rule
          and government of God as it exists, whether in the heavens or on
          the earth, and wherever that Priesthood is introduced, and the
          Gospel is introduced, life and immortality are brought to light;
          so that men can be placed in communion with God; so that by the
          spirit of light, truth and revelation, they can roll back the
          mists of darkness, gaze down the vista of future ages, and
          contemplate the purposes of God as they roll forth in all their
          majesty, power and glory. This is the position that we as Priests
          of the Most High God ought to occupy. We should feel that we are
          not living for ourselves, but that we are living for God--living
          to accomplish His purposes. We are here to build up His Church
          and to purify it from all evil, that it may be presented before
          the Father as the bride, the Lamb's wife without spot or wrinkle.
          We are here to build up a Zion unto the Lord of Hosts--a Zion,
          which signifies the pure in heart--a people who will be prepared
          for the great events that are about to transpire upon this earth,
          and who will be able to stand the convulsions that will overthrow
          the world--and He has given us the Priesthood for that very
          But there are those in our midst, who, although they have a name
          and a standing in the Church, disregard the authority of the
          Priesthood, both local and general. I hear sometimes of parties,
          and of cliques, and of rings in our midst. What! what, a party in
          the Church and kingdom of God? What! rings associated with the
          principles of eternal truth--associated with the celestial law
          that emanates from our Heavenly Father? The devil got up a ring
          and was cast out of heaven for getting it up, as also a third
          part of the spirits who associated themselves with him. They were
          cast out because they devised principles that were in opposition
          to the word and will and law of God, and every man who follows in
          their footsteps, unless he speedily repent, will be placed in the
          same position--will also be cast out. The law of God must be put
          in force against the transgressor. No man who professes to be a
          Latter-day Saint can transgress with impunity. The Priesthood of
          God cannot be disregarded with impunity. We have men in our midst
          who are not afraid to speak against the authorities of the Church
          in the localities in which they live. Jude, in his general
          epistle, refers to such men. He alludes to them as "filthy
          dreamers who defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil
          of dignities. Yet," he says, "Michael, the archangel, when
          contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses,
          durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The
          Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they
          know not * * clouds they are without water, carried about of
          winds * * wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of
          darkness for ever. These are murmurers, complainers, walking
          after their own lusts; and their mouths speaketh great swelling
          words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage."
          So also Peter speaks of such characters, "But these as natural
          brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the
          things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in
          their own corruption." Now, we have such men as these up and
          down. I think Brother Hosea Stout describes them as "smart
          Alecs." They think they are wiser and better than other people,
          and they want to regulate the affairs of God, when God has given
          them no authority to do it. But it is woe to those who fight
          against the authorities of the Church of God. Let such be brought
          up before proper tribunals; for no back-biting, nor anything of
          that kind can be sanctioned in the Church and kingdom of God.
          These are things that prevail more or less in various parts of
          the Territory. I suppose we have them to meet. They have always
          been, to a greater or less degree, mixed up with the Church and
          kingdom of God upon the earth; but it is for the authorities to
          purge the Church of all such things, and to have a people who
          will be united, who will be one, and who will be governed by the
          law of God. If I violate any law of the Church, bring me up for
          it; if any one else does, bring him up for it; but don't go
          sneaking around back-biting and misrepresenting. Let us act as
          men, at least, if we won't be Saints; but we should be true to
          our calling and profession, and honor our God. There is nothing
          new in all this. The spirit of rebellion has gone on ever since
          the devil and his angels were cast out of heaven. He and they
          have been making war against the Saints, and will continue to do
          so; but Satan will finally be over come. Before that, however,
          Satan will be bound for a thousand years, and during that time we
          will have a chance to build temples and to be baptized for the
          dead, and to do a work pertaining to the world that has been, as
          well as to the world that now is, and to operate under the
          direction of the Almighty in bringing to pass those designs which
          He contemplated from the foundation of the world.
          It is for us to live holily, justly, purely and righteously
          before God, that we may have a legitimate claim upon Him. If we
          will do this, then I tell you, in the name of Israel's God, that
          you shall call upon the Lord and He will hear and answer you;
          that you shall draw nigh unto Him and He will draw nigh unto you,
          and will pour upon your heads blessings that it has not entered
          into your hearts to conceive of; and if all Israel will do this,
          and fear God and work righteousness before Him, there is no power
          in existence can injure the Saints; for God is on the side of
          Israel, and He will put a book in the jaws of our enemies. And I
          will say here, woe to them that fight against Zion, woe to them
          that plot against Zion, for God will fight and plot against them!
          And woe to the hypocrites in Zion and those that profess to fear
          God and are wallowing in transgression; God will be after you,
          for ere long the sinners in Zion will be afraid, and fearfulness
          will surprise the hypocrite. Now, let us purge ourselves from
          unrighteousness, for God is going to roll forth His work, and
          whether you or I do right or not, it will make no difference, the
          work will go on: it is onward, onward, onward, and will continue
          to be onward, until the kingdoms of this world shall become the
          kingdoms of our God and His Christ, and He will reign for ever
          and ever.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 /
          Wilford Woodruff, July 20, 1883
                           Wilford Woodruff, July 20, 1883
                    Delivered at the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, July 20, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                    BEFORE HE CAN
                            PRIESTHOOD--PLURAL MARRIAGE.
          We meet here upon the Sabbath day for the purpose of partaking of
          the sacrament, the emblems of the Lord's body and blood which
          were broken and shed for us, and also to give and receive
          instruction as we may be led by the Spirit of God.
          It is well known to the Latter-day Saints--though perhaps not to
          strangers--that no Elder or member of the Church of Jesus Christ
          of Latter-day Saints who enters into this Tabernacle knows who is
          going to be called upon to speak to the people. Hence no man
          spends a week, a day, an hour, or a moment to prepare a discourse
          to deliver unto the people. We are all of us dependent upon the
          Spirit of the Lord, upon revelation, upon inspiration, upon the
          Holy Ghost, in order to be qualified to teach the people before
          whom we are called to speak, and if the Lord does not give me the
          Holy Spirit this afternoon, I promise you all you will not get
          much out of Brother Woodruff, whether they be Saints or
          strangers. I have never seen a day since I have been a member of
          this Church, that I have felt that any man was qualified to teach
          saint or sinner, Jew or Gentile, the inhabitants of the earth
          abroad or at home, only as he was moved upon by the power of God.
          I have never believed any man was qualified from the days of
          Father Adam to our day to go forth among the inhabitants of the
          earth with the declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in a
          way and manner to convince them or teach them the Gospel in its
          truth and purity, and in the power of God, only by inspiration. I
          have never believed that any man was qualified in any age of the
          world to build up the kingdom of God, or do the will of God only
          upon that principle. And I have felt, both while abroad in the
          world, as well as at home, that when called upon to teach the
          Latter-day Saints or anybody else--I have felt as though my lips
          ought to be touched with a live coal from off the altar, and my
          heart filled with inspiration from Almighty God. When I think
          upon the day and age in when we live, when I think upon this day
          and dispensation in which the God of heaven has set His hand to
          carry out the fulfillment of the mighty prophecies contained
          within the lids of the Bible, the Old and New Testaments, the
          stick of Judah, I realize that in order to comprehend these
          things a man must be in possession of the Spirit of the Lord day
          by day. In the words of the Savior as recorded in St. John's
          Gospel, "This is eternal life, that they might know thee, the
          only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent."
          I say many things when I am called upon to speak in the presence
          of strangers that I do not confine myself to when addressing the
          Saints, because the latter are acquainted with our principles,
          while the former are not.
          As Latter-day Saints we respect the rights of all men. We believe
          that all mankind, men and women, in this and every other
          dispensation and generation, have certain rights; that God has
          created all men with an agency, I care not in what kingdom,
          empire, republic or place they dwell. They have a right to enjoy
          their religion. They have a right to worship God according to the
          dictates of their own consciences. "But," says one, "do you mean
          that in empires where an emperor holds the rights and destinies
          of his subjects in his hands?" Yes. I mean there is no emperor
          who breathes the breath of life who has the right to deprive one
          of his subjects of the freedom of his religion. I will tell you
          why. No emperor, no king, no president, no ruler of any nation
          under the heavens has ever given his subjects life. Their life
          has come from God, and God has granted them their agency and the
          right to worship Him according to the light and knowledge they
          have. This is the view entertained by the Latter-day Saints. And
          I have heard Joseph Smith say that if he were emperor of the
          whole world, holding the destinies of all men in his hands, he
          would defend the religious rights of every man, whether his
          religion was right or wrong. And especially ought this to be the
          case in this American nation, the constitution of which
          guarantees to all people the right to worship God according to
          the dictates of their own conscience. This is the broad platform
          upon which our government has been founded. I have looked upon
          the Constitution of the United States as one of the best
          instruments ever devised by man for the government of the
          inhabitants of the earth. I look upon it as such to-day. And
          while we are willing to allow the Methodists, the Baptists, the
          Presbyterians, the Catholics, and every sect under heaven, the
          right to enjoy their religion undisturbed, yet we claim the same
          privilege as a people, as a church, as the Church of Jesus Christ
          of Latter-day Saints, and hence, in expressing myself here this
          afternoon with regard to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or the
          kingdom of God, if I differ from any of this congregation, I have
          a right to differ; the congregation has a right to differ from
          me; and no man has a right to say, Why do you so? The destinies
          of the whole human family are in the hands of God. I shall be
          held accountable before the God of heaven--and so will all
          men--for the course I pursue in this life.
          There is one very peculiar feature with regard to the followers
          of Jesus Christ, or those that have attempted in other
          dispensations to obey the law of heaven, and that is, their
          unpopularity in the world from the days of Father Adam to the
          present time. Trace it through from the beginning, and you will
          find that men who were inspired by Almighty God to go forth and
          proclaim any message to the inhabitants of the earth, have been
          most unpopular in their day and generation. You will find it has
          been so in the whole history of the world. You may go back, for
          instance, to the days of Noah. Noah was a preacher of
          righteousness. He was called of God. He was warned of God, and
          told what to do to save himself and family. The world had become
          terribly corrupt, and it was necessary that the people be called
          upon to repent. To this end God Almighty raised up a prophet.
          That prophet was Noah. He went forth as he was commanded and
          preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity and truth. He
          was commanded to build an ark on dry land. The people laughed at
          him and would not believe his testimony. For one hundred and
          twenty years he warned the inhabitants of the earth of the coming
          flood; but all that he could save were the members of his own
          family, some eight souls. The flood came, and all the inhabitants
          of the earth, save those who had entered the ark, were drowned.
          Their spirits were shut up in prison in the spirit world, and
          they remained there until after the death of Jesus Christ; and
          while His body lay in the tomb three and a half days He went and
          preached to those spirits in prison, where they had been shut up
          for thousands of years.
          As it was with Noah so it was with other Prophets who lived in
          ancient days. You may trace the history of Daniel, Jeremiah,
          Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the rest down to the days of Jesus Christ,
          and you find they were all unpopular in their day and generation.
          In consequence of the wickedness that prevailed in the world,
          those Prophets were moved upon to prophesy concerning the
          destruction of Babylon the great, Ninevah, Tyre, and many other
          ancient cities; they declared the word of the Lord to the
          inhabitants of these cities, but their testimony was not
          believed; and because of their unpopularity, the Prophets were
          put to death. Nevertheless, not one jot or tittle of their
          predictions fell to the ground unfulfilled.
          Then, again, you come along down to the days of Jesus Christ. You
          trace His life from His birth in a stable to the tomb. Was ever a
          man on the earth--a good man like the Savior--so persecuted,
          opposed, ridiculed and derided as He was by the Jews, Pharisees,
          Sadducees, and the different sects of that day? No matter what He
          did it was attributed to him for evil. If He cast out devils it
          was attributed to the power of Beelzebub. If He restored the
          blind to sight, they were ready to cry out, "You give God the
          glory, this man is a sinner." And so in all His works was He
          opposed, persecuted and derided. And His Apostles shared the same
          fate. Every soul of them--with the exception of John--had to lay
          down their lives and seal their testimony with their blood. Some
          were beheaded, some were sawn asunder. Even in the case of John
          they sought his life, but it was decreed that he should live, and
          he remains on the earth to this day--although probably there has
          been a change in his body--and will remain until the Son of Man
          comes in the clouds of heaven.
          I speak of these things to show that men of God in all ages of
          the world have been unpopular. Jesus warned His disciples with
          regard to this opposition. He said to them: "If ye were of the
          world, the world would love his own: because ye are not of the
          world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the
          world hateth you." Why didn't the world love the Prophets and
          Apostles in their day and generation? Why does the whole
          sectarian world rise up against Prophets and Apostles in this day
          and age of the world? Simply because in former ages they rebuked
          sin, and in this age they do the same. They have been
          plain-spoken men. They have gone forth and declared the word of
          God as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost.
          Now, with regard to the day and age in which we live. The Saints
          are acquainted with our history as a people. They have a
          testimony to bear that the world knows not of. A man must become
          acquainted with the Lord, acquainted with the principles of the
          Gospel of Jesus Christ and receive them before he is qualified to
          understand the work of God, or the things pertaining to the
          kingdom of God. We read of a man named Nicodemus, who came to
          Jesus by night. Said he: "We know that thou art a teacher come
          from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest,
          except God be with him." Jesus answered and said unto him,
          Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he
          cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can
          a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into
          his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I
          say unto thee, except a man be born of the water and of the
          spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." This is the
          principle that has been connected with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
          in every dispensation of the world.
          As an organization, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
          Saints has been in existence now for 53 years. It was organized
          in the first place with six members on the 6th day of April,
          1830--organized by a Prophet of God, a man raised up by
          commandment of God, by inspiration, by revelation, and by the
          administration of angels. Every step that he took was taken by
          commandment and revelation. He was given to understand by the
          angels of God who administered to him that there had been a
          falling away from the ancient order of things, and that now the
          full set time had come when the God of heaven would again
          establish His kingdom on the earth and call forth His Church out
          of the wilderness of darkness and error and establish it upon the
          foundation of the ancient Apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief
          corner stone.
          Now, any man acquainted with the Scriptures can clearly
          understand that there is but one true Gospel. There never was but
          one Gospel. Whenever that Gospel has been upon the earth it has
          been the same in every dispensation. The ordinances of the Gospel
          have never been changed from the days of Adam to the present
          time, and never will be to the end of time. While there were many
          sects and parties in existence in the early times, Jesus gave his
          disciples to understand that there was but one Gospel. He told
          them what it was. He declared unto them its ordinances. He
          commissioned them to preach the Gospel to every creature. In the
          first place they were to preach faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;
          next, repentance of sins; next, baptism for the remission of
          sins. Baptism was an ordinance taught by the Savior himself. We
          find, too, that He obeyed this ordinance, being baptized in the
          river Jordan by John the Baptist. Why? To fulfill all
          righteousness. It was a righteous law, and it was a type of
          baptism to be followed by the whole human family. "He that
          believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth
          not shall be damned." Such was the declaration of the Savior to
          the twelve Apostles. People were to be "buried with him by
          baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead
          by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in
          newness of life." What next? Men bearing the Melchizedek
          Priesthood--Apostles and Elders--had the authority to lay hands
          upon baptized believers for the reception of the Holy Ghost,
          which they received and which led them to prophesy of the things
          of the kingdom of God; and the signs followed those that
          believed. These were the first principles of the Gospel. And Paul
          the Apostle, makes this declaration: "But though we, or an angel
          from heaven, preach any other Gospel than that which we have
          preached unto you, let him be accursed." He repeats this, and
          goes on to tell us what the Gospel is, and what the Church of
          Christ is, and what it always has been. In the Church were
          Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, etc., and
          these were "for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the
          ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all
          come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of
          God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
          fullness of Christ." The Lord never had--and never will have to
          the end of time--a Church on the earth without Prophets,
          Apostles, and inspired men. Whenever the Lord had a people on the
          earth that He acknowledged as such, that people were led by
          revelation. No man can find anything contrary to this. When the
          Gospel was given to the Jews, all the gifts and graces and powers
          thereof, accompanied it. It was accompanied by the Eternal
          Priesthood--which is after the order of the Son of God, without
          which no man can administer in the ordinances of life and
          salvation. The Savior was a Jew himself. He came to His own
          father's house, but they rejected him and put him to death. The
          Gospel was then taken from the Jews and carried to the Gentiles.
          Paul warned the Gentiles to take heed lest they too fell into
          unbelief. But the Gospel was delivered to them with all its
          blessings and powers, and remained with them as long as there was
          a man upon the earth that had the power to administer in its
          Now, have the Gentiles had that church and kingdom of God in
          their midst since the ancient Apostles were put to death? I think
          not. At the present time there are some six hundred three score
          and six different religions--different roads to heaven and to
          hell--in the world; but none of these bear much resemblance to
          the Gospel as taught by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. The whole
          Christian world to-day rises up against these Latter-day Saints
          because they profess to believe in revelation, in Prophets and
          Apostles. This has been the case ever since the organization of
          this Church. Do we teach anything that is contrary to the laws of
          God? We do not. Do we believe anything that is contrary to the
          Gospel as taught in the days of the Apostles? We do not. "But,"
          says one, "how did you come by this Gospel?" We came by it
          through the administration of an angel from God. John the
          Revelator, in speaking of the last day--the opening of the
          seals--the blowing of the trumpets--and all that should transpire
          before the second coming of the Son of Man--said he saw (among
          other things) "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." When the angel of God delivered
          this message to Joseph Smith he told him the heavens were full of
          judgments; that the Lord Almighty had set his hand to establish
          the kingdom that Daniel saw and prophesied about, as recorded in
          the second chapter of Daniel; and that the Gospel had to be
          preached to all nations under heaven as a witness to them before
          the end should come, and that, too, in fulfillment of the
          revelation of God, as given here in the Old and New Testaments.
          Joseph Smith never attempted to organize this Church until he
          received commandment so to do from God. He never attempted to
          baptize a man until he received the Aaronic Priesthood under the
          hands of John the Baptist (who was beheaded for the word of God
          and the testimony of Jesus). He never attempted to officiate in
          any of the ordinances of the Gospel until he received the
          Apostleship under the hands of Peter, James and John. These men
          appeared to him. They laid their hands upon his head and sealed
          the Apostleship upon him with all the power thereof. And these
          angels told Joseph Smith to go forth himself and to call upon
          other men to go forth unto the world and preach the Gospel as
          taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles, and the Lord would back
          up their testimony; that when they laid hands upon those who had
          been baptized for the remission of sins, and who had received
          their testimony, they should receive the Holy Ghost. This was the
          proclamation to Joseph Smith 53 years ago.
          Now, I want to ask this assembly, strangers and Latter-day Saints
          alike, what position the Elders of Israel would have been in when
          they went forth and made this promise to the inhabitants of the
          earth--the promise that if they would receive of our testimony,
          repent of their sins and be baptized for a remission of them, and
          have hands laid upon them, they should receive the Holy Ghost--I
          want to ask, gentlemen and ladies, how long those Elders would
          have taught this principle in the nations of the earth if God
          Almighty had not backed up their testimony? How long would it
          have been, in the absence of this backing, until they would have
          been found out to be deceivers? Not a great while. Is there
          another set of men on the face of the earth to-day, that dare to
          go forth and make that proclamation to the world? No; because
          unless they were called of God to make it, He would not back up
          their testimony, and it would be known who they were. We have
          labored upon this principle for 50 years. You cast your eyes and
          you see a tabernacle in the desert; you see a city; and you may
          travel for a thousand miles and you will find this Territory
          filled with cities, towns, and villages. By what power have these
          things been accomplished? I came here on the 24th of July, 1847,
          with a little handful of men as pioneers. What did we find? A
          barren desert, as barren as the desert Sahara. No mark of the
          white man here. No outward sign that a white man could live here.
          How has this desert been made to blossom as the rose? Why this
          body of people from almost every nation? I will tell you. We
          carried the Gospel to Europe, the Islands of the sea, and the
          different nations of the earth; we offered them the Gospel, and a
          class of men and women--two of a family, and sometimes a dozen of
          a city--received our testimony, and when we laid hands upon them
          they received the Holy Ghost. That Holy Ghost has remained with
          them: it has instructed them and inspired their hearts, and
          to-day you see Utah as it is. If the Lord Almighty had not backed
          up the testimony of the Elders of Israel as He has done, Utah
          to-day would have been as when we found it 36 years ago.
          This is the condition of the Latter-day Saints. Joseph Smith
          received these keys, this Priesthood, this power, this Gospel by
          the administration of angels from God, and this testimony is
          true. He also received a record called the Book of Mormon, which
          is a record of the ancient inhabitants of this continent. That
          record is true; as also the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, a
          code of revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith. These
          revelations are true and faithful, and they are being fulfilled
          as fast as time will admit. I bear my testimony of these things
          to the world, for I know they are true.
          I traveled thousands of miles with Joseph Smith. I knew his
          spirit. Many of the revelations given through him have been
          fulfilled. I myself wrote the revelation that was given through
          him concerning the war that would take place in this country
          between the north and south. That revelation was published to the
          world for twenty years before the war. It broke out just as
          predicted, and I refer to it because it is one of the revelations
          that is fulfilled. To-day we are still preaching the Gospel of
          Jesus Christ. The Lord Almighty has set His hand to establish His
          Church and kingdom on the earth, to build up Zion in the
          mountains of Israel.
          Now with regard to the Priesthood. We have been found fault with
          sometimes because we profess to have the Priesthood. Let me say
          to this congregation that our Heavenly Father performs all His
          works--the creation of worlds, the redemption of worlds--by the
          power of the Eternal Priesthood. And no man on the earth, from
          the days of Father Adam to the present time, has ever had power
          to administer in any of the ordinances of life and salvation only
          by the power of the Holy Priesthood. You will find this to be the
          case in the whole history of the Prophets of God. When Aaron was
          given the Priesthood he was called by revelation. "No man taketh
          this honor unto himself but he that is called of God as was
          Aaron." Jesus Christ himself had to be called of God. He was a
          High Priest. He left the Priesthood on the earth with his
          Apostles. They officiated in it until they were put to death. It
          is by that power that we administer in this day and generation.
          The Church and kingdom of God has continued to grow from its
          first organization. It is true we have been called to pass
          through many afflictions in our day and time. Nevertheless, the
          Lord has preserved His people, and they still live here in the
          valleys of the mountains.
          We have an anxiety to honor God and keep His commandments, and to
          honor our country and the Constitution of our Government. That
          Constitution we believe was given by revelation, and whatever
          laws are passed agreeable to it we desire to honor. It guarantees
          to all men the right to enjoy their religion, to worship God
          according to the dictates of their conscience.
          "But," says one, "I would like to know how many wives you have.
          That is a matter you have not said anything about." Well, now, I
          will tell you a little anecdote in connection with Sidney Rigdon.
          The circumstance took place a great many years ago, in Kirtland.
          A young Elder just come in met President Rigdon on the street one
          day in the vicinity of the Temple. Said the young man: "President
          Rigdon, will you please tell me the meaning of the horns of the
          beast John saw?" President Rigdon, drawing himself up, looked at
          the young man, and replied: "My dear brother, there is a great
          deal between you and the beast that John saw," and walked away.
          Well, I sometimes think it is so with this generation. There is a
          great deal between the people of this generation and the
          plurality of wives. There are a great many principles that God
          has revealed in these last days that it is necessary for us to
          understand before we come to that principle. But as I have
          brought the subject up I will say a few words upon it. The Lord
          has revealed to us that no kingdom, no king, no prince, no
          president, no ordinance of marriage, no ordinance performed by
          any man from the days of father Adam, will have any power or
          force after death, except those ordinances are performed by men
          holding the Eternal Priesthood. Is there a king, is there a
          prince, is there a queen,--will either when they pass the other
          side of the veil, find a throne there? Would the Czar of Russia,
          who was assassinated by the hands of the ungodly not long ago,
          when he went into the Spirit world find a throne there? No. Why?
          Because the kingdom of the Czar of Russia belonged to time. When
          he went into the Spirit world that was the end of his kingdom and
          power. His kingdom had not been sealed upon his head by any man
          having the power and authority of the Eternal Priesthood. So in
          regard to all kingdoms and thrones. You may take Her Majesty
          Queen Victoria--who has reigned a long time, and who is perhaps
          as good a sovereign as has reigned since the days of William the
          Conqueror. When she passes behind the veil she will find her
          kingdom at an end, because it was not sealed upon her head for
          time and eternity by any man having the authority of the Holy
          Priesthood. So I will say to our friends here--the strangers
          within our gates--that any man that marries a wife by any other
          authority than the authority of the Holy Priesthood is simply
          married for time, "or until death do you part." When you go into
          the Spirit world you have no claim on your wife and children. The
          ordinance of having them sealed to you by one having the
          authority of the Holy Priest hood must be attended to in this
          world. Father Abraham obeyed the law of the patriarchal order of
          marriage. His wives were sealed to him for time and all eternity,
          and so were the wives of all the Patriarchs and Prophets that
          obeyed that law.
          I desire to testify as an individual and as a Latter-day Saint
          that I know that God has revealed this law unto this people. I
          know that if we had not obeyed that law we should have been
          damned; the judgments of God would have rested upon us; the
          kingdom of God would have stopped right where we were when God
          revealed that law unto us. Why have we obeyed it? I obeyed it
          because I want my wife or wives with me after death; I want my
          wives and children with me in the morning of the resurrection; I
          want my wives and children organized in the family organization,
          that I may dwell with them and they with me, throughout all
          eternity, as well as with Father Abraham and other men who
          honored and obeyed that law. This is the position we occupy. We
          have obeyed the law because God has commanded us, and I bear
          record of its truth; and so far as I am concerned, if I can have
          my wives and children with me in the morning of the resurrection,
          so that I can dwell with them and with those Patriarchs and
          Prophets who obeyed that law, it will amply repay me for the
          trials and tribulations I may have had to pass through in the
          course of my life here upon the earth. Many men suppose that we
          have obeyed that law to gratify the lusts of the flesh. Bless
          your soul, if that had been our object, we might have followed
          the example of the people of the Christian world--committed
          whoredom and adultery--without bringing upon ourselves the cares,
          pains, and penalties that we have to bear by obeying this law.
          But let me tell you that the Latter-day Saints look upon adultery
          as one of the greatest crimes any man can commit in this world.
          It is next to murder. No, this people have not obeyed that law
          because of a desire to gratify the lusts of the flesh; they have
          observed it in obedience to the command of God, and because it
          will have power and effect after death.
          I pray God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon us, that our ears may
          be open to hear and our hearts to understand the things of the
          kingdom of God, which is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / Joseph
          F. Smith, August 19, 1883
                          Joseph F. Smith, August 19, 1883
             Delivered in Paris, Idaho, Sunday Morning, August 19, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                    OTHER PEOPLE
                              PROSCRIBED?--BECAUSE THE
                                  PERSECUTIONS AND
                                    DIFFICULT OF
                                      LORD WILL
                             BRING THEM OFF TRIUMPHANT.
           F. Smith
          I have been extremely interested this morning in listening to the
          very excellent remarks of Brother Cannon. I feel that in answer
          to the desires and prayers of the congregation the Lord has
          blessed Brother Cannon in his remarks, and that through him He
          has made plain many very important truths and principles, upon
          which it will be well for the congregation to reflect and to
          treasure up in their hearts.
           F. Smith
          My mind was led to reflect, while Brother Cannon was speaking
          upon the inconsistency, harshness and unreasonableness of the
          world in their attitude towards us as a people, and upon the
          manner in which they have sought to deal with what they term "the
          Mormon Question." The words of the Savior in relation to the
          hatred of the world towards the people of God flashed through my
          mind: "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but
          because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the
          world, therefore, the world hateth you." Jesus and His disciples
          were every where spoken against. Everybody, almost, reviled them.
          When Jesus cast out devils, it was said to have been done by the
          power of Beelzebub, the prince of devils; that He healed the sick
          by the same power; that He restored the sight of the blind by the
          same power; and all the works of mercy and charity which He
          performed were attributed to the power of Satan. It is very much
          the same in this dispensation. No matter how good you may be--you
          who profess to be Latter-day Saints--no matter how virtuous you
          may be, you are set down by the world as adulterers. No matter
          how honest you may be, you are called dishonest. No matter how
          innocent you may be of all the crimes that are known, the
          sectarian world declare you are unfit to live because of your
          corruptions and abominations. No matter how charitable you may
          be, they claim that you lack the elements of charity and of
          mercy. Consequently they think it behooves them, and "the powers
          that be," to move against you for your destruction. It was for
          this reason that the Congress of the United States, a little
          while ago, was compelled, by an influence and a power that it
          could not, or dare not resist, to pass a most unconstitutional, a
          most unjust and wicked act for the purpose of depriving an
          innocent and unoffending people of their legitimate
          rights--rights that belong to them under the constitution of our
           F. Smith
          Have we sought to injure anybody? Have we sought to deprive any
          people of their rights? Have we sought to tear down or to destroy
          any part of the earth? Are the vile charges that are made against
          us true? No, they are not. You know they are not. There is not a
          man or a woman under the sound of my voice this morning but know
          as they know they live, that the charges that are made against
          the Latter-day Saints are false. They say that we have been, in
          years past, in the habit of committing murder! We are charged
          with having murdered strangers that came amongst us! We are
          charged with having murdered apostate Mormons because they had
          apostatized from us! We are charged with oppressing the people,
          and with keeping them under tyranny! And those who make these
          charges claim that it is because of their influence in Utah--the
          influence of the world--of the public press--the presence in our
          midst of officers of the law who have been sent by the President
          of the United States to rule over us; that this murderous
          propensity, and this power for evil that has heretofore been
          exhibited by the Latter-day Saints, have been checked!
           F. Smith
          Now, who is there that is acquainted with the history of Utah, or
          with the history of this people, but know that all these things
          that have been villainously charged against this people are
          libellous and as false as hell. Who does not know that such a
          reign of terror never did exist in Utah or among this people
          anywhere? I came to Utah in 1848; I have been a resident among
          this people from my childhood; I have been cognizant of nearly
          everything that has transpired of a public character among the
          Latter-day Saints for the last 30 years, and I am a witness and
          can and do bear my testimony that all these charges are false,
          and that the people to-day are a fair example of what they have
          always been from the beginning. Who of you are murderers? Who of
          you, professing to be Latter-day Saints, are thieves and robbers?
          Who of you, professing the same thing, are adulterers and
          whoremongers? Who of you, professing to be Latter-day Saints,
          curse and swear and blaspheme the name of God? Who of you would
          oppress your neighbor or would rob him of his rights? Who of you,
          professing to be Latter-day Saints, would not be ready to protect
          the rights and to maintain the liberties of the stranger within
          our gates as you would to protect your own rights or those of
          your neighbor? Is not this the case to-day? Yes. Was it ever
          different to this? Was there ever a different condition of things
          existed in the midst of this people? You very well know that
          there never was. Men who have done wrong in times past have been
          held accountable for their acts to the law by the officers of the
          law. Men who to-day are ungovernable and commit crimes are
          amenable to the law and must answer for their crimes. This has
          always been the case. The Gospel net has gathered of every kind.
          But is a whole community to be held responsible for individuals
          whose propensities lead them to commit crimes? If we are to be
          judged upon that principle, who will be exempt from the same
          judgment? If God should judge the world in this manner He would
          execute the whole world--none would be exempt. I think as a
          community or as communities, we will compare favorably with any
          on the face of the earth. I think there will be found far less
          crime among the Latter-day Saints than may be found in other
          communities of like numbers anywhere else. I believe there is
          less crime, less wickedness, less drunkenness, and fewer offences
          of any kind among the Latter-day Saints than can be found among
          any other people of equal numbers in the world. And in saying
          this I am not boasting of the Latter-day Saints; for, surely, if
          we are Latter-day Saints, crime and wickedness should have no
          part in us. No man professing to be a member of the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should be guilty of any thing
          that would cause the blush of shame to appear in the face. On the
          contrary we ought to live above suspicion; we ought to live free
          from crime, free from wickedness and sin of every description.
          Therefore, to say that the Latter-day Saints are the best people
          I know of in the world is not saying any thing more than should
          be said and can be said honestly and truthfully. We ought not to
          be guilty of sin. The teachings of the servants of God have been
          toward righteousness, honesty and virtue, and towards every thing
          that is calculated to elevate and ennoble mankind. This has been
          the burden of the teaching of the servants of God from the day
          that the Church was organized until the present time; and if the
          Latter-day Saints are not the best people upon the earth, it is
          because they have not hearkened to the counsel that has been
          given them.
           F. Smith
          Why, then, should we be proscribed? Why, then, should the people
          of the world malign us and seek to blacken our names and our
          characters? Why should they seek to bring persecution and evil
          upon us? The answer is to be found in the words of the Savior. "I
          have chosen you out of the world. And therefore the world hate
          you." So long as you maintain the principles of the Gospel; so
          long as you defend and practice the principles of virtue, of
          truth and of righteousness; so long as you stand by the doctrines
          of Christ, which have been revealed through Joseph the Prophet,
          through Brigham Young, the Prophet, and through President Taylor
          and the oracles of God; so long the world will be arrayed against
          you, so long they will hate you and will seek to bring evil upon
          you unless they repent. There is no question about it. Many
          people will not be convinced. Brother Cannon has alluded to
          people who visit us. They may be favorably impressed upon some
          points; but still they retain in their hearts a prejudice they
          have received concerning us, and they carry it away with them
          notwithstanding what they see. This is according to what Jesus
          said. They have eyes, but they see not; they have ears, but they
          hear not; they have hearts but they do not understand. It is also
          said that "there are none so deaf as those who will not hear, and
          none so blind as those who will not see." Many of those who visit
          Utah, come filled with such an amount of prejudice that they will
          not allow their senses to be convinced of the truth. Hence they
          go away as prejudiced as when they came. Nevertheless, when men
          come with their minds divested of prejudice, who can see and are
          disposed to see, and are liberal-minded enough to look at things
          in their true light, they do in a measure get correct views and
          ideas in relation to us. A few such men have come to Utah, and
          gone away enlightened, and have told the truth to the world. But
          notwithstanding they tell the truth they are generally
          disbelieved as we are when we tell it. We would naturally suppose
          that a man like Judge Black, who on legal matters was an
          authority in the world, would be believed; but the moment that
          man, with all his talent and prestige, stood up in the halls of
          Congress and undertook to reason upon the constitutional rights
          of the people called the Latter-day Saints, he was denounced and
          the soundness of his conclusions questioned by judges, lawyers
          and statesmen. He was held up to ridicule because he dared to
          discourse upon the constitutional rights of the people called
          Latter-day Saints. And it has been so with everybody else that
          has dared to speak a word in favor of the people of God having
          their rights. It was so with those who dared to speak in favor of
          the Son of God and His disciples. Those who dared to do so were
          considered unworthy of being believed on oath; their testimony
          could not be received; they were partial. And it has become so in
          relation to this people. Let any man lift up his voice in the
          defense of the people of God, and he will at once be denounced by
          a certain influential class and his influence among that class of
          people who seem bent upon persecuting the Latter-day Saints will
          wane, no matter how much they may have honored his counsels prior
          to that.
           F. Smith
          Will this continue to be the case? Yes, more and more; for as we
          increase in union, in faith, intelligence, and in political and
          religious influence, the hatred of the wicked will increase
          against us. Then will the heathen rage and the wicked imagine a
          vain thing; and their efforts to destroy us will proportionately
          increase. But will they succeed? Will they accomplish their
          desires? Just in proportion as they have done it hitherto, and no
          more. When they drove the Latter-day Saints out of Missouri, and
          had the Prophet and his companions confined in Liberty Jail, the
          world rejoiced in the belief that the backbone of "Mormonism" was
          broken. But they had reckoned without their host. They had not
          based their calculations upon the facts. The sequel proved that
          they had committed a grand mistake. Notwithstanding that General
          Clark, on the square in Far West, said to Joseph and his
          companions, that their doom was sealed and their die was cast,
          they were reckoning without their host. They had not calculated
          upon the power of God in these matters. They simply thought they
          had Joseph Smith in their power, and that by destroying him they
          would destroy "Mormonism." But the Lord delivered him from his
          enemies. And from Missouri he came to Illinois. "Mormonism"--as
          it is called in the world--from being a village grew into a
          city--the City of Nauvoo, one of the most beautiful cities in the
          west of America. We became possessed of chartered rights, and
          wielded an influence which controlled the county of Hancock, in
          the State of Illinois, and which materially affected the
          political status of other counties surrounding. We grew from a
          handful to an armful, and then the rage of the enemy was again
          stirred up until they finally succeeded in taking the lives of
          the servants of God, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. At this
          they rejoiced and congratulated each other, and concluded that
          they had done a good thing. "Mormonism" would now cease to
          trouble the world? But again they had reckoned without their
          host. Again they had based their calculations upon false
          premises. They had not considered the power connected with this
          work. They had not contemplated the nature of the power of God.
          From Nauvoo we were thrust out into the wilderness, but we sought
          out and located in Utah by the guidance of the Almighty. As
          Brother George A. Smith used to say, "We came willingly because
          we were obliged to." We had no other place to go to. But so far
          as accomplishing the object they had in view--the destruction of
          "Mormonism"--we know that they failed. From a city we have grown
          to a Territory in the United States, and we have been able to
          honestly control the Territorial government despite the desires,
          the cunning, the craftiness, and all the fraudulent efforts of
          our enemies.
           F. Smith
          Now, if it was difficult for the world to deal with the question
          of "Mormonism" in 1838, it was still more difficult for them to
          deal with it in 1844. If it was difficult for them to deal with
          and handle this "Mormon Question," as they call it, in 1846, when
          the people were made wandering outcasts upon the desert; I say,
          if it was a difficult thing for the Government of the United
          States and for the enemies of this people to deal with the
          "Mormon Question" then, is it not a far more difficult question
          for them to deal with to-day? As they turn over the wall, lo! it
          becomes higher and broader than it was before. As they kick the
          mustard plant? lo! the seed is scattered, and it takes root and
          springs forth and increases on every hand. Every effort of our
          enemies has utterly failed. Let them continue their efforts. Let
          them do their worst. God Almighty is at the helm, and if they can
          succeed in turning over the wall again they will find that it has
          grown larger since they last tipped it over. But they do not want
          us to grow in political power. They do not want us to be,
          religiously or otherwise, a separate and distinct people from the
          rest of the world. They want us to become identified and mixed up
          with the rest of the world, to become like them, thereby
          thwarting the purposes of God. They hate our union; but they
          apparently do not sense that persecution has a tendency only to
          make us more united.
           F. Smith
          Well, it is for us to live our religion. Let us attend to our
          duties as Latter-day Saints. Let us continue to be humble and
          faithful before God. And if the time should ever come when the
          Lord will see fit to allow our enemies to drive us from our
          present homes, the result will be similar to what it was when
          they drove us out of Nauvoo. They will drive us from the
          Territory of Utah into a half a dozen of States, and we may
          possibly take possession of them all. They won't believe me, and
          they won't believe the Elders of the Church when they tell them
          these things plainly. They won't believe us any more than they
          would believe Joseph Smith in his day, or Brigham Young in his
          day. But what these inspired men said is coming to pass. Every
          word that they uttered in relation to the building up of Zion,
          and to the progress of the kingdom of God upon the earth will be
          fulfilled, and not one jot or tittle will fail. You and I as
          individuals may fail, but the work of God cannot fail. It is His
          work. He hath decreed its consummation, and no power on earth or
          in hell can alter the decree. The work is marching forward, and
          if we do not keep pace with it, we must eventually be left
          behind. Better far for us to keep up with the rank and file, and
          to walk shoulder to shoulder with the authorities of the Church;
          with those who have the spirit of the Gospel in their hearts;
          with those in whose bones burn the fire of truth and the
          testimony of Jesus Christ, who are continually exhorting the
          people to be diligent in keeping the commandments of God. We
          should do what is right. We should be virtuous, honorable and
          charitable, and we should be liberal in our hearts to all
          mankind. We can afford to be liberal. We have received that which
          pertains to eternal growth, to eternal increase, to eternal
          happiness; we have received that which pertains to dominion, and
          power, and glory and to thrones and principalities. Freely we
          have received, and freely we can afford to give; for in giving we
          do not diminish our own store. We can afford, therefore, to
          exclaim, (in relation to our enemies) "Father, forgive them, for
          they know not what they do." We can afford to have sympathy for
          them, to beseech God in the name of Jesus, to have mercy upon
          them, for they know not the consequences of their acts. It is for
          us to work righteousness; for, as President Young remarked in the
          Temple at St. George, in 1877, the more righteous we are, the
          more united we are; the more diligent we are in keeping the
          commandments of God, the less will be the power of our enemies;
          their power will diminish in proportion to our faithfulness. Yet
          our enemies will rage and their anger will increase against the
          work of the Lord; and I presume it is a true saying, that "whom
          the gods would destroy they first make mad." The heathen--the
          so-called Christian nations--will become mad with rage against
          the Latter-day Saints; and thus the world will go on until they
          are ripened for destruction. We can afford to be calm and patient
          and await God's deliverance; for we know that He is our friend;
          that He is on the side of the righteous; and that he will bring
          them off triumphant if they continue faithful, which may the Lord
          grant in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / George
          Q. Cannon, August 19, 1883
                          George Q. Cannon, August 19, 1883
                        DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON,
                    Delivered in Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho,
                          Sunday Morning, August 19, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                    MEASURES OUR
                                    LAW--WHY ALL
                                      TAUGHT BY
                         JOSEPH SMITH NOW BECOMING POPULAR.
          In arising to address you this morning, my brethren and sisters,
          I trust we shall have the presence and assistance of the Spirit
          of God, to lead our minds to those subjects that may be most
          appropriate to you and to your circumstances. It is very
          desirable that we should have that Spirit to be with us,
          desirable both for the speaker and for the hearers, that our
          meeting may be mutually profitable. Our condition as a people is
          such that we cannot make the progress that is designed by God for
          us, unless we have His Spirit given unto us. We are assailed from
          many quarters. We have so much to contend with, that it requires
          the wisdom of God to direct us, and it requires His Holy Spirit
          constantly to be with us to enable us to perform our part in this
          great work. Others may get along after their fashion without
          direct revelation from God, be we cannot do so. It would be
          impossible to build up this work, and to guard ourselves against
          the attacks of our enemies and perform the labors that devolve
          upon us, unless God should be with us and manifest His power and
          make known His mind and His will unto us. This far we have been
          thus guided through all the difficulties that have arisen.
          Through the aid which God has rendered we have been prepared for
          them, and we have been extricated from them, and so it will be
          from this time forth, if we live as we should do and avail
          ourselves of the promises which He has made. I am always filled
          with amazement when I contemplate the wonderful deliverances
          which God has wrought out for us. To see us as we are to-day,
          dwelling in peace, and free from molestation, enjoying liberty,
          notwithstanding all that has been done against us with a design
          to disturb and break us up, is to me marvelous. I think that our
          whole career, in fact, is marvelous; but if there be anything
          connected with our present position that calls forth more wonder
          than any other, it is the fact that we are to-day surrounded by
          such peaceful circumstances.
          Our enemies have felt serenely confident that the measures they
          had adopted against us would result in the overthrow of this
          system called "Mormonism." In a conversation which I had with
          Senator Edmunds, of about two hours duration, we went over this
          whole subject--I arguing from my standpoint and he from his--and
          he seemed to be very confident that the bill which he had
          introduced, which afterwards became law, would be effective in
          accomplishing the desired end. It was, as he told me, to be one
          of a series of measures looking to the final overthrow of our
          system. It was supposed by him and by others that if they could
          succeed in having a law enacted which would disfranchise men who
          were living in plural marriage, and exclude them from office, the
          effect would be such as to make them so unpopular that they would
          lose their influence and be degraded in the eyes of the most of
          the "Mormon" people. It was anticipated that there were a great
          many "Mormons" who were secretly opposed to the domination of the
          polygamists, as they were called, and who would breathe more
          freely if their power should be taken away from them, and who
          would vote, as they would say, more independently, and probably
          unite with the apostates and the gentiles, and by that means
          overthrow the existing rule in the Territory. Now, I am satisfied
          beyond any doubt that it was anticipated that by the combination
          of these elements--the disaffected "Mormons," the apostates and
          the gentiles--the supremacy of this country--that is, of Utah
          particularly, and of course the influence would extend into your
          Territory--that by the combination of these elements the
          supremacy of the Territory would be wrested from the control of
          those who had had it in their hands, and that "Mormonism" would
          be dealt a deadly blow, and the beginning of the great work of
          destroying this organization would be effected. Now, you can
          imagine how great the disappointment has been at the results. It
          was plain to me--and I guess it was to most of our brethren who
          reflected upon this subject--that the measure would be
          ineffectual. I took the liberty of telling the advocates of the
          Edmunds Bill so, but they did not believe what I said. They felt
          that they understood it better than I did, and to-day, the men
          who were the most in favor--that is, in Salt Lake City--of the
          enactment of the Edmunds law, are the men who are the most
          dissatisfied with the results which have been achieved by its
          passage; illustrating most perfectly the oft repeated statement
          on our part, that our enemies can do nothing against the work of
          God, but that every thing they do will contribute to its
          advancement and success. We have said this repeatedly. The
          experience of 53 years has proved to us that this is the
          universal result of measures concocted for the destruction or
          overthrow of this work. God has stated it, and has made promises
          concerning it, and this incident is but another illustration of
          the perfect truth of the promises of God concerning His work.
          Instead of being to-day in bondage, we are as free as we ever
          have been. Instead of our enemies having control of our country,
          we still retain control of it. Now, what new measures will be
          adopted remains to be seen. Our enemies are tireless in their
          efforts. They will not give up this contest, they will not vacate
          the field, they will not consent to our living in peace, but they
          will continue their efforts, they will continue their attacks
          upon us. There is this advantage, however, that we always
          have--we have always had it in the past, we shall have it
          doubtless in the future--that the lies that are told concerning
          us are believed by our enemies, and accepting these as true, they
          frame their measures against us upon that basis; and that being
          the fact they always fail, because they do not have a true
          conception of the actual condition of affairs. Hence, if there
          were no other cause, that of itself is sufficient to foil them in
          their expectations. They are deceived concerning us by the many
          falsehoods that are told; but, as I say, they accept these as
          true and frame their measures upon these misconceptions and the
          result is always disappointment, and it always will be.
          There is this that I am thankful for, connected with this whole
          affair. There was a time when the efforts of those who were
          arrayed against the work of God, were confined to a limited
          circle or sphere. In the beginning it was a neighborhood, and
          gradually extended until townships took the matter in hand, and
          from townships it extended to counties, and from counties to
          States, and we were told as long ago as I can recollect, and it
          has been declared from the beginning that it would be the case,
          that as this work grew, so opposition should grow against it,
          enlarging its circle, extending its influence in proportion to
          the work of God, until, we were told, States would array
          themselves against this work. We have seen that fulfilled. We
          came here, not because the United States had taken steps against
          us, but because Illinois and Missouri had expelled us from their
          borders, and we could secure no redress for the wrongs that had
          been inflicted upon us. But we were told that after a while the
          United States itself should oppose the work of God, and in a
          national capacity enact measures against it, and that then it
          would not be confined to that alone, but that all the nations of
          the earth, sooner or later, would array themselves against the
          work of God. I am thankful that there is this testimony given
          unto us concerning the growth of this work. It is no longer a
          county, it is no longer a State, but it assumes now national
          proportions. The nation itself, under the influence of bad men,
          of unwise legislators, under the pressure of priestcraft which is
          brought to bear from all quarters of the land upon the Congress
          of the United States--in consequence of this influence we have
          now the Edmunds law following the Poland law, and it following
          the law of 1862, and probably to be followed by other measures of
          an equally proscriptive character, if the majority in Congress
          can be secured to pass such laws. God, however, will hold our
          enemies in check, and will restrain them, and will not suffer
          them to go beyond certain limits; so that we shall not be
          overwhelmed, but that we shall have the strength necessary to
          withstand the assaults that are made upon us or shall be made
          upon us. It is a wise dispensation of His providence that this
          should be the case, because if it were not so, with the power
          that is arrayed against us, we should be overwhelmed. God,
          however, tempers these matters according to our strength and
          ability to bear them or to withstand them, and as we grow, so
          grows the opposition; as we gain strength, so the opposition to
          us gains strength; as we gain experience and knowledge, we become
          more capable and achieve a higher position, and we will continue
          to do so until Zion will be the head, just as the prophets have
          predicted. But it is necessary that we should pass through this
          school of experience to test us, to try us, to give unto us the
          necessary confidence in ourselves as well as in our God and in
          His unfailing promises. Had we been called in the beginning to
          pass through such ordeals as we have had of late, it is doubtful
          if we could have endured them, unless God had endowed us with an
          extraordinary amount of His power. But they have come upon us
          gradually. We have met one difficulty after another, one assault
          after another, until we have gradually acquired confidence in our
          ability to withstand these assaults and to meet them as well as
          confidence in our God. Our faith has been increased, and through
          the increase of faith we have been enabled to overcome, and thus
          it will be unto the end. There will be times, as there have been,
          when it will seem as though there is no possible way of escape,
          when it will seem as though everything is blocked up before us,
          and as though we are about to be swallowed up or destroyed; and
          the faith of the people will be tested in this manner, doubtless,
          many times in the future, as it has been many times in the past;
          but when it will seem the darkest, when the clouds will seem the
          most impenetrable, when there will be not a ray to illumine the
          pathway of the Saints of God, then God will be near to us to
          deliver us, and at the very darkest hour He will dispel the
          clouds and provide a way of escape that will excite our wonder,
          our admiration and our praise. It was so last year--I mean 1882,
          before the passage of the Edmunds law and afterwards. It seemed
          as though the spirits of evil had poured out of hell and they had
          come upon the earth and were operating against the work of God.
          In all my experience I had never met a stronger feeling than
          prevailed. It seemed as though the whole nation was aroused from
          the center to the extremities. Almost every church in the land,
          every priest and every religious organization, was stirred up,
          banded together and their influence combined against the work of
          God to destroy it. Congress was being pushed forward by a power
          which the Members could not resist, and it seemed as though there
          would be no stopping place short of our destruction. I expect you
          felt it here as the Saints felt it in Utah, and as I felt it in
          Washington. The papers, as you will remember, were full of
          threats against us. It seemed as though a crisis had arrived in
          our affairs. It seemed as though there was no way of escape. But
          God still reigned. He comforted the hearts of His servants, and I
          was filled with thanksgiving to see the spirit which rested upon
          President Taylor and the brethren at home. When I received their
          letters I saw that notwithstanding the darkness of the hour and
          the threats of our enemies, their hearts were undismayed, and
          their confidence in God as unfaltering as ever. God was with His
          people. He had not forgotten His promises. And it seemed as
          though by one blow or one move, the whole of this opposition was
          dissipated. It fell to the ground, the whole fabric of it, and,
          like a baseless vision of the night, it melted away and the
          sunshine came out; the sun, as glorious as ever, shone down upon
          us, and every cloud was removed, apparently, from the heavens
          above, and our pathway was bright and clear without obstruction,
          and it has been so until the present time.
          Will there be times again of this character? Yes, undoubtedly. It
          is necessary in the providences of our God, concerning this work,
          that this should be the case, in order that the faith of the
          Latter-day Saints may be tested, and that they may be led to put
          their trust in God, who alone can save us in such hours of
          extremity and trial. We need not expect that it will always be
          sunshine; we need not expect that the heavens will always be free
          from clouds, or that our pathway will never be obstructed or
          darkened. On the contrary, we shall have these things to contend
          with, in order that we may, by contending with them in the faith
          and power of God, obtain knowledge concerning His work and His
          In the meantime the knowledge of this work is being disseminated.
          With it, however, there goes forth a spirit of falsehood. It
          would seem as though, with the means of advertising we now have,
          and with the opportunities that are presented to men to visit us,
          a better understanding concerning us would be reached by thinking
          men. Undoubtedly this is the case to a certain extent. But my
          observation tells me that with the increase of information there
          is also a proportionate increase of misrepresentation and
          falsehood. The adversary is more industrious, if possible, in
          beclouding the minds of the children of men concerning us and
          concerning this work and the objects we have in view than he ever
          was. We become more advertised, it is true; but while we are
          advertised it is not always in the direction of removing error
          and giving correct ideas concerning us. It is a strange fact that
          many people who visit Salt Lake City, and visit our Territory,
          notwithstanding that which they see, notwithstanding all that is
          before them, are deceived respecting us; they do not get a
          correct idea concerning our motives nor the objects we have in
          view, nor the character of our organization. They look at us
          through spectacles that distort us. You have seen, probably,
          glasses that change the appearance of things. It is so with their
          views. They cannot look at these things as we look at them. From
          such individuals the power of correct observation seems to be
          taken away by the power of darkness and the effect of falsehood
          upon their minds. This is a remarkable fact. I have been struck
          with it very much of late. Many intelligent men and women visit
          us, and they mingle among us; but at the same time they have
          ideas in their minds concerning us which seem to deprive them of
          the power of judging of us correctly, and they go away convinced
          on some points, but still retain many of the old ideas that have
          been implanted in their minds by falsehood concerning us. Of
          course, there are many from whose minds prejudice is removed and
          whose feelings become friendly.
          We need not expect, however, that we can escape the power of
          prejudice; for the reason that there are two influences at
          work--the power of God and the power of Satan. Satan is as busy
          darkening the minds and beclouding the understandings of the
          children of men as he ever was, and the inhabitants of the earth
          having rejected the truth, being unwilling to receive the Gospel
          of the Son of God when it is presented to them, are left a prey
          to other influences and to the spirit of darkness; therefore,
          they are incapable of judging concerning the work of God. Will
          this continue to be the case? Undoubtedly it will. There will be
          no change in this respect. The work of God will be accomplished
          on the earth, it will roll forth, the predictions of the prophets
          will be fulfilled, and men will see their fulfillment. Yet,
          notwithstanding this, they will reject the testimony of the
          servants of God. It is very remarkable that this should be the
          case with the evidences there are, which are so plain and
          palpable and indisputable to us.
          It was only a few days before I left home that some Members of
          Congress, with whom I was acquainted, came to the city. One very
          intelligent man and his wife were among them. I took them around,
          showed them our public buildings and other places of interest,
          and in conversation concerning the Temple, when I was showing
          them that structure, I explained to them to some extent its
          character and the objects for which it was being erected. I
          called their attention to the fact that while we had believed for
          forty years and upwards that there was a space between death and
          the resurrection, and that in that space there were opportunities
          for men and women to hear the Gospel of the Son of God, and to
          accept it, not, however, the purgatory of the Catholics--that
          while we had believed that for forty years and upwards, God
          having revealed it unto His servant Joseph Smith, the world was
          just beginning to entertain the same belief, and popular
          preachers were beginning to advocate the correctness of the idea
          or of the doctrine that there was a chance for repentance beyond
          the grave. These people with whom I conversed were intelligent,
          and they were of a religious turn of mind and familiar with
          religious affairs. They stated that they had heard such doctrines
          lately advocated. I then explained to them about the millions of
          the dead, of the pagans and others who had died in ignorance of
          the Gospel. "Now," said I, "how can you understand, upon any
          other principle than this, the justice of our God towards them?
          They have been dead for hundreds of years in entire ignorance of
          the name of Jesus, the only name given under heaven whereby man
          can be saved. Shall they be consigned to endless torment, because
          of their lack of opportunity? Would that," I asked, "be
          consistent with our ideas of justice?"
          They admitted that it would not.
          "Well," said I, "upwards of forty years ago, the Prophet Joseph
          Smith had revealed to him from God, this principle, that there
          were opportunities beyond the grave for men and women to learn
          the plan of salvation, and we are building temples for the
          benefit of these dead, as well as the living." I then explained
          to them the doctrine of the baptism for the dead--what Paul had
          said concerning it. To them it opened a new field of thought and
          reflection; and it is a remarkable fact that at the present time
          the religious world, the orthodox religious world, are beginning
          to entertain some of the views that Joseph Smith preached and
          advocated upwards of forty years ago, concerning these matters.
          There are popular ministers who do advocate the idea contained in
          the epistle of Peter, where he speaks about Jesus going and
          preaching to the spirits in prison, and they see nothing
          unreasonable in this doctrine; on the contrary, it comports with
          their ideas, and with the justice and mercy of our God. The world
          are gradually adopting many of the views that the Latter-day
          Saints have entertained. There are many doctrines that we have
          taught that were very unpopular in the beginning that they now
          receive. Why, there are Elders in this congregation who can well
          remember that it was a common belief, when they preached the
          Gospel to religious people, that the world was created out of
          nothing. That was a commonly received idea. Joseph Smith taught
          the eternal duration of matter. He taught the doctrine that
          matter was indestructible; that it never had a beginning; that it
          never could have an end; that it might undergo chemical changes,
          but that it was indestructible, and that the elements of which
          the earth is composed were eternal--never had a beginning and
          never would have an end. The whole religious world were shocked
          at such an idea, and so in regard to the time occupied in the
          creation of the earth. But Joseph taught the true principle
          connected with this. He said the days mentioned as occupied in
          the creation were not our days of twenty-four hours' length, but
          were periods of time. Now, that is a commonly received doctrine,
          although it was sneered at and rejected by religious men at the
          time it was taught by the Elders of this Church. And so it has
          gone on. I might enumerate a great many doctrines that God
          revealed, that the world has gradually adopted, which at some
          time they rejected, rejecting entirely the source whence they
          came, rejecting God as the author, and rejecting His Prophet as
          the medium through which these doctrines have been received and
          taught. It is only a day or two ago that I saw a book published
          by Josiah Quincy, a relative of John Quincy Adams, in which he
          relates an interview he had with the Prophet Joseph, at Nauvoo.
          He relates in that interview, that the Prophet Joseph stated to
          him his proposition for the emancipation of the slaves, and he
          (Quincy) declares that it was worthy the consideration of all
          Christian statesmen. Ralph Waldo Emerson--the philosopher of
          Concord--eleven years after this, not acknowledging that Joseph
          had made a similar proposition, threw out the same idea, but that
          was at a time, as Quincy says, when men's minds were stirred up
          on this question of slavery. "But," says he, "what shall be
          thought of the man who, eleven years previous, when no one was
          disturbed about the question, made such a proposition; and which
          he made not only to me verbally, but which he published and
          To my mind this is strong testimony concerning the wisdom that
          God had given to the Prophet Joseph, which was so far ahead of
          that generation that they could not comprehend nor receive it.
          Thus the world are gradually acknowledging the wisdom that God
          has given to His servants. Thus they are adopting the truths that
          are revealed. Thus the influence of this work is being felt
          throughout Christendom, and its effect is more marked than many
          of us imagine. We cannot comprehend to the full extent the effect
          that the work is having upon the world, and what God is doing
          through us, although we are but a feeble people. The influence of
          this work is spreading. Why, it is now a very common thing for
          people to believe in the sick being healed by the prayer of
          faith. You see allusions to it in the public newspapers of the
          day, and there are other evidences which go to show the influence
          that this work and the teachings of the Elders of this Church is
          having upon the nations of the earth. And so it will be in all
          matters pertaining to government. Every day we are growing in
          strength, every day we are growing in influence, every day our
          influence is becoming more potent and wide reaching in its
          effects, and the people of the nation of which we form a part are
          becoming cognizant of it. Leading men admit it. They are
          conscious of it. They will not admit it in words to the fullest
          extent. But their movements against this work bear testimony that
          they, in their secret souls, feel that there is a power, an
          influence, and a might connected with this work that are sooner
          or later to make themselves felt. A people such as we are, men
          can readily see, must have a great influence in the affairs of
          the nation. We are possessed of every qualification that makes a
          people great. We are destitute of no single qualification that
          contributes to true greatness in an individual or in a nation;
          and a people possessing these qualifications will make themselves
          felt in the struggle for existence with other powers.
          Another thing. While there are people belonging to our nation and
          to other nations who are fading away because they destroy the
          fecundity of their females and take no delight in posterity, in
          the midst of these mountains every married woman deems it an
          honor to be a mother, and feels it to be a deprivation not to
          bear the souls of the children of men.
          I pray God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and fill those who
          speak unto you with His power, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 24 / John
          Taylor, June 24th, 1883
                            John Taylor, June 24th, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
               Delivered at Parowan, Sunday Morning, June 24th, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                 PRESENT--WHERE THE
          Elder George Reynolds, at the request of President Taylor, read
          Christ's "Sermon on the Mount," after which,
          President Taylor spoke as follows: I have had a long discourse
          read over in your hearing. I do not know that we can listen to
          anything better than to instructions given by the Savior; and in
          that discourse is a great amount of intelligence, wisdom,
          thought, reflection, principle and doctrine presented to our
          minds. It is full of thought, full of intelligence, and presents
          to us principles that connect earth with heaven, man with God,
          and with which are interwoven all our best interests in time and
          throughout eternity. It is well, therefore, to reflect upon these
          things--upon the doctrines, teachings and instructions given by
          our Savior and by ancient men of God, who were under the
          inspiration of the Almighty, and who spake as they were moved
          upon by the Holy Ghost. For if the principles which were
          enunciated by our Savior in His day, were correct, they are just
          as true and correct to-day as they were then, and they are quite
          as applicable to us as they were to the people to whom He
          addressed Himself; for they are general principles, and some of
          them refer to things that are personal, that are associated with
          our every-day life, and with the spirit and feeling that we
          ought, as Saints of the Most High God, to be in possession of.
          Indeed I very much question whether we could find in the same
          space as comprehensive an exposition of ideas or principles
          enunciated by any person that ever spake, as are found in this
          sermon which was delivered by Jesus upon the Mount. We should
          have esteemed it a great privilege to have listened to the Son of
          God, yet we can read His words to-day, and the principles He
          taught, as I have said, are just as true and important now as
          they were then.
          I desire to speak a little this morning upon some of the duties
          and responsibilities which devolve upon us as Latter-day Saints,
          and I feel that--as I often hear the Elders say--I would like to
          have an interest in your faith and prayers. I like to have the
          prayers, the faith and confidence of good men and good women, and
          I feel this morning that I am among good men and good women who
          are desirous to do the will and keep the commandments of God our
          heavenly Father--that is, this is the general feeling.
          I will say I have been pleased to meet here and greet some of our
          Presidents of Stakes and other brethren from a distance. Here is
          Brother McAllister from St. George, and some others who have
          accompanied him from that region. They have traveled over a hot,
          sandy desert, quite a long distance to meet with us and to meet
          with you. Again, here is another President of Stake--Brother
          Crosby--who has come over these big mountains from Panguitch and
          I think some of his folks have come with him from that Stake.
          Then again, here is Brother Murdock, who has come 35 miles with
          us, and then you might double that distance by two or three
          times, for he was at Milford to meet us, and some of his folks
          are also with us. Then we had the President of Millard
          Stake--Brother Hinckley--who was with us for several days. It
          gives me great pleasure to meet with these my brethren of the
          Priesthood, especially with the Presidents of Stakes and their
          Counselors, because they hold important positions in the Church
          and kingdom of God, and I greet you and bless you in the name of
          the Lord. There is a spirit exhibited which shows that the
          brethren feel interested in the things pertaining to the kingdom
          of God, and that of all others is the thing in which we ought all
          of us to be interested. [President Cannon: We have also with us
          Brother Erastus Snow and Brother Jacob Gates.] President Taylor:
          Oh, yes. We expect them to be everywhere, as we are. We have
          specially dedicated ourselves to God, as active servants in His
          vineyard; we have dedicated ourselves to do the will of God, and
          to assist in carrying out His purposes, and we feel quite happy
          in the labor. And I should have been very much pleased, and so
          would Brother Cannon--and I do not know but what he wants me to
          say something about him being here--(laughter). [Brother Cannon:
          Oh, no.]--we should have been pleased to have stayed in the
          country a few days longer, but we cannot do so; that is, we have
          other duties devolving upon us, and we ought to be in Salt Lake
          City on Tuesday next. At one time we could not very easily have
          done this, but we have found out the way--at least, there is a
          way provided. The Lord has blessed us with many blessings. He has
          caused us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. He
          has granted unto us His Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds, and
          to teach us the principles of righteousness. He has called us to
          do a great work. How great, could I tell you? No. Could you
          understand if I did? No, you could not. But He has called us to
          do a great work--a work in which God our heavenly Father is
          interested, a work in which Jesus the Mediator of the new
          covenant is interested, a work in which Adam is interested, a
          work in which Seth, Methuselah, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac,
          Jacob, Moses and the Prophets are interested, a work in which the
          Apostles that officiated on the continent of Asia are interested,
          a work in which the Apostles that officiated on this continent
          are interested, as well as Lehi, Nephi, Moroni, and others, who
          operated here in the cause of God, and who sought to carry out
          His purposes in this land. It is a work in which all men that
          have ever lived upon the face of the earth are interested. It is
          a work in which the Gods in the eternal worlds are interested. It
          is a work that has been spoken of by all the holy Prophets since
          the world was. It is called the "dispensation of the fullness of
          times," wherein God will gather together all things in one,
          whether they be things in the heavens or things in the earth. It
          is a dispensation in which all the holy Prophets that ever lived
          upon the face of the earth are interested. They prophesied about
          it as the grand and great consummation in the accomplishment of
          the purposes of God; purposes which He designed before the
          morning stars sang together, or the sons of God shouted for joy,
          or this world itself rolled into existence. It is a work in which
          we, our progenitors and our posterity are especially interested.
          And we are gathered together from among the nations of the earth
          in order that we may be taught of God, that we may understand the
          law of God, and the principles of life and salvation; a salvation
          that extends not only to ourselves, but to all mankind. We are
          gathered together here that we may be placed especially under the
          tuition and guidance of the Lord, that we may feel and realize
          that which the ancient Israelites expressed when they said, "The
          Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our
          king"--and He shall rule over us, and we will be his people; and
          we His latter-day Israel, will acknowledge Him in all things; for
          we are a chosen people, a royal Priesthood, selected by the God
          of Israel for the accomplishment of His purposes, for the
          organization and purification of His Church, for the
          establishment of His Kingdom, and for the building up of His Zion
          on the earth. We are indebted to God for the revelation of all
          those principles that we to-day possess, whether they relate to
          the Church of God, to the Zion of God, or to the kingdom of God;
          so far as any principles thereof have been made manifest and
          developed unto us they are truly, positively and unequivocally
          the gift of God our heavenly Father. They did not originate with
          us. They did not originate with any man that lived on the earth,
          for no man knew them. They did not originate with Joseph Smith,
          or with Brigham Young, or with myself, or with the Apostles, or
          with any class of men in this Church. They are the gift of God to
          His people, to His children who dwell upon the earth. He has
          offered these principles freely to the nations of the earth.
          Thousands and millions of people who have heard them have not
          received nor obeyed them; but you have--that is, I speak
          generally, not individually, for some have not obeyed them. Many
          Latter-day Saints do not comprehend their position. They do not
          understand the relationship that exists between God and
          themselves. They do not understand the responsibility of the
          position that they occupy; some such hold the Holy Priesthood,
          and others are not in the Holy Priesthood. After so many years of
          teaching and instruction, and the many opportunities that we have
          had, we come far short of comprehending the principles of life,
          truth and intelligence which God has seen fit to make manifest to
          us, and the world do not comprehend them at all. And why cannot
          they? Because Jesus said very positively in His day, that except
          a man was born again he could not see the kingdom of God, and
          unless he was born of the water and of the Spirit, he could not
          enter into the kingdom of God, and they do not understand it. We
          cannot help that. But if we could comprehend our own positions
          and realize the blessings that we have enjoyed, and do now enjoy,
          and the prospect that lies before us in consequence of God having
          inclined our hearts to yield obedience to the Gospel of the Son
          of God, we should call upon our souls and all that is within us,
          to bless His holy name. We should thank God from morning till
          evening, that we have the privilege of being Latter-day Saints.
          We should thank Him for the light and intelligence that we have
          already received, and we should seek for a closer communion with
          Him that we might comprehend more fully the duties that devolve
          upon us, and feel in our hearts to do the will of God on earth,
          as angels do it in heaven. We should do this if we could
          comprehend our true position, and some of us do comprehend it in
          part. We see in part, we understand in part, we prophesy in part,
          etc., but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in
          part will be done away with. The Lord has gathered us together,
          and is seeking to introduce among this people the principles of
          Zion, that we may be pure in heart, pure in spirit, pure in our
          actions, and that we may all of us feel like saying: "O God,
          search my heart, and try my reins, search me and prove me, and if
          there is any way of wickedness within me, bid it depart; show it
          to me that I may overcome it, that I may gain the victory, that I
          may be worthy to be thy son, that I may be worthy to have Thy
          blessing and Thy Spirit, and the intelligence that dwells with
          Thee imparted to me; that I may walk according to Thy laws and
          fulfill the various duties and responsibilities that devolve upon
          me." That is the kind of feeling we should have if we could
          realize and comprehend our position. We would seek after the
          In the discourse read by Brother Reynolds, this morning, it says,
          among other things: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst
          after righteousness; for they shall be filled." I also read with
          regard to Abraham: He was a man of God, and he tells us in his
          history that he was a follower after righteousness; that he
          desired to obtain more righteousness, and that upon examining
          into the history of his fathers, he found that he had a right to
          the Priesthood and sought ordination, and he received that
          ordination. He was ordained by Melchizedek, who was prince of
          Salem, and a servant of the Most High God, and held the
          Priesthood called after his name. It is the Priesthood which is
          after the order of the Son of God, a Priesthood which possesses
          the power of an endless life. Abraham received a knowledge of
          these things; and when he obtained the Priesthood what did he do?
          Did he, after the manner of some religionists, "sing himself away
          to everlasting bliss?" No, he did not. What then did he do? He
          kept seeking after more righteousness. Jesus recognized that
          principle in his sermon--"Blessed are they which do hunger and
          thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." Abraham
          sought the Lord diligently, and finally he had given unto him a
          Urim and Thummim, in which hewas enabled to obtain a knowledge of
          many things that others were ignorant of. I think the meaning of
          the name of this instrument is Light and Perfection, in other
          terms, communicating light perfectly, and intelligence perfectly,
          through a principle that God has ordained for that purpose. Did
          Abraham stop there? No; he did not rest until he could
          communicate with God Himself. Jesus says: "Blessed are the pure
          in heart for they shall see God." The Lord appeared to Abraham,
          and told him many things. And in proportion to the blessings
          which He conferred upon him, the Lord exacted from Abraham strict
          obedience to His law, to His word, and to His will, and He tried
          him to the uttermost. He gave unto him a son. Sarah laughed at
          the idea when the Lord told her she would have a son. At her time
          of life--she was 90 years old--it did look a little odd. The Lord
          asked her what she laughed at. She denied that she had laughed,
          but He said, "Nay, but thou did'st laugh." There were to be
          certain blessings associated with this son. The Lord also told
          Abraham that He would bless him exceedingly, and make him a great
          man upon the earth. Finally, this son was born. But there came,
          after a time, a time of trial of Abraham's faith. In substance
          the Lord said to him: "Now, Abraham, take thy son Isaac. You
          received him from me," the same as we all do, if we could
          understand it, but we do not--he was a son of promise--a great
          many people are not sons of promise, but still are no less the
          children of God, for God is the God and father of the spirits of
          all flesh--"Take thy son and offer him up as a sacrifice."
          "What!" said Abraham. No; I do not believe that He said that; but
          I will suppose what He might have said: "Why, Lord, did you not
          tell me that you would establish your covenant with Isaac, for an
          everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him, and that I
          should become a great and mighty nation, and that all the nations
          of the earth would be blessed in me?" "Yes." "And now you tell me
          to offer my promised son as a sacrifice? What are you going to do
          about it?" "You have got to obey me, that is all." Abraham did
          not begin to question the Lord if He could find a precedent for
          such a thing in the Scriptures, or whether such a thing had ever
          taken place anywhere else. No; he proceeded to carry out the