Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26
                               Journal of Discourses,
                                      Volume 26
                         DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE F. D. RICHARDS,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 
                         Sunday Morning, October 5th, 1884.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                     [Being the portion omitted in last volume.]
          The whole tenor of God's dealings and instructions to His people
          have been enriched and adorned with affectionate remembrance,
          instruction and illustration of the youth of His people. They are
          the redeemed of Christ from before the foundation of the world.
          Jesus said their angels or spirits do always behold the face of
          my Father which is in heaven. He has promised that they shall
          come forth in the first resurrection, that they "shall grow up
          until they become old," and when he would demonstrate who should
          be greatest in the kingdom of heaven,--He took a little child and
          placed him in their midst, saying, "Except ye repent and become
          as this little child, ye can in no wise enter therein; but
          whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is
          greatest in the kingdom of heaven; and whosoever shall receive
          one such little child in my name receiveth me."
          In relation to all these matters, there is a great deal of
          importance attached to them, not only in the matter of our
          children--which seems to be of primary importance to us,--but in
          the preaching of the Gospel. We that have ministered in the
          Gospel have learned of the truth of that Gospel, and are able to
          comprehend by the Spirit in some degree the revelations and
          commandments which have been given for the guidance of the
          Church. It is by virtue of repentance and baptism for the
          remission of sins that men's sins are remitted. It is by
          attending to certain ordinances that the blessings of eternity
          are sealed upon us, and by which in the plain language of the
          Scriptures, our calling and election are made sure. But we must
          obey those ordinances in faith or their efficacy will not avail.
          Our Elders go abroad and preach to the world, and their hearts
          are filled with charity and loving kindness towards their fellow
          creatures. They administer to the sick among the Saints, and they
          are often called upon to administer to those who do not belong to
          the Church, to whom they administer according to their faith, and
          thus the power of faith through the ordinance of God is made
          manifest among the children of men.
          But there is one ordinance that the Elders may have perhaps
          neglected--and I do not know but I have myself--and that is, that
          if we enter a house and the people thereof receive us, there our
          peace should abide. This was the instruction of the Savior in His
          day; and if we enter a house and the people receive us not, then
          we should go away and return not again to that house, and wash
          our feet with pure water, as a testimony against them in the day
          of judgment, and thus bear witness unto the Lord that we have
          offered them salvation, that we have sought to preach to them the
          principles of everlasting life, that we have offered to them the
          Gospel of peace and desired to administer unto them a blessing.
          The same is applicable to a town, village or city that rejects
          you. In this way you do your duty and leave them in the hands of
          the Lord. You are not called upon to contend with any body in
          public congregations, or to do anything that would stir up wrath
          and indignation. The Savior simply told his disciples to wash
          their feet as a testimony against such people. But the generous,
          charitable feeling of our Elders prompts them not to do a thing
          against anybody; they would rather pour out a blessing upon the
          whole people. Consequently, it is a very rare thing that this
          ordinance is attended to by the Elders of this last
          dispensation--speaking from my own experience, and conversation
          had with the brethren. But when it comes to this, that we are
          persecuted and our lives taken, it would seem as if this was a
          duty depending upon those Elders who are thrust out, and warned
          away from their fields of labor. These things have happened of
          late, and it seems a duty devolving upon the Elders to do that
          which the law requires and leave the responsibility of its
          reception or rejection with the people and their God. We have no
          quarrel with anybody. We simply preach the Gospel to the
          inhabitants of the earth. If they receive it, well and good; if
          they will not, then it is a matter between them and their God;
          but the Lord requires this duty at the hands of his servants.
          Again, we go abroad and gather in many people to this place, and
          they desire to find work. One of the brethren has referred to
          this matter and likened it unto a man going into a field and
          working diligently to plow the field, sow the grain, harrow it
          in, harvest it, and then leave it to waste. It is too much so in
          bringing home our brethren and our sisters to this country and
          not furnishing them labor. It is a very pleasing thought that
          occasionally companies of 400 or 500 people, or even 1,000, are
          delivered here from abroad. Why is it pleasing? Because it shows
          the work of God is progressing; it shows that God is gathering
          home His Saints, and soon after their arrival, the new comers are
          taken home by their friends and relatives, and provided for, made
          comfortable until another spring, or until they look around and
          find or make a home. And it is a blessed thought that,
          notwithstanding hundreds and thousands of people are brought here
          yearly and cared for, so great a proportion of them live in their
          own homes, raise their own cows, pigs, chickens, etc.
          Frequently when we go to the Seventies and ask some of them if
          they are willing to go on a mission to preach the Gospel, one
          replies: "I am no preacher at all; I could not preach a sermon if
          I were to try:" and wind up by saying: "If I can't go out myself
          and preach, I am willing to help support the families of
          missionaries while they are gone." Many have said this, and many
          more of them have thought it.
          The Seventies are a numerous concourse of men who are called in
          connection with the Twelve to see that the Gospel is carried to
          the nations of the earth. Many of them are aged--some having been
          in the Church almost from the days of its first organization in
          Ohio, and many since the days of Nauvoo--too aged to be called to
          go upon missions--yet they could help their brethren coming in to
          find employment, and as do the Twelve after having labored in the
          vineyard to help gather the harvest, labor together in the
          threshing floor to help garner the wheat, clean it, and assist to
          make it fit for the Master's use. The younger men, after having
          secured homes for their families, feel free to go on missions,
          knowing that their interests at home are not being neglected.
          If the aged Seventies and all men of experience would interest
          themselves in the different parts of the Territory, and find or
          make work for the newcomers, they might do a vast deal of good.
          They might help their brethren who come in from the old country
          so obtain a living. When we first came here every man had to be a
          farmer, had to cultivate the land in order to obtain a living.
          Today many of the brethren who come from the old country have no
          idea of farming, and have never, perhaps raised a chicken, a pig
          or a cow. The brethren should take hold, therefore, and assist
          each other in these things. Let us help to build each other up
          more earnestly and more extensively than we have done. Let us not
          cultivate feelings of covetousness to the crowding out of those
          ennobling and generous sentiments which should fill the bosom of
          every Latter-day Saint.
          My brethren, you are Elders in Israel, and the blessing and power
          of the Priesthood are upon you. Therefore we should do all the
          good we can, that those of our brethren who are constantly coming
          in here may obtain work, that they may not be led away, through
          idleness, into sin, and their hearts be turned away from the
          Gospel which they have embraced.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Q. Cannon, November 20, 1884
                         George Q. Cannon, November 20, 1884
                         Delivered in the Tabernacle, Provo, 
                          Sunday Afternoon, Nov 20th, 1884.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
          In attempting to address you this afternoon, my brethren and
          sisters, I trust I shall have the assistance of your faith and
          prayers, that I may be led to speak upon those principles that
          are adapted to your circumstances and wants. We as a people are
          living at a time when we need the assistance and direction of the
          Spirit of God. To be taught by men and men's wisdom in our
          position would be of little or no avail to us, from the fact that
          the conditions which surround us are different in many respects
          from those which surround every other people. We are a peculiar
          people. We are not bound together by associations such as exist
          among other peoples. We have not come together because this land
          suited us, and was desirable for us to make a living in, but we
          have gathered to this land through force of circumstances over
          which, to a certain extent, we had no control. We have come
          together impelled by motives such as do not operate upon ordinary
          people, and having objects to accomplish such as are not thought
          of nor labored for by others. Other people, when they form
          settlements such as are not thought of nor labored for by others.
          Other people, when they form settlements such as are not thought
          of nor labored for by others. Other people, when they form
          settlements such as we have in these mountains, are generally
          drawn together, if they are new settlements, by the advantages of
          locality, by the opportunities for making a living or in creating
          wealth, or for some consideration or reason of this
          character--that is in the first place. Afterwards, in succeeding
          generations, they stay there because it is their birth place,
          because it is the home in which they have been reared. But these
          considerations have not influenced us in our settlement in these
          valleys. It is due to none of these causes that we are organized
          in communities as we are to-day, but it is due to causes that are
          higher and diverse from those that operate upon other people
          where they form settlements such as we have done. Hence, this
          being our condition, it requires wisdom, it requires strength, it
          requires enlightenment from God, to enable us to maintain
          ourselves upon the principle that we came here in the beginning
          for, and to escape the evils by which we are threatened. We
          believe that it was God who led us to this land; that it was God
          who prepared this land as an abode for us; that it has been His
          Almighty power that has preserved us thus far, and has
          ameliorated the condition of affairs--that is the soil and the
          climate and the water--that has produced changes that have made
          this land desirable and a delightful home for us--and that there
          has been a purpose and a design in all this, and that we have
          been the instruments in the hands of God of working out and
          accomplishing that design up to the present time. Hence there is,
          as I have said, a necessity that we should receive from the same
          source that has hitherto guided us, continued guidance and
          continued instruction, so that we shall not stop half-way in the
          work that we have undertaken, but by divine help be able to
          accomplish it.
          There were some reflections that passed through my mind as I sat
          in your meeting this morning concerning the circumstances which
          surround us, that if I can get the Spirit I would like to speak
          In the first place it will not do to judge or measure us by which
          people are measured in other places. To form a correct judgment
          of the Latter-day Saints, men must understand the motives which
          prompt them to action, the considerations which affect them, and
          the objects they have in view to accomplish; to form a correct
          estimate of our character these all must be taken into
          consideration. But it is often the case that we are measured by
          standards that do not apply to us, which may very well answer for
          measuring other people and other communities, but not for us, and
          in consequence of this we are frequently misjudged, and men and
          women come to incorrect conclusions respecting us. Fault is
          constantly found with us by our enemies because of these
          peculiarities which they do understand, or which if they do not
          understand, they pay no attention to. For instance, it is
          frequently said to us that we are a disloyal people, that we are
          not friends to the government, that we respect a power and an
          authority in our midst which we consider paramount to the
          authority of the government; and because of the circulation of
          this accusation and its wide-spread belief, we are refused rights
          to which we are fully entitled, which belong to us, which should
          not be withheld from or denied to us. It is very remarkable when
          we think about our numbers, how few we are, comparatively
          speaking,--it is very remarkable that there should be such
          jealousy entertained about us as there is. Pharaoh and the
          Egyptians were never more afraid apparently of the great power of
          the children of Israel in their midst than our fellow-citizens,
          and many of them too that are in high places, appear to be afraid
          of us. They seem to look upon us as aliens, as an alien power,
          and treat us accordingly, when there is not the least
          justification for doing so.
          Now, you remember, doubtless, Pharaoh's treatment of the
          Israelites. He saw that they were increasing, and he became
          alarmed. "Why," said he, "If we were going to have a war, these
          Israelites are becoming so numerous they may join our enemies and
          take away our kingdom from us. We must stop their increase." And
          he counseled with his people as to the best method to stop this
          increase. He issued a decree that all male children that were
          born of the Israelites should be destroyed and cast into the
          river Nile, but that the female children should be spared. In
          this way he hoped to check the increase of the children of Israel
          in Egypt. There is nothing in history that has come down to us to
          furnish grounds or justification for this cruel action on the
          part of this king. But this action was well adapted to force the
          children of Israel into the feeling that the government under
          which they lived was a harsh, a cruel and an unfriendly
          government, and to create antipathy in their breasts against it.
          In this way this tyrant--as all tyrants have ever done--in trying
          to accomplish the object he had in view, took the very means to
          bring upon himself and his nation the evils that he dreaded;
          because if he had desired to make the Israelites join the enemies
          of the nation and be traitors in the midst of the kingdom he
          could not have taken a more effective method than that which he
          did take.
          And so it is with us. If we had not had a profound attachment to
          the Constitution of the United States and to the institutions of
          this government, the course that is taken against us by those who
          have represented the government has been and is of a character to
          have driven us into open and avowed enmity to the government
          years and years ago. Without that deep-rooted attachment we
          should have lost all our respect for a government under which we
          have suffered such cruel wrongs. There could be no better
          evidence of the kind feeling and the loyalty of the Latter-day
          Saints to the government of the United States, than the fact that
          in our breasts and throughout these mountains, there prevails an
          unquenchable love and respect for the Constitution and the
          institutions that spring therefrom, notwithstanding we have been
          denied our rights and been treated with the utmost cruelty. There
          is scarcely an act of oppression that could be practiced that we
          have not had to endure, from the time the church of which we are
          members, was organized up to the present time. We have been
          falsely accused of all kinds of crimes, have been mobbed and
          repeatedly driven from our homes with the entire loss of our
          property, have been outraged, warred upon, subjected to violence
          of almost every description, and murdered. One by one our rights
          have been assailed. We have been stripped of them under forms of
          law; we have been denied justice, and treated with extreme
          vindictiveness. Our families--if those who had the execution of
          the laws in their hands could have accomplished it--would have
          been rent asunder; wives would have been torn from their
          husbands, children from their parents; households would have been
          destroyed; distrust and enmity and hatred would have been
          engendered in the breasts of the people one towards another--that
          is, if the measures that have been framed against us could have
          been successfully carried out as they were designed by those who
          framed them. Just think of it! Think of the manner the women of
          this community have been tempted to turn traitors to their
          husbands and their friends! Every inducement possible has been
          offered to them to turn against and betray their husbands, and
          the seeds of enmity have been sown, or have endeavored to be
          sown, in the breasts of families, and of children against
          parents, and against each other, throughout the entire land. When
          you contemplate all these acts, they equal in cruelty and
          perfidy, and inhumanity, any of the acts of which we read in the
          Scriptures. Men are shocked when they read the story of the
          treatment of the Israelites by Pharaoh. All the preachers
          throughout the land, when they read that, comment more or less
          upon it to their congregations, and talk about the cruelty of
          which that king was guilty, and praise the Israelites, and praise
          Moses for that which they did. At the same time they are guilty
          themselves of as great crimes. They are guilty of inciting a
          government against its citizens--its peaceful citizens--and
          stirring up the government to acts of harshness, of cruelty, and
          even some of them go so far as to defend the use of the army by
          the government to destroy a peaceful people from the face of the
          Now, as I have said, no people in the world have given greater
          proofs of attachment to their own government, and of devotion to
          those sacred principles of liberty that we have inherited than
          the Latter-day Saints have done in these mountains. But, as I
          have said, they cry is still that we are disloyal; that we unite
          church and state; that we have an authority in our midst that we
          respect and obey, while we disregard the civil authority of the
          land. These things are a frequent cause of complaint against us,
          and we are denied our right. We to-day, should be a State. This
          Territory of Utah should be one of the United States. We should
          have the right to elect our own Governor, to elect our own
          Judges, to elect every officer in fact that executes the laws or
          has anything to do with the administration of the government in
          our own land. We have been here 37 years, and during 34 years of
          that time we have been an organized Territorial government,
          longer than any other community on the continent except New
          Mexico, which was organized at the same time. Other Territories
          have sprung up and had speedy recognition as States, and are now
          numbered as members of the Union years after we settled this
          country. There is no good reason why we should not have had this
          same right granted unto us; no good reason whatever. We have
          shown our capability for good government, for maintaining good
          government. Our Territory to day is an example for maintaining to
          all the Territories and to many States, so far as good government
          is concerned, and freedom from debt, and everything in fact that
          makes life enjoyable and easy for the citizen. We are lightly
          taxed, and we have maintained ourselves without aid from the
          general government or from any other community; while other
          communities that have had nothing like the difficulties to
          contend with that we have had, have been beggars either at the
          door of the National Congress, or of their neighboring States and
          their fellow citizens. When other places were visited by
          grasshoppers, the whole land resounded with appeals for aid; but
          though we for five years in succession, in some of our
          settlements, had crops destroyed by the same cause, yet no wail
          went up from Utah, asking the nation for help. We have been so
          independent, and so disposed to sustain ourselves, and to fight
          our own battles with the difficulties that environed us, that we
          have managed to get along without having recourse to this method
          of obtaining assistance, and in this respect our course has been
          Now, as I say, there is no good reason why we should not have
          been admitted as a State in the Union, except for the reason, and
          that has no foundation in truth, that we are not to be trusted,
          that we are in such a condition that if we were to get a State
          government there would be danger resulting from that grant of
          power unto us. Of course all of you, my brethren and sisters,
          know how untrue this is, how utterly without foundation such
          accusations are, but, nevertheless, they are listened to and
          Efforts have been made among us to change this condition of
          affairs. There have been, and still are, perhaps, some who call
          themselves Latter-day Saints, who are almost ready to lend
          themselves to any scheme that has for its object the obtaining of
          a State organization for Utah. Such persons look upon this as so
          great a blessing and so great a boon, that they are almost
          willing to forego their religious belief and to pander to those
          who have got power, and to make some sort of a concession to
          them, in order to achieve this, what they consider, very
          desirable end. There has been some agitation in years past
          respecting plural marriage, and some people, calling themselves
          Latter-day Saints, have been almost ready to go into the open
          market, and bid for a State government, at the price of conceding
          this principle of our religion, for the privilege of becoming a
          State of the Union. Those who are ready to do this are ready also
          to cast off obedience to the Priesthood of the Son of God, and to
          say, "We do not believe that men who hold an office in the Church
          should have any voice in the affairs of the State." They are
          ready to sell out their belief as Latter-day Saints, and their
          veneration and reverence for that power which God has restored,
          for the sake of obtaining a little recognition of their rights as
          citizens, on the part of those in power. It does not require much
          familiarity with the Spirit of God, or with the principles of our
          holy religion to understand exactly the position that such
          persons as these to whom I allude, occupy among us. When a man is
          ready to barter any principle of salvation for worldly advantage,
          that man certainly has reached the position that he esteems
          worldly advantage above eternal salvation. Can such persons
          retain the Spirit of God, and take such a course as this? No,
          they cannot. That other spirit will lead such persons astray, and
          they will be left to themselves. Will there be such persons
          continue among us and be associated with us? I do not question
          it. I expect we shall have such characters with us, during our
          future career as we have had in the past. We have had all sorts
          of people connected with this Church. As the work rolls forth, as
          it increases in numbers, so will these characters increase--that
          is, for a certain time, until the day comes when the kingdom of
          God and the reign of righteousness shall be fully ushered in.
          Now, regarding this accusation that is made concerning the
          Priesthood: It is the most common charge that is made against us
          that we listen to the Priesthood, that we are more obedient to
          the Priesthood than we are to those who hold civil authority. The
          question may be very properly asked: Have we not had good reason
          for this? Should we not be most consummate fools if we did not
          listen to our friends instead of our enemies? From the time that
          President Young was superseded as Governor of this Territory,
          until the present time, what kind of officers have we had sent
          into our midst to administer the affairs of the government? Has
          there been a man who has come here as Governor, who has had the
          ability, even if he had the disposition, to guide and to counsel
          the people of this Territory, and to manage its affairs as well
          as the men among us who have had leading positions in the
          Priesthood? Why, there is not an instance of the kind. You take
          the best disposed Governor we have had--and they are easily
          mentioned, the few that we have had who have been well
          disposed--you take them and compare them with the men who laid
          the foundation of this commonwealth, who laid the foundation of
          this Territorial government, and built up this government, and
          there is no comparison between them. So that, aside from every
          other consideration, men are justified in seeking wisdom and
          guidance at the best fountain, at the best source. If I want
          counsel I will go to the men who are fitted to give me counsel.
          If I were not a Latter-day Saint it would make no difference to
          me who the person was if he could give me good counsel. If he was
          a man of ripe experience I would feel justified in going to that
          man and getting his advice.
          This has been our position as a people. We have had men among us
          who have proved themselves in the best possible manner, beyond
          dispute, to be entirely capable of directing and managing and
          counseling in all matters that pertain to our earthly existence.
          Have they not shown this through years and years of experience?
          The people have proved them. Now, would not the people be great
          fools, would it not be the height of folly for people who have
          this knowledge to say: "No, I won't ask these men for counsel; I
          won't go to them for advice; I won't listen to anything they say,
          because if I do so, I am listening to the Priesthood; but I will
          go to somebody who does not know anything; I will go to some"--I
          was going to say ass--(laughter)--for if ever men have proved
          themselves to be fools, it has been some of our governmental
          officials--"I will go to some man of this kind and ask his
          counsel, and have him to tell me what to do, because I am anxious
          to show that I am loyal to the government of the United States."
          Now, would you not call any man who would do this an idiot, when
          he could have got good counsel from his friends; when he would
          turn his back on his friends, and go to somebody for counsel who
          did not know anything, not as much as he, the person, did himself
          about the question he submitted to him? I would say, and you
          would say, that people who would do such a thing were little less
          than idiots.
          Well, now, what crime are we guilty of? If we have men among us
          who have more experience than they, and who have proved
          themselves capable of guiding the people, what crime are we
          guilty of in giving heed to their counsel and seeking it? Because
          they hold the Priesthood are their mouths to be stopped up so
          that they cannot speak; are they to be deprived of the rights of
          citizenship, and all the rights that men have that are born free,
          because they hold the Priesthood? Is that a good reason? A more
          senseless reason never was given. If these government officials
          and these men that represent the government are so much better
          and so much more capable of guiding the people, and have so much
          greater right to be listened to and obeyed, let them show it by
          their works. When they have proved it, I suppose there will be no
          lack of disposition on the part of the people to go to them, and
          to listen to them, and to expect from them all the necessary
          teachings and counsels. There will be no lack of disposition on
          the part of sensible men and women such as we profess to be; but
          until they do this, until they show this capability and this
          power, they had better hold their tongues and say nothing about
          others leading the people. The fact is this, and it is apparent
          to all of us, that there are certain men who can destroy much
          easier than they can build up. It required a great deal of skill
          to build the Temple at Ephesus: it required the highest skill of
          architecture: but a fool destroyed it with a little blaze. It
          takes men to build up, but children can burn down and destroy. It
          takes men to build a commonwealth, and lay the foundation of that
          which we see around us; it takes labor and years of experience
          and wisdom to accomplish such results; but any poor creature that
          is half-witted can destroy all these labors in a very short time,
          and those that have come among us in too many instances
          representing the government have been men of this calibre; they
          would like to destroy, tear down, and reduce to chaos. That would
          suit them far better than it would to build up.
          My brethren and sisters, I would like to have us as a people look
          at these matters, if we can, from a sensible point, from the
          standpoint of common sense and reason, and not allow ourselves to
          be diverted from the course that we have adopted by the outcry
          that is made against us and by the howls that are raised about
          us. It would be exceedingly foolish for us to do so.
          God has given unto us, as we believe and as we testify, His
          Gospel; He has given unto us His Church; He has given unto us the
          authority by which men and women are led into His Church and
          governed in His Church--the authority which He Himself recognizes
          and the only authority that He has given to man on the earth to
          act in His stead. We believe this, we testify of it. At the same
          time while we have this belief, and form ourselves into a Church
          organization, we never have at any time in our history attempted
          to make our Church organization the only organization and the
          dominant organization in matters that pertain to every day
          affairs and to civil government. There has always been among the
          Latter-day Saints, great respect shown for civil authority, and
          for the laws of the land. In fact, as soon as possible after our
          first settlement here, a Legislature was organized and the
          provisional government of Deseret was formed, when there was no
          one but Latter-day Saints in the country at the time. We could
          have been governed by our Church organization; it was sufficient
          for our purpose during the winter of 1847-8, an during the summer
          of 1848. It was quite sufficient. There was no other
          organization. But as soon as the Pioneers returned, President
          Young and the rest of the brethren--there was no time lost in
          organizing a civil government--the Provisional Government of the
          State of Deseret--and laws were enacted in due form by the civil
          authority, and from that day until the present it has been
          respected and honored among us, and will be from this time
          forward, as long as this people exist. There is no people on the
          face of the earth that draw a nicer distinction than we between
          that which belongs to the Church and that which belongs to the
          State. But it is frequently said--and I have had to meet it often
          in my life time, particularly in Washington; they have said and
          do say, "Why, your Probate Judges are Elders and Bishops, and
          your other officials hold offices in the Church."
          Well, is this a crime? Is there anything in the law or the
          Constitution of our country, or is there anything else that is
          recognized as binding among men that would prevent Elders and
          Bishops from holding office? I do not know of anything. I do not
          know that a man is any worse for being a Bishop or an Elder, or
          any more unfitted for civil employment, or the discharge of civil
          functions, than if he were not a Bishop or an Elder, especially
          among a people organized as we are. As I say this charge has been
          frequently brought against us in my hearing, and I have had to
          meet it before committees of Congress and elsewhere. The reply I
          have made to such charges is this: that among the Latter-day
          Saints in Utah every reputable man in the community bears some
          office in the Church. As soon as he arrives at a sufficient age,
          if he is a reputable man he receives an ordination in the
          Priesthood. The best and the most active men in our community are
          the men who become prominent in Church affairs. Our Bishops live
          without salaries, or support from the people, they, before being
          chosen, having shown their ability to sustain themselves. They
          are not like members of other denominations who are a burden to
          the people, or who receive an education especially for those
          duties, and thus live by the salaries that are furnished them by
          the members of their congregation. In a community where there is
          a class of that kind there may be some propriety in saying that
          ministers of religion shall not take part in the affairs of
          state, although there is nothing of that kind said anywhere in
          the constitution or the laws; but there may be some propriety in
          saying this where men are educated especially for the
          ministry--where they devote themselves to that labor and withdraw
          themselves from the practical affairs of life and depend upon
          their parishioners furnishing them support. There might be some
          propriety in saying to a class of that kind, "you are not fit to
          take part in civil affairs, and the practical, every day affairs
          of life, because of your calling and because of the nature of
          your duties." But we say there is great impropriety in saying
          that those who labor in the ministry among us shall not take
          part; for this reason: that all the men among us who are the most
          practical, the most energetic, and the most business like--from
          these men the ministers are chosen, that is, men who labor in the
          ministry as Bishops, as Elders, as missionaries, and in other
          capacities. They have proved that they are capable of sustaining
          themselves by their own efforts, and at the same devote a certain
          portion of their time public affairs. Hence, you will find among
          us as a rule that our Bishops are all practical men; our
          Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, and the Bishops and
          their Counselors, and Teachers and others, are all active
          business men among us. They have gained experience, and because
          of that they are sometimes chosen to fill local offices. Take the
          Legislature of Utah Territory, composed as it has been of some
          holding positions in the Church, and you will find a body of
          practical men, the superiors of whom are not to be found--I say
          it without fear of truthful contradiction--anywhere in any
          Legislature in this country, men who understand the wants of
          their constituents and of the people, and the kind of laws that
          are best adapted to them. I have had some experience in mingling
          with men in public life, and I must say that for practical
          wisdom, and for a knowledge of the affairs of the country and of
          the people represented in Utah Territory, there was found,
          previous to the passage of the Edmunds law, a class of men that
          had not their superiors anywhere in this land, for practical
          wisdom and the ability necessary to lay the foundation, and to
          perpetuate the institutions of a great country.
          Is it wrong for men who have the Priesthood, and who act in this
          capacity, to act in civil offices and to let the people have the
          benefit of their experience in these matters--is there any wrong
          in this? I can see none, and I am sure that no man who is a true
          friend to his country can. There is no good reason why these men
          should be excluded; in fact there is every reason why they should
          be invited to take part in establishing the affairs of the
          country. I have often said, in speaking to our brethren and
          sisters in various parts of the Territory, that that which we
          behold to-day in our Territory--the good order, the peace, the
          freedom from debt, the lightness of taxation, and all the
          circumstances that are so favorable to us as a people, are due to
          the men who have borne the Priesthood, commencing with President
          Brigham Young, his Counselors, and the Twelve Apostles, and the
          leading men in Israel--the circumstances which surround us, I
          say, are due to the wisdom that God has given unto them in
          managing these affairs. At the same time, because this is the
          case, there is no necessity that there should be a blending of
          church and state. There is no necessity for this; it is not wise
          to blend church and state. I do not believe that as members of
          the Church we should pass decrees or laws that would bind other
          people. I have no such belief, never did have. But because a man
          is a member of a church, and because a man is a servant of God,
          and because a man bears the Priesthood of the Son of God, he
          should not be prevented because of that from acting in any civil
          capacity, from taking part in civil matters and executing the
          laws that are enacted by civil authority.
          The province of the Kingdom of God that Daniel saw, the kingdom
          that would be established in the last days, is to be as a shield
          to the Latter-day Saints, to be as a bulwark around about that
          Church, and around about that Church alone? No. The apostate will
          have his civil rights under that kingdom. The non-Mormon, or
          Gentile as he is called, will have his rights under that kingdom.
          The Chinaman, the negro, and the Indian--each of them will have
          his rights under that kingdom, and yet not be members of the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A good many of our
          people confound the Kingdom of God with the Church of God. Now
          there is a very wide distinction between the two. A man may, in
          one sense, be a member of the Church of Christ, and not a member
          of the Kingdom of God. The two organizations are entirely
          distinct. The Kingdom of God when it shall prevail in the
          earth--as it will do--will be the civil power which will shield
          and protect the Church of Christ against every attack, against
          every unlawful aggression, against every attempt to deprive it of
          its legitimate rights. At the same time it will protect the
          Methodist just as much as it will the Latter-day Saint; it will
          protect the Roman Catholic just as much as it will the Methodist;
          it will protect men of every creed; it will protect the
          worshipper of idols in his civil rights, in his rights as a man
          and as a citizen. A man may be an infidel; a man may have been a
          Latter-day Saint, and denied the faith and lost his standing in
          the Church of God, and yet so far as the civil authority is
          concerned, so far as the power that is wielded by that which we
          call the Kingdom of God is concerned, that man will receive the
          amplest protection; he will have the fullest enjoyment of his
          President Taylor told us this morning--told us as plainly as it
          could be told--the manner in which all men should be treated. And
          that is the design of God; and therein our friends in the east
          are trampling upon the true principles of liberty in their
          attacks upon us, and in their treatment of us. Such treatment
          will just as surely bring down condemnation and destruction upon
          a government that practices these things, as that the setting of
          the sun will bring darkness upon the earth. It is not possible
          for men to continue in such a course of oppression and wrong
          doing as has been pursued by our fellow citizens that have had
          the reins of government in their hands, without involving
          themselves in trouble. It is impossible that they can perpetuate
          their power, and conduct themselves as they have been doing
          towards us and towards others. There are eternal principles of
          justice that cannot be violated without injury to the person who
          violates them. A government that lends itself to the oppression
          of its citizens, will sooner or later receive punishment. That
          which it sows it will reap. It will be a harvest that will be
          most bitter and sorrowful for those who reap it.
          We are now citizens of this Territory. We fled here. As
          Latter-day Saints we came here as exiles, seeking for a home in
          the wilderness. God led us to this land, in which,
          notwithstanding all that may be said to the contrary, we have
          laid the foundation of this Territory, we have made this land a
          peaceful, a happy land. There is no man in the country, no matter
          what his creed may be, that is oppressed or has been oppressed by
          the Latter-day Saints. We have not been tyrannical in the
          exercise of our power. We have not discriminated against those
          not of us. We have given them the same rights that we have
          ourselves. The same peace that we have desired to enjoy we have
          been willing that they should enjoy, and we have extended these
          privileges to them in common with ourselves. We have sought in no
          manner to interfere with their belief, nor with the exercise of
          it. The Roman Catholic in Salt Lake City, has been as unmolested
          as the Latter-day Saint has been. We may not believe in their
          religion; we may think the Methodist religion a poor religion to
          believe in and practice, and so with other forms of religion; but
          while we believe this, we have no right, neither have we ever
          exercised any power towards restraining them or restricting them,
          or in any manner depriving them of the free exercise of their
          rights of conscience and of faith, and no government can stand
          and prosper that will do it upon this land, for God has made
          promises concerning this land that no government can stand that
          will do this. None of us has any right to interfere with the
          faith and the worship of our fellow citizens, unless their faith
          and their worship interfere with our rights. That is a
          proposition that is easily comprehended. If I do not interfere
          with any man's right by my worship, and by that which I consider
          right to do to my Maker, no man has any right under any form of
          government to interfere with me.
          Hence it is that all this action concerning marriage is
          wrong--this interference with marriage--it is all wrong from
          beginning to end, especially in view of the fact that it is an
          important principle of our religion. We are ready to testify that
          our belief in marriage and our practice of it, is interwoven with
          our hopes of eternal salvation. Select every man who has had more
          wives than one and retained the faith of the Gospel; take him and
          his wives and interrogate them respecting their faith, and every
          one would say: "this principle is so intimately interwoven with
          my hopes of eternal salvation, that I would be afraid that I
          would be damned if I did not obey it." I believe that in nine
          hundred and ninety-nine cases out of a thousand where people are
          in the faith they would make this response.
          Well, now, what right has any number of people--there may be
          unnumbered millions who say this is not religion--but what right
          have they to do this? If there was only one person on the face of
          the earth that entertained that belief, and he were alone and all
          the rest of mankind were opposed to him, it would be just as
          precious to him as if millions entertained a belief in common
          with him. Therefore, because there are millions who say it is not
          religion, this does not make it so. We testify in the most solemn
          manner that it is a part of religion, and that we cannot forego
          this principle without feeling that we forego our salvation, our
          eternal exaltation, by so doing.
          Then the question arises in the practice of this principle--do
          those who practice it infringe upon the rights of their fellow
          citizens? Is society disturbed? Are there wrongs done to society
          at large by the practice of this principle? Let those who have
          lived among us answer this question. There never was a more
          peaceful society than our society--that is, not for the past few
          hundred years at least. Go through our settlements, and is there
          quarreling, is there strife, are there bad examples set to the
          rising generation, is impurity taught, or any examples of
          impurity shown? No, there is not. We all know this, and we know
          that in practicing our religion we do not infringe upon the
          rights of our fellow-citizens.
          But this attempt has been made just as it was in ancient days. I
          look upon it as a revival of the same spirit that prompted
          Pharaoh to seek the destruction of the male children among the
          Israelites. If we were guilty of those crimes so fashionable in
          the world whereby the increase of families is prevented, I do not
          suppose there would be one word said about our system of
          marriage; I have no idea there would be. But the fact that we do
          raise children--the fact that our houses and settlements are full
          of healthy offspring, is a standing protest against the crimes of
          the age; it is a standing protest against those abominable
          practices that are destroying the foundation of many communities
          within the confines of the United States, and they are
          determined--those who are guilty of these things--that we shall
          not exist. The loudest outcry against us, and the most devoted
          efforts against us, come from the region where these dreadful
          practices prevail, where women murder their offspring before they
          are born, are guilty of this pre-natal murder, among the people
          of the United States who think themselves the most enlightened.
          Twenty-five years ago when I was laboring in the ministry in the
          region I visited one of the towns, and the President of the
          branch of the Saints there, (an old resident, whose ancestors
          were among the first settlers of the town) told me his wife was
          continually jeered at--and this was 25 years ago--by her
          associates, because she bore children, and bore them
          regularly--that she did not take means to prevent the increase of
          her family! If I had not known him I could scarcely have believed
          it, it was too horrid. I have learned since, however, that that
          is a common practice in that region. The feature of that society
          that impresses most vividly a traveler from Utah is the fewness
          of children in what are called the best families. And yet it is
          from there that the principal outcry is raised against us, and
          the determination expressed to break up our families and to
          destroy us.
          God has gathered a few people out from the nations of the earth,
          out of Babylon. But shall they partake of these influences? I say
          to you, my sisters, you teach your daughters against this
          accursed practice, or they will go to hell, they will be damned,
          they will be murderers, and the blood of innocence will be found
          upon them. A man that would sanction such a thing in his family,
          or that would live with a woman guilty of such acts, shares in
          the crime of murder. I would no more perform the ordinance of
          laying on of hands on a woman who is guilty of that crime, if I
          knew it, than I would put my hands on the head of a rattlesnake.
          We must set our faces like flint against such acts. These
          dreadful practices are coming up like a tidal wave and washing
          against our walls; for there are women among us who secretly--so
          I am told, I know nothing about this personally, but I am told
          there are women among us who are instilling this murderous and
          accursed idea into the breasts of women and girls in our midst.
          Now just as sure as it is done, and people yield to it, so sure
          will they be damned, they will be damned with the deepest
          damnation; because it will be the damnation of shedding innocent
          blood, for which there is no forgiveness; and I would no more, as
          I say, administer to such women, baptize them, or perform any
          ordinance of the Gospel for them, than I would for a reptile.
          They are outside the pale of salvation. They are in a position
          that nothing can be done for them. They cut themselves off by
          such acts from all hopes of salvation.
          As a people we should encourage marriage. I am always delighted
          when I hear President Taylor speak as he did this morning on the
          principle of brothers taking their brothers' widows to wife.
          There are many young women among us pining away, that should be
          mothers in Israel, that should be raising posterity, because the
          brothers are so indifferent to the rights that belong to the
          institution of marriage as to let these young women stay in this
          condition. And there is one thing that I am impressed with, and
          that is, there will be considerable condemnation rest down upon
          the Elders of this Church for their neglect in these matters.
          Women are led astray and fall into the hands of wicked men
          because of relatives to the dead neglecting to do that which is
          their duty; acting as though the Lord cannot reward a man for
          keeping His law. "Oh," says a man, and as President Taylor has
          remarked, "I want to raise up a family for myself." He forgets
          God can bless him and his seed after him. Look at the case of
          Boaz and Ruth. He took Ruth, who was the wife of his kinsman. She
          had no children, but he took her when another kinsman who had a
          prior right to her, rejected her. From that alliance sprang the
          noblest men that were in Israel--Obed, Jesse, David, Solomon, and
          through Boaz and Ruth came the Son of God. And that was a proxy
          case, as it is called. Ruth was the wife of Boaz's kinsman who
          had died. Boaz took her to wife, and raised up an honorable
          posterity. And it is a wicked thing among us to allow such cases
          to go uncared for. A young woman is left a widow, sometimes
          without a son to represent her deceased husband; she should be
          cared for, and not left to fall into bad hands, as frequently is
          the case among us for the want of care on the part of those whose
          duty it is to attend to such matters.
          My brethren and sisters, God is watching over us, and He holds us
          to a strict accountability for the things He has revealed to us.
          He has revealed to us eternal principles. Let us be faithful to
          that Priesthood which He has given unto us; let us honor it, and
          not be intimidated by the outcry that is raised against us that
          we are doing wrong because we listen to the Priesthood. There is
          no such thing as wrong connected with this. God has inspired His
          servants, and has given them wisdom to manage the affairs of this
          people, and to guide them in spiritual matters. They have full
          authority to do this, and they will do it if the people will
          listen to them, and then in temporal matters they will guide them
          as far as they have the opportunity. Because they are Priests of
          the Most High God, they are no worse for that; they are not
          handicapped because they have the Priesthood. In a civil capacity
          they can act as fairly, justly, wisely, as those who do not have
          the Priesthood. They do not act with any less wisdom or any less
          power because they have the Priesthood than they would do if they
          did not have it. I have heard so much of this sort of talk that
          to me it is perfectly ridiculous. They talk about our management
          of elections, and management of other affairs. I will tell you my
          experience, and I have had some experience in these matters. I
          have attended caucuses elsewhere; I know the machinery that is
          used; I know the wire pulling; I have seen it in operation, and I
          say to you that there is not the interference on the part of
          leading men here with the will of this people that there is in
          the States in political circles. And I tell you this: that
          leading men in other communities seek to exercise more influence
          and lay their plans to have their wishes carried out to a far
          greater extent than the leading men of this community do among
          us--I mean those who have the Priesthood. There is a disposition
          on the part of the leading Priesthood to let the people have
          their way, not to interfere with their selections. There is that
          disposition, and it is encouraged, and the desire is to have all
          the people be wise and exercise wisdom, and have the Spirit of
          God to discern who are suitable for office. If the people could
          do this I can tell you that President Taylor and his Counselors,
          and the Twelve, and the other leading men of Israel would be very
          glad indeed. But you know as well as we do that there are unwise
          men among us who would, if they had the power, destroy the
          people; not because they would design to do it, but because of
          their ignorance; they are ignorant and would do it, without
          knowing what the consequences would be; and on this account it is
          right that experienced men should give the people the benefit of
          their knowledge, not however, interfering with the rights of the
          people, not in the least; and it never has been done, at least
          within my knowledge, in my public experience among the people.
          And I repeat there has been less of this among us, considering
          the influence the Priesthood have, than in any other community or
          any other people that I am acquainted with anywhere in the land.
          I wanted to say this much, because I know there is a great deal
          of misapprehension upon these points. There are men, agitators,
          who talk about interference on the part of the Priesthood, and
          try to breed disturbance and confusion among the people, unsettle
          their minds and have them think there is something very wrong
          going on here. I speak of it to remove these wrong impressions,
          and to disabuse the minds of those who entertain them, for they
          are not correct. There are more caucuses, more plans, more pipe
          laying, more log rolling, more wire pulling in the States in one
          day, than you will see in a month or a year among us. They resort
          to all sorts of devices to get their man elected under promise of
          preferment and office. Why, there is scarcely a man that gets an
          office in the United States that is not bound by pledge of this
          kind. A man cannot be Speaker of the House of Representatives,
          without being hampered by promises he is compelled to give in
          order to get the position, promises to put this man on this
          committee, and the other man upon another committee, some to be
          chairmen of committees, and so on. So with the President of the
          United States. Probably Grover Cleveland will be an exception,
          because has not been much in public life: but it is a rule that
          the nominees of the different parties give certain promises as to
          what they will do, and who will get leading positions. They are
          just as much fettered as though chains were on their wrists and
          ankles. They cannot move only in a certain direction. All freedom
          is taken away. A President is nearly killed after he gets his
          position in endeavoring to satisfy the clamors and wishes of
          those who claim they elected him to office. This is the case all
          through the government. There is no office, even to that of a
          constable, but is obtained in the same way.
          I hope we shall never be in such a position as this, for it would
          lead to the destruction of liberty and free government among us,
          if we should ever give way to these things. Let men go into
          office free and untrammelled. Let them be elected because they
          are the men most suitable, and not because they want the office.
          Let us, as a people, endeavor to find men who do not seek for
          office, and who do not want it, but who take it because it is the
          wish of their fellow citizens. And let us keep our salaries so
          low that men will not scramble for office and live on the people
          as office-holders, than which there is nothing more hateful in a
          free land.
          I pray God to fill you with the Holy Ghost, to guide you in the
          path of righteousness, to enable you to avoid the many evils
          abroad in the world, and as Zion progresses to avoid evils that
          will crowd upon us; because as Zion increases there will be new
          temptations and circumstances thrown around us that will be a
          trial to us, unless we have the aid of our God to help us contend
          with and overcome them; and that we may have this aid is my
          prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 /
          Charles W. Penrose, November 16, 1884
                        Charles W. Penrose, November 16, 1884
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, November 16, 1884.
                            (Reported by Arthur Winter.)
                                    IN HIS GLORY.
          The remarks which have been made to us this afternoon by Bishop
          Preston are of a practical nature and calculated to lead our
          minds to reflection upon our duties as Latter-day Saints.
          The religion of God is a practical religion, and God is a real
          and practical being. It has been stated by one of our leading men
          that God is "a business God," and many remarks have been made
          concerning that expression by persons opposed to us, with the
          desire of turning it to ridicule. It has not been stated by any
          of our brethren that God is only a business God, but the remark
          was made with reference to some of his attributes and of His
          works. The people of the present day who profess to believe in
          God, generally speaking, have very little idea in regard to what
          He is. They consider that He is incomprehensible. Their ideas
          concerning Him are very vague, and the attempts which have been
          made to explain God to the children of men, by persons who claim
          to be teachers of religion, and to have authority to speak in the
          name of the Lord, are of such a character that no one can
          understand them. The reason of this is because those persons who
          have attempted to make an explanation have not understood the
          subject themselves; and when a person does not understand a thing
          it is very difficult for him to try and make somebody else
          understand it. Now, I do not pretend to say that there is anybody
          living who fully and entirely comprehends God; but there are many
          people living who have some definite ideas concerning Him,
          concerning His attributes, concerning His ways, concerning His
          will; and what they understand they are at liberty to declare and
          to try and make other people understand, particularly if they are
          called upon by the Lord, and authorized by Him so to do. People
          very frequently refer to that passage of Scripture which says:
          "God is a spirit," and as their notions concerning what spirit
          is, are not very clear, that passage of Scripture does not make
          very plain to their understanding what God is. People, generally
          speaking, have an idea that spirit is something intangible,
          something that cannot be comprehended, nor seen, nor handled;
          that it is far different in every respect from anything that is
          material; in fact, the philosophers and theologians call spirit
          "immaterial substance." Now, this is for want of knowing better.
          Men in these times, like men in former days, have tried to find
          out God and the things of God by human wisdom and learning, and
          they have failed: for "man by searching," the Scripture says,
          "cannot find out God." But God can manifest Himself to man; and
          if God chooses to make Himself manifest to His children they can
          measurably comprehend Him. But in their mortal state, in this
          state of probation in which we live, mankind cannot fully grasp
          Deity to comprehend Him as He is in His majesty, and might, and
          power and glory; but, as I said, they can measurably comprehend
          God when He manifests Himself to them, and they can understand
          Him to the extent that He manifests Himself to them.
          According to the book called the Bible, God the Eternal Father
          has manifested Himself at different times to individuals living
          upon the face of this earth, and according to the testimony of
          the Latter-day Saints, God has manifested Himself in this age of
          the world in a similar way to men whom He called and appointed to
          act in His name; and from what we read of God's revelations in
          former days as well as in latter days, we learn that He is a
          person, an individual: that He is not a myth, not an imaginary
          being, but a reality, and that He is in the form and likeness of
          man, or in other words, that man is made in the image of God. In
          the opening book of the Bible, in the very first chapter of that
          book, we read: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after
          our likeness. * * * * So God created man in His own image, in the
          image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
          God is a spirit; but it does not follow that because God is a
          spirit, He has no form, no shape, no extent, no limit; or that He
          can be, as an individual, in every place at the same time, as
          many people imagine. We are told that God dwells in heaven, and
          when Jesus Christ was upon the earth He always taught His
          disciples that their Father was in heaven. He said that as He
          came from the Father so He was going back to the Father. This
          individual, then, has a location, a place of residence. He
          occupies a certain position, He dwells in the heavens, and He
          made man in His image, in His likeness. Jesus, we are told, was
          in the "express image" of His Father's person. When He was upon
          the earth He came to represent His Father, and we are told
          concerning Him, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not
          robbery to be equal with God." And the Apostle Paul, who makes
          this declaration, advised his brethren to have the same mind in
          them that was in Christ Jesus:
          "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus;
          "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be
          equal with God;
          "But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of
          a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;
          "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and
          became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;
          "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name
          which is above every name;
          "That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in
          heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
          "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
          to the glory of God the Father.--Philippians li, v. 2."
          Now Jesus, who was in the form of God, was only one of the sons
          of God. He called His disciples His brethren, and He impressed
          upon them the great fact that His Father was their Father, that
          His God was their God, that He was one of them. When He returned,
          or was about to return to the Father, with His resurrected body.
          He told Mary to tell His disciples that He was going to ascend to
          His Father and their Father, to His God and their God.
          In the Old Testament, which gives accounts of God's occasional
          manifestations of His presence to men upon the earth, we find
          that they all saw Him as a person, with the form of a man. Moses
          talked with Him face to face. Nadab and Abihu and seventy Elders
          of Israel, with Moses and Aaron, went up in the mount.
          "And they saw the God of Israel, and there was under His feet as
          it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body
          of heaven in His clearness; also upon the children of Israel He
          laid not His hand, also they saw God, and did eat and
          drink.--[Exodus xxiv, 10, 11.)"
          I might refer to a number of passages of Scripture in the Old
          Testament, showing that whenever God appeared to man, manifesting
          Himself to man, He appeared in the form of a man. We are told
          repeatedly in the Scriptures that the children of men are the
          sons of God. He is the Father and God of the spirits of all
          flesh. The spirit of man, which inhabits his body, and which is
          the life of the body in addition to the blood--blood being the
          life of the flesh, but the spirit animated all--comes from God,
          and is the offspring of God. Because of this, we understand what
          is said in 1 John, iii, 2:
          "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear
          what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we
          shall be like him; for we shall see Him as He is."
          God, then, the God of the Bible, who is called Jehovah, the
          person who manifested Himself to Israel as Jehovah, is an
          individual, a personality, and He made man in His image and His
          likeness. Now, if we are the children of God, and if Jesus Christ
          is the Son of God, we can upon that reasoning understand
          something about what God is like, for there is an eternal
          principle in heaven and on earth, that every seed begets of its
          kind, every seed brings forth in its own likeness and character.
          The seed of an apple, when it is reproduced, brings forth an
          apple, and so with a pear, and with a plum, and so with all the
          varieties of the vegetable kingdom. It is the same with all the
          varieties of the animal kingdom. The doctrine of evolution, as it
          is called, is true in some respects--that is, that species can be
          improved, exalted, made better, but it remains of the same
          species. The advancement is in the same line. It is unfoldment.
          We do not find any radical change from one species to another. It
          is an eternal principle that every seed produces its own kind,
          not another kind. And as we are the children of God, we can
          follow out the idea and perceive what God our Father is, the
          Being who is the progenitor of our spiritual existence, the being
          from whom we have sprung. We being the seed of God, that Being is
          a personality, an individual, a being in some respects like us,
          or rather we are made in His image.
          "Man also is spirit," we are told in the revelations of God to
          the Latter-day Saints. Man, the real man, is a spirit, an
          individual that dwells in a body, a spiritual person clothed upon
          with earth; a being who will live when the earth goes back to
          mother dust. Man's spirit, then, is an individual, a personality,
          and the spirit is in the likeness and shape of the body which it
          inhabits. When the spirit goes out of the body there is a person,
          a perfectly formed individual, looking like the body which we now
          see with our natural eyes. Spirits living in the flesh, unless
          operated upon abnormally by some spiritual influence, cannot see
          spiritual beings. A spirit can see spirit. Spirit ministers to
          spirit; and when the spirit goes out of the body that spirit can
          see other spirits, beings of the same character and nature, and
          we shall find when we have emerged from this body, that we will
          be in the company of a great many persons like ourselves; and if
          we should have the experience that the Prophet Joseph had when
          the mob took him and tore his flesh with their nails, and tried
          to poison him with a vial of some corrosive substance, if our
          spirits should be separated from our bodies as his was, we, like
          him, could look at our bodies and see that they are in form like
          our living spiritual realities.
          "The body without the spirit is dead." The spirit without the
          body is not dead; that is a real personality, a living
          individual, and the body of flesh is but a house to dwell in or a
          covering for it to wear; not essential to its existence, but
          essential to its progress, essential to its experience on the
          earth and ultimately in its glorified condition, essential to its
          eternal happiness, and progress and power in the presence of the
          While our Father, then, is a person, an individual, it may be
          asked: "How can He be here, there and everywhere at the same
          time?" Well, He is not, in His personality; but He can be
          omnipresent in a certain sense. There is a spirit, an influence,
          that proceeds from God, that fills the immensity of space, the
          Holy Spirit, the Light of Truth. As the Sun itself, a planet or
          heavenly body, is not present in any other place except that
          which it actually occupies, so the individual Father occupies a
          certain locality; and as the light that proceeds from the sun
          spreads abroad upon all the face of the earth and lights up other
          planets as well as this earth, penetrating to the circumference
          of an extended circle in the midst of God's great universe, so
          the light of God, the Spirit of God, proceeding forth from the
          presence of God, fills the immensity of space." It is the light
          and the life of all things. It is the light and the life of man.
          It is the life of the animal creation. It is the life of the
          vegetable creation. It is in the earth on which we stand; it is
          in the stars that shine in the firmament; it is in the moon that
          reflects the light of the sun: it is in the sun, and is the light
          of the sun, and the power by which it was made; and these grosser
          particles of light that illuminate the heavens and enable us to
          behold the works of nature, are from that same Spirit which
          enlightens our minds and unfolds the things of God. As that light
          comes forth from the sun, so the light of God comes to us. That
          natural light is the grosser substance or particles of the same
          Spirit is a substance, it is not immaterial; it may have some
          properties that are different from that which we see and handle,
          which we call matter, but it is a reality, a substantial reality.
          And spirit can understand spirit and grasp spirit. A spiritual
          person can take the hand of another spiritual person and it is
          substantial. A person in body could not grasp a spirit, for that
          spirit has different properties to those of our bodies, and it is
          governed by different laws to those that govern us in this sphere
          of mortality. A spiritual substance, organized into form,
          occupies room and space just as much in its sphere as these
          natural particles occupy in this sphere.
          God our Father, then, is a person, an individual, and He really
          is our Father, actually and literally. We sprang from Him. He is
          the Father of our spirits, and not only the Father of the spirits
          of the Latter-day Saints, but the Father of the spirits of
          latter-day sinners. He is the God and the Father of the spirits
          of all flesh. Not only those that now dwell on the earth, but all
          people who dwelt aforetime; all people who ever lived upon the
          face of this planet, are the children of God. And so with people
          who dwell upon other planets, they are the offspring of God. And
          our Father and our God is an individual, a personality; He is a
          spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and
          in truth; but He dwells in a tabernacle, in a body, though that
          body is different from our bodies, it being a spiritual body. It
          is quickened by spirit. Our bodies are quickened by that
          corruptible substance which we call blood; but our Heavenly
          Father's body is quickened by spirit. It is not governed by the
          same laws as those by which earthly bodies are governed. It is a
          body something similar to that which Jesus had after His
          resurrection. Jesus Christ, when He rose from the dead, had the
          same body that He had upon the earth, but a change had been
          wrought upon it. He had shed His blood for the remission of sins.
          This body was quickened by spirit. "He was put to death in the
          flesh, but quickened by the Spirit;" so we are told in the
          Scriptures, and He was raised up from the dead by that Spirit.
          Paul says, in his Epistle to the Romans, viii ch. 11 v.:
          "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead
          dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also
          quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
          Jesus Christ's body was put in the sepulchre a natural body; it
          was raised a spiritual body. It was placed there in weakness; it
          was raised in strength. It was a mortal body when placed in the
          sepulchre; but when it came forth quickened by spirit, it was no
          longer a natural or mortal body, it was a spiritual and an
          immortal body; and with that immortal body He ascended from the
          earth. It was no longer bound by the laws of earthly gravitation,
          as it was before. He stood upon the mount of Olives, in the
          presence of His disciples, and ascended up to heaven from their
          midst and disappeared from their view. He could manifest Himself
          to them, and then take Himself away from their gaze. He could
          enter the room when the doors were shut, as He did in the case
          when His disciples gathered in secret for fear of the Jews, and
          manifest Himself to them. And yet at the same time His body was
          tangible, and the unbelieving Thomas could reach forth his hand
          and thrust it into His side, and put his fingers into the prints
          of the nails. But this body was a glorious body, "the glorious
          body of the Son of God," and it was in the fashion and likeness
          of the glorious body of His Eternal Father. It was a celestial
          body quickened by the celestial glory. And if we wish to attain
          to the Heavenly kingdom we must walk in the ways of life, and
          sanctify ourselves before God, as Jesus did, so that the
          influence and power of the celestial kingdom can be with us.
          Then, in the resurrection, when we come forth from the grave, we
          shall be quickened also by the operation of the celestial glory
          and receive of the same, even the fullness thereof, and be made
          like unto Jesus Christ, and thus become like unto God the Father.
          As I have previously explained, God is not everywhere present
          personally, but He is omnipresent in the power of that
          spirit--the Holy Spirit--which animates all created things; that
          which is the light of the sun, and of the soul as well as the
          light of the eye, that which enables the inhabitants of the earth
          to understand and perceive the things of God. As the light of the
          sun reveals natural objects to our eyes, so the spirit that come
          from God, with a fitting place to occupy and conditions to
          operate in, reveals the things of God. We see natural things by
          the light of the sun. We see spiritual things by spiritual light,
          and he that is spiritual discerneth all things and judgeth all
          things, and he that is not spiritual cannot comprehend spiritual
          things. They are foolishness to him. And while the Saints of God,
          quickened by the spirit which they have obtained through
          obedience to the Gospel, can comprehend these things of which I
          am speaking and discern their meaning and signification, those
          that are wicked and corrupt and obey not the ordinances of God,
          cannot see these things nor comprehend them as they are, but they
          are foolishness to them.
          But, if God is an individual spirit and dwells in a body, the
          question will arise, "Is He the Eternal Father?" Yes, He is the
          Eternal Father. "Is it a fact that He never had a beginning?" In
          the elementary particles of His organism, He did not. But if He
          is an organized Being, there must have been a time when that
          being was organized. This, some one will say, would infer that
          God had a beginning. This spirit which pervades all things, which
          is the light and life of all things, by which our heavenly Father
          operates, by which He is omnipotent, never had a beginning and
          never will have an end. It is the light of truth; it is the
          spirit of intelligence. We are told in the revelations of God to
          us that, "Intelligence or the light of truth never was created,
          neither indeed can be." And we are told further, that this
          Spirit, when it is manifest, is God moving in His glory. When we
          look up to the heavens and behold the starry worlds, which are
          kingdoms, we behold God moving in His Majesty and in His power.
          Now, this Spirit always existed; it always operated, but it is
          not, understood, and cannot be comprehended except through
          organisms. If you see a living blade of grass you see a
          manifestation of that Spirit which is called God. If you see an
          animal of any kind on the face of the earth having life, there is
          a manifestation of that Spirit. If you see a man you behold its
          most perfect earthly manifestation. And if you see a glorified
          man, a man who has passed through the various grades of being,
          who has overcome all things, who has been raised from the dead,
          who has been quickened by this spirit in its fullness, there you
          see manifested, in its perfection, this eternal, beginningless,
          endless spirit of intelligence.
          Such a Being is our Father and our God, and we are following in
          His footsteps. He has attained to perfection. He has arisen to
          kingdoms of power. He comprehends all things, because in Him
          dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead, bodily. He is a perfect
          manifestation, expression and revelation of this eternal essence,
          this spirit of eternal, everlasting intelligence or light of
          truth. It is embodied in His spiritual personality or spiritual
          organism. This spirit cannot be fully comprehended in our finite
          state. It quickens all things. As we are told in the Book of
          Doctrine and Covenants, it is:
          "The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all
          things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even
          the power of God, who sitteth upon His throne, who is in the
          bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.--Sec.
          lxxxviii, p. 13."
          That spirit exists wherever there is a particle of material
          substance; that spirit is round about it, and in it, and through
          it; but that we may comprehend it, it must be manifested through
          organisms. The perfection of its manifestation is in the
          personality of a being called God. That is a person who has
          passed through all the gradations of being, and who contains
          within Himself the fullness, manifested and expressed, of this
          divine spirit which is called God.
          Some people may think this is rather a low idea of a Divine
          Being. But I think it a most exalted one. The person whom I
          worship I acknowledge as my Father. Through Him I may learn to
          understand the secrets and mysteries of eternity, those things
          that never had a beginning and will never have an end. He has
          ascended above all things after descending below all things. He
          has fought his way from the depths up to the position He now
          occupies. He holds it by virtue of His goodness, of His might, of
          His majesty, of His power. He occupies that position by virtue of
          being in perfect harmony with all that is, and true, and
          beautiful, and glorious and progressive. He is the perfect
          embodiment and expression of the eternal principles of right. He
          has won that position by His own exertions, by His own
          faithfulness, by His own righteousness. Jesus Christ, the only
          begotten son of God in the flesh, but His firstborn in the
          spirit, has climbed His way up in a similar manner. He loved
          righteousness and hated iniquity. He kept every law and every
          commandment. He knew no sin, and guile was not found in His
          mouth. He loved not His own life, as a paramount consideration
          but sacrificed it to atone for the sins of others. Whatever He
          learned was right, He practised, and He broke no commandment of
          the Father, but obeyed every one. He came not to do His own will,
          but the will of the Father that sent Him, and because He did this
          and was faithful unto death, He was exalted on high. He overcame
          evil. He conquered mortality. He triumphed over death. He
          conquered that being who is the expression of evil principles,
          who is the embodiment of the principles of darkness, who is the
          embodiment of all the principles that are in opposition to those
          that exist and burn in the bosom of Deity. He met him and
          conquered him and overcame him. He, being in the truth and living
          by the truth; therefore he is now to us, "the way, the truth, and
          the life." Overcoming all things He was entitled to inherit all
          things, and all that the Father hath was given unto Him. And we
          "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father
          do; for what thing soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son
          likewise." (John v, 20.)"
          As the Father had taken His upward course in worlds before this,
          so Jesus Christ followed in his footsteps in every respect;
          therefore he is entitled to sit down at the right hand of God in
          the heavens, to sit on his throne and be one with the Father in
          all things; and all the power and glory, and dominion that the
          Father hath he conferred also upon Jesus. And the promise to the
          sons of God on the earth is, that if they will follow in the
          footsteps of Jesus, they shall be also exalted and shall partake
          of that glory which he partakes of, and they shall become Gods,
          even the sons of God, and "all that Father hath" shall be given
          unto us. We shall become like Him, and we shall receive power and
          dominion and glory similar to that which he enjoys, only He will
          always be above us, God as our Father, and Jesus Christ our elder
          Now, we can understand a little about a being like this, but a
          being of the character that divines attempt to describe is one we
          cannot understand at all. They say that there are three of them,
          and yet there is only one; that God has no body, neither parts
          nor passions. Yet this thing that has no substance, and no parts,
          we are told, has three parts, one part of which had a body, and
          that body was composed of parts. And we are told also that it has
          no passions. Yet this one part of that things which has no body
          and no parts and no passions had a body and parts and had
          passions. Jesus experienced the same things that a man
          experiences, lived like a man, and died like a man, to some
          extent. Now, who can understand these contradictions which are to
          be found in the creeds of modern Christendom? The Athanasian
          Creed was read in the Church of England, as it is called, when I
          was a boy, and I believe it is now. I think the American
          Episcopal Church has discarded it, which was very sensible. It
          "Whosoever will be saved, before all things he must hold the
          Catholic faith, which faith except he do keep whole and undefiled
          he shall, without doubt, perish everlastingly. And the Catholic
          faith is this: "That we worship one God in Trinity, and trinity
          in unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the
          substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the
          Son, and another of the Holy Ghost, but their glory is equal, and
          their majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son,
          and such the Holy Ghost. The Father is God, the Son is God, and
          the Holy Ghost is God; and yet there are not three Gods, but one
          God. The Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost is
          Lord, and yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord. For while
          we are compelled by Christian verity to acknowledge each person
          by himself to be both God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the
          Catholic faith to say that there be three Gods or three Lords."
          It goes on to show how that these three are all exactly alike,
          and then to declare that they are all essentially different. It
          explains that the Son is begotten while the Father is not, and
          then that the Holy Ghost is proceeding not begotten, while the
          Son is not proceeding, neither is the Father, yet at the same
          time they are all the same, and to cap the climax of the pile of
          absurdities it announces that:
          "The Father is incomprehensible, the Son is incomprehensible, and
          the Holy Ghost is incomprehensible, yet they are not three
          incomprehensibles, but one incomprehensible."
          Well, that is an attempt of man to explain God. As I said in the
          beginning of my remarks, we do not pretend that we can comprehend
          God in his fullness in our finite and mortal condition here on
          the earth, because he is an infinite being. But we are promised
          that "the day shall come when we shall comprehend God, being
          quickened in him." Jesus said:
          "This is life eternal, to know thee the only living and true God,
          and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent."
          How can we learn to know God? We can learn of our Father by
          hearkening to his voice by listening to the whisperings of the
          holy Spirit, that spirit that comes from him. "They that are led
          by the Spirit of God are the sons of God." We can understand much
          concerning him by the power of the Holy Ghost. The gift of the
          Holy Ghost is conferred on us that we may learn something about
          God, so that we may go on to perfection; that we may walk in his
          ways; that we may climb the ladder which he has climbed to
          perfection; that we may peradventure overcome and be made like
          him, share in his glory, and be one with him. And if we will take
          the course that our Father has taken, living by every word that
          comes from his mouth, we shall know what is right, for he will
          reveal unto us what is true, and it is the knowledge and practice
          of truth that exalts. If we will learn this as he learned it,
          advance step by step, overcoming the Evil One; overcome the world
          and the flesh, grapple with evil as we meet it and conquer it, we
          will have the help of the Lord, and may raise ourselves by our
          own exertions, by our faithfulness, by our obedience, and
          peradventure will overcome all things, and inherit all things. We
          may thus rise above all things. We may obtain glorious bodies
          like unto the glorious body of the Son of God. We may prepare
          ourselves for the celestial glory in which the Father dwells, and
          in which the Son dwells, and be made like him in every respect,
          becoming spiritual beings dwelling in spiritual bodies, quickened
          with the celestial glory, among the Gods, and enter into holy
          order which is without beginning of days or end of years--the
          everlasting order of the holy Priesthood--which Jesus Christ has,
          and a portion of which he imparted unto his disciples when he was
          upon the earth, and which he has restored to the earth in these
          latter days.
          There are things connected with this that we cannot dwell upon in
          a short discourse. But the keys of this Priesthood have been
          restored, and by them we can obtain heavenly knowledge; learn to
          comprehend our Father who is at the head of that Priesthood;
          learn to comprehend Jesus Christ our Great High Priest. By this
          same Priesthood, a portion of which we have received, we can
          obtain communion with the heavenly Jerusalem, with the spirits of
          just men made perfect, with Jesus the Mediator of the new
          covenant, and with God who is the holiest of all. That Priesthood
          had no beginning, and will never have an end. As we are told in
          Scripture it is "without father or mother, without beginning of
          days or end of years;" it always existed. The individual, the
          organized person may have had a beginning, but that spirit of
          which and by which they organized never had a beginning. That
          Priesthood which is the power of government in the heavens, never
          had a beginning, and it will never come to an end. The works of
          that eternal spirit of intelligence, the great Eternal God,
          manifested to us in our Father and through Jesus Christ, never
          had a beginning. There never was a first world or man; there will
          never be a last. We cannot grasp that in its fullness, but we can
          understand a little of it by comparing it with other things. For
          instance, we will take space. This tabernacle contains so much
          space, bounded by the walls of the building; but go outside of
          these walls and space is there. Go to the farthest bounds of this
          Territory, space is there. Go to the ends of the earth, if you
          can find them, and there is space beyond. Mount upward to the
          stars; go to the sun, pass above the sun to the two worlds that
          govern it, that we read about in the Book of Abraham, in "The
          Pearl of Great Price;" go even unto Kolob, the nearest to the
          throne of God, and there is just as much space beyond as that
          which you have left. There is no outside to space--no beginning,
          no end.
          Thus there is boundless space, and we cannot fully comprehend it,
          yet we must admit that it exists without limit. "There is no
          kingdom in the which there is no space, and no space in the which
          there is no kingdom, either a greater or a lesser kingdom." So we
          learn in the Doctrine and Covenants. So travel where we will,
          there we find space, and also inexhaustible material. And the
          elements, whether they be spiritual or what we call natural--we
          use these terms to distinguish them--never had a beginning--the
          primal particles never had a beginning. They have been organized
          in different shapes; the organism had a beginning but the
          elements or atoms of which it is composed never had. You may burn
          this book, but every atom of which the book was composed, every
          particle of substance that entered into its composition, still
          exists; they are indestructible. When you go right down to the
          primary elements, they never had a beginning, they will never
          have an end. For in their primal condition they are not
          "created." They did not come from nothing; they were organized
          into different forms, but the elementary parts of matter as well
          as of spirit, using ordinary terms, never had a beginning, and
          never will have an end.
          Now, here are some things that you can understand to some extent,
          that are beginningless and endless. It is the same with duration.
          Duration never had a beginning, and it never will have an end. We
          measure portions of time, but time itself, cannot be counted. Go
          back as far as we can think, and there was just as much time or
          duration before that period as since, and think as much as we can
          down the stream of time there is just as much ahead. There is no
          limit to duration, no beginning, no end. Thus there are boundless
          space, an infinity of substance, endless duration. The elements
          of that eternal spirit which exists in and through and round
          about all things, and is the law by which all things are
          governed, never had a beginning and will never have an end. There
          was no beginning and there will be no end to its operations. And
          therefore we are told that "the works of God are one eternal
          round." There was no beginning to the works of God, and there
          will be no end. The Priesthood, as I have quoted to you, is
          without beginning of days or end of years. It was always existent
          and always active. And therefore there was never a first world or
          being, neither will there be a last one. We are here to learn
          those principles that pertain to this lower sphere; to learn how
          to raise ourselves from this groveling mortal condition, and make
          ourselves like God, that we may dwell with him, come into perfect
          harmony with that spirit of which I have been speaking, be one
          with the Father and participate with him in the power which he
          wields, in the midst of eternity.
          Now, my brethren and sisters, will we walk in this way? Will we
          fit ourselves to enter into our next estate with honor? We have
          come down from God as his offspring. That part of us which is
          spirit was with him in the eternal world. We have come down here
          in our time and season, and God "determined the time before
          appointed and the bounds of our habitation." We are here to learn
          the laws that govern this lower world; to learn to grapple with
          evil and to understand what darkness is. We came from an abode of
          bliss to understand the pain and sorrow incident to this
          probation. We came here to comprehend what death is. We existed
          in our first estate among the sons of God in the presence of our
          Father, "when the morning stars sang together, and the sons of
          God shouted for joy." The knowledge of our former state has fled
          from us. Like Jesus, "in our humiliation our judgment is taken
          away," and the veil is drawn between us and our former
          habitation. This is for our trial. If we could see the things of
          eternity, and comprehend ourselves as we are; if we could
          penetrate the mists and clouds that shut out eternal realities
          from our gaze, the fleeting things of time would be no trial to
          us, and one of the great objects of our earthly probation or
          testing would be lost. But the past has gone from our memory, the
          future is shut out from our vision and we are living here in
          time, to learn little by little, line upon line, precept upon
          precept. Here in the darkness, in the sorrow, in the trial, in
          the pain, in the adversity, we have to learn what is right and
          distinguish it from what is wrong, and lay hold of right and
          truth and learn to live it. For it is not only the learning of it
          that is needful, but we must live it, being guided and governed
          by it in all things. If we have any evil propensities--inherited
          from progenitors who for ages have gone astray from God--we have
          to grapple with them and overcome them. Each individual must find
          out his own nature, and what there is in it that is wrong, and
          bring it into subjection to the will and righteousness of God. He
          must work with it until he is master of it; until he can say to
          this mortal flesh which is continually warring against the
          spirit, "I am your master by the grace of God." Every passion,
          every inclination, every desire must be controlled and made
          subject to the will of God. Though we mingle with the world, yet
          we must not pattern after their evil ways nor "touch the unclean
          thing." We need not partake of the sins of the world. We can be
          wrapped around by the influence of our religion as by the
          garments that we wear, and be separate even though in the midst
          of the wicked. We need not follow their ways nor be guided by
          their enticements, or be governed by their nations, but should
          live according to the light of God; and when evil spirits tempt
          us and seek to turn us aside from the strait path that leads to
          the celestial city, stand firm in the spirit of the Gospel and
          overcome them. And if we overcome all things we shall inherit all
          "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
          even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his
          throne. Rev. iii, 21."
          We are the children of God, and when we go back into the presence
          of our Father, if we return with honor, there will be joy in
          heaven; there will be joy in our own bosoms, such joy as is not
          expressible. How we shall rejoice! We will then comprehend all we
          knew before we came here. We will comprehend everything we
          learned when we dwelt in the flesh; and we will be clothed upon
          with the spirit and power of God in its fullness, and kingdoms
          and power and glory eternal will be given unto us. We shall have
          the gift of eternal and endless increase. Our families will be
          with us and be the beginning of our dominion, and upon that basis
          we shall build forever. Our wives and our children will be ours
          for all eternity. Our increase shall never cease while duration
          rolls along and the works of God spread forth, and our posterity
          and kingdoms will grow and extend till they shall be as numerous
          as the stars, and we will enter into the rest of our Father and
          enjoy his presence and society for evermore. God help us to
          attain to the fullness of this glory, for Christ's sake. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / John
          Taylor, December 14th, 1884
                          John Taylor, December 14th, 1884
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Evening, December 14th, 1884.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                                     IGNORE IT.
          We hear a great many things associated with the Church and
          Kingdom of God in which, as a people, we are very much
          We meet together from time to time, to sing, to pray, to speak,
          to hear and to attend to the various duties and responsibilities
          that devolve upon us. We are taught of things pertaining to time
          and things pertaining to eternity, and perhaps we are more
          favored--well, there is no perhaps about it--we are more favored
          than any other people that dwell upon the face of the whole
          earth. We have been gathered together from among the nations of
          the earth in order that we may be instructed in the laws of God,
          and in the principles of truth and life, that we may be able to
          comprehend our relationship to our heavenly Father, to his Son
          Jesus Christ, to the Priesthood that exists in the heavens, and
          to the inhabitants of the earth by whom we are surrounded, and
          among whom we dwell.
          There is something very peculiar about the position which we
          occupy among the nations of the earth. We have not received any
          of the intelligence which we possess from these nations, with the
          exception of some matters pertaining to science, to art, and the
          common education of the day. But as regards our religious
          principles we are not indebted to any men who live upon the earth
          for them. These principles emanated from God. They were given by
          revelation, and if we have a First Presidency, if we have High
          Priests, if we have Seventies, if we have Bishops, Elders,
          Priests and Teachers, if we have Stake and other organizations,
          we have received them all from God. If we have Temples, if we
          administer in them, it is because we have received instruction in
          relation thereto from the Lord. If we know anything pertaining to
          the future, it comes from him, and in fact we live in God. We
          move in God, and from him we derive our being. Men generally will
          not acknowledge this, but we as Latter-day Saints believe in
          these truths. Not one of us could have entered this house this
          evening without being sustained by the power of God. Not one of
          us could leave this house without guidance, strength and power
          from him to accomplish it. We have been taught to believe that he
          is the Creator of all things visible and invisible, whether they
          be things in the heavens or on the earth, whether they belong to
          this world or other worlds, and that there is an all wise, all
          powerful Being, who controls, manipulates and manages all the
          affairs of the human family, and this is true whether it relates
          to the world in which we live, to the heavens that are above us,
          or to other worlds by which we are surrounded. It relates to our
          bodies and to our spirits, and to all things associated
          therewith. Hence we are very dependent beings. In the
          organization of man, in the organization of this earth, and in
          the organization of the heavens, there were certain things
          designed by the Almighty to be carried out, and that will be
          carried out according to the purposes of the Most High, which
          things were known to him from the beginning. There exists all
          manner of curious opinions about God, and many people think it
          impossible for him to take cognizance of all men, but that is
          very easily done. If I had time to enter into this subject alone
          I could show you upon scientific principles that man himself is a
          self-registering machine, his eyes, his ears, his nose, the
          touch, the taste, and all the various senses of the body, are so
          many media whereby man lays up for himself a record which perhaps
          nobody else is acquainted with but himself; and when the time
          comes for that record to be unfolded all men that have eyes to
          see, and ears to hear, will be able to read all things as God
          himself reads them and comprehends them, and all things, we are
          told, are naked and open before him with whom we have to do. We
          are told in relation to these matters that the hairs of our heads
          are numbered; that even a sparrow cannot fall to the ground
          without our heavenly Father's notice; and predicated upon some of
          these principles are some things taught by Jesus, where he tells
          men to ask and they shall receive. What! the millions that live
          upon the earth? Yes, the millions of people, no matter how many
          there are. Can he hear and answer all? Can he attend to all these
          things? Yes. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall
          find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that
          asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that
          knocketh it shall be opened." It is difficult for men to
          comprehend some of these things, and, as they cannot comprehend
          them they begin to think they are all nonsense--that is, many
          do--and, hence, infidelity and skepticism prevail to a great
          extent. A great many strange notions are entertained in regard to
          God and his dealings with humanity. This is because men do not
          understand the things of God. I read in one of our papers a short
          time ago, that there was some kind of a commission going to
          meet--some two or three professors or scientists, men who are
          supposed to possess superior intelligence--to examine the
          manuscript of the Book of Mormon, to find out whether it was true
          or not, and I suppose if these people--especially if they should
          be pious men, possessing a little learning and science--should
          come out and say the Book of Mormon was not true, we all of us
          should have to lay it aside should we not? This to me, is the
          veriest nonsense. It would not make one hair's difference with us
          whether such a commission should decide that the Book of Mormon
          is right or wrong. If they decide that it is true it will not
          increase our faith in it; if they decide that it is not true, it
          will not decrease our faith in it. Yet these are ideas that men
          Speaking upon this point I am reminded of an incident that took
          place a number of years ago. Several prominent European
          scientists called upon me, and they talked a little upon our
          religious principles. Then they asked me if I was acquainted with
          the advanced ideas in regard to geology. I told them I knew a
          little about them from what I had read. "What do you think," said
          one of them to me, of these views as compared with the scriptural
          account of the creation of the world?" "Well," said I, "the great
          difficulty is that men do not understand the Scriptures." They
          could not see any difficulty on that ground, for they all had
          their eyes to see, and they had an understanding of words,
          languages, etc. "Well," said I, "we won't go through the whole
          Bible, for that is quite a large book; but I will take one or two
          of the first lines in the Bible. 'In the beginning, God created
          the heavens and the earth.' Will you please tell me when the
          beginning was? "We don't know." "When you find that out," said I,
          "then I will tell you when the world was created." A good many
          other things transpired associated with this interview, that I do
          not wish now to repeat. Suffice it to say that before they got
          through, one of them said: "I have read a good deal, I have
          studied a good deal, I find I have a good more to read and study
          yet." I thought so too. I thought if men could not understand the
          first two lines of the Bible, it would be quite a task to teach
          them the whole of it.
          In regard to the work in which we are engaged, as I said before
          and as you have heard over and over again, it emanated from God,
          and all the principles pertaining to it, came from Him. We talk
          sometimes about this work, and how it is going to be
          accomplished. The work we are engaged in is the work of God. If
          it is accomplished it will be accomplished by the power of God,
          by the wisdom of God, by the intelligence of God, and by the
          Priesthood that dwells with the Gods in the eternal worlds,
          together with that which he has conferred upon his people here
          upon the earth, and not by any other power or influence in
          existence. We talk of a Zion that is to be built up. If a Zion is
          ever built up on this earth, it will have to be under the
          guidance and direction of the Almighty. We talk about a Church
          that is to be built up and purified. If it is ever built up and
          purified, it will be under the influence of the gift of the Holy
          Ghost, the power of God manifested among his people, whereby
          iniquity will be rooted out, righteousness sustained, the
          principles of truth advanced, honor, integrity, truth and virtue
          maintained, and hypocrisy, evil, crime and corruption of every
          kind be rooted out. That will have to be done by the aid and
          under the guidance of the Almighty. There is no man living in and
          of himself, can guide the ship of Zion or regulate the affairs of
          the Church and Kingdom of God unaided by the Spirit of God, and
          hence he has organized the Church as he has with all the various
          quorums and organizations as they exist to-day. Who can boast or
          has anything to say in relation to these things? No man living,
          no man that has lived. If Joseph Smith knew anything about these
          things, it was because God revealed it, and He has revealed many
          great and precious principles in which the children of men are
          interested pertaining to this world and to the next, pertaining
          to the living and the dead, pertaining to time and eternity, and
          pertaining to all things associated with the happiness and
          exaltation of man. All these things emanated from God. And if
          Brigham Young knew anything he received his intelligence from God
          and from the Prophet of God; and if any of us know anything we
          have received it from the same source. We are told that He is in
          all things, through all things, and about all things, and by Him
          all things exist. He is the light of the sun and the power
          thereof, by which it was made; the light of the moon and the
          power thereof, by which it was made; and the light of the stars
          and the power thereof, by which they were made; and it is the
          same light that enlighteneth the understanding of man. This may
          seem strange doctrine to some. We have been taught to believe
          that there was a difference between mental and visual light;
          nevertheless the above statement is philosophically true.
          In regard to the earth, is it the Lord's? Yes. We are told that
          he made it, that he created all things, visible and invisible,
          whether pertaining to the earth or the heavens. And where did man
          originate? As we read it, he originated also from God. Who formed
          man according to the Bible record? The Lord. Whence came our
          spirits? We are told that God is the God and Father of the
          spirits of all flesh. Then He of course is interested in the
          welfare of all flesh and all people of all languages, of tongues,
          of every color, and of every clime. That is the way that I
          understand these things. Our spirits are eternal and emanate from
          God. So we, as a people, have always understood and do understand
          to-day. We possess our bodies also, and they also emanated from
          God. The Bible tells us something in relation to these matters in
          tracing out genealogies. Who was Seth? He was the son of Adam.
          Who was Adam? The son of God. In another place we are told that
          "all we are His offspring"--that is, according to that, we are
          all the offspring of God.
          Now, this earth was formed for a certain purpose, and man was
          also formed for a certain purpose. And there are certain
          principles laid down--you will find them in the Bible, in the
          Book of Mormon, in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and in the
          various revelations that God has made through his servants--there
          are certain principles laid down indicating that there are
          different grades of men possessing varied powers and privileges,
          and that these men have to pass through a certain ordeal--called
          by many a probation--that is, that we are here in a probationary
          state, in a state of trial; and that as men live and act
          according to the intelligence they are in possession of,--the
          privileges which they enjoy, and the deeds that they perform,
          whether for good or evil, there will be a time of judgment, and
          that there will be a separation of these various peoples
          according to the way in which they have lived and acted upon the
          earth. Hence Paul tells that there are bodies celestial and
          bodies terrestrial, that there is one glory of the sun, another
          of the moon, and another of the stars, and as one star differeth
          from another star in glory, so shall it also be in the
          resurrection. Joseph Smith, in speaking on the same subject,
          tells us that there are bodies celestial, bodies terrestrial, and
          bodies telestial, which agrees precisely with the remarks made by
          Paul, only in other language. Thus there are many curious things
          associated with our existence here upon the earth, which the
          natural man does not and cannot comprehend. No man can know the
          things of God, but by the Spirit of God.
          Now, then, on this earth--which we call the Lord's vineyard--He
          has sent forth His servants from time to time to gather people
          into His fold, to gather out a few here and a few there who would
          be prepared to act and operate with Him, and then, generally,
          these have been a comparatively small number, Jesus said, when He
          was upon the earth: "Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that
          leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat:
          Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth
          unto life, and few there be that find it." And it would seem,
          according to the testimonies we have both in the Bible and in the
          Book of Mormon, that the Lord has taken great pains in different
          ages of the world to send forth His servants to preach the Gospel
          to the people. We find this especially so in Noah's day, and in
          the days of Enoch. There was a remarkable work performed then
          according to the revelations which have been given to us, which
          will be more fully developed when the Lord shall see fit to
          reveal other things associated therewith. But we learn that there
          was a Church organized about as ours may be; we learn that they
          went forth and preached the Gospel; we learn that they were
          gathered together to a place called Zion; we learn that the
          people of Zion were under the guidance, direction and teaching of
          the Almighty; in order that they might be prepared for another
          Zion in the grand drama associated with the dealings of God and
          his purposes pertaining to this earth and the heavens. We read
          that they walked with God for 365 years. We are told in the Bible
          a little short story about it, because it was one of those things
          that it was not necessary that everybody should know. We are told
          that "Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him." But
          there was more about it than that. Enoch preached the Gospel to
          the people, and so did hundreds of Elders as they are doing
          to-day; and they gathered the people together and built up a Zion
          to the Lord, and when Enoch was not, but was caught up, Enoch's
          city was not, but was caught up, and there were certain things
          associated therewith that are very peculiar. Why were they taken
          away from the earth? Because of the corruptions of men, because
          of the wickedness of men, because mankind had forsaken God, and
          become as broken cisterns that could hold no water, because they
          were not fulfilling the measure of their creation, and because it
          was not proper that they should live and perpetuate a race that
          was so corrupt and abominable. But before this was done, the
          righteous, the virtuous, the honorable, the pure, the upright
          were gathered together, and taught and instructed in the things
          of God. And what came next? Why, the destruction of the world. It
          was overflowed, we read, by the flood. What! And all the people
          destroyed? Yes, except a very few, according to the statements we
          have. "Well," say some of our wise men, "was not that cruel to
          destroy so many people?" Perhaps it would be according to your
          ideas, but it was not according to the Lord's ideas: because he
          looked upon men as immortal beings. These men were accountable to
          their Maker, they had a dual existence, they were associated with
          time and with eternity, and we might go still farther and say
          they were associated with the past, the present and the future,
          and the Lord as a great cosmogonist, took in the various stages
          of man's existence, and operated for the general benefit of the
          whole. But was it not cruel to destroy them? I think God
          understood precisely what He was doing. They were His offspring,
          and He knowing things better than they did, and they having
          placed themselves under the power and dominion of Satan, He
          thought they had better be removed and another class of men be
          introduced. Why? There were other persons concerned besides them.
          There were millions of spirits in the eternal worlds who would
          shrink from being contaminated by the wicked and corrupt, the
          debauchee, the dishonest, the fraudulent, the hypocrite, and men
          who trampled upon the ordinances of God. It might seem harsh for
          these men to be swept off from the face of the earth, and not
          allowed to perpetuate their species thereon; but what about the
          justice of forcing these pure spirits to come and inhabit
          tabernacles begotten by debauched corrupt reprobates, the
          imagination of whose heart was only evil, and that
          continually--what about them? Had they no rights that God was
          bound to respect? Certainly they had, and He respected them. He
          cut off the wicked. What did he do with them? He did with them as
          we do with some of the wicked, and that we do not do with a great
          many others--that is, they were put in prison. Had He a right to
          do that? I think He had. They were his offspring. I think He had
          the right to act according to the counsel of His own will. At any
          rate he took the liberty of doing it. And who was there to say,
          "Why doest thou this?" First He called upon them to forsake their
          wickedness, but they would not, and a while after He destroyed
          them. Had He a right to do it? He had and He sent them to hell.
          Some people talk about roasting there. That is something of man's
          getting up. He sent them to prison, and they were confined there,
          and when the proper time came, Jesus, when He was put to death in
          the flesh, was quickened by the Spirit, and went and preached to
          those spirits that sometime were disobedient in the days of Noah.
          Perhaps they had time enough during their stay, to reflect upon
          their acts, and to become a little steadier, and to reflect upon
          God and His laws. At any rate Jesus went and preached to those
          spirits in prison.
          What, then, became of the inhabitants of the world? There were a
          few who went through the narrow gate that Jesus spoke of, and
          they were caught up and Zion with them, and the Lord is taking
          care of them in his own way. They will be dealt with according to
          His purposes and designs, and be numbered among His jewels. The
          others, as I have said, were cast into prison, and there they
          remained about 2,500 years. It was a pretty long imprisonment.
          Still the Lord had a right to manipulate these things as He
          pleased, and He so manipulated them, and although this time seems
          very long, yet in the eternities to come it would only be a
          comparatively short period; and if they needed a schooling of
          this kind He, as their Father and Creator, was the proper one to
          adjudge their punishment.
          Sometime after this there were certain cities that had become
          very corrupt, such as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord had a
          reckoning with them, handled them in His own way according to His
          best judgment. Abraham was a man who feared God, and God said:
          "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do." So He informed
          Abraham about it. Abraham plead with the Lord, "Why," said he,
          "Lot lives down there, a nephew of mine, and a pretty good sort
          of a man, and there may be a great many others." The Lord said:
          "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous, within the city, then I will
          spare all the place for their sakes." Abraham, however, thought
          this was more than he could pick out. I expect there was a crowd
          of mean "cusses" among them as we have among us. And finally the
          Lord said that if ten righteous could be found in the city, He
          would not destroy it for ten's sake. But ten righteous people
          could not be found, and therefore the city had to be destroyed.
          What! All the people? Yes, all the people. But before they were
          destroyed he sent two angels and they brought out Lot, his wife
          and daughters. His wife was a little tinctured with gentilism:
          she looked back, and the Scriptures tell us she was turned into a
          pillar of salt. When they got away, brimstone and fire fell upon
          the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them. Thus the
          Lord has taken the privilege in many instances of correcting
          mankind. He used the children of Israel to kill the people who
          dwelt in the land of Canaan, and directed them to spare them not,
          because of their wickedness, to cut them off root and branch. He
          raised up one nation and put down another, and raised up one king
          and put down another.
          There were times when the iniquity of these people was not yet
          full. In Abraham's day the Lord told that Patriarch that he
          should go to his fathers in peace, but in the fourth generation
          his posterity should "come hither again: for the iniquity of the
          Amorites is not yet full:" by the days of Moses they appear to
          have filled the cup of iniquity, for he enjoined upon the
          Israelites, thou shalt utterly destroy them," "as the Lord thy
          God hath commanded thee." So that the Lord takes upon Himself to
          manipulate the nations according to the counsels of His own will,
          and as they all of them have to do with eternity as well as time,
          He adjudges them according to the eternal laws and principles by
          which He is governed; and hence we are told that eternal
          punishment is God's punishment, thus men and nations are adjudged
          by the Almighty, according to the finite, erratic and limited
          ideas of men. Jonah was sent to the city of Ninevah, to tell the
          people to repent and that if they did not repent they would all
          be destroyed. But they listened to the voice of the Prophet. They
          clothed themselves in sackcloth and sat in ashes and repented
          before the Lord, and then the Lord forgave them. Why was it that
          a great many people were thus judged by the Almighty? It was
          because of their iniquity. The same thing prevailed upon this
          continent. The spirit of evil and contention, war and strife,
          existed among the ancient Jaredites, when they forsook their God,
          and violated his laws. They fought one with another. They were
          maddened by fury, even that fury which was lit up by the fires of
          hell and by the spirit of fiends, until they completely destroyed
          one another. So it was with the Nephites who had departed from
          the law of God, and trampled under foot his ordinances. They and
          the Lamanites were stirred up one against another, until at last
          they gathered together thousands and tens of thousands and
          hundreds of thousands of fighting men--they were four years in
          gathering their armies, and they fought and shed blood and spread
          destruction and death wherever they went. We can read the account
          of it in the Book of Mormon, and I do not propose to repeat it
          here this evening.
          Now, how is it pertaining to the last days? As it was in the days
          of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of
          Man. As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it also be in the
          days of the coming of the Son of Man. In what respect? In the
          days of Noah did they have the Gospel preached unto them? Yes.
          Did the people generally reject it? Yes. Did the people gather
          together and build up a Zion? Yes. How is it in these days? The
          Lord has revealed his Gospel to us as he did to them. He has sent
          forth the words of life, and is sending them to the nations of
          the earth. Hundreds of Elders are going to-day, and taking their
          lives in their hands, and some of them have to sacrifice their
          lives, and others, in this land of liberty, because they will be
          virtuous and keep the commands of God, are to-day weltering in
          prison. Woe! to those who have a hand in these things. I tell you
          and I tell them, as a servant of God, in the name of God, that he
          will be after them, and they shall suffer worse than that which
          they inflict upon innocent, pure and virtuous men. Now, I bear
          testimony to this, and you will know it when it comes to pass.
          Woe! to them that fight against Zion, for God will fight against
          them--hypocrites! who are wallowing in filthiness, corruption,
          adultery, fornication and deception, in the name of virtue are
          seeking to destroy a virtuous people, and those who dare honor
          and obey the commandments of God.
          Then, in regard to the work in which we are engaged. Will it go
          on? I tell you it will. Will Zion be built up? I tell you it
          will. Will the Zion that Enoch built up, descend? It most
          assuredly will, and this that we are building up will ascend, and
          the two will meet and the peoples thereof will fall on each
          other's necks, and embrace each other. So says the word of God to
          us. Will we go on with our work? With the help of the Lord we
          will. He has told us to do a work, and we will try to carry it
          out--we of the First Presidency, we of the Twelve, we of the
          Seventies, we of the Elders, we of the High Priests, we of the
          Presidents of Stakes, we of the Bishops, and we of the Holy
          Priesthood in all its various forms. By the help of the Lord, we
          will try, first, to purify ourselves, to purify our households,
          to get rid of covetousness, deception and fraud of every kind, to
          act honorably before God and before all men, and to love not the
          world, nor the things that are in the world; for if any man love
          the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Anything that we
          may have or possess comes from God; and if we are exalted, if we
          possess the good things of the world--which I tell you in the
          name of Israel's God we shall, in spite of all men and all their
          influences, for the people of Zion will be the richest of all
          people. This is in accordance with the Scriptures. The Scripture
          tells us: "For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring
          silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make
          thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence
          shall no more be heard in the land, wasting nor destruction
          within thy borders."
          The Lord has gathered us together that we may learn His law; that
          we may be instructed in the principles of truth, righteousness
          and virtue; that we may be prepared to honor and magnify our
          calling, and glorify our God.
          Well, what would you have us do when men are so corrupt--when it
          is enough for a man here, because he has the kindness to take
          some chickens for a poor woman to sell for her--when that is
          enough evidence to convict him that he is an adulterer, and must
          be placed under bonds and subjected to trial and punishment. What
          do they do with their Christian whores that they have in our
          midst? Where do they come from? They are not our institution. But
          they are protected, they can vote, they can do as they please, no
          process can be introduced against them, for they are a part of
          their institution, and must be protected; but anything "in the
          marriage relation," you know, is different from that.
          Well, what shall we do? We will treat all decent men very well,
          and we will give the others a wide berth. These corrupt and
          villainous men who are seeking to trample under foot the rights
          of free men and deprive them of everything in life that is worth
          having, will suffer the bondage they are seeking to bring upon
          us. I tell you that, and we need not try to make these affairs
          any worse. We will treat them as well as we can. There are
          thousands and tens of thousands who despise their meanness and
          corruption--honorable Americans, thousands and tens of thousands
          of them who are ashamed of the meanness and corruption of these
          wretches; and there are thousands of men abroad who have just the
          same feeling. I saw and conversed with a member of the British
          Parliament recently, and in speaking about Rudger Clawson's case,
          said he: "It is one of the most infamous things I ever heard of,
          and if you will permit me I will go to the President of the
          United States, and ask him to pardon that man." "Why, yes," said
          I, "you have my permission certainly." That is the way a British
          member of Parliament talked about the acts and doings of some of
          our officials here right in our midst. Yet, notwithstanding the
          wickedness, the corruption, venom, the hypocrisy, and the
          deception that is practiced here right under our noses, we will
          stand still and see the salvation of God, and God in His own time
          will remove these vindictive men out of their places. Meantime we
          will continue to fear God, and work righteousness; we will cleave
          to the truth, live our religion, be humble before God, train up
          our children in purity, virtue and holiness, and set ourselves
          against everything that is corrupt, hypocritical, fraudulent, and
          contrary to the principles of righteousness. We will trust in the
          living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those
          that believe. We will do right, we will treat all men right, and
          will maintain every institution of our country that is according
          to the Constitution of the United States, and the laws thereof,
          and we will sustain them. By and by, you will find they will tear
          the Constitution to shreads, as they have begun now; they won't
          have to begin; they have started long ago to rend the
          Constitution of our country in pieces; and in doing so they are
          letting loose and encouraging a principle which will re-act upon
          themselves with terrible consequences; for if law-makers and
          administrators can afford to trample upon justice, equity, and
          the Constitution of this country, they will find thousands and
          tens of thousands who are willing to follow in their wake in the
          demolition of the rights of man, and the destruction of all
          principles of justice, and the safeguards of the nation; but we
          will stand by and maintain its principles and the rights of all
          men of every color, and every clime; we will cleave to the truth,
          live our religion and keep the commandments of God, and God will
          bless us in time and throughout the eternities that are to come.
          God bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of
          Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Q. Cannon, December 7th, 1884
                        George Q. Cannon, December 7th, 1884
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, December 7th, 1884.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                         GOD--EXHORTATIONS TO FAITHFULNESS.
          The speaker commenced by reading the 24th chapter of Matthew;
          after which he spoke as follows:
          I have read this chapter to call your attention to the
          predictions of the Son of God concerning the last days, and the
          circumstances which would surround His people previous to His
          making His second appearance on the earth. Great interest has
          been manifested at different periods by the inhabitants of the
          earth who have believed in Jesus, respecting his second coming.
          Great desires have been manifested from time to time to
          understand the signs of His advent, and some have gone so far as
          to predict the day and even the exact time when He would make his
          appearance. According to the revelations that we have received
          upon this subject, the day and the hour are not revealed unto
          man, neither is it probable that they will be, but we have been
          told that that time is near at hand, and that it is our duty as
          the people of God, to prepare ourselves for that great and
          terrible day. The message which the Elders of this Church were
          commissioned to declare unto the inhabitants of the earth 54
          years ago, and which they have since that time been declaring
          wherever they have gone is, that the time is near at hand for our
          Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to make His second appearance, and
          the Elders of this Church have been sent with a warning message
          to all the nations of the earth, to declare unto them that the
          hour of God's judgment is near at hand; that the time for the
          fulfillment of the prediction of the holy Prophets has arrived,
          and that it is the duty of the inhabitants of the earth to
          prepare themselves for the great events that are about to take
          place connected with the last days. And in order that they might
          the better prepare themselves, the servants of God are commanded
          to call upon the people to gather out from the various nations
          where they are living to a place that God has designated as a
          place of gathering for His elect, where they might prepare
          themselves for the coming of our Lord and Savior. This was the
          message which the Elders were sent forth to bear 54 years ago,
          and from that time until the present they have been, to the
          extent of their ability, proclaiming it to the various nations to
          which they have had access, warning them in meekness and in
          humility, that the time was near at hand for the fulfillment of
          all that had been spoken by the mouths of the servants of God in
          ancient days concerning the last days. Yet, as I have said, we
          have had no authority given unto us, no message to designate the
          hour nor the day, nor even the year when the Lord would make His
          appearance. That has been kept by the Father. The angels did not
          know the hour nor the day when our Savior spoke the words that I
          have read in your hearing; and if the angels have since been
          informed of it, we have not been advised to that effect. We have
          been told that the time is near at hand, and as an evidence of
          the near approach of this event we have seen the fulfillment of
          many things that were told should take place. This Gospel of the
          Kingdom, Jesus said, had to be preached unto all nations as a
          witness--the same Gospel that was preached by Him and His
          disciples when they were upon the earth--that Gospel of the
          Kingdom had to be preached unto all nations before the end should
          come. And it is being preached in that manner now. The same
          principles, the same doctrines, the same plan of salvation, the
          same gifts and graces, the same organization of the Church, the
          same authority that was in the Church in ancient days--these
          having been restored are now being preached as a witness by the
          Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unto
          all nations, in order that every inhabitant of the earth should
          be warned, that every man should hear the glad tidings of
          salvation in his own tongue, and have the opportunity of
          embracing or rejecting the same, and of being gathered out and
          numbered with the people of God. 
          I need not say to you, my brethren and sisters, who are familiar
          with this work, that God has accompanied the preaching of this
          Gospel by signs following. You know this. You are living witness
          yourselves of the power of God, of the manifestation of the Holy
          Ghost, and of the gifts that pertain thereto. This whole people,
          called Latter-day Saints, living in these mountains, from north
          to south, from east to west, are a body of living witnesses of
          the truth of that which I say respecting the outpouring of the
          Holy Ghost, and its gifts upon the people; for by the power of
          the Holy Ghost have they been gathered; by the manifestations of
          the power of God have they wended their way from the various
          lands they formerly dwelt in, to this land--impelled by the
          Spirit of God to do this, in a most extraordinary manner, ready
          to abandon homes, ready to forsake their friends, ready to sever
          their connection with all that was near and dear to them previous
          to their reception of the Gospel. What a host of witnesses could
          rise up if they could be gathered together throughout these
          mountains! Men, women and children, who in their various
          languages--every language almost of Europe, and I see here some
          from the Pacific Islands, others from far off Africa, others from
          far off Australia, would testify, had they the opportunity, to
          the outpouring of the Spirit and power of God upon them in the
          lands where they dwelt when they heard the Gospel and obeyed it,
          as taught to them by the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints. In this manner God has borne witness to them
          wherever they receive His Gospel, whenever they bow in humility
          and submission to His requirements, whether in the United States,
          in Canada, in Mexico, in Central or South America, in Europe, in
          Asia, in Africa, or in any Islands of the sea--wherever the
          Elders of this Church go, carrying this message of salvation, and
          the people receive it, they receive with it a testimony from God,
          not given by man nor by man's wisdom, nor through the power of
          the Eternal God,--that testimony resting down upon them in
          fullness, burning within them, impelling them to do that which
          they never contemplated doing before,--that is, impelling them to
          forsake all their old associations, and sever the ties that had
          heretofore bound them to their kindred and their homes, and to
          come to the land which God has designated as the place to which
          they should gather. In this manner God is fulfilling, as I have
          said, the testimony of His ancient servants, for John the
          Revelator, testified that there should be a cry go forth unto the
          inhabitants of the earth to come out from the midst of Babylon.
          Jesus says in this chapter that the elect should be gathered from
          the four quarters of the earth, from the four winds of heaven
          they should be gathered together, and this preparatory to His
          coming. And that which I have read in your hearing is abundantly
          fulfilled this day in our sight and to our knowledge. Speaking of
          His disciples and to His disciples, He said: "Then shall they
          deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall
          be hated of all nations for my name's sake." If this is not
          fulfilled this day in our sight and in our hearing, then when can
          it be fulfilled? How can it be fulfilled? To-day here is a people
          gathered in these mountains, brought from the nations of the
          earth, as I have said, dwelling here in peace and in quietness,
          free from strife, free from litigation, free from war, free from
          everything that disturbs and annoys, in every settlement from
          north to south, from east to west, wherever they have formed
          themselves into a community; living in the possession of
          unexampled peace. Take the settlements of this people in
          Colorado; visit those in Arizona and New Mexico; go north and
          travel through Utah and visit Idaho--go where you will, wherever
          they have settled, you will find a community dwelling in peace
          and in quietness, loving one another, obeying the law of God,
          striving to keep His commandments, seeking to overcome evil,
          endeavoring to live themselves in accordance with His
          requirements, and to teach their children to do likewise. These
          are the characteristics of the settlements of the Latter-day
          Saints throughout all these mountains. So far as we are concerned
          ourselves, we have scarcely any need of lawyers. They are very
          necessary as conveyancers, they are very necessary in drawing up
          papers, in making wills, in making deeds, in forming contracts,
          in doing business of this character; but so far as the practice
          of the law in litigation is concerned, there is no need for their
          services in any of the settlements of the Latter-day Saints. The
          law of God to us when obeyed is sufficient to lift us above these
          petty strifes and difficulties. We should live, if we do not, in
          a purer and higher atmosphere, in a region elevated far above
          that which is occupied by people of this character. If you travel
          through the settlements where the Latter-day Saints have control
          you will not find drunkenness prevalent, in fact, if they be true
          Latter-day Saints, there will be no drunkenness. You will not
          hear the name of God blasphemed where Latter-day Saints live; you
          will not hear quarrelling; you will not hear of adulteries and
          seductions; you will not witness Sabbath-breaking; but you will
          see the people living in the observance of the laws of God, a
          moral, pure, peaceable, orderly, people. These are the
          characteristics of the communities of the Latter-day Saints where
          they live according to the requirements of their holy religion.
          And though we are far from being perfect in these respects,
          though there are many things to complain of and to find fault
          with among us, nevertheless these characteristics do prevail to
          an extent that cannot be found in other communities of the same
          size and in the same circumstances. And yet these words that I
          have read in your hearing are this day fulfilled. "They shall
          deliver you up to be afflicted," said Jesus, "and shall kill you"
          (this has been and is our fate) "and ye shall be hated of all
          nations for my name's sake." Most singularly has this prediction
          been and is being fulfilled in regard to us. There is not another
          community on the face of the earth to-day who are hated by all
          nations for the sake of Jesus as are the Latter-day Saints. Go
          where you will throughout our own nation; go where you will
          throughout Christendom; travel among all people and ask them
          concerning the Latter-day Saints, and they will tell you that
          they hate them, that they are a people to be hated, that they are
          a people that should be destroyed, that they should not be
          tolerated, and that measures should be taken for their entire
          extirpation from the earth. One of the most remarkable features
          connected with this work is this hatred that exists in the minds
          of men and women concerning it. I look upon it as one of the
          greatest and most striking evidences of the truth of the words of
          the Savior, and of the divinity of this work. There is no other
          people with whom I am acquainted who so strikingly fulfill the
          words of the Savior, and the promises which He made unto His
          disciples respecting the consequences of obeying His doctrine as
          do the Latter-day Saints. And it is not for their wickedness,
          because when their lives are compared with the lives of others,
          they stand out in striking contrast with them. This is admitted
          even by our enemies. They give us credit for not being
          adulterers, they give us credit for not being seducers; they give
          us credit for not being thieves; they give us credit for keeping
          our word; they give us credit for being honest in our dealings.
          To-day, our bitterest enemies in this city, the men who hate us
          the most, who would destroy us if they had the power, never dare
          say that we are dishonest in our dealings. We keep our word. We
          abstain from drunkenness. We abstain from gambling. We do not
          support houses of ill fame. We maintain order and peace wherever
          we go. But we are accused of many crimes. We are accused of being
          guilty of many misdeeds. But when the proof is asked for it is
          something that has happened some time ago, something that
          somebody else knows.
          We can be truthfully accused of nothing except this: that we
          marry wives, that we sustain them honorably, and that we keep our
          children and train them up in the fear of God, and make good
          citizens of them. This is the head and front of our offending. It
          is not truthfully said that we prostitute women; or that she is
          degraded here by making her a prey to lust. It is not said we
          destroy our offspring. No such charges are made against us. But
          the crime is that we honorably take wives in wedlock and rear
          children, and bring them up legitimately, teaching them the
          principles of righteousness as we understand them. We could vote
          to-day--you men who are disfranchised, and you women who are
          disfranchised--you could vote to-day if you were adulterers and
          adulteresses. Yes, in this land of ours, in this Territory of
          Utah you could go to the polls and cast your vote if you lived
          outside of wedlock, if you prostituted yourselves, if you made
          women the victims of vile lust, if you trampled upon everything
          that is holy and pure in the sight of God and of good men, you
          would not be disfranchised. You could cast your vote. You could
          hold office--that is, you could be a candidate for office, and if
          elected you could hold it. Therefore, it is not for adultery, it
          is not for seduction, it is not for crimes of this kind that we
          are hated, but it is because in righteousness and in truth,
          without deception and without fraud, we honorably and in the
          sight of day--that is we have done so in times past--married
          wives in accordance with what we believed to be the command of
          our Great Creator.
          We are hated of all men and of all nations for Christ's sake. It
          is because of our religion. If we discarded the forms of
          religion; if we did not attach importance to the solemnization of
          the marriage ordinance; if it were done in any other name, or in
          any other form, or for any other purpose, it would pass,
          doubtless, as it does in other society, without being challenged
          or receiving particular condemnation. But it is admitted--I have
          been told it hundreds of times--that it is because you make this
          religion. "That is why we will legislate against it. If you had
          not made it religion we would not care anything about it." When I
          have plead with members of Congress in Washington, and told them
          this institution was part of our religion, they have said: "Yes,
          Mr. Cannon, that is the difficulty. It is because you make it
          religion that we want to legislate against it. If you did not
          make it religion there would not be that objection to it that
          there is." Therefore, as I have said, the words of the Savior are
          fulfilled. Because we make this the religion of Jesus, because we
          profess to be the followers of Jesus, and because of being His
          followers, therefore, as Jesus said, "you shall be hated of all
          nations for my name's sake;" not for anything else, but for the
          sake of the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whose
          religion we have espoused, whose followers we claim to be, and
          because of being his followers we do as we are doing. Most
          signally, then, has this prediction been fulfilled in our sight
          and hearing. One of the most remarkable features of the present
          might be that as a people of our numbers, situated as we are, so
          far removed from other communities in these remote regions, might
          escape observation, and that we might be left to pursue our own
          course, quietly, so long as we did not intrude upon our
          neighbors. We came to this land a band of religious exiles
          seeking a home amid these mountain wilds, content to live here if
          we had only bread and water, if we could get sufficient to
          sustain life; for the sake of that peace and quiet which was
          denied us in the lands whence we were driven we were content to
          endure all the hardships that could possibly be encountered in
          this mountain region. If we could only sustain life we would have
          been satisfied with our home here. And we thought we might escape
          persecution. We thought we had got so far away that we could
          worship our God henceforth without let or hindrance. We did not
          wish to injure others. We did not wish to force our religion upon
          others. We had no design upon any human being, no design to
          injure any soul upon the face of the earth. Our hearts were
          filled with the desire that others might comprehend the truth as
          we comprehend it, that they might partake of the blessings of the
          Gospel as we had received them, and to do this--that is to make
          them familiar with these things--we were willing to spend our
          lives in traveling from land to land and from continent to
          continent, without purse and without scrip, preaching, in
          humility and in meekness, the Gospel of the Son of God, as we
          understand it as a witness unto all nations before the end should
          come. We went from land to land preaching this Gospel, calling
          upon the inhabitants of the earth to listen to our message, and
          this was the extent of our wrong doing. We had not, as I say, any
          designs against the peace of any soul upon the face of the earth,
          but our hearts overflowed with a strong and unquenchable desire
          that they might also receive the Gospel and the blessings of the
          Gospel as we had received them. That Gospel has brought to us
          happiness, peace, joy unexampled. That Gospel had filled us with
          a foretaste of heaven. Through that Gospel we had received the
          Holy Ghost and the gifts thereof, and because of that precious
          gift we were able to endure all the hardships and all the
          persecutions that the wicked might see fit to bring upon us for
          the sake of our religion. We were willing to do this. We rejoiced
          in it. We knew it was more precious than life itself, and many
          have been willing to lay down their lives for the sake of the
          Gospel. We had left everything that men held dear upon earth for
          the sake of this great truth that God had revealed to us, and our
          souls burned with an overpowering desire that others might also
          partake of the same blessing. Therefore we traveled from nation
          to nation, bearing these glad tidings and calling upon the
          inhabitants of the earth to receive them and partake of them as
          we had done.
          Now, it might be thought that a people thus situated would be
          left alone to the enjoyment, the peaceful enjoyment of their
          religion. If their religion was a heresy they were the sufferers.
          If their religion was false they would be the ones that would
          receive the punishment. But not content with driving us out, not
          content with compelling us to flee to these mountains, the same
          foul and deadly spirit of persecution followed us up here into
          these mountains recesses. They envied us the possession of these
          sterile, barren valleys. That cruel spirit of persecution still
          followed us, envious of the quiet homes we had reared by untold
          and uncounted toil out of the elements that surround us. We had
          raised a scanty subsistence from the soil; we had struggled with
          difficulties and had eventually succeeded in surmounting them,
          that we could hope to live, live without fear of starvation at
          least before us. But scarcely was the experiment decided--for it
          was but an experiment at best--than the same spirit that had made
          our residence in the States intolerable and unendurable to us,
          followed us across these plains that stretched out between us and
          our old homes and the old civilization which we had
          left--followed us here, and it has followed us from that day
          until the present, it has sought to kill us, and it has sought to
          destroy our liberties. It has sought to do to us that which was
          done before--to drive us from our homes, and send us forth
          homeless wanderers upon the face of the earth. This has been its
          manifestation in our midst in this Territory, and it seems as
          though it would not be fully gratified or satisfied until it has
          made victims of every one of us; until we should be numbered with
          the silent dead, and our voices no more be heard in proclamation
          of the Gospel of the Son of God, that we have been authorized to
          proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth.
          My brethren and sisters: I do not wish in my remarks to harrow up
          your feelings. I wish merely to impress you with some of the
          events that are occurring around about us, that you may know that
          they are only in fulfillment of the word of God, spoken hundreds
          and hundreds of years ago by the Son of God Himself, and by His
          inspired servants. We are only moving in the sphere that He
          intended we should move in; we are only enduring the trials and
          afflictions that in His providence He foresaw and deemed
          necessary for us to encounter in our passage through life, and in
          the establishment of His work upon the earth, and in preparing
          the way for the coming of the Lord. Let not your hearts fail you,
          therefore: be not discouraged nor consider yourselves in the
          least degree oppressed beyond that which is right and proper. All
          these things are necessary in the providence of our God. We shall
          have more to encounter; but we shall have the strength and the
          grace necessary to enable us to meet them and to bear them
          patiently, and to come out of them victoriously; for as you are
          often told, whatever may be the fate of individuals connected
          with this work, it is decreed in the heavens by our Eternal
          Father, that this work, the foundation of which He has laid, will
          never be taken from the earth again, it will never be overthrown.
          There is no power that can overthrow this work of our God. Men
          may be sent to prison, as Brother Rudger Clawson has, as Brother
          Joseph H. Evans has, as others in Arizona have, for their
          religion, for practicing that which they believe to be of
          God--men may be sent to prison by hundreds, men may be slain, as
          our brethren were in Tennessee lately, and as Joseph Standing was
          in Georgia, and as brethren were in years gone past in Missouri,
          as our Prophet and Patriarch were in Illinois, as our revered
          President was shot to pieces at the same time--men's blood may be
          shed, the blood of the Saints may stain the ground, the soil may
          be drenched with it, but though this may be the case, yet as sure
          as God lives so sure will this work that He has established, roll
          forth and prevail. The principles of truth connected with it are
          unalterable and eternal. They cannot be changed, they cannot be
          destroyed. You might as well try to destroy the throne of the
          Great Eternal Himself, as to destroy this work, for it is
          eternal. The truths of this Gospel are imperishable. They cannot
          be changed; they cannot be obliterated nor overthrown. And God
          has said this concerning this work--that it will stand forever.
          It will overcome every obstacle. It will grow, it will increase.
          Everything done against it will only be the means of accelerating
          it, or pushing it forward, or insuring to it the victory that God
          has promised. I testify this in the name of the Lord Jesus
          Christ, for I know it to be true, and I know that every power
          that opposes this work will perish. God has said it, and His
          words, thus far have been fulfilled. Recount the list of the
          opposers of this work, and who is there among the vast host that
          has ever succeeded? Is not failure, is not shame, is not ignominy
          written upon every man's character and the character of every
          community that has fought against this work of our God from the
          beginning up to the present time? The enemies of this work have
          perished, they have gone down into oblivion, and they have not
          succeeded. Look at the list from the beginning, from the 6th of
          April, 1830, until this day of our Lord, and go through it, and
          where can you find, where can you put your finger upon a man or
          upon a community that has prospered in fighting against Zion,
          against this work of our God? They have gone down, while this
          people have gone forward, have risen, gone upward, have continued
          to increase in influence, in power in the earth and have become
          more and more solidified. And it will be so to the end; for this
          work is designed in the providence of our God to prevail, and
          there is no power nor influence that can prevent it.
          It behooves us as Latter-day Saints to be faithful to our God. I
          will tell you, my brethren and sisters, there is only one thing
          that can injure this work, and that is the sins of the people
          themselves. You can injure it, that is, you can injure yourselves
          in connection with it. There is no man can prevent another from
          receiving salvation. God has not placed it in the power of man to
          prevent either a man, or a woman, or a child from receiving
          salvation. He has placed that within the power of the individual
          himself or herself. If a man be damned it is because he takes a
          course to be damned; he breaks the laws of God. So it is with us
          as a people. If we are chastened, if we are scourged, if our
          enemies have power over us, it will be because we do not live as
          we should do, and this is a subject that I would like very much
          to speak about. I would like very much to tell my feelings upon
          this point to the Bishops and to the Teachers and to the officers
          of the Church. There are practices being indulged in among us
          that are sins in the sight of God, and the officers of this
          Church will be held accountable for them, unless they take a
          course to eradicate them from the midst of the Saints. There
          should be no man allowed to remain in this Church who is a
          Sabbath-breaker, and when you know that there are men and women
          or children who are Sabbath-breakers you should take steps to
          have them warned, to have them reproved, and if they will not
          repent to have them severed from the Church of God. No man in
          this Church should be allowed to have a standing in it who is a
          drunkard; God does not approve of drunkenness; and if there are
          any drunkards remaining in the Church, hear it, O ye Bishops, and
          O ye officers, you will be held accountable for their sins--the
          condemnation will rest upon you. The same with men who blaspheme,
          either young or old, who take the name of God in vain, they ought
          not to be permitted to remain in the Church. It is a sin in the
          sight of God, and He will visit a people with condemnation who
          permit these things to exist in their midst. And so with
          fornication. No fornicator, no adulterer nor adulteress, should
          have a place among us. They should be warned, they should be
          dealt with, they should be cut off from the Church. And so with
          every other sin. We have been too lenient, and have permitted
          things to exist which are wrong in the sight of God. Now that our
          enemies are waging war against us, there is only one way in which
          we can expect to withstand assaults made upon us, and that is in
          being a pure people, in being a people who living according to
          the laws of our God. This we must be, or the favor of God will be
          withdrawn from us. Therefore, let the Church be cleansed. Let the
          Teachers visit under the influence of the Spirit of God and the
          gift of discernment, and where they find those that are living in
          opposition to, or in violation of the laws of God, let them, by
          the Spirit of God, which will rest upon them, teach and warn that
          household, and thus take steps to purify the Church. Let every
          Priest and every Teacher go forth in that spirit in the midst of
          the Latter-day Saints, and you will see good results; and then
          let hell boil over, let hell array itself with all its forces,
          let earth and hell combine against this work of our God, and they
          cannot succeed. I am not afraid of all hell; I am not afraid of
          all the earth, if the Latter-day Saints will be pure, if they
          will live their religion. I know that we shall triumph and come
          off victorious in every contest, which may God grant in the name
          of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Teasdale, January 11th, 1885
                         George Teasdale, January 11th, 1885
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, January 11th, 1885.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                               AND BENEFITS OF PRAYER.
          Since the last time I had the privilege of worshiping in this
          house I have had the opportunity, in company with Brother F. M.
          Lyman, of making a tour through the Southern wards and Stakes of
          this Territory, and I must say, though it was my first visit to
          several places, that I have enjoyed my labors exceedingly. I
          appreciated my association with the Saints, who are striving in
          their weakness to establish the righteousness of God upon the
          earth. I was treated with the greatest kindness. It is impossible
          for us to be associated as we are in a great work--a work that
          from the beginning has been opposed by the world--without feeling
          the greatest admiration for men and women who are filled with the
          spirit of integrity, who manifest a love for God and for the
          principles of righteousness, that is surprising in the day and
          always been given to understand that I was living in an
          enlightened age in the blaze of the Gospel; that we had passed
          from the dark ages and living in an enlightened age, among
          educated people; that the Gospel of the Son of God was being
          promulgated in all nations, and that we had the Bible for a
          guide, so that we need not be mistaken. This being the case, it
          is something very curious--I often think so in my
          reflections--that men and women are to-day in the penitentiary,
          doomed to associate with the worst class of villains, because
          they believe in God. The same principle that exalted Abraham and
          made him the "friend of God," because he believed God and obeyed
          Him to-day is considered a crime: for men and women who manifest
          that they have the faith of Abraham by doing the works of Abraham
          are considered fit subject to be placed among murderers and the
          worst class of characters. I presume if 50 years ago, any man had
          said that the time would come when the doctrine of Christ should
          be so unpopular that those who believed God, and who practiced
          the principles that lead to endless lives, would be incarcerated
          in dungeons, he would have been considered slightly insane. It
          has been the boast of the nation to which we are attached, that
          wherever the glorious flag waved it was a source of consolation
          to the people of all nations to know that there was a spot on
          earth that was the land of the free and the home of the brave.
          With a Constitution that is the admiration of all nations and
          peoples, nobody would have ever thought for a moment that the
          circumstances that we see to-day, and the facts that we are in
          possession of, would ever be recorded upon the pages of American
          history, and they never would have been had the spirit of
          patriotism that dwelt in the bosoms of those who consecrated
          their lives, their sacred honor, and their all, for the
          establishment of a spot on earth that should be indeed the land
          of the free, and the home of the brave, been manifested to-day.
          No brave man would ever interfere with another man's religion. It
          is all that I have. My hope, my joy. Take my religion away, and I
          am a beggar of the poorest kind. If I am wrong show me my wrong:
          I am open to conviction. I embraced the doctrine taught by the
          Latter-day Saints, because I believed that it was true, and that
          it promised to me something more than I was in possession of. The
          humble man that brought the glad tidings of the restoration of
          the Gospel, told me that if I would appeal to God who dwells in
          the heavens, and would appeal honestly, He would give me light
          and intelligence, and that if I would obey the Gospel I should be
          put in possession of knowledge that it was true; that I would
          learn that Joseph Smith was no false prophet, but a true prophet
          sent of God; that holy angels, holding keys of power and
          authority, had visited the earth for the express purpose of
          restoring the Priesthood of God, that the Gospel might be taught
          in power and authority in all nations, preparatory to the coming
          of the Son of Man, which is nigh at our doors. Wishing to be kind
          to myself; wishing to understand if there was any truth in all
          these things, I went where we should all go--to the throne of
          grace, and asked God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus
          Christ, that if the testimonies I had heard were true, that I
          might have a knowledge of the same; that I was willing to embrace
          the Gospel provided that it was true, and it would guarantee the
          excellency of knowledge that was promised me if I would seek
          wisdom at His hands and obey. I asked that if it was the truth I
          might know it; because if any man desired eternal life I did; if
          any man desired to serve God I did; if any man desired the
          remission of his sins I did; and consequently I went to that
          source that I would presume all intelligent men and women would
          appeal to when a message of the kind that came unto us through
          the Prophet Joseph Smith was sounded in our ears. I obtained that
          knowledge, and I have endeavored faithfully to bear my testimony
          wherever I have been, and under whatever circumstances I have
          been placed. And I have never taken any step but what I have
          appealed to the same source, believing as I do in the Gospel of
          Christ, believing as I do in the Bible, and believing that James
          meant what he said when he stated: "If any of you lack wisdom let
          him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth
          not; and it shall be given him." I went forth in the simplicity
          of my heart believing God would answer my prayer. He did so, and
          from that day to this I have had, in my associations with the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a living testimony
          of the truth of this work, and the closer I live to the
          requirements and to the principles that have been enunciated, and
          are continually enunciated, by inspired men, the greater the
          happiness and peace I enjoy. Do I wish to interfere with the
          rights and privileges of anybody? God forbid. Do I wish to do
          anything that would be a reproach to this nation? God forbid. The
          course that the Latter-day Saints are taking is an honor to the
          nation. It is an honor to this country. That God our Eternal
          Father selected men who had been born, and raised on this soil to
          usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times. It certainly
          ought to be a source of joy to all men who are honest in heart,
          and who desire to obtain eternal life, to know that the keys are
          turned by which they can obtain the same. But as it was in the
          days of Christ, so it is to-day. The world by wisdom know not
          God: and the course that they are taking to-day in fighting
          against the principles of righteousness is a shocking record to
          make upon the pages of history. Can a false religion benefit me?
          Can man-made systems benefit me? Can I obtain the remission of my
          sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost, through uninspired men? I
          think not. I have no guarantee for that inside or outside of the
          lids of the Bible.
          His Spirit, that we might be led by its counsels, that He might
          not suffer us to be led into temptation, but that He would
          deliver us from evil. And I do not consider that this duty is all
          the time upon the head of the house. I consider that this family
          should take a part in family prayer. I do not consider it
          necessary for the man to be the mouthpiece all the time. I think
          it is just as acceptable to God our Eternal Father, for the wife
          to take her part in prayer, and for the boys and girls to take
          their part in the same exercise. It seems to me there is
          something very shocking that young men should be allowed to grow
          up until they are about twenty years of age and have it to say
          that their father never asked them to pray in the family circle.
          We expect our wives to be associated with the Relief Societies,
          and certainly they should know how to pray. We expect our young
          men to be associated with Young Men's Associations, and they
          certainly should know how to pray. We expect our daughters to be
          associated with the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement
          Associations, and they certainly should know how to pray. We
          expect our children to be associated with the Primary
          Associations, and they certainly should know how to pray. We do
          them an injustice when we do not divide up the honors in prayer
          in this way. It is requisite that all should take their turn in
          prayer, and I do not think it should be done for form's sake. It
          should be the expression of glad hearts, understanding the great
          blessings that have been conferred upon us through the light and
          intelligence of the Gospel, and feeling glad that we are not
          under the condemnation of priestcraft, but that we have the
          privilege of priesthood; that we are not led by false teachers
          who have no authority, and who know not the way of life and
          salvation, but that God has given unto us true teachers, inspired
          by Him, that His people may learn of His ways and walk in His
          paths. And I believe in the counsel of the Savior when He advised
          His disciples to pray for their enemies. If there are people on
          the face of the earth who ought to be prayed for, it is our
          enemies. I would pray the Eternal Father that He would have mercy
          upon them, that He would enlighten their minds, that they might
          understand they were fighting against the truth. I would plead
          before Him that they mighty be prevented from making the dreadful
          record that they are making against themselves; I would plead
          that the Lord would be merciful unto them, that they might be
          converted as we are converted. Who converted us? The Spirit of
          God. What do we know only as we are taught of God, and what can
          they know of the true faith only as they are taught of God. The
          Lord Jesus Christ, in His dying agonies, and the martyrs Stephen
          filled with the Spirit of His master, said, "Father, forgive
          them, for they know not what they do." Lord, lay not this sin to
          their charge! Behold the unbounded love and charity that were in
          the breast of the savior and His servant Stephen. We should have
          this same Spirit. It is a most awful thing to die in one's sins.
          It is most awful to be classed with those who misrepresent, who
          are called in the Bible liars, who are to have their portion in
          the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the second death. When I
          think that men of professed intelligence will stoop to such
          dishonorable means to bring trouble upon innocent people, I think
          they ought to be prayed for that God would have mercy upon them,
          that He would convert them from the error of their ways, that
          they might not be blotted out from the book of remembrance and
          become subject to the second death. I think common humanity
          should inspire us to pray for them. They are the children of God,
          and they are in the image of God, they are our brethren and
          sisters, children of the same parent: and it is a duty we owe to
          God and to mankind to pray that the Lord may have mercy upon
          sinners. I also believe that we should pray for the Chief
          Magistrate of this nation. We should pray that He might be
          inspired of God, and be a blessing to the nation in his integrity
          to the Constitution. I believe we should pray that God might
          overturn, and displace the wicked, and put in righteous men who
          would repeal the unrighteous acts and laws that have been passed,
          and thus demonstrate that they were willing that all mankind
          should enjoy what they themselves wish to enjoy--the pursuit of
          life, liberty, and happiness. All the happiness that I have is in
          keeping the commandments of God. All the happiness that I have
          has been given unto me through the new and everlasting covenant,
          which God has restored to the earth. And then I believe in secret
          prayer. I can go and tell my Father things that I would not want
          anybody else to know. I can go and ask His direction when I
          require it. So can the sisters, who are entrusted with these
          bright spirits that have been reserved in the heavens and
          foreordained to come down on the earth in the dispensation of the
          fullness of times to assist in the establishment of the Kingdom
          of God. How are you going to exercise righteous dominion over
          your children and teach them correct principles, unless you enjoy
          the revelations of God. I cannot understand how a woman can love
          her children and not plead before the Almighty, that they may be
          protected from all accident, that they may enjoy their senses,
          that they may be preserved in the use of their limbs, that they
          may not meet with any accident that would disfigure or disable
          them in the battle of life. I think all these things arise on
          common sense principles. When we know that God lives; when we
          know that He hears and answers our prayers; when we know that we
          are dependent upon Him and upon Him alone; when we know that we
          have no friends outside, and that the world is at enmity with
          God, is at enmity with us, and with the principles of
          righteousness, we should humble ourselves to the dust, and ask
          God to be merciful to us and to all mankind.
          Then, again, how can we have faith in the Gospel, unless we have
          the Spirit of God. In a revelation that has been given, and that
          is frequently quoted, we are told that when we do as the Lord
          sayeth He is bound to fulfill; but when we do not we have no
          promise. And on another occasion He said that He could not look
          upon sin with the slightest degree of allowance. Do we believe
          this? Do we believe that all we have, or that we ever expect to
          have, comes or will come from God? Do we understand this
          principle? Do we understand that if we do not obey the Gospel,
          that if we do not offer unto the Father the offering of a broken
          heart and a contrite spirit, we will not be accepted of Him? Do
          we understand that unless we live the principles of that He has
          revealed from the heavens, that we have no promise of the future,
          and then to think it a light thing not to pray. The Lord has said
          with regard to the work of the ministry, and the establishment of
          His Kingdom on the earth that, "No one can assist in this work,
          except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope
          and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be
          entrusted to his care." How is it possible for us to be put in
          possession of these inestimable virtues unless we desire them
          with all our hearts! And how can we obtain them but by earnest
          prayer to Him from whence all these priceless blessings flow?
          From what other source can we obtain them? Why, if we thoroughly
          understand our position, and our entire dependence upon God our
          Eternal Father, our prayers would ascend up to heaven night and
          day, and they would be mingled with praise and thanksgiving to
          God, for the mercies and blessings He has vouchsafed unto us. If
          we do not see the necessity of this it is because we are too
          ignorant to understand the loving kindness of God, and it is time
          we should wake up to righteousness and good works, that we may
          have wise and understanding hearts. The Lord has indeed been
          merciful to us as a people. How marvelously He has protected us!
          How marvelously He has blessed us as a people, and how cheerfully
          He has poured out His Spirit upon us when we have sought it. It
          behooves us to walk in His paths. It is our duty to walk in the
          light, even as the beloved Apostle said: "If we walk in the
          light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with
          another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanseth us from
          all sin." The same beloved Apostle said: "Marvel not, my
          brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from
          death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not
          his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a
          murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding
          in him."
          My brethren and sisters: Let us pray to God our Eternal Father;
          let us make ourselves familiar with His Spirit and the impress
          thereof; let us, if we have not done so, put our houses in order,
          remembering that we are living in the hour of God's judgment,
          that we are on the eve of famine, of pestilence, of earthquakes;
          and it behooves every man and woman professing to be Latter-day
          Saints to be alive to their duties, to put away all folly, to
          live humbly and frugally before God, and to prepare for the
          calamities that are coming upon the earth. We have been warned
          and forewarned, and I say unto the Latter-day Saints prepare ye,
          O prepare ye, for the calamities that are at our doors. Let us
          cease all extravagance; let us remember the children entrusted to
          our care that they, too, may have something for a day when
          nothing shall be raised; let us sanctify ourselves before the
          Lord, striving to do His will and keep His commandments, calling
          upon Him in mighty prayer, (remembering "The effectual fervent
          prayer of a righteous man availeth much,") to have mercy upon His
          heritage; and that these valleys of the mountains may indeed and
          of a truth be the land of the free and the home of the brave;
          which blessings I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Q. Cannon, December 14, 1884
                         George Q. Cannon, December 14, 1884
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, December 14, 1884.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                                       A TIME,
          It is always an impressive sight to me to see a congregation
          numbering so many people as this does, raise their hands before
          the Lord to sustain the names of men who are presented to them as
          holding office in the Church, and though we do this
          semi-annually, in our general conferences for the General
          Authorities, and quarterly, that is, four times a year for the
          local authorities, it should not be in our feelings nor in our
          practice the performance of an empty form, but should be done in
          a spirit that will be acceptable unto our Father, and in
          consonance with the responsibility that devolves upon the men
          whom we sustain. For when we thus sustain these men it means more
          than the mere lifting of our hands, or at least should do so. It
          means the sustaining of these men by our faith and by our
          prayers, and so far as works are required, by our works, and when
          we thus vote and thus act, there is a power and an influence
          accompanying such action as we have performed this afternoon,
          that are felt by those in whose favor we vote: they feel
          strengthened, and God our Eternal Father seals His blessing, or
          causes it to descend upon those who are voted for, and there is a
          spirit that rests down upon them from that time forward, so long
          as they are faithful and are thus sustained, that manifests
          itself unto all with whom they are brought in contact. Let this
          congregation lift up their hands to sever a man from the Church,
          and no matter how high he may be in authority, no matter what
          Priesthood he bears, no matter how great and mighty he may have
          been in the Church and in the ministry--let this congregation for
          just cause lift up their hands against any such man and how
          quickly the effect is felt, how quickly that man is stripped of
          his power and of his influence, and of that spirit and those
          gifts which have been conspicuous in his labors previous to such
          action, or while he was in good standing and in fellowship with
          God and his brethren and sisters. We have seen numerous
          illustrations of this in our history. Name after name might be
          mentioned of men who have been bright stars in the firmament, who
          have been stripped--by their own conduct to begin with, and
          afterwards by the action of the Saints of God upon their case--of
          that lustre, of that brightness, and of that glory that seemed to
          attend their ministrations. And while this is the case with those
          who have transgressed when the Saints of God act upon their
          cases, so it is, on the contrary, with those who are sustained in
          their ministry, and in their Priesthood, and in their calling by
          the united, uplifted hands of the Saints of God in conference
          assembled, as we have done this afternoon. Men may sneer at the
          Latter-day Saints, and say this is but an empty form, and that it
          is all pre-arranged. Men may say what they please about this. It
          is pre-arranged according to the spirit and mind of God, so far
          as that can be ascertained. When men are chosen for office, the
          Spirit of God is sought for by those who have the right to
          select, and if there be doubt upon certain points men are not
          chosen; but when they are chosen and the mind of the Lord is
          sought for to know whether it will be agreeable to Him that they
          receive this office, or that they should act in those positions,
          and when they are thus selected and thus submitted, as I have
          said, to the Conference, then if they themselves live so as to
          have the Spirit of God with them, they will be clothed with it,
          and when they seek to magnify their office God will magnify them
          before the people and will show them and the people that they are
          indeed His chosen servants, and that their ministrations are
          acceptable unto Him, that He confirms them by the outpouring of
          His Spirit and the bestowal of His gifts. It is a remarkable fact
          in this age of unbelief, in this age of doubt, in this age of
          darkness, in this age when men pride themselves upon there being
          no revelation, and no knowledge from God--I say it is a
          remarkable fact that in this age such as we now live in, and such
          as we are familiar with, God, in the history of this people is
          accompanying His labors, and the labors to which He assigns His
          servants, with the ancient power, with the ancient
          manifestations, and with the ancient confirmations by gifts and
          by mighty signs and works that He causes His servants to
          When Moses was about to depart God required of him that he should
          lay his hands upon another man to take his place to act as the
          leader of the people of Israel. He laid his hands upon Joshua,
          and a portion of that spirit and power that had attended the
          ministrations of Moses in the midst of Israel was immediately
          manifested through Joshua, and God confirmed the selection and
          impressed upon the people by the signs and the mighty works which
          Joshua accomplished that he was indeed God's chosen servant. He
          magnified him in the midst of the people; he was enabled to
          perform mighty works, and the people, if they had had any doubts
          whatever, had those doubts removed by those manifestations of
          power. You remember how the Lord showed in the sight of all
          Israel that Joshua was His inspired and chosen servant, for under
          his direction the children of Israel crossed the river Jordan dry
          shod. It was at the time of high water in the river Jordan; but
          the Jordan was stayed in its onward course, its waters stopped
          running, and the whole hosts of Israel, by the direction of this
          servant of God, passed over dry shod. In this manner God showed
          unto His people that He had indeed chosen this man to be His
          servant. And so it has been in the entire history of God's
          dealings with His people. He has not left them without a
          testimony. He has not left them to proclaim His word
          unaccompanied by His power. They have not been left to argue for
          themselves, to plead for themselves, to protest in the ears of
          the people that they were the servants of God, and to constantly
          contend for their rights as leaders of the people of God. But in
          every instance when He chose a man to be His servant, He
          accompanied that choice by the manifestations of His power by the
          outpouring of His spirit, and His gifts, so that every honest
          soul, every humble man and woman who sought the Lord, might know
          for themselves that those men were His chosen ones. A most
          striking illustration of this suggests itself to my mind now. It
          occurred at the time the children of Israel desired a king. The
          Lord was displeased with them for this. Samuel also felt
          offended, for they had rejected him and his house. They had a
          good reason for desiring a king, at least they thought so. The
          surrounding nations had kings who went out and in before them to
          battle and were their leaders, and they desired to have a king,
          especially when the two sons of Samuel, whom he had chosen as
          Judges over Israel, were men who had turned aside after lucre,
          and took bribes, and perverted judgment. This Prophet of God,
          this mighty man of God, happened to have two sons who were
          unworthy of their father's reputation, unworthy of the
          Priesthood, unworthy of their position as Judges in Israel. In
          consequence of this the leaders of Israel gathered together and
          said unto Samuel: "Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in
          thy way: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations?"
          Samuel was greatly offended with the thought. But the Lord said
          unto him: "Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they
          say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have
          rejected me, that I should not reign over them." In other words,
          the Lord had led them and chosen for them those who should lead
          them up to that time, and now He would give them a king. He
          designated to Samuel the kind of man he should be, who he should
          be, and told him he should visit him. The person designated was
          Saul, and Samuel anointed him king of Israel. After he was chosen
          king, it seems that he went about his ordinary business, and the
          next we hear of him he was following the herd, driving up the
          cattle, when the news came to him that Nahash, the Ammonite,
          would only be pacified towards the men of Jabesh-Gilead upon one
          condition, and that was that he might thrust their right eyes
          out, in token of their subjection, and as a reproach upon all
          Israel. And then, at that time, when danger threatened Israel,
          when there was a necessity for a general, for a man to lead the
          hosts of Israel, the Spirit and power of Almighty God, and the
          anointing that he had received under the hands of the Prophet of
          God, descended upon that young man, Saul, and his anger was
          kindled at the insult that had been offered to his nation, and he
          took a yoke of oxen and hewed them in pieces, and sent them
          throughout all the coasts of Israel, by the hands of messengers,
          saying: Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and Samuel, so
          shall it be done unto his oxen. And great fear fell upon the
          people; they gathered out, and he organized his army, and they
          fell upon their enemies and cleaned them out.
          Now, this is an illustration of the manner in which God operates
          upon His servants and upon His people. This young man was
          following peaceful pursuits. Though he had been chosen a king, he
          had not seemed to assume kingly dignity, he had gone about his
          business; but when the crisis arose, when there was a necessity
          for some one to step forward and take the leading position, then
          the spirit of that position to which he had been anointed, and to
          which he had been chosen by the voice of God, by the act of His
          Prophet, and by the approbation of the people, rested upon him,
          and he emerged from his obscurity and arose in their midst a
          king, a leader in very deed and in truth.
          And so it was, you remember, in the case of Elisha. When Elijah
          was about to be taken to heaven, the spirit of prophecy seemed to
          rest upon all the prophets. The sons of the prophets came forth
          to Elisha, and said unto him, "Knowest thou that the Lord will
          take away thy master from thy head to-day? And he said, Yea, I
          know it; hold ye your peace." At a former time he had been
          plowing in the field, with twelve yoke of oxen, when Elijah came
          along, and Elisha dropped his work and followed the prophet of
          God. Afterwards, when Elijah's departure drew near, he said unto
          Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away
          from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of
          that spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast a hard thing;
          nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall
          be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so." And sure
          enough, he beheld a chariot of fire and horses of fire, and he
          saw his master ascend in his sight to heaven, and undoubtedly
          that gift that he had asked for, and that Elijah said should be
          granted unto him if he beheld his departure, was given to this
          man of God, it rested upon him, and when he came to the Jordan,
          having Elisha's mantle which he had dropped, he smote the water
          in the power of God, and cried, "Where is the Lord God of
          Elijah?" so that the waters divided, and he passed over dryshod.
          God accompanied that man by His power wherever he went. A great
          and a mighty prophet was he; so great and so mighty, that it is
          related of him that after his death a band of Moabites came into
          the land. The people of Israel were burying a man. While in this
          act, they became frightened at seeing a band of men, and cast the
          man into the sepulchre of Elisha; and when the man was let down
          and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood upon his
          feet." He was a mighty prophet, and he received those gifts and
          this power from God, which He bestows upon all those who receive
          the everlasting Priesthood, and who seek to magnify it in the
          spirit thereof.
          Read, too, of the transformation that occurred when Jesus laid
          His hands upon His apostles. The lowly, the ignorant, and the
          unlettered fishermen were transformed into mighty men, men of
          poweer, men of influence, men who had communication with the
          heavens, unto whom God revealed His mind and will, and through
          whom He performed mighty works. These men previously were obscure
          men, men of humble lives, fishermen, probably one of the lowest
          occupations that men followed in those days, as it is in our day.
          It is a lowly occupation is that of a fisherman. It is not one
          that brings great wealth; it does not bring men into public
          notice; it gives them no opportunity for distinction; but these
          men were men whose lives were hid with God. These werre Princes
          in disguise, men who had been chosen, like their Lord and Master,
          according to my view, before the foundations of the earth were
          laid to be His companions in the flesh, and like Him they were
          born in lowly and obscure circumstances. But when He chose them,
          when their hearts were touched by the great truths He taught, and
          they came forward, in obedience to His authority, to cast their
          lot with Him, then the power of God descended upon them, they
          performed mighty works, and while they lived upon the earth the
          Holy Ghost was their companion, and their fame has come down to
          us embalmed, it may be said, through the ages that have
          transpired, through the ignorance, and the gloom, and the
          darkness, and the apostacy that have since taken place--their
          names have come down to us from our ancestors, and the most
          glorious edifices and structures that the world know anything of,
          are dedicated to their memories. God made them mighty in the
          midst of the children of men. And so it was with all the
          prophets. When God made promises unto them they received them.
          But they did not receive these things without exertion on their
          part, without their seeking industriously to magnify that
          Priesthood which had been bestowed upon them. The spirit and
          power of God will rest upon a man if he listens to it. It will
          impel him to action. If he cherishes it, it will be his constant
          companion. It will be with him in times when he will need it, and
          when he does need it, if he magnifies his calling, the spirit and
          power of the Almighty--that spirit and power and those gifts
          which belong to his particular office--will rest upon him, and he
          will be made equal to every emergency, to every trial, and will
          come off victorious.
          How was it with the Prophet Joseph Smith? Whose origin could be
          more lowly in a land like ours than his, springing from the
          humblest ranks of life, of parents that were not distinguished,
          or of any family that was known particularly, bearing a name more
          common than any other name in our language. Yet this man, because
          God had chosen him, manifested extraordinary power. Those who saw
          him, those who listened to him, those who witnessed his acts,
          know how mighty he was in the midst of his fellow men, and how
          mightily God wrought through him. God chose and ordained him. He
          gave unto him His everlasting Priesthood. He gave unto him the
          full authority to organize His Church. He did so--organized this
          Church, the most glorious fabric that ever was established upon
          the face of the earth; because it is God's Church: it is the
          Church of Jesus Christ, unparalleled by anything else. No other
          organization approaches to it in perfection; nothing lacking,
          every detail, beautiful, harmonious, symmetrical, leaving nothing
          to be desired. Such is the Church and such the organization that
          the Prophet Joseph was the means in the hands of God of restoring
          once more to the earth. The plan, the pattern, had been lost
          entirely. The officers that formerly filled the Church were
          withdrawn. The Priesthood that they held was taken back to God,
          and the men who bore it also were taken from the earth. There
          had, therefore, to be a complete restoration. It could only come
          from the God of heaven, and Joseph, inspired of God, was the
          means through which the restoration was made--Joseph, a youth,
          obscure, illiterate in some respects--that is, he was not what
          men would call learned, but afterwards, through industry and
          perseverance, became learned, and if he had lived, he would
          undoubtedly have become one of the most learned of men through
          the gifts God gave him. The progress he made when he did live was
          very remarkable. By his faith, and inspired of God, he laid the
          foundation of this work, and not only did this, but he laid his
          hands upon other men and they partook of the same spirit and
          influence that rested upon him. They were able to drink at the
          same fountain, which God, through him had opened up for them to
          drink at. They could go to that fountain, and partake of its holy
          influence, and their eyes were opened and their minds were
          illuminated by the power of God. They were able also to go forth
          in the power which He had restored, and thus once more among men
          was witnessed the mighty gifts that were characteristic of bygone
          ages, when God had a Priesthood on the earth, when He had
          prophets and apostles, and mighty men whom He clothed with a
          portion of His Spirit and power.
          And when Joseph was taken, how was it then? Were the people left
          without some man or men to stand up in their midst to declare to
          them the counsel of their Almighty Father? No: the Lord did not
          leave His people without a shepherd. He had anticipated the
          dreadful tragedy which would rob us of His anointed one; rob us,
          the Church of Christ, of our Prophet and Patriarch. He had
          anticipated this, and previous to this horrid tragedy, He
          inspired His servant Joseph to call other men, upon whom He
          bestowed all the keys, all the authority, all the blessings, all
          the knowledge so far as endowments were concerned, so far as the
          power to go unto God and ask Him in the name of Jesus, and obtain
          His mind and will, was concerned. He bestowed upon these men the
          same gifts, and blessings, and graces, he had received; so that
          there was a body of men with all the authority, a body of
          prophets with all the gifts of seers and revelators--a body of
          men left instead of one man--a body of men were endowed with this
          power when Joseph was taken, and the earth was not robbed of that
          Priesthood which God had sent His angels from heaven to restore
          once more to the children of men and to act on the earth in the
          plenitude of its power. There was no more need, therefore, for
          angelic visitation to restore it. It was not taken back to God by
          the slaying of the Prophet and Patriarch, but remained with
          mortal man here on the earth. And, then, when the question arose
          as to who should lead Israel, notwithstanding Sidney Rigdon stood
          up in the congregation of the Saints, and plead for the
          leadership of the people, the spirit and power of the Almighty
          descended upon the man whom God had chosen to hold the keys. In
          the midst of all Israel, in the face of the entire congregation
          of believers and unbelievers, God clothed His servant with such
          power and in such a manner that every man that had the least
          portion of the spirit of God, and every woman, knew by the
          manifestations of that spirit, and by the outpouring of the gift
          of God upon that man, that he was the chosen one, and that upon
          him rested the authority, and the power, and the gifts that had
          been borne by the Prophet Joseph during his lifetime. No more
          plainly was the power of God manifested in behalf of Elisha,
          after the taking away of Elijah, than it was manifested in behalf
          of President Brigham Young, when the Prophet Joseph was taken
          from the earth, and from that day, while he lived on the earth
          until he died, the Lord magnified him in the eyes of the people
          and blessed those who listened to his counsel.
          When he departed there was no contention, there was no strife as
          to who should be the leader. The men of God had learned by
          experience concerning the Priesthood, and as to who should bear
          the keys. There was, therefore, no contention among the leaders
          nor among the people. There was no special necessity for any
          particular manifestation. But I appeal to you, my brethren and
          sisters, to-day, in this conference assembled--has not God
          accompanied the President of His Church who succeeded Brigham
          Young--has He not accompanied him, has He not accompanied his
          acts, his counsels and his leadership of the people by every
          sign, by every blessing, by every manifestation of power
          necessary to confirm in the hearts of Israel the truth that he is
          indeed the man whom God had designated, whom God had chosen, and
          whom God desired to lead His people Israel? I have no doubt of
          it, never had any. I knew it before anything was heard or
          anything was said. I knew it by the revelations of Almighty God
          to me, that God had chosen His servant John Taylor, to preside
          over this Church. I know it to-day. I rejoice in this knowledge,
          and I rejoice that God still continues to manifest His power
          through His anointed one, and through the channel of the Holy
          Priesthood, having but one man at a time on the earth whom He
          gives the keys to preside over the Church, and give revelations
          to the entire Church, as a church and as a people. He has chosen
          him from among the prophets, apostles, seers and revelators, to
          bear the keys of the everlasting Priesthood upon the earth in the
          flesh, he having the power and authority to act for the entire
          people, and to receive the mind and will of God for the entire
          people. And thus God up to the present time has confirmed His
          work by signs following: every man in his place, enjoying the
          spirit of God, and the gifts of his office--the President of the
          Twelve in his office and in his calling; blessing the Apostles
          who act as the council of the Twelve; blessing the Presidents of
          Stakes with the spirit and power and gifts of that
          calling--blessing their counsels and filling them with the power
          necessary to magnify the Priesthood to which they are called;
          blessing the Presiding Bishop and his Counselors; blessing the
          High Councils; blessing the Seventies, High Priests, Elders and
          Lesser Priesthood; every man in his place and station receiving
          his portion of the gifts and blessings and power of God according
          to his faith and diligence, and his obedience to the commands of
          God, and also according to the office and position that he holds
          in the Priesthood of the Son of God.
          God in His marvelous kindness and mercy has organized His Church
          in perfection, and has given to every man that bears a portion of
          the Holy Priesthood, if he will magnify the same, the gifts and
          graces necessary thereto; given to every woman and to every child
          who is faithful in the Church of God, the spirit that belongs to
          the position of each, according to the faith and necessities of
          each. And thus it is that heaven is moved on our behalf; thus it
          is that the power of God is manifested from time to time; thus it
          is that the people are led and guided as they are and as they
          have been from the beginning until the present time, and thus it
          will be until the end, until the church shall be as a bride
          prepared for the coming of the bridegroom, for the coming of the
          Lord Jesus, who is our head, and who will preside over us and
          over the Church and Kingdom that will be organized upon the
          Oh, my brethren and sisters, God is not working in vain in our
          midst. He is not working in hidden places. He is not concealing
          His hand and His power. He is ready to bless every man in His
          Church who will magnify His office and calling. He is ready to
          bestow the gifts and qualifications of that office upon every man
          according to his diligence and faithfulness before Him. But the
          idle man, the slothful man, the man that shirks his
          responsibility, the man that avoids duty, the duty of a Deacon,
          Teacher, Priest, or Bishop, Elder, Seventy, High Priest, or an
          Apostle, or one of the First Presidency--every man that does this
          God will take from him His gifts and His blessings; He will
          withdraw them and give them to the faithful one. He will clothe
          His faithful servants with the power that belongs to the
          Priesthood in proportion to the diligence and faithfulness in
          seeking to magnify their calling, and to live near unto their
          God. Mark this, and let it bear with weight upon your mind, for I
          tell you it is so. You may ordain a man to be an apostle, but if
          he does not seek to magnify that office and priesthood, the gifts
          of it will not be with him as they would be with a man who does
          seek to magnify his calling: not matter how great his ability,
          the power of God will not accompany him unless he seeks for it,
          for God will be sought after, and God will be plead with for His
          gifts and graces and for revelation and knowledge; He will be
          sought after by His children, and then when He is sought after,
          He will bestow.
          Now, when I speak about one who has a right to give revelations
          to the Church, I do not mean by that to say that others shall not
          receive revelation; for this is a day of revelation. We know the
          sentiment of Moses when Joshua became jealous of two of the
          Seventy Elders prophecying. The Seventy were gathered around
          about the tabernacle to receive the words of the Lord from Moses,
          when the Spirit rested upon them, as also upon two of the men who
          had remained in the camp. Joshua was jealous for the honor of his
          master and asked Moses to forbid them prophecying. But, no, Moses
          replied: "Would God that all the Lord's people were Prophets, and
          that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them." He had no jealousy
          about prophecy. He desired that every man in the whole camp of
          Israel might have the spirit of prophecy, and he gave utterance
          to that beautiful, glorious expression which I have just quoted.
          So with the Elders of Israel to-day. Would to God all the Lord's
          people were Prophets. Would to God that every man in Israel had
          the spirit and power and gift of prophecy resting upon him. Would
          to God that every woman had the spirit of prophecy resting upon
          her, and every child. Would to God that all the hosts of Israel,
          those of the Church of God, had the Holy Ghost and its gifts
          resting in power upon them. There is no room for jealousy in
          regard to the possession of this gift in the breast of a servant
          of God. The only feeling that it ought to produce in the breast
          of a faithful man is one of thankfulness, one of thanksgiving to
          God that others share in this blessing, that others can partake
          of this power, that others have received of this glorious gift
          from our Father in Heaven. There is no room for jealousy,
          therefore, in such cases. Let every man press forward humbly and
          obediently in the path of exaltation, in the path that leads to
          God. Let every man press forward. He need not be afraid that any
          Latter-day Saint will impede his progress. Let every man speak
          and act and do as though he were a servant of God, as he is, as a
          son of God; let him do this and rejoice in it. At the same time
          let him be careful not to be lifted up in pride, not forgetting
          who he is, but obedient to constituted authority, that authority
          which God has placed in His Church, and, then, if he does not
          forget these things, there is nothing to prevent his onward
          progress. If he be an Elder, if he should have the gifts and
          power that an Apostle should have, who will be jealous? Certainly
          no servant of God. If he be a Deacon, and he has gifts from God,
          through faithfulness, that belong to an office higher than his
          own, is there any one who will not rejoice in it, or any one who
          will retard him or throw obstructions in his way? God forbid that
          there should be.
          Now, in connection with this subject, a man a few days ago--it
          suggest itself to my mind and I will speak upon it--brought a
          communication addressed to President Taylor and his Counselors,
          and we read it. It purported to be a message from God--a message
          from God to us, that is to the First Presidency, and through us
          to the Church. We read the message, but could see nothing in it
          particularly; there was considerable said, but there was nothing
          tangible, or that gave us light upon any point that we did not
          understand before. The man said he had been in the Church three
          years, but he had not received the Priesthood. He had had some
          spiritual manifestation, in which he heard a voice say, "thou art
          a Priest after the order of Melchizedek."
          I wish to speak upon this point, that is, in connection with this
          subject that I have been speaking upon. God has organized His
          Church. He has placed in that Church its officers. As I have
          said, He has given to one man, and to one man only, at a time,
          the keys to preside over and to communicate the mind and will of
          God to that Church. While that man is in that position, seeking
          to magnify it, he will not speak to other men and give them
          revelations for His Church. I wish you all to understand what I
          have endeavored to impress upon you--that it is the privilege of
          every one to receive revelation. It is the privilege of every
          mother to receive revelation from God for guidance in the
          training of her children; to be in communication with the Father
          through the Holy Spirit. It is the privilege of children to have
          the same Spirit, and to have knowledge from God through that
          Spirit. What for? To teach the parents? No. If their parents are
          in the path of duty, it is not so; but it is, as I have said, the
          privilege of every man, woman and child in the Church to have
          revelation, to have knowledge, to be instructed of the Lord. But
          that does not give them the right to give revelations to the
          Church. God did not design it. God never has warranted or
          sustained any such action. Therefore, he that cometh in by any
          other way than by the door, you know what is said of him; he that
          climbeth over the wall, he that receiveth authority from some
          source outside of that which God recognizes, we as a people are
          not bound to receive anything that may be communicated to him.
          Out of that which is communicated in that way, there may be
          nineteen truths out of twenty statements; but there will be
          error, there will be falsehood, there will be something that will
          mislead, because there is not the authority from God to lead and
          to act. God has His own method of doing things. He chooses whom
          He will; He takes away, and remove from the path those that He
          wishes. It is all according to His good will and pleasure. He
          gives unto us authority, and, as I have said, He confirms it by
          signs following; and this Church from the day of its organization
          up to the present time has never been one hour, yea I may say,
          one moment without revelation, without having a man in our midst
          who can tell us as a people the mind and will of God, who can
          point out to us that which we should do, who can teach us the
          doctrines of Christ, who can point out to us that which is false
          and incorrect, and who can, upon all matters that come within the
          range of our experience, and that are necessary for us to attend
          to give us the necessary counsel and instruction. This has been
          the case always. Therefore, a man may receive mighty signs--I
          heard the Prophet Joseph, when I was a boy, say that the time
          would come when false prophets would work mighty miracles in the
          eyes of the people of the earth, and they would seek to establish
          their authority by the performance of mighty miracles, and we
          have heard of such things in our day, since his death--but this
          does not sustain a man in claiming to be leader of a people, and
          to give revelations from God. But there is a spirit that God
          gives; there is an influence that accompanies His word when it is
          proclaimed by His servants that seals itself upon the hearts of
          the honest, upon the hearts of the meek and lowly, and those who
          are living in close communion with God themselves seals upon
          their hearts the truth of that which He says: I have no fears of
          any of you, my brethren and sisters, if you will only live near
          to God. I said the leaders of this Church do not come bolstering
          up their own claims. It is not necessary. You are the witnesses.
          You are the witnesses whether John Taylor is President of the
          Church; whether his Counselors are the men they should be;
          whether the Twelve have the authority they claim; whether the
          Presidents of Stakes have the authority they claim--you have this
          testimony, you are our witnesses, and all the Israel of God,
          wherever they live, are witnesses of the truth of these things.
          You can testify because you have received--if you should live as
          you should do--a testimony independent of that which we can give
          to you, or any argument that we may urge--you have received it,
          if you have received it properly, from our Eternal Father. You
          received it in answer to prayer, direct to yourselves--not
          through any intermediate source, not through any man, but through
          the Eternal Spirit of our Father descending upon you and bearing
          witness to you--a testimony that these things are true. You,
          therefore, are living witnesses of the truth of these things, and
          know for yourselves whether they are true or not.
          Now, I have heard that there are men among us who are professing
          to cure witchcraft and other evils of that kind. I believe they
          call themselves astrologers. More injurious ideas and practices
          than these cannot be introduced among a people to lead them to
          destruction, and I wish to warn you before sitting down, in
          regard to this. Do not seek for those who have peepstones, for
          soothsayers, and for those who profess to be able to counteract
          the influence of witchcraft. They who say so, seek to play upon
          your fears, they seek to take advantage of superstitious fears,
          and seek to use them for their own advantage and bring those who
          will listen to them in bondage to an influence and spirit that is
          as foreign to the spirit of God as hell is foreign to heaven. Any
          man who professes to have this authority, to have this power, and
          to use power outside of that which the Priesthood authorizes, is
          a man that should not be listened to; his claims are false, and
          his methods are from beneath and not from God. And I say to all
          of you, witchcraft you may defy if you live as you should
          do--defy it, not in a spirit of defiance, not in a spirit to
          bring evil influences upon you, but in the power and strength of
          our Father and God. No evil influence of that kind, if you live
          as you should do, can have power over you; you are entrenched in
          the power of God, in the spirit and gifts of God; you are
          entrenched round about so that none of these wicked influences
          can have power over you. I wonder if Job thought there was
          somebody bewitching him when his property was stolen and
          destroyed, when his servants were killed, when his son's house
          fell and killed his children, when his boils came upon him. I
          wonder if he thought that he was bewitched. Why, I hear of some
          people, if anything happens to them, even if any of their
          chickens die, who are ready to say: "I am bewitched; there is
          somebody bewitching me." Such expressions and ideas are prompted
          by the worst folly that ever possessed the mind of a Latter-day
          Saint. Do not such persons know that not a hair of their heads
          can fall to the ground unnoticed? Has not the Savior said so, our
          Lord and Master? And is so, do you not think He will care for us?
          Do not your angels stand continually before the face of our
          Father in heaven? And yet shall people unto whom God has made
          such glorious promises, and upon whom He has poured out such
          glorious blessings--shall they bow to these wicked influences,
          these spirits that are not of God, that are full of vileness and
          darkness and evil, and do that which they say, and seek to
          wizards and to soothsayers, and to diviners and to men and women
          who do this--I do not want to prophecy evil about them--are in
          great danger of losing the spirit and power of God, and having it
          withdrawn from them, and if they do not repent it will most
          assuredly be withdrawn from them. All who take these methods and
          encourage these practices I say that the anger of Almighty God
          will descend upon them unless they repent, and they will find
          that their hidden works of darkness will not avail them when the
          Lord feels after them, and when His condemnation rests upon them;
          they will find this out to their everlasting sorrow. Men who are
          guilty of these practices, and who seek to lead away the unwary,
          and to prey upon the ignorant and unsophisticated, and to take
          advantage of their fears, and instil superstition into the mind,
          cannot escape condemnation. These methods are not of God, and
          beware of them, all of you, and tell all your friends that it is
          sinful in the sight of God to yield to such influences. Pray,
          rather, to the Father, in the name of Jesus, to let His angels be
          around about you, to let His power encircle you, to let His
          Spirit be in your hearts and in your habitations, and rest down
          upon your little ones, and be of strong faith, and say, like Job,
          "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Yes, that righteous
          man, though God should slay him, yet he would not fail to trust
          Him to the uttermost.
          Let these truths rest upon your minds and be not forgotten, and
          let us seek as a people to have the gifts and power and blessings
          of our Father and God resting upon us continually. I pray God for
          this blessing to be with you always, in the name of Jesus Christ.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / John
          Taylor, November 30th, 1884
                          John Taylor, November 30th, 1884
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                    Delivered in the Stake Meeting House, Provo,
                        Sunday Morning, November 30th, 1884.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                                   REQUIRED A MAN
          I am pleased to have an opportunity of meeting with you in your
          conference, and of talking with you on some principles associated
          with the Gospel of the Son of God, in which we, all of us, are
          more or less interested. We are gathered together from among the
          nations of the earth. We have assembled ourselves thus together
          because of a work which the Lord has commenced in the interests
          of humanity, not only pertaining to ourselves, but pertaining to
          the world of mankind. In obedience to the revelations of His
          will, and the command that He has given unto His servants through
          the restoration of the everlasting Gospel, we have many of us
          gone forth among the nations of the earth to proclaim those
          principles which God has revealed for the salvation, happiness
          and exaltation of the human family. We have been gathered
          together according to the word of the Lord which He spake by His
          ancient Prophets who have lived in the world in generations that
          are past, and who, under the influence of the Spirit of God, have
          given a very graphic account of the gathering of the people
          together, in the last days; and of the instructions they should
          receive preparatory to other events that will necessarily
          transpire upon the earth, as spoken of by all the holy Prophets
          since the world was. We are living in what is called "the
          dispensation of the fullness of times," wherein it is said God
          will gather together all things in one, whether they be things in
          the heavens or things on the earth. And we are gathered together
          to this land of Zion, (which has been spoken of also in the
          Scriptures) where we might learn more perfectly the law of God,
          and carry out those principles which He has made known for our
          information, for our instruction, for our guidance and direction,
          as regards the course that we should pursue, and the blessings
          that should attend those who have obeyed His laws and kept His
          commandments. We are here really to build up and purify the
          Church of the living God. We are here to build up and establish
          the kingdom of God. We are here also to build up a Zion unto our
          God, wherein His laws can be taught, the principles of eternal
          truth be communicated, the relationship and communication opened
          between the heavens and the earth, and men placed in a position
          whereby they will be enabled to act intelligently, in regard to
          all matters pertaining to this world as well as to the world that
          is to come.
          We have been told, and it has been prophesied of, that great
          calamities will overtake the nations of the earth. One of the
          ancient Prophets (Isaiah, in the 24th chapter) makes use of very
          peculiar language in relation to this matter. He says:
          "Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste,
          and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants
          "And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with
          the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her
          mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the
          lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with
          the giver of usury to him.
          "The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled; for the
          Lord hath spoiled; for the Lord hath spoken this word. 
          "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because
          they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken
          the everlasting covenant.
          "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell
          therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are
          burned, and few men left."
          In relation to these matters we as a people have been very much
          interested, and these things have been spoken of for a long, long
          time. I have been preaching them between forty and fifty years,
          and a great many others who are now living, have borne testimony
          of these things; and have gathered together as we have done. This
          places us in a very peculiar position, for we not only bring our
          religion with us, and the spiritual ideas connected with it--we
          not only bring these things that are spiritual, but we bring our
          bodies along with us which are very temporal; and when we gather
          as we have done here in this land form a people such as we are,
          we necessarily become part of the body politic of the nation with
          which we are associated--that is, of the United States. We are
          organized here in a Territorial capacity, as other Territories
          are organized, and are now living in what was before the
          unsettled portions of the United States; we are organized
          according to the general provisions made and provided by the
          nation in which we live, and we are organized under what is
          called an Organic Act, whereby the action of the Government of
          the United States has placed us in the position that we now
          occupy. We have, for instance, as other Territories have, a
          governor. We have district judges of the United States; we have a
          U. S. marshal, an attorney, etc., etc., and the same kind of
          officers that exist in other Territories that are under and
          associated with the government of the United States. We have
          granted unto us in the instrument called the Organic Act certain
          rights and privileges. We send a Delegate to Congress, and are
          authorized so to do. We have our Legislature, and have the right
          of voting for it. We have our County Courts and Probate Courts,
          as other Territories have, and are placed under general
          regulations pertaining to these matters as exist in the order
          that prevails in the United States. In this respect we act as
          others do--that is, we are placed pretty much under the same
          laws, not quite; pretty much under the same form of government,
          not quite; we have certain rights and privileges ceded to us, not
          like others have exactly; but to a very great extent similar to
          others. In this respect we act and operate as other citizens of
          the United States do, and in this respect we have rights,
          privileges and immunities as others have so far as they go. But
          they don't go with us quite to the extent that they do with other
          people under the same circumstances. Nevertheless, perhaps we
          enjoy as many privileges and as many rights as we are capable of
          comprehending and of magnifying, and it may be possible in the
          inscrutable wisdom of the Lord, that we should be subjected to
          certain kinds of prohibition and enactments, that differ
          materially in many respects from those of other people. But so it
          is, and these things are quite as beneficial to us as other
          things. If we had nothing to cope with or to contend with, we
          might feel as the Methodists do sometimes when they talk about
          sitting and singing themselves away to everlasting bliss; but as
          we are not going to the same place as they are, it don't make
          much difference; they can take their road, and we will take ours.
          We have other ideas of a religious nature from those entertained
          by other people. But take it as a whole we enjoy very many great
          blessings. We are living here in a goodly land. We have many
          privileges in this land: and in our endeavors to preach the
          Gospel and gather together the people under the blessing and
          guidance and direction of the Almighty, we have been very
          successful thus far. Although in our history there are many
          things which have been unpleasant for people to meet with--such
          as mobbings and drivings, killings and imprisonment, and a
          variety of other things that are not pleasant to the feelings of
          human nature, yet upon the whole the Lord has controlled these
          things for our good, just in accordance with the words of the
          Psalmist, where he says: "Surely the wrath of man shall praise
          thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain." It has not
          been pleasant for people to be driven, say as I have been, and as
          many of you have been from our homes; but, then, we had to endure
          it, and there is no use grunting about it. We had to do it in
          Missouri. We were driven from our homes there. Then we went to
          Illinois, and at first we were treated very kindly. But when we
          began to grow and increase, they did not like our religion, and
          they don't like it to-day, and we don't fancy their's much
          either; so on the religious question there is not much love lost.
          We had to leave Illinois and come here. It was not very
          agreeable, as I have said, to have to leave our homes and our
          farms and come out here to live among the Redskins; for this was
          a desert when we first came here. It was not full of beautiful
          farms and houses, orchards and gardens, cities, villages and
          hamlets. It was a desert where the red man roamed unmolested,
          where the crickets had full sway, and where the white man had
          scarcely trodden. There had been a few pass through before we
          came here, and it had been discovered perhaps a hundred years or
          two by some travelers that had existed in those days; but to all
          intents and purposes it was what was called then and marked on
          the maps as the "Great American Desert." Since then the solitary
          place has been made glad, and the desert has been made to blossom
          as the rose. The Lord has been very kind and merciful to us, and
          opened out our way, and provided for our wants, and although we
          may have some little things to complain of--all of which are very
          trifling in comparison to many things that exist among other
          peoples--yet are we abundantly blessed all over the land. Is
          there anybody here in your conference, or is there anybody in any
          of the conferences of the Stakes of Zion, that lacks the
          necessaries of life? Is there anybody that is destitute of food,
          or of clothing, or of habitations? Not that I know of, and if
          there are any such things, they ought not to exist among us.
          Now, then, if we are blessed we have not to thank any man, or any
          set of men for it. If we are provided for, we have not obtained
          it from anybody else, but from the Lord God of Israel, who has
          watched over and protected His people just as He said He would
          do. He said it was His business to take care of His Saints, but,
          then, it is our business to be Saints. And being gathered
          together as we are under these circumstances, we are organized
          according to certain laws laid down in the order of God, for our
          guidance and direction, wherein we are instructed in things
          pertaining to this world and to the next; pertaining to things
          that are past, things that are present, and things that are to
          come--pertaining to time and eternity. By this means man, the
          noblest work of God, is brought into closer relationship with God
          than he has been for generations past. Many things have been
          revealed, and there will be many more yet revealed that have been
          hidden from before the foundation of the world according to the
          word of God to us, and we are trying to act wisely, prudently and
          intelligently, to live and act and conduct ourselves in a manner
          that will be honorable before God, that will be honorable before
          the holy angels, that will be honorable before all honorable men
          and all men who love righteousness and truth and virtue, and who
          are inspired by the principle and integrity and by those
          principles that emanate from God, and that always lift up and
          exalt and elevate those that have embraced and are governed by
          them. These principles are revealed to us according to the laws
          which God has introduced, and through the medium of the Holy
          Priesthood, which He has again restored unto the earth, and we
          are here to learn His laws that we may walk in His paths. We are
          here that we may build temples unto His name, and that we may
          administer in those temples. This is the object of our being
          gathered together, that we may be brought into a closer union and
          relationship to God our heavenly Father, that we may be
          instructed in the laws of life, and that we may comprehend the
          relationship that exists between us and Him. And while we are
          looking for calamity and trouble--wars, pestilence and famine,
          and all those things that have been spoken of by the holy
          Prophets--yet there is to be a voice heard before that day
          crying: "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of
          her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues"--that is,
          speaking of a certain something that is called Babylon. Well, we
          have been doing that, and we have been gathered together that we
          may comprehend those principles of which I have spoken. We have
          come here that we may enter into covenants that are eternal, and
          which continue behind the veil. And we expect that while we are
          organizing Zion here upon the earth, and seeking to establish the
          kingdom of God, we have those who are co-operating with us above,
          those who are building and preparing for us in the heavens
          mansions to go to. Jesus went to prepare mansions for those of
          His followers in His day. Says He: In my Father's house are many
          mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to
          prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you,
          I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am
          there ye may be also." There is something very peculiar about
          those things, about the preparing of those mansions for those
          that go behind the veil. But it is for us to learn to comprehend
          all these matters. We read about beautiful cities. We read of the
          new Jerusalem and the old Jerusalem. We talk about cities the
          most magnificent that can be thought of. Do you think they grow
          out of nothing? No, they have to be made just as we make things
          here, only more intelligently. What is meant by a certain saying:
          "Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness;
          that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting
          habitations." Ah! indeed. Well, you can guess what it is. I will
          leave it with you.
          People find a good deal of fault with us about our having more
          wives than one; but, then, that is nothing; we attribute that to
          their ignorance. If they were better informed they would know
          better. Abraham was a friend of God, and he practiced polygamy,
          under the direction of the Lord; David was a man after God's own
          heart, and he had wives given to him of the Lord. They would have
          put them in the Penitentiary, if they had been here to-day. But
          then because of many things that transpire in these days, the
          Lord will make the earth empty. Why? Because they have
          transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the
          everlasting covenant. We are gathered together here in order that
          we may observe the laws which have been restored unto us, and
          keep the everlasting covenant. While they make covenants for time
          only, we make covenants for time and for eternity. There is the
          difference. Ours is everlasting; theirs until death do them part.
          We as wives and husbands expect to be associated after death in
          the eternities that are to come. We believe in an everlasting
          covenant, and in an everlasting Gospel. An angel was to bring the
          everlasting Gospel, and everything associated with it is
          everlasting. It existed before we came here. It exists with us in
          time, it reaches into eternity, and people that do not have the
          Gospel have no everlasting covenants. They think we are very low,
          on the one hand, because we cannot comply with their ideas, and
          we think they are very ignorant because they don't understand
          ours. But so it is. We are here to do the will of God, to carry
          out His law in all humility and faithfulness to God our heavenly
          Father--faithfulness as men to the nation in which we
          live--faithfulness to all men--to make known the things that God
          has communicated to us.
          Now, then, in speaking of covenants, let me follow that subject a
          little further. Have we to do with time? Yes. Have we to do with
          eternity? Yes. Did we exist before we came here? Yes, and we
          shall exist when we leave here. The principles that we are in
          possession of, go back into eternity and reach forward into
          eternity. We are here in a state of probation, and God, in the
          infinitude of His mercy and kindness, has seen proper to bring us
          together as we are, and then we are nothing to brag of when He
          has got us here. Still while many have rejected the truth we have
          received it. God has given us His grace to enable us to
          comprehend the Gospel and to give us power to obey it, and some
          of us have kept faithful for quite a long time, and it is pretty
          hard work for some of us to be faithful. It is good to be a
          saint. When we get the Spirit of the Lord upon us, we feel to
          rejoice exceedingly, and sometimes when we don't have much of
          that, it feels rather what we used to call hard-sledding. But
          there is nothing that makes things go so well among the saints of
          God as living their religion and keeping the commandments of God,
          and when they don't do that, then things go awkward and cross and
          every other way but the right way; but when they live their
          religion and keep the commandments, "their peace flows as a
          river, and their righteousness as the waves of the sea."
          Now, in regard to these matters there is a subject I have
          referred to at one or two of the conferences we have visited
          lately, and I will mention it here. The ancient Israelites had a
          very peculiar law among them, and yet it was a very proper law,
          namely, that if a man died, his brother was to take his wife and
          raise up seed to him. That would be a curious kind idea among the
          world, where they did not believe anything of that kind; singular
          kind of a doctrine; but it was a thing that was practiced among
          the Israelites, and it is a thing we ought to be practicing among
          us. That is, if a man has a brother dead who has left a widow,
          let the woman left in that kind of a position be just as well off
          as a woman who has a husband. Here is a principle developed which
          then existed and I will speak a little on that subject and show
          certain reasons and certain whys and wherefores for these things.
          If a man should die and leave a wife and she should be childless,
          why not her be taken care of as well as anybody else? Would not
          that be just. Would not that be proper? Would not that be right?
          Yes. But says the man, "I do not know about that. I would rather
          raise up seed for myself." Perhaps you might do both. You might
          if the law did not prevent you carrying out the law of God in the
          United States. If these worthy ancients had lived here, they
          would not have allowed them to carry out such a law. Still there
          is a principle of that kind exists. Why should it not be put into
          practice? We do believe, you know, more or less in this
          principle. But then there are a certain class of men who will
          say: "I would rather somebody else attended to that business; I
          would rather attend to my own affairs, and let everybody attend
          to theirs." All right. Suppose you do it. We will carry the thing
          a little further. This woman's husband has gone behind the veil,
          and he is operating there, and probably he will be called upon in
          a family capacity to look after those that were coming there, or
          help prepare mansions for somebody who is yet on the earth, as
          Jesus did for His disciples. He has left His wife behind here,
          but he is there operating for others. Now, what would you think
          of making to yourselves friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness;
          that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting
          habitations? What would you think of that? We talk about angels
          taking care of us, and all sorts of things like that. But I
          expect that when we get behind the veil we shall have business to
          do as much as we have here, and one thing will be, perhaps, to
          look after the arrangement of our family affairs, and things
          associated therewith.
          Now, then, a man here says: "I would not like to embark in a
          thing of that sort--marry a brother's wife, and raise up seed for
          him." What did they do with such men in olden times? The woman
          had an opportunity of loosing his shoe and spitting in the man's
          face that would not raise up seed unto his brother, and it was
          said: "So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up
          his brother's house. And his name shall be called in Israel, the
          house of him that hath his shoe loosed." (See Deut. xxv, 5 to 10.
          See also Ruth iii and iv.)
          But we will go again to the other side, and find those there
          engaged in doing certain works in the heavens and preparing
          mansions for those that are coming. Now, when Jesus went to
          prepare mansions I do not suppose that He did it Himself. He had
          plenty of hands to set to work of that sort, same as we have
          here. This man that has died hears his brother say, "I would
          rather attend to my own affairs," and he says, "All right, come
          here and attend to your affairs also. If you are selfish perhaps
          I will turn selfish too." Now, what is sauce for the goose is
          sauce for the gander. That is the way it presents itself to me in
          relation to these matters. If a woman is left by her husband, let
          her have somebody to take care of her; if not her husband's
          brother, then his next of kin. That is the order so far as I
          understand it, and I wanted to say so much in relation to these
          matters. Why should not women have equal rights with men? They
          have these rights and they ought to be sustained and maintained
          among us as Saints. We ought to look after the welfare and
          interest of all.
          I shall now refer to what is known as Utah Lake and Jordan river
          dam water question. This is a subject that has troubled you a
          great deal and upon which there has been much awkwardness and
          unpleasant feeling. It was adjusted some time ago, but the
          agreement, it appears, was not carried out: in consequence of
          which considerable trouble was likely to ensue. President Angus
          M. Cannon showed me a letter in which it was stated that a law
          suit was commenced in regard to the affair, some of the parties,
          thereto being outside of the Church and some inside. In
          commencing this suit those inside the Church were not taking the
          right course, and they would have subjected themselves to be cut
          off the Church, because God has given us laws in relation to
          these matters whereby they can be properly regulated wisely and
          in accordance with His laws. Brother Cannon (who is President of
          the Salt Lake Stake) came to me and wanted to know what to do. He
          said he could not regulate these matters as his jurisdiction did
          not extend beyond Salt Lake Stake, nor could President Smoot
          because his jurisdiction did not go beyond Utah Stake. Here was a
          dilemma. What shall be done? Could I show him a way out of the
          difficulty? I told him I could; that a council had been provided
          through the Prophet Joseph Smith, for just such cases. Some
          people don't know anything about that, but yet that is a fact.
          They did not know that it had ever been used before. It is a
          council of twelve High Priests over which the First Presidency of
          the Church should preside to adjudicate upon difficult cases that
          might arise in the Church, and this should be the highest council
          in the Church, and from which there should be no appeal. We
          called together this council and met here in this house, and the
          parties were heard--some outside of the Church and some inside.
          Finally we got the matter adjusted, and I am informed that the
          decision is satisfactory to all parties. The council was composed
          of the following brethren, viz.: Abraham O. Smoot, President of
          Utah Stake; Angus M. Cannon, President of Salt Lake Stake; Warren
          N. Dusenberry, Probate Judge of Utah County; Elias A. Smith,
          Probate Judge of Salt Lake County; Jonathan S. Page and A. D.
          Holdaway, Selectmen of Utah County; Ezekiel Holman and Jesse W.
          Fox, Jr. Selectmen of Salt Lake County; Presiding Bishop Wm. B.
          Preston; John T. Caine, Delegate to Congress from Utah; Bishops
          Thos. R. Cutler and John E. Booth. After the first session of the
          council, in consequence of Hon. John T. Caine being required at
          Salt Lake City on official business, Elder L. John Nuttall was
          appointed a member of the Council. In selecting the council we
          selected men from the two counties who were conversant with
          county affairs, and both counties were equally represented. But
          some people will say--How is it the High Council could not settle
          the question? Because the High Council in Utah Stake has no
          jurisdiction over affairs in Salt Lake Stake, nor has the High
          Council of Salt Lake Stake any jurisdiction over affairs in Utah
          Stake, and the other council was formed just to meet such an
          emergency. I speak of this for your information; and, as I have
          said, when the matter is thoroughly completed, it will prove to
          be satisfactory to all parties.
          Now, I want to read you a curious Scripture. We talk a good deal
          about water, and about certain laws--laws of hydraulics and
          hydrostatics--we have had a good deal of talk about these things
          lately, I have heard some very singular remarks made pertaining
          to the waters of the Utah Lake by Brother Madsen, who has kept a
          very accurate account of the condition of the waters of the lake
          under various circumstances for a great number of years. Among
          other things he said that it was very difficult to tell how and
          in what manner the waters of the lake were sometimes increased.
          That he had frequently seen large fountains or springs rising in
          the lake, that he should think furnished more water than any of
          the rivers that flowed into it--and these springs were very
          fluctuating, so much so, that it was found very difficult to make
          any accurate calculations pertaining thereto.
          It is thought and so stated by some writers that there are
          subterraneous passages for water flowing from Lake Superior.
          This may appear strange to some. But in regard to the flood, the
          laws governing hydraulics, as we understand them, were not
          strictly carried out on that occasion. Speaking of the flood we
          "And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the
          flood were upon the earth.
          "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month,
          the seventh day of the month, the same day were all the fountains
          of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were
          What was done? "The windows of heaven were opened," and the
          immense bodies of waters that exist in the upper firmament were
          let down, or as it is expressed, "the windows of heaven were
          opened." What else? "The same day were all the fountains of the
          great deep broken up." You have got a Brigham Young Academy here.
          I would like to give the professors and pupils of that
          establishment a problem to solve, and that is--How they could
          manage to get enough water out of the seas, and out of the
          oceans, and out of the rivers, and out of the clouds, to cover
          the tops of these mountains and fifteen cubits above, and let
          that spread all over the earth? I would like to know by what
          known law the immersion of the globe could be accomplished. It is
          explained here in a few words: "The windows of heaven were
          opened"--that is, the waters that exist throughout the space
          surrounding the earth from whence come these clouds from which
          the rain descends. That was one cause. Another cause was "the
          fountains of the great deep were broken up"--that is something
          beyond the oceans, something outside of the seas, some reservoirs
          of which we have no knowledge, were made to contribute to this
          event, and the waters were let loose by the hand and by the power
          of God; for God said He would bring a flood upon the earth and He
          brought it, but He had to let loose the fountains of the great
          deep, and pour out the waters from there, and when the flood
          commenced to subside, we are told "that the fountains also of the
          deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from
          heaven was restrained, and the waters returned from the earth."
          Where did they go to? From whence they came. Now, I will show you
          something else on the back of that. Some people talk very
          philosophically about tidal waves coming along. But the question
          is--How could you get a tidal wave out of the Pacific ocean, say,
          to cover the Sierra Nevadas? But the Bible does not tell us it
          was a tidal wave. It simply tells us that "all the high hills
          that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits
          upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered."
          That is, the earth was immersed. It was a period of baptism.
          I will find you another Scripture. I will be found in the book of
          Job. Job had been complaining. It is said he was the most patient
          man on the earth. Still he had been complaining about the
          treatment he had received. He had lost his camels, and sheep, and
          his children; the lightning had struck his son's house, and
          finally he was smitten with boils, etc. He was not very patient
          then, not any more so than any of us would be under similar
          circumstances. He got a little out of humor; did not fancy it
          very much; found himself scraping his body with a potsherd, and
          wallowing in ashes. After some of his friends had talked to him,
          the Lord spake saying:
          "Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and
          answer thou me.
          "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?
          Declare, if thou hast understanding.
          "Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath
          stretched line upon it.
          "Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the
          corner stone thereof;
          "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God
          shouted for joy?
          "Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it
          had issued out of the womb."
          "Who managed that matter? Who shut up the sea with doors, when it
          brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?" Why, the Lord
          did it. These are singular expressions. It is said in the other
          place that "the fountains of the great deep were broken up."
          Now, then, I want to say to the Latter-day Saints, that God has
          more to do with the earth, with the waters, with the fountains of
          waters, with all the affairs of men, and with everything we have
          to do with, than men are willing to acknowledge in a great many
          instances. What means the saying, "In the wilderness shall waters
          break out, and streams in the desert." Do any of you know of such
          things? I guess you do. Plenty of them. What means that Scripture
          where it speaks of Moses in the wilderness, when the children of
          Israel cried out for water in the desert land, and called on him
          water? The Lord told Moses to smite the rock, and it should give
          forth water. Moses felt angry with the people because of their
          murmuring. And when the people were gathered together before the
          rock, Moses said: "Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water
          out of this rock?" and he smote the rock and water came out of
          it. But Moses did not honor the Lord in that instance as he ought
          to have done. The Lord felt angry with him, and would not allow
          him to go into the land of Canaan because he did not sanctify the
          God of Israel. At the same time the Lord fulfilled His word to
          Moses, for when he smote the rock the waters came out. By what
          principle? Was that according to the law of hydraulics? It was
          the power of God that manipulated that affair. So it was in the
          case of Elijah. There had been a drouth in the land of Israel,
          and there was great suffering in consequence of it. Elijah went
          and prayed to the Lord that the drouth might pass off, and that
          rain might come. The Lord heard his prayer, and sent the rain. At
          first, we are told, a little cloud arose out of the sea, like a
          man's hand; but by and by the heaven was black with clouds, and
          there was great rain. Who was it that manipulated these matters?
          It was the Lord. It would appear to some to be according to the
          laws of nature, etc. So it would; but at the same time this was
          done by the prayer of faith, and the water flowed forth. And I
          want to say one thing here, and that is, that if we are sustained
          in these latter days, God must sustain us; if we are upheld, God
          must uphold us. Men are raging and have been raging against us;
          but I will say, as I have often said. Woe! to them that fight
          against Zion, for God will fight against them, and He will have
          His own way of doing it. It is for us to pursue the even tenor of
          our way, and if we will work righteousness and fear God, and keep
          His commandments, the wilderness and the solitary places shall be
          made glad, (as it has been already abundantly among us) and the
          desert shall blossom as the rose. But it will not be to me, or to
          Brother Cannon, or to President Young, or to anybody else, that
          the glory will belong. We will give God the glory for all our
          deliverance. He has been very kind and merciful to us all the day
          Therefore, let us do right. Let us observe the laws of God, and
          keep His commandments, and the blessing of God will be with us.
          We will go forward and build our temples and labor therein. We
          will go forth and build up the Kingdom of God; we will go forth
          and purify the Church of God; we will go forth and establish the
          Zion of God. When Zion existed upon the earth it took 365 years
          to prepare the people thereof to be translated. But the Lord in
          these last days will cut His work short in righteousness.
          Therefore let us do right. Do right by everybody. Bear with the
          infirmities of men and the follies of men. Treat all men kindly,
          no matter who they may be--whether they are insiders or
          outsiders, or apostates, or anybody else--treat everybody kindly.
          But do not be partakers of the practices of the wicked. Do not
          mix up with the corrupt and evil. If they are hungry, feed them;
          if they are naked clothe them; if they are sick, administer to
          them; but do not associate with them in their abominations and
          their corruptions. Come out from the world and be ye separate, ye
          that bear the vessels of the Lord, and let "Holiness to the Lord"
          be written in every heart; and let us all feel that we are for
          Zion and for God and His Kingdom, and for those principles that
          will elevate us in time and throughout the eternities that are to
          God bless and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Q. Cannon, November 9, 1884
                         George Q. Cannon, November 9, 1884
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, November 9, 1884.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                            MUST PROGRESS OR RETROGRADE.
          I WILL read a portion of the 3rd chapter of the first epistle of
          St. Peter, and a portion of the 4th chapter; commencing at the
          12th verse of the 3rd chapter:
          12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears
          are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against
          them that do evil.
          13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that
          which is good?
          14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye;
          and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
          15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always
          to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the
          hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
          16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of
          you, as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse
          your good conversation in Christ.
          17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for
          well doing than for evil doing.
          18 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;
          19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
          20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering
          of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,
          wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
          21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us,
          (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer
          of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus
          22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God;
          angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
          1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm
          yourselves likewise with the same mind; for he that hath suffered
          in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
          2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh
          to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
          3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought
          the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness,
          lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable
          4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the
          same excess of riot, speaking evil of you.
          5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick
          and the dead.
          6 For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that
          are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the
          flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
          7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober,
          and watch unto prayer.
          8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for
          charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
          These words, my brethren and sisters, embody to us to-day, though
          written by the Apostle Peter, 1800 years ago, the Gospel of life
          and salvation. They are exceedingly appropriate to Latter-day
          Saints, as doubtless they were when written to former-day Saints.
          The circumstances which surrounded our brethren and sisters in
          former days, no doubt were similar in many respects to those
          which surround us in this our day, probably, with this
          difference: that we are not scattered to the same extent they
          were; we have been gathered together from the nations where the
          Gospel was preached to us, and are now living in one community in
          these mountains. But the same doctrines, the same principles, the
          same powers of evil, the same power of good, the same Spirit of
          God, and the same spirit of evil, were extant then, and were
          experienced then by the Saints who took upon themselves the name
          of Christ, as they are by us who now live.
          Since I have come into this stand my mind has reverted to a
          conversation which I had a few days ago with a minister of the
          Dutch Reform Church, who was passing through this city, and who
          was introduced to me, and had a good many inquires to make
          respecting our doctrines. When I told him how God had revealed
          Himself in these last days, how He had restored the Everlasting
          Priesthood, the ordinances of life and salvation, the Gospel in
          its original purity and power, accompanied with the Holy Ghost
          and its gifts, and had organized the Church as in ancient days,
          and related to him what God had said concerning all the churches
          in Christendom, he had the question to ask, which is so
          frequently asked of all our Elders when they travel and declare
          the same message, "Why has God left the Christian world for so
          long a time without these blessings and these powers and these
          gifts that you now claim as belonging to your Church and having
          been restored from heaven? And what has become of those
          Christians whom you say died in ignorance of the fullness of the
          Gospel of salvation?"
          These are very pertinent questions. They are questions frequently
          asked of all our Elders. They are questions which suggest
          themselves to the minds of every thinking man when he is told
          that God has restored the truth in its original purity, with the
          power and authority of the Priesthood which have been so long
          withdrawn. Our ancestors we may have known, at least some of
          them; we may have known the morality of their lives, the purity
          of their intentions, the goodness of their motives, their
          exemplary conduct; and if we do not understand the principles of
          the Gospel when we are told the message that the Elders have to
          bear, the inquiry naturally arises, "Is it possible that my
          grandfather, my grandmother, my uncle, or perchance my father and
          my mother, have not gone to heaven, that they are not in the
          presence of God? Why, better people I never knew, and I have
          always thought," says the inquirer, "that they really had gone to
          heaven, and now you tell me that unless I am baptized I shall be
          damned, and yet they are dead and have not been baptized."
          I expect many feel as the heathen king once felt. He was a king
          of the Franks, one of the old races that invaded what is now
          called France. He had surrendered his old convictions
          sufficiently to consent to receive the rite of baptism. A
          Catholic Bishop from Rome was to sprinkle him. But before
          submitting to be sprinkled the thought suggested itself to the
          king to ask the question what had become of his ancestors. The
          Bishop, more ready than politic, said, "They have gone to hell."
          "Then," said the king, "I will go to hell with them; I shall not
          be separated from my ancestors," and he refused to receive the
          rite of baptism.
          Now, I expect that there are many people in the world who, in the
          absence, or for the want of knowledge concerning the plan of
          salvation would almost feel the same when told that if they did
          not obey the Gospel, they would be damned. But when people are
          enlightened concerning the plan of Jehovah, the Gospel of the Son
          of God, they can easily reconcile justice and mercy as being
          attributes of the Great Being whom we worship. As I remarked to
          this gentleman, "I might easily answer your question by
          propounding another question to you. You are a Christian
          minister; you preach what you believe to be the Gospel; what has
          become of the millions of heathen who died in ignorance of that
          Gospel which you profess to obey and accept as the plan of
          salvation--the millions of heathen who never heard the name of
          Jesus Christ, the only name given under heaven whereby man can be
          saved--what has become of them?"
          "Oh," said he, "but they were not Christians."
          Said I, "Do you think that God makes a distinction between the
          souls or the spirits of men? Is there one class of spirits for
          whom He has a greater respect than He has for others! Is a
          Christian soul more valuable, or more precious, in the sight of
          our Great Creator, than the soul of a heathen? I do not believe
          it myself. I have no such idea."
          But he could see a wide distinction between those who were
          Christians and those who were not.
          Nevertheless the difficulty still remains, and it will ever
          remain to those who do not comprehend the plan of salvation as
          revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ. We must remember that God's
          work is not confined to this life; that God's plan of salvation
          extends throughout eternity; that according to our belief it
          began to operate in eternity, if it ever began at all--for it
          never really in truth began, it always operated, operated from
          eternity and will operate to eternity, for all the children of
          men, for every human soul. The plan of salvation devised by our
          Father and God, is intended to save every human being that will
          be saved; to reach them all, unless, during this probation, they
          commit what is termed the unpardonable sin, the sin against the
          Holy Ghost, and become sons of perdition, in which event
          salvation ceases (so far as they are concerned) to operate; they
          put themselves outside of the pale of salvation.
          There is a very interesting revelation contained in the new
          translation by the Prophet Joseph Smith, which is found in the
          Pearl of Great Price. The revelation says:
          "And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the
          residue of the people, and wept; and Enoch bore record of it,
          saying, How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their
          tears as the rain upon the mountains? And Enoch said unto the
          Lord, How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and
          from all eternity to all eternity? And were it possible that man
          could number the particles of the earth, yea and millions of
          earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of
          Thy creations; and Thy curtains are stretched out still; and thou
          art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou
          art merciful and kind forever; thou hast taken Zion to thine own
          bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity;
          and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy
          throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how
          is it that thou canst weep?
          "The Lord said unto Enoch, Behold these thy brethren; they are
          the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their
          knowledge, in the day that I created them; and in the garden of
          Eden, gave I unto man his agency; and unto thy brethren have I
          said, and also gave commandment, that they should love one
          another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but
          behold, they are without affection; and they hate their own
          blood; and the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them
          and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them,
          for my fierce anger is kindled against them. Behold, I am God;
          Man of Holiness is thy name; Man of Counsel is my name; and
          Endless and Eternal is my name, also. Wherefore, I can stretch
          forth my hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and
          mine eye can pierce them also; and among all the workmanship of
          my hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy
          brethren; but behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their
          fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their
          doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the
          workmanship of my hands: wherefore should not the heavens weep,
          seeing these shall suffer? But behold, these which thine eyes are
          upon shall perish in the flood; and behold, I will shut them up;
          a prison have I prepared for them. And that which I have chosen
          has plead before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins,
          inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall
          return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment;
          wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the
          workmanship of my hands."
          A most important revelation, this, to Enoch, showing unto him the
          fate of the wicked after this city should be translated and taken
          to heaven. The inhabitants of the earth should grow worse and
          worse, more abandoned than ever in their wickedness, until the
          time should come for the Lord to send forth His floods and drown
          the inhabitants of the earth except Noah, and those who received
          His testimony. All this was shown unto Enoch; and he was shown
          that those who had thus acted, or who should thus act, "would be
          consigned to prison, they would be consigned to a place of
          torment, and because of their sufferings, because of that which
          they should have to pass through, the heavens themselves wept
          over their fate. Enoch was told that they should remain there
          until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, or in these words: "And
          that which I have chosen has plead before my face. Wherefore, He
          suffereth for their sins, insomuch as they will repent in the day
          that my Chosen shall return unto me."
          That is, after the Savior's advent in the flesh, after He has
          suffered for their sins; until then, when He should return unto
          the Father, they should remain in this prison and in this
          condition of torment. "Wherefore, for this shall the heavens
          weep, yea, and all the workmanship of my hands."
          Those millions of spirits who had thus committed sin and iniquity
          could be borne no longer, until the earth groaned under their
          wickedness, and cried aloud as with a human voice against the
          wickedness upon its surface of which those inhabitants had been
          guilty--those millions of spirits were swept off with a flood,
          the whole family of man was destroyed, except Noah and those
          seven souls who received his testimony, a part of his family, and
          a part only, for there were children that Noah had who rejected
          his testimony, and who also shared in the destruction that came
          upon the inhabitants of the earth. But those eight, including
          Noah, were the sole surviving remnant of the entire family of
          man. The antediluvian world numbered millions doubtless; millions
          were swept away from the face of the earth, and consigned to a
          place of torment, or to a prison. In this prison they were
          immured, doubtless in utter darkness--in the condition that is so
          expressly described by the Savior Himself, when upon the
          earth--in outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and
          gnashing of teeth, a place of torment, where they were kept until
          the Savior Himself came in the flesh, and proclaimed unto the
          children of men the Gospel of life and salvation.
          Jesus Himself, on one occasion, went into the synagogue after His
          baptism by John the Baptist, and there was handed to Him a book
          containing the prophecy of Isaiah, or as it is written in the New
          Testament Esaias. He took it and read these words: "The Spirit of
          the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord 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; to proclaim the
          acceptable year of the Lord." He there proclaimed in the words of
          the Prophet Isaiah, the exact character of the mission that had
          been assigned Him by His Father in heaven. He was not only
          commanded to preach good tidings unto the meek, and to bind up
          the broken hearted, but He was sent to proclaim liberty to the
          captives and the opening of the prison to them that were bound.
          Thus was a part of His mission foretold by the Prophet Isaiah a
          long time before His birth. He Himself confirmed the correctness
          of the prediction by reading it in the ears of the people; and
          when He left the earth, after having established His Gospel upon
          it, after having commenced the work of salvation here, after
          having ordained men to the authority of the everlasting
          Priesthood which He held, the Priesthood of Melchizedek, after
          having done this and was slain by wicked men, suffered for the
          sins of humanity in the flesh, He then went in the words that I
          have read in your hearing from this epistle of Peter, and
          preached to the spirits in prison which sometime were disobedient
          when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah.
          He went and proclaimed liberty to the captive; He went to open
          the prison doors to them that were bound. He alone could do this.
          No Prophet that preceded Him had the authority, for none of the
          Prophets that had preceded Him had this mission assigned them. It
          was His duty as the Son of God, as the Redeemer of the world,
          after, as I have said, committing the Gospel to men in the flesh,
          after ordaining men to preach that Gospel and administer its
          ordinances in the power and authority of the everlasting
          Priesthood, to preach to those spirits in prison. It did not take
          a great while to commence the work; for He was crucified on
          Friday, and was resurrected on Sunday; but in the interim, while
          His body laid in the tomb, His Spirit, as is correctly stated in
          one catechism--I believe that of the Episcopalians--"descended
          into hell," and, according to the mission that had been assigned
          Him, according to the revelation that God gave to Enoch before
          the floods descended upon the wicked world, according to the
          predictions of Isaiah, and according to the power and authority
          which He exercised as the Son of God, He went and opened the
          prison doors to them that were bound, preached to them the
          everlasting Gospel, once more, and gave unto them the privilege
          of receiving it in the spirit even as though they were in the
          flesh. Therefore says Peter, "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, while
          the ark was a preparing." Then he goes on and he says--after
          telling the Saints how they should live, how the wicked should
          act, and how they should be treated--he says: "For this cause was
          the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might
          be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to
          God in the spirit."
          Now, say some, "Oh, this means when men are dead in their sins.
          This is what Peter means--dead in their sins."
          It does not mean any such thing. That is not the meaning of it.
          It means just what it says. It means that the Gospel shall be
          preached to them that are dead; that the Savior should carry the
          glad tidings of salvation to them, and not only to those who were
          disobedient in the days of Noah, but to all the spirit world, to
          every soul of Adam's race that had up to that time died who had
          not received the Gospel in the flesh. He commenced the work there
          just as He did here. He commenced, as I have said, by preaching
          the Gospel, by revealing it to His disciples, by giving them the
          authority to preach it, and then He descended into Hades or hell,
          and He there, doubtless, chose His ministers, the men who had the
          authority of the Holy Priesthood, and set them to the same labor
          that was commenced on the earth, the labor of preaching His
          everlasting Gospel to all the spirit world, to the millions of
          spirits who had died either in disobedience to the Gospel of
          Christ, or in ignorance of that Gospel, or in ignorance of that
          Gospel, never having heard the sound of it. The Gospel was sent
          to the entire spirit world, except, as I have before stated, to
          those sons of perdition who had committed the unpardonable sin,
          or the sin against the Holy Ghost, and the labor has doubtless
          continued from that day until the present time in the spirit
          world. In the authority and power of the everlasting Priesthood
          the servants of God have been calling upon the inhabitants of
          that world to repent and believe in Jesus: first to repent of
          their sins and be willing to receive the Gospel of the Son of God
          in its fullness and in its purity, just as men would receive it
          in the flesh--that is, be willing to comply as far as possible
          with all its requirements, and also to have this further
          willingness, that if they were in the flesh they would submit to
          and receive every ordinance of the Gospel of life and salvation.
          They must not only believe in Jesus, as I have said, and repent
          of their sins; not only be willing to go that far, but be willing
          to go the full extent of the requirements of the Gospel, be
          willing to obey every ordinance and every law that is necessary,
          and say in the spirit, "Oh, if I were in the flesh I would be
          baptized for the remission of my sins; I would have hands laid
          upon me for the reception of the Holy Ghost; I would be willing
          to obey every law of God, my Eternal Father, if I had the
          opportunity in the flesh of doing so."
          Jesus illustrated this principle and the work which lay before
          Him very beautifully, in the case of the thief on the cross. One
          of the thieves reviled Him. The other turned and rebuked his
          companion for reviling the Savior, and asked the Savior to
          remember him when He came into His kingdom; for you must
          understand that the idea had become prevalent then that Jesus was
          a king, and they had written over His cross in three languages,
          "Jesus, King of the Jews," partly in derision, doubtless; but it
          was the truth. Pilate asked Him if He was not a king, and this
          robber, doubtless, shared in the feeling that Jesus was a king.
          Therefore he besought Him to remember him when He came into His
          Kingdom. Jesus said to him: "To-day shalt thou be with me in
          paradise." "There I can speak to you," He might have said, "more
          fully than I can now. This is our dying hour, and I am not in a
          position to preach to you or explain to you the plan of salvation
          that I have; but wait awhile, before this day ends you will be
          with me in paradise, and there I can make full explanations to
          you concerning all that you desire to know."
          And this in reality was the case. That day they were in paradise
          together. Jesus was in a position to preach to him in the spirit
          as He had done to men in the flesh. And you will
          remember--although it seems almost unnecessary to repeat it to
          this congregation who are so well instructed; but there are young
          people who are not so familiar with these doctrines, and,
          therefore, for their benefit I quote the Scriptures. You will
          remember when Mary, after she missed the body from the sepulchre,
          rushed forward to a man, supposing him to be the gardener, and
          asked him where he had laid the body. She did not recognize Him
          at first, but as soon as He made Himself known she essayed to
          clasp Him in womanly affection. He, however, told her to stand
          back, not to touch Him. You must not put your hands on me, Mary.
          Whatever your relations may be to me, you must not touch me now.
          "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 God and your
          God." This was His expression when His body had been resurrected
          from the tomb. He had not yet been to His Father--that is,
          directly to the immediate presence of His Father. Therefore it
          was not fit that any mortal should put hands upon Him. It was not
          the privilege even of Mary, closely connected as she was with
          Him--it was not her privilege to put her hand upon her
          resurrected Lord. He had not yet ascended to the Father.
          Thus you see the Scriptures corroborate that which I have said in
          this respect. His body had lain, as I before remarked, from
          Friday until Sunday, in the tomb, and then it was resurrected.
          But during that period His spirit had been engaged preaching to
          the spirits in prison; they heard the glad tidings of salvation
          from the Savior. His voice penetrated the depths of hell, the
          gloom of darkness, and it awakened hope within their hearts. He
          proclaimed liberty to the captive. He opened the prison doors to
          those that were bound. He preached unto them the acceptable year
          of the Lord: for the time had come for them to be redeemed from
          their prison house in which they had been so long incarcerated
          for the sins committed in the flesh.
          This is the Gospel of salvation that God has revealed. Every
          human being that has ever been born upon the face of the earth,
          every human being that ever will be born will hear these glad
          tidings of salvation proclaimed by those who have authority to
          administer it unto fallen man, whether they lived before Jesus,
          whether they lived at the time of or since Jesus, or whether they
          will live yet in the future. They cannot hear the Gospel. They
          cannot be judged until they do hear it. Every principle of
          salvation will be proclaimed to those who have died without the
          privilege of hearing it in the flesh--they must hear it in the
          spirit world as well as those who hear it in the flesh.
          Therefore, we need not be in any anxiety concerning our
          ancestors; we need not puzzle ourselves with questions as to the
          fate of the heathen; we need not be disturbed in our feelings to
          reconcile the justice of God with His mercy, or His mercy with
          His justice, to the children of men. None of these questions need
          trouble us, for the reason that by the revelation of these
          glorious principles God's mercy is reconcilable in the most
          perfect manner with His justice. We see by this that God will not
          consign any soul to endless torment without first giving him an
          opportunity of receiving or rejecting the Gospel. If he be
          consigned to torment it will be as a punishment for violating
          law. Where there is no law there is no transgression of the law.
          There can be therefore no punishment if a man does not comprehend
          the law. If it is not made plain to him, its binding force does
          not operate upon him; but when he understands it, when his mind
          comprehends it, when it is declared to him, and if he reject it,
          then the penalty begins to operate also, and unless he repents
          and obeys that law he will receive severe condemnation. Therefore
          in the spirit world there are grades of punishment just as there
          are grades of spirits. Some are ignorant. Some men who never
          heard the name of Jesus have lived according to the light that
          God gave them; for God has given to every man that is born into
          the world, according to the revelations we have received, His
          Spirit. He has given unto every man and woman His Spirit, not the
          gift of the Holy Ghost, but His Spirit by which they are led and
          guided. Some call it the light of conscience, the voice of
          conscience. No man ever committed a wrong that listened to the
          voice without being chided for it, whether he be Christian or
          heathen, whether he has lived according to the light of the
          Gospel or been in entire ignorance of it. Every man has within
          him a spirit which comes from our Great Creator, and if we grieve
          it not it leads us, guides us, though we may not know the Gospel,
          as has been the case with many thousands and millions of human
          beings. It leads all the children of men when they listen to it;
          it leads them in the path of peace, in the path of virtue, in the
          path of happiness; but if they violate that spirit or grieve it,
          if they go contrary to its monitions, if they harden their hearts
          against and sin against it, then it departs, and another spirit
          takes its place, namely, the spirit of the evil One.
          Thus it is that the heathen, many of them have lived lives most
          exemplary, lives which are the admiration of posterity. Men not
          confined to one race, not to one nationality, but men of every
          race, men of every clime, men of every language, have received
          the same spirit and have been enlightened by it and their lives
          have been noble and admirable, and no doubt have been acceptable
          to God our eternal Father. Therefore, when you think about your
          grandparents whom you have known, when you think about your
          parents or some other relatives whom you have known, who died in
          ignorance of the Gospel, you have known their lives, you have
          known how good their desires were, you have known how they
          conformed to the law so far as they understood it, how moral they
          were, how exemplary, how correct in their conduct, in their
          conversation and in their dealings--when you think of these, you
          need not be afraid that they have lost anything because they died
          in ignorance of the Son of God. I tell you that God's providence
          is over all His children, and He will reward every man and every
          woman according to his or her works, and He will reward those who
          have lived exemplary lives, those who have been moral, whether
          they be heathen or Christian, whether they have known the name of
          Jesus or not, whether they have the Bible, or the Koran, or some
          other book, or no book at all; whatever may have been their
          condition and circumstances, if they have lived according to the
          light that God has given them, and to laws that they understood,
          God will reward them, and will eventually bestow every blessing
          upon them which they are capable of receiving. Yes, those poor
          people who persecute us, those people who would, in their
          ignorance destroy us, we can well say to them and concerning them
          that which Stephen said, when about to give up the ghost. They
          stoned him. They treated him most cruelly for his belief. He had
          declared to them the Gospel; but they stoned him to death. Before
          he died he said--and it's the spirit which every man of God, who
          comprehends the purposes of God, and the plan of salvation will
          cherish and always give utterance to under all
          circumstances--"Father forgive them, they know not what they do."
          They were ignorant. He therefore besought the Father to forgive
          them. They did not know what they were doing. They did it
          ignorantly. This was proved by the fact that the young man at
          whose feet lay the clothes of those who committed this bloody
          deed, afterwards became a flaming light in the Church and Kingdom
          of God, and ultimately laid down his life for that Gospel which
          he had witnessed Stephen die for, and which at the time he
          thought was a righteous judgment upon Stephen.
          My brethren and sisters, we can of all people be charitable. As
          the Apostle Peter says: "Above all things have fervent charity
          among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
          And not only among ourselves, but have charity for an ignorant
          world who know not what they do in fighting against God, in
          fighting against His truth, in seeking to destroy His Priesthood
          from the face of the earth: they know not what they do. We would
          save them if we could. We would carry the Gospel of salvation to
          them. We are ready, as we have been to endure all things for the
          sake of the souls of our fellow men. We have gone from continent
          to continent, from land to land, from island to island, wherever
          there was a door open, to preach the Gospel. We have forsaken
          home, forsaken wives and children, and all the endearments of
          home, everything that men love and hold sacred, even to the
          sacrificing of our lives for the salvation of our fellow
          men--gone without purse or scrip, gone forth in the midst of
          shame and ignominy, in the face of persecution of the most cruel
          and sometimes of the most dreadful character. We have done this,
          we are still doing it, we shall do it, until every soul under the
          broad canopy of heaven shall hear the Gospel of the Son of God,
          this message of life and salvation which has been entrusted to
          us. Every mortal shall hear the glad tidings of salvation. They
          shall be judged by this message. They shall receive the blessings
          of God or His condemnation, according to their willingness to
          receive or their determination to reject the Gospel; and then
          when this life is ended, when this mortal is laid aside, we shall
          go into the spirit world, endowed with the same Priesthood and
          authority of the Son of God; clothed with that authority;
          enveloped with it, even the fullness of it; we shall go into the
          spirit world and continue this glorious labor of warning our
          brethren and sisters who once were in the flesh, until throughout
          the spirit world the Gospel of salvation shall be heard from one
          end of it to the other. It is a never-ending work that which we
          have taken upon ourselves. It will never terminate until this
          earth shall be redeemed, until the power of Satan shall be
          subdued, until wickedness shall be banished from the earth, until
          He reigns whose right it is to reign, and every knee shall bow
          and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
          God. Then will this labor cease so far as the family of man is
          concerned; but it will never cease until all who belong to this
          earth, whoever were born upon it--no matter in what age, no
          matter what time, no matter what nationality, shall be redeemed
          who can be redeemed.
          Now, my brethren and sisters, you have some little idea of the
          character of the work in which we are engaged. Do we set too much
          value upon our Priesthood--when we talk about Priesthood and
          authority--when these are the labors that attend the Priesthood
          and that devolve upon it? No, we cannot value our calling too
          highly. And I say to you that you have entered upon a pathway
          that leads back to God. You may dally by the wayside; you may
          fool away your time; you may be idle, indifferent and careless;
          but you only lose thereby the progress that you ought to make.
          Unless you commit the unpardonable sin, you will have to
          progress. It is written in the eternity of our God that every
          soul must progress that does not retrograde. Therefore, make good
          use of the time you have. Now is the time of your probation, now
          is the time of harvest, now is the summer of your days. Let it
          not be said, the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my
          soul is not saved. But let us bear in mind that now is the
          probation that God has given us. Let us make use of it by doing
          the works of righteousness, by keeping the commandments of God,
          by having our eye on the mark of our high calling in Christ
          Jesus; which may God grant in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / John
          Taylor, February 12th, 1882
                          John Taylor, February 12th, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                           Delivered in the Assembly Hall,
                        Salt Lake City, February 12th, 1882.
                             Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.
          It is well sometimes for us to reflect upon the position we
          occupy before God; it is well for us to understand the relation
          we sustain to each other; it is well for us to comprehend the
          relation that we sustain to the Church and Kingdom of God; it is
          also well for us to know the position that we occupy in relation
          to the world in which we live. As intelligent beings it is for us
          to comprehend all truth so far as we are capable of understanding
          The Gospel is spoken of as being light; and when it was
          introduced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it was then said,
          that light had come into the world there was a certain class of
          people that loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds
          were evil. Jesus, in alluding to himself, said: I am the true
          light. And He is spoken of as being the light that enlightens
          every man that cometh into the world. And again it is said of
          Him: the light shineth in darkness, but the darkness
          comprehendeth it not. There are many very significant sayings on
          the same subject, that afford food for thought and reflection.
          The Gospel of the Son of God has always been obnoxious to a great
          portion of the human family. In it there is too much light, too
          much truth, too much intelligence; for the bulk of mankind; its
          principles are too pure, too noble, too elevating to accord with
          the general feelings of humanity and with that spirit that
          proceeds from the powers of darkness, and which rules in the
          midst of the children of disobedience. And hence people generally
          have been opposed to it, and they are opposed to it to-day.
          People oppose it, but they do not comprehend it. They speak
          against it; but they speak of that which they know not of. And
          while they think we are superstitious and ignorant, we know that
          they are; there is no doubt on that question. We know that they
          "understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."
          Therefore to us they are objects of commiseration more than
          anything else.
          Talk of Christianity and of the Gospel of the Son of God, in all
          the ages of the world, whenever and wherever it was proclaimed,
          there was a spirit of hostility and antagonism manifested towards
          it from the very first. We may go back as far as the days of
          Cain. We read that Adam had two sons, named Cain and Abel. Cain
          lent himself to the enemy of righteousness, and became what is
          termed in Scripture, the father of lies. He rebelled against God,
          and rebelled against his father, and instigated by the spirit of
          enmity which proceeds from the evil one, he killed his brother.
          These things are not always understood nor the reasons for them.
          But it has been revealed unto us that Cain loved Satan more than
          he loved God, and that he placed himself under his influence. And
          Cain and Abel offered up their sacrifice, Cain offered his at the
          instigation of the devil; and his sacrifice, of course, was not
          accepted. God knew his heart and the feelings by which he was
          actuated, and therefore rejected his offering. Then came Lucifer,
          the devil, and says to Cain, "I told you the Lord would treat you
          wrong; He has treated me wrong;" and he instigated him to kill
          his brother, which he did. And why? Because his brother believed
          in God, and obeyed God; and because he believed in the atonement
          of the Lord Jesus Christ, which had been made known to them;
          because he believed these principles, and because Satan was
          opposed to them, he instigated Cain to kill his brother.
          It looked a rather awkward thing for the world under these
          circumstances. As we read it--there were two sons, one of them
          righteous, the other wicked; the wicked killed the righteous, and
          the world was left under these influences to a certain extent.
          But then Adam had other sons and other progeny, and he himself
          was there; and he believed in God, and blessed God for having
          revealed the Savior, and the plan by which he and his children
          were to be redeemed from the fall, which he had been an active
          participator in bringing about, which, probably, was all right
          that it should be brought about. And from that time the spirit of
          antagonism existed between the two principles; the power of God
          and the power of the adversary. It had commenced, in fact, before
          that time. Lucifer and those that were associated with him were
          cast out of heaven because they rebelled against God their
          Heavenly Father. They were not willing that He should carry out
          the plan of redemption and salvation which He had devised before
          the world was; and having been cast out of heaven, he, with them,
          became full of wrath and of hostility against the purposes and
          designs of the Almighty in regard to the salvation and exaltation
          of the human family. And this spirit continues to grow and
          extend; and the descendants of Cain multiplied as did the other
          descendants of Adam.
          By and by another seed was raised up to Adam, namely Seth, to
          stand in the place of Abel. "For God (said Eve) hath appointed
          for me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." And he
          became the representative of God, as Adam was the representative
          of God. He took Abel's place as the representative of God and the
          laws of God; and he had revelation, and the Priesthood, and the
          Gospel, and was acquainted with the principles of truth. Finally,
          there was a number of prominent men of whom we read, but of whom
          a very short account is given; no matter, it is not necessary to
          enter into details on these subjects, but I wish to touch upon
          some of the leading points thereof.
          After a while wickedness had spread very extensively upon the
          face of the earth; so much so, that we read that the thoughts of
          men were evil and that continually; and it became inexpedient to
          the Lord to permit the people to live to perpetuate their
          corruptions and infamies. And, therefore, God decreed that He
          would cut them off from the face of the earth, that they should
          not have the power to perpetuate their species, and thus become
          the fathers and mothers of lives and be the media through which
          the intelligent, pure spirits that existed in the eternal world
          should receive bodies or tabernacles. They were to be deprived of
          that privilege.
          But before this as done the Lord sent messengers among the people
          proclaiming to them what was about to befall them if they did not
          repent and turn from their evil ways. Enoch was one of these; he
          stood at the head of that dispensation. He, as we are doing, sent
          out missionaries among the people who had become very numerous.
          Their mission was to call upon the people to repent and to obey
          the Gospel and to believe in the Son of God and to obey His law;
          and to tell them that God had prepared a scourge for those who
          would not repent, that they would be destroyed from off the face
          of the earth by a flood; and the people thus destroyed should be
          cast into prison, a prison which God had prepared on purpose for
          them. And when these men went to preach this doctrine many
          believed on them and they were gathered together, as we are, unto
          a place which they called Zion. And they were placed under the
          direction of the Holy Priesthood, men who were inspired of God,
          with whom He communicated; and whom he taught in all the
          principles pertaining to the Gospel of the Son of God; and they
          continued in this condition for a length of time. And as they
          gathered out from among the people, the Spirit of God was
          withdrawn from among the people; and they became exceedingly
          angry, angry at Enoch and angry at those who preached the Gospel
          to them. And the nature of men is just about the same now as
          then. They spoke all manner of evil against the servants of God
          who ministered among them; they rejected their testimony, and not
          only that, but, like some of the very pious people in our day do
          towards us, they thought it would be doing God service to sweep
          these men off the face of the earth. And they thought so in
          earnest for they gathered together their armies for that purpose.
          The Saints were under the immediate direction and guidance of the
          Lord, and were, therefore, governed by revelation, and the power
          and Spirit of the Lord rested upon Enoch. And he rose up and
          prophesied and told the wicked of the fate that awaited them; and
          he power of God rested upon him in a marvelous manner, so much
          so, that the mountains trembled and the earth shook, and the
          people were afraid and fled away from his presence, because they
          could not endure it. Their armies were scattered, and they failed
          to accomplish that which they in their wickedness had designed to
          But still the same spirit that animated them continued to grow
          and increase. And finally after the Saints of that day had become
          sufficiently taught, they and their city--that is, the great
          majority of them and their city, ascended up to heaven. We are
          told in the Scripture--which is a meagre account of it,
          that--"Enoch was not, for God took him." And we may add, Enoch's
          city and Enoch's people were not, for God took them; they were
          translated. The principle of translation was a principle that at
          that time existed in the Church, and is one of the principles of
          the Gospel, and which will exist in the last days. 
          Many of those that were left, continued to bear testimony to the
          truths taught by their predecessors; and they themselves were
          caught up from time to time, according to certain revelations
          communicated through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
          The spirit of antagonism to the truths of God, and to the order
          of God, and to the law of God, and to the Priesthood of God and
          the Gospel of the Son of God, continued to exist. By and by the
          flood came, and the things spoken of by the men who had preached
          among them, were fulfilled, and the people swept from the face of
          the earth. They were shut up in prison, in the prison house which
          had been prepared for them. A few people were left, eight
          only--Noah and his wife, and his three sons and their wives.
          One of the great evils that existed among the people was that the
          sons of God married the daughters of men; or, in other words,
          many who were connected with the Church mixed themselves up with
          those who were not; and thus their hearts were drawn away from
          God, and in the sight of God they were no better than those who
          rejected His servants, and consequently they perished with the
          disobedient and wicked.
          There is something associated with these things that it may be
          necessary to refer to. It is necessary there should be opposing
          principles, light and darkness, truth and error, virtue and vice,
          good and evil, etc. It is necessary that man should go through a
          state of probation and trial, that he should have the opportunity
          of receiving or rejecting correct principles, or the Gospel of
          the Son of God. And it is a further development to us, that if
          men have not had this opportunity upon the earth, they will still
          have it. There is a further principle exhibited here in relation
          to this matter. Those very men who rejected the Gospel in their
          day were visited by Jesus after He was put to death in the flesh
          and was quickened by the Spirit; He went, we are told, and
          preached to those spirits in prison who had been disobedient in
          the days of Noah. And connected with that there is another
          principle; it is to place all mankind on the same footing, that
          all men of every age and nation may have the same privilege. And
          we are informed they will have. And hence, the Gospel is an
          everlasting Gospel; the Priesthood is an everlasting Priesthood;
          the work in which we are engaged commenced with our Father in
          heaven, it has been revealed from time to time to man upon the
          earth, and it will continue in all its power, fullness and glory
          in the eternal worlds, until all things that God has designed
          pertaining to the welfare and exaltation of the human family will
          be accomplished.
          In relation to these things there are some remarkable passages
          contained in the Bible. For instance:
          "As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of
          Man be.
          For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating
          and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that
          Noe entered into the ark,
          And knew not until the flood came and took them all away! so
          shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."
          This is a very significant Scripture, and if correct is pregnant
          with the greatest consequences to the human family; if not
          correct then everything we believe in is a phantom and our
          worship and religion are vain, and not only ours, but everybody
          else's. But is such a personage as Jesus existed, and if he spoke
          those words, He most assuredly spake the truth, and they will
          most assuredly be fulfilled.
          Now, in speaking of the two great principles, the two opposites,
          it must needs be that there be opposition in all things; that is,
          darkness as opposed to light; error as opposed to truth; evil as
          opposed to good, etc. We are told by one of the old Apostles that
          the "Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
          gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance;" and the
          spirit of evil is envy, hatred, malice, lying, slandering,
          uncharitableness, etc. We are told also in the Book of Mormon the
          same things precisely. Whenever we see lying, slandering, enmity,
          hatred, malice, we see the fruit of the spirit of darkness, no
          matter how pious the people are who profess these sentiments and
          who operate therein. And this is carried out still further in the
          revelations of John; the Lord through him says: "For without [the
          city] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers,
          and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." Such
          characters have no place within; but those who fear God and work
          righteousness, who have washed their robes and made them white in
          the blood of the Lamb, they will be introduced into the presence
          of God, to participate with Him in the glories there referred to.
          Hence, while these things here upon the earth make men feel
          exceedingly unpleasant, exceedingly unhappy and uneasy, when they
          get through and expect to get to heaven they will find themselves
          outside the city, because the pure would not have such society
          among them, neither would they here. It is necessary, I say, that
          those principles should exist in order to test men, to try and
          prove them. It was necessary that Jesus should be tried in this
          way. We are told that "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."
          And again, when John saw an innumerable company clothed in white,
          one was heard to ask, "What are these which are arrayed in white
          robes? and whence came they?" The answer was: "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 in His
          There is something very interesting for Saints to reflect upon in
          relation to these matters. And there is something that goes a
          little further than we think about sometimes; and that is, while
          we profess to be followers of the Lord, while we profess to have
          received the Gospel, and to be governed by it, a profession will
          amount to nothing unless we have washed our robes and made them
          white in the blood of the Lamb. It is not enough for us to be
          connected with the Zion of God, for the Zion of God must consist
          of men that are pure in heart and pure in life and spotless
          before God, at least that is what we have got to arrive at. We
          are not there yet, but we must get there before we shall be
          prepared to inherit glory and exaltation; therefore a form of
          godliness will amount to but little with any of us, for he that
          knoweth the master's will and doeth it not shall be beaten with
          many stripes. It is "not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord,
          shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but He that doeth the
          will of my Father which is in heaven." These are doctrines of the
          Gospel as I understand them. And it is not enough for us to
          embrace the Gospel and to be gathered here to the land of Zion,
          and be associated with the people of God, attend our meetings and
          partake of the Sacrament of the Lord's supper, and endeavor to
          move along without much blame of any kind attached to us; for
          notwithstanding all this, if our hearts are not right, if we are
          not pure in heart before God, if we have not pure hearts and pure
          consciences, fearing God and keeping His commandments, we shall
          not unless we repent, participate in these blessings about which
          I have spoken, and of which the Prophets bear testimony.
          However, to proceed in relation to these matters I said that it
          was necessary there should be opposing powers, and that men
          should be tested and tried as Jesus was, and just as other people
          have been. And why? Having passed through this ordeal that we may
          overcome the evil with the good; for it is to him that
          overcometh, saith Jesus, that I will grant to sit down with me
          upon my throne, as I have overcome and sit down upon my Father's
          throne. It is not to him that puts on the armor only, but to him
          that fights the good fight of faith, and overcomes the world, the
          flesh and the devil; for him there is laid up a crown of
          righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give
          unto Him.
          That power and spirit that disturbed the elements and affected
          the people of the old world still operates among the children of
          men, and it is--I was going to say a necessary adjunct to the
          Gospel, in order that men may be tried and proven. Jesus, of
          course, understood these things when He said, "If they do these
          things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" Said He,
          "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and
          shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake.
          Rejoice and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in
          heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before
          you." There is something very pleasing in reflecting upon these
          things. To be thrown into a world of evil where strife and
          corruption exist, and to be mixed up with it; and then to have
          sent to them the principle of truth, a spark of intelligence
          descending from the throne of God, the light of the everlasting
          Gospel, which if men receive in their hearts will bring them into
          communication with God their Heavenly Father, and make them to
          feel that they are fighting on the side of God and the right, for
          everything that ennobles and has a tendency to exalt man. There
          is something worth striving for in a battle of this kind, and
          there is something glorious in being able to conquer. It tries
          men's souls sometimes. Peter, you know, trembled under it; but
          Jesus said, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able
          to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy
          both body and soul in hell." I say unto you fear Him; never mind
          the other power. You have drank from the river the streams
          whereof make glad the city of our God. The light of eternal truth
          has beamed upon your minds, and your hearts have been glad in the
          hopes of eternal life which have been presented to you when under
          the influence of the Spirit of God. You have rejoiced in the hope
          that blooms with immortality and eternal lives. Filled with this
          Spirit you feel that you are an eternal being having the
          principles of the everlasting Gospel within you; that you have
          received the everlasting Priesthood, that you are associated with
          principles that will exalt and ennoble man in time and throughout
          the eternities to come. There is something pleasing about it.
          And when these miserable "dogs" howl and the coyotes yelp and
          exhibit their folly and nonsense--I was going to say, who the
          devil cares? Some people would think it is impious to say a thing
          like that. Yes, and the same people think it very honorable to
          lie in order to oppose the truth. No matter what men think of
          these things. I am not very precise in choosing my words in
          reference to such matters.
          But then, did we expect to get along much better? People are very
          much exercised about us. Well, let them exercise themselves. They
          are very much troubled. Let them trouble themselves. I am pleased
          to witness the spirit of calmness and quiet and unconcern that
          exists among the Saints of God. It is the Spirit of God and the
          Gospel of the Son of God that gives that. And it is for us to
          continue to do right and keep the commandments of God; and let us
          be careful that when men tell these horrible stories about us,
          that they are not true. Blessed are you when men revile and
          persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you, falsely,
          for Christ's sake; but if they should speak evil of us, and that
          evil be true, then there would be no blessing connected with it.
          We could tell a great many things truthfully against these same
          people that slander and lie about us; but it is a dirty business,
          a business that reflects no credit upon any one that is engaged
          in it. Let them take their course. We can afford to move upon a
          higher plane, doing good to them that injure us; and we can pray
          for those who evil entreat us; that we may be the children of our
          Father in heaven, who makes His sun to shine of the evil and the
          good, and His rains to descend on the just and on the unjust.
          Who, let me ask, were to be pitied during the time of the flood?
          the people that disbelieved and disobeyed the Gospel, or the
          people that were caught up to heaven? Would you feel very sorry
          for those who were connected with the Zion of God, or would you
          feel sorry for those poor, miserable, little-souled, ignorant
          people who rejected God and His law, and who in consequence had
          to be swept off from the face of the earth--which class would
          solicit your commiseration? 
          To-day God has revealed to us great principles; and he is
          desirous that we should do right and obey His law, and keep His
          Among other things there is a great hue and cry about what they
          call polygamy and what they call bigamy; but our plural marriage
          is no more their bigamy than white is black or than light is
          darkness, but seemingly neither they nor their judges nor
          legislators either can or do want to comprehend the difference
          between the two, great as it is. It would seem that they either
          do not know or do not want to know the difference between a man's
          marrying a second wife without the consent or knowledge of the
          first wife, and in doing so deceiving the one he marries, who
          believes him to be a single man; and a man's marrying a second
          wife with the knowledge and consent of the first wife, and living
          with his wives in honorable wedlock, performing the duty of a
          husband to them and of a father to their children, and
          maintaining sacredly his marriage vows. I would suggest either a
          little gas or electric light be turned on, and that it be allowed
          to shine upon the visions of their dull understandings; it may
          help them some. But it is evident that men do not want the truth,
          therefore they must believe as they choose in regard to these
          things; it is really a matter of no moment to us. But for the
          information of such people, if there be any, let me say, their
          bigamy is deception and fraud and a breach of the marriage
          covenant; while our polygamy, as it is called, is the fulfilling
          of the marriage covenant, it is honorable and the fruits of it
          are good; theirs is done clandestinely, ours openly; we
          acknowledge ours, they repudiate theirs. They judge us from their
          own standpoint, and their eye being evil, of course they see
          nothing but evil in us. With them a man may have his wife and
          also be mixed up with other women, and while he may be rolling in
          wealth, at the same time, perhaps, his poor, unfortunate
          offspring, the product of his vice and corruption, may be
          sweeping the crossings of the streets of our large cities,
          beginning from his father a penny to help to support a miserable
          existence. This is compatible with their high state of
          civilization and purity. God save us from such "Christianity,"
          from this time, henceforth and forever. ["Amen" from voice in the
          congregation.] We do not want it. We would say in relation to
          that what a Prophet said on a certain occasion, "O my soul, come
          not thou into their secret; into their assembly, mine honor, be
          not thou united." We expect to be associated with more honorable
          principles, and with more honorable people in time and throughout
          all the eternities to come.
               There is one thing I wish to say, we do not preach to them
          this very obnoxious doctrine of polygamy for them to practice.
          Our Elders are sent forth to preach faith, repentance and baptism
          for remission of sins. The doctrine of plural marriage does not
          belong to people who are governed by such principles as they are,
          people who break their marriage vows and who wink at those who do
          it, people who violate their sacred honor with the opposite sex
          and trample upon and destroy millions of the daughters of Eve,
          and drag them down to death and destruction--it does not belong
          to such people; it belongs to the people who have obeyed the
          Gospel of the Son of God, the people who are in possession of the
          principles of life, and who are keeping the commandments of God;
          it does not belong to Latter-day Saints even unless they are pure
          and virtuous; unless they are honorable and worthy they cannot be
          associated with any such thing, much less can the class that I
          have refereed to who are making so much noise about it; so they
          need not trouble their heads.
          These things you Latter-day Saints understand. When President
          Hayes was here, in conversing with him I told him that it was not
          our intention to crowd our peculiar ideas upon the religious
          world; that we had received the doctrine of plural marriage as a
          part of the Gospel, and that it was only for pure men and pure
          women, that class, and that class only, could receive it and
          practice it, and make it honorable; it was not for the licentious
          and corrupt, but for those who feared God and worked
          righteousness, who were true to themselves and true to the female
          sex, and who would stand by and sustain them and preserve them in
          purity and honor. There is quite a difference, you perceive
          between the one and the other.
          We are seeking to carry out the word and will of God, according
          to the revelations which he has given unto us, all of which are
          based upon truth, virtue, purity and holiness, principles that
          are eternal, that always have existed and always will exist. The
          Christian world make their covenants for time only; we for time
          and for eternity. They expect to be associated with their wives
          "until death do them part." We expect to be associated with ours
          not only for time but for eternity. They not entering into any
          covenants for eternity, assume no obligations beyond this life;
          but I am sorry to say, it is quite a common thing among them to
          violate the covenants they make pertaining to this life. But that
          I may not be misunderstood let me say further with regard to
          this, there are many honorable people in our nation as well as
          other parts of the world, men who regard strictly the honor of
          their social ties, men who feel interested in the welfare of
          society, who are desirous to see correct principles prevail; but
          with the understanding they have of us--they believing that we
          are corrupt and are introducing religious tenets for the purpose
          of gratifying the sensual passions of man; that all are vile and
          corrupt at heart, and that we take the ground that we do for the
          purpose of defending our position and of making it statutory--I
          do not wonder at such men entertaining the feelings they do
          against us, because believing the lies that are circulated about
          us, they, of course, think that we are introducing that which
          will corrupt and demoralize society; and they know the state of
          society now, and so do we. And they are desirous to stop a thing
          of this kind. The clergy, too, are very much exercised, as a
          class, about us, and they appear to be the most incapable of all
          classes to tell the truth concerning us; these pious people
          circulate all kinds of falsehood about us under the name of
          religion. I need not refer to those things, the fact is well
          known to you.
          Is it then to be wondered at that people generally who do not
          comprehend the true situation should come to the conclusions they
          do about us? I think not. Should we feel angry at such a feeling?
          No. Should we feel angry at those falsifiers? No; they are to be
          pitied because they yield themselves to work iniquity; they,
          therefore, become subjects of compassion. What did the same class
          of persons say of Jesus? If he healed the sick, or opened the
          eyes of the blind, they persuaded the people to give God the
          glory for, said they, "we know this man is a sinner." If He cast
          out devils, this pious class said, He did it through Beelzebub
          the Prince of devils. And even when he was condemned to die and
          the people were asked whether He should be released or whether
          Barabbas, the thief, should be released, it was "the chief
          priests and elders," the pious clergy of that day, that led the
          popular clamor, that "persuaded the multitude that they should as
          Barabbas, and destroy Jesus." The same spirit that moved upon the
          religious teachers of that day to incite the populace against
          Jesus and the Apostles, is moving upon the same class to-day to
          do the same towards us; and they are doing all they can do. They,
          notwithstanding their piety, are of their father the devil whose
          works they do. And what shall we do? "Rejoice and be exceeding
          glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they
          the prophets which were before you."
          Do we want to force the Gospel upon them? No. All religious
          classes, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the
          Catholics, and all others have the right to worship God as they
          please, they have the right to either receive or reject the
          Gospel of Christ. If we had the power to force it upon them we
          would not do it; freedom of the mind, and the free exercise of
          the rights of men is part of our religious belief; therefore, we
          would not coerce them if we could. And if I would not coerce them
          in that I certainly would not crowd upon them the doctrine of
          plural marriage, for it is well known that after men join our
          Church they must prove themselves sometime before they are
          considered worthy of it.
          When I reflect upon the terrible degradation that exists in the
          land, and the dens of vice and infamy that flourish and keep pace
          with our boasted enlightenment, I am not surprised that honorable
          people should feel horrified at the misrepresentations and lies
          that have gone forth concerning us. I received a letter not long
          ago from Brother Cannon, in which he states that he was
          approached on the subject by a gentleman, a member of Congress,
          who had visited here. He told Brother Cannon that when he was
          here he was told some very strange stories about the Mormon
          people, and he had made up his mind when he should meet Brother
          Cannon to speak to him about it. He said that a gentleman, or at
          least, a person that had the appearance of respectability, told
          him when he was here that doings akin to a Saturnalia were quite
          a common thing among the people--the promiscuous mixing of the
          sexes indulging in unrestrained license. This gentleman says that
          this was told to him in the most solemn manner, and that too by a
          resident of this city. He told Brother Cannon too that he was
          glad to hear him contradict it. You know Latter-day Saints
          whether such a condition of things exists among us or not; and
          yet such wilful falsehoods are fabricated and circulated by
          persons who pass themselves off as our friends. It cannot be
          wondered at that honorable men should feel exercised in their
          feelings against us; but when this class of people--and there are
          thousands and tens of thousands and millions of such people--are
          correctly informed, they will feel differently toward us. But
          then, it matters not really what men's ideas and feelings may be;
          and I do not feel that we are called upon to contradict all the
          infamous lies and misrepresentations that are circulated about us
          by men and women who are living in our midst. I say now, as I
          said to a gentleman not long ago who remarked, that a great
          racket was being made about us, meetings were being held and
          resolutions were being passed, etc.,--I said, they may work as
          they please and "resolute" as much as they please, this we could
          easily stand, but hands off.
          We are accused of being degraded and ignorant. I find that there
          is nearly twice the amount of illiteracy in the whole of the
          United States pro rata, as there is in Utah; and this fact exists
          notwithstanding they have had millions of dollars to sustain
          their institutions of learning while we have not had a penny. I
          am grateful to God our Heavenly Father, that we stand in as
          favorable a position. Let us continue to go on in every good word
          and work. Let our young people's improvement associations, and
          our Sunday and day schools receive our encouragement and aid; and
          let our children be taught by our friends and not our enemies.
          Latter-day Saints will you send your children to be taught of
          people who would teach them enmity to their fathers and mothers,
          and who would sow in their young the hearts the seed of enmity to
          the principle of religious liberty, men who, if they had the
          power, would destroy the altars of freedom that the fathers of
          this country fought for? We do not want our children to be
          instructed by persons whose mission among us is to endeavor to
          instil into their young hearts enmity to the Gospel of he Son of
          God as revealed by Him through His servant Joseph Smith. We have
          men quite as capable to teach as they are, we stand on a platform
          as elevated as theirs, and a great deal more so. And by and by we
          expect to be as far ahead of them in science, art and literature,
          and everything calculated to ennoble and exalt a people and a
          nation, as we are now ahead of them in regard to religious
          matters. But as to their religious matters, you may wrap up the
          whole of them in a thimble and put it in your vest-pocket, and
          hardly know it was there. [Laughter.] Any ten year-old boy of
          ours who could not meet any of their ministers on matters of
          religion, I should consider very ill-informed.
          Well, it is for us to keep the commandments, to train up our
          children in the fear of God, to live unto God, and I will risk
          the balance. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 /
          Franklin D. Richards, January 18th, 1885
                      Franklin D. Richards, January 18th, 1885
                         DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE F. D. RICHARDS,
                         Delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden,
                        Sunday Afternoon, January 18th, 1885.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                      WILL TEND TO UNITE US--WE SHOULD BE PURE.
          It is always a pleasure to meet with the Saints, and I always
          find substantial pleasure in bearing that portion of the labor of
          the ministry which devolves upon me. Of course there are times
          when human nature is physically incapacitated from labors.
          Nevertheless I rejoice exceedingly in the contemplation of the
          work that we are engaged in. Certainly the review of our immense
          subject, our great calling, our vast labor, and the wonderful
          results that follow them--when they are reviewed as they were
          this morning, and called up before our minds, must awaken deeply
          interesting I should hope broadly expanded views and reflections
          in the minds of the Saints.
          We are, as a people, and also our labors as well as the results
          of them, a great outstanding witness to the world of the divine
          character of the work we are performing--the high order of our
          calling to perform that work, as well as pointing significantly
          to the grand and glorious results which must inevitably follow
          the labor and toil that are now upon the Latter-day Saints. Any
          person whose bosom is warmed and whose intellect is lit up by the
          Holy Spirit much rejoice greatly in the contemplation of the
          great last dispensation which is now fairly before the world,
          fairly upon the Saints, like the harness that is upon those that
          are appointed to labor, to pull, to lift, and to toil.
          Where is there any people upon the face of the earth, except the
          Latter-day Saints, who have from their religious convictions--or
          from any system of ethics or morals that they possess, gone forth
          upon the face of the earth, and, from honest, conscientious
          convictions, and, from their most heart-felt appeals, taken hold
          of the honest in heart, or of the vicious in heart; anywhere upon
          the face of the earth, and gathered together a people comprising
          twenty to thirty different languages and nations, and brought
          them together to any place, located them, and established a
          system of government that has been for their improvement, for
          their benefit, for the increase of their influence, their peace,
          or their happiness in any sense, either spiritual or temporal?
          You can look abroad upon the earth in vain to find any other
          example that has any kind of relationship, or bears any kind of
          relationship, or bears any kind of analogy or appearance like
          unto the work that is being performed by the Latter-day Saints in
          the days in which we live.
          Who is it that is doing this work? What is the character of this
          people? Are they those that have been through the schools and
          been educated to appear in the most plausible and convincing
          manner in all classes of society? Are they those that have been
          brought up in affluence and comfort; that can present every thing
          that is pleasing and engaging to the eyes, the ears and the minds
          of those they address? Not at all. Not many learned or noble. It
          is often the inexperienced boys that are picked up from the plow,
          from the workshop, to the humblest of laboring men, toiling,
          struggling, and many a time when they have not been able, from
          persecution and oppressive circumstances in which they have been
          placed, to make a comfortable livelihood, yet they have left the
          bosoms of the families and gone forth in faith carrying the
          principles of eternal truth and administering them, with an
          honest heart and clean hands and by the authority of the Holy
          Priesthood from heaven to the children of men. And what have they
          done? What has this simple, humble plan accomplished? Without
          money in their pockets, without letters of recommendation even to
          the people, without means oft times to make them comfortable,
          abnegating themselves, deficient in the comforts and necessities
          of life, they have gone forth with their hearts full of love and
          blessing to the human family to find other bosoms kindred to
          their own, though stranger in appearance, ready to receive the
          glad testimony of these servants of God. It is not the learned
          and the noble, nor the wealthy of the earth that have brought
          hundreds, their thousands and their tens of thousands to this
          It has been the potency of those principles that have been taught
          by the simple and many times silent testimony of the Holy Ghost,
          by the still small voice, that has carried conviction to the
          honest, the humble, laboring poor, and has brought home here to
          Zion--they that want to know more of God, they that come from the
          crowded cities and other portions of the earth--find here a piece
          of a new world; they take hold and make to themselves homes, all
          in the name of Israel's God, and by the calling of the voice of
          the Good Shepherd. Oh, how beneficent and how munificent has the
          Lord our God been unto us! Behold! as I look abroad this
          afternoon in this house, I contemplate the great mass of this
          congregation that are partakers of the Holy Priesthood. It is not
          a few that are partakers of the holy calling, the authority to
          administer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the echo
          of that saying that is written in the Scriptures where the Lord
          has said that He would take of Israel and make of them a nation
          of kings and priests unto Himself. Behold ye, my brethren and
          sisters, here they are.
               Here is Israel gathering together, being taught of the Lord,
          to learn of His ways and walk in His paths, that they may receive
          the blessing and be clothed upon with power, as the Prophet said:
          "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion, put on thy beautiful
          garments? These beautiful garments are the clothing upon with the
          authority and power of the Holy Priesthood. It is that which
          makes people beautiful; it is that which makes people useful; it
          is that which causes the Saints to sing: "How beautiful upon the
          mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that
          publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that
          publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth." It
          is that excellence of the knowledge of God that makes men and
          women beautiful, and makes their acts delightful when they are
          performed in righteousness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
          I rejoice when I look around and contemplate this precious
          privilege--that there is scarcely an individual that has come to
          years of judgment and understanding but is a partaker of some
          measure of the Priesthood, if no more than the office of a Deacon
          that can administer blessing by attending to the door, wait upon
          the tables, and also by attending to other temporal duties from
          time to time as they may occur.
          Here let me say, that every officer in the Church, from the
          Deacon up to the Apostle, should realize that it is his duty to
          endeavor to administer blessings by the virtue of the calling of
          God which is upon him; he ought to feel thus, and every sister
          that is the wife of such an husband should feel, if she has
          received with him her blessings in the house of the Lord, that it
          is her privilege and duty to administer blessings, comfort and
          happiness to her husband, to her children, to her family and
          household. Every one in all the Church should be filled with a
          spirit of blessing. The authority of the Priesthood should cause
          a gushing forth from the fountain of the heart, a bubbling forth
          of streams of blessing, of consolation, of comfort and of
          rejoicing, each should try to help and benefit the other in every
          possible way.
          Contemplate the immense army, I may say of Seventies and Elders
          we have among us, and what a work are they doing in the nations,
          and what a work are they doing and ought they to do at home in
          preaching the Gospel to each other, in encouraging and
          strengthening those whose hands sometimes hang down, and whose
          knees tremble; speaking comforting words to the Saints, saying,
          "Dear brother, thy God reigneth, trust in him." Notwithstanding
          all that we see on the right hand and on the left, and all that
          we hear, the Lord God has not forgotten His people, nor has He
          forgotten to educate and instruct them in all that He knows is
          for their greatest good, so that by and by He may come and find a
          nation of kings and priests who shall reign with Him on the earth
          a thousand years. We ought never to forge that we are in a school
          of experience. Every brother and every sister should feel that
          they exert an influence that will tend for good or for evil.
          We ought to feel concerned for our little ones. How precious they
          are! Sometimes I hear the brethren testify how much good is being
          done by the Relief Society and the Associations. I want to hear
          them talk about the Primaries, and tell us how the little
          children are getting along. It seems hard to get it into the
          heads of some of the parents as well as some of the Bishops to
          realize the importance of teaching and instructing these
          youngsters, some seem to consider it the sole duty of the Primary
          Associations, while others think it the duty of the parents only
          to see after them. Now, I think we miss it in trying to thus
          shirk the responsibility. I think we should all try to understand
          more perfectly the worth of souls. Oh, if the sisters and
          brethren that have the charge of these little Primary
          Associations could only realize that every little child is a gem
          that they are called upon to polish, to cut, to refine, to
          shapen, to burnish, to fit and prepare to stand in the diadem of
          its father's crown. This is the way in which we ought to look at
          these small but precious jewels. We should assist the little ones
          to grow up to be mighty men of Zion, that shall come up to teach
          Senators wisdom, rebuke strong nations, though they may be far
          off and become a wholesome terror to the ungodly. 
          As Apostles, as Bishops, as High Priests, as Elders, as well as
          fathers and mothers, we need to get more of the spirit of this
          great work in all its different branches, and keep it with us;
          always have a blessing to dispense; everywhere a word of comfort
          and consolation to bestow. We should seek for the Spirit of God
          and get that measure of it that will bear us up, that they will
          make us feel the cares of life are trivial; that will sustain us
          under every circumstance. We can bear wonderful trials; we can
          live though and outgrow them and look back on them and wonder how
          we passed through them, realizing that we never could have done
          so but for the help of God that sustained us in it. Then give Him
          the glory.
          Every officer, then, in the Church should be full of blessing to
          his fellow man. Only think how many patriarchs there are. They
          should feel to bless all around. No doubt they do, sealing upon
          those to whom they administer the blessing of eternal life in
          The school that we are being educated in is a strange one. You
          cannot pick up the Bible and find anything that is like it. In
          ancient days, when there was a warfare, it was a warfare of
          carnal weapons, many times. Not so, in our days; and as if the
          Lord were determined to put carnal weapons far away from us, He
          even permitted the Gubernatorial order preventing us carrying
          firearms with which to celebrate the 4th of July, and then, on
          the top of that, He has given us the abundant testimony of peace
          all around, even with the hostile natives. Is not this an
          overwhelming testimony that the Lord wants us to work with the
          other class of weapons--the sword of His Holy Spirit, the power
          of eternal truth--the ammunition that wants to be kept alive,
          active and burning in our hearts.
          When we come to contemplate this matter, our warfare is entirely
          in another direction, it has to be carried on and accomplished by
          the power of faith. We have to contend for our liberties and the
          rights of the people before the courts, wherein we strive to
          maintain the Constitutional rights to which we are entitled, both
          civilly and politically. We have not gone to the authorities that
          are over us in the nation and supplicated them saying: "Will you
          please give us some extraordinary liberties or privileges--we
          contend for the rights of every American citizen, which are our
          rights." We have not cut ourselves off from the rights of
          citizenship. Our fathers fought to help obtain and bled to help
          establish the blessings and privileges, the liberties and powers
          of this glorious government to all its loyal citizens; and when
          this Church was established, it went on for more than thirty-two
          years--no law of the Church conflicted with the laws of the land,
          until it became necessary in the opinion of some politicians that
          the Saints should be made offenders in the eyes of the nation and
          of the world. Then it was that Congress passed a law--the law of
          1862--prohibiting plurality of wives, polygamy, or bigamy, as
          they choose to call it. Now, then, we have not risen up against
          the laws of the land; it is the laws of the land and the men of
          the land that have risen up against the people of God, and have
          brought their offensive warfare in this matter, and we are
          thereby placed on the defensive. The nation have been pleased to
          say that we shall not worship God according to the dictates of
          our consciences, as required by some of the laws and ordinances
          of His Church; and have made laws to prevent us from so doing, if
          possible. Hence it is that, while we go before the courts we do
          not go as suppliants for something extraordinary, or for
          something that other people have not got. We ask to be preserved
          our rights, the rights that belong to every American citizen. It
          is for this that we go through the courts, appealing from the
          District Court to the Supreme Court of the Territory, and then to
          the Supreme Court of the United States.
          Now, is not this a great and an important lesson of experience
          and instruction, and yet there is occasion, for all this is
          required in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. The Lord has said
          through the Prophet Joseph to us, that we must importune at the
          feet of the judges--do you remember it?--and at the feet of
          Governors--do you recollect that?--and at the feet of the
          President, and then, says He, if your importuning does not
          prevail, and you do not obtain all things which you have a right
          to, He will come out of His hiding place and take the matter into
          His own hands. So you see we have some importuning to do before,
          or at the feet of Judges, Governors, and Presidents, in order to
          maintain the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of our
          Right here I want to say a word or two especially in regard to
          the way we have to do our importuning. I refer to a discourse by
          President Young, in which he said he wished he had five hundred
          young lawyers full of the spirit of the Gospel who would rise up
          and help to maintain and defend our rights before the courts of
          our country. The discourse was published in the Deseret News and
          republished in the Journal of Discourses. It is public matter for
          anybody to read that wishes to. But a few days ago, however, a
          Bishop remarked that it looked very singular for one of the
          Apostles to raise up a lawyer, and thought there must be a screw
          loose somewhere. It happens, however, once in a while that some
          Bishop wants my son or some one else's son to help defend them
          before the courts. (Laughter.) I wonder if there is any screw
          loose there. Excuse me, brethren, for this reference; but I wish
          we could have a goodly number of substantial young men growing up
          in our midst who would become skilled and mighty in the law, and
          who could go into any of the courts and set forth the true
          principles of justice and equity in all cases. We need more of
          such men. We do not want men to become lawyers, turn infidels,
          and live for nothing but the little money they can make. We want
          to raise up a corps of young men armed with the Spirit of the
          Gospel, clothed with the Holy Priesthood, who can tell the judges
          in high places what the law is, and what equity is, and can plead
          for the cause of Zion, and help maintain the rights of God's
          people. Hence you see we have got to carry on these matters. Our
          rights are infringed, and we have got to defend ourselves as best
          we can. We are told that we must plead with the dignitaries of
          the earth; plead with them until their position on our question
          is known; they have got to declare themselves.
          There are different branches of the government, which are
          considered co-ordinate. For instance--there is the legislative
          branch, namely, Congress. Then there is the President, who
          represents the executive branch. Then there is the army and navy,
          which is the arm of power to carry out and maintain physical
          defenses. And then there is the Supreme Court, the legal tribunal
          that stands at the very head, if you please, and pronounces upon
          the constitutionality of the acts which Congress passes. Hence we
          see our case has not only to be brought before and had cognizance
          of in the Congress of the United States to ascertain if they will
          make laws to oppress us, but these laws can be taken to higher
          courts, to see whether they will maintain the rights of God's
          people in the land. And does it seem a terrible thing that one or
          two should get cast into prison? As President Cannon contemplated
          this morning, half a dozen would cover all such cases within the
          last twenty-two years, and the persons connected with the most
          notable cases have come in and furnished the evidence for their
          own crimination, under the promise that punishment would not be
          inflicted. But like the Governor of Illinois, who pledged his
          honor and the honor of the state to protect our Prophet and
          Patriarch, all such promises were broken. Nevertheless, in this
          manner we have got to test the purity or impurity, the integrity
          or otherwise, of the different branches of the government under
          which we live.
          God is going to make His people a great people. He has designed
          them to be the means not only of revealing among themselves, what
          they are, and what they are here for, but of making them a
          standing testimony of the truth before the whole world. The great
          knowledge of which we have become possessed cannot be hid under a
          bushel, cannot be hid up in a dark place. Here we are in the
          heights of the continent, calling Israel home, ready to impart
          the light that is within us, to all of Adam's children who will
          receive it. Let us seek to be wise. The Lord has told us of
          certain classes of defense which are better even than the
          employment of weapons of war. And what is it? It is the gift of
          wisdom." Wisdom is better than strength or weapons of war," said
          the ancient man, who tested the matter and found it out. Now, let
          us understand that the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of
          wisdom" and a good understanding have all they who keep His
          My brethren and sisters: let us not be discouraged in the least.
          Remember that no great revolution was ever achieved without some
          fighting. Some battles have had to be fought, some victories had
          to be achieved. It is while the war is going on that some get
          wounded, and other contingencies arise, and some things
          necessarily happen that are unpleasant. But after the war is
          over, and the new government is instituted, the grand improvement
          is then felt, as it has been felt in this nation ever since the
          thirteen colonies fought and maintained their independence from
          the mother country. It is true we have been oppressed a little.
          But our enemies do not make very much at it. We live and thrive
          notwithstanding, do we not? How singularly the Lord works with
          men. The people of the Southern States through the war and since,
          have been limited or deprived of some of their rights. And some
          few men--Senator Brown for one--are not afraid to rise up from
          their seat and defend the right whether in behalf of Mormon or
          non-Mormon, and expose the doings of self righteous men in New
          England, exposing the fruits of their monogamous marriage
          relations as compared with our marriage institution. The Lord has
          raised up men sometimes to maintain the rights of His people. He
          will allow us to be pinched from time to time as it may be
          necessary to unite us together, to make a wife love her husband a
          little better, to make a husband love his wives and children a
          little better, and to strengthen the bond of union in every
          heart. For my part I rejoice in this work, and seek continually
          to gather knowledge. I rejoice that I have lived to see the work
          of God established on the earth. Let me tell you, my brethren and
          sisters, the greatest affliction some of us have: it is some
          great fearful apprehension that something is going to happen. We
          naturally borrow trouble. We should not do that. Just consider
          that the work is the Lord's. Be certain you do your duty every
          day. And when you lay down at night do so with a clear
          conscience, and enjoy slumber and be refreshed, and rise up in
          the morning, in the likeness of the resurrection, prepared to
          renew the contest of life. Thus we should go on step by step,
          adding faith to faith, keeping the commandments of God, and
          purifying ourselves all we can. The Lord will bless us in
          proportion to the degree that we endeavor to purify ourselves,
          and keep His commandments. That is the great secret of full
          acceptance with God. We must purify ourselves as He is pure.
          I do not consider it proper for me to occupy more of your time
          this afternoon. I feel to say I rejoice in this work. And I say
          unto every brother and sister that keeps the commandments of God,
          be joyful and rejoice in Him. He has called us to the work in
          which we are engaged, and He is educating us, as I said before,
          in order that by and by He may have a nation of kings and
          priests, judges and rulers to help Him bear government and rule
          over this earth in righteousness, when the curse shall be taken
          from it, and when truth shall prevail from one end of the earth
          to the other. May it be our happy lot to be there and rejoice
          with father Abraham and all his family, is my humble prayer, in
          the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / John
          Taylor, October 20th, 1881
                           John Taylor, October 20th, 1881
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                      Delivered at Malad, Oneida County, Idaho,
                       Wednesday Morning, October 20th, 1881.
                             Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.
                                TO VIRTUE AND PURITY.
          I am pleased to have the opportunity of meeting with you. We have
          been traveling during the summer through many of the various
          Stakes of Zion, and we thought that our labor would not be
          complete without visiting you. We have general and Stake
          Conferences, but the circumstances and numbers of the people do
          not allow of them attending these meetings, and therefore we
          think it well to come among you at your own homes, to see you,
          and converse with you, and to feel after your spirits, and that
          you may see and talk with us and feel after our spirits, that we
          may be mutually benefited and blessed; and that we may be the
          better prepared to operate together; for if we can comprehend it
          we are engaged in a very great work. Not only we who are here,
          for we form but a very, very small portion of the Latter-day
          Saints; but the people that are Latter-day Saints in this
          Territory and those that are in Utah, and that are in Colorado
          and Arizona, and those that are scattered abroad in the different
          places throughout the earth, wherever a branch of the Church is
          organized. We do not all comprehend this work; in fact,
          comparatively a very few do. It is a work in which not only the
          Latter-day Saints are interested, but everybody else, if they
          could understand it; but they do not. And, indeed, we can hardly
          understand it ourselves. We get a faint glimpse, as it were, of
          certain truths, mixed up with many errors which we have
          previously entertained; but it is very difficult for us to
          understand correct principles; and if we would comprehend them at
          all, it must be by a life of devotion to God, and by complying
          with His laws, some of which Brother Joseph F. has spoken upon
          this morning, and which the other brethren present talked about
          The object that God has in view is to benefit mankind as much as
          lies in His power. We talk sometimes about moving heaven and
          earth, but God has moved heaven and earth for the accomplishment
          of that object. Men in most instances have been blinded by the
          adversary who leads them captive at his will, but they do not
          know it. And he operates very frequently among us trying to lead
          us astray, and we do not know it. It is a very difficult thing
          for us to comprehend the position that we occupy to God and to
          His Church and Kingdom.
          God desires our welfare, and He has instituted laws for that
          purpose; He has introduced the everlasting Gospel for that
          purpose; and He has restored the Holy Priesthood that existed
          anciently, together with all the principles, blessings, powers,
          rites, ordinances, and privileges that have raced the earth from
          the commencement of time. We can hardly realize this important
          fact, but when you reflect you will see some peculiar features
          associated with this work.
          We all look upon Joseph Smith as being a Prophet of God. God
          called him to occupy the position that he did. How long ago?
          Thousands of years ago before this world was formed. The Prophets
          prophesied about his coming, that a man should arise whose name
          should be Joseph, and that his father's name should be Joseph,
          and also that he should be a descendant of that Joseph who was
          sold into Egypt. This prophecy you will find recorded in the Book
          of Mormon. He had very great and precious promises made to him by
          the Lord. I have heard him say on certain occasions, "You do not
          know who I am." The world did not like him. The world did not
          like either the Savior, or the Prophets; they have never liked
          revealed truth; and it is as much as a bargain for the Saints
          even to bear the truth.
          In the commencement of the work, the Father and the Son appeared
          to Joseph Smith. And when they appeared to him, the Father,
          pointing to the Son, said, "This is my beloved Son, hear him." As
          much as to say, "I have not come to teach and instruct you; but I
          refer you to my Only Begotten, who is the Mediator of the New
          Covenant, the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world;
          I refer you to Him as your Redeemer, your High Priest and
          Teacher. Hear Him."
          What next? Then came men who had held the Priesthood before. Who
          were they? Moroni, an ancient Prophet who had lived upon this
          continent and who had charge of the records from which the Book
          of Mormon was translated--a fitting person to introduce the same
          principles again. Afterwards it was necessary that the Priesthood
          should be conferred; and John the Baptist came and laid his hands
          upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, saying, "Upon you, my
          fellow servants, I lay my hands, and confer upon you the Aaronic
          Priesthood, which shall never be taken from the earth again until
          the sons of Levi offer an acceptable offering before me." That
          was the Lesser Priesthood--the Aaronic--appertaining to the
          bishopric. And why was John the Baptist chosen to confer this
          Priesthood? Because he was the last that held this holy
          Priesthood upon the earth. And why did he come? Because the
          Priesthood administers in time and eternity; both the Aaronic and
          Melchizedek. And he, holding the keys of that Priesthood, came
          and conferred it upon Joseph Smith. When he had conferred this
          Priesthood upon Joseph Smith, other things had to be conferred;
          that is, what is called the Melchizedek Priesthood. But you
          understand but very little about that, as the Indian would say,
          about so much (meaning the point of the finger). If you did you
          would think and act differently from what you do. Who held the
          keys of that Priesthood? Peter, James and John, who were three
          presiding Apostles. Did they confer this Priesthood upon Joseph
          Smith? Yes; and if you were in Salt Lake City and should go into
          the Assembly Hall, you might see these things pictured out on the
          ceiling of that building.
          What next? They built a Temple by and by, as we are doing now, in
          Kirtland, Ohio. And in that Temple the Lord Jesus Christ appeared
          to them again, the account of which you may read for yourselves
          in the Doctrine and Covenants. Jesus appeared there, and Moses
          appeared there, and Moses conferred upon Joseph the keys of the
          gathering of Israel from the four quarters of the earth, and also
          the ten tribes. And you are here because that Priesthood was
          conferred upon the Elders who came to you with the Gospel; and
          when they laid their hands upon your heads, among other things
          you received the Holy Ghost and the spirit of the gathering. But
          you did not know what it was that was working in you like yeast
          sometimes under certain conditions, producing an influence
          causing you to come to Zion. Yet you could not help it; if you
          had wanted to help it, you could not while you were living your
          religion and were governed thereby, for that spirit brought that
          influence and power along with it, and it carries it with it
          wherever it goes. And as men received the Holy Ghost so they
          received the spirit of the gathering, which was conferred by
          Moses upon Joseph Smith, and by him upon others, and which
          created that anxiety you all felt to gather to Zion.
          What next? Elijah was to come to "turn the hearts of the fathers
          to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers."
          This has not been the case with this world, generation after
          generation, yet it must be, for the same Prophet says that "If it
          is not, God will smite the whole earth with a curse." There is a
          very trite saying, "every man for himself and the devil for the
          whole," and I am inclined to believe that there is more truth
          than poetry in it. God feels interested in the welfare of all
          mankind as peoples and nations, white and black of all classes
          and conditions, Jew and Gentile, bond and free. He does not run
          on a narrow track as we do. We are too apt to feel as the man did
          when he prayed, "O Lord, bless me and my wife, my son John and
          his wife, us four and no more. Amen." That is the way we feel.
          And if anything is introduced among the people that would be
          calculated to promote the general good the first thing we do is
          to screw ourselves up and begin to inquire, How is that going to
          affect me, I wonder? Who cares about you? It is not for you we
          are operating. It is not for you God is operating. It is not to
          make you rich or to exalt you particularly that God is operating;
          but it is in the interest of the whole human family that has ever
          lived or ever will live or that now live. That is the religion
          that I believe in. I do not believe in this narrow tucked up
          thing that you can pinch up and stick in your vest pocket, and
          nobody knows where it is. We want something more liberal,
          something that will reach the wants of the whole human family.
          But Satan has had so much power in the world; and God has been
          trying to frustrate his designs, and He will do it as sure as He
          lives. He will accomplish that which He set out to do when He
          organized this earth, and placed man upon it. And He will keep
          striving and working at it until every knee shall bow, and every
          tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ to the glory of God the
          Father. Until every person in heaven and on the earth and under
          the earth shall be heard to say, "Blessing and honor and glory,
          might, majesty and dominion be ascribed to Him that sits upon the
          throne, and unto the Lamb for ever." And He will do it in His own
          way and in His own due time. And this principles that I have
          spoken of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children,
          etc., is one of those methods by which He will do it. How many
          thousands and millions of people have died without a knowledge of
          the Gospel? Do you know? No, you do not. But as Jesus has said,
          "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
          and many there are that go in thereat. They have found, as the
          antediluvians did, a prison in which they are put, and in which
          they will stop until they are redeemed by the holy Priesthood. As
          Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison after He was put
          to death in the flesh, to those spirits that were sometime
          disobedient in the days of Noah; so those men that go the broad
          way will go into the prison house, and they will have to endure
          the wrath of God. And whatever they think about it, after many,
          many years shall have rolled away, when the due time of the Lord
          comes, this very Priesthood that the world have despised and
          refused to accept, will be their deliverers, by going, as Jesus
          did, and preaching to the spirits in prison.
          What else? We will administer for them on the earth. Here is the
          turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the
          hearts of the children to the fathers. The ancient Prophets and
          Patriarchs and men of God who held the Priesthood and preached in
          and labored in time are now operating in eternity; and those
          whose names I have mentioned came to Joseph Smith and revealed to
          him what? Why, the dispensation of the fullness of time, when God
          would not only gather all things in one, but when Temples should
          be erected and the dead as well as the living should be looked
          after; when saviors should come upon Mount Zion, and the Kingdom
          be the Lord's. Others had their time. They had the Mosaic time;
          and Moses who stood at the head of it, came and conferred his
          authority upon Joseph Smith. They had their prophetic time: and
          the Prophets came and conferred upon him the prophetic
          influences. They had the Aaronic Priesthood; and those who held
          it came and conferred it upon Joseph. They had the Melchizedek
          Priesthood, and they keys thereof, and they came and conferred it
          upon him. They had the gathering dispensation; and Moses was
          appointed, who held that in his day, to confer it upon Joseph.
          This is not one dispensation, but the dispensation of the
          fullness of times wherein all things are gathered together into
          one. Then the hearts of the fathers who are living in the heavens
          are turned to the children; they are feeling an interest in their
          welfare, like a great many men whom we know to-day, good men, but
          their sons do not do right. Adam had two sons, one of whom was a
          wicked man, and the wicked one killed the good one. At this stage
          of things I suppose the Devil thought he had a good thing. But he
          did not. And then he led the people into sin until they were
          prepared to be overthrown by the flood. I suppose the Devil
          laughed at the way things were going. But Jesus went and preached
          to those spirits in prison. And the people that are independent,
          who think they can get along without religion or without God,
          will find that in time or eternity they will have to come to the
          Priesthood of God.
          I will go back to the things I was talking about, concerning the
          hearts of the fathers being turned to the children, etc. This,
          when fully accomplished, will reach all men that have ever lived.
          At the present time we are connected with it to a certain extent,
          and the Spirit of God leads us to build temples. Why is it that
          you go to work and build temples? You hardly know. You see them;
          they are pretty nice buildings. We talk about being saviors; but
          are we saviors unless we save somebody! No. But we build our
          temples as the Lord has directed, and then we administer in them
          for the living and the dead; and then we are saviors upon Mount
          Zion. You here have this same kind of feeling--have they not
          Bishop? [Answer: Yes, sir] Moses conferred that upon Joseph
          Smith, and Joseph conferred it upon the Elders, and they preached
          to you, and you received the Holy Ghost. And when you gathered
          together they began to talk about these things; and that Spirit
          rested upon you, and you said, "I want a hand in it; I want to
          receive blessings in that temple, and I want also to look to my
          father's family, and those I have been associated with who have
          died without the Gospel." And that is the meaning of the turning
          of the hearts of the fathers to the children, etc.
          The world want to know what Mormonism is doing. Some of us hardly
          know. But it is known that we are building temples; but the
          Christian world do not know what temples are for. If temples were
          built for them they would not know how to administer in them. And
          we did not know until God revealed it. And unless Elijah had come
          and conferred the keys it would not have been revealed. Hence I
          was showing you who and what Joseph Smith was. He has introduced
          the Gospel together with the dispensation of the fullness of
          times, which embraces all other things.
          Then again, did Enoch build up a Zion? So we are doing. What is
          it? The Zion of God. What does it mean? The pure in heart in the
          first place. In the second place those who are governed by the
          law of God--the pure in heart who are governed by the law of God.
          Shall we build up a Zion? We shall; but we shall not, every one
          of us, have our own way about it. We shall feel that we need the
          will of God; and we shall feel that we require the Priesthood,
          under His direction, to guide and direct us, not men who are
          seeking to aggrandize themselves; but men who are seeking to
          build up the Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth; men of
          clean hands and pure hearts, every one honoring his Priesthood
          and magnifying it. Then we shall feel that we want to act like
          little babes, to ask them for counsel and instruction, and then
          be governed by it, under the counsel and direction of the
          Almighty and the aid of His Spirit. Now, this is what we are
          building up, and they built up a similar thing before the flood;
          and the Elders went forth in those days as they now go forth; and
          they baptized people and laid hands upon them, and gathered them
          to Zion; and after a while that Zion was caught up from the
          earth. And we will build up a Zion: that is what we are aiming
          at. And that Zion also, when the time comes, will ascend to meet
          the Zion from above, which will descend, and both, we are told,
          will fall on each other's necks and kiss each other.
          These are some of the things we are after. And we are traveling
          about to teach people. Why? Because we want all to have the
          spirit of Zion. We sing sometimes and talk about Zion, that she
          shall arise, and the glory of God shall rest upon her. We want to
          lift up Zion. And we want you Welsh and other folks to work to
          this end--I suppose most of you are Welsh, and if you are not,
          you are Latter-day Saints, and if you are not Latter-day Saints,
          you ought to be. And you ought to be pure in heart, too; you
          ought to be living your religion, and if you are not, you had
          better turn round and live right before God, and walk worthily of
          the high vocation that he has conferred upon you. I have not time
          to talk upon these principles, but I have said enough to give you
          a general outline.
          God is interested in this work, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and
          the Patriarchs and men of God are interested in it; and we are
          interested in it. And we have a little of that spirit upon us;
          and we would like you to drink of it too. Having been baptized by
          the same baptism that you may all partake of the same spirit,
          that we may build temples and administer in them; and having
          received the Gospel, to feel free to preach it to others. Our
          duty is to preach the Gospel to all men. Who, the First
          Presidency? Yes, if there is nobody else. The Twelve? Yes, it is
          their especial calling to preach it themselves or see that it is
          preached to all the world. And, then, the Seventies, it is their
          duty to go forth at the drop of the hat, as minute men, to preach
          the Gospel to all nations, under the guidance of the Twelve. And,
          then, it is for those who are in Zion, the High Priests, and
          others to go and preach the Gospel. And we are doing this in
          spite of the opposition of men, and in the name of God we will do
          it until He who directs us shall say, "It is enough: turn now to
          Israel." When He says that, then we will quit. And if they love
          the devil better than God, they can do so and sup trouble and
          sorrow and calamity and war and bloodshed. For nation will rise
          against nation, country against country; and thrones will be cast
          down and empires will be scattered to the four winds, and the
          powers of the earth everywhere will be shaken; and the Lord will
          come forth by and by to judge the nations, and it behooves us to
          know what we are doing, and while we profess to be the Saints of
          God not to be hypocrites, but be full of truth and full of
          integrity and magnify our calling and honor our God. This is what
          God expects of us. And then to build temples, and what then?
          Administer in them. Send the Gospel to the nations of the earth.
          And then gather the people in. What then? Build more temples.
          What then? Have men administer in them. And when we get through
          with our relatives and friends, and trace back our ancestry as
          far as we can, then we will call upon God to give us information
          as to who need to be administered for in the heavens; and we will
          work at it for a thousand years, until all the purposes of God
          shall be accomplished, and everything spoken of in the Prophets
          shall be fulfilled.
               Now, you who live in this little place, look to it that you
          are found in the line of your duty. You have a beautiful
          location, and I would like to see you make the most of it. I
          would like to see at least a hundred times more apple, pear and
          cherry trees planted out; and all of your streets lines with
          shade trees. And improve your dwelling houses. If you cannot find
          the style of a house to suit you, go off to other places until
          you do find one, and then come back and build a better one.
          Beautify this place, and make your homes pleasant and agreeable,
          that you may have nice places for your wives and children, and
          thus help to fulfill that Scripture which says, that Zion shall
          become the praise of the whole earth; and that kings will come to
          gaze upon her glory. I have already had many honorable men from
          many of the civilized nations call upon me, and they generally
          express themselves in this way: "What a beautiful place you have
          here, Mr. Taylor;" "O, yes (I would say) it is well enough for
          us, we can please ourselves, it is very difficult to please
          others, we do not profess much. You hear curious stories about
          us; but we would rather have our works speak for us." There is
          nothing to boast of, and what there is we should not have if God
          did not give it to us. For we are dependent upon Him for all we
          have. We live and move in Him, and through Him we have our being.
          And if we can operate together upon the principles of virtue and
          holiness, and have more brotherly feeling, we should feel much
          better. Some people say, I hate such a person. I would not like
          to have that feeling about me, I don't know of a person upon the
          earth whom I hate. What, not the wicked? No, I would say, "The
          Lord judge between thee and me." For if they can afford to do
          wrong, I cannot.
          I will talk about some other things. Go to work and build a
          meeting-house half an inch bigger than this. (Laughter). Then you
          have a public square, make some nice grounds in and about it. And
          then beautify your private squares at your own homes. Let every
          man make his own grounds pleasant and agreeable. And let every
          woman make her husband as happy as she can. The sisters ought to
          be like angels, ought they not? Be full of good, kind, pleasant
          and agreeable feelings. And we men who profess to be saints of
          God--saints of God! What an expression! Do we understand it?
          There is a peculiar form of expression in the German language.
          The term Latter-day Saint in the German is: Der Heiligen der
          Letzten tage, which being interpreted is, the holy of the last
          days. There is something very expressive about that. We should be
          the holy of the last days, under the influence and guidance of
          the Lord.
          We talk about the Kingdom of God. God's Kingdom is not our
          kingdom. Who manages, directs and controls? God. In whose
          interest? In the interest of the community, and for the happiness
          and the welfare of all Israel, and the whole of the human family,
          so far as they will let Him.
          I want to talk about a principle here. We get up sometimes a very
          rash feeling against people who do not think as we do. They have
          a right to think as they please; and so have we. Therefore, if a
          man does not believe as I do, that is none of my business; and if
          I do not believe as he does, that is none of his business. Would
          you protect a man that did not believe as you do? Yes, to the
          last bat's end. He should have equal justice with me; and then I
          would expect to be protected in my rights. We have in Salt Lake
          City, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Roman Catholics, and
          all kinds. Do we interfere with them? No, not at all. Nobody
          persecutes them, but they do us in their weak way. They get up
          meetings and pass resolutions against us, poor, miserable
          "cootes." They do not know any better; they do not know nor
          understand the rights of men as American citizens, much less
          about the Kingdom of God. So let them "resolute." We believe in
          returning good for evil, right for wrong. Because they lie about
          us, that is no reason why we should lie about them; it would be
          bad enough many times to tell the truth about them, much less to
          resort to falsehood. On the same grounds I would not wish to
          interfere with their political rights, nor have them interfere
          with mine. I think that is correct doctrine; it is good democracy
          and good republicanism which we can all subscribe to. But because
          I would treat them right I would not want them to teach my
          children. I want good, honorable Latter-day Saints to teach my
          children because I want them taught correct principles and the
          fear of God along with their secular education.
          It has been published in our papers about different religious
          bodies getting up resolutions against the "Mormons" to the effect
          that it is necessary something should be done to them. Well, what
          about it? Oh, let them "resolute;" our corn and potatoes grow
          just the same; so it makes but little difference. All we say is,
          "hands off." We do not want it to go any further than talk. And
          if blab-mouthed people who do not like the truth choose to tell
          falsehoods about us, let them do so. Who cares? I do not, and I
          do not think you care. And so in regard to other things. What
          will we do? Try to educate ourselves and our children, and get
          good teachers who fear God, who are honorable men and women, and
          who take delight to instil honorable principles into our
          children. And set them good examples at home, you fathers and
          mothers. You should never say a word or do an act which you would
          not want your children to copy after. The idea of men who profess
          to fear God, and some of them Elders in Israel, being addicted to
          swearing. It is a shame and disgrace to high heaven, and this is
          sometimes done before their families; it is a shame. And then
          some men give way and say they have a bad temper: I would sell it
          for nothing, and give something to boot to get rid of it. I would
          be careful that all my acts and doings were right. And it is
          right for heads of families to get their families together every
          morning and evening, and pray with them. Every man and woman to
          dedicate themselves to God; and in their secret prayers to ask
          God's care over them during the day. That will not hurt any of
          you. That was the doctrine that Joseph Smith taught me; and I
          have always appreciated it. I would look upon it as a very great
          trial if I were stopping at a place and if I could not have my
          private prayers. If we cannot lean upon God, what is our religion
          worth! Not much. We will treat our wives right. He is a mean man
          who would abuse a woman. I never liked to see a big dog bite a
          little one; but if a little dog bite a big one, it is not
          reprehensible. And if a man abuse a women, who is the weaker
          vessel, it is an outrage to me. Have you not made covenants with
          your wives for time and eternity. Yes, you have. Would you not
          like, when you get through, to be able to say, Mary, Jane, Ann,
          or whatever the name may be, I never injured you in my life. And
          if you are wives, would you not like to be able to say, Thomas or
          William, I never injured you in all my life. And, then, to spend
          an eternity together hereafter.
          Then, lay aside your covetousness; that is idolatry. And while
          laboring to be industrious, do not covet any man's house, nor his
          farm, nor anything that is his; nor defraud one another, nor bite
          nor devour one another. But love one another, and work the works
          of righteousness, and look after the welfare of all, and seek to
          promote the happiness of all. That is what God is doing. That is
          why He has told us to go to the nations of the earth--and many of
          us have been hundreds and thousands of miles without purse or
          scrip. I have seen you, lots of you Welshmen, in Wales. And what
          was I doing there? Preaching the Gospel. How? Without purse or
          scrip. Did God take care of me? Always, and at every time and
          place; and I bear this record for God and His Priesthood and His
          Kingdom, that I was never at a loss for anything that I needed.
          He always took care of me, and I could do it without begging,
          too. I believe in the same God yet. And I believed then I was
          benefiting mankind; and I believe in doing so now. But I do not
          believe in our being led away by their evils. Keep yourselves
          pure. Do not let corrupt men ingratiate themselves among you, to
          defile you. Preserve your virtue, you men and you women; preserve
          your virtue and live uprightly before God. For as sure as you do
          not the wrath of God will rest upon you; and the Spirit of God
          will be withdrawn from you. Keep yourselves, therefore, pure, and
          be honest and virtuous, and be honest with all men, and treat all
          men honorably. We can afford to do that; and not be governed by
          their vices, nor permit them to introduce them into our midst. We
          cannot afford to follow after the ways of the Gentiles, nor to
          copy after their illiberality. We want the principles of liberty
          to extent and to expand so that all men can worship God as they
          please, without any one to interrupt them.
          Brethren and sisters, let us be virtuous and pure and holy, and
          God will bless us and lift us up and the power of God will be
          with us; and we will rejoice upon the mountains: and we will
          build our Zion upon the principles of righteousness, and we will
          love and fear God all the days of our lives. And by and by when
          the dead that are in their graves shall hear the voice of God,
          the Saints of God shall come forth to live and reign forever
          among the just who have lived in different ages, and have the
          privilege to perpetuate the lives in the eternal worlds, worlds
          without end. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / Henry
          W. Naisbitt, March 8, 1885
                          Henry W. Naisbitt, March 8, 1885
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER H. W. NAISBITT,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, March 8, 1885.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                             CONTRACT--MARRIAGE REQUIRES
                                     OUTSIDE THE
          My brethren, sisters and friends: The congregation is large, and
          I hope to be so directed by the Spirit, that all present who so
          desire may be enabled to hear and understand.
          The Sabbath is the day provided expressly for the reception of
          spiritual food. The speakers, or those who may be called upon to
          teach, need all the resources that are within their reach in
          order to satisfy a congregation of hungry souls, they need
          particularly the faith and prayers of the Saints, the influence
          and power of the Holy Ghost, the manifestation of the authority
          of the Holy Priesthood, so that there may be instruction upon the
          important topics and principles of the Gospel, not the
          theoretical ones alone, but those that are interwoven with our
          daily life.
          There is a vast amount of experience in the aggregate among the
          people. Individual experience forms one of the treasure houses
          from whence a speaker can draw the supplies that are necessary
          and advantageous for a sympathetic audience. There is a great
          deal implied in a congregation like the present one; there is
          much more implied in the aggregation of congregations forming a
          community, from communities to nations, from nations to mankind
          at large. The most narrow as well as most dense communities are
          made up of the family organization. There is found circle within
          circle, or as the Prophet had it, "wheel within wheel;" and the
          homes of a community should be the outgrowth, not of theories
          alone, but of the faith, knowledge, and understanding of those
          relationships which exist there. When these family organizations
          are based upon knowledge they are likely to be more permanent. If
          they are only thoughtless or theoretical, or if they exist
          without information, circumstances, pressure, opportunities are
          very likely to disintegrate them, to break them up, to dissolve
          them, and so through indifference for each other substitute an
          anomalous condition of selfishness amongst those members who
          otherwise should form connected and interwoven circles.
          In Christendom the marriage covenant is the foundation of the
          home. The ideas which men hold concerning it, lay at the
          foundation of all social order, all unity and all government, and
          even the welfare of future ages depends upon the theories
          cherished in regard to home and family associations. The thoughts
          held and the practice growing out of these, are surely higher
          than could be possible in the families of a community where the
          sexual relations remain undetermined, where they are without
          restraint and without order, there will inevitably be chaos,
          disruption and contention, and the body politic would speedily
          and inevitably under loose conditions, degenerate and pass away.
          But this marriage organization and institution has existed from
          the beginning. It has been the binding and sealing power of the
          family; it has perpetuated those families from the time that Eve
          was given to Adam to the last marriage that took place in our own
          immediate neighborhood. The Lord said that it was not good that
          man should be alone. He gave to him as a helpmate one of His
          daughters by the name of Eve. This relationship was then,
          instituted by the Almighty, and therefore a man and his wife
          should really become one; their interests, their labors should be
          blended; their responsibilities should be mutual; and in thus
          helping and aiding each other they should train the posterity
          that God might give them in His fear and in the practice of
          righteousness, so that His rule and Kingdom might exist and
          prevail upon the earth.
          In all nations, from the highest civilized to the lowest tribal
          relation, among the wanderers of the earth, there is more or less
          semblance of this organization, this family compact, this united
          responsibility; garnished in many lands with pomp and ceremony,
          and with all the appliances and sanctities of religion. In others
          with less, and still less of this, until we come to where with
          but little ceremony the dusky Indian captures the maiden of his
          choice, and takes her to the tent which he has erected for
          The Scriptures give an account simply of the woman Eve; declaring
          that this name was given her of Adam, because she was "the mother
          of all living;" but outside of biblical record there has been
          handed down from time immemorial the idea that Adam had two
          wives, the narrators go so far, or rather so near perfecting the
          tradition so as to give their names, Lilith being said to be the
          name of one as Eve was the name of the other, and while it may be
          difficult to harmonize all the Rabbinical and Talmudic versions
          of this matter, it is said that Joseph Smith the Prophet taught
          that Adam had two wives. Without however, assuming or basing
          anything upon this theory, or upon this tradition--which may be
          mythical in its character--it is nevertheless, very evident that
          marriage was ordained of God; and when we take into our hands the
          record of the Holy Scriptures that have been handed down to us by
          our fathers, that have been cherished in parts by the ancient
          people of God, and in latter times consolidated; passing through
          various channels under peculiar circumstances, and with an
          apparent special providence continuing and protecting the
          same--we find throughout the pages thereof that marriage
          everywhere for four thousand years, at all events, was recognized
          as of divine origin. One of the latest assertions in regard to
          it, as addressed to the early Saints by Paul, was, that marriage
          was honorable in all, and further that it was typical of that
          union and headship held by Jesus to the Church, and from this
          comes an added force to the Savior's words, who, when speaking on
          this topic said: "what God hath joined together let no man put
          The sanctity of the marriage relation had another feature in
          ancient Israel: that great family of promise were divided into
          tribal relations, and by these their genealogical tables were
          kept perfect. Any marital connection or alliance, outside of that
          order was visited with indignation, condemnation and punishment.
          Those who were guilty of violating the order of marriage were
          looked upon as guilty of something which destroyed the root and
          foundations of society. They were held to be guilty of
          introducing things and practices which vitiated the value of
          genealogical record, and which made the perpetuity of families a
          comparative impossibility and had it not been for tribal
          carefulness in this direction, for this supervision which
          controlled and regulated the people of God, it would have been
          impossible in the days of the Savior for the Apostles to have
          traced His genealogy back to the early Prophets and Patriarchs.
          That which men now apply only as a rule, in regard to stock, or
          to some of the most ancient families of mankind, by the people of
          God, was looked upon as the one perfect chain to demonstrate
          hereditary descent.
          We are told in tracing one of the genealogies from father to
          son--or from son to father, in a backward direction to Adam--that
          finally Adam was said to be the son of God, and by a close
          application of the principles of logic, it may be assumed that
          all the posterity of Adam are by direct descent the sons and
          daughters of the living God. It will also be found in the
          prophecies of Isaiah regarding the Savior, that He should be
          called the "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting
          Father, the Prince of Peace." When we come to His own
          conversation, where His Apostles asked Him if He would show unto
          them the Father, He said: "Have I been so long with you, and yet
          hast thou not known me? he that hath seen Me hath seen the
          Father." This statement is reiterated time and again in the Book
          of Mormon, and in the sacred writings that we have received.
          Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, was not
          the Son only, but the prophetic declaration was fulfilled in
          Him--He was verily and indeed the Everlasting Father. So by the
          same application of logic and inferential evidence from holy
          writ, wherever you find a man he is the son of somebody, and his
          existence is perpetual and eternal. Every Father becomes, by
          virtue of his position, an everlasting father. He in this respect
          represents the same characteristic as that occupied by the Great
          Father of us all. And throughout the countless ages of eternity,
          any man who has ever assumed or occupied the position and
          continues faithful to its responsibilities, will forever remain
          to his posterity "the Everlasting Father."
          As far as we can glean from the sacred records, we find that this
          relationship was established for the bringing upon this sphere of
          action a posterity. The powers and functions which had been
          conferred upon man and woman were exemplified in this direction,
          and when a man's wife was barren, when any of these daughters of
          Israel in ancient times were childless, it was considered to be a
          reproach to them, yet in the exercise of faith and by the
          blessing of the Almighty, and by obedience to the patriarchal
          order, many of these ancient sisters, the progenitors of the
          Israel of the latter days, were delivered from barrenness, and
          became the mothers of a vast and ever increasing host of
          posterity. Those who are familiar with the sacred Scriptures will
          remember one of the wives of Jacob; they will remember the case
          of Hannah, the mother of Samuel the Prophet, and there are others
          which are familiar to our minds which need not be quoted. The
          desire for offspring among the wives of Israel was a prevailing
          feeling, because it was understood that from that lineage should
          come the Messiah of the latter days, and every daughter of Israel
          was anxious that in a direct line she might be the honored of
          God, in being the medium through which should come the Redeemer,
          the promised Immanuel.
          It ought also to be remarked in connection with this question,
          that marriage was at times polygamic as well as monogamic--that
          is, right away in the early history of the world there were men
          who had more wives than one. Lamech was the first who is
          mentioned in Scripture. And here it might be observed, although
          probably all understand it, that the Bible does not profess to
          give a perfect history in detail of the habits and practices of
          the ancient people of God, for these are only secondary to the
          ever present assertions of divine interest in and regulation of
          the human family. There are only revealings or incidental
          glimpses here and there in regard to the principles of social and
          domestic life, and hintings of some which have been kept hid from
          then to now; but that marriage was the heritage of man is
          certain, and that while under many circumstances it was
          monogamic, there were also many cases in which it was of a
          polygamic character, and in both instances it was given by
          command and then received the approbation of the heavens. It was
          regulated and sustained by the great lawgivers of ancient Israel,
          who were inspired to point out in detail the limits of
          consanguinity, the times and seasons of privilege, and what
          should be the method of securing posterity under such and such
          circumstances; until the time came when Israel as a nation
          enjoyed its highest glory, and then we find that this principle
          (polygamy) formed one of the leading features of the household
          extension in the kings of that time. David is a noted
          illustration. Solomon was another, and in the comments of the
          Scriptures regarding these two men, notwithstanding their
          multiplicity of wives, we find no condemnation save in the fact
          that they in other respects violated the fundamental law of
          ancient Israel. David, we are told, captured the wife of another
          man by stratagem and because he did this he fell under
          condemnation. The son that was born to him of that connection
          died a premature death; but afterwards when he repented, he
          married and still retained that self same woman, Bathsheba; the
          Lord blessed and acknowledged David's repentance and her position
          by giving her for a son the great Jedediah, or Solomon, and
          finally in a direct line through her, came also the Redeemer of
          Israel. The Scriptures in commenting upon David's practice say
          that in "none of these things did he violate the commandments,
          save in the case of he wife of Uriah" [1st Kings, 15, 5.] We are
          also told that Solomon multiplied wives and families unto
          himself, yet his reign formed an era in the national life of
          Israel. It was during his administration as King and Priest under
          the order of God, that that wonderful temple was built and
          dedicated which received the sanction and approbation of the
          heavens; of the resting upon it of the cloud by day so that the
          Priests could not minister at the altar, and the descent of fire
          from heaven, which consumed the sacrifice presented, were both
          tokens of divine acceptance and recognition, and we have not
          found in reading the history of Solomon that his conduct was
          condemned save in the fact that he took unto himself wives of the
          outside nations contrary to the law, which declared that the
          marriages of Israel should be within their own immediate
          families, (Deut. 7th, 3rd,) and as a result the record declares
          that it was these heathen wives which he took, those women that
          were captured in war or those that he had from choice or were
          given to him for conciliatory alliance from surrounding nations
          who led away his heart from the worship of the God of Israel, and
          turned him to the practices of idolatry. With this exception the
          presumption is from the evidence that his other marriages were
          approved, and in them was his posterity perpetuated. It was the
          direct result of the blessing of the Almighty, and through him,
          as he stood in a representative position, we may surely assume
          what the feelings of Israel were in regard to polygamy or the
          plurality of wives.
          It is more than inferential evidence in favor of this principle
          which grows from the consideration of the practice of Solomon and
          David, and Abraham and Jacob, and Moses and Gideon, and Jehoida
          and Abdon, and Rehoboam and Abijah, and Esau and Lamech, and
          Jerubbaal and Jair, though some of these men were not examples in
          every act of their lives, yet the facts are no more in favor of
          monogamists as to this than in the day and age in which we live.
          Unfair advantage has been taken by opponents of this practice,
          because of the Adamic era, but the Rabbinical tradition already
          mentioned, while not conclusive, shows that no repulsion existed
          in the minds of the honored priesthood of Israel; land, as the
          Rev. Dr. Newman quoted the words of Lamech, so we may also have
          our opinion and that is that his declaration possessed no
          reference whatever his plurality of wives.
          However, in the Christian dispensation it has been assumed that
          this practice had become almost obsolete; some have said that it
          died away because it was deprecated by the Savior and by His
          Apostles, but there appears to have been thoughts in the minds of
          the latter concerning marriage which open to our minds many
          things in regard to that institution. For instance we are told
          that man is not without the woman in the Lord, neither the woman
          without the man. [1 Cor., 11, 11.] It takes the two, at least, to
          make a complete and rounded man. When the first pair were created
          the Bible expressly declares, "male and female created he them,"
          and called their name Adam. [Gen. 5, 2.] It included the two; it
          included the man and wife; and the theory of the Gospel in
          Apostolic times was, that a man was an imperfect being without
          the woman, and that a woman was also an imperfect being without
          the man, and this perfect state could not be realized or wrought
          out without the institution of marriage.
          It is, then, by this marriage relation that men and women were in
          the Lord according to the divine order, carrying out the examples
          of their great predecessors, and of their Father in heaven. It
          may safely be assumed that marriage with them was an eternal
          principle; that it was not meant for time only, but for eternity;
          that it was a relationship that was perpetuated, and that this
          not only included the man and wife, but of necessity the entire
          family organization. For our God is not the God of the dead but
          of the living, "and what he hath joined together no man shall put
          asunder." To the older people here, who are familiar with the
          facts made manifest in the human organization, it may be said
          that there are certain elements of attraction which lead the one
          sex towards the other. This attraction is designated by the name
          of love. We are sometimes afraid to exhibit this characteristic;
          we think it is unworthy of men or women; and that when a man is
          said to be in love, or a woman, it is something that should be
          veiled from the eyes and knowledge and understanding of everybody
          but themselves. But insomuch as love is one of the great
          attributes of Deity, this idea does not recommend itself. It is
          not only a great attribute of Deity, but it is the greatest and
          most potent attribute to be found in man's and woman's
          organization. To those who have been allured by its power; to
          those who understand its force; to those who realize that it is
          the parent of all action almost in life; how it leads men to
          sacrifice, to labor, to effort, no argument is needed to show
          that it is the greatest power of the human heart. For it men will
          endure any amount of sacrifice; for it women will endure and
          submit to almost any indignity. The fact is, it is the only
          element that will bind together in its original purity the family
          circle: it is that which leads a man to go forth in the battle of
          life to earn the bread that perisheth: it is that which enables
          him to look upon his wife as paramount to all else: it is that
          which enables her to watch by her infant children, and in the
          moment of sickness, with sleepless nights and days of vigilance,
          await until there is a restoration to health; it is this that
          glorifies the family circle and makes it a little heaven upon
          earth; and every man and every woman is cognizant of the fact,
          that where love has died out from the altar of home, that home
          has lost its greatest attraction. A man does not go there and
          look upon it as his little resting place from the care and
          anxiety of the world when that feeling has died out. No. He finds
          his pleasure in the club room, on the race course, at the gaming
          table, in political life, in business, or in many other
          directions, rather than in the little heaven called home. Ah! sad
          indeed is the fate of those families where this beautiful, this
          beneficent, this almighty, this glorifying principle has failed,
          or finds no resting place therein.
          Now, this is the key to marriage in the abstract. It is its
          foundation. It constitutes the glories of its architecture. It
          brings upon it its capstone, and finishes the edifice that God
          Almighty hath ordained. Yet this element which lays at the
          foundation and runs through the whole fabric of married life, in
          and of itself is not sufficient to produce and perpetuate that
          perfect happiness which men and women desire in this
          relationship. Man is a compound being. Woman is a compound being.
          There are other feelings of the heart beside affection and love,
          although these will cover a multitude of sins. But it is
          necessary for the best interests of the family relation that the
          tastes and habits, feelings and thoughts of the high contracting
          parties should run pretty much in the same direction--that is, so
          far as intelligence is received. Hence we have the apostolic
          injunction given to the early Christians which said: "Be not
          unequally yoked with unbelievers." This was one of the commands
          given to the early Christians; because it was realized that
          though the fire of love may burn fiercely in the early years of
          wedded life, yet unless there is unity of sentiment, of thought
          and of action in regard to the religion that married couples
          should possess, and that should be imposed upon the children
          there will ever be a probability of disintegration and
          disruption, and this rule had its counterpart, or had its origin,
          in ancient Israel. It was not intended, as already stated, that
          the sons of any of the tribes of Israel should take to themselves
          wives of the nations that were round about them; they were
          commanded strictly to keep with that family, and where they
          failed in this, whether as individuals or in a national capacity,
          it brought down upon them the blighting curse of the Almighty,
          and led them finally to bondage, and to be carried away to the
          ends of the earth, and so many families in our Israel, after
          years of suffering of counsel and commandment, have become in a
          measure lost through the influence of misdirected and disobedient
          We all realize the influence that woman exerts over a man. A man,
          to be sure, exerts a good deal of influence over a woman. But I
          think the bulk of experience will show that if even a good,
          devoted Latter-day Saint woman should be foolishly guilty of
          marrying outside of the Church, or marrying a man in the Church
          who is half hearted, that her children will retain more of her
          individual impress than they will of the father's. I think
          observation will establish this fact: that where there is a
          devoted father, and an indifferent, unbelieving mother, the
          probabilities are that disintegration will set into that family,
          and that the majority of them will pass away from the influence
          of the Church and from the institutions of the Gospel. Not that
          either of these conditions is good--that is, they are not the
          best conditions. The best conditions are where there is a devoted
          man and a devoted woman, or women, all laboring in the interests
          of the Kingdom of God upon the earth, and impressing their own
          individuality, by the powers of an educational character upon the
          posterity that God may give them.
          But in regard to this objectionable form of marriage called
          polygamic, if this marriage is an eternal principle, it follows
          almost of necessity that there will be a period in the experience
          of thousands when it must be essentially and eternally polygamic.
          How many young wives are there who leave this stage of action
          sometimes without children, and sometimes leaving a little
          family? And under these circumstances a man marries again; he
          takes another wife and raises up another family, and for two or
          three times or more this may be the experience of some. Now, if
          marriage is not for time only, but for eternity; if the marriage
          relation is continued, there is a condition of things which
          demonstrates that in the life to come at all events, marriage
          must be in many cases polygamic--that is, a man must be possessed
          of several wives.
          Now, our theories of heaven are, that there is nothing there save
          that which is pure, save that which is ennobling, save that which
          is progressive, save that which is according to the order of God.
          If, He, then, in the eternities that are beyond the veil can
          admit of this relationship by virtue of the fact that marriage is
          eternal, does it not appear strange that such an order is decried
          by His children upon the face of the earth.
          Nor need it be urged, that in some experiences there is a
          reversal of this order, that a woman may be the wife of several
          men while in the flesh, and that as a consequence, this
          arrangement must also be eternal. It has already been said that
          woman is subordinate to man, she was given to be his helpmeet, he
          was to rule over her, to be the head, as Christ is the head of
          the Church, that the man was not created for the woman, but woman
          for the man. [See 1st Cor., 1 to 12.]
          Besides in the keeping of genealogical record, in the tracing of
          family or tribal relations, it is evident that a woman must be
          the acknowledged wife of some one man, and that to him alone
          pertains the eternity of the marriage covenant of the Holy
          Priesthood. This query is however old in history, it is precisely
          the one addressed to the Savior by the Sadducees, (who did not
          believe in the resurrection. He, however, without condescending
          to explain the sealing power to them declared that "when they
          rise from the dead they neither marry nor are given in marriage,"
          and the darkened inference of Christendom has been, that all
          family organizations, all characteristics of sex, all procreation
          of the species would be obliterated as something pertaining only
          to the shores of time.
          This polygamic form of marriage, however, when we come to
          consider humanity, is far in excess of the monogamic. Its
          influence and power and practice are felt around the globe, and
          we can judge of its nature by that which we have seen and heard
          of in our own experience. Ishmael, the son of Abraham, was of
          polygamic lineage. It was prophesied of him that he should become
          the father of many nations, and in the eastern lands of the earth
          he has multiplied exceedingly; and to-day we find that the
          gigantic power of England with all its wealth, with all its
          appliances of science and civilization, is held in check by this
          selfsame Ishmael, the son of Abraham, the friend of God, so that
          assumed degeneracy consequent on this system is not established
          by facts.
          In this land of ours, we find that monogamy is the rule; that
          there are laws preventing a departure from this order, and that
          any departure from that is visited with a good deal of criticism,
          with some legislation, with some pains and penalties, and is made
          to the nation of stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense. Yet
          we might here pertinently ask the American nation--"From when did
          you derive your monogamy?" We might ask Old England the same
          question. I would like to ask if it has been accepted as the
          result of an intelligent understanding of the two modes of
          marriage? Rather has it not been inherited without investigation,
          without thought, without reflection, without understanding the
          marriage covenant? We all know it is the outgrowth of tradition;
          that it has been received from the fathers; and so far from
          having been an intellectual reception of a principle, fundamental
          and eternal, it possesses nothing of that character whatever.
          Monogamy was practiced by the fathers, the same as the religions
          of mankind were practiced by them, it was received and accepted
          unhesitatingly without comment or consideration, without
          understanding as to whether it as conclusively the best, or
          whether it was the worst, or whether it was of God, or whether it
          was of man, or whether anything different to-day might or might
          not be of Him.
          Now, here is a little community called Latter-day Saints, who
          believe in both orders. They have accepted marriage in the
          abstract. They do not believe that society should run at loose
          ends in its sexual relations. They believe that a violation of
          those laws is as much a wrong to-day as it was in the days of
          ancient Israel, and they believe further that all sexual
          irregularities should be visited by penalties of divine sanction
          and appointment; and still more, that that which was right, that
          which was commanded, that which was encouraged, that which was
          practiced, that which was regulated among ancient Israel, and
          that which will be practiced and is inevitable behind the veil,
          cannot be an offense in the sight of God, in the day and age in
          which we live.
          But it may be said, why speak of this matter when there is so
          much excitement in regard to it? For the best of all reasons,
          that this is a free country, that free speech has never been
          forbidden, has never been checked, has never been curtailed. It
          is the heritage we have received from our fathers, and we are at
          liberty to speak of the institutions that lay at the foundation
          of society, and to analyze and understand them. There are
          thousands of our youth growing up that are not familiar with the
          fundamental principles pertaining to marriage; with the ideas and
          theories and practices of the nations that have grown out of this
          relationship; and it needs that they should understand why this
          turmoil exists, and whether there is a good foundation for the
          position that men take everywhere in regard to that principle,
          and which leads to the persecution of their fathers, and the
          ostracism of their community.
          When we come to the sacred books that have been received by the
          Church we find that, in regard to this dual idea of
          marriage--marriage in the monogamic form, and marriage in the
          polygamic form-the Book of Mormon expressly declares that it was
          necessary in the first colonization of this country that marriage
          should be monogamic, because the sexes were equal, and the people
          realized that marriage was an indispensable thing to both man and
          woman; but there is also indication that necessity would give
          final enlargement to this practical question.
          So it was when Noah came out of the ark, and there are other
          periods in the history of mankind when nothing but monogamic
          marriage could prevail without doing an injustice to those round
          about them. But where there is no chance of this injustice; where
          every man is free; where every woman is free; where there are
          thousands of mankind that never marry at all, and thousands of
          women who by law cannot marry, there is room for the exercise of
          the polygamic form thereof; so that, in argument, the sacred
          books of old Israel, the sacred books of Christendom, the sacred
          books of the Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, all tend to
          substantiate the idea that marriage in the abstract is of God;
          and that it is or has been of Him; both in the monogamic and
          polygamic form. Still further, these written revelations are not
          the only evidence of the fact that monogamic marriage and
          polygamic marriage are both susceptible of practice by the human
          family. Who is there that is acquainted with himself or
          herself--where is the man and where is the woman who does not
          realize, if they have attained to mature years and experience,
          that all the functions of manhood and womanhood can be subserved
          in both forms of marriage, and often better in the polygamic. If
          in this ever present revelation of the Almighty, of the finger of
          God in man's organization, and in woman's, it had been decreed
          that polygamy was an immoral thing, and that it did violence to
          either, then that would be evidence to go against the sacred
          books that we have received from the past, and from those of the
          present; and if Joseph Smith had come forth claiming to be a
          Prophet of God, and had given a revelation testifying to the
          necessity and advantage of polygamic marriage, and this
          revelation had come in contact with the revelation of man's
          experience, with the revelation written in his own organization,
          then it would have nullified itself; but it is in harmony with
          such a revelation, and shows the possibility and susceptibility
          and natural character of marriage in the polygamic relation.
          During a certain debate held in this house in regard to this very
          question, Doctor Newman asserted that there were evidences
          against this practice in the Bible. I consider that the Bible has
          been read by the Latter-day Saints as much as ever it was read by
          Dr. Newman, although they may not have done so in the original
          tongue--they may not have Leviticus 18, 18--as he had it--but yet
          they have that great gift of God which is called common sense, to
          say nothing of the inspiration of His Spirit, and they are just
          as well able to understand the revelations of the past as Doctor
          Newman with all his knowledge of the original rendition and
          meaning of the Hebrew character.
          And if a tree is to be judged by its fruits, what of the
          whoredoms, the adultery, the fornication, the prostitution of
          women in monogamic nations? What of sexual diseases, of blighted
          lives, of martyred women, of little graves dotting every hillside
          and the resting places of the dead? What of foeticide,
          infanticide and abortion? What of the decimated power and numbers
          of the best society, what of their liasons and their divorce
          courts, and other damning features which cling closely to the
          skirts of modern Sodoms, the paragons and promoters of monogamic
          Dr. Newman also made another remark something like this: that
          polygamy was not intended for the poor man, that it was intended
          for the kings of the earth, overlooking the fact, however, that
          Israel is a nation of kings and priests; so that when he said
          that polygamy or the practice of a plurality of wives was
          intended only for kings, it brought home a truth pregnant with
          thought; for God decreed that he would gather His Israel from the
          poor of all nations, and so in Rev. 5, 10, they are represented
          as singing a new song, "Thou hast made us Kings and Priests to
          God, and we shall reign on the earth;" and this principle was to
          extend not through time only, but through the countless ages of
          eternity, so that His people might occupy the position of eternal
          fathers and eternal mothers, and be indeed Kings and Priests for
          ever and for ever.
          There are also other avenues of information besides those sacred
          records, and besides those revelations written in the
          organization of man and woman at large, and that is the
          revelation of individual experience. There are many men and women
          who have practiced this principle in the midst of Israel for
          thirty years and upwards. I have heard their testimonies time and
          time again, and they declare that their experience corroborated
          the exhortation, commandments and practices of Holy Writ, and the
          revelations written in their own organization; and they tell me
          that in this relation they have been blessed, they have been
          prospered, they have had around them the influence of the Spirit
          of the Almighty; that peace has been upon their household and
          habitation, and that they have been enabled through that
          principle to multiply their posterity upon the earth. Where are
          these? They are everywhere throughout this Territory, and their
          experience, corroborating those other revelations which I have
          mentioned, forms a threefold cord that cannot by any process or
          by any power be broken. I will say as the result of my own
          experience--for I have lived in that relationship--that to me and
          to mine it was productive of good, although it came in contact
          with our tradition. Although it came in contact with the
          practices of the fathers, and with our feelings, yet, in its
          experience it demonstrated itself to be of God, and no better
          time have I had in thirty years of married life than when I had
          three wives given me of God, and occupying but one habitation.
          The power of God was in that home; the spirit of peace was there,
          the spirit of intelligence was there; and we had our ever present
          testimony that God recognised the patriarchal order, that which
          had been practiced by His servants ages and ages ago and revealed
          to us in the dispensation of the fullness of times; and although
          two of these have gone behind the veil, they went there with a
          consciousness of having done their duty in this life, and that
          they would meet in the life beyond those who agreed with them in
          practice and in faith; from this condition came the discipline of
          life, the power of self-restraint, a tender regard for each
          others' feelings, and a sort of jealousy for each others' rights,
          all tempered by the consideration that relations meant to be
          enduring claimed more love and interest and soul than did
          monogamy under its best conditions.
          Here, then, are some of the evidences in regard to this married
          relation that forms the foundation of civilization and of human
          life, and that lays at the foundation of the Government of God
          upon the earth; according to our ideas concerning this
          relationship so will our society and this community become. If we
          treat the marriage relation with levity; if we should believe
          that it was but a civil contract, and for time only, we should be
          weak as others and should not excel: if it is not part of our
          religion and of God, then it is not of value to us. In my
          experience--and that is not a very lengthy one--I have marked the
          change in feeling that has come over the nations in regard to
          this marriage question. When I was a lad it was very unusual for
          a man to take to himself a wife without the sanction of religion.
          All the marriages of Old England had to be celebrated in the
          Established Church, and a record was kept of them there, and of
          the posterity issuing from that marriage, and when these died,
          their death also was recorded, so that there was an unbroken
          chain of genealogical evidence in that respect often of immense
          value for legitimacy and other purposes. But by and by the spirit
          of religious liberty, as it was called, began to spread. It is
          but a hundred years ago, or a little over, since Methodism was
          established--the now dominant, or next to dominant religious
          organization of Christendom. It began in a small way; but it
          increased and spread abroad; it multiplied its converts, its
          ministers and its chapels; it became a potent factor, in a
          political sense, in the nation, and it was necessary that
          political parties should conciliate and cater to this
          increasingly wealthy religious organization; and when the
          Methodists wanted marriages performed in their own, instead of
          going to the Established Churches, their power and influence, the
          influence of wealth and numbers, their power as a political
          factor of the nation, gave them favor in the eyes of the ministry
          and the legislature. By and by they were allowed the privilege of
          marrying in their own churches and chapels, and by their own
          ministers. And as it was with this body, so it was with the
          smaller bodies, the satellites thrown off and revolving around
          the great planets of religious organization in that country. And
          then as this so-called religious liberty increased in spirit,
          scepticism began to grow in the minds of many in regard to
          religious doctrines. There were thousands of people that had no
          more faith in Methodism than in the Established Church, or in
          Catholicism. They had more faith in Tom Paine, and Voltaire, and
          Rosseau, and such men as Ingersoll, and their liberty made it
          appear plausible to them that there was no necessity to go to any
          church, or seek the aid of any minster, or have any religious
          ceremony in connection with their own marriage or the marriage of
          their families. So provision was made for this ever increasing
          host of sceptics, and finally it was decreed that marriage was
          nothing but a civil contract, not needing the service of a
          minister, or the sanction of religion, but requiring simply that
          it could be entered into after due notice was given, in a public
          place and not before a worshiping assembly. In such cases
          marriage was entered into as "a civil contract," and when this
          stage was reached, inasmuch as it was but a civil contract, "only
          this and nothing more," the next step of necessity was, that it
          could be dissolved. Where is there a contract of this nature that
          cannot be dissolved? If I am engaged by an employer we can
          dissolve the engagement whenever either of us is dissatisfied.
          And so this feature applied to marriage; the laws of divorce were
          introduced, and that which was once considered discreditable,
          difficult and expensive, and would have been sounded from one end
          of the land to the other as such, became common and unworthy of
          Thus the bonds of society are loosened; the sanctity of the
          marriage relation is destroyed; and the world is filled with
          entanglements that are the product of this civil contract
          business, and even where this contract remains intact, there is a
          spirit made manifest to avoid the responsibilities of marriage as
          to offspring, and to live together in numberless cases without
          any marriage at all; so that when the connection is broken it may
          be swept to the wind with no results traceable or injurious to
          any of those concerned.
           Now, for the safety of society, for the welfare of the human
          family, for the love of order and responsibility upon the earth,
          for faith in the revelations of God, and for high regard to the
          practices of His anointed, I am in favor of the marriage
          relation. The Latter-day Saints are in favor of the marriage
          relation, and they are utterly opposed to sexual intercourse
          outside of that. And they do not believe that marriage is a civil
          contract alone. Whatever power there may be in the courts to
          enforce the claim of a wife against a husband, or the husband
          against the wife as a matter of protection, in the main, marriage
          is of God, is of divine origin. Marriage requires the sanction of
          the authority of the Holy Priesthood in order to give it force,
          in order to make it valid in this life and the life to come, and
          marriage--polygamic or monogamic, according to the necessities of
          the case and the condition of those who enter therein--is in
          harmony with all the laws of life; and despite what the world may
          say, those that are of polygamic descent without knowing it are
          to be found among the rulers of to-day--the most exalted and the
          most prominent in a national sense--even in repudiating
          In the carrying out of this relationship the Latter-day Saints
          are numerous everywhere throughout this Territory: and it is
          incumbent upon the rising generation that they should hold to
          those sacred views that are held by their fathers; that they
          should marry within the confines of the Church; that they should
          seek for their husbands or wives, as the case may be, among those
          who have been obedient to the principles of the everlasting
          Gospel, and who comprehend something of the nature of the
          marriage covenant. Those of our posterity should not depart from
          the ways of our Father; they should not be willing to take up
          with the practices of Christendom. They should be under proper
          restraint, proper control and direction in all the relationships
          of life, because this parental relation among the faithful is an
          eternal authority. Those children of ours, they never can get
          away from their father and mother in this life, nor in the life
          to come. If they should form connection with those outside of the
          Church and become aliens to the Gospel, after a long day of
          repentance they will have to return and bow the knee if they
          would have access within that organization, if they would enjoy
          all that belongs to that relationship, if they would inherit the
          glory with which that relationship is identified; they will have
          to repent, as it were, in dust and ashes and come back to the
          family circle, compact and covenant, wherein the Almighty gave
          them a being. And in this respect it may be well to drop a hint
          in regard to the practices of some of our sons and daughters in
          this city--where they step outside of what some call priestly
          authority. When they come to get up amusements of their own, they
          should see that that only which pertains to good order and good
          government are introduced, for those inevitably tend to
          consolidation and unity. It would be well if our boys would
          listen to their fathers' counsel; would respect the authority of
          their fathers and mothers who are good Latter-day Saints; and
          when they want enjoyment they should seek to keep within the
          circumscribed limits of all reputable authority.
          There are a great many thoughts arise in my mind, but I presume
          that I have occupied all the time desirable and I do not wish to
          weary the congregation. The subject I have touched upon, however,
          is a very important one. It lies at the foundation of things,
          and, as I said before, as it is comprehended by the human family,
          by us as Latter-day Saints, so will be their position among the
          nations, so will be their power in renovating society, and so
          will be their measure of approbation by the heavens.
          May God give us wisdom to so maintain ourselves in this relation
          whether it be polygamic or monogamic--that we may gain His smile
          and approbation, that we may feel His Spirit in our families, in
          our hearts, in our going out and coming in, and may we realize
          that we have the approbation of heaven, and the sanction of all
          the powers of the eternities past, present and to come, as well
          as the example of the Patriarchs and Prophets. And when this life
          shall come to its end with us, may we be privileged to sit down
          with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the kingdom of our Father and
          God, and make part of a family there, a great nation of Kings and
          Priests, associating with those who have passed through much
          tribulation and washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb
          through the ordinances of the Gospel; which I ask may be the
          case, through Jesus Christ, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / John
          Taylor, October 6th, 1883
                           John Taylor, October 6th, 1883
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
          Delivered at a Priesthood Meeting, held in the Salt Lake Assembly
                        Saturday Evening, October 6th, 1883.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          IT is quite a privilege for us to meet together in such
          assemblies as this--to associate with the Priesthood of the Son
          of God, which Priesthood is also after the order of Melchizedek,
          and after the power of an endless life. It is a great privilege
          for us to meet together, to talk over the things pertaining to
          the Kingdom of God, and to reason and reflect upon those things
          that God has revealed for our salvation in time and throughout
          the eternities that are to come. It is proper that we should
          comprehend the various positions of men in relation to this Holy
          Priesthood, and further that we should understand the various
          orders, callings, ordinances and organizations associated with
          the Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth; that we each of us
          may be prepared to magnify our calling, to honor our God, and to
          pursue that course always which shall be acceptable in the sight
          of our Heavenly Father.
          We are here as Jesus was here, not to do our own will, but the
          will of our Father who sent us. He has placed us here; we have a
          work to do in our day and generation; and there is nothing of
          importance connected with any of us only as we are associated
          with God and His work, whether it be the President of the Church,
          the Twelve Apostles, the Presidents of Stakes, the Bishops, or
          anybody else, and we can only thus be of any service by placing
          ourselves in a position to act as God dictates us; as He
          regulates and manipulates the affairs of His Church in the
          interests of humanity, in behalf of the living and of the dead,
          in behalf of the world in which we live, and in behalf of those
          who have lived before us, and who will live after us. We can none
          of us do anything only as we are assisted, guided and directed by
          the Lord. No man ever lived that could. Adam could not. Noah
          could not. Even Jesus could not. Nor could the Apostles. They
          were all of them dependent upon the God of Israel to sustain them
          in all of their acts. And in regard to Adam himself, as we are,
          so was he very ignorant of many principles until they were
          revealed to him. And if they were revealed to him they did not
          originate with him; and so it was with others. We find that Adam
          was directed of the Lord to do a certain thing--that is, to offer
          up sacrifices--and when the angel of the Lord came to him and
          said: "Adam why do you offer up sacrifices?" Adam replied, "I do
          not know; but the Lord commanded me to do it, and therefore I do
          it." He did not know what those sacrifices were for until the
          Lord revealed unto him the doctrine of the atonement and the
          necessity of the fall of man, and pointed out to him the way and
          manner to obtain an exaltation. Then he and Eve his wife rejoiced
          exceedingly at the mercy and kindness of the Almighty, and
          realized that even in their fall they were placed in a position
          to obtain a higher glory, and a greater exaltation than they
          could have done without it. Now, who revealed this to them? The
          Lord, through the ministering of an holy angel; and in relation
          to the dealings of God with all of the human family it has been
          precisely the same. We are told, for instance, that when Adam had
          lived to a great age--that three years before his death he called
          together his family--that is, some of the leading branches
          thereof who held the Holy Priesthood, mentioning the names of
          many of the more prominent that had received certain peculiar
          blessings from the hand of God--and there was manifested to him
          all things that should transpire to his posterity throughout all
          the future generations of time, and he prophesied of these
          things; and also upon those who were with him rested the spirit
          of prophecy, and he blessed them, and they turned around and
          blessed him and called him Michael the Archangel, the Prince of
          Peace, etc. By what spirit then did Adam prophesy, and under what
          influence was he operating at that time? We are told in Scripture
          that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, and he in
          common with his sons who were then associated with him were in
          possession of that spirit which enlightened their minds, unfolded
          unto them the principles of truth, and revealed unto them the
          things that would transpire throughout every subsequent period of
          time. Who manifested these things? The Lord. Who organized the
          world? The Lord. Who placed upon it the fowls of the air, the
          beasts of the field, and the fish of the sea? The Lord. Who
          sustains all things by his power? The Lord. Who controls the
          affairs of the world? The Lord. To whom are we indebted for life,
          for health, and for every blessing that we enjoy? To the Lord. He
          is the God of the earth, and the giver of every good and perfect
          gift which we enjoy, and He desires to gather together a people
          that will observe His laws, that will keep His commandments, that
          will render obedience to His will, that will submit to His
          authority, and for this purpose, in different ages of the world,
          He has introduced the Gospel and has placed man in possession
          Now, what about the positions of men? Why, it is a good deal as
          spoken of in the Scriptures and in the revelations which have
          been given to us pertaining to these matters-- that many have
          been called and chosen, and that many were elected and selected
          to fulfill certain offices. It was so revealed to Abraham. He was
          told that there were a great many spirits, many of whom were
          noble, who were destined to hold particular positions among the
          children of men, and it was said to him, "And thou Abraham wast
          one of these."
          Now, there are events to transpire in this day as there have been
          in other days; and we, the Elders of Israel of the Church of the
          living God, have to build up the Church of God, the Zion of God,
          and the Kingdom of God, and the Church has to be purified
          according to the law, order, rule and dominion which God has
          appointed. It is not for us--as the brethren have expressed
          it--to receive certain portions of light and intelligence, and
          with regard to other portions follow the desires of our own
          hearts, thus laying aside God, His rule, His dominion and His
          authority. "Having begun in the spirit," as Paul said, "are ye
          now made perfect by the flesh?" No, that is the wrong way about;
          but on the contrary we ought to add to our faith virtue, to
          virtue brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness charity, to
          charity godliness, that we may be full of the light and life, and
          of the spirit and power of God, and approach more closely to the
          law of God, and be governed thereby.
          Why are we gathered here to the land of Zion? This is called the
          land of Zion. We are called the people of Zion. What does Zion
          mean? The pure in heart. Why are we gathered here? One of the
          Prophets in talking about it, says: "I will take you one of a
          city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion." What
          then? "I will give them Pastors according to mine own heart,
          which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." That is
          what we are here for. That we may be fed with knowledge and
          understanding, that we may learn the law of the Gospel, the law
          of the Zion of God, the laws of the Kingdom of God, and that we
          may be instructed in all things tending to promote the welfare,
          exaltation and happiness of ourselves, our wives, our children,
          the people with whom we are associated, and the world in which we
          live and act; and that we may operate for the benefit of those
          who have lived, and stand as "saviors upon Mount Zion."
          In all this, as has been said, there is an order. We are all
          dependent the one upon the other. The head can not say to the
          foot I have no need of thee, nor the foot to the head I have no
          need of thee, nor the hand, the arm, the leg to the body, I have
          no need of thee. We are formed into a compact body according to
          the law of God in the organization of His Church, and it is for
          us to magnify the callings unto which we are called, and unless
          we all of us are placed under the guidance and direction of the
          Almighty, we cannot do so--that is, those who do not yield
          themselves subject to the law of God, cannot do that thing. But
          those who yield themselves subject to the law of God, can do it
          and do it quite easily, for Jesus says: "Take my yoke upon you,
          and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall
          find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is
          light." Now, if we yield obedience to God and to the spirits that
          dwell within us, then will our light become like that of the just
          that shineth brighter and brighter unto the perfect day; but if
          we do not yield an obedience to the law and word and order of the
          Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth, the light that is
          within us will become darkness, and then, as it is said, how
          great is that darkness! We see sometimes men of that character.
          They are occasionally referred to as cranks, or, as the Germans
          use that term, sick. They lose the light, spirit and power of
          God, and they do not comprehend the order of the Church and
          Kingdom of God, nor do they place themselves in the way to obtain
          a knowledge of these things. The first thing they begin to do is
          to try to pervert the order of God, and to find fault with their
          brethren in the Holy Priesthood--with their Bishops, with their
          Bishop's Counselors, with the High Council, perhaps with the
          Presidents of Stakes, as the case may be, or with the Apostles,
          or with the First Presidency; no matter which, or how, or when,
          or where. Now, if these men were walking in the light as God is
          in the light they would have fellowship one, with another, and
          the blood of Christ would cleanse them from all sin; but when
          they begin to murmur and complain, to find fault and to give way
          to improper influences, they give place to the devil, and he
          takes possession just as fast and as far as he can, and forces
          upon them feelings, ideas and principles that are at variance
          with the law and order, and word and will of God.
          What, then, are we here for? What did Jesus come to do? He tells
          us that He "came not to do His own will, but the will of His
          Father who sent Him." How are we to obtain a knowledge of that
          will? I will tell you what Joseph Smith told me. I have
          frequently mentioned it. Between forty and fifty years ago he
          said to me this: "Elder Taylor, you have received the Holy Ghost.
          Follow its teachings. Sometimes it will seem to you as though it
          was hardly the right way. No matter, follow its teachings, and it
          will always lead you right, and if you do so it will, by and by,
          become to you a principle of revelation, so that you will know
          all things that are necessary for you to become acquainted with."
          Now, I know that is true. I know that he spoke the truth. And I
          would say that it is the privilege of every Elder in Israel who
          has received the gift of the Holy Ghost, to follow its teachings.
          What was said by one of the old Apostles? "As many as are led by
          the Spirit of God are the sons of God." Follow its teachings,
          therefore, and do not give way to your own feelings, nor to
          covetousness, to pride, nor to vain glory; for we none of us have
          anything to boast of. We have none of us received anything but
          what God has given us. If we possess light, or intelligence, or a
          knowledge of the things of God--which we do--from whence did it
          emanate? From God our Heavenly Father, through the medium that He
          has appointed. I do not wish to dictate to Him the way these
          things shall be done. I never did. While Joseph Smith was on the
          earth I looked to him as a Prophet of God, and I do not believe I
          ever disobeyed Him in one solitary thing that he ever required at
          my hands, and I have been put in some pretty tight places. But
          that was my feeling, that was the idea I entertained towards the
          Priesthood of the Son of God.
          I have also lived in wards. I do not know that I have ever
          disobeyed the requests of a Bishop. Why? Because he presided over
          me in a ward capacity, and if he had a right to respect me as an
          Apostle, I had a right to respect him as a Bishop, and I always
          felt a desire to comply with all the requirements that were made
          of me by any of the proper authorities. I feel and always have
          felt the same towards Teachers. If a Teacher came to my house--or
          Teachers, they generally come two at a time--if I happened to be
          there I have told them that I felt happy to meet with them, and I
          called together the members of my family that were within my
          reach, and told them that the Teachers had come to instruct us.
          Permit me here to ask, have not I a right--say as the President
          of the Church, or as an Apostle, which I was for many years--have
          not I a right, or my family a right to possess the same
          privileges that others possess, and to have the Teachers come to
          inquire after my welfare and that of my family, and to see that
          there is no wrong existing--have not I that right? I think I
          have. If they are the servants of God, have not I a right to
          listen to them? Yes, I have, and I feel it my duty to receive
          them kindly, treat them properly and listen to their teaching.
          On the other hand, when the Teachers got through, I might give
          them a little instruction, say as an Apostle, or as a
          brother--put it any way you like; that while I and my family were
          receiving benefits from them, it was my duty, on the other hand,
          to teach and instruct them in some things that I thought might
          benefit them.
          Now, these are correct principles in the Church and Kingdom of
          God. The Teacher occupies his place; the Priest and Deacon occupy
          their places; the Elder occupies his place; the High Councils
          their places; the Presidents of Stakes their places, and every
          one in his position ought to be honored--the Twelve in their
          place, the First Presidency in their place--each one yielding
          proper respect and courtesy and kindness to the other. And when
          we talk about great big personages, there is no such thing. We
          are none of us anything only as God confers blessings upon us,
          and if He has conferred anything upon us, we will give Him the
          Having been called to these positions, God expects that we will
          honor them; that we will esteem it an honor to be the messengers
          of salvation, the legates of the skies, to the nations of the
          earth. We have a great work to perform both at home and abroad.
          We are preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth.
          Israel is being gathered home to Zion. And in Zion we are rearing
          temples to the name of the Most High God. And I will tell you how
          I feel--that as these temples are advancing, while we are
          preparing holy places in which to administer the ordinances of
          God pertaining to the living and the dead--I feel that we ought
          to begin to prepare ourselves to enter into these holy places,
          and to feel that we are the sons of God without rebuke in the
          midst of a crooked and perverse generation. We ought to wake up
          and put our houses in order, and our hearts in order; we ought to
          conform to the word, the will, and the law of God; we ought to
          let God rule in Zion, to let His law be written upon our hearts,
          and to feel the responsibility of the great work we are called
          upon to perform. We should see that our bodies and our spirits
          are pure, and that they are free from contamination of every
          kind. We are here to build up the Zion of God, and to this end we
          must subject our bodies and our spirits to the law, to the word,
          and to the will of God. Being here in Zion we want to see that
          thing that Jesus told His disciples to pray for take place. "Thy
          Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." How
          was it done in heaven? God spake and the worlds were formed
          according to His word. God said let us do this, and that and the
          other, and it was so. Was there anybody in heaven to object and
          say, "don't you think you had better put it off a little. Would
          not this be a better way?" Yes, the devil said so, and he says so
          yet, and he is listened to sometimes by sinners and sometimes by
          Saints; for we become the servants of those whom we list to obey.
          There are besides these other considerations in connection with
          these matters.
          The brethren who have preceded me this evening have referred to
          the celestial, terrestrial and telestial kingdoms, and the laws
          pertaining thereunto. We are told that if we cannot abide the law
          of the celestial kingdom we cannot inherit a celestial glory. Is
          not that doctrine? Yes. "But," says one, "Are not we all going
          into the celestial kingdom?" I think not, unless we turn round
          and mend our ways very materially. It is only those who can abide
          a celestial glory and obey a celestial law that will be prepared
          to enter a celestial kingdom. "Well," says another, "are the
          others going to be burned up, etc?" No. Do you expect everybody
          to walk according to this higher law? No, I do not. And do I
          expect those that do not, are going into the celestial kingdom?
          No, I do not. Well, where will they go? If they are tolerably
          good men and do not do anything very bad, they will get into a
          terrestrial kingdom, and if there are some that cannot abide a
          terrestrial law, they may get into a telestial kingdom, or
          otherwise, as the case may be, etc., etc. Did you ever read in
          your Bibles that "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
          which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Did you
          ever read of the parable of Jesus, where He speaks of the sower
          going forth to sow, and some seed fell by the wayside, some among
          thorns, and some on stoney ground, etc.? "But," says one, "we
          thought we had got it all." Yes: but the thorns have grown up in
          many places and choked the good seed. Sometimes you keep down
          your weeds in the field, but do they come up again? Yes; fresh
          crops keep coming all the time; and I think, too, that the wheat
          and the tares were to grow together for a certain length of time.
          Well, what shall we do? Shall we go to work and get angry against
          people that do not do exactly right? No. They can only do right
          as God helps them to do it. They can only do right as they seek
          to God for His help to enable them to do so; they can only do
          right as they are sustained by the power of God; and if we allow
          covetousness, pride, envy, jealousy, hatred, malice,
          lasciviousness, drunkenness, Sabbath-breaking, or any other
          influence to corrupt and lead us astray from the light of truth
          and the sweet consoling influences of the Spirit of God, we shall
          get into darkness, and then, as I said before, if the light that
          is within us becomes darkness, how great is that darkness! It is
          for us to do right--to observe the law and to keep the
          commandments of God. It is right also for the Presidents of
          Stakes and for the Bishops to see that none of these things that
          I have referred to be permitted among the people over whom they
          preside. What! Shall we not let the drunkard wallow in his
          drunkenness? No; deal with him according to the law of God. Shall
          we not let the lascivious man wallow in his corruption? No.
          According to certain principles that are laid down in the book of
          Doctrine and Covenants in regard to those things, those who have
          entered into the new and everlasting covenant, and have taken
          upon themselves certain obligations, if they commit adultery it
          is positively said they shall be destroyed. Now, can you change
          that, or can I change it? No, I cannot, and you cannot; and you
          have no right to permit men to break the Sabbath, nor to do many
          of those acts that many of the Saints are doing. What are
          Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, etc., placed
          in the Church for? What were they for in former days? For the
          perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
          edifying of the body of Jesus Christ. What are the High Councils
          and Bishops' Counsels for but to adjudge all these things? What
          are the Teachers and the Priests for? To assist the Bishops in
          their endeavors to promote purity and virtue, holiness and
          righteousness among the people. That is their office, and if they
          do not fulfill that office they are not magnifying their calling.
          They have no right to condone the sins of men. The law of God is
          perfect converting the soul, and we must be governed by that law
          and carry it out, or be made amenable unto the Lord our God for
          the course we pursue, or for neglecting to perform our duties.
          That is the way I look at these things, and if that is not the
          case, why are these laws given to us. Are they the laws of God?
          We so understand them. Then let us perform our duties and seek to
          magnify our callings that we may stand approved and acknowledged
          of the Lord.
          When I speak of these things, I do not believe in any kind of
          tyranny. I believe in long-suffering, in mercy, in kindness, in
          gentleness, and in the love and fear of God. I do not believe
          that the Priesthood was given to man to exercise dominion and
          authority over the souls of other men. Everything ought to be
          done with kindness and long-suffering, yet with fidelity to God.
          The Church must be purified from iniquity of every kind, that we
          may stand before God "a glorious Church, not having spot or
          wrinkle, or any such thing;" that when we get our temples
          finished we may enter therein, approach the living God, and call
          upon Him for blessings, for life and salvation for ourselves and
          others, for deliverance from our enemies, and God will hear our
          prayers if we will only be obedient and observe His law. God is
          on our side. All heaven is on our side. The ancient Prophets and
          Patriarchs, and the Son of God and God the Father, are enlisted
          in the cause of Zion. It is for us to be true to ourselves, and I
          ask no odds of this world or of its powers. ("Amen") God will
          take care of His Saints, but we must be careful to be Saints. 
          "Arise! therefore, ye Elders of Israel--ye Priests, Teachers and
          Deacons, ye Presidents of Stakes, Bishops and High Counselors, ye
          Apostles and First Presidency, and all of us--Arise! and let us
          go to work with a will to do the will of God on earth as it is
          done in heaven: for if ever that is done, where is it to start,
          do you think, if it does not begin here among us? God expects it
          at our hands. We are full of weaknesses and imperfections, every
          one of us; but we want to learn the word and will and law. Let
          that law bewritten upon our hearts. Let us seek to magnify our
          callings and honor our God, and the Lord will take care of the
          balance. We need not trouble ourselves much about our enemies.
          They have their ideas, we have ours. We will do as we have done.
          We will do the best we can with them, put our trust in the living
          God, and pursue a course that is wise, prudent and intelligent.
          We will glory not in ourselves, but in the Lord of Hosts. We will
          dedicate ourselves, our wives, our families, our houses and our
          lands, and all that we possess to the Lord, and feel that we are
          His children. If we do this, He will bless us with life, health
          and prosperity. He will control the efforts of our enemies in the
          future as He has done in the past. And here I feel to call upon
          every soul to bless and magnify the God of Israel for His mercies
          extended to us in the past; for putting a hook into the jaws of
          our enemies that they have not had power to harm us, and He will
          continue to do it, if we will continue to be faithful, only much
          more so; and woe unto them that fight against Zion, for the Lord
          God of Hosts will fight against them. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Q. Cannon, January 18th, 1885
                        George Q. Cannon, January 18th, 1885
                         Delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden, 
                         Sunday Morning, January 18th, 1885.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                       OF OUR
                                       UP MEN
                                    CONTEND WITH
                                  GOD--OUR ENEMIES
                                       WORK OF
          I AM pleased to have the opportunity of meeting with the
          Latter-day Saints this morning in Ogden, and of listening to the
          reports which have been made by the brethren respecting the
          Sunday Schools, and the Young Men's Mutual Improvement
          Associations. These institutions furnish an index to the growth
          and development of the people, and the future character of those
          who are now and who will be members of the Church in years to
          come. I think a very fair estimate can be formed of what our
          people will be by closely observing the condition of the Sunday
          Schools and the Mutual Improvement Associations; because those
          children and those young men and young women who are now members
          of these schools and associations will in a very few years take
          their place as active members in the community, and the character
          of the community be largely dependent upon their characters and
          upon the development which they have made in the directions that
          these institutions seek to form them. I look upon it myself as
          exceedingly important that our schools should be properly
          conducted, and that our associations should receive that
          attention from those who have influence and knowledge that will
          make a proper impression upon the minds of those who are members.
          In whatever capacity I might be acting in the Priesthood, with
          the proper feeling of anxiety about the growth and development of
          the people, I could not fail to take interest in all these
          associations, and to see that they were properly conducted as far
          as my influence would extend. I do feel this interest. I have for
          many years felt it. It has been one of the great delights, I may
          say, of my life for many years, to see the growth and development
          of our Sunday School interest.
          For many years, while laboring in the ministry abroad I saw how
          small was the amount of fruit resulting from the labors of myself
          and other Elders in the world; that we labored sometimes for
          years and were only able to bring into the Church a comparative
          few, and then, out of those that were converted and brought into
          the Church, there was a large percentage who did not remain, but
          who lost the faith and fell away. I became convinced in my mind
          that more satisfactory results and a larger amount of fruit could
          be obtained by devoting attention to the cultivation of our
          children, and for years before I had the opportunity, I had
          resolved in my own mind that if I were ever permitted to remain
          at home long enough I would devote attention to the cultivation
          of the young. I think that which has been done in this direction
          has amply rewarded every man and woman who have taken interest in
          this cause. You can better tell, probably, than I can--what the
          effect upon our community is--the effect of the Sunday School,
          and of the teachings of the Sunday Schools. You can contrast
          their present condition with the condition of children a few
          years ago, and by making this contrast you can estimate, at
          pretty near its true value, that which is and has been done. So
          far as my observation is concerned I am satisfied that a great
          amount of good has been accomplished. I have been on missions
          when Elders have come from the valley--young men--and I have been
          very much ashamed to see their ignorance in regard to the
          doctrines of the Church, and of the history of the Church, and
          their ignorance of the Scriptures. I have felt that it was almost
          a shame that young men brought up in Zion should go as
          missionaries and be so ignorant concerning the most vital points
          connected with our religion. I am happy to believe that that has
          passed away to a very great extent, and that those who now go out
          in the capacity of missionaries do so with a more thorough
          understanding respecting the history of the Church, the doctrines
          of the Church, and a wider intelligence concerning everything
          connected with the Church than was formerly manifested. In our
          Sunday Schools I have listened to children being catechized, and
          their answers upon points of history of the Church, and other
          matters, have been given with a correctness that could not be
          excelled, if equalled by many of the Elders of mature years if
          they were interrogated upon the same points. Every one who has
          visited Sunday Schools must be convinced of this. Therefore, when
          we hear, as we do to-day, that in some of your settlements nearly
          all the children are enrolled in the Sunday Schools, it speaks
          well for the future of the children. If these schools are
          properly conducted the effect must be immense in lifting them up
          from ignorance and giving them correct knowledge concerning the
          doctrines and history of the Church, and indoctrinating them in
          the principles which we view as so important for men and women to
          understand. It is therefore very gratifying to hear such reports,
          and that which we have heard to-day respecting the schools in
          Weber Stake is a very fair sample of the reports which are made
          in other Stakes.
          We have to-day, so far as statistics inform us, nearly 50,000
          children in Sunday Schools. These 50,000 children will in a very
          few years be men and women, taking their place in society,
          probably married, and their influence will be felt upon the
          future families of the people, and if they are properly taught in
          the principles of the Gospel and are fortified against sin, and
          are taught the evil effects that will result from the practice of
          everything that is wrong, we can imagine what an effect this will
          have on the entire body of the people! It is therefore very
          encouraging to all those who take an interest in the growth of
          Zion, in the development of the work of God, to know that our
          children, in Primary Associations, in Sunday Schools, and in
          Young Men and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations, are
          receiving the instruction that is best adapted for their future
          good and happiness.
          There are a few points that I have always deemed as of the utmost
          importance that our children should be taught; the more so
          because such teaching guards them against some of the growing
          evils of the age in which we live. It has seemed to me sometimes
          that if the Lord had not established this Church at the time He
          did, the future of our race would be in some respects very dark
          and hopeless to contemplate. The growth of intemperance, the
          spirit of infidelity concerning God and concerning everything
          pertaining to God and to righteousness, the wonderful spread of
          corruption, the low value placed upon virtue, and the increase of
          the evils that result from the absence of virtue, are of such a
          nature that, if you look outside this Church, the picture is a
          most discouraging one. God has established this Church and He has
          told us from the very beginning that the chief corner stone, it
          may be said, of this great edifice that He has reared and is
          rearing, is virtue. Early in the history of the Church the
          Prophet Joseph received revelations to this effect: that he who
          looked upon a woman to lust after her should deny the faith, and
          unless he repented, he should be cast out. What an amount of
          purity is embodied in this statement of the Lord to us in this
          revelation! A man must not only refrain from doing that which is
          wrong with the opposite sex; he must not only refrain from
          carrying his lust into the actual commission of crime, but he
          must be so pure in heart that he shall not look upon the other
          sex with a lustful eye and a lustful desire. If he does so, we
          are told by the Almighty that he shall deny the faith. Now, I
          cannot imagine how the Lord can make more plain to us than He has
          done in these revelations--for it is repeated more than once in
          the revelations that we have received--the importance of virtue,
          the importance of purity, purity in thought as well as purity in
          action. The frequent apostasies from this Church, the many who
          have left the Church, denied the faith, lost the Spirit of God,
          the most of them, no doubt, are traceable to the commission of
          this sin. It is, as I have said, the crying sin of the age.
          Outside of this Church virtue is not fostered as it should be. Of
          course there are exceptions. I do not mean to say that all people
          are corrupt; I would not be so sweeping; but in society generally
          there is not that value placed upon virtue that should be, and in
          many circles the virtue of man is derided. A man who claims to be
          virtuous, or who desires or seeks to be virtuous, finds himself
          alone, as it were, among his fellows. Therefore, it is of the
          utmost importance that we, in training our children, should lay
          deep and solid in their minds the importance of virtue. They
          should be taught that their whole lives as Latter-day Saints
          depend upon the cultivation and preservation of this principle;
          and that if they are guilty of wrong in this direction, unless
          there is sincere and heartfelt repentance before the Lord, He
          will undoubtedly withdraw His Holy Spirit from them and leave
          them to themselves to become a prey to those wicked influences
          that are seeking constantly to take possession of the hearts of
          the Saints of God.
          Now, we can best do this in childhood; we can teach our children
          in childhood and in youth, and as they grow to manhood and to
          womanhood we can fortify them against those evils. It has been
          necessary, apparently,--for the Spirit has seemed to indicate the
          necessity of this,--that there should be greater strictness
          enforced among our people. There has been a growth of wrong-doing
          in many quarters that has been most painful to all those who have
          the welfare of the Saints of God at heart, and who desire the
          prosperity of Zion. Many cases have come to the knowledge of the
          First Presidency and of the Twelve and of other leading men
          wherein people have been compelled, in order to conceal their
          wrong-doing, to marry, and even then have failed to cover it up.
          Now, such a condition of things if permitted to continue in our
          midst, unchecked, would be productive of the most terrible
          consequences. The Spirit of God would undoubtedly be so grieved
          that it would forsake not only those who are guilty of these
          acts, but it would withdraw itself from those who would suffer
          them to be done in our midst unchecked and unrebuked; and from
          the President of the Church down, throughout the entire ranks of
          the Priesthood, there would be a loss of the Spirit of God, a
          withdrawal of His gifts and blessing and His power, because of
          their not taking the proper measures to check and to expose their
          My brethren and sisters: I suppose you must be impressed, as I
          am, with this truth, that our only source of strength is, that we
          shall live so that the spirit and power and gifts of our religion
          and the favor of our God shall be extended unto us and be in our
          possession. There never was a more critical period in many
          respects in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ than that
          which we now witness. I never, in my recollection, or in reading
          the history of the Church have seen a time nor heard of a time
          when the adversary of God's Kingdom was more determined,
          apparently, to destroy the work of God than he is at the present
          time. On every hand there are the most persistent efforts made to
          check the growth of the Kingdom of God, and not only that, but to
          destroy this religion, the religion of Jesus Christ, and to throw
          obstacles in the pathway of its progress; and to actually deprive
          members of this Church of every right that men and women
          value--every political right, every civil right--to place us in
          bondage, and to make it odious in the eyes of mankind to be
          Latter-day Saints, or to have any faith in the religion that God
          has revealed to us, and of which we are so proud, and for which
          we are, as a rule, so thankful.
               Now, we do not have wealth with which to combat the designs
          of our enemies; we do not have numbers; we do not have influence;
          there is no strength that we have that men value and that men
          seek for in a contest such as that in which we are engaged. We
          possess advantages that we understand, and which we as Latter-day
          Saints highly value, and they are the best advantages, however
          much they may be disliked by the world. However little importance
          they may attach to the advantages that we possess, we know that
          in a contest such as this in which we are now engaged they are of
          the utmost importance.
          To begin with we must, as I have said, be a virtuous people. We
          must love virtue better than we love our lives. We must be so
          pure, not only in our actions, but in our thoughts, that God's
          favor will be with us, and we must live the lives of Latter-day
          Saints, carrying out in our lives the principles that God has
          revealed. This is our only strength. Let us be deprived of this
          and we are weak, because, as I have said, we possess no other
          advantage. If we prevail, as undoubtedly we shall, it must be
          because of God's help; it must be because He is at our right and
          at our left, and His power is round about us and near unto us.
          Looking at our position from a human standpoint everything looks
          dark. Men to-day are calculating on the destruction of this
          people. They think that we shall at least be compelled to abandon
          some features our religion. In some places and with some people
          it is Church and State they complain of. In other places it is
          that we practice plural marriage. In other places there are other
          reasons assigned for their dislike to us--we are too united; we
          do not divide into parties, wherever we go we cling together, and
          do not assimilate with the rest of our fellow citizens, but are a
          party of ourselves, and are dangerous because of this. And
          various accusations are made as justification for the treatment
          that is extended to us. Men whose lives are so vile that they
          would not bear the least examination, much less exposure, make
          the charge against us that we practice plural marriage, and
          therefore that we should be dealt with in the harshest and most
          severe manner. On the other hand, men who are constantly seeking
          for political influence, who do not scruple to use that influence
          in the most reprehensible manner, and to the utmost extent
          possible, and frequently preachers, too, charge that we unite
          Church and State. They would gladly use the influence that we
          have if they had it, and use it in a manner so obnoxious to
          individual liberty, that it would bear no comparison to the
          manner influence is used among the Latter-day Saints. That would
          be all right if they used it, but it is all wrong if we use it.
          And so it is with everything else. If they could unite a people
          together as we are united that would be perfectly justifiable;
          but because Latter-day Saints unite together, that is exceedingly
          wrong, especially when they do so as a religious community.
          For myself I want to do that which God directs. That is the wish
          of my heart. I want to honor my God if I know how to do it. I
          believe this entire people have the same feeling. They desire to
          do the will of God, if they can find out what that will is, and
          if He will communicate it to us, as I know He does, I am
          satisfied that the great majority of the Latter-day Saints will
          do that will regardless of consequences. It is the attempt to do
          that, that has brought us into disrepute.
          God, in building up His Kingdom, does not take pattern from men.
          He does not ask counsel from men as to how that Kingdom shall be
          built up, and the methods that shall be employed to establish it.
          He is going to build His Kingdom up in His own way, and if it
          does not suit men or the nations of the earth, why, I suppose
          they will have to be, as they have been and as they are sometimes
          at present, angry with those who strive to do that which He
          requires. I know this that many things that men admire are an
          abomination in the sight of God; many things that they think most
          admirable God holds as an abomination. Therefore, in building up
          His Church and His Kingdom He is going to take His own plan of
          doing it, and for one, so far as I can I feel willing to allow
          Him to dictate how it shall be done, and then leave the
          consequences to Him. I know that He will bring off those who put
          their trust in Him victorious, and He will ask no odds of the
          nations of the earth. He delights in a people who are courageous
          and valiant, who are not afraid. He delights in a people of this
          kind. The greatest blessing almost that we read of that was ever
          given to a man in the flesh was given to a man possessed of this
          courage. You will remember him, doubtless, when I mention His
          name. His name was Nephi. He was the son of Helaman, and had a
          brother named Lehi. He was the grandfather of Nephi, who was the
          President of the Twelve whom Jesus chose on this continent. Read
          the life of that man, and observe the blessings that God bestowed
          upon him. God gave him great power because of his valor and
          fearlessness in His cause, and it is so with every Prophet and
          with every man of God of whom we have any record, and it is so
          with every people and generation who put their trust in the Lord,
          and are valiant for His cause. He will give them great blessings
          and power, and He will bring them off victorious. He has done so
          in the past. He is doing so now, and He will do so in the future;
          and whenever you find a man or a people weak-kneed and
          limber-backed, nervous, their hands shaking and their hearts
          trembling, you will find a people that have not very much of the
          strength and power of God with them; but when they are full of
          courage, zeal and determination, God is with them, He strengthens
          them, and gives them victory. He will do it every time, with
          every individual. You read the history of Elijah, and see how
          valiant he was, and how God blessed him, and I might go on and
          enumerate a great many more men who have been distinguished in
          the world's history because of their valor. God stood by them
          always, and will stand by us if we are valiant. Look at the men
          who have been most valiant in this Church in defending,
          advocating and practicing the principles which God has revealed,
          and doing this, too, in the face of mankind who have been
          determined that we shall not do these things, and see how God has
          blessed and sustained them in so doing. Therefore, having had
          this experience in these matters, it is for us to be valiant in
          the cause of God, to show our faith by our works, and not the
          Latter-day Saints with our lips alone, but be Latter-day Saints
          in all the acts of our lives, in all our words, and in everything
          there is connected with us. Let us not imagine that God has
          established His work to take pattern in its methods of procedure
          and management after the corrupt nations of the earth. He has not
          done so.
          We live under a Government, the best that ever was formed by man
          upon this earth--a Government in which every human being can live
          without interfering with the rights of others in the practice of
          the principles which God reveals. God has purposely arranged
          this. He raised up wise men to lay the foundation of this
          Government, and He defended them against the mother country, and
          enabled them to achieve victory over the greatest power there was
          upon the face of the earth--that is, if they wanted to do right.
          This land has been dedicated to liberty, dedicated by the Lord
          our God, and by men who have lived upon this land, to liberty,
          and as long as this land shall be a land of liberty it will be a
          blessed land to the inhabitants thereof; but when it ceases to be
          a land of liberty, then as sure as God has spoken, this
          Government will go down--that is, any Government will, that will
          war against the principles of liberty--and the men who are now
          engaged in their assaults upon us because of our religion, are
          traitors to this Government, and they are the most deadly enemies
          to the Government of the United States that can be found anywhere
          upon the face of the earth. They are laying the axe at the root
          of the tree, and are taking measures to destroy this Government,
          because it can only, as I have said, be preserved of maintaining
          the principles of liberty that are contained in the Constitution
          which God gave to the land, or which He inspired men to frame for
          the land. But in our contention for liberty--for we to-day are
          the defenders of the Constitution, and we shall have
          Constitutional principles to maintain and defend in the courts of
          the nation, we are being forced into this duty and position--God
          will bless us and preserve us, and carry us off triumphantly, and
          the words of Joseph, which were inspired by the Almighty, will be
          fulfilled to the very letter, namely, that the Elders of this
          Church will be the men who will uphold and maintain the
          Constitution of the United States, when others are seeking to
          trample it in the dust, and to destroy it. We are a free
          people--let others seek to bring us into bondage as they may--we
          are a free people, with the perfect right to worship our God and
          to carry into effect the principles that He has revealed. And if
          the whole world array themselves against us, and the combined
          power of the nation pits itself against his work, they must go
          down in the struggle, because they are occupying a false
          position. If fifty hundred millions of people were to say the
          contrary, no matter, the principle still remains true, that under
          the Constitution in this land, a man has a perfect right to do
          that which God requires at his hands as long as he does not
          intrude upon the rights of his neighbor.
          If one man stood alone in this position, and millions of men were
          to say it is not so, that lone man would still be right. We have
          that right. God has given it to us under the Constitution of the
          land in which we dwell, and if men enact laws and pile one law
          upon another until they reach to the sky, it would not change
          this. It is an eternal principle, and it will stand--this
          principle of liberty, the liberty that God has given unto every
          human being--the right to do that which seemeth good in his own
          sight, to follow the dictates of his own conscience, as long as,
          in so doing, he does not trespass upon the rights of his fellow
          man. We stand by that fearlessly, and stand by it for ourselves,
          and for our children after us. I would not abate one iota, not a
          hair's breadth, myself, in this feeling. I would feel that I was
          a traitor to myself and to my posterity if I were to yield in the
          least upon this. We must maintain our rights, not aggressively,
          not in any quarrelsome spirit, but in a spirit of quiet firmness,
          quiet determination to maintain our rights, to contend for them,
          and to never yield one hair's breadth in maintaining them. This
          is our duty as individuals and as a people, and in thus
          determining, we band ourselves together more closely. Complaints
          are made of us that we are so exclusive. Why, in the very nature
          of things we should be fools to be otherwise than exclusive. We
          cannot help it. We are driven into exclusiveness by the acts of
          our enemies, and by the pressure that is brought to bear upon us.
          A flock of sheep when attacked by dogs or wolves, huddle
          together, and seek to protect themselves by getting into a
          cluster. So it is with us. It is the law of preservation, that we
          should get close together when we are assaulted as we have been.
          We can not put trust in others who are not of us to any extent.
          There are, however, many honorable men, hundreds and thousands of
          them. If there were not, we would not send missionaries out as we
          do. We believe they are just as honest as we are, just as sincere
          as we are, and desire as much to do right as we do. I believe
          there are millions of them in the earth, men and women, whose
          desires are as good as the best Latter-day Saints. They desire to
          do the will of God, and to keep His commandments as much as any
          of us do, and are as sincere in it; but many people are ignorant
          and do things through ignorance which are wrong. But, as I say,
          self-preservation demands that we should cling together; that we
          should be united; that we should sink all personal difference;
          that we should have no preference that we would not be willing to
          forego for the sake of the Kingdom of God. It is an important
          time with us. We have enemies all around us. A determination is
          made manifest to destroy every one of our liberties, if possible,
          and to bring us into bondage. That is the design, if it can be
          accomplished. But it will not be accomplished. You will see it
          will fail, it will signally fail, and God will preserve us in our
          liberties, and especially will He do this if we keep His
          commandments, and do that which He requires at our hands.
          A great many people seem to think, and some who are among us act
          upon the thought, that because a man holds the Priesthood, and is
          a religious man, and practices religion, that he should not have
          any voice in matters that belong to civil government. In
          Washington the charge has been frequently made that all the
          leading offices of the Territory of Utah were held by Mormon
          Elders, Mormon Bishops and others. I have frequently said, in
          answer to this, before committees of the Senate and House, that
          if we did not take Mormon Elders we would have no officers, for
          the reasons that, as a rule, every reputable man in Utah
          Territory, when he attains the age of majority, holds the office
          of an Elder, or some other office in the Priesthood. This
          explanation gave a very different view to men who did not
          understand our organization, and whose ignorance was taken
          advantage of. In the world there are a few men in religious
          societies, who hold leading positions, hold what we would call,
          if in our Church, the Priesthood, and the rest are debarred, and
          are mere laymen. But it is not so with us. The bulk of the Mormon
          people hold the Priesthood, and every man of repute of any age is
          an officer in the Church. It is said that the members of our
          Legislature are men who are prominent in the Priesthood. How
          could it be otherwise? If a man is energetic and has any talent
          he of course holds some position in the Priesthood, and he is
          very apt to hold some prominent place. But does this prevent him
          from acting in a civil office, and from dealing justly and wisely
          for the good of the people? No, we have proved to our entire
          satisfaction, that this is not the case.
          When we look at Utah Territory to day, and compare it with other
          Territories it will be conceded by everybody who is impartial
          that the position of affairs here is equal to, if not much better
          than the position of affairs in any other Territory and in many
          of the States. Has that been because there has been a union of
          Church and State. No, it is not due to that; for that has never
          existed here. Has it been because there has been one man
          dictating everything--has it been due to that entirely? No; for
          no one man has done this. But it has been because the men who
          have acted in these capacities have been men of wisdom, and the
          people have had confidence in them. Wherever we go as a people,
          we carry with us our religion. You cannot dissever our religion
          from our lives. It is a part of our lives, and, of course,
          because of this, we are exposed to those charges that are made
          against us. Yet at the same time, I do not believe there is a
          people to be found within the confines of the Republic who draw
          the line more strictly between religious and civil affairs, and
          between Church and State, than do the Latter-day Saints.
          We are living in peculiar times. I think the youth of this
          community--those who are growing up now--should closely observe
          that which is being done. It is an important epoch. Events are
          taking place now that are worthy of our remembrance, and we are
          being put in a position to be tested thoroughly. The contest
          seems to be narrowed down to this point--whether we shall be able
          to live as a people and enjoy our rights as members of the Church
          of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or not. Formerly, the
          question was soon solved. A mob would form itself against us, and
          by force of superior numbers, and backed by a public opinion that
          was too strong for us to contend with, we had to vacate our homes
          and flee. The alternative was presented to us of flight, or the
          abandonment of our religion. This is not quite the alternative
          now presented before us. The question is, will you abandon your
          religion? Will you renounce those principles that God has
          revealed to you, and which He has declared are essential to
          salvation and exaltation in His Kingdom--will you renounce them?
          Will you renounce obedience to the Priesthood of the Son of God?
          If you will I expect you can enjoy some sort of peace--a peace
          that would be the peace of death. Who will accept it? Will any
          true Latter-day Saint? No; no true Latter-day Saint will accept
          that. What next? You cannot have your rights as citizens. You
          must be put under bonds. You must have penalties affixed to your
          practice or to your faith. If you continue to be Latter-day
          Saints you must be discriminated against. That is another
          alternative presented to us. Will we accept that? Yes. I believe
          that I speak your feelings. I believe I give voice to them when I
          say that you are willing, all of you, to take this choice and
          these consequences. What next? Will a mob come and drive us from
          our homes? Not yet. You will see fun whenever that occurs. That
          is not in the programme as I view it at present. No mobs. What
          then, shall we do? We shall have to contend in the courts; we
          shall have to make this a legal fight. It is mobocracy in legal
          form and in legal guise that now attacks us. It comes to us in a
          shape that we can meet better than we could the old forms, when a
          mob banded together and came in such overwhelming numbers that we
          could not resist it. It may be just as wicked. The present mode
          of attack may be just as cruel; the ultimate object may be just
          as bad in every sense and in every respect; but it can be met in
          a different form and in a different way. We have to contend now
          for our rights in the courts of the land; we must see whether
          there is a willingness on the part of those who hold authority as
          judges, to give us our rights, and in this way we shall test the
          nation, our Government, and prove whether there is a willingness
          on the part of those who administer the government to give us
          those rights that belong to us as American citizens. If they do
          not, who will be the sufferers! We shall suffer to some extent;
          but our sufferings will be light compared with those that will
          fall upon the men who shall prove untrue and recreant to the
          principles of liberty and truth.
          Now, I look forward myself with great pleasure to the future.
          Every step of this kind that we take is an assurance of that
          which is to come. We cannot press forward as a people; we cannot
          become the people that God designs we shall be, and that He has
          predicted we shall be, without having just such contests as
          these. They are the natural consequences of the position that we
          occupy, and of the growth and development of this people. But the
          same God that protected this Church when it was but a small
          handful, a few individuals, still reigns, and His promises are as
          much to be relied upon as they were when the mob drove the
          Latter-day Saints out of Missouri; as much to be relied upon as
          when, in that dark hour, the mob killed our Prophet and our
          Patriarch, and afterwards compelled the Saints to flee from their
          homes; as much to be relied upon as when we came to these
          valleys; they are just as reliable to-day as they were then. It
          is for us to so live that when we call upon Him that we do so
          with an assurance that we have done our duty, that there is
          nothing lacking on our part so far as human and mortal beings can
          do. We have our sins, our frailties, our many weaknesses; but God
          looks down in mercy upon them when we repent of them, and show a
          disposition to put them away from us. When we are in this
          condition we can call upon Him and leave ourselves to His mercy,
          with the full assurance that He has always stood by His faithful
          people, His faithful servants and handmaidens, and that He will
          not forsake them in any hour of extremity or of peril. He will
          stand by them; He will hear their prayers; and at the very time
          when it will seem the darkest, when it will be as though there is
          no power to save, God's arm will be stretched out for our
          deliverance, and we shall be rescued and be triumphant. He will
          so control circumstances and arrange affairs, that, at the very
          moment when the adversary will be glorying in triumph, and
          gloating over the prospect before him, He will then be ready to
          extend His arm of deliverance in our behalf, and rescue us from
          the power of those who desire our destruction.
          As I said in the beginning, if this work depended on us alone we
          would soon go down. It depends upon God. He is at the head of it.
          He is behind it. He is all around it. He established it. He has
          controlled circumstances thus far in a most wonderful manner; and
          when I look at that which has been done in this country, with all
          the efforts that have been made by the wicked, one act after
          another, one act of wrong piled on top of another, and see the
          meager results to show for their base course, I feel to praise
          God with all my heart for His goodness and mercy to us.
          A Governor of this Territory perjured himself to do us a great
          wrong. He gave the certificate of election to a man who was not
          elected, thinking, in so doing, he was dealing Mormonism--or the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--a deadly blow. What
          has been the result? Who is injured? Is anybody injured? I do
          not, myself, know of anybody that is injured, except the man who
          did this perfidious act, who perjured himself by violating his
          oath of office. I do not know of any one else. Certainly the
          people of Utah are not. Go back and look at Judge McKean's
          rulings and acts. We had a reign of judicial terror in the Third
          Judicial District for about eight months, and no man knew when he
          was to be pounced upon. Prominent men were indicted and put under
          bonds, some for one thing and some for another. Who has been
          injured by this? Has any one been injured? We have not. We have
          ate, and slept, and enjoyed ourselves, and been as happy as men
          could be. I am sure President Young, when he was living, was a
          happy man. It did not interfere with his happiness and enjoyment,
          and others who were indicted in like manner, they enjoyed
          themselves, and the people have not been injured. We have had a
          great deal of this kind of experience.
          Now we are passing through a similar condition of affairs to some
          extent. We shall come out of this just as we have come out of
          other perils and trials and ordeals. We shall gain experience,
          and it will increase our faith to see the power of God
          manifested, and to see how wonderfully He controls the acts of
          men for His glory and for the accomplishment of His purposes.
          Look at the hubbub that has been raised in Congress. There has
          been a tremendous amount of pressure brought to bear upon that
          body in regard to the Mormons. Delegation after delegation has
          gone from Utah to Washington and appeared before Committees, for
          the purpose of getting bills made into laws. It will be most
          interesting reading in years to come, the various bills that have
          been presented to Congress against Utah. Every sort of scheme has
          been resorted to. You cannot think of anything, scarcely, that
          has not been embodied as a feature in some of these bills. And
          with what result? Have we slept any less? Have we been any more
          unhappy? Have we had any less prosperity? Has the sun shone less
          upon us? Has Heaven withdrawn its smile from us? Have our fields
          been less fruitful? Have our children been less numerous? Has any
          blessing that we value been withheld or withdrawn from us because
          of these things! If they have I am not aware of it. I cannot
          think of any evil that has come upon us as a people. I look over
          the past; I review the acts of the wicked; I review their
          combinations; I review the many conspiracies that have been
          formed, the many determinations that have been reached to destroy
          us, to cripple us, to deprive us of our rights, and I must
          confess to you this day, my brethren and sisters, in the presence
          of our Father, that I cannot think of a single thing that has
          been done that we could call injurious to us as a people; not a
          single thing. With all the force that has been arrayed against
          us, with all the threats that have been made about us, we have
          lived, we have prospered, we have increased, we have been blessed
          of the Lord. You know how blessed you have been in your families,
          in your homes. You know how much peace has reigned there; how
          much you have had in your hearts, and in your meetings, and in
          your associations. You know how free you have been from fear and
          from trepidation. You have not suffered in your feelings, for God
          has given unto you a peace that the world cannot bestow, that the
          world cannot take away. The world has not given unto us those
          blessings; the world cannot take them away from us; they are
          ours, given unto us by God our Eternal Father. They will still be
          given unto us. God's promises will be verified to the very
          But you watch the men who have fought against this work. Watch
          the men who have apostatized from this work. Ask yourselves what
          their fate has been. Where are the men who have sought to oppress
          the people of Utah? Where are they to-day? Who is there among
          them that has prospered in this work of oppression? Go through
          the list of Governors, Judges, and other officers. Go through the
          list of those who have held any office, and who have sought the
          oppression of the people and the destruction of their liberties,
          through their spirit of antagonism to the work of God, and their
          desire to destroy it--go through the list of them, and ask, who
          among them has had prosperity and has been blessed, and to whom
          we can look and say, "Oh, how successful that man has been; how
          he has prospered in fighting the Mormons!" Is there any such man
          among them? You are familiar with the names of apostates who have
          left this work through fear or some other cause, corrupt in their
          lives or for some other reason? Can you recall among the long
          list of men who have come out and pitted themselves against the
          work of our God, any who have prospered and had happy lives? Is
          there any of them with whom you, the humblest of you to-day, the
          humblest, the poorest of you Latter-day Saints--is there one of
          them with whom you would exchange places to-day? Not one. I am
          sure that I can reply for the whole of you--that is, there is not
          one in that long list of names of men who were once members of
          this Church, who have come out against it, with whom you would
          exchange places; not one.
          Why then, should we fear? Why should we tremble? Why should we be
          afraid of that which is threatened? I tell you in the name of the
          Lord He will stand by us, He will stand by all His people. There
          is this peculiarity about our God. He is not like the devil. When
          the devil gets a man in a tight place he leaves him there; he
          encircles him in his net, he lets him get entangled in its
          meshes, and then leaves him to himself. That is the devil's way.
          He deserts those who follow him when they most need his help. But
          with God, in the time of the greatest extremity, in the time when
          help is most needed, then He is close to His faithful servants
          and His faithful children; then is the time that He stands by
          them. In the deepest waters He is with them; in the midst of the
          heaviest and sorest afflictions He is at their right hand and at
          their left; He is around about to sustain and carry them off
          God help us to be true and faithful to the cause that He has
          established, that in the end we may be permitted to sit down with
          him and His Son in His Kingdom, is my prayer in the name of
          Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / John
          Taylor, February 1, 1885
                            John Taylor, February 1, 1885
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, February 1, 1885.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
          I HAVE been very much interested in the remarks made by Brother
          Erastus Snow, who has addressed us.
          These are precious principles which only the Saints know how to
          comprehend and appreciate. We are told "that the natural man
          perceiveth not the things of God, neither can he know them, for
          they are spiritually discerned," and therefore those outside of
          that influence and spirit which is communicated to the Saints of
          the Most High, through obedience to the Gospel of the Son of God,
          find it very difficult to understand them. But we comprehend
          them, because God has given unto us His Spirit, which takes of
          the things of God, and shows them unto us.
          I and a few others have been away from here for some time,
          visiting among our southern brethren; Brother Snow, who has just
          spoken to you, was one of the party. It appears rather an
          inclement season of the year to go on a journey of that kind; but
          circumstances seemed to make it necessary that we should go and
          look after the interests of the people, socially and politically;
          for notwithstanding our religious ideas, we still have certain
          rights, privileges and immunities, which belong to us as
          individuals and as citizens of the United States, in common with
          others. And seeing that things were quite loose in those far-off
          settlements, and that men and their families were being subjected
          to various kinds of outrage, usurpation and imposition, in many
          instances under the form of law, it seemed necessary that
          somebody should attend to these matters, and I thought it best
          for me to go, in company with others of our brethren, to
          ascertain what was the true position of affairs, and to give such
          counsel as the circumstances might demand. We found that a great
          many outrages had been perpetrated upon many of our brethren;
          that they had been dealt with contrary to law, and in violation,
          as has been referred to, of the rules of jurisprudence governing
          such matters; that a vindictive and persecuting spirit had been
          manifested, and that several of the brethren had been sent off to
          a distant land from their own. I did not know but that they were
          without a prison in Arizona, when I heard of these things, and
          that therefore they had sent a number of honorable men who
          differed from them in their religious sentiments off to Detroit.
          I had these things inquired into and found they had a good
          Penitentiary in Arizona, and that there was no necessity for any
          such outrage as this to be perpetrated upon decent men. I was
          sorry to find that things had been conducted in this unusual and
          vindictive manner, and without any ostensible reason for such
          extra-judicial acts. Not only because injustice had been heaped
          upon honorable men, but also because of the position in which it
          places the nation which was once the pride and glory of all
          lovers of freedom and equal rights, and boasted of as being "the
          land of the free, the home of the brave, and an asylum for the
          oppressed." These foolish men are now seeking to carry out the
          enormities that existed among what was called the civilization
          and intelligence of ancient barbarism, then, as now, under the
          name of Christianity, and other euphonious appellations which are
          common to us, and that we are well acquainted with. I was in
          hopes that things were not so bad as they were represented to be,
          but I found that I was mistaken in that matter, and I was sorry
          to find myself so mistaken.
          In relation to this anomalous form of proceeding they are now
          copying the example of Russia, which is generally considered an
          arbitrary government, and where despotism has been supposed to
          reign supreme; they have in that nation a place called Siberia,
          to which they banish men, under a despotic rule, without much
          formality of trial. I was hardly prepared to-day to suppose that
          we needed an American Siberia under the form and in the name of
          liberty and the rights of men. But this is the fact. We have here
          in America to-day an American Siberia in Detroit, to which place,
          upwards of two thousand miles from their homes, men are banished
          for a term of years; and what for? Because they have the temerity
          to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience,
          and cannot fall down and worship before the Moloch of an effete
          These extraordinary proceedings that have been going on in this
          Territory, in Arizona and in other places, simply exhibit the
          very principle that Brother Snow has been speaking of. I need not
          tell you about affairs that have transpired here. You are quite
          as well acquainted with them as I am, and ought to be better: for
          I have been away from here for about four weeks visiting the
          Saints in our southern settlements, and we have had a most
          pleasant visit. Outside of these extraordinary proceedings, we
          found the people prospering very well, with pleasant homes and
          bright prospects before them. We had with us several of our best
          brethren, and we visited many of our settlements in that district
          of country, the residents of which were very much gratified at
          our appearance in their midst, and for the counsels they
          received. But I found that such had been the outrages committed
          that it was impossible almost for any man standing in an
          honorable position to maintain his position unless he broke the
          law by resisting the officers, and they thought it not prudent to
          do so, and so did I. It may suit others to violate the law, to
          trample upon human rights, and desecrate the sacred term of
          liberty, and this is frequently done by the arbiters and minions
          of the law in the name of justice; but we profess to be governed
          by higher, by nobler and more exalted principles, and to move on
          a higher plane; and if Jesus could afford to endure the attacks
          of sinners against Himself, we, if we have the Gospel that we
          profess to have, ought to be able to endure a little of the same
          thing. There is nothing new in these affairs, nothing strange in
          this at all. Many of you have had much to do with these matters.
          Some of these grey-headed men that I see before me know a little
          more about those matters than some of the younger portion do.
          Many of you have been driven from your homes, robbed of your
          property, dispossessed of your possessions and had to flee from
          your homes to these mountain valleys, and seek an asylum among
          the red savages which was denied you by your so-called Christian
          brethren. Before you came here you were banished from the State
          of Missouri into the State of Illinois. What for? Because you had
          the audacity to worship God according to the dictates of your own
          consciences. I have had to flee from blood-thirsty bandits time
          and time again. Brother Snow had to do it, and many of you
          grey-headed men and women have had to do it. What for? Because of
          polygamy? No, there was no such thing then alleged. What for?
          Because you had the hardihood, in this land of freedom, to
          worship God according to the dictates of your own consciences.
          For this crime you had to leave your homes, and you were
          despoiled and robbed and plundered, and had to flee as exiles
          into another land. I had to do it, you have had to do it. You
          fled from Missouri to Illinois, and then from Illinois to this
          land, and why? Why did you leave Illinois and come here? Did you
          injure anybody? No. They killed your Prophets, and I saw them
          martyred, and was shot most unmercifully myself, under the pledge
          of protection from the Governor, and they thought they had killed
          me; but I am alive yet by the grace of God (sensation). Why had
          you to leave? Because they murdered your Prophets, and wanted to
          possess themselves of your property; murder and spoliation
          generally go together. And because they killed them, they accused
          you of doing some wrong, said you must leave your homes, and
          there was nobody found in all that wide land to check the
          outrages of those red-handed assassins, to administer justice and
          to preserve you in your rights. I do not know any other reason; I
          never did know any other, and never expect to be informed of any
          The history of these things is quite familiar to you as
          Latter-day Saints, and you do not think it anything strange. Some
          of our young people think that the present proceedings are very
          remarkable. But many of us, grey-headed folks, have seen plenty
          of such proceedings, and have had many experiences of this kind;
          they are nothing new to us at all. And did we ever expect them to
          get better? We have not so understood it. We are told in the
          Scriptures, and we have kept teaching it all the while, that "the
          wicked would grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."
          That is doctrine which I have believed in for the last 50 years
          and I have had a good deal of testimony and practical
          confirmation on that point. We expect that these things will
          transpire. We have been told about secret organizations that
          should exist, and they are beginning to permeate these United
          States, and are laying the foundation for disruption,
          disintegration and destruction. It is not necessary that Congress
          and the Judiciary should set examples of tyranny and violation of
          Constitutional law, and attack the fundamental principles of free
          government and the rights of man; for there is plenty of that
          kind of spirit abroad; yet men who profess to be the conservators
          of the peace and the maintainers of law join these nefarious,
          unholy, tyrannical and oppressive measures. There are any number
          who are ready to follow in their footsteps, and the whole nation
          to-day is standing on a volcano; but they do not seem to
          comprehend it. Well, are we surprised? I am not. It is strictly
          in accordance with my faith: it is strictly in accordance with
          the Old Testament Scriptures; and it is strictly in accordance
          with the Book of Mormon; it is strictly in accordance with the
          revelations given to us by Joseph Smith, and all these events
          that have been predicted will most assuredly transpire. But I
          suppose it is necessary that "judgment should first begin at the
          house of God," and if it does, "where will the wicked and the
          ungodly appear," when it comes upon them? We are told that the
          wicked shall slay the wicked. We need not trouble ourselves about
          the affairs of the nations, the Lord will manipulate them in His
          own way. I feel full of sympathy for the nation in which we live,
          and for other nations, in consequence of the troubles with which
          they are beset and which are now threatening them; yet they do
          not seem to comprehend the position. I know a little of some of
          the things that will transpire among them, and I feel sorry. Do
          you feel sorry for yourself? Not at all, not at all. Do you feel
          sorry for your people? Not at all, not at all. The Lord God has
          revealed unto us great and eternal principles which reach beyond
          this earth into the eternal heavens, and which have put us in
          possession of light and truth and intelligence, and promises and
          blessings that the world are ignorant of and do not and cannot
          comprehend. I feel every day to bless the name of the God of
          Israel, and feel like shouting, "Hosanna! Hosanna!! Hosanna!!! to
          the God of Israel, Amen and Amen," Who will rule among the
          nations of the earth, and manipulate things according to the
          counsel of His own will. These are my feelings in regard to these
          matters. But then I feel interested in the welfare of my brethren
          and sisters, and when I see their rights interfered with and
          trampled ruthlessly under foot, I feel that there is something at
          work that ought not to be, and yet that is quite necessary to
          teach us some of the principles of human nature, that we may be
          able to discern between the good, the virtuous, the upright and
          the holy; and the impure, the foolish, the vindictive, the
          corrupt, the lascivious, and those who are trampling under foot
          the laws and principles of eternal truth. God has revealed unto
          us certain principles pertaining to the future which men may take
          objection to. He has revealed unto us certain principles
          pertaining to the perpetuity of man and of woman; pertaining to
          the sacred rights and obligations which existed from the
          beginning; and He has told us to obey these laws. The nation
          tells us, "If you do we will persecute you and proscribe you."
          Which shall we obey? I would like to obey and place myself in
          subjection to every law of man. What then? Am I to disobey the
          law of God? Has any man a right to control my conscience, or your
          conscience, or to tell me I shall believe this or believe the
          other? No man has a right to do it. These principles are sacred,
          and the forefathers of this nation felt so and so proclaimed it
          in the Constitution of the United States, and said "Congress
          shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
          prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Now, I believe they have
          violated that, and have violated their oaths, those that have
          engaged in these things and passed that law, and those that are
          seeking to carry it out. Congress and the President of the United
          States and the Judiciary, and all administrators of the law are
          as much bound by that instrument as I am and as you are, and have
          sworn to maintain it inviolate. It is for them to settle these
          matters between themselves and their God. That is my faith in
          relation to this matter. Yet by their action they are interfering
          with my rights, my liberty and my religion, and with those sacred
          principles that bind me to my God, to my family, to my wives and
          my children; and shall I be recreant to all these noble
          principles that ought to guide and govern men? No, Never! No,
          Never! NO, NEVER! I can endure more than I have done, and all
          that God will enable me to endure, I can die for the truth; but I
          cannot as an honorable man disobey my God at their behest,
          forsake my wives and my children, and trample these holy and
          eternal obligations under foot, that God has given me to keep,
          and which reach into the eternities that are to come. I won't do
          it, so help me, God. [Here the speaker vigorously struck the book
          on the desk, and the large audience responded with a loud
          "Amen."] The Constitution expressly says that no law shall be
          passed impairing the obligation of contracts. But we have entered
          into covenants and contracts in our most sacred places, and that,
          too, in many instances, before there was any law prohibiting the
          same, and yet the attempt is now being made to give the Edmunds
          law an ex post facto application and to punish us for these
          contracts which were not criminal, even from the standpoint of
          our enemies, at the time they were formed. I myself married my
          wives long before there was any law upon the subject, and many of
          you did the same, yet by an ex post fact application of laws
          since enacted the attempt is now made to punish us as criminals.
          I have never broken any law of these United States, and I presume
          that some of you, whom our enemies now seek to criminate and drag
          into court as violators of law, can say the same. Under the
          present system of things in this Territory, harlotry and adultery
          are vindicated sustained and unblushingly protected, and
          honorable and virtuous wedlock is trampled upon, condemned and
          punished. Well, what will you do? I will obey every
          Constitutional law so far as God gives me ability. What else will
          you do? I will meet these men as far as I can without violating
          principle, and I have done it. When this infamous Edmunds law was
          passed, I saw that there were features in that which were
          contrary to law, violate of the Constitution, contrary to justice
          and the rights and the freedom of men. But I said to myself I
          will let that law take its course; I will place myself in
          accordance with it, so far as I can. Did I do it? I did. I
          remember talking to Mr. Pierrepont, who was Attorney General
          under President Grant's administration. He with his son called
          upon me. They dined with me, and perhaps I can explain my views
          on this subject by repeating our conversation as well as any
          other way. I have a sister keeping my house for me--the Gardo
          House. When Mr. Pierrepont came in, I said:
          "Mr. Pierrepont, permit me to introduce you to my sister, who is
          my house-keeper. It is not lawful for us to have wives now. And
          when the Edmunds law was passed I looked carefully over the
          document, and saw that if I was to continue to live in the same
          house with my wives that I should render myself liable to that
          law. I did not wish--although I considered the law infamous--to
          be an obstructionist, or act the part of a Fenian, or a Nihilist,
          or of a Kuklux, or communist, or Molly Maguire, or any of those
          secret societies that are set on foot to produce the
          disintegration of society and disturb the relations that ought to
          exist between man and man, between man and woman, or man and his
          God. I desired to place myself in obedience or in as close
          conformity as practicable to the law, and thought I would wait
          and see what the result would be; and that if the nation can
          stand these things I can or we can. These are my feelings. Men
          and nations and legislators often act foolishly, and do things
          that are unwise, and it is not proper that a nation should be
          condemned for the unwise actions of some few men. Therefore I
          have sought to place myself in accord with that law. I said to my
          wives: "We are living in this building together. We were quite
          comfortably situated, and we might so have continued, but I said
          to them that under the circumstances it will be better for me or
          for you to leave this place; you can take your choice. They had
          their homes down here which they now inhabit; which were quite
          comfortable. So I said to them, you can go there and I will stay
          here, or you can stay at the Gardo House and I will go there or
          somewhere else; for I wish to conform to this Edmunds law as much
          as I can."
          I am always desirous to let everything have its perfect working.
          We talk sometimes about patience having its perfect work. If we
          have laws passed against us I like to see them have a fair
          opportunity to develop and see what the result will be. These
          were my feelings then, and they are my feelings to-day.
          Well, do you think, then, that the people have been outraged? I
          most certainly do. The usage has been in all legal trials among
          all civilized nations to presume that all men are innocent until
          proven guilty; but we now have test oaths introduced, which is
          another violation of the Constitution and by which an attempt is
          being made to hold all men guilty until they prove themselves
          innocent. Again: there is a usage which has existed among the
          civilized nations, and in this nation also, that a man must be
          tried by a jury of his peers, selected from the vicinage, but the
          juries selected for our courts are composed to-day of our bitter
          persecutors and our most relentless enemies, and in many
          instances selected from the lowest and most debased men who can
          be found or picked up from the gutters. We also have another
          class of courts improvised for the occasion in the shape of "U.
          S. Commissioners' courts," which are operated and run after the
          order of the ancient notorious "Star Chamber." Such institutions
          provoke the contempt of all honorable men, and the parties
          assuming such office place themselves in a position to be
          despised of their fellows. I might enumerate many other outrages,
          but time will not permit on this occasion. No man's liberties are
          safe under such administration. What will be the result? The
          result will be that those that sow the wind will reap the
          whirlwind. When men begin to tear down the barriers and tamper
          with the fundamental principles and institutions of our country,
          they are playing a very dangerous game, and are severing the
          bonds which hold society together, and the beginning of these
          irregularities is like the letting out of water. The next step
          that followed the Edmunds Act was the introduction of a test
          oath. The legislation already provided was not good enough for
          some of our officials here and another portion of the
          Constitution must be broken to introduce a test oath without any
          authority. I think this as introduced by our Governor. Then comes
          another class of men called Commissioners, rather a new idea in
          American Government. Yet it was thought necessary that
          extraordinary operations should be entered into in relation to
          the Mormons. Why? Because it is necessary that they should be
          dealt with differently from anybody else.
          Now, I have seen some of my brethren shot to pieces in cold blood
          and under the protection of the State Government, and the promise
          of the Governor made to myself and Dr. John M. Bernhisel, who is
          sometime ago dead. In Missouri a great deal of that thing was
          done. In Georgia lately, and in Tennessee acts of the same kind
          have been perpetrated. Now, I want to know if anybody can tell
          me--here is a large congregation, and many thousands of you
          acquainted with our history--I want to know if any one of you can
          tell me of any individual that was ever punished according to law
          for killing a Mormon. Speak it out, if you know it. I do not know
          of any such thing. Brother Snow says there is not an instance on
          record. Well, I would rather be on the side of the Mormons in
          that case than on the side of those who are their persecutors and
          murderers, for they have got something to atone for yet, which we
          have not under those circumstances. We have got through with our
          part of it. The other is not through with yet. There are eternal
          principles of justice and equity that exist in the bosom of God,
          and He, in His own time, will manipulate these things according
          to the counsel of His own will; and with what measure men mete,
          as sure as God lives, it will be measured to them again, pressed
          down and running over.
          Very well, what would you advise us to do? Are we suffering any
          wrongs? Yes. Well, what would you do? I would do as I said some
          time ago. If you were out in a storm, pull up the collar of your
          coat and button yourself up, and keep the cold out until the
          storm blows past. This storm will blow past as others have done;
          and you will see that many of the miserable sneaks who are active
          in those measures, and who are crawling about your doors, and
          trying to spy into your houses, etc., will be glad to crawl into
          their holes by-and-by. Well, what will you do? Get angry? No, not
          at all. Let these men have their day and pursue their own course;
          we will protect ourselves from them as well as we can. Why, some
          of our folks in the South were actually trying to seek an asylum
          in another land away from the persecutions of free America, and I
          do not know but that we shall have a lot of pilgrim Fathers again
          here in this country, fleeing, not from England by way of
          Holland, nor from France, nor from any of those countries where
          they used to persecute people and proscribe them for their
          religion, but from America, "The land of the free, the home of
          the brave, and the asylum for the oppressed"--fleeing from there
          because of their religious sentiments. What an idea! Who could
          have thought of it? People say that history repeats itself. It is
          so doing in our day. Well, what would you do? Observe the laws as
          much as you can. Bear with these indignities as much as you can.
          But it would not be well for these men to perform their antics
          anywhere else than among the Saints, or they would dangle to the
          poles, lots of them, by the neck, if they attempted any such
          acts. No people would endure these things as the Latter-day
          Saints do. Will you endure them? Yes, a little longer. Wait a
          little longer. And after you have borne with a good deal, then
          endure "as seeing Him that is invisible," and cultivate those
          principles that Brother Snow has so beautifully set before us,
          and feel, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and
          persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you
          falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great
          is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the Prophets
          which were before you." Well, what would you do? Would you resent
          these outrages and break the heads of the men engaged in them,
          and spill their blood? No. Avoid them as much as you possibly
          can--just as you would wolves, or hyenas, or crocodiles, or
          snakes, or any of these beasts or reptiles; avoid them as much as
          you can, and take care they do not bite you. [Laughter.] And get
          out of the way as much as you can. What? won't you submit to the
          dignity of the law. Well, I would if the law would only be a
          little dignified. But when we see the ermine bedraggled in the
          mud and mire, and every principle of justice violated, it
          behooves men to take care of themselves as best they may. That is
          what I have told people while I have been in the south--to take
          care of their liberties, to put their trust in the living God, to
          obey every constitutional law, and to adhere to all correct
          principles. But when men tamper with your rights and with your
          liberties, when the cities are full of spies and the lowest and
          meanest of men are set to watch and dog your footsteps; when
          little children are set in array against their fathers and
          mothers, and women and children are badgered before courts, and
          made to submit, unprotected, to the gibes of libertines and
          corrupt men; when wives and husbands are pitted against each
          other and threatened with pains, penalties and imprisonment, if
          they will not disclose that which among all decent people is
          considered sacred, and which no man of delicacy, whose
          sensibilities had not been blunted by low associations, would
          ever ask; when such a condition of affairs exists, it is no
          longer a land of liberty, and it is certainly no longer a land of
          equal rights, and we must take care of ourselves as best we may,
          and avoid being caught in any of their snares. I cannot think
          that this crusade is aimed entirely at us; from many
          circumstances that have transpired, I have been led to believe
          that whilst we are made the victims, these proceedings are
          introduced as a political ruse, for the purpose of embarrassing
          the incoming administration. What would you do? Would you fight
          them? No. I would take care of myself as best I can, and I would
          advise my brethren to do the same. Would you resist law? No. As I
          said before, I can stand it if they can. It is for us to do what
          is right, to fear God, to observe His laws, and keep His
          commandments, and the Lord will manage all the rest. But no
          breaking of heads, no bloodshed, no rendering evil for evil. Let
          us try and cultivate the spirit of the Gospel, and adhere to the
          principles of truth. Let us honor our God, and be true to those
          eternal principles which God has given us to hold sacred. Keep
          them as sacredly as you would the apple of your eye. And while
          other men are seeking to trample the Constitution under foot, we
          will try to maintain it. We have prophecies something like this
          somewhere; that the time would come when this nation would do as
          they are now doing--that is, they would trample under foot the
          Constitution and institutions of the nation, and the Elders of
          this Church would rally around the standard and maintain those
          principles which were introduced for the freedom and protection
          of men. We expect to do that, and to maintain all correct
          principle. I will tell you what you will see by and by. You will
          see trouble, trouble, trouble enough in these United States. And
          as I have said before I say to-day, I tell you in the name of
          God, Woe! to them that fight against Zion, for God will fight
          against them. But let us be on the side of human liberty and
          human rights, and the protection of all correct principles and
          laws and government, and maintain every principle that is upright
          and virtuous and honorable, and let the world take the balance if
          they want, we don't want it. We will cleave to the truth, God
          being our helper, and try to introduce principles whereby the
          will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And we will
          obey every institution of man for the Lord's sake so far as we
          can without violating our consciences and doing things that are
          wrong and improper.
          God bless you and lead in the paths of life, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Reynolds, March 29th, 1885
                          George Reynolds, March 29th, 1885
                          REMARKS BY ELDER GEORGE REYNOLDS,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, March 29th, 1885.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                     MISSION IS
                                    ONLY MODIFY,
                            PATH OF SAFETY AND BLESSING.
          I STAND before you this afternoon, my brethren and sisters, with
          the desire in my heart that while I do so I may speak to the
          strengthening of the faith of the Saints of God, and therefore, I
          crave an interest in your faith and prayers, that whatever time I
          occupy I may do so in a way and manner that shall tend to the
          building up of God's kingdom here upon the earth.
          We have been interested in hearing the report of Brother Edward
          Partridge, who has just returned from a mission to the Sandwich
          Islands, where the work of the Lord has been received for many
          years, in a very gratifying manner by the remnant of the house of
          Israel who dwell thereon. It is also noticeable that the Maoris,
          a people of a kindred race to the Hawaiian, who inhabit the
          islands of New Zealand, many hundred miles to the southward in
          the Pacific Ocean, are also receiving the glad tidings of the
          Gospel of Christ with joy, and that hundreds are there being
          added to the Church at the present time. It has long been the
          belief of the Latter-day Saints that these races are offshoots of
          the great people who once flourished upon this continent; who
          were brought out of the land of Jerusalem under Lehi, Mulek and
          others, and who have inhabited this land from about 600 years
          before Christ; that people whose remnants are now found scattered
          far and wide over the North and South American continents. There
          appears to be a great similarity in the habits, customs, manners
          and language of the natives of those two groups of islands; which
          similarity, in many respects, extends to some of the races that
          inhabit this continent. And for these and other reasons we
          believe that in these islanders flows the blood of Israel to a
          great extent; and where it does, those who are thus blessed by
          being the children of the fathers to whom the promises were made,
          as races receive the truths of the Gospel much more readily and
          apparently, notwithstanding their many weaknesses, cleave unto
          them much more devotedly than do very many of those who embrace
          its saving principles among the Gentile nations. It would seem as
          though at the present time the Gentile nations of the earth were
          turning from the truths of the Everlasting Gospel; they have
          measurably rejected them; and the consequence is we find to-day
          that there is an increase of scepticism, that there is an
          increase of a spirit opposed to good order, to obedience, to
          faith, and to many other admirable characteristics of generations
          gone by. The present is an age of unrest, of turmoil, of
          contention, of a lack of faith, not only in religious matters,
          but in almost everything else. We may be said to be living in a
          period of transition, and that transition does not always appear
          to be in the most desirable direction. But this spirit of doubt
          and incredulity, of uncertainty and unrest is more manifest
          regarding religious subjects than any other question that attract
          the attention of mankind; and is perhaps more manifest in those
          nations to whom the Gospel has been preached for many years than
          in any other parts of the world. This is the natural result of
          the course the people of those countries have taken. Having
          rejected the principles that God in His kindness has caused to be
          revealed, His Spirit, which is the spirit of life, light,
          intelligence and truth, is of necessity measurably withdrawn from
          them, and they are left to themselves to serve God as best they
          may when they will not serve Him as He requires. The consequence
          is division and subdivision in the churches; for every man's
          opinion is as good as that of his neighbor; and there remains no
          trustworthy, much less infallible, standard by which to gauge the
          beliefs of mankind; consequently every man walks in his own way
          and professes such a belief as best suits his fancy. But with us
          it is different. And the very fact that we are united with regard
          to that which God requires at our hands in all things is a rock
          of offence to many; it is regarded as an evil by those who do not
          love us; by those who make it their business to bring evil
          accusations against us. Our union is an opposite condition of
          affairs to that which exists among the sects in the Christian
          world, and being contrary they imagine ought to be bestigmatized,
          decried and derided. But in our union lies our strength; because
          we cannot be united on any other principle than obedience to the
          law of the Lord. There is no spirit but the Spirit of the Most
          High God that will make this people one. They can trust in no one
          but in God our Father who has revealed His mind and will to them,
          and has established in their midst the principles that will make
          them wise unto salvation, if they will but give heed to them. It
          is useless, worse than useless, for us to attempt to be united on
          any principle but the principle of righteousness and godliness.
          We can find no union in doing that which is displeasing in the
          sight of God; we can find no union in following any course other
          than that which God has marked out. We cannot be united in
          anything but the truth. The truth will not only make us free, but
          it will make us united, and we cannot be united, however much we
          may strive, on the principles of error, because there is no bond
          of union in them. There is only one path that leads to
          exaltation; one path by which we can become like unto our Father
          and our God, and if we ever attain to that which we are
          seeking--eternal life in His presence--we must walk in the path
          which He has marked out, and in no other, for no other will lead
          us back into His presence. We must every one walk in that path,
          and as we must all walk in it, therefore we must be united. Our
          union must be in God, our trust must be in Him. We are, I
          presume, from present circumstances, learning that lesson very
          rapidly. I have noticed on the coins of this nation the
          inscription, "In God we trust." Perhaps that motto may have been
          applicable at the time it was first placed on the money of the
          United States, but at present it does not appear to be so; for
          this nation and other nations seem to rapidly losing all trust in
          God. They are willing to trust in themselves, in their own
          strength, in their own wisdom, in their own ways, in their own
          methods and their own plans, rather than trust in the word of the
          Lord, for that the great majority of their peoples will not have.
          But we, the Latter-day Saints, are learning rapidly that can
          trust no one, save God our Father, and those whom He appoints to
          be His representatives upon the earth. Let us look around in the
          world. What do we find to-day? Is there any power upon earth to
          which we can look for succor or aid, for guidance or inspiration
          under the circumstances through which the Church of Jesus Christ
          is now passing? If there is where is it? Where on the face of
          this wide world can we look for sympathy, for help, for support?
          We cannot outside of ourselves. As has ever been the case those
          that are not for us are against us. But we are learning the
          lesson that God is with us; that He will deliver us; that this is
          His kingdom; and the nearer we live to Him the greater will be
          the deliverances that He will bring to pass in our favor.
          I have met a few in our midst who seemed to have an idea that
          there was a Gospel of compromise, if I may so use the term, that
          might be advocated. In all the history of this world, from its
          creation to the present, I have never read of, never heard of the
          time when God Almighty compromised with the Evil One; when he was
          willing that evil should have a place in the midst of His people;
          when He was willing that any of the principles of eternal truth
          should be relinquished by those of His sons and daughters, to
          whom He had revealed them. No. The word of instruction, the word
          of revelation, the word of counsel has always been for man to
          live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; to keep
          inviolate the ordinances of God; to preserve the principles of
          truth and righteousness intact, and never to consider for one
          moment that man can gain his salvation by giving up or resigning
          any principle or law that God has said is necessary for the
          accomplishment of His purposes, which purposes we understand to
          be the salvation of mankind and the redemption of the world. Any
          plan less than the one devised by Him is imperfect; anything else
          will not save the first one of us. It is God's law and God's law
          alone that will deliver Israel from his enemies. It is by perfect
          confidence in the word of the Lord, and by willing, humble
          obedience to all His requirements, accepting all His providences
          as for our best good, that we shall be delivered. Do you ever
          recollect? Have you ever heard of a time in any age or
          dispensation since this earth first rolled forth from the
          presence of God, that men professing to be His servants have
          gained anything in this life or for the next by faltering in
          their obedience to the requirements of heaven, by laying aside
          the armour of faith, by turning from that which they had
          espoused, and which they realized to be of God? If you have ever
          heard of such a people, if you have ever known such a time, your
          reading and your experience have been different to mine. Judging
          by the experience of the Saints in the past, and judging by our
          own experience in this dispensation--as far as I know it has all
          gone to prove that the closer we cleave to the Lord, the nearer
          He will draw unto us, the greater will be the manifestations of
          His power in our behalf, and the sooner will be our triumph over
          those who seek to injure us. 
          We have no conflict with the world only as they may bring it upon
          us. We are the friends of all mankind. We are sent forth to
          preach life and salvation to every soul who will hearken and
          obey. Our mission is one of good will to all men the wide world
          over. We seek the hurt or injury of no people upon the face of
          the earth. The principle that we proclaim are those which the
          Savior Himself taught to the sons and daughters of mankind when
          He was here upon the earth, and which His disciples in after
          years taught also. They are peace on earth and good will to all
          men. Does any man ever injure his brother or his sister--be they
          members of the Church of Jesus Christ, or of any church, or of no
          church whatever--be they Christian, Mahommedan, heathen or
          Jew--by following the teachings which God has given through His
          servants in this age in which we are living? I say emphatically,
          no; under no circumstances whatever. The Gospel that we preach
          will do all men good. There are no exceptions to this rule. It
          will teach us all to be loving, to be virtuous, to be temperate;
          it will teach us to seek to live near unto God, that we may
          become godlike; it will teach us to treat all men aright, to
          infringe upon the privileges of rights of none, but to teach to
          them those principles that will make them better and happier here
          on the earth, and bring to them eternal salvation in the world to
          Then why are we maligned, as Brother Partridge has spoken of! Why
          are we hated? Why are we misrepresented? for surely there never
          were people who were more misrepresented than the Latter-day
          Saints. I will tell you, it is because the day approaches when
          Satan's reign upon the earth will be brought to a close. He knows
          and realizes this fact and fills the hearts of those over whom he
          has power on the earth with hatred towards the principles that
          the servants of God teach. This is the great secret. This is the
          originating cause of the trouble. But then, some will ask why
          Christians, believers in the divine mission of the Son of God,
          act in this way towards us? Why should they attempt to overthrow
          that which we claim to be the Gospel of Christ? For the simple
          reason that the same causes produce the same effects. Whenever
          the Gospel of the Son of God has been preached upon the earth, in
          every generation, it has brought forth antagonism from the great
          majority of mankind, no matter whether they professed to worship
          the true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, or whether
          they did not. It is no more remarkable that those who call
          themselves Christians should oppose the Gospel of Jesus Christ in
          this age than it was that the Jews, who claimed to be the
          children of Abraham, should oppose those same principles, in that
          which is commonly called the Gospel dispensation, when Christ the
          Son of God Himself was here. The causes are the same; the results
          are the same; men's natures are the same; and though the
          civilization of to-day may be somewhat different from the
          civilization of former ages, it has not changed the nature of
          mankind. Men to-day as in ancient times are governed by the same
          loves and the same hatreds; by the same antipathies and the same
          prejudices; they are influenced by the same spirit; that spirit
          of evil which reared its head in the heavens and was cast down
          upon the earth, by which overthrow the warfare was transferred
          from heaven to earth,--that same spirit has instigated and
          carried on and continues to carry on the same warfare against the
          truth and against the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ to the
          present day. Civilization and education are no doubt potent
          factors in the present history of the world; but mere education
          and mere civilization do not cause men to love the truth as it is
          in Christ Jesus, any better than they did in former times. They
          may learn philosophical truths; they may be educated to a very
          great fineness, and to a very great extent be versed in the
          learning of the world; but it is only by the Spirit of God, as we
          are told in the Scriptures, that man can understand the things of
          God, and the best educated in the things of the world alone,
          appear to be no better able to understand the things pertaining
          to the Gospel of Jesus Christ than the most uneducated who are
          equally honest in their efforts to serve God, or equally
          dishonest, as the case may be. Education does not change the
          nature of men; it simply develops and polishes that which is in
          them; it makes the best of that which there is. As the limestone
          when it is polished is not changed into a diamond, but remains
          limestone still, though it is more beautiful and can be used for
          more varied purposes, so it is with the man who is educated in
          the learning of the schools only; his nature remains the same but
          the most is made of him; but when a man receives the gift of the
          Holy Ghost, it is then that his nature is changed. He learns to
          love the truth; he learns to seek after it, he understands it. He
          sees things in a light so different to that which he did
          previously, that it is difficult for him to comprehend how it was
          possible that he could have been so ignorant and so blind before
          times. The reception of the Spirit of God is, as we understand
          it, a new birth. We are born to things eternal when we receive
          it. It purifies our hearts, it enlightens our minds in regard to
          the things of God, and gives us that knowledge, that testimony,
          which comes to all those who listen to and follow its dictates.
          Herein is the great difference between us, the people of God, the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the people and
          the churches of the world. We have this testimony, this knowledge
          given us of God, through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost,
          that none others possess. And this goes behind all argument, all
          assertion, all attempts to convince us that we are wrong. However
          wise, however strong, however potent the arguments of the world
          may be in their own estimation, they cannot go behind the God
          given testimony that we possess. We may say unto them, you appear
          to be very wise in your own conceit with regard to these things,
          but we can go beyond and behind all your arguments, for we most
          assuredly know that that which we have received is of God, and
          your arguments amount to nothing when directed against that which
          we are satisfied is God's word. And the reason is because we have
          each of us the word of the Lord for ourselves; it is a constant
          revelation to our own hearts and minds. The word of the Lord is
          the end of all controversy as far as we are concerned. "We know
          that we are of God"--to use the expression of the Apostle
          John--"and the whole world lieth in wickedness." We wish to God
          it were not so. We wish they could see as we see. We wish they
          could know as we know. We wish they could understand as we
          understand that this is the work of God, and that He has no
          pleasure in the death of the sinner, but desires the salvation of
          all His children. But all mankind will have to learn as we have
          had to learn that these things can be attained only by an
          observance of the word and will of God; by walking in that
          straight and narrow path of obedience to which I referred a short
          time ago. That is the only way by which they can obtain this
          knowledge; it is the only way that we obtained it; and all men
          must obey the truth, for the love of the truth, or the testimony
          of Jesus Christ will not have a place within their bosoms. Other
          motives will not stand the test of God's scrutiny. In this
          testimony, as I have said, lies the great difference between the
          doctrine, the principles and faith of the Latter-day Saints, and
          the rest of the world. God is to us a God of revelation, of
          revelation to-day as much as in any other age of this world's
          history since Adam saw its prime. "In this we can and do
          rejoice." In this we receive strength. In this we have a power
          that surprises the votaries of uninspired creeds, that astonishes
          unbelievers, that causes the world to wonder how in the midst of
          all the varied circumstances of an untoward nature we have to
          pass through, we can remain firm in our faith, firm in our
          reliance upon the beneficent power and goodness of God. It is
          because we know that this is His work; it is because we are not
          dependent on the testimony or say so of any man or woman--we have
          the knowledge in ourselves that He will deliver us, that He will
          cause the wrath of man to praise Him, that He will restrain the
          rest, and that He will accomplish all His purposes in His own
          good time and according to His own methods. Whatever He permits,
          be it little or much, will be for the best good of those who put
          their trust in Him, of those who are willing to abide by His
          laws, and who are desirous of doing His will and not their own.
          This principle of continuous revelation is one which finds great
          opposition from the wicked whenever it is taught. We find there
          are many ways in which they strive to cut off the voice of
          heaven. Some stop at the Hebrew Scriptures; some bring revelation
          to an end with the New Testament; others will admit that Joseph
          Smith was inspired of God, but say that with him it ended--that
          the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and
          Covenants contain all the word of the Lord that we shall receive.
          Well, no matter where it ends, it is all of the same spirit. The
          object is to shut out the voice of God from man to-day, to close
          the heavens against us, to prevent us who are now living from
          receiving the word and will of God for ourselves in this year of
          God's grace. But the truth is that God will continue to speak to
          His people through His servants and in such ways as may seem to
          Him good, as long as His Church is on the earth, and that will be
          forever; for He has said that this Kingdom shall never be given
          to another people, but it shall reign and rule forever, and the
          greatness of that Kingdom shall be given to the Saints of the
          Most High God, and they shall possess it without end. Therefore
          with these unchangeable assurances we have all cause to feel
          confidence in God. Our dependence should be in the great I Am
          continually. We need not fear the arm of man; we need not fear
          what the world will do. If we will but trust in God and rely upon
          His arm continually, He will bear us off more than conquerors. He
          will bring to pass all His righteous purposes and save us in His
          Kingdom. But the path of duty is the only path of safety. It is
          the only path wherein we can walk and have the assurance of God's
          continued blessing, of His continued deliverances. Any other
          course does not carry with it this assurance. Any other path
          leads to darkness, to contention, to evils of many kinds; for it
          leads away from the truth and the right. But if we continue in
          the path that is marked out for us by divine instruction,
          trusting implicitly in God, then shall we be delivered from all
          impending evils that are sought to be brought upon us, no matter
          what they may be; and the nearer we live to God the greater will
          be the blessings showered upon us, and seeming evils will be
          changed to blessings of untold worth. Of this I am assured, not
          only by the testimony of the Spirit of God in me, not only by the
          testimony of the Spirit of God that is in my brethren, but by the
          experience of the people of God in all past ages, and the
          promises of God for the future.
          May God bless us and enable us to be firm, true and faithful,
          relying upon His Arm at all times, trusting in Him for succor,
          for guidance and inspiration continually, that we may be His
          people and He our God, is my prayer through Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 /
          Franklin D. Richards, April 4th and 5th, 1885
                    Franklin D. Richards, April 4th and 5th, 1885
                         DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE F. D. RICHARDS,
             Delivered at the Annual Conference, held in the Tabernacle,
                      Logan, Cache County, Saturday and Sunday, 
                              April 4th and 5th, 1885.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                                       DAY WAS
          IT is very pleasing and it is also an occasion of heartfelt
          gratitude to be permitted to meet, so many of us, this morning
          and under such favorable circumstances as those which surround
          us; even the elements conspire to make our coming together
          convenient and agreeable. Circumstances are such as prevent our
          brethren of the First Presidency and several of the Twelve
          Apostles from being with us, and perhaps others from among the
          people, who would be glad to be with us at this General
          Conference, but who deem it advisable, or are so situated that
          they cannot consistently attend. Let us that have come together
          seek unto the Lord for His Spirit and His guidance, that we may
          receive that measure of grace and blessing at His hand which we
          need under the present conditions which attend upon us.
          If any evidence were wanting to indicate to the doubtful, the
          unbelieving, or the half-hearted, as to whether we are of the
          world or the world of us, we are obtaining daily evidence of the
          fact that we are not of the world. The Savior told the brethren
          that sojourned with Him: "If ye were of the world, the world
          would love you: but because ye are not of the world, but I have
          chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." The
          same reason essentially exists to-day that existed then. But the
          Lord has made very gracious and precious promises to His
          people--that where only two or three are agreed as touching
          matters pertaining to the interest of His Kingdom and the honor
          of His Kingdom and the honor of His name, their prayers shall be
          heard. There never was a day since the Church has been organized
          in these last days that the Saints had better reasons, or more of
          them, to be strong and confident in God their living Head, than
          they have this morning. We need to know and realize that our
          trust is in Him and not in man, for woe! to him that putteth his
          trust in man and maketh flesh his arm. God has undertaken to
          perform a work in the earth which is going to astonish the world,
          and which will give to His name honor, and glory, power and
          dominion. Now, all these things that occur--I need not go into
          any enumeration of them, because in all of your different
          settlements circumstances and conditions are more or less
          varied--it has been the studied plan of our adversaries to spread
          snares for our feet throughout the land; and it need not be
          wondered at, of course, that they who stand highest in authority
          should be the objects more particularly of their wicked designs.
          Take a look at this thing rationally and in a common-sense view
          for a moment. The forest trees that are shaken with the wind
          sometimes almost seem as if they would be uprooted by it, and
          blown over. By this operation the soil is wonderfully loosened
          about the roots. By this storm the strength of a tree is tested,
          and the trunk and the branches of it, as to whether they bear
          proper relation to each other and derive that support that
          sustains every part in its natural position. It is also very
          natural that in that grove, as the wind passes over it, the
          tallest trees are really the most tried part of it, for the wind
          and storm will dash and blow upon them, while the smaller ones
          that are protected by each other, scarcely feel it, perhaps. Then
          you need not wonder if some of the tallest trees do not happen to
          be here to-day. We will, however, remember our brethren who are
          absent, and pray for them; we will ask the Lord to bless and
          protect them, to strengthen and fill them with the wisdom of the
          Holy Ghost continually, that the joy and comfort of the truth and
          of the holy Gospel shall be theirs, and that they shall be
          preserved from the hands of their enemies.
          We who are gathered together, instead of entertaining ill feeling
          of cultivating malicious designs towards our enemies, will ask
          the Lord to strengthen us and to qualify us not only for what is
          upon us now, but for what is before us; for we do not know what
          there may be for us in the purposes of Jehovah. All this may be
          necessary and profitable to give us an experience that we should
          pass through trials, that may tend to our improvement and
          qualification, enable us in our different positions to better
          magnify our callings, and to bear off His Kingdom in the last
          days as He requires.
          There are times and seasons when the hoary frosts of winter not
          only prevent the trees from showing forth their foliage, from
          developing any bloom, but cause them to cast their fruit to the
          earth, scarcely giving indications of life. It may not be
          wondered at then, if through the storms and blasts of adversity
          which come upon the Church from time to time that its members are
          not spreading forth and reaching out their branches, or that the
          foliage shows no such immediate prospects of fruit, as we might,
          under more favorable sunshine and with more beautiful weather,
          expect. While this adverse season is on and the leaves perhaps
          have blown to the ground, and all presents the appearance of
          barrenness and death itself, the sap is at work down in the
          roots. Do you understand this? Gardeners and nurserymen
          especially will understand that at the close of the adverse
          season, when the winds and storms have loosened the soil, the
          roots have extended themselves deeper into the earth, when the
          sun shines and the gentle rain falls and the pleasant spring
          appears, those roots, now greatly enlarged, will cause the trees
          to put forth larger leaves, with more abundant bud and bloom, and
          with larger and more luscious fruit than before. So it is and
          will be with the great tree of Life which God has planted in the
          earth, and which is bringing forth and will yield more abundantly
          the fruits of Everlasting Life.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 /
          Franklin D. Richards April, 4th and 5th, 1885
                    Franklin D. Richards April, 4th and 5th, 1885
               Well, then, we have nothing that we need be afflicted or
          worried about, except our own unrighteousness. I know how the
          Saints feel about many things which are menacing and intimidating
          them at the present time; but brethren and sisters, now is the
          best of all times to go often into your closets, for secret
          prayer, and there find that grace and help of God which is able
          to buoy you up in every time of need. Men that are the heads of
          families need now to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be
          Prophets, Seers and Revelators to their families, to their
          kindred and to those that are around them. You need to have your
          roots strike deep into the soil of Heaven and stronger into the
          soil of eternity, that you may derive that nourishment and that
          strength that shall bring to you greater, more abundant and more
          glorious blessings than ever you have yet realized.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 /
          Franklin D. Richards, April 4th and 5th, 1885
                    Franklin D. Richards, April 4th and 5th, 1885
               Among other benefits that will be produced by the strange
          conditions that attend us is this: that while there are those
          among us who have not known whether they were following for the
          loaves and fishes, or whether they were following for the truth's
          sake--many who are ready to dabble in spirituous liquors and in
          those intoxicating drinks which inflame the passions, which
          madden the soul, daze their intellects, destroy the faculties of
          man, drowning their souls in the perdition of the ungodly; many
          who have never sought to dig deep and lay their foundation upon
          the rock of revelation which is the only foundation of eternal
          truth. It is absolutely important that we and they should know
          which side of the fence they dwell on; that they make up their
          minds either to serve God or the devil; and this is a time that
          calls all people professing to be Saints to make up their minds
          determinedly whom it is best to serve, and if the Lord is their
          God, to get some oil in their vessels that they be not always in
          Again, there are conditions which pertain to all animated nature,
          and which are incident to the great body of the Church as well,
          and they are these: Notwithstanding it may be the choicest food
          we may eat, notwithstanding the most healthful or precious drinks
          we may use--there are operations going on in the system whereby
          those elements that are not found of use are cast off as waste by
          the various avenues provided by nature for the expulsion of that
          which is not useful to the system. Just so this principle of life
          exists with God's people. They who will not in their due time and
          place become articles of nutriment and health to the Church and
          the Saints will become refuse and will be cast off. These are
          principles in nature and in life which all are conversant with;
          we know and understand them. In this dispensation of Providence,
          wherein it seems as though all the powers of darkness were
          arrayed against us, we need to understand that it is to God and
          to God alone that we must look. We need to understand the laws of
          all things well. The Lord has borne us off in troubles and in
          tribulations while in Ohio, in Missouri, and in Illinois, and the
          God that has been with us through these troubles will not forsake
          us at the present time. The great thing for us to do is to feel
          after Him, and repent of our sins, our waywardness, and of our
          weaknesses and sinfulness, and put away everything that is
          unrighteous and that which is displeasing in the sight of God and
          of angels and good men. If we do this His favor and His power
          will rest upon us, and He will allow nothing to come upon us but
          what He will sanctify to our greatest good and to His own eternal
          honor and glory, and we shall see by and by His infinite wisdom
          in all His providences towards us.
          I appreciate with you the many precious sentiments that have been
          uttered in our hearing since we have come together at this
          conference, and also appreciate with you the consideration which
          our absent brethren of the First Presidency have felt concerning
          us, and the work in which we are engaged.
          There is something about our labor that is strangely peculiar,
          but not more so, perhaps, in our day than has existed in former
          ages of the world when the Gospel has been revealed to man. It
          has always seemed to be the case that whatever period of time we
          take up to read concerning the work of God and its effects among
          the inhabitants of the earth--we always find that the people of
          God and the people of the world have been in direct antagonism;
          and when we get back to the most remote items of history--or
          items information which history is permitted to furnish us--we
          find that even in the spiritual state of man's existence, before
          the family of Adam came to dwell in the flesh, that there was
          antagonism there between truth and error, between those that
          embraced truth and those that embraced error, and following down
          through the ages that same antagonism has existed and been made
          manifest in one form or in another, so that the people of the
          earth have never been in a position to see and understand the
          principles of the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of salvation,
          in the same light, and to understand it together and correctly.
          The principles of the Gospel which have been revealed of God have
          been admitted by the greatest moral philosophers who have
          lived--aside from religious professors--to be the most noble
          principles, the most calculated to exalt mankind, in the belief,
          in the exercise, and in the obedience of them, of any doctrines
          or principles of ethics that have ever been given to the human
          family; great moralists, great scientists have been willing to
          give this credit to the principles and doctrines of our Savior.
          Philosophers of this world have done this; and all they of the
          Saints who have rendered obedience to these principles know,
          truly, how a faith in them exalts those that embrace them, until
          it has come to be a truism among the people of God, "that
          righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any
          Therefore, let it be known to all the world that it is one of the
          first principles of the Gospel of Christ that men should repent
          of their sins, that they should be washed in the waters of
          regeneration for the remission of their sins, that then, in
          pursuance thereof, they may receive the Holy Ghost from heaven,
          which is promised unto obedient believers.
               This is not only the doctrine of the Gospel of this
          dispensation, and the doctrine of the Gospel in the dispensation
          when Jesus and the Apostles of His day where upon the earth, but
          this is the very principle and doctrine that was revealed to
          Father Adam, after he was cast out of the Garden of Eden, when
          the angel of the Lord came to him and asked him why he offered
          sacrifices. He replied that he knew not, only that the Lord had
          told him to do so. Then the angel of the Lord proceeded to
          explain the matter to him--told him that the object of his
          offering sacrifices was to keep before his mind the great
          sacrifice that must be offered up in the meridian of time. This
          was the only symbol and type given to men to cause them to look
          forward through an ordinance they practised to the Savior, who
          was to come as a sacrifice for sin and to become the Savior of
          the world. Thus early did God place this principle before the
          mind of the great father of the human family when in that
          terrible dilemma, he having consented to partake of the fruit and
          go out of the garden with mother Eve. It was then that our first
          parents began to be taught this principle. Adam was taught that
          he must be born of the water and of the spirit, and in
          demonstration of this he was caught up by the Spirit and placed
          in the water and brought forth out of the water, as the
          revelation of God to Joseph declares. Then he was baptized by the
          Holy Ghost and with fire. And the Lord told him to teach those
          things to his children that they might look forward with him to
          the time when the Only Begotten should come in the flesh and
          should be made an offering for the sins of the world. Adam was
          further told that if he taught these things to his children he
          and they should have in this life the words of eternal life, and
          in the life to come eternal life itself. Mark the careful
          distinction; that if they would keep the commandments they should
          in this life have the words of eternal life given to them, and in
          the life to come they should have eternal life itself, and, added
          the Lord to this great promise, "thus may all become my sons."
          Thus the plan of salvation was in brief laid out in plainness to
          our Father Adam, that he and all his children might be thought
          meet to enter into the favor of God, receive the fellowship of
          the Holy Ghost, be born of water and of the Spirit, and thus come
          to a knowledge of the principles of eternal life.
          We see from this that the first step to be taken in those days,
          when the works of Cain had gone forth, and when the people had
          become exceedingly wicked--so bad that the Scriptures say the
          thoughts of their hearts were only evil and that continually--the
          very first thing to consider was how to deprive sinfulness of its
          power and make righteousness to take hold of the children of men
          so that they might find favor with the Gods, and with all the
          righteous both in heaven and on the earth.
          This was the principle, this was the doctrine, and this was the
          way by which the Patriarch Enoch--that great and ancient worthy
          of whom we know so little--went forth and by the power of God
          reasoned with those wicked people and preached the Gospel to
          them, and baptized all who would receive it and gathered them
          together into a place which he called Zion. It was a very great
          and mighty work he had to perform; for the people had become
          terribly wicked, filled with the spirit of murder and every
          manner of abomination that the human heart can conceive of. 
          This, then, is the foundation that all men have to lay in their
          hearts and lives before they begin to receive the principles of
          eternal life as they are revealed. You my brethren and sisters
          that are from Scandinavia, from the northern countries, from the
          Cape of Good Hope, New Zealand, Australia, and from the islands
          of the sea, including the frozen regions of Iceland--every one of
          you were taught and embraced those first principles in the
          primitive part of your faith and belief in the Gospel. It was the
          beginning; it was the step which every son and daughter of Adam
          has had to take, from the days of Adam until now, in order to
          cleanse themselves before God, so as to receive the blessings of
          eternal life. It was by carrying out these principles and
          preaching that Adam was saved. It was by an obedience to the same
          principles that Enoch succeeded in gathering out the honest in
          heart unto the city of Zion. He was 365 years in building up that
          Zion and in gathering into it a people on the same principles
          that have been revealed to us in these latter days. We are
          preaching the same Gospel that was given to those ancient
          worthies. You can trace the Priesthood by referring to the Book
          of Doctrine and Covenants--the holy, high Priesthood that has
          come down from Adam to Noah, and down through Enoch, Methuselah
          and the different men of God who lived in ancient times--you can
          trace it clear back to Adam who was ordained under the hands of
          God, who told him that that Priesthood should abide in this
          generations and that it should be on the earth at the end of
          time. What is the Priesthood that you grey-headed fathers are
          bearing before us to-day in the midst of Israel? It is the holy,
          high Priesthood of Melchizedek, which is after the order of the
          Son of God, and which is after the power of an endless life.
          Then, brethren and sisters, understand it. It is not a new Gospel
          revealed now for the first time--these first principles are not
          new, because they have been revealed from the beginning. They are
          the same principles that Christ commenced to preach when He was
          upon the earth. They were the first principles that John the
          Baptist taught when he came to prepare the way for the coming of
          the Son of Man; they were the very first principles that Joseph
          and Oliver taught in this dispensation when they began to preach
          the Gospel. They were ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. This is
          the beginning of the work of righteousness.
          There are revelations and doctrines given unto us in our day,
          however, which were not given in former ages, because the people
          were not prepared and were not in a suitable condition to receive
          such. Do not let us think that we have got all the revelation
          there is. In the last great revelation which the Lord gave to
          Joseph, He told him that He had not revealed all to him, but that
          there were many laws pertaining to His Priesthood which He would
          reveal hereafter. Do you remember it? But if the world is going
          to get scared and terrified and ready to lay waste and destroy
          the Latter-day Saints before we have got so far advanced in the
          civilization of heaven as to understand the marriage laws and
          some of the marital relations of the sexes--if they go crazy over
          this what will happen to them when something more comes along?
               Now, I hope that none of the Saints will grow weak in the
          knees; do not let them hang down their heads, nor allow their
          hearts to be troubled; do not let the sisters lie awake at nights
          brooding over this and that that is going to happen, and getting
          a great deal of borrowed trouble. There is no promise of grace to
          sustain them in such trouble; but the Lord has promised that His
          grace shall be sufficient for our day, sufficient for the
          troubles we have to bear; but we have no promise of grace to
          sustain us in borrowed trouble. Do not be alarmed though the
          heathen rage and the people imagine vain things. While they are
          in confusion and strife of every kind, you will multiply upon the
          earth and establish lasting peace upon the face thereof. The
          Latter-day Saints who are the object of all observation from the
          four quarters of the earth, are the only people that have pure
          and settled peace in their hearts and in their midst. Do you
          realize this? Our missionaries go to the Southern States, and the
          North Western States; they go to Europe, to Asia, Africa, and
          every point of the compass, and when they return they tell us
          that in no place do they find as true, settled and substantial
          peace, as there is right here in Utah, where one would think,
          from all that is going on and all that is threatened, that the
          waves of the sea were going to roll over us. Our peace is that
          which the Gospel brings. The fruit of the Spirit which the wicked
          can neither give nor take away. There is no use being worried
          over these things. It is part of our heritage. They who will live
          godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; we have every
          reason to expect it. It is our duty to seek wisdom of the Lord in
          all matters; seek for the Holy Spirit, and attend to our own
          In regard to the principles of the Gospel which the Lord has
          revealed to us beyond what He has to other people, we should
          remember that we shall be called to account for the use we make
          of them; remember that we use them, live them, and administer
          them in all righteousness in our lives and conduct, and while
          there are no two families whose conditions and circumstances are
          just alike, still the same general principles will have their
          general effect in all households. We must cultivate
          righteousness. We are learning the principles of the Gospel one
          after another; how to observe and obey them. We want to know how
          to hold them in righteousness, because we cannot hold these
          precious eternal treasures in unrighteousness; if we think we can
          we shall be deceived and will some day find out that they are not
          to be held in unrighteousness, for they only take effect with the
          pure in heart, they that are willing to keep the commandments of
          God, and walk in the way of His counsels.
          Sin is a reproach to any people. It is better for us right here
          in this life that we keep the commandments of God, even if we did
          not look for any future reward of glory. Don't you know it is?
          Why? Because we feel happy and strong within ourselves when we
          lie down at night and rise up in the morning; when we go out and
          when we come in; we feel the sustaining influence and approval of
          an honest heart, of a pure conscience, and of all just people--a
          conscience void of offense towards God and His people. This is
          the greatest treasure that a person can possess in this life. And
          do you know that go where you will--among those ignorant tribes
          that surround us, or to the highest civilized, and most
          cultivated portions of the European or American nations,-- the
          man that is obedient to the holy principles of the everlasting
          Gospel--if they do not know he is called a Mormon--is respected
          above all men who disregard the principles of righteousness and
          truth. If some of our brethren who work in the mining camps
          behave themselves and live their religion, the very men around
          them respect and honor them. Why? Because they are reliable;
          because the principles they have embraced and put into practice
          render them substantial and trustworthy. You go into the classes
          of the university or of the colleges where young men have gone in
          quest of an education, and you will find that the man who is pure
          and virtuous in his feelings, in his thoughts and in his ways,
          who does not delight in folly, in sin and the secret works of
          darkness, but is at home attending to his lessons and his
          duty--it is he that makes his way to the head of the class, and
          gets the highest honor among his fellows. It is he that they look
          up to because of his upright conduct and all that is excellent in
          man. That is the kind of men that go forth and make their way and
          mark among their neighbors and their countrymen. True virtue and
          righteousness exalt individuals, and it therefore must exalt a
          nation composed of such individuals. When a nation disregards the
          principles of justice, equity, righteousness and truth--so far as
          to fail or refuse the administration of its laws equitably to any
          portion or class of its citizens, then the people have reason to
          fear the dreadful consequences that must follow, unless a
          reformation is effected; then the noble, the honorable, the
          virtuous and the pure should be willing to make sacrifice for
          that which is ennobling, exalting, upright and praiseworthy.
          Go back in the history of the world and you will see that the
          greatest nations that ever existed, as soon as they commenced to
          pervert justice, crush truth and right, persecute God's people
          and exalt iniquity, then commenced their downfall, and their way
          was down, down, down, to demolition and destruction, until more
          substantial and better elements were found in their ruins with
          which to raise up and create something new. It was that
          excellence and purity which God saw in the Puritan fathers that
          came over to this country for the love of the truth, and to
          worship God according to the dictates of their own
          consciences,--it was that excellence that preserved them and
          established them here, and as long as they maintained the
          principles of liberty, allowed others to enjoy the same rights
          that they themselves enjoyed, just so long did they prosper. They
          were powerful in that that they had influence and faith to
          receive inspiration from God, to draw up and establish the
          greatest Constitution that has ever been known on the earth--the
          grandest combination of loyal principles and fundamental truths
          that has been established by man, since the days of Noah, and
          that is the Constitution with which politicians have become so
          reckless, in construing its provisions, and have gone outside of
          its limitations to rule and regulate the people of this great
          nation as they please. That glorious Constitution was made to
          regulate rulers as well as the ruled. It was so constructed that
          those who should be appointed to rule over the people should not
          be their masters, but their servants. How comes it now, that the
          whole polity has been perverted to another way; the rulers have
          come to be masters of the people, and are undertaking now to lord
          it over God's heritage. We ought to understand these things. It
          is our duty to do so.
          I desire now to refer to a particular expression in the epistle
          which has just been read, wherein the brethren of the First
          Presidency have exhorted the Saints not to allow themselves to
          commit any overt act. No matter how much you are worried, no
          matter how much you are aggravated by the acts of the ungodly, do
          not do a thing that you could afterwards be sorry for. Do nothing
          that could let blood stick to one of you. Bear with every impious
          insult. Put up with it as Christ did when he was hanging upon the
          cross and his life's blood oozing out from his heart, and his
          spirit ready to depart, and say "Father forgive them, for they
          know not what they do." That is the way we want to look as far as
          we can upon those who are oppressing and injuring us, breaking up
          our homes, and scattering our women and children to the four
          winds. It is something that could not be allowed in the old
          monarchial countries, which are looked upon as being measurably
          beneath the United States in the matter of a constitutional
          government, and yet we see men among us who are ready to demolish
          the very sanctity of home, lay waste and destroy that which lies
          at the very foundation of all law, natural and governmental. It
          is painful; it is sorrowful. Let us pity while they are so blind,
          so ignorant, so ill-natured, and so willing to depart from good
          government, even to enact laws to prevent their fellow-citizens
          from worshipping God according to the dictates of their own
          conscience. But, for my own part, I feel like the First
          Presidency in this matter. Let us commit no overt act, which in
          any event we could be sorry for.
          We never saw a time when we had reason to feel more thankful and
          lifted up in our hearts before the living God than the present.
          Why? Because the Savior said: "Woe unto you, when all men shall
          speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false
          prophets." But says He. "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you,
          and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall
          reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of
          Man's sake."
          I wish to exhort the Saints to frequent their closets more than
          they do; to neglect not their prayers night and morning, and in
          the season thereof fail not to bow the knee and call your sons
          and daughters around you. If you do this, by and by your sons and
          daughters will rise up and call you blessed; if you do not they
          will get cold and depart from truth and the faith of the living
          God, and that will bring the greatest sorrow you can conceive of.
          This is a time when we are called upon to bring our practical
          religion into use, to put on the whole armour of God, and to
          trust in Him. The Savior said He could call to His help more than
          twelve legions of angels; more than the Roman hosts; but He
          knowing the great purposes of Jehovah could go like a lamb to the
          slaughter. He understood those purposes, could curb His powers,
          control His feelings, and could make a manly fight for
          righteousness and truth, and carry out the decrees of heaven. Can
          we do so? Can you and I do so? If we cannot, can we be counted
          worthy to be called His brethren, and Saviors upon Mount Zion? We
          have got to be considerably more like him than we are before we
          attain unto all those excellencies that are promised.
          Inasmuch as the work of God spreads, and its influence and
          potency are felt among the nations of the earth, so long will
          this opposition and this antagonism exist, and we must expect it;
          it cannot be avoided. It is an eternal consequence of our faith.
          If we reckoned upon anything else, we reckoned wrongly. Every
          true Saint, when he embraced this Gospel, felt to lay down his
          good name, his earthly substance, and life itself,--all was laid
          upon the altar. We need not think, however, that although the
          Lord permits certain things to come upon us, that He will not
          soften the hearts of the wicked and ungodly. He has told us with
          a firm decree, that from a time when the Saints commenced to be
          more faithful they should begin to prevail against their enemies,
          and they have proved this in the deliverances that have been
          wrought out in their behalf from time to time. Have we any reason
          to doubt or lack confidence in the promises of God for the
          future? Not a particle. Every step of the way affords a greater,
          a more powerful confirmation and assurance that He is true to His
          promises, and will carry them out in our behalf.
          Do you know, says one, how far these things go? Just so far as
          the Lord will allow them. When it comes to the right time He will
          put a stop to them. He knows how to do it, just at His good
          We should go to work and put transgression from our midst,
          cultivate righteousness and put away all sin, and by keeping His
          commandments and living by every word that proceedeth from the
          mouth of His servants the work of sanctification will go on in
          our hearts, our homes, and our habitations will be holy in His
          sight. He will not allow the acts of the wicked to come against
          us any longer than will be for His own glory and our greatest
          good. Let us feel that we are in the hands of the Lord, that He
          is our Father and friend. Let us draw near to Him; find Him out,
          and walk with Him here in the flesh, then we shall know that it
          will be well with us hereafter.
          I pray that the good Spirit of God may dwell in our hearts; may
          write His law on the tablets of our hearts; may impress the
          principles of truth upon our minds, so that we may live them and
          make them profitable to us in the future. That God may grant
          these blessings unto us, I humbly ask in the name of the Lord
          Jesus Christ, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / John
          Henry Smith, April 6th, 1885
                          John Henry Smith, April 6th, 1885
             Delivered at the Annual Conference, held in the Tabernacle,
                Logan, Cache County, Monday Morning, April 6th, 1885.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          IT affords me pleasure to meet again with the Saints in Zion, and
          to have the privilege of mingling with the people of God in a
          general conference. It is sometimes since I had this privilege,
          and I can assure you that I appreciate it very much. I do not
          think it is possible for me to express in proper language my
          feelings in regard to my mountain home. I never learned but one
          verse of poetry in my life, and that one I have repeated many
          times, and I do not know but what it would be well for me to
          repeat it this morning. The verse to which I allude says:
          "There is a magical tie in the land of my home
           That the heart cannot break, though the footsteps may roam,
           Be that land where it may, at the line or the pole,
           It still holds the magnet that draws back my soul."
          Such is the case this morning in arising to address you for a
          short time. What the Lord may have for me to say to you I cannot
          imagine. For a few months past I have not addressed any
          congregations; I have been visiting; I have been reasoning with
          my friends upon the principles of the Gospel, and seeking to
          enlighten them in regard to my position. Having accepted the
          Gospel, and dedicated my life to the preaching of the same, I was
          desirous that my kindred should hear it. I have not been idle,
          but have been laboring with zeal to impress upon them the nature
          of the latter-day work. I did not go there expecting to make
          converts but to relieve my friends of prejudice. I have found, so
          to speak, that my utterances have fallen on stony ground outside
          of my kindred and that while I was received with kindness, and
          trust that good may in time come from my labors in certain
          directions, yet I cannot say, as many have said, that I have
          accomplished much good, and that I have removed a world of
          prejudice. I trust, however, that I may have done some good
          during the past few weeks among my kindred in the Eastern States.
          As you are aware, in 1882 I was sent by my brethren to preside
          for a season over the European mission. I proceeded to my field
          of labor with some dubiety in regard to my own self. My former
          experience upon the island of Great Britain had been such that I
          was really fearful in regard to my health. For five years after
          my first mission to the British Isles, I had never passed a night
          in sound and perfect sleep. I suffered from a cold contracted on
          that mission. On my departure in 1882, however, my brethren
          promised me I should go in peace; that I should enjoy good
          health; that the blessings of the Lord should be around me; and
          that I should be enabled to accomplish the object for which I was
          sent forth. And while I went with some foreboding with regard to
          myself, still it appears I had to return to Great Britain, to
          lose that which had seized upon me on a former mission.
          I found upon my arrival in that land a corps of very excellent
          Elders. The mission was in a very good condition, with an earnest
          and determined lot of missionaries who were willing to do
          anything that might be required at their hands for the
          furtherance of the purposes of the Lord. I found, however, upon
          investigation and mingling with my brethren, that the road seemed
          to be hedged up in a manner so that they could not accomplish
          that which their hearts desired. After visiting various
          conferences, and giving the brethren such instructions and
          counsel as the spirit suggested as to the best method to reach
          the people, getting their views and the result of their
          experience in the field, some of them having been there for a
          year or two--it was decided, on the suggestion of several, that
          an effort be made to distribute more of the written word than had
          heretofore been done. Communications were addressed to the
          Presidency of the Church, and by their consent a system of tract
          distribution was inaugurated and has been followed systematically
          from that day to this. What the result may be in the future we
          cannot say. Nevertheless, we have done the best we could in our
          ministrations among the people, and have striven with the power
          that the Lord has given us to warn our fellowmen of the
          re-establishment of the Kingdom of God. The Elders that have been
          sent to labor under my watch care and counsel, have been men of
          great worth. It is a matter of pride to me that those who have
          been sent to labor under my direction have been good and humble
          men. Many of them have been young men, reared in these
          mountains--that were taken from the farm, from the stock range,
          from the store, and from the work bench. They had received
          comparatively little training in the ministry; but a few weeks
          time has developed them, and they have gone forward in faith; the
          Lord has blessed them in their administrations. I have had much
          joy and satisfaction in laboring with them, and in all my
          ministrations and counsels to them I believe they have listened
          to them and sought to the best of their ability to carry out
          these counsels, and labor for the advancement of the work of the
          Since I returned home there has nothing afforded me greater
          pleasure than during this conference to take into my arms and
          press to my breast the men that have been laboring in the same
          cause as myself; for I respect and honor them as I would my own
          brother. These sentiments are from the heart in regard to them,
          and I trust that their experience with me and our acquaintance,
          and the friendship that springs up amid adversity and trials, may
          be as lasting as life itself.
          I am pleased to report that in Great Britain we continue to do
          some baptizing. During my administration in that land a little
          new ground, or rather ground that had been worked years ago and
          been abandoned, has been opened up in various places. We have
          gained a foothold in Finland, and a few have been baptized in
          that land. Brother Fjeldsted sent some native Elders into that
          section of country. Some men that were inspired with zeal, and
          who were humble, and who were ready to meet any trial and
          difficulty that might come in their way, succeeded in opening a
          little door. Seed has been sown. Away north on the borders of
          Prussia and Russia, an opening has been made through a native who
          had been ordained by Brother J. A. Smith, of Cache Valley, and
          there is a prospect of the Gospel being introduced in that
          country. We have also made a little effort to introduce the
          Gospel in Austria. Brother Beisinger has been there and labored
          some time. Brother Hammer was there also, but was run off by the
          authorities. Brother Beisinger and Brother Jennings are now, I
          suppose, in Austria, probably in Bohemia. I felt while in
          Switzerland, in December, that it would be impossible for me to
          return home without another effort being made to open up the
          Gospel to Austria, although the brethren had already suffered
          considerable in that land. The authorities there do not treat our
          Elders as they should; but I trust that by wisdom and prudence,
          the Gospel may be preached, and that the inhabitants thereof--a
          fine race of people--may sense their position and embrace the
          truth. We have also made an effort to establish ourselves in
          Turkey, and I trust that a work will be opened up there. A few
          baptisms have already been made.
          The brethren throughout the British Isles have been making
          efforts to introduce the Gospel in every corner and place where
          opportunity presents itself. I would say, however, that the
          England of a few years ago is not the England of to-day. While
          the same spirit of liberty--the love of the rights of man--may
          exist among the English people, still that spirit of hospitality
          that characterized them years and years ago, seems to be on the
          wane. Many people are out of employment, the numbers that are
          wandering around begging their bread, closes, in a measure the
          hearts of the people, and they feel that they cannot carry the
          loads that they have been carrying. Still, among the Latter-day
          Saints, the same hospitality is to be found. Their hearts are as
          warm to-day as they ever were.
          We have made recently--through the labors of Brothers Wilson and
          Marshall, two Irish brethren--an opening in the north of Ireland,
          and we trust that with care much good will result in that
          neighborhood. Some very fine people have embraced the Gospel
          there, people in good circumstances, and who, inspired with zeal,
          desire to spread the principles of the Gospel. And thus little by
          little we accomplish the object of our mission, and the world is
          being warned. When I left England there were three valley Elders
          in Ireland, and I hope others may be added to their number before
          long, so that the work may spread at least in the protestant
          portion of that country. I am inclined to believe that there are
          hundreds and thousands of people in Ireland who will receive the
          Gospel. My prejudices in regard to the Irish people have been
          wiped away in mingling among them. I find them among the purest
          of the stock upon the earth. Virtue is held at a high premium
          among them. The statistics of Great Britain show this fact; that
          illegitimate births in Ireland constitute 3 per cent. In England
          six, in Scotland nine. I say this speaks volumes for Ireland, and
          I trust that the Gospel may spread in that land and that
          thousands may receive its truths.
          I have visited nearly all parts of the mission--at least where
          there are any Saints, and some portions where there are none. I
          went to Italy in the hope that I might see some chance of making
          an opening in that country. I came very near having two of the
          Elders starved by staying there. I was determined, however, to
          try and introduce the Gospel. There are some sections of the
          country that are Protestant, and I trust there may be a time come
          when the Gospel will spread among that people. But I regard Italy
          as in such a condition that there are but few chances at the
          present time for any opening to be made. The Italians are bound
          up in the religious faith that they have been reared in, or they
          are infidel almost entirely. I noticed in my attendance at the
          churches, that they are usually well filled with priests and
          beggars, and that few, comparatively speaking, of the well-to-do
          classes, or the middle classes, were paying any attention
          whatever to religious observance.
          I have also during my administration in the British mission,
          sought to have the Gospel preached among the French people.
          Brother Bunot and Brother West made an effort on the Island of
          Jersey. Brother Bunot was sent to France, and he stayed there
          just as long as he could possibly live, using his own means, and
          striving by every means in his power to open some door to his
          countrymen. Brother Bunot is a man who was educated for the
          Catholic ministry, a man of intelligence and learning, and a
          humble man who did everything in his power to warn his
          countrymen. He was not successful in accomplishing the desires of
          his heart. On the borders of Switzerland and France a number of
          the Elders have labored, and while we have not reaped as we could
          have wished to have done, still there has been satisfaction in
          the labors we have performed; for we realize that it is not only
          a day of gleaning and gathering the people, but it is also a day
          of warning.
          I will say here, that about the time our brethren in the southern
          States were murdered in cold blood, a wave of hatred seemed to
          have been engendered in the minds of the people in every
          direction. The press of Europe teemed with the most horrid
          stories that can be imagined. Everything that had ever been
          thought of; everything that had ever been manufactured for
          partizan purposes in our own land was scattered broadcast
          throughout Europe, and the masses of the people were warned in
          every direction in regard to us. And not only were they warned
          through the newspapers, but lecturers began to take the field in
          every direction, and incite the people not to avoid our meetings,
          but on the contrary to follow us up and to mob us, giving us no
          chance to explain to them the principles of the Gospel, or
          represent ourselves as we should. This feeling has been growing
          in power from that time until the time I left that land. But as
          heretofore a cool wave will by and by come along, and as a result
          of the heated condition of the people over the Mormon problem,
          and the efforts that have been made to impede the Lord's work,
          people will begin to inquire, thoughtful people will look into
          the truth, and the work will continue to grow in the future as it
          has done in the past. It is true that people do not come by
          hundreds and thousands to hear the good word of life and
          salvation; but the eyes of the world are directed to this our
          mountain home. They recognize the force of the utterance of Henry
          Ward Beecher, when he said: "Gentlemen, say what you will, but
          yonder in the Rocky Mountains is the phenomenon of the nineteenth
          century." It is a living fact that people in every land and clime
          are turning their eyes towards this region of country, and
          wondering what will be the upshot of the problem that is being
          worked out by the Latter-day Saints in their western home. Men of
          intelligence are traveling; they are mingling among our people;
          they see their industry; they recognize the perseverance they
          have manifested; they see the obstacles they have overcome; they
          recognize in them a growing race that knows no failure, that
          meets no rebuff, that cannot understand nor sense what defeat
          means; and they see in the Latter-day Saints the growth and
          development of a power that will accomplish its object in the
          earth, and that object Deity has designed it should
          accomplish--the gathering in of the honest in heart, the
          establishment of righteousness, the combating of wickedness, the
          driving back of the forces of evil as they cluster around the
          hearts of men and that are leading men step by step to inevitable
          shame and destruction.
          It affords me pleasure, my brethren and sisters, to again put my
          feet on the soil of America. I recognize in it the home of a free
          man. There may be those who desire to pervert this freedom, who
          may seek to engender strife and drive us from the soil upon which
          we live; there may be those who seek to trample upon the rights
          and liberties of man; but I believe from the bottom of my heart
          that Deity has stamped it upon this soil, that He has written it
          throughout the universe, that in this land His work should
          prosper? that it should go forward and increase until its great
          destiny shall be accomplished; that this is the spot chosen, that
          here it will be nourished, here it will grow, here it will go
          forward, and the nations of the earth will look upon it and
          recognize it as the great force that will conquer the earth and
          bring subject to it the powers that exist thereon; and all this
          will be brought about by the law of righteousness, the law of
          truth, the law of God given to mankind for their guidance and
          control, and they will accept it and live in accordance with its
          principles. You and I may tread a thorny path; it may be strewn
          with rugged places; we may break the flesh upon our hands, and be
          bruised in our forward movement; but the work will advance and
          progress. Deity is our friend, our guide, our protector. All we
          need do as a people is to keep our eye upon the mark of divine
          truth; move forward without fear, and ask no favors so far as
          mankind is concerned; only seek to do right by our fellow
          creatures. Hate no one. I dare not hate any man upon the face of
          the earth. No matter how vile, how wicked, how corrupt he may be,
          if I find him in want of a friend I would extend to him the hand
          of friendship; I would give him bread if he was hungry; water if
          he was thirsty; clothing if he was naked; for I would recognize
          in him the fact that he was a creation of my Father, and I would
          not dare to hate him, no matter how vile he might be. I might
          hate the principles he had espoused; the wicked acts of which he
          was guilty; but I would recognize in him something that I should
          seek to benefit, bless and save, and I would use all the powers
          God has bestowed upon me in that direction.
          "Brother Smith," some may say, "don't you feel uneasy over the
          condition of things that now exists in our Territory?" I have
          sometimes wished that things were not as they are. As I have
          wandered in the earth and stood up in the streets and parks and
          halls preaching the Gospel, I have said to myself, I wish that my
          Father had not set me to this work; I wish that these things were
          not required at my hands. I have sometimes felt timid in being
          brought in contact with the world, and the efforts that were
          being made against me and my brethren. I have wished it could be
          otherwise, and yet when I stop and reflect, when I look over the
          history of the past, when I read the facts as history brings them
          to us, I see no other way, I see no other road to travel. Every
          fibre of my being is convinced of the truth of this Gospel. It is
          stamped upon every feature, upon every part of my being. I regard
          it as dearer than life and everything else upon the face of the
          earth. Why need I be fearful, why need I tremble, why need I be
          wrought up at the prospect that is before us? No great system has
          ever been established upon the face of the earth without much
          labor and perseverance. Look at the inventions that have been
          brought out and the efforts that have been directed against them,
          even in those things that were to be utilized for our own
          clothing, for our own movements from place to place, or for the
          comfort and convenience of our homes. The men that have invented
          these things have met with continual persecution. They have
          struggled against nature itself; and why need we, who have had
          given to us the great plan of life and salvation, that which will
          bring us back into the presence of God, that which stamps upon
          our souls the prospect of eternal union with our wives and our
          children, and of mingling with our friends and relatives that
          have gone before--why need we fear the hand of our enemies. Who
          cannot stand a few weeks of imprisonment, a few months of
          torture, a few years of difficulty, that they may offer an
          offering in righteousness to that God that called them forth? Not
          one of us. Therefore, so far as I am concerned, my brethren and
          sisters, as an individual I am perfectly happy, just as happy as
          I can possibly be under the circumstances in which we are placed.
          I have no worry nor concern. One of my uncles, whose home I left
          but a few weeks ago, warned me that certain things were
          inevitable; that it was impossible for us to hope to fight longer
          these things our pronounced enemies were seeking to bring upon
          us. All I said to him was, "Wait and see." That is what I propose
          to do--wait and see, just wait and see. I have been waiting from
          my childhood, and expect to continue to wait. It is possible that
          a few men like myself may be hustled within the prison walls; it
          is possible that a few "Mormons" may be outraged and banished
          from their native land; it is possible that men may follow us to
          the death; but while men die, systems continue to live and grow,
          and the powers of earth and hell can never check their
          advancement and development. Such is the case in regard to the
          work we have embraced. It is a living work. It is one of the
          active forces in nature. It is backed by the powers of heaven,
          and ye are its emissaries sent here at this time to aid in its
          advancement. The Gospel must be preached; the nations of the
          earth must be warned, and this nation, or any other nation, will
          fall beneath the judgment of an enraged God if they reject the
          message of glad tidings, which our Father has offered them for
          their exaltation in His kingdom. The work of God must conquer
          every foe, it must overcome every opposing force, and it will
          accomplish that destiny as sure as there is a God in heaven.
          Write it upon the page of history; stamp it upon your souls; for
          deity has designed that it should be the case.
          I find in mingling among the people in the east, that the moving
          force to-day against the Latter-day Saints is not the politicians
          of the country. The politicians, so far as they are concerned
          would care little about us, but there are behind them the people.
          There are first the ministers of the Gospel. I do not desire to
          speak harshly of the ministers that live among us, or make
          charges against them, for I have been away for some time; but
          this fact is patent to every one--that the fervor against the
          "Mormons" is worked up right from our own homes, and largely by
          Christian ministers. Letters are written to the ministers work
          upon their flocks. Go among many of the peoples of the
          east--among the old Puritan stock, of which my fathers are
          descendants--and you will find that the tales of the horrors of
          Mormonism are of the most startling character. This I discovered
          while visiting among my relatives in New England.
          They were all more or less prejudiced against Mormonism; but I
          trust that the little light I was able to throw upon the question
          may result in good. The New Englanders as a rule, have but small
          families, and the evil practices that are resorted to by many to
          prevent their having children at all, will be the means of
          carrying them down to the pit.
          Now, brethren and sisters, whom have we wronged? Whom have we
          wronged by peopling this desert land? Nobody. If there was
          anybody wronged it was the red man, and he has not been wronged
          but blessed; for we have tried to feed instead of fight him. The
          first principle of the Gospel is faith. Whom have we hurt if we
          have faith? Then there is the principle of repentance. Whom have
          we injured if we have repented? Is anybody hurt? Is the
          government hurt? Does repentance beget hostility to the
          government? If we make a covenant with God in the waters of
          baptism that we will be pure, is anybody wronged? No! Have we
          plotted for the overthrow and destruction of the government in
          which we live because the hands of the servants of God have been
          laid upon our heads and they have bestowed upon us the Holy
          Ghost, the witness of the Spirit that shall guide us into all
          truth? No. Have you or I made a contract with our God to wage
          antagonism to the institutions of the country in which we live,
          or sign allegiance to any other government upon the earth? I have
          not. I have sworn allegiance to the government in which I live.
          My labors as a man are in the interests of humanity--the freedom
          of man; that his conscience may not be chained up; that his body
          may not be bowed down with the yoke of tyranny; but that before
          God he may stand erect, fearless and strong, determined to
          benefit and bless the human family. Need we be fearful in regard
          to these things? I think not. There is one that will recompense
          at the last day; and the man who denies the other his liberties,
          who binds him in chains, who ties him to the rack, is the man who
          should tremble when the reckoning of Deity is made with His sons
          and daughters. We might go through all the principles of the
          faith we have espoused and then ask who is wronged? We have made
          grass grow where it did not grow before. If we have built homes,
          if we pay taxes for the sustenance and government of the cities
          and towns that are to be found upon this once sterile spot, and
          which was once the great American desert, who is wronged? No one.
          Who has raised a standard against the government in which we
          live? Not one of us. But you believe in the Priesthood. You
          accept of a system of government that is most perfect on the face
          of the earth. Who is wronged if we do? You have not changed it.
          It has not changed you. It has not wronged you; and that which we
          have accepted we have accepted of our own free will and choice,
          recognizing the fact that Deity has required it at our hands. Who
          is injured if my wife makes a sacrifice with me and takes into
          our home one of her sisters and makes her my wife. If she makes
          the sacrifice; if I shoulder the additional responsibility, and
          open the door that will save one of Eve's fair daughters, who is
          wronged? Do I plot for the overthrow of the government, the
          breaking in pieces of the powers that be, because I desire that
          my sister or my daughter, my aunt or my cousin may be preserved
          from the evils thrown around them by the systems that man has
          created? No. God has laid upon every woman the decree placed upon
          mother Eve--multiply and replenish the earth. In sections of the
          land in which we live, thousands of women to-day must become the
          playthings of some vile wretch, if they answer the design of
          their being. My whole being is convinced of the fact--that it is
          a decree of God Himself that these women should have a chance to
          marry, and that He Himself has opened the door. He Himself has
          established the principle. I want my daughters married as I
          desired to marry myself; I want them honored wives, whether
          plural ones or otherwise, no matter who may seek to brand their
          offspring as infamous. I know--for God has given me the witness,
          He has stamped it upon this heart--that they who come through
          that lineage are as much honored of God and approved of Him, as
          any that have ever walked His footstool from the day that this
          earth was peopled until the day in which we live. This principle
          was given for a purpose, and that purpose is the salvation of the
          female sex as well as the male sex. Go to Great Britain, and you
          will find a million more women than men moving upon the streets
          of the great cities. Go up the Strand in London; Go up Lime
          Street, in Liverpool; and the streets in Manchester; go into any
          of the leading streets of the great cities of the world, and gaze
          upon as fine specimens of womanhood as our Father ever put breath
          into. What are their prospects in life? What is written across
          their brow? Infamy, shame--going to their graves the victims of
          loathsome disease. It is not one, it is not two or three; but it
          is millions of them that are going this inevitable road. Who is
          responsible? Who placed upon them the interdict, preventing them
          from fulfilling the object of their creation? Not God; for He
          made His law so liberal and established principle so correct that
          there was no necessity for such a thing. It is man that has
          introduced it; it is man that has overturned the condition of
          society; it is man that has turned his daughter into the street.
          I say again and again that the "Mormon" people can wait the
          result of this thing without fear; they can afford to suffer
          pains and penalties if that will but open the door by which the
          fair daughters of Eve can be redeemed from the position in which
          they are placed and be made honored and respected women of
          The speaker concluded by reiterating his allegiance to the
          American government, and exhorting the Saints to be faithful in
          keeping the commandments of God in all things.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Q. Cannon, September 28th, 1884
                       George Q. Cannon, September 28th, 1884
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                       Sunday Afternoon, September 28th, 1884.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                                     VICTIMS OF
                                      EARTH TO
          WE are living in a very peculiar age, and as a people we are
          doing a work which attracts the attention of mankind. Our name is
          known for good and evil in all lands. At no time in the history
          of mankind that we have any account of, has there been a people
          of our number who have attracted as much attention and created as
          great an interest in the minds of the public as these have who
          live in these mountains and are known as "Mormons" or Latter-day
          The age in which we live is one in which intelligence travels
          with great rapidity. Knowledge is communicated with ease, and by
          means of the newspaper, the telegraph wire, and other facilities
          which the age affords, everything connected with us as a people
          is heralded from one end of the earth to the other in common with
          all the acts of the children of men. Unfortunately, however, with
          these facilities for the transmission of true knowledge, there
          are also equal facilities for the transmission of falsehood and
          misrepresentation. We have been the victims of falsehood and
          slander. Herculean efforts have been made to created false
          impressions concerning the Kingdom of God and the Church which
          our Father in heaven has established. It is well for us, however,
          that we have been prepared for this. In the commencement of this
          work of our God they who received it were warned of the character
          of the warfare that would be instituted against them. The Lord
          revealed in great plainness that it might cost them everything
          they held dear upon the earth, and that the warfare that would be
          waged against them would be one of unceasing hatred. These
          difficulties and trials, therefore, have not come upon the people
          without some degree of preparation for them. The Lord gave the
          spirit of prophecy and revelation unto His servants and unto His
          people to prepare them for these events, and there is nothing
          that has yet taken place connected with this work of our God that
          has not been made manifest through the revelations which He has
          given. This has been a great cause of strength to the people and
          has prepared them to bear with some degree of equanimity and
          fortitude, the trials and the afflictions to which they have been
          subjected. It is well for us that this has been the case. It is
          well for us, also, that accompanying the work of our God, there
          has been a spirit of peace bestowed upon those who have espoused
          that work. If this had not been the case how unfortunate our lot
          would have been! How unbearable! We could never have endured that
          which we have been called to pass through had there not been this
          spirit of peace that God promised in the beginning to bestow upon
          us. I doubt myself whether there can be found anywhere within the
          confines of the globe another people living in great peace, in
          the enjoyment of more happiness, pure happiness, than can be
          found in these valleys from north to south. While all manner of
          evil has been spoken against the Latter-day Saints, while our
          names have been everywhere cast out as evil, God has given
          compensation to us by bestowing upon us these blessings to which
          I have referred.
          It is well for us to look at the circumstances which surround us
          and to take a proper survey of all the events that lie before us,
          that are likely to take place in the future connected with us.
          God has given unto us the truth. This we have received
          accompanied by abundant testimonies. Those who have entered into
          covenants with God, who have gone down into the waters of baptism
          in obedience to His requirements, submitting to the ordinances
          that He has instituted for salvation, and have done this in
          sincerity and with purity of purpose, have received for
          themselves testimonies from God respecting the divinity of the
          work with which they have become identified. It is of the utmost
          importance that we should cherish this spirit and feeling, that
          it should be with us constantly in our movements, in every act of
          our lives, and that we should so live that the Holy Ghost will
          rest down in power and in testimony upon us. It is not only
          necessary that those who stand at the head should know for
          themselves concerning this work, its divinity and the purposes of
          God connected with it, but that every member, however humble and
          obscure, should in like manner receive of that spirit and enjoy
          its presence and its power, have its gifts resting down upon him
          or her. Each member should stand as a living witness of the truth
          that the Father has revealed, and which each of us who have
          complied with His requirements have received.
          God has placed us here upon the earth to accomplish important
          purposes. These purposes have been in part revealed unto us.
          Probably it is not possible for men and women in this mortal
          state of existence to comprehend all the designs of God connected
          with man's existence upon the earth: but much has been revealed
          upon this subject to us as a people. In this respect, if in no
          other, the Latter-day Saints should be the happiest, the most
          contented, the most joyous of all people that live; for not only
          has the knowledge of the past been communicated to us, but the
          present, that which is connected with our probation here, and
          also much knowledge concerning the future.
          Now, if a man can only know whence he came, why he is here, and
          that which awaits him after this life, it seems to me that he has
          abundant causes of happiness within his grasp. Much of the
          unhappiness and uncertainty that prevail to-day in the minds of
          mankind arise from ignorance upon these points. Hence, we see the
          course that many of the children of men are taking. If a man knew
          exactly why God sent him here, the object that He had in giving
          unto him a mortal existence, do you think that men or women who
          had this knowledge would be guilty of suicide, would have any
          disposition to cut off their own existence and to destroy that
          gift which God in His mercy has given unto us? I do not believe
          that any human being who properly comprehends the object that God
          has had in placing man here upon the earth, and who has a desire
          to carry out that purpose, would ever attempt self-destruction.
          He would shrink from such an act with horror, and would never
          dare to destroy the earthly tabernacle given him by God. In these
          respects, as I have said, we possess rare advantages. It is a
          great favor from God to have this light. There is no
          unwillingness on the part of the children of men to receive it
          when it is communicated.
          The Bible tells us we came from God. The Bible tells us He is the
          Father of our spirits. How is He the Father of our spirits? This
          is an important question, and one that each of us should endeavor
          to understand. I think it is of the utmost importance that the
          Latter-day Saints should understand and be able to comprehend
          this question thoroughly; because upon the proper understanding
          of this, must, to a great extent, depend their actions in this
          It has been argued that because we have no recollection of any
          previous state of being, our existence must, therefore, have
          commenced at our birth--that that was the inception of existence
          so far as we are concerned. This is the general belief throughout
          Christendom. No body of worshippers who call themselves
          Christians, that we have any account of, have any belief in a
          pre-existent state for man. They consider his birth into
          mortality as the beginning of life for him. Yet the belief is
          universal among them that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the
          Redeemer of the world, had a pre-existence. It is the cornerstone
          of their faith. If Jesus did not have life till He appeared in
          mortality, then their faith in Him is vain, for He would not be
          God. But they profess to believe that He is God, the Son; that He
          dwelt in the heavens and was the Creator of all things before He
          took upon Himself humanity. In believing this they are correct.
          But why they should be willing to believe this concerning our
          elder brother Jesus, and at the same time be unwilling to believe
          that the whole family of man also existed in the heavens with the
          Father before they came here, is not clear. Those who saw the
          Savior while in mortality saw nothing in Him to distinguish Him
          particularly from other mortals. Doubtless those who were
          enlightened by the Spirit of God could perceive evidences of His
          superiority over ordinary men, and of His divinity. But did
          Pilate? Did the Pharisees and Scribes? In the eyes of the latter
          classes He was a common man and a vulgar imposter who deserved an
          ignominious death. His divine glory was veiled from mortal eyes.
          Would any one have suspected from the appearance of the Savior,
          from His teachings, from His treatment of His disciples, that He
          differed so widely from them as to be of an entirely distinct
          species? Certainly not. He taught to them and to others the great
          doctrine of equality. If they would obey certain laws, conform to
          certain requirements, they were to be His equals, that is, be one
          with Him, as He would be one with the Father. In this teaching He
          offended the Jews. Their dislike to these ideas of His, found
          expression in the words: "that thou being a man, makest thyself
          God." His disciples had the right to think from all that He
          taught, that if He had been with the Father before coming into
          this mortal life, they also had been there. If they were to be so
          closely associated with Him in the great future what was there to
          suggest to them that they had not been intimately connected with
          Him in the past? If He had been chosen from before the foundation
          of the earth to do the work which He was then doing, what
          inconsistency would there be in their being chosen also, as His
          ministers and associates, at the same time? To look at them as
          they traveled and labored together throughout Jewry, there was
          nothing unreasonable in the idea of their common origin.
          The Lord Jesus was undoubtedly selected for the great mission of
          redeeming the world, because of His great qualities and His
          peculiar fitness as one of the Godhead. It is written of Him:
          "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness; therefore God,
          thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy
          Who were his fellows? Were not all the distinguished of heaven's
          sons there--they who afterwards made their appearance on the
          earth as Prophets, Apostles and righteous men? If He was chosen
          above all His fellows, and anointed with the oil of gladness, is
          it not consistent and reasonable to suppose that His faithful
          Apostles were also chosen and anointed to perform their part in
          the great drama of human existence for the enactment of which the
          earth was to be prepared? If He had companions in the heavens, or
          to use the language of the Scriptures--"fellows," is it
          reasonable to suppose that He left them there while He came down
          here and took upon Himself mortality? Does it violate in the
          least any idea that we derive from the sacred records, to think
          that His "fellows" also came here, and, as He did, also obtained
          mortal tabernacles?
          If we grant that His "fellows" in the heavens came here, as He
          did, and obtained mortal bodies, what shall we say of the
          undistinguished millions who have crowded their way forward into
          mortal life from the beginning? Shall we divide humanity into
          classes, and say one class had a heavenly existence before coming
          here, while another class sprung into existence at mortal
          conception or birth? If we are not justified, by either Scripture
          or reason, in placing the Redeemer of the world in a class by
          Himself, so far as pre-existence is concerned, and in separating
          Him in this respect from His "fellows," how can we find warrant
          for dividing the rest of the family of God, into two classes--one
          as having a pre-existence, and another as not having any life
          till they arrive here?
          If it were possible for the Lord Jesus to descend from the
          mansions of glory and take possession of a mortal tabernacle, and
          be born of a woman in the shape of an infant, is it not equally
          possible that we all did the same? Everything that we know
          concerning the mysteries of this life justifies us in thus
          believing. But we are not left to speculation upon this point.
          God has revealed this in great plainness. The Bible proves to us
          that Jesus existed with the Father, and that He descended from
          His high estate in the regions of glory to become a mortal man;
          for He speaks Himself in praying to the Father, of the glory he
          had with the Father before He came here, that glory having been
          revealed to Him. Now, is there anything difficult or
          incomprehensible in the thought, that we all in like manner,
          existed with the Father, and with our Lord and Savior Jesus
          Christ, before we came here? The Lord in speaking to Jeremiah,
          reveals to him in great plainness, that he had a pre-existence.
          In the first chapter of Jeremiah, He tells him that before he was
          formed in the womb He knew him, that He chose him to be a
          Prophet, that he had been designated for the work that he had to
          accomplish; and thousands of others among mankind have
          felt--though they knew nothing by recollection of their previous
          existence--that they were called and designated and destined to
          accomplish great works upon the earth.
          The revelations that have been given unto us as a people have
          communicated this doctrine unto us. We are taught in the record
          of Abraham, which has been translated and given unto us, that
          prior to man's coming upon the earth, he had an existence with
          the Father, and that we all, all the inhabitants of the earth,
          every man and woman and child that has ever been born upon the
          earth, or that ever will be born on the earth--have had an
          existence with the Father, before coming here.
          With these views that I have endeavored to set before you we can
          have some understanding concerning the object of man being placed
          upon the earth. If we are the children of our God, then God our
          Eternal Father has had an object, a great object to accomplish in
          placing us here on the earth. Jesus had a mission to perform. He
          came and took upon Himself mortality. A mortal probation was
          assigned Him. It was a part of the plan of salvation, not only
          connected with His exaltation, but with the redemption of the
          human family. There has been a purpose in all this. This earth
          has been created for a purpose. Man is here for a purpose. Death
          is in the world for a purpose, just as much as life, and all
          these are a part of the Divine plan connected with man's
          existence in the past, at the present and for the future.
          A great many have stumbled and have questioned the justice of our
          God, and have also gone so far as to question the very existence
          of God, because of the earthly circumstances which surround the
          children of men. It has been said by those who have taken this
          view that if there were an all-powerful Being, such as God is
          described to be, He would interpose in behalf of the children of
          men, and deliver them from the trying scenes and circumstances
          which they frequently have to pass through. The fact that man is
          in such a condition and is surrounded by such circumstances is
          frequently urged as an evidence that there is no God, that there
          can be no God, possessing such attributes as are ascribed to Him
          by those who believe in Him. Many people have been deluded by
          this kind of reasoning; they have become infidels, and rejected
          all belief in God and in any providence connected with man and
          with man's existence upon the earth. They have abandoned
          themselves to complete unbelief upon this point. But those who
          have sought after God, those who have humbled themselves before
          Him, and obtained knowledge from Him in the way that He has
          appointed--though to them all may not be perfectly plain--do
          perceive and acknowledge the providence of God in all the
          circumstances which surround them. They perceive His hand and
          acknowledge it in all the events connected with their mortal
          existence, and with the mortal existence of their fellows.
          God has had a purpose in withdrawing himself from man; it has not
          been a part of His purpose to reveal Himself in His fullness, in
          His glory, in His power, unto His children upon the earth. Many,
          not understanding why this should be, and unable to comprehend
          any purpose in it, have stumbled and yielded to doubts and been
          ready, because of this, to deny His existence. Now, it has been a
          part of the plan of salvation, as revealed in all the records
          that have come down to us from the beginning--from the days of
          our Father Adam until now--it is a part of the plan of salvation,
          I say, connected with man's existence upon the earth that God
          should thus withdraw himself, as it were, from man, and that a
          veil should be drawn between himself and man, and that if
          knowledge of Him be obtained, it should be obtained by the
          exercise of great faith and continued labor on the part of His
          children. But why, it may be asked, is this necessary? Why is it
          that God has not revealed himself with great fullness and power
          unto all the inhabitants of the earth, and left them in complete
          possession of all the knowledge necessary to prove to them that
          He is God? Questions of this kind are frequently propounded by
          men. They ask: Why does He not reveal Himself fully to His
          creatures? Why should He leave them a prey to doubt? Why should
          He leave them in darkness? Why should He give opportunities to
          the adversary of their souls to assail them as He does for want
          of that knowledge which He might communicate so easily. These are
          important questions, and they are questions which as Latter-day
          Saints we should understand.
          We must remember, to begin with, that God our Eternal Father has
          given unto each of us our agency. There is no human being born on
          the earth from whom God has withheld his or her agency. We have
          as much right to exercise our agency in our sphere as God the
          Eternal Father has to exercise His agency in His sphere; just as
          much. It is not sacrilege, it is not any infringement upon the
          power of our God to indulge in this though or to have this
          belief. It does not detract in the least from His glory, from His
          power, nor from our dependence upon Him as an infinite and
          almighty Being to entertain this view of ourselves. Jesus said
          when He was upon the earth: "Be ye perfect, even as your Father
          in heaven is perfect." How could we be if man did not have the
          power within him, through the agency which God has given him, to
          be thus perfect: Everywhere throughout the divine record where
          God has communicated His mind and His will to men, this principle
          is plainly manifest: that man has had given unto him, in the
          greatest freedom and without limit, the power to exercise his own
          agency. It was so in the beginning--in the very commencement of
          the work of our God upon the earth when He placed Adam in the
          garden and gave Eve unto him for a wife. He set before them the
          principle of knowledge--that is, He told them what they should
          do; He told them what they should refrain from doing. He told
          them that if they did certain things, certain penalties should
          follow. Had such a thing been possible and consistent with the
          purposes of Heaven, He might, at the very beginning, have
          prevented Adam from exercising His agency. Instead of saying to
          him, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat except
          the tree of knowledge of good and evil," and leaving him free to
          eat of the fruit of that tree, He might have put it out of his
          power to touch or taste it. But not so; He gave him the
          opportunity of exercising his agency; He told him he could eat of
          every tree freely, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil,
          but that he should not eat of it, "for in the day that thou
          eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." There was no attempt on
          the part of our Father to interfere with the agency of Adam in
          this respect. He left him perfectly free and in the exercise of
          that freedom Adam did partake of the tree of knowledge of good
          and evil. His wife, Eve, was deceived in eating of the fruit; she
          partook of it, being beguiled, yet in the perfect exercise of her
          agency, and after she had partaken of it, and become subject to
          the penalty that God had pronounced--the penalty of death and
          expulsion from the garden--then she came and told Adam what she
          had done. Adam was fully conscious of all the consequences that
          had attended this act. He knew perfectly well that the penalty
          would be executed--that that Eve had become mortal, that death
          had entered into her tabernacle, and the penalty that God had
          pronounced would be fully executed; that she would be thrown out
          of the garden and that they would be separated forever--that is,
          so far as this life was concerned. He knew this, and, fully
          conscious of all the consequences which should follow his
          partaking of the fruit, he partook of it. In doing so he was not
          deceived. He partook of it because of his desire to fulfill the
          commandments of God. God had given unto him this woman for a
          wife; they were bound together by immortal ties; but because of
          this act of hers there must necessarily have been a separation
          that would have endured as long as her mortal life endured. Adam
          understanding this, partook of the fruit, and as is said by the
          Prophet Lehi, "Adam fell that man might be, and men are that they
          may have joy." If he had not fallen; if he had not partaken of
          that fruit, there would have been no human race on the earth. He
          understood this, therefore he partook of it and accompanied his
          wife. It was a part of the plan that was understood in the
          heavens before Adam was placed in the garden. God by His
          foreknowledge understood perfectly that Adam, in the exercise of
          his agency, would fall. Therefore He prepared a Redeemer in the
          person of His Son Jesus Christ, who we are told was "a lamb slain
          from before the foundation of the world." God having seen that
          Adam would fall, that death would come upon him, and that a
          Redeemer would be necessary in order to redeem man from the
          effects of the fall--for unless there had been a Redeemer
          provided, Adam and all his posterity would have slept an eternal
          sleep, they would have been consigned to the tomb, and there
          would have been no redemption therefrom because of the penalty
          that had been pronounced by the Father upon him if he committed
          this act--God knowing all this provided a Redeemer. That Redeemer
          was the Son of God, Jesus our Savior, in whose name we all
          approach the Father, in whose name salvation is given unto the
          children of men. It was arranged beforehand that He should come
          and perform His mission in the meridian of time--lay down His
          life, as it was known that He would do through the wickedness of
          bad men.
          Now, it may be said, why did not God prevent man and woman from
          taking this course? Because, as I have before said, it was right
          that they should exercise their agency. God--shall I say could
          not? Do I detract from His majesty and His glory by placing a
          limit on His power? I will say that God would not, because it
          would be in violation of His own laws; it would be in violation
          of those eternal laws which our God Himself recognizes, for Him
          to have interfered and deprived man and woman of their agency.
          But, knowing the consequences of their actions, He prepared a way
          for their salvation and their redemption, and thus it is that we
          are born on the earth. It was part of the design that we should
          be subjected to all these afflictions and trials and ordeals that
          belong to this mortal state of existence. This was part of the
          I have been told by objectors that God ought to reveal Himself in
          fullness. Why does He not do it? Because if He were to do so, we
          should be deprived of the opportunities of proving our integrity
          which we now have. He has marked out the path for us to walk in.
          He has designed that we shall struggle; that we shall exercise
          faith; that we shall contend with the temptations of the
          adversary; that we shall overcome evil; and by a continued
          exercise of faith progress in the course that He has assigned to
          us. It is absolutely necessary that we should be tempted and
          tried in order that we should receive the glory that He has in
          store for us. What would our salvation amount to; what would
          heaven amount to if we had never been tried, if we were to be
          placed in heaven without trial, without effort, without exertion
          upon our part to overcome evil and to contend with those
          influences that abound in this mortal state of existence. It
          would not be such a heaven as God inhabits, and such a heaven as
          He designs that all His children shall inhabit. For let me say to
          you, my brethren and sisters, God designs that we shall be like
          Him. He designs that His children shall attain unto the
          Godhead--that is if they will obey the laws necessary to bring
          them up to that exaltation, and before they can attain unto that,
          before they can enjoy that, before they can be in a condition to
          appreciate that, they must pass through just such scenes of trial
          and tribulation and affliction as we are subjected to in this
          mortal condition of existence.
          There is an interesting passage in the new translation of the
          Bible, in the Pearl of Great Price, that I have often been struck
          with. It shows clearly the feelings of our first parents after
          they had been thrust out of the garden of Eden. I will read a
          paragraph or two:
          "And Adam called upon the name of the Lord, and Eve also, his
          wife, and they heard the voice of the Lord, from the way towards
          the garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not, for
          they were shut out from his presence."
          That was one of the consequences of the fall. They were shut out,
          and man has been from that time to this shut out from the
          presence of the Father.
          "And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the
          Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flock,
          for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the
          commandments of the Lord.
          "And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying,
          Were it not for our transgression we never should have seed, and
          never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our
          redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the
          "And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all
          things known unto their sons and daughters."
          Now this couple blessed God because of their transgression. Their
          eyes were opened; they had become as Gods; for the devil in
          tempting Eve, had told a truth when he said unto her that when
          she should eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they
          should become as Gods. He told the truth in telling that, but he
          accompanied it with a lie as he always does. He never tells the
          complete truth. He said that they should not die. The Father had
          said that they should die. The devil had to tell a lie in order
          to accomplish his purposes; but there was some truth in his
          statement. Their eyes were opened. They had a knowledge of good
          and evil just as the Gods have. They became as Gods; for that is
          one of the features, one of the peculiar attributes of those who
          attain unto that glory--they understand the difference between
          good and evil. In our pre-existent state, in our spiritual
          existence, I do not know how extensive our knowledge of good and
          evil was. That is not fully revealed. But this I do know, that
          when we come to earth and become clothed with mortality we do
          arrive at a knowledge of good and evil, and that knowledge
          prepares us for that future existence which we will have in the
          eternal worlds; it will enable us to enter upon a career that is
          never ending, that will continue onward and upward throughout all
          the ages of eternity. It is for this purpose that we are here.
          God has given unto us this probation for the express purpose of
          obtaining a knowledge of good and evil--of understanding evil and
          being able to overcome the evil--and by overcoming it receive the
          exaltation and glory that He has in store for us. Here we are
          subjected to the power of the adversary. He can tempt us; try us.
          Satan has power in the earth, and in the exercise of his agency
          he tempts the children of men. He has rebelled against God in the
          exercise of his agency; for he was a great and a mighty angel in
          the presence of our Father and our God. But in the exercise of
          his agency he rebelled against the Father and drew away with him
          one-third of the hosts of heaven, who likewise exercised their
          agency and followed him in preference to following the Lord God,
          their Father; and in the continued exercise of his agency he
          tempts us. He has power over us to that extent in this fallen
          condition. At the same time we have the sweet influence of the
          Spirit of God pleading with us to do that which is right,
          pleading with every human being that does not drive it from him;
          for every human being has a portion of the Spirit of God given
          unto him. We sometimes call it conscience; we call it by one name
          and we call it by another; but it is the Spirit of God that every
          man and woman possesses that is born on the earth. God has given
          unto all his children this Spirit. Of course it is not the gift
          of the Holy Ghost in its fullness; for that is only received by
          obedience to the commandments of God--to the Gospel of our Lord
          and Savior Jesus Christ. But it is a Spirit that pleads with men
          to do right. The heathen have it. There is no degraded Indian in
          these mountains or valleys who does not have a portion of that
          Spirit pleading with him to do that which is right. It pleads
          with all the heathen, the Pagan as well as the Christian; the
          Methodist and Baptist as well as the Latter-day Saints.
          Everywhere throughout the earth where man dwells this Spirit
          rests upon him. It comes from God. It pleads with man to do
          right. It pleads with man to resist the blandishments of Satan.
          No man ever did a wrong but that Spirit warned him of it to a
          greater or less extent. No man ever put his hand forth to do a
          wrong to his neighbor without that Spirit telling him it was
          wrong. He never put forth his hand or influence to wrong the
          gentler sex--to commit sin in that direction--without that
          warning voice which is in every human being telling him of the
          sin. On the other hand, there is the influence of evil, the
          influence of the Adversary enticing men to do wrong, leading into
          paths of sin, leading them away from righteousness and from God;
          infusing doubt, infusing unbelief, infusing hardness of heart,
          infusing rebellion against everything that is holy and pure. We
          are all conscious of the existence of these two influences within
          us. There is no child that has reached the age of accountability
          and in the possession of his or her faculties but what has had
          these two influences pleading with him or her--one entreating to
          do right, the other enticing to do wrong, to commit sin and to
          violate the commandments of God. If we cultivate the good
          influence it will lead us into the truth (if we are not already
          in possession of the truth) when we hear it. It was through this
          Spirit that you Latter-day Saints accepted the Gospel in the
          various lands where you heard it preached. That Spirit that came
          from God taught you by its sweet and heavenly influence that it
          was the truth you heard, and when you espoused it you had a
          feeling in your hearts that you cannot describe. It was the
          testimony of the Spirit of God that this was indeed the truth of
          heaven, and it led you to obey the commandments of God, and to
          receive in greater fullness and power the gift of the Holy Ghost,
          which you have received through obedience to the commandments
          that God has given.
          Time will not permit me to say a great many things that I have on
          my mind. I see the time is nearly expired. But I wish to say that
          we had an existence before we came here. "But," says one, "I do
          not remember anything about it." No, you do not. You do not
          remember the day you were born on the earth, yet you will not
          deny that you had an existence at that time. When you were a year
          old you do not remember beginning to walk, yet you will not deny
          that you had an existence then. God, in His wisdom, has withdrawn
          the recollection of these things from us. If we could understand
          the glory we once had with our Father in heaven we would be
          discontented in dwelling in this condition of existence. We would
          pine for the home we left behind us. Its glory and its beauty,
          its heavenly graces and delights were of such a character that we
          would pine for it with that home-sickness that men have some
          partial knowledge of here on the earth. It is said that at one
          time in the French army, the bands were forbidden to play certain
          airs because of the effect they had upon the Swiss soldiers whom
          they employed. These Swiss airs would arouse such sensations of
          home sickness as to cause the Swiss to throw down their arms and
          desert and go back to their native valleys and mountains. Now, if
          such a feeling of home-sickness can be brought about in that way,
          how much more would it be the case if we could recollect our
          association with our Father and God in the eternal world! Wisely,
          in the providence of God, this knowledge is withdrawn from us. We
          can have a glimpse occasionally, through the revelations of the
          Spirit to us, of the glory there is awaiting us, and sometimes
          when men and women are approaching death--when they are ready to
          step out of this existence into the other--the veil becomes so
          thin that they behold the glories of the eternal world, and when
          they come back again--as some have, we all probably have met
          those who have been snatched from death--they come back to this
          mortal existence with a feeling of regret. They have had a
          foretaste of the glory that awaited them; they have had a glimpse
          of that glory that is behind the veil; and the love of life is so
          completely lost--the love of earthly home and friends is so
          completely taken from them, that they desire with all their
          hearts to take their exit from this life into that glorious life
          which they knew was on the other side of the veil. Has not this
          been the case in many instances? Certainly it has. Therefore our
          God in His wisdom has withdrawn this knowledge from us, and left
          us to seek for and obtain that aid and strength necessary to
          enable us to successfully battle with and overcome the powers of
          evil that assail us on every hand.
          My brethren and sisters: it is for us to contend with the evils
          that surround us, patiently bearing all the afflictions and
          trials that belong to this mortal life. We should remember our
          destiny, and at the same time look forward to that glorious
          future that God has prepared for us. We should be filled with the
          most noble aspirations. We should never condescend to commit any
          low, mean, unworthy act when we consider who we are, and what we
          are, and the glory that God has promised unto us if we are
          faithful to Him. Let us keep those things in mind. Let us bear
          patiently the afflictions that come upon us. Let us contend
          earnestly for the faith that God desires we should have, seeking
          unto Him for that knowledge which He has to bestow, and though we
          may not behold His face now, yet we will behold it, and will
          dwell eternally with Him and His Son Jesus in the heavens, if we
          keep the commandments He has given unto us.
          May God grant that we may do so, is my prayer in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / Orson
          F. Whitney, April 19, 1885
                          Orson F. Whitney, April 19, 1885
                        DISCOURSE BY BISHOP ORSON F. WHITNEY,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, April 19, 1885.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                          PEACEABLE MISSION OF THE SAINTS.
          I HAVE been called upon, my brethren and sisters and friends, to
          address you for a portion of the time which belongs to this
          meeting, and I assure you that in responding to that call I have
          no desire in my heart but to be led to say those things which
          will be pleasing and acceptable to God our Father, and beneficial
          to ourselves.
          I have always been taught to regard our Father in heaven as the
          source of all intelligence, and that wherever intelligence is
          manifested throughout the earth, among His creatures, it has its
          primal origin in Him who is the fountain of life and light; and
          that if men are qualified to perform any great or good work, it
          must necessarily be by reason of the power from God which rests
          upon them. The Latter-day Saints take this view of the
          relationship of God with mankind; that He is not simply the
          Father, or creator of a part of the human race, or a portion of
          earth's creatures, but He is the creator of all things--the maker
          of the earth, the maker of heaven, and that the children of men
          are the sons and daughters of one common parentage; that He feels
          for them all the day long; that He has their welfare constantly
          in view, and He makes no movement, so far as His children upon
          this earth are concerned, but He does it for their salvation and
          their good here and hereafter.
          The Latter-day Saints are said to be exclusive, and are called
          selfish and presumptuous because they maintain that a certain
          mission has been given unto them; that they have received
          revelations from God; that the Maker of the world has deigned to
          speak in these last days, and raise up men and women whom He knew
          before-hand would do His will. This unfavorable view arises from
          the fact that our motives are misunderstood; that our mission,
          which we continually proclaim to the world is not believed in,
          and we are looked upon as an assembly of upstarts, enthusiasts
          and fanatics, who, in our blindness and our narrowness think that
          God has only regarded us; that we are His favorites, and that He
          cares nothing at all for the rest of mankind. This is a wrong
          idea of our position, and it is because our position is thus
          misconceived--one cause at least--that we are persecuted and
          abused, derided, oppressed and trampled upon as we are. However,
          I do not believe that we could escape the common fate of those
          whom God has chosen for a peculiar work in all ages of the world.
          For, while we acknowledge that God is the Father of the human
          race, and interested in the salvation of all, we do maintain that
          our mission as a part of the human family is peculiar, separate
          and distinct from the missions which have been given to others.
          God is the author of many plans and purposes, but all his plans,
          all his purposes and designs converge to one point, have one
          focus, whether He uses the Christian world, the heathen world, or
          even this little handful of Latter-day Saints; no matter whom He
          uses to accomplish His ends, these purposes blend and have but
          one grand object. They are like rivers or streams of different
          kinds and sizes flowing towards one ocean into which they all
          must empty. And though men deem themselves independent--and it is
          true that in one sense they are--while they fail, many of them,
          to take God into consideration, and seem to think they can do
          about as they please, and accomplish what ends they desire, all
          their independence, all their freedom, simply amounts to this;
          that they have the privilege to do right or do wrong, but the
          results of their actions God will over-rule to suit himself. "Man
          proposes but God disposes," and the history of this world, or any
          other world which has passed through a similar probation and been
          redeemed and glorified by the power of God and obedience to the
          principles of righteousness, is one vast exemplification of that
          great truth. While man is left free to propose, to adopt what
          plans he chooses, to exercise his agency, and to carry, so far as
          he is permitted, the thoughts and desires of his heart to their
          conclusion, God has never declared that He would not overrule the
          results of men's acts to accomplish His own purposes.
          We are placed in this world measurably in the dark. We no longer
          in the dark. We no longer see our Father face to face. While it
          is true that we once did; that we once stood in His presence,
          seeing as we are seen, knowing, according to our intelligence, as
          we are known; the curtain has dropped, we have changed our abode,
          we have taken upon ourselves flesh; the vail of forgetfulness
          intervenes between this life and that, and we are left, as Paul
          expresses it, to "see through a glass darkly," to "know in part
          and to prophesy in part;" to see only to a limited extent, the
          end from the beginning. We do not comprehend things in their
          fullness. But we have the promise, if we will receive and live by
          every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, wisely using the
          intelligence, the opportunities, the advantages, and the
          possessions which He continually bestows upon us--the time will
          come, in the eternal course of events, when our minds will be
          cleared from every cloud, the past will recur to memory, the
          future will be an open vision, and we will behold things as they
          are, and the past, present and future will be one eternal day, as
          it is in the eyes of God our Father, who knows neither past,
          present or future; whose course is one eternal round; who
          creates, who saves, redeems and glorifies the workmanship of His
          hands, in which He Himself is glorified. 
          The earth upon which we dwell is only one among the many
          creations of God. The stars that glitter in the heavens at night
          and give light unto the earth are His creations, redeemed worlds,
          perhaps, or worlds that are passing through the course of their
          redemption, being saved, purified, glorified and exalted by
          obedience to the principles of truth which we are now struggling
          to obey. Thus is the work of our Father made perpetual, and as
          fast as one world and its inhabitants are disposed of, He will
          roll another into existence, He will create another earth, He
          will people it with His offspring, the offspring of the Gods in
          eternity, and they will pass through probations such as we are
          now passing through, that they may prove their integrity by their
          works; that they may given an assurance to the Almighty that they
          are worthy to be exalted through obedience to those principles,
          that unchangeable plan of salvation which has been revealed to
          It is one of the grandest attributes of Deity that He saves and
          exalts the human family upon just and eternal principles; that He
          gives to no man, or no woman that which they have not been
          willing to work for, which they have not deserved, which they
          have not expanded themselves to receive by putting in practice
          the principles He reveals, against all opposition, facing the
          wrath and scorn of the world--the world which cannot give a just
          cause, a reasonable pretext for the opposition it has ever
          manifested to the truths of heaven. It is a characteristic of our
          Father, a principle of His divine economy to exact from every
          soul a fitting proof of its worthiness to attain the exaltation
          to which it aspires. There are no heights that may not be
          surmounted, but they must be reached in the way that God has
          ordained. Man may think to accomplish his salvation by carrying
          out the selfish desires of his own heart; but when he fails to
          take God into consideration, his Creator, and the framer of the
          laws whereby we mount unto exaltation and eternal life, he knocks
          the ladder from under him whereby he might climb to that glorious
          The exclusiveness which the Latter-day Saints exhibit is this:
          they maintain that the Lord has but one way to save the human
          race; that the term "everlasting gospel" is not a misnomer, but
          means exactly what it says, and that it is eternal as its maker
          or framer is eternal. It can no more change than He can change. A
          man must obey the same principles now that were obeyed two
          thousand years ago, or six thousand years ago, or millions of
          ages ago, in order to attain the presence of His Father and God.
          There is but one way, one plan of life and salvation, and there
          need be but one; for God, being an economist, does not create
          that which is superfluous; and there can be, in the very nature
          of things, only one true plan of eternal life, for if there were
          two they must necessarily differ, since no two things can be
          exactly alike, and if one of these two things is perfect, that
          which differs from it, must be imperfect. Of a necessity God is
          the author of perfection; His works are not deficient in any
          respect; and what He ordains for the salvation of man is the only
          way for man to be saved. Thus it is that the Latter-day Saints
          preach the everlasting Gospel, the unchangeable way of eternal
          life, and to corroborate it, they point to the Scriptures which
          are now being fulfilled. Among other things, to the vision of the
          Prophet John upon the isle of Patmos, who saw "another angel fly
          in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach
          unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and
          kindred and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear
          God and give glory to Him for the hour of his judgment is come."
          This is the exclusiveness of the Latter-day Saints; it is as far
          as it extends. There is but one way to eternal life, and while
          there are many systems extant called plans of salvation, yet they
          differ from each other as the stars of heaven differ in
          magnitude, or as the sands of the sea-shore, or as the
          countenances of the children of men; nay, more than this, for
          most of them are lacking in features which are necessary in order
          to form a perfect whole. If the Latter-day Saints are in
          possession of the everlasting Gospel, all sects, creeds and
          parties that preach a gospel which differs from it, must be
          wrong; or vice versa, if the Saints preach any other Gospel than
          that which was preached in the days of the apostles, which was
          delivered to them by the Sons of God, then the Latter-day Saints
          must be wrong also.
          The selfishness which this people exhibit is of the same
          character that might be evinced in the case of a man who was lost
          and had the right way pointed out to him by another. If a
          traveler had lost his way and should meet one who professed to
          know the direction he desired to pursue; or, if the traveler
          should ask which was the way to such and such a place, and the
          guide should tell him, and he in his self-will and obstinacy
          should persist in taking a contrary course, how in the name of
          consistency could he blame his guide if he did not reach his
          destination; or how could he charge him with being selfish or
          presumptuous, when he himself confessed his ignorance and
          appealed to this man who testified in all earnestness that he
          knew which was the right way? Yet this is similar to the position
          of the world in relation to the Latter-day Saints, who solemnly
          testify that the God of heaven has revealed to them the only way
          of life and salvation, a claim which no other sect, church or
          party advance at the present time. They deny revelation; they say
          the heavens are closed; that God no longer speaks to the human
          family; that He has left them with a Bible, the record of a
          people who are dead; which speaks of commandments given to an
          ancient people, who like ourselves were the children of God. This
          is the claim of the Christian world--that this book is the canon
          of scripture, and that it is full, and we need no more
          revelation, no more light than is contained within the lids of
          this book. They take that position, and yet say we are exclusive,
          we are presumptuous, narrow-minded and contracted, because we
          testify that God does speak, and has revealed a newer revelation
          than this Bible which I hold.
          It is true that our testifying of this does not make it true, in
          and of itself. Nevertheless, men are responsible if they do not
          carefully weigh and consider the testimonies of those who claim
          to have more light than they have. I would hold myself ready, as
          a speaker after truth, if not certain that I already possessed
          it, and I hold myself ready now, while believing that my feet are
          planted upon the rock of truth, and that this is the only Gospel
          of the Lord Jesus Christ; to pay due respect to the honest
          opinions of my fellow creatures, proving all things and holding
          fast that which is good. If the Christian world shall bring forth
          something better, if they have it, or ever will have it, than
          Mormonism, I hope I will not be so bigoted as to turn a deaf ear
          to their honest testimonies, claiming that I have light already,
          and that I want no more light. I would at least examine their
          professions, whatever they were, and try them by "the law and the
          testimony;" for if men "speak not according to that, it is
          because there is no light in them."
          The Bible is a blessing; we do not depreciate its value, for it
          enables us to meet the Christian world upon their own ground,
          using this Bible as the touch-stone of truth, in relation to
          their doctrines and those that we advance, which are taught and
          confirmed by this very Book in which Christians profess to
          believe. There is no doctrine preached or believed by the
          Latter-day Saints, but they can find confirmatory proof of its
          authenticity within the lids of the Holy Bible; and when their
          views are not received, and they are laughed to scorn and derided
          by the Christian world, it is simply an acknowledgement on the
          part of those who mistreat them that they do not believe their
          own Bible, that they have no faith in the record which they claim
          is all-sufficient--the be-all and the end-all of revelation. They
          profess great reverence for this good Book, yet they do not
          believe or practice what it inculcates. It is a prevalent idea in
          the world, with those who are in possession of the Scriptures,
          that it is only necessary to believe on the name of the Son of
          God, and that constitutes salvation, taking I suppose as a basis
          for it, the Scriptural passage which declares that "God so loved
          the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever
          should believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting
          life." Now, we take this position. We hold that belief in God and
          the Savior of mankind is absolutely essential to salvation. But
          we do not stop there. We claim that if men believe in Jesus
          Christ they will keep the commandments; they will live His laws;
          they will not repudiate any of the doctrines He preached; they
          will not say baptism is unessential; that Apostles and Prophets
          are no longer needed; they will not wrest the Scriptures; they
          will not say the blessings of the Holy Ghost are done away with;
          they will not say it is not in the province of inspired men
          bearing the Holy Priesthood to cast out devils, to speak in new
          tongues, to lay hands upon the sick and administer those
          spiritual blessings as they are empowered by the Priesthood
          bestowed upon them for that purpose. The Christian world would
          not repudiate these things if they believed their own Bible; for
          I nowhere read within the lids of this sacred volume that the
          time would ever come, except through transgression and apostacy,
          when these things would be done away with, and it would be said
          they were no longer needed.
          It is true that the Apostles of old predicted there would come a
          time when men would wander from the truth, when they would heap
          to themselves teachers, and have itching ears, desiring to hear
          simply the things which suited their selfish natures; that the
          day would come when they would not endure sound doctrine, but
          would hire teachers to preach for the commandments of God the
          precepts of men; when the world would be turned upside down and
          be emptied of its inhabitants, because they had transgressed the
          law, changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant.
          This was to be the condition of the world when these gifts and
          blessings would be said to be no longer needed. They could no
          longer lay claim to them because they would persecute, oppress
          and put to death those who preached sound doctrine; and having
          destroyed the temporal Church from the face of the earth, its
          spiritual counterpart would necessarily depart, just as naturally
          as the spirit of man will depart when the body ceases to live.
          The body is but a lump of clay without the enlivening agency of
          the spirit within it. When the body returns to dust, the spirit
          is free to soar away. When the body of Christ was dead, the
          spirit returned to God, passed into the spirit world. So it is
          with the Church, which is called the body of Christ. Kill the
          temporal Church, and the spirit Church will take its departure;
          it will be received into the heavens.
          This is our belief; that the Christian Church, established in the
          days of Christ and His Apostles, apostatized and turned from the
          truth, it became paganized, mixed up with the religion and
          traditions of pagan Rome, and that that is the cause of this wide
          diversity of beliefs and conjectures, these many forms of
          godliness, denying the power thereof; which are said to be the
          Church of Christ, yet bear little or no semblance to the Church
          which He established; all claiming to be one, yet divided
          innumerably; to have the same Gospel, yet not able to stand the
          test of comparison with the Gospel preached in former days;
          claiming the same power, yet repudiating and denying that power
          and trampling upon those who still maintain that it ought to
          exist. This is the consistency of the position of the opponents
          of "Mormonism," which claims to be the old Gospel brought back
          again, the old Church resurrected, no new religion, no new plan,
          but simply the everlasting Gospel revealed anew.
          I might occupy your time citing evidences almost innumerable to
          show how the Christian world have departed from the teachings of
          this sacred Book. I might appeal to it, also, to confirm the
          teachings of the Latter-day Saints. It is an old story, many
          times told, and perhaps I had better not dilate upon it this
          afternoon. Suffice it that we claim that God has spoken from
          heaven; that He has re-opened the long-closed portals of
          eternity, and has raised up a people to usher in the dispensation
          of Gospel grace as He has headed every dispensation as He has
          headed every dispensation which has preceded it; raising up
          inspired men to do His bidding; to preach to the world the
          principles of everlasting life; to establish upon the earth a
          system which will foreshadow and usher in the millennial reign of
          universal peace and righteousness. We believe that we are living
          in the last days; that these are the days when God said He would
          perform a marvelous work and a wonder; that He would set His hand
          the second time to recover the remnant of his people; that He
          would gather them from the north and from the south, from the
          east and from the west, and would bring them to Zion, and give
          them pastors after His own heart, to teach them the law of the
          Lord, and that the law should go forth from Zion to the
          inhabitants of the earth, and the word of the Lord from
          We believe that we are living in the evening of history, that we
          are closing the Saturday of the great week, each day of which is
          a thousand years, the period preordained in which this earth
          should accomplish the purpose appointed by its creator. We
          believe that when God spake to Adam and told Him he should die in
          the day that He partook of the forbidden fruit, that He kept His
          word, and that Adam did die within the day; but it was not a day
          of twenty-four hours, one revolution of our little earth; the day
          of which He spake was based upon a revolution of the planet upon
          which God dwells, which we are taught revolves once in a thousand
          years. This world was appointed a probation through which to
          pass, six working days, before it should have a rest, or sabbath.
          We believe we are living in the Saturday night of this world's
          history, that we are closing the six thousand years of its mortal
          probation, and that the dawn of the seventh day, or the seventh
          thousand years, now nearly upon us, will be the millennium, the
          reign of peace, when Christ the Ruler and Lord of this world, who
          labored and suffered and died to redeem its inhabitants from
          death, will be here in His glory to reign upon the earth King
          over His people and over the human race.
          These simple truths, most of which are plainly spoken of in this
          holy word of God, the Bible, are distorted by the enemies of the
          Saints to indicate that they are treasonable to the government
          under which they live. They say we are traitors because we speak
          of the Kingdom of God; that a kingdom cannot exist within a
          republic; that it is imperium in imperio; that there is no room
          in this broad land for the Kingdom of our God. They might as well
          say there is no room in Christianity for the love of God. Why,
          this great government was established for the very purpose of
          introducing this work. Inspired men like Washington and Jefferson
          were raised up to frame a Constitution liberal in its provisions,
          extending the utmost freedom to all men, Christian or heathen,
          who desired to make this glorious land their home; that they
          might have the unrestricted right to worship God according to the
          dictates of their consciences. We believe that God raised up
          George Washington, that He raised up Thomas Jefferson, that He
          raised up Benjamin Franklin and those other patriots who carved
          out with their swords and with their pens the character and
          stability of this great government which they hoped would stand
          forever, an asylum for the oppressed of all nations, where no
          man's religion would be questioned, no man would be limited in
          his honest service to his Maker, so long as he did not infringe
          upon the rights of his fellow men. We believe those men were
          inspired to do their work, as we do that Joseph Smith was
          inspired to begin this work; just as Galileo, Columbus, and other
          mighty men of old, whom I have no time to mention, were inspired
          to gradually pave the way leading to this dispensation;
          sentinels, standing at different periods of down the centuries,
          playing their parts as they were inspired of God; gradually
          freeing the human mind from error, gradually dispelling the
          darkness as they were empowered by their Creator so to do, that
          in culmination of the grand scheme of schemes, this great nation,
          the Republic of the United States, might be established upon this
          land as an asylum for the oppressed; a resting place, it might be
          said, for the Ark of the covenant, where the temple of our God
          might be built; where the plan of salvation might be introduced
          and practiced in freedom, and not a dog would wag his tongue in
          opposition to the purposes of the Almighty. We believe that this
          was His object in creating the Republic of the United States; the
          only land where his work could be commenced or the feet of his
          people find rest. No other land had such liberal institutions,
          had adopted so broad a platform upon which all men might stand.
          We give glory to those patriots for the noble work they did; but
          we give the first glory to God, our Father and their Father, who
          inspired them. We take them by the hand as brothers. We believe
          they did nobly their work, even as we would fain do ours,
          faithfully and well, that we might not be recreant in the eyes of
          God, for failing to perform the mission to which He has appointed
          This is the "treason" of the Latter-day Saints. They preach the
          coming of the King of Kings, whom all Christians ought to
          worship; whom all Christians ought to welcome; and instead of
          passing laws to prohibit, and prevent, if possible, the growth of
          this work, which has as its object the blessing of all mankind,
          they should join hands with the Latter-day Saints in consummating
          it; for as sure as there is a God in heaven it is His work, and
          He will accomplish it. Haling men before magistrates; immuring
          them in dungeons; driving them from city to city, or shedding
          their blood, will no more stamp out this work than it will blot
          out the glory of the sun. They who take up the sword to fight
          against Zion will perish by the sword before she perishes; they
          who leave God out of the question in dealing with the "Mormon
          problem" will find before they get through that it is suicide to
          run against Jehovah's buckler.
          We, to all appearances are helpless. We make no boast of our own
          strength. We are only a handful in the midst of millions. But God
          has given us a mission to perform. We can no more shrink from
          that mission than the fathers of the revolution could shrink from
          theirs. That indeed would be treason, treason to God, treason to
          humanity, and we should justify the charges which are now so
          utterly false. We might be complimented, "patted upon the back,"
          if we would play the part of traitors and recreants, but we
          cannot afford to buy the compliments of the world, the good
          opinion of mankind, at such a terrible sacrifice. Men who died to
          found this nation, have their names held in everlasting
          remembrance, while the name of the traitor, who would have
          betrayed his country, and deserted it in the hour of peril, is
          loaded with opprobrium. He lived while many of the patriots died;
          but who are living to-day in the true sense of the term? The name
          of the patriot will live forever, because he had the courage to
          die for his convictions; but the name of the traitor will go down
          to oblivion, because to save himself he deserted in the hour of
          danger the cause of his country, thinking it was of no use to
          stand up against the great power which had lifted its mighty arm
          to crush out the colonies. We think of these things, but we do
          not propose to fight. We are a people who have peace as our
          object--the ushering in of a reign of peace. We are a people who
          build temples. We must not imbrue our hands in blood. But it is
          not through fear of man that the Latter-day Saints take this
          position. They have shown their bravery; they have proved their
          courage by coming out of the world and forsaking it, patiently
          enduring its scorn and opposition; it is a braver part sometimes
          to live than to die.
          There are sacrifices which would try the souls of some men more
          than to face death in a thousand forms. But the Latter-day Saints
          have taken a stand; they cannot recede from it with honor. They
          are prepared to meet the consequences, and leave the result in
          the hands of God. We do not look to man for our preservation. If
          there is no God in "Mormonism" then it will fail, then will our
          minds be undeceived; but if there is a God in it, woe! to those
          who fight against Him, who fight against their Creator, and
          suppose that they can trample upon the rights of their fellow-men
          and not endanger their own rights and liberties as well.
          The old fable which Aesop tells of the woodman who went into the
          forest to get a handle for his axe, describes accurately the
          position in which we find ourselves. The woodman went and
          consulted the trees of the forest, asking them to give him a
          handle for his axe. The other trees, the stronger ones,
          arrogating to themselves authority and ignoring the rights of
          others, thought that they could dispose of them as they pleased.
          They conferred together and decided to grant the request, and
          they gave to the woodman the ash. The ash fell; but the woodman
          had no sooner fitted the handle to his axe, than he began upon
          the other trees. He did not stop with the ash, but he hewed down
          the oaks and the cedars, and the great and mighty monarchs of the
          forest who had surrendered in their pride, the rights of the
          humble ash. An old oak was heard to complain to a neighboring
          cedar, "if we had not given away the rights of the ash we might
          have stood forever; but we have surrendered to the destroyer the
          rights of one, and now we are suffering from the same evil
          This nation may think that it is strong enough--powerful
          enough--to treat the people of Utah as they please. They are; we
          do not pretend to compare with them so far as that is concerned.
          But if there is any truth in eternal justice; if there is such a
          thing as retribution, woe! be unto this forest of States if they
          surrender into the hands of tyranny the rights of the Utah ash!
          It cannot be done with safety. If they trample upon the rights of
          their fellow men, there must come a time in the eternal
          revolutions of the wheels of justice when their own necks will be
          beneath the tyrant's heel. They will suffer themselves from the
          laws they have passed against the maligned, misunderstood,
          down-trodden people of Utah. I hope to God, as an American
          patriot, that this never need come. I hope the eyes of this
          nation will be opened, that they may see the danger in which they
          stand from afar; but if I were a prophet I would prophesy in the
          name of God that if they give away our rights, if they trample
          upon our liberties, and surrender us as a sacrifice to popular
          clamor, the day will come when their own necks will feel the
          galling yoke; the laws they pass now to deprive us of our rights
          as American citizens, will deprive them of their rights, and they
          will drink the cup heaped up, pressed down, and running over. I
          hope this never need be; but I dare predict it on that condition,
          in all humility, with no spirit of treason, or of ill will to my
          country; but with a feeling of sorrow that some of our
          fellow-citizens have it in their hearts to treat us in this cruel
          We are a people of peace. We only desire to be let alone to
          accomplish our mission in peace. God would not permit us to build
          temples, any more than He permitted David, if we imbrued our
          hands in blood. David was forbidden to build the temple of God at
          Jerusalem, because he had been a man of blood. It was reserved
          for his son Solomon, a man of peace, to build the temple. So it
          is with us. We will not need to fight, we do not propose to take
          up arms, we do not desire and will not be compelled to shed the
          blood of our fellow-men. We may have our own blood shed in
          instances, though the work of God will not be trampled out; but
          we will let them monopolize that part; they may shed our blood,
          but we must not shed theirs. We must build temples to the honor
          of our God, and administer in them for the salvation of the
          living and the dead; and thus go onward, spreading peace, pouring
          oil upon the troubled waters; and while there will be wars and
          rumors of wars, while nation will clash against nation and go
          down in the whirlpool of fury, the Latter-day Saints must preach
          peace on earth and good will to men, and be exemplars in all
          righteousness; seeking to let their light so shine that the glory
          of God will radiate from them to others.
          This is the treason which we preach. We desire to benefit our
          country; benefit our fellow-citizens; benefit our fellow-men. We
          believe this world is the Lord's, and that He is coming to reign
          upon it as it is His right to reign. I care not how soon it is
          accomplished. The reign of Christ will rob no man of his rights;
          no righteous government need fear it; neither the United States,
          nor the nations of Europe, if their consciences are clear, need
          dread the coming of the King of Kings. They must acknowledge if
          they are Christian nations, that they owe their allegiance to Him
          whose right it is to reign. They should be proud to lay their
          crowns and sceptres at His feet, and acknowledge Him to be Lord
          of Lords, and crown Him King of Kings.
          This is a glance at the mission of the Latter-day Saints. These
          are some of the views we cherish and which we cannot recede from;
          we would be unworthy of our lineage as the sons and daughters of
          Abraham, the sons and daughters of Liberty, if we should forsake
          the things for which our forefathers lived and died, and suffered
          all manner of persecution. We leave the issue with God. Let the
          world persecute us, if they desire to assume that responsibility;
          we will seek to return good for evil. When they come with the
          sword we will meet them with the olive branch. We will say peace
          on earth when they have war on earth. We will do our duty as God
          shall give us strength, and leave the result with Him who
          over-rules the acts of all men and all nations for the ultimate
          redemption of the human family, of which we are some of the
          humble representatives.
          May God speed the day. May He bless those who are persecuted, who
          are driven and imprisoned for righteousness' sake. May He bless
          the honest, the good, the pure and the patriotic among the
          American people; the honest and the upright among all the
          nations, who desire to enjoy their own rights and liberties, and
          are willing that others should enjoy theirs. May God bless all
          fair-minded people, and may He have mercy upon those who seek to
          trample upon the rights of their fellow creatures, and oppose the
          great and glorious purposes which have been foreordained. This is
          my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / Moses
          Thatcher, April 13, 1885
                           Moses Thatcher, April 13, 1885
                         REMARKS BY APOSTLE MOSES THATCHER,
                           Delivered in Logan Tabernacle,
                               Sunday, April 13, 1885.
                              Reported by F. E. Barker.
                                      YIELD TO
          MY brethren and sisters, I have spoken but little in public
          during the past three months. And without the assistance of your
          faith and prayers, through the medium of which I may enjoy a
          portion of the Holy Spirit, to direct my mind and inspire my
          thought, I have no wish to address you this afternoon. I believe,
          however, that I appreciate the privilege of meeting with, and of
          enjoying your society once more, and I am especially delighted to
          hear again the sweet melody of the choir, and rejoice in
          listening to the testimony of my brethren; but beyond and above
          all these things, I am grateful for another peaceful opportunity
          of partaking of the sacrament with the Saints; for as often as we
          do so worthily, we renew our covenants with our Heavenly Father,
          and receive the promise of the Holy Spirit through whom comes
          communion with God. To us such communion is worth more than all
          earthly things. Men devote their time and talents--the best
          energy and deepest devotion of their lives in the acquirement of
          perishable wealth; and of which, when acquired, they often make
          golden gods to pay homage and soulless worship to, imagining that
          in these things are found fame, honor, worldly glory and earthly
          happiness. Gold, when compared with the riches of eternity,
          becomes almost valueless, and yet it is the creation of God, and
          no man has ever brought an ounce of it into the world, nor can he
          take a grain of it out of the world. But notwithstanding this
          fact known to all, men for its brief possession willingly
          encounter untold dangers, in traversing deserts, climbing
          mountains, navigating seas, and battling with angry waves; they
          willingly endure the heats of torrid and the colds of frigid
          zones, often sacrificing the endearments of home and friends, and
          sometimes truth and honor. Created by the Almighty, gold, when
          honestly acquired, becomes a means of ministering to the comfort
          and convenience of man; but there is that which the Lord bestows
          upon the honest, obedient and good, of far higher value. The Holy
          Ghost, the Comforter, hath the power of peace and bestows
          salvation upon obedient humanity, regardless of their earthly
          surroundings. Let us, therefore, secure the Holy Ghost, and in
          the testimony of the Father and of the Son which He alone
          bestows, we shall have secured the "pearl of great price," which
          the world can neither give nor take away. Let us gain the
          constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and the doctrines of
          the Priesthood will distil upon our minds as the dews of heaven,
          and the gates that lead to peace and happiness in time and in
          eternity will, by the power and authority of his keys, stand wide
          open for us to pass through to exaltation, dominion and glory.
          Since the beginning of the new year I have been almost constantly
          on the move, having, during that time, traveled a distance almost
          equal to that of half the earth's circumference; most of it being
          by rail, but at least a thousand miles was accomplished with
          teams, on horseback and on foot. I have examined a country never
          before seen by me, consisting of waterless, timberless plains,
          and mountains rugged, wild, and uninhabited. During my absence,
          my reflections have been mainly in reference to the future
          destiny of the Saints of the Most High. And these reflections
          have led me to note the striking attachment they have manifested
          of late years for countries "exalted above the hills." In our
          choice of locations we cling to the mountains as naturally as a
          child to the bosom of its mother. As during our infancy we have
          clung to them, learning to love their crags, canyons and valleys,
          so, I believe, we shall continue in them until we grow strong,
          and be able not only to stand erect, but to walk forth with
          godlike dignity at least respected, if not honored by all
          peoples. We are not strong now. We are weak and few in numbers.
          But there is much in the training we are receiving calculated to
          make our posterity strong physically and bright intellectually.
          In illustration of a part of this training I am reminded of some
          of the remarks of the last speaker, Elder Villet, who recently
          returned from an Italian mission. On reaching his native land,
          according to his statement, he found the food offered him
          exceedingly distasteful, but later he ate it with relish. Hunger
          changed and improved his appetite. That hunger was the result of
          deprivation. And in like manner, love of liberty and a keen
          relish for its blessings are intensified by the constant
          encroachments made upon our rights by those who little dream
          that, in sowing to the wind they will have to reap the whirlwind,
          when their rights will, also, not only be invaded, but taken away
          from them; for the measure which they meet to others will, in the
          eternal justice of God, be measured back to them. The Almighty
          hath decreed it. Who can prevent its fulfillment?
          In further illustration, I am reminded of a well known elder in
          the Church whose name in this connection I feel not at liberty to
          mention, but who, gathering with others from England to Zion,
          became, in the course of years, wealthy and cultivated, as many
          having abundant means do. Luxurious habits of living finally
          satiated his appetite, and he went back to old England,
          anticipating among other things to enjoy, when there again, the
          famous "roast beef" of his native land, the like of which, in his
          opinion, this country did not, and never could produce. After
          searching in vain he declared, on coming back here, that there
          was no beef in England half so good as that raised in Utah. Had
          the beef of that country deteriorated? No, but our English
          brother's appetite, through being pampered, had. Had he eaten it
          once a week, as was doubtless his former habit, instead of three
          times a day, as is too frequently the custom here, the difference
          in quality of English beef had perhaps remained undiscovered by
          him until this day. In parallel, who shall declare that blessings
          so abundantly flowing to our nation from blood-bought freedom and
          human liberty bestowed without stint from heaven, have not
          pampered the average American's appetite or relish for blessings
          that men of other ages have fought to establish and longed to
          Ponder this matter carefully, deeply, and you will find few
          truths more apparent. Consult railway, banking and commercial
          kings; statesmen, philosophers, priests and people, and then note
          the voice of pulpit and press, and you will find an indifference
          born of pride that plainly, unmistakably, indicates that the
          rights and liberties for the securing of which our fathers
          pledged their fortunes, honor and lives, are now received by
          their children, in most instances, as inherent blessings flowing
          as a natural consequence rather than as gifts for which daily
          gratitude is due.
          Not so with the Saints. They of all people on earth are most
          appreciative, most grateful. And why? The answer is simple: their
          most sacred rights being daily encroached upon, their
          conscientious convictions sneered at, their religious privileges
          trampled under foot, and even the domain of their heaven-inspired
          thought invaded, they could not if they would fail to regard with
          intense appreciation and undying love the bequests of the
          fathers. The very threats, as well as the attempts of the wicked
          to deprive them of blessings wrung from tyrants by revolutionary
          sires, will but teach the Saints more accurately to estimate, by
          the cost, their value; and your high estimate being transmitted
          to your children, will bud, bloom and ripen into most glorious
          fruit, as delicious and sweet as that produced when first the
          tree of liberty was moistened with the blood of patriots. Let
          others therefore become pampered, gluttons, if they will, but for
          us and our children, fewer privileges well appreciated, are
          better than many, without gratitude.
          Impress these things upon the minds of our children, and among
          these mountains will grow up a race of free men whose views will
          be broad, high, and deep enough to appreciate liberty themselves,
          and to wish to have all others enjoy its blessings. By contrast,
          they will learn this and much more. If they taste the bitter the
          sweet will be to them all the more agreeable.
          You who for years have had peaceful possession of homes with
          society of families and friends, can greatly increase your
          estimation of such blessings by going abroad occasionally. I have
          tried it many times, always, I trust, with profit. And yet
          wherever I go it has been my good fortune to find friends. There
          may be present those who may think, "if we have friends abroad,
          why don't they speak out in our favor using their influence to
          stop the persecutions of the wicked against us?" A pertinent
          query, perhaps, but I am not quite sure that the Lord wants them
          stopped; indeed I rather incline to think otherwise. And while
          there are thousands and hundreds of thousands of people in the
          midst of the Christian world who, if left to their own agency,
          would be just, generous, and good men worthy of the blessings of
          the Lord, but who to-day are surrounded by circumstances which
          they can neither control, nor have they the moral courage to even
          combat. And for this reason they dare not publicly express their
          sympathy for, nor utter a protest against the wrongs heaped upon
          us. but notwithstanding this condition, which all must concede to
          be deplorable, let us have charity, remembering that moral
          courage is heaven-born and so precious that the world has at no
          period of its history ever been over-stocked with it. It is a
          sentiment that which none is more noble, beautiful or grand,
          emanating from God it abides not in an ignoble, quaking heart.
          Demanding what the truly courageous alone can give,
          self-sacrifice, moral courage numbers in her ranks at no time
          vast multitudes. It is a sentiment of which, at not time, even
          among us, have we had too much; but wherever found it shines
          brightly like a star of the first magnitude, like a diamond of
          the first water that cannot be successfully imitated.
          A man with right convictions and the courage to stand by them in
          life and death hath moral courage, stamina, and the help of God.
          Testing its quality we will find it here as elsewhere, good; too
          good indeed to abide with those whose acts are predicated not on
          principles of justice, equity and truth. He who possesses moral
          courage weighs according to equity, unbiased by popular clamor,
          unswerved by private prejudice. In trying cases he judges cases,
          not men, and on this principle Satan himself, tried before such a
          judge, would stand the same chance to get justice as would an
          angel of God. And, by parity of reason, an angel would stand as
          good a chance to get justice as would a veritable devil, although
          a discussion of that kind might innovate modern jurisprudence as
          practiced in some countries not far distant from here. Now, let
          me, if I can, bring this matter home to your hearts. Suppose
          judgment without appeal was irrevocably placed in your hands with
          none to say, why do you so? Now imagine in your midst a
          despicable character, a Judas Iscariot, ready to betray for
          thirty pieces of silver, or to gratify a hatred born of hell,
          your best friends--the servants of the Lord, or, Benedict Arnold
          like, sell human liberty, God's best heritage, for gold. Popular
          clamor demands punishment, and at the same time brands the
          accused as traitor, apostate; an assassin of good character, a
          murderer of peace and good order. Now bring him to judgment
          without malice, without bias, protecting him from insult while
          giving him every right, every privilege, every immunity
          guaranteed by the law of God and man and pass upon his case, not
          upon him nor his reputation, according to the rule of equity
          without fear of popular criticism or condemnation, and you have
          demonstrated in actual practice what a beautiful and heavenly
          thing moral courage is. Without it God would cease to be God.
          Without it we cannot be His people. He who habitually sacrifices
          principle at the shrine of policy or power, cannot be a Saint.
          Unless those who rule, govern, control and judge under the rules
          and restrictions of principle, the liberties of those who are
          subject to them are constantly endangered. And here let me say
          that public opinion is often the worst tyrant this world has ever
          known. It crucified Christ, killed His disciples, martyred Joseph
          and Hyrum, drove the Saints into these mountains and continues to
          track them as persistently and unrelentingly as bloodhounds ever
          tracked fugitive slave. Avoid therefore at home and abroad, the
          seductive influence of the hateful tyrant, public opinion, which,
          wrought to frenzy by popular clamor, is always dangerous, often
          Planting your feet firmly on principles of eternal justice,
          emanating from God, the billows of hate, born of envy, and
          malice, will beat and foam harmlessly about you. And, when
          judgment shall be given into your hands, friend and foe, Pagan
          and Christian, white and black, Saint and sinner, will alike
          receive evenhanded justice, which here let me say, never has been
          and never will be bestowed under the pressure and bias of public
          opinion, or by men claiming to be a law unto themselves. Place
          moral courage in the judgment seat and the Saint, as to
          righteousness of judgment has no advantage over the most wicked
          apostate sinner on earth, their rights being held equally sacred.
          The reason this high moral, god-like plan has not long since been
          reached, is because of human imperfections and the darkness that
          clouds and narrows the souls of men. We as the Saints of the Most
          High God, having received the light, should struggle upward until
          we reach it; and when we do, then, and not until then will the
          Almighty give us dominion, rule and government. When we are
          prepared to exercise judgment in righteousness the Lord will
          mightily increase our influence and power, and millions will
          flock to the standard of Zion to avoid oppression and wrong
          This being among the greatest of all the great lessons that God
          has decreed we shall learn, I say speed the means by which we may
          most readily accomplish the task. If persecutions, unjust
          judgments, imprisonments and martyrdoms, be the means, let us
          receive them not with feelings of delight because of the woes
          that will surely come upon those who inflict these things upon
          us, but because the standards of value are established by the
          cost of things received, and by this rule we know that no good
          thing has ever come into this world without having cost the equal
          of its value. Nor has any great thought or noble idea ever been
          introduced that had not to fight its way inch by inch. Think of
          what the principles of the everlasting Gospel, that are freely
          given, has without money, without price, cost? Agony that caused
          the Son of God to sweat great drops of blood. And that being too
          little, He must needs be insulted, spat upon, scourged, adjudged
          to die, and that, too, by a heathen who knew Him to be innocent
          of crime, and finally He was ignominiously crucified by those
          whom He came to save. Humiliated, deprived of judgment and
          sacrificed, the Lamb of God descended beneath all things that He
          might arise above all things, leading captivity captive and
          giving gifts to men, while holding the keys of death, hell, and
          the grave.
          Had Christ been unable to accomplish that foreordained work, this
          world would forever have remained without a Redeemer. Expiring on
          the cross, amide the taunts and jeers of the wicked, in the agony
          of death, crying: "Why hast Thou forsaken me," yet was He, being
          the spotless Son of God, able to say, "Father forgive them, for
          they know not what they do." 
          No shadow of hatred, no tinge of revenge, can be found in that
          inspired sentence. From its utterance, under those terrible
          circumstances, let us learn what He then taught so clearly,
          namely: That we cannot hate man, however wicked and cruel he may
          be, and love God at the same time. As an aid to the comprehension
          of this great truth, it may be well to remember that man, however
          low and debased we may find him in this world of trial, is not
          naturally vicious, nor would he of his own inclinations seek to
          destroy human agency. God made man, and he is, therefore,
          naturally good. But, under the influences of him who rebelled in
          heaven, his judgment warps, his heart hardens, his whole nature
          changes, and, while hatred misplaces love, envy, malice and
          jealousy supplant in his heart the nobler sentiments of justice,
          mercy and charity. The sea captain who unselfishly, and without
          hope of earthly reward, placed the life boats and as many of the
          helpless and weak as they would safely hold in charge of his
          under officer and, with the stranger, remained and nobly went
          down with his ship, was the natural man. The ignoble, selfish,
          unnatural man would desire to save his own worthless life, at the
          expense and sacrifice of untold numbers of others.
          The natural woman clings to her husband, keeping sacred the
          covenants made with him, and loving with undying affection the
          fruits of the union. The unnatural wife and mother is true to
          neither. Cain as the murderer of his brother, was an unnatural
          man whose soul was sold to Satan under the provisions of an
          unholy alliance. And where men steal, rob, commit whoredom, bear
          false witness, inflict unlawful, cruel punishments, and kill,
          they, too, have listed to obey him whom they serve. But,
          notwithstanding all this we should never forget that all such,
          however debased, corrupt, wicked and low, kept their first estate
          by fighting in heaven against him, whom, by reason of darkness
          and destructive influence, they now willingly serve. Let us
          remember how the angels' song of rejoicing when the "accuser of
          his brethren" was cast out of heaven, as turned into lamentation
          when they beheld the sorrows and woes he would bring upon the
          inhabitants of the earth, by reason of his trachery, deceit and
          cruel murders. When we look upon the dark, sinful works of men
          ever tearing down and destroying but never building up and
          saving; when we think of those who rack their brains vainly
          trying to stop the onward progress of God's work; when we think
          of proscriptive, special retroactive laws, and those who enacted
          them, of mission jurists who condemn with malice, of test-oath
          commissioners who fetter the innocent and free the guilty, of
          governors who trample beneath their feet the liberties and rights
          of a people with whom they have no interest and for whom they
          have no compassion, of marshals who fraternize with criminals
          while putting spotters and spies on the track of men good and
          true, who to save their lives would commit no dishonorable act;
          of juries packed and pledged to convict, and of Christian
          ministers who gloat and glory in, and hound all this on, how
          should we feel.
          We should feel, while despising their wicked ways, that they who
          do them are the children of God upon whom Satan hath laid his
          hand hoping to ruin both body and soul, and cast them down to
          hell. Can we behold their wickedness, endure their aggressions,
          persecutions and malice, without hating them? If so we are
          Saints. If we cannot, are we not sinners?
          Read the vision of the three glories and learn that a
          compassionate Father has decreed that even these shall not be
          cast into outer darkness, but shall be saved with a glory beyond,
          far beyond the comprehension of the finite mind.
          There is but one class of human beings whom God hath decreed
          shall endure eternal punishment, utter and everlasting
          condemnation, and they are the "sons of perdition." How few,
          thank God, will be their numbers and, correspondingly how
          fruitless and barren after all will be the efforts of Satan to
          frustrate the designs of the Almighty in his glorious plan of
          human redemption!
          You, my brethren and sisters, know what constitutes a "son of
          perdition." To become such, a man, by the testimony of the Holy
          Ghost, must know that God the Father and Jesus the Son live, and
          are the authors of salvation. Belief is insufficient, positive
          knowledge is necessary. I say that this which I hold in my hand
          is a book. Do I base the statement on belief or knowledge? I do
          not believe it to be, I know it to be a book. And my testimony to
          the fact would be taken everywhere, because if required to state
          how I know this to be a book I could say I see the binding,
          paper, and imprint of the type. I tap the lids and leaves and
          hear sounds. I smell the binding, paper and ink. I put them to my
          lips and tongue and taste them, and with my hands and fingers
          feel them. Thus all my senses combined furnish evidence that
          together give indisputable knowledge; and yet the testimony, the
          turning away from which, and thereafter denying the efficacy of
          the atoning blood of Jesus, putting him, after having positive
          knowledge, to an open shame again, is as much stronger than my
          testimony that this is a book, as God is stronger than man. In
          the one instance, knowledge is founded on the evidence of the
          five senses--seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling; in
          the other, every faculty of the soul, every fibre of the body,
          receives testimony direct from God, through the Holy Ghost, and
          he who after having received, denies it, sins against light just
          as much as Satan did when his ambition and pride led him to rebel
          against God; and no power in heaven, on earth or in hell can keep
          such a man out of the realms of the damned, where he has, in the
          exercise of his own agency, elected to go. People without this
          knowledge cannot be damned; those with it should be if they turn
          away and deny it. Those who persecute and hate this people, have
          it not, and while they may have to dwell without the gates of the
          holy city, among dogs, liars, thieves and whoremongers, they
          cannot be damned in the literal sense, as we understand eternal
          condemnation, forever hid from the face of a merciful but just
          Father. Think of these things, ye Latter-day Saints, who expect
          to come up through much tribulation while your garments are being
          washed white in the blood of the Lamb. Chains and fetters may
          bind your limbs, and the rack and wheel of the Spanish
          inquisition may be revived to torture your bodies, but prison
          walls have never yet been made thick enough, nor iron bars strong
          enough to keep a good man's prayers from ascending to his God.
          And if He wills to let trials and difficulties gather around us,
          they are but for our good. Offences must needs come, but woe to
          those by whom they come. I love my family and the Latter-day
          Saints with my whole heart, and enjoy their society beyond
          measure, and yet as a test, God may require the sacrifice of
          their society temporarily, and that my heart remain unhardened.
          Let the wicked do what they may, remember we cannot hate man and
          love God at the same time. Love of God banishes or consumes
          hatred as electricity consumes iron.
          While in the city of San Francisco recently, I witnessed an
          exhibition of the incandescent electric light, produced from
          stored electricity previously generated and forced into vats,
          composed of substances unknown to me. These, though filled with
          the subtle power, are cold and unresponsive to the touch of the
          hand; but wishing to give a sample of the destructive agency of
          the power sleeping in those vats, the professor in charge
          requested us to note the result when touched with the piece of
          wire held in his hand. While explaining, the piece of wire turned
          in his hands accidently, and fell about midway of its length
          across one of the vats, and instantly, as quick as lightning, for
          it was lightning, it became ten thousand flying sparks, and that
          part in the professor's hand like molten lead, was burning into
          the flesh before he could shake off the liquid mass. It is said
          that electricity once generated, remains electricity until it
          comes in contact with substances which, consuming, it returns to
          its original ungenerated condition. Thus it may be seen how man
          plays, as a child with sharp tools, with agencies that may
          consume him instantaneously. Subservient to his call he flashes
          thought around the world by means of electric wires, conveys his
          voice thousands of miles, and rivals the light of the sun, but
          when the universe shall roll up like a scroll, the earth melt
          with fervent heat, and mountains run down like wax, unregenerate
          man, full of pride, will learn what God hath in reserve for those
          who hate Him and despise His works. As this earth was cleansed by
          a literal baptism of water, so will it be purified by a literal
          baptism of fire, and all the proud and those who love iniquity,
          will be burned up, even as stubble is consumed by fire. Happy
          then will ye be if you have been tried as gold in the furnace
          seven times heated. Better welcome a few trials now, that tend to
          increase your love of God and of your fellow man, than to go
          heedlessly like the dumb brute, to the sacrifice. Let us pray
          only for deliverance from such trials as harden the heart and
          wither the soul, but not from such as, bearing patiently, testify
          of integrity. What matters trials, persecutions, scorns, scoffs
          and contempt so long as we remain true to God, and the covenants
          we have made with Him and each other? So long as we violate
          neither these nor our consciences, which should be void of
          offense, we are safe. But in our struggles to maintain the right
          in a world filled with strife, we may draw consolation in
          reflecting upon the fact that every pure thought coming to us
          from above, meets fierce opposition, and our fallen natures
          contend against its permanent lodgment in our hearts; and in like
          manner every heaven-born truth has in every instance, had to
          fight its way inch by inch before it could bear abundantly the
          fruits of righteousness. Nothing good has come into this world
          since the fall of man, that has not met the fierce, concentrated
          and persistent opposition and hatred of the wicked. Thus we find
          how true is the inspired saying: "there must needs be an
          opposition in all things." Enlightened, inspired thoughts
          crystalizing into undying truths, have in every age caused great
          sacrifices, often human life to establish them, but those who
          have had the moral and physical courage to stand by their
          convictions in life or death, shine as beacon lights along the
          shores of time, and their works will bear glorious fruits in
          Let us endeavor to imitate all worthy examples, following as
          nearly as we can in the footprints of our Master, who, if we are
          faithful unto death, will give us the crown of life with the keys
          of death, hell and the grave, by which we may descend down into
          the depth of darkness and misery into the abode of the damned,
          and there bid those who have despised, hated and persecuted us,
          look up, repent, and receive deliverance at the hands of a
          compassionate Father, whose mercy and salvation extend beyond the
          grave into eternity. Thus, in becoming mediators, ministers to
          those who despitefully used us, we shall find the mystery of
          glory that cometh from doing good for evil and loving those who
          have hated us.
          May God grant that we may speedily and thoroughly learn the great
          lessons that He is now seeking to teach us, and which are of so
          much importance we should learn. The trials through which we are
          now passing are but a part of the great programme of the
          Almighty, long since predicted by His holy prophets. Let us meet
          them in a proper spirit, trusting in Him always, and our victory
          will be complete. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 /
          Erastus Snow, May 31st, 1885
                            Erastus Snow, May 31st, 1885
                          DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE ERASTUS SNOW,
                 Delivered in the Tabernacle, Provo, Sunday Morning
                       May 31st, (Quarterly Conference) 1885.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                      PEOPLE TO
          THE speaker commenced by reading from the 1st chapter of
          Genesis--from the 25th verse to the end of the chapter.
          Proceeding, he said: In the writings of Moses we have an account
          of the creation of this earth and the inhabitants thereof, both
          man and beast and every living thing, as also vegetation. In the
          first verse we read, "In the beginning God created the heavens
          and the earth."
          In attempting to communicate intelligence upon any theme, if we
          attempt to do it by using words and phrases, we are obliged to
          use such language as the hearers or readers are able to
          comprehend, and if the language be imperfect the ideas conveyed
          may be somewhat imperfect or defective, and if the understanding
          of the persons to whom this language is addressed is limited, and
          their use and understanding of language is limited, the
          information sought to be communicated to them will be
          correspondingly limited and defective. It is only by the
          inspiration of the Holy Ghost that we are able to see clearly the
          things of God; but the language employed by the writer of the
          Book of Genesis and by the translators of that work is perhaps
          sufficiently clear for our purpose at this time, though the
          inspired translation rendered by the Prophet Joseph Smith is
          somewhat clearer and more impressive than the present King James'
          translation. In the inspired translation by the Prophet Joseph
          Smith, it is written that in the beginning the Gods created the
          heavens and the earth; that the earth was empty and desolate, and
          God said unto His Only Begotten, let us do so and so; let us
          divide the light from the darkness; let us separate the waters
          and cause the dry land to appear; let there be lights in the
          firmament in the midst of the heavens to give light to the earth;
          let us create animals to walk upon the earth, and creeping
          things, and fowls to fly in the air and fish to swim in the
          waters, &c.; and let us make man in our own image and after our
          likeness--that is the Father addressing the Son, taking counsel
          together. This rendering of this first chapter of Genesis is
          sustained by the writings of the Apostle Paul, when he says: "For
          of Him"--speaking of the Only Begotten--"and through Him, and for
          Him, are all things." Again, it is written in the New Testament
          concerning the Savior, that He is "the brightness of His glory,
          and the express image of His person." So that when the Father
          said unto His Son in the beginning, let us make man in our image
          and after our likeness, it conveys to us the idea that man was
          organized in the same form and general appearance of both the
          Father and the Son. This especially in relation to the man
          himself; for you will remark the wording of the text which we
          have read--"in the image of God created He him"--referring to
          Adam--"male and female created He them." You will perceive a
          difference in the language in regard to the creation of females.
          Now, it is not said in so many words in the Scriptures, that we
          have a Mother in heaven as well as a Father. It is left for us to
          infer this from what we see and know of all living things in the
          earth including man. The male and female principle is united and
          both necessary to the accomplishment of the object of their
          being, and if this be not the case with our Father in heaven
          after whose image we are created, then it is an anomaly in
          nature. But to our minds the idea of a Father suggests that of a
          Mother: As one of our poets says:
               "In the heavens are parents single?
               No; the thought makes reason stare!
               Truth is reason; truth eternal
               Tells me, I've a Mother there."
          Hence when it is said that God created our first parents in His
          likeness--"in the image of God created He him; male and female
          created He them"--it is intimated in language sufficiently plain
          to my understanding that the male and female principle was
          present with the Gods as it is with man. It needs only a common
          understanding of the organism of man and of all living creatures,
          and the functions of this organism to show the primary object of
          the Creator, and that is the multiplication of the species, the
          fulfillment of the commandment given, to multiply and replenish
          the earth, given to both man and beast. We need only to study the
          anatomy and construction of the human system, and to understand
          its powers and capabilities, to comprehend the object and purpose
          of the Creator, even though the commandment had not been written
          to multiply and replenish the earth. The ancients who feared God,
          and kept His commandments, showed that they understood this
          principle and were willing to obey it. It is written of the first
          fourteen generations, that each succeeding generation of them
          lived so many years and begat sons and daughters, and some of
          them lived well nigh on to a thousand years. They multiplied and
          increased in the land until wickedness overran the land and it
          pleased God to check the growth of wickedness by the flood, which
          swept the wicked off the earth. But before thus destroying the
          inhabitants of the earth, He caused the righteous to be gathered
          out from among the wicked by the preaching of the Gospel. Enoch,
          the seventh from Adam, was a powerful instrument in the hands of
          God, of rebuking the wickedness of the times. He taught
          righteousness, gathered the people together, and established a
          Zion. He labored we are told some 365 years, in the which he
          communed with God, and taught the people and sanctified his
          people, so that they were translated to heaven. Many others who
          remained upon the earth, who had accepted the Gospel, but were
          not sanctified and prepared to be caught up with Enoch and his
          people, sought diligently to follow; they purified themselves so
          that angels ministered unto them, and they were caught up unto
          Zion before the flood; even all who remained and kept the faith,
          except Noah and his sons and their families, who were especially
          called and chosen and detailed to build the ark and enter therein
          with a selection of the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the
          air, to preserve seed through the flood. Thus did the Lord gather
          a harvest of souls unto Himself, of those who believed and obeyed
          the Gospel and worked righteousness, while the wicked perished in
          the flood. Then again, the commandment of God to multiply and
          replenish the earth, was renewed to Noah and his posterity, and
          soon the desolate places became inhabited. But in the course of a
          few generations, blindness and darkness and ignorance again began
          to prevail; wickedness began to raise its head among the children
          of Noah, and it became necessary that the Lord should select from
          among the children of Noah the better and nobler seed with whom
          He would establish His covenant, and upon whom He would confer
          the keys of the Priesthood, and from among them should be raised
          up Prophets and Seers and Revelators to teach the people of the
          nations of the earth, as the oracles of God. These chosen people
          were Abraham and his seed. Of Abraham it is written that God
          called him from his father's house when he dwelt in Ur of the
          Chaldees, and commanded him to go out from his father's house
          because his father was given to the ways of the heathen and to
          the idolatry of the surrounding peoples. He called him to go to
          another land where he should be separate from the traditions and
          teachings of his father, and where he would make of him a great
          nation, and raise up from his seed a holy people. God appeared
          unto him in Canaan, whither He led him, and swore by
          Himself--because He could swear by no greater--that in blessing
          He would bless him, and in multiplying He would multiply him;
          that his seed should be as the stars of the heavens and as the
          sand which is upon the sea shore for multitude. He renewed this
          promise to his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob, who was also
          named Israel, and from them sprang the house of Israel, and also
          the children of Arabia, the sons of Ishmael, and the chief tribes
          of central Asia. It was the seed of Abraham that dwelt in Egypt
          who were brought into bondage to the Egyptians, and subsequently
          delivered by the hand of Moses, after wandering forty years in
          the wilderness, in the land of Canaan. It was from among this
          people that God raised up prophets from generation to generation
          to whom He revealed His mind and will. It was this people that
          was commanded to build first the tabernacle journeying in the
          wilderness--a sort of movable temple and subsequently a temple in
          the land of promise when they should become settled and located
          there. It was among this people the Savior was born, and labored
          and taught the Gospel, and was crucified, and rose again from the
          dead. It was from among this people that He (the Savior) selected
          and ordained His Apostles to preach the Gospel to all the world.
          The whole tenor of the Scriptures shows us that those who
          believed God and were counted His people multiplied and
          replenished the earth and became numerous as the stars in the
          heavens and as the sands upon the sea shore for multitude, while
          many of the other unbelieving nations and peoples comparatively
          dwindled away; and when the history of the generations of Adam
          shall be revealed and comprehended by the human race, it will be
          found that in the providence of God He has greatly restricted the
          more corrupt, while He has enlarged and multiplied the seed of
          Abraham, who did abide in the covenant; and although many of them
          have come short in many things and have wandered in darkness and
          unbelief, yet as a people they have maintained a degree of sexual
          purity unknown in the gentile world, and for this reason has God
          multiplied them in the land. They have great and special promises
          that in the latter days God would remember them.
          Now, while God commanded His people to multiply and replenish the
          earth, He gave strict laws against promiscuous sexual
          intercourse. "He forbade adultery, fornication, whoredom in every
          form, and the same doctrine was taught by Paul, the Apostle,
          namely, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled; but
          whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." This law prevailed
          in all ages among the people of God, encouraging honorable
          wedlock, and restraining illicit sexual intercourse, and there
          are many physical as well as theological reasons for this law. It
          is especially binding upon mankind, because they are organized
          after the image of God, and are His offspring. I refer now to the
          spirit; for we understand that man in the nobler sense and the
          true sense, is that immortal eternal being which has come forth
          from God, and that the earthly tabernacle is but an outer
          clothing of that immortal being; that the earthly tabernacle is
          in the image and likeness of the heavenly or eternal being; in
          other words the body is in the likeness and form of the soul or
          the spirit, and that it is made conformable to any for the spirit
          to dwell in, and to fill every portion and particle thereof, and
          to direct its energies and powers and to develop its capabilities
          and to guide its actions. Hence that immortal man is held
          responsible for the deeds of the body, and it is written he shall
          be judged according to the deeds done in the body; because the
          body does not control the spirit, but the spirit controls the
          body. Still the Apostle Paul says that there is a law of the
          flesh--that wars against the spirit; and, says Paul, "to be
          carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life
          and peace." He further says that this law of the flesh--that is,
          in our members and the lusts thereof--that wars against the law
          of the spirit brings our bodies into bondage, even the bondage of
          sin; but it is made the duty of the spirit to subdue the flesh
          and the lusts and the desires thereof, and to bring it into
          subjection to the law of the spirit. This is the warfare and the
          struggle of our lives. This begins with the development of our
          physical power and the lusts and desires of the flesh. The spirit
          of man is capable of receiving from the Spirit of our Father the
          Holy Spirit, which is in connection with the Father and the Son,
          and is a minister of God unto men; which lighteth up our minds
          and giveth us understanding; for "the spirit of man is the candle
          of the Lord," says one of old. This teaches us just as far as we
          will give heed to it, how to walk in obedience to the law of God,
          and how to resist and overcome evil with good, and as far as the
          written word of God is given to us, its object and influence upon
          us is to restrain the flesh and bring it into subjection to the
          spirit. The lusts and desires of the flesh are not of themselves
          unmitigated evils. On the contrary they are implanted in us as a
          stimulus to noble deeds, rather than low and beastly deeds. These
          affections and loves that are planted in us are the nobler
          qualities that emanate from God. They stimulate us to the
          performance of our duties; to multiplying and replenishing the
          earth to assume the responsibilities of families, and rear them
          up for God. They encourage and stimulate the woman to bear her
          burden and perform the duties of life because of the hope of a
          glorious future, while it stimulates the husband and father in
          like manner. Every instinct in us is for a wise purpose in God
          when properly regulated and restrained, and guided by the Holy
          Spirit and kept within its proper legitimate bounds. But all
          these instincts and desires of the flesh are susceptible of
          perversion, and when perverted result in sin. Whenever the Gospel
          has been preached on earth, and Prophets and holy men have been
          sent among the people, the burden of their lives has been to
          encourage them to the proper exercise of their powers and
          functions and to regulate them and restrain them within proper
          limits, such as are prescribed in the written law, and in the law
          of our being. Excesses of all kinds tend to death and to sickness
          and misery, physically and spiritually; while temperance and
          moderation and the proper use of all our functions tends to the
          glory of God and the welfare of His children. The chief study of
          man is to comprehend these principles, and to apply them in their
          I said there was a time after the flood that the seed of Noah
          began to corrupt their ways, and God chose out from among them
          the seed of Abraham, with whom He established His covenant that
          He might preserve unto himself the Priesthood and its ordinances,
          and a people who would receive His law, and among whom He would
          raise up Prophets, and through whom He would send His Son in the
          meridian of time to become the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
          Thus Abraham was blessed of the Lord to multiply and increase in
          the earth greatly. When the Lord determined to bless and multiply
          Abraham and His seed, He commanded that they should take of the
          daughters of Eve for wives and multiply and increase in the land.
          I do not say that plural marriage was not practiced prior to this
          time, but I say from and after Abraham it was enjoined upon
          Israel, the seed of Abraham, for a wise and glorious purpose in
          Him, namely, that of increasing them and giving them the
          ascendency among the nations of the earth, as I once heard the
          Prophet Joseph remark. In speaking of these things, and inquiring
          wherefore God had enjoined plural marriage upon Abraham and his
          seed, his answer was, because He had purposed to multiply and
          increase them in the land and make of them a great people and
          give them the ascendency over other peoples of the earth, and
          that because, as he said of Abraham, He knew that He would serve
          Him and command his seed after Him.
          We are aware that in modern Christendom there are some people who
          forbid to marry. In one of the Epistles of Paul [1 Timothy iv. 3]
          he states that in the latter times there would be those who would
          forbid to marry. We know there are some professing Christians who
          regard the union of the sexes as an evil, as a sin, as the result
          of our fallen natures, and as a form of the gratification of
          fleshly lusts which is offensive before God. Hence we have the
          Shakers who, acting upon this doctrine, abstain from marriage. If
          all were to embrace their faith, and carried it out in their
          lives, the human race would soon be extinct, and the great
          purpose of Jehovah in their creation would seem to have failed.
          But fortunately those who embrace this faith, and exemplify it in
          their lives, are few. Yet there are many who are willing to
          gratify the lusts of the flesh but strive to avoid its
          consequences and responsibilities of the household, and regulate
          their lives and household by the law of the Lord, have always
          been blessed and favored of God, and the great difference between
          the Latter-day Saints at the present time and modern Christendom,
          is this more extensive comprehension of this first law of God to
          man. We understand there is a purpose in all these things; that
          the Supreme Being is working with an object in view and for the
          accomplishment of an end, and that object and end is worthy of
          the God who has created us; that in infinite space He may cause
          to be organized innumerable worlds and glorious orbs to be filled
          with intelligent beings capable of enlargement, of an expansion
          of glory and of happiness; for in their enlargement and increase
          He is glorified, while they in turn are glorified in and through
          Him in the performance of their labors and duties and the
          multiplying and increasing of their species, inasmuch as they do
          it unto the Lord and keep His law, so that they can be sanctified
          before Him and be endowed with the power of endless lives.
          I know it is supposed by some that the power of increase is
          inherent in us and in all living things, and in all plants, but I
          do not view it in that light. I view the temporal organism as the
          instrument and not the creator itself; it is only the instrument
          by which it is worked out and accomplished; that the principle of
          life and eternal increase pertains not to the flesh nor to the
          grosser elements of this earth, but it is the spiritual power
          that has emanated from a nobler sphere that has come out from
          God, or that had its existence previously in a first estate. Our
          Savior Himself is an example of this. We are told He was born of
          the Virgin Mary, in the meridian of time. Yet we learn He was
          with the Father from the beginning and was with Him in the
          morning of creation. While he was here upon the earth 1800 years
          ago, He said to the Jews, "You speak of Abraham as your father.
          Verily I say unto you before Abraham was, I am." And again in
          John's revelations it is written that He was as a lamb slain from
          the foundation of the world. He is called a lamb of God typically
          speaking, because the offering a lamb in sacrifice upon the altar
          was a type of the crucifixion of the Savior, and the commandment
          of God given to the children of men in the beginning to build an
          altar and offer sacrifice with a lamb upon it, was typical of the
          Savior of the world. Hence came the term that He was the Lamb of
          God which the Father sent unto the world to be an offering for
          sin. So also it is written in the Scriptures--speaking of
          God--that He is the Father of our spirits, and, says Paul, it is
          necessary to be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live.
          In modern Christendom--in these United States especially, and in
          staid New England more than perhaps any other portion of this
          American continent--is this commandment of God to multiply and
          replenish the earth nullified. The Latter-day Saints are looked
          upon with envy, with jealousy and reproach because they do not
          take the same view as they do, and their numerous families stand
          out in bold contrast with the New England families, where you
          will find as you go through the land one, two, or at most three
          children in a family, and many families with none. In some
          instances this apparent sterility may have resulted from various
          abuses, but in most causes the result of devices of wicked men
          and women to counteract and prevent the fulfilling of the great
          commandment of God to multiply and replenish the earth, and in
          many instances, foeticide, infanticide and child-murder are the
          result of this very general desire to avoid the responsibility of
          families. It has become a crying evil in the land. Some writers
          deeply deplore this crying evil, and represent it in its true
          light; while many other writers and speakers are either silent
          upon the subject or give their voice and influence in its favor.
          A few years ago I remembered to have read a discourse of
          Brooklyn's great orator, Henry Ward Beecher, in which he took the
          ground that any considerable increase of the human species would
          be a positive evil, something to be deplored; and he elaborately
          attempted to portray the evils that would result from it, and the
          whole tendency of the discourse was to discourage the
          multiplication of the human species. Others have followed in the
          same train of reasoning. They seem to have forgotten the
          commandment given to our first parents, and never to have
          comprehended the purposes of Jehovah. Those who adopt these views
          have seemed to imagine that there would be greater happiness in
          the gratification of fleshly lusts, and in pandering to pride and
          worldly pleasures, and the increase of wealth, than to obey the
          commandment of God. They have resolved to avoid raising large
          families. The last tour I took through New England, (which is my
          native country), about twelve years ago, I was more deeply
          impressed with this state of things than I had ever been before.
          When I was a boy, in Vermont, I knew not the ways of the world,
          and comprehended not what was going on, in our large cities and
          more populous parts of the country. I was born of honest
          parentage, who reverenced the principles of life and salvation,
          and I understood not what was going on around me, nor do I think
          those evils existed there to the same extent that they now do.
          But as I remarked, when I made my last tour through New England,
          I was more forcibly impressed with this state of society than
          every before. I spoke of it to my aged aunt in Rhode Island. I
          said to her: "Aunt, when you were young, and when my mother was
          young, rearing large families, it was a source of joy and
          pleasure to rear offspring. Now as I go through the land, I see
          the efforts of the people are in an opposite direction." "Oh,
          yes," said she, "it is unpopular now, for people to have large
          families; it is considered vulgar, men and women now seek to
          avoid these responsibilities." This is a well known fact. The
          tendency of the age is to animalism, to the gratification of
          fleshly lusts and worldly pleasures.
          Well, the Latter-day Saints have experienced in their own lives
          something nobler, and have learned to recognize the wisdom of
          Jehovah in that order of things which He enjoined upon our first
          parents. This is the marked difference between the unbelieving
          world and the Latter-day Saints. I say the unbelieving world,
          because I regard this doctrine which I have referred to as a
          doctrine of devils and not the doctrine of Christ; that the
          tendency of it leads, as I before remarked, to foeticide,
          infanticide, child murder, and to the gratification of fleshly
          lusts and worldly pleasure without fulfilling the great object
          and purposes of our Father, and the effect in the end would be
          the wasting away of the human species if it were generally
          adopted. It is high time that a voice from heaven should rebuke
          it. It is high time that the Lord, who wishes to raise up seed
          unto Himself, should command His people and renew upon them the
          obligations placed upon our first parents. It is to the
          Latter-day Saints that this mission has been committed, and the
          result is the multitude of school children that we find all over
          this Territory. Over fifty thousand Sabbath school children in
          the Territory of Utah--nearly one-third of the entire population,
          as shown in our statistics at our various Conferences--are
          children under eight years of age. This is a startling fact to
          that class of the Christian world who are pursuing the opposite
          course. One of the Sabbath school superintendents of the City of
          New York, recently expressed himself very pointedly and plainly
          upon this subject in relation to the wealthy portion of the
          church-going people of New York. In several thousand families
          attending the popular churches of New York, there could be
          mustered only about eighty Sabbath school children, and he
          attributed it to this prevailing desire for pleasure, wealth, and
          the shirking of the cares and responsibilities of the household,
          until the rearing of families was left almost entirely to the
          poor, to what is termed the vulgar people.
          I need not harrow up the feelings of the people with lengthy
          details such as are found in police reports and statistics from
          various sources, showing the alarming increase of these crying
          evils. Suffice it to say that the chief warfare against the
          Latter-day Saints at the present time is an endeavor to compel us
          to conform to their new state of things, or to their ideas of
          social sins and social duties. In other words it is laconically
          expressed by President Cleveland in the late interview he had
          with our delegates that were sent to him with the memorial and
          protest adopted by the Latter-day Saints in mass meeting a few
          weeks ago. President Cleveland listened with courtesy to what our
          delegation had to say with regard to the feeling and desires of
          the people, and expressed himself in this wise: that he would
          endeavor as far as lay in his power to give us honest men to
          administer the law, and he concluded with a smile upon his
          countenance, with this expression: "I wish you people out there
          could be like the rest of us." This is a homely phrase, it might
          not attract any special attention under ordinary circumstances;
          but when we consider the facts as they exist, and the tendency of
          the age, and of the Christian world at the present time, and the
          state of things in the east when compared with us, the remark is
          very significant. It comes home to us, and we ask ourselves, can
          we, after the light that we have received, after the experience
          that we have had, and with the hopes that are placed before us in
          the Gospel of a glorious future--can we relapse back into that
          state of things and be like unto them? I would not say aught
          personal in relation to Mr. Cleveland, believing him to be an
          honorable man of the world, yet his enemies in the campaign
          accused him of irregularities of life that are common in the
          world, and it is reported that he knows something of sexual
          relationship, though he has not assumed the responsibility of
          family and household; and in this respect, though perhaps among
          the most honorable, he represents a large and respectable portion
          of unmarried men. We do not understand that in thus expressing
          himself to our delegates that he desired us to exactly imitate
          himself, but that he wished we could confine ourselves at least
          to one wife. If however, the parallel were carried out more
          fully, we would not only confine ourselves to one wife as far as
          owning them in that capacity is concerned, but we would try like
          others have, to limit our children also and imitate the other
          vice of the age.
          Well, now, the expounders of the federal laws in our midst--the
          Prosecuting Attorneys, Judges, Marshals, and other federal
          representatives that have been sent among us to enforce the
          special laws that have been passed by Congress against the
          Latter-day Saints, seem to make the line of distinction more
          marked than has ever before been done. During the great furore
          which swept over the land four years ago, which resulted in the
          passage of the Edmunds Law, the Christian ministers urged their
          congregations to send memorials to Congress for the passage of
          that law on the ground of repressing immorality, licentiousness
          and crime among the Mormons, and it was this hypocritical mask
          which they took on at that time that hoodwinked and deceived the
          great body of the people and lashed the country into a furore and
          crowded Congressmen to vote for the unconstitutional measure,
          that wicked and malicious law known as the Edmunds law. I may be
          accused of treason for speaking in this way, in calling this a
          wicked and malicious law. I may be counted guilty of treason
          because I dare to think; but yet, treason has never been defined
          by the Constitution of our country nor the Courts, to consist in
          a freedom of speech, much less in the freedom of thought, but has
          been defined as levying of war against the Government, or aiding
          and abetting its enemies in time of war.
          The great furore in the Christian world, or at least throughout
          the Christian denominations of America four years ago, urging
          upon Congress the passage of the Edmunds law, was on the ground
          of the immorality and licentiousness of the Mormons, and a desire
          to repress it. But now the federal representatives in their
          efforts to enforce it in our country, have found themselves under
          the necessity of throwing the mask off themselves and off the
          country--off the priests and religious people. I believe some of
          you in Provo had something to do in bringing this about and
          rendering it necessary for them to lay off the mask. I believe
          Commissioner Smoot was called upon to investigate a case of an
          outsider seducing his wife's sister, and a child was the result;
          and he felt called upon under the law to hold him to answer
          before the grand jury for unlawful cohabitation. The assistant
          prosecuting attorney unwillingly allowed the thing to go on until
          the man was committed for this offense; intimating at the same
          time that he thought this was pushing the Edmunds law a little
          too far and beyond what was the spirit and intent of the law. If
          this case should be carried to its legitimate end, and the man
          should be sent to prison and fined for unlawful cohabitation,
          then the door would be thrown wide open for many others to follow
          for the same offense. Hence such a construction was considred an
          element of danger to themselves, to the representatives of the
          federal government and their aiders and abettors in this country;
          that such a construction of the Edmunds law as had been the
          popular construction and the understanding of the masses, and as
          was the professed understanding of the Christian world--for they
          urged its passage to repress immortality and sexual crime--that
          if this construction was allowed to prevail in Utah and the
          surrounding Territories, and the District of Columbia, and other
          places where the United States exercise jurisdicttion, it would
          operate very hard on a great many who would not be so well
          prepared to bear it as the Latter-day Saints. Hence it seemed
          very desirable that their feet should be slipped out of the trap
          and ours left in. Accordingly their wits were brought to bear in
          this direction, and on the occasion of the trial of President
          Angus M. Cannon on the charge of unlawful cohabitation a plan was
          concocted and carried out, with all the leading attorneys of the
          land and the Chief Justic upon the bench, to discuss this
          question and decide upon it. In this connection the
          representative of the government boldly came to the front and
          threw off the mask and proclaimed at the outset of this trial
          that he knew he could not prove sexual intercourse between the
          parties at bar, and that he should not attempt it. Fruthermore he
          stated that he did not consider sexual intercourse any element of
          crime; that the Edmunds law, so called, was a blow aimed at the
          status of the Mormon system of marriage alone, and that the third
          section of that law relating to unlawful cohabitation had no
          reference to sexual sins; that it was not designed to repress
          adultery, fornication, lust, or any form of sexual sin; that that
          was left to local legislation; that the legislation of Congress
          in the third section of the Edmunds law, as well as all other
          legislation upon that subject was aimed directly at the status of
          the marriage alone. In this regard, therefore, he took precisely
          the ground that Governor Murray did when he first issued his oath
          for notaries public, and which was afterwards adopted by the
          board of Utah Commissioners and incorporated in their test oath
          for registration, referring to cohabitation with more than one
          woman in the marriage relation. Mr. Dickson took this view, that
          Murray was right; that the Utah Commissioners were right; that
          this was the sense of the country; that this was the design of
          Congress; that the Edmunds law was a blow aimed at the Mormon
          system of marriage, or to use Judge Zane's term, the habit and
          repute of marriage, or the "holding out," to use another favorite
          phrase, of two or more women as wives of one husband--that the
          whole and only object of the third section of the Edmunds law
          relating to unlawful cohabitation, as well as all other
          anti-polygamy acts of Congress was against the institution of
          marriage. Finding, however, it difficult to prove marriages
          because of the disinclination of people to testify, and because
          of the difficulty of reaching any record evidence of these
          marriages, it was thought necessary to take high grounds and
          assume this: that the Mormons are known to be a virtuous people,
          are known to condemn in strong terms and by every influence in
          their power every form of sexual sin, and that they do not
          indulge in intercourse with the sexes to any extent only in the
          marriage relation. This was the well known and established
          character of the Mormon people, and was the result of their
          teachings and practice for a generation past. Hence wherever
          children were found in Mormon families, they are the result of
          marriage. If a woman is found pregnant, she must be looked upon
          as a wife, and the officers are justified in seizing her and
          bringing her before a commissioner, or a jury or judge, and
          compelling her to give the name of the father of her child, and
          that is deemed sufficient proof that he is guilty of polygamy, or
          if two or more women live in close proximity to a man, and he is
          seen visiting them, and especially if the children call him
          father, it is sufficient proof on which the jury may indict for
          polygamy or unlawful cohabitation, as the case may be.
          Consequently they have taken this high ground that it is no
          longer necessary to prove even the first or second marriage, nor
          is it any longer necessary to prove sexual intercourse in order
          to establish unlawful cohabitation, but the common habit and
          repute of marriage and the appearance of marriage is all
          sufficient. Thus the ordinary rules of evidence are set aside,
          and the mask of hypocrisy which governed the Christian world when
          they were urging the passage of this Edmunds law through Congress
          is thrown aside. A bold and important testimony is given to the
          world through our persecutors to the morality of the Mormon
          people being so far in excess of the rest of the world of
          mankind, and to our integrity to the marriage relation. We wish
          indeed that all that is said in this respect were strictly true,
          that there were no irregularities among us. We cannot quite say
          that, but we do rejoice and thank God for the general good
          testimony which has been given of us in truth in this behalf. Not
          long since President Smoot and myself and some others were
          congratulating ourselves, and President Taylor was congratulating
          himself, and many others of our aged fathers, in having placed
          themselves in a condition to escape the operation of the third
          section of the Edmunds law by confining themselves to one woman.
          I said to some of my brethren in a Priesthood meeting in St.
          George, one time when they were very badly agitated and not
          knowing whom the lightning--or the Edmunds act would strike
          next--I said to them, you old grey-headed men whose wives have
          grown old with you and are past bearing children, if you choose
          now to agree among yourselves that you will live within the third
          section of the Edmunds law and allow the husband and father to
          confine himself to one wife, while he cares for the balance and
          cares for and protects his children, I see not but what you may
          do this with honor to yourselves and without sacrificing any
          principles of the law of God, or going back upon your covenants,
          providing this be agreeable among yourselves. I was somewhat with
          others, congratulating myself in being able to do this without
          sacrificing any special principle or going back on our families,
          but it would seem that these noble, aged sires in Israel were not
          to be let out quite so easily as this, for I am a little inclined
          to feel it was a little dishonorable, and yet perhaps not
          altogether before God. The idea was that they might possibly
          escape, while their sons and others who might have taken wives
          and raised families, and entered into those sacred relations
          which are to them dearer than life itself, would have to abide
          the consequences. But it seems that under Judge Zane's ruling it
          is not these who are raising families that are always liable; for
          you may raise a family by your sister-in-law, if you don't call
          her your wife, as you understand from the case I have referred
          to. No sooner had Judge Zane sustained Prosecuting Attorney
          Dickson's view of the case, than this Mr. Aimes was brought
          before him on habeas corpus and discharged, and he (the Judge)
          fully announced the doctrine that a man could have as many
          children by sister-in-laws as he pleased; that no matter how much
          a man might seduce his neighbor's wife, or neighbor's daughter,
          if he is not in the marriage relation with them, it is no offense
          against the Edmunds law. But with a Mormon, whether he is raising
          a family or not, if he is even so unfortunate as to have no
          children, or if his wives are past bearing children, and he has
          entirely separated himself so far as bed is concerned, and there
          is evidence of entire restraint on his part, still, unless he
          goes back on himself and on his wives and children, he comes
          under the law. In other words, if he continues to "hold them out"
          as wives he is guilty of cohabitation. Hence, Brother Smoot and
          myself, and others, have been congratulating ourselves a little
          too soon. You will find that the old men and the young men are
          all coupled together, their feet still in the trap, while the
          adulterer, fornicator, whoremonger, harlot and libertine, the
          trap is open just enough to let their feet out. Now they can
          vote, they can hold office, they can raise children providing
          they do not do it in the marriage relation, and they hold out
          this inducement to you and me: "Become like one of us." "I wish
          you would only disown your wives, then do what you will you are
          secure--that is, you must only own one wife, for this is the
          popular idea, the sentiment of the age. This is the voice of
          fifty millions of people. You must listen to it. Congress has
          said it. If you hesitate, (some go so far as to say) you will be
          held to answer for treason. Treason against what? Treason against
          the law. Well, then, of course every thief is guilty of treason.
          Every man that steals an axe handle shall be tried for treason
          because he disobeys the law, by the same parity of reasoning.
          Again, if you try to avoid the law and we can catch you, why you
          are doing a terribly wicked thing. Yes; if spotters are hunting
          down some luckless fellow or his wife, and they slip out at the
          back door, or hide in a haystack, why, you must be held for
          treason, or some other crime. Now, I have always understood that
          catching goes before hanging; that it is the duty of the officers
          to make arrests when indictments are found; and it is equally
          understood that there is a guarantee in the Constitution of the
          United States that no man shall be held to answer for any crime
          except on presentment of an indictment by a grand jury.
          Furthermore, when indictments are found, the parties against whom
          they are found are known only to the jury and public prosecutor;
          the general public are not supposed to know anything about them,
          and the general maxim of law is that everybody is innocent until
          they are proven guilty. Consequently, we are not supposed to know
          that when anybody is going out to the haystack that they are
          fleeing from an officer, or that every tramp that comes along is
          a deputy marshal, or if he is that he has a warrant in his pocket
          for that man, and if he has it is his business to catch him and
          not ours. Does not the law forbid you to aid in the escape of a
          criminal? Yes, if he has been found a criminal by a competent
          jury and under sentence of the law. Then it is public notice to
          you that he is a criminal, but not otherwise. I merely make
          mention of this because of the foolish threats that are sometimes
          made to terrify ignorant people. Because it is well known the
          world over, so far as anything is known of us, and of the
          legislation of Congress against us as a religious people, that
          there is an issue between Congress and the Latter-day Saints, and
          that issue is of a religious character and relating to the social
          relations of the Latter-day Saints. The views which we hold are
          founded upon the revelations of God, both ancient and modern. We
          have given evidence to the world of our sincerity in this, and
          yet the world do not seem to accept it. I believe that Mr.
          Dickson was honest enough to express his conviction of our
          sincerity in this, and that the Mormon people, as a people, were
          moral people, and that their teachings and action showed that
          they did not indulge in these sexual sins outside of the marriage
          relation to any great extent; while the great mass of mankind who
          know us not are willing to give us this credit. They have raised
          the hue and cry all over the land for so many years, that we were
          guilty of gross immorality, that it seems as if the Lord intended
          in the way now being done to give the world ocular demonstration
          and a strong testimony of the integrity of this people, of the
          sincerity of their actions, of the depth and strength of their
          faith, and their devotion to their religious convictions, and
          their integrity in carrying them out. It is a source of
          gratification and thanksgiving that but few, comparatively
          speaking, among us have felt to go back on themselves and to
          throw off allegiance to God and to their families and friends,
          and to violate their consciences; but few have been found to do
          this in order to escape fine and imprisonment. How far it will
          become necessary that this testimony should go forth to the
          world, and how many should suffer so that their testimony should
          go abroad to mankind to convince the world and to vindicate God
          and His people, I am not yet able to say, for I am persuaded it
          will be as the Lord will; that whatsoever is necessary we must
          submit to with the best grace possible. I do not mean to say that
          every one who may be thought to come under the third section of
          the Edmunds law shall go and complain on himself, or if
          complained of by some spotter that he shall go straitway and
          confess guilt, or if arraigned for trial on an indictment, that
          he shall plead guilty without a trial; I do not say this. Every
          man must be left to choose for himself what course he will pursue
          in relation to those matters; for pleading guilty or not guilty
          when arraigned before the Court is a mere technical form and a
          liberty which every prisoner enjoys, that of pleading guilty or
          not guilty. The plea of guilty, of course, saves the expense of a
          trial, while a plea of not guilty, means that the prosecutor must
          prove the charge made in the indictment. I do not say, therefore,
          that in submitting as best we can to the operation of the law
          that we shall not avail ourselves of constitutional privileges
          and the rights accorded to us. We have the right to be tried by a
          jury of our peers if we can get one, but we cannot get one under
          this act. The act was purposely framed to cut off that right. The
          right of a man to be tried by a jury of his peers--this term
          originated in Great Britain and was guaranteed in the Magna
          Charta--means simply a jury of his equals. If a man belonged to
          the nobility of the land, he was entitled to be tried by a jury
          of his equals. If he was a plebeian, a common laborer in the
          humble walks of life, he was entitled to a jury of his equals,
          his associates, neighbors, those that knew him best and were able
          to sympathize with him and comprehend his position and
          circumstances and the motives governing his acts, so that a
          righteous judgment might be rendered concerning him. This
          guarantee was incorporated in the American Constitution. The
          right of a man to be tired by a jury of his peers implied all
          that was necessary to protect the citizens against malicious
          prosecutions; but in our special case, under the operation of
          special laws enacted against the Latter-day Saints, we are
          compelled to go to trial before a jury of our avowed enemies;
          indeed, none are qualified to sit upon juries in our case unless
          they are pronounced against us; because, as I said before, it is
          not a sexual crime that is on trial; it is a religious sentiment
          of the Mormon people; it is this status of their social relations
          founded upon their religious convictions that is on trial. Hence
          it is the pronounced opposition to our convictions that is a
          qualification for a juryman in our case.
          Well, we were told by the Prophet Joseph Smith, that the United
          States Government and people would come to this: that they would
          undermine one principle of the Constitution after another, until
          its whole fabric would be torn away, and that it would become the
          duty of the Latter-day Saints and those in sympathy with them to
          rescue it from destruction, and to maintain and sustain the
          principles of human freedom for which our fathers fought and
          bled. We look for these things to come in quick succession. When
          I first heard of the--what shall I call it? the somersault of
          Judge Zane and the Prosecuting Attorney Dickson, the question was
          asked, Now that the mask is thrown off, how will this take
          throughout the country? Will the hireling priests throughout the
          land sustain this action? Will they consent to have this
          hypocritical mask thrown off then, and will the Supreme Court of
          the United States and the people of the United States sustain the
          ruling? I unhesitatingly answer, yes, they will, and if ever it
          reaches the Supreme Court of the United States, they will sustain
          it; the hypocritical hireling priests will sustain it; the people
          will sustain it and say, "Crucify them, crucify them, they have
          no friends."
          It becomes us, then, to be better Saints, does it not? Yes. It
          becomes us to be more united than we have ever been before. It
          becomes us to put away our foolishness; to cease all sin; to
          observe the words of wisdom; to walk in all humility before God;
          to be faithful and earnest in our prayers, and to imitate good
          old Daniel. Never mind the lion's den nor the murderer's Pen, but
          so live that we can be counted worthy before God, and whatsoever
          He has designed should come upon us that we may have grace given
          unto us according to our day, and that the world may record of us
          in future generations that we were an honest and a noble race,
          true to our God and to our convictions, and worthy of the high
          calling of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We should not
          blame one another for not going to the Penitentiary. We should
          not find fault with President Taylor, or President Cannon, or
          President Woodruff, because they do not rush into the
          Penitentiary, or go into court and plead guilty, and at once go
          to prison. Nor need we until the Lord requires it, rise up and
          say, "build a new Penitentiary and let us all go in together." We
          are not required to do this, but may claim our rights under the
          law. We may leave the Government officials to do their duty, and
          if they will honestly and rightly act according to the rules of
          evidence within their prescribed jurisdiction, it will take them
          some time to get us all into the Penitentiary, because under the
          law we can insist upon a trial and upon a jury. Judge Howard was
          reported to have said that it took very little law and less
          evidence to convict a Mormon in Arizona. Nevertheless there are
          certain forms that they have to go through, all of which takes a
          certain length of time, and a certain amount of labor on the part
          of the Prosecuting Attorney, and if he gets but $40 for each
          indictment, give him the privilege of drawing up the indictment
          and proving the charge therein. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / Henry
          W. Naisbitt, June 7, 1885
                           Henry W. Naisbitt, June 7, 1885
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER HENRY W. NAISBITT,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                           Sunday Afternoon, June 7, 1885.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                               DARK AGES--CONCLUSION.
          MY brethren and sisters and friends: I arise to speak with a
          little embarrassment, but I look to the Saints, asking for their
          faith so that I may overcome.
          There is nothing that interests the Latter-day Saints so much as
          the enunciation of the principles which they profess and
          literally accept; but it would seem as if there was in the
          outside world, less comprehension and understanding in regard to
          the principles that the Saints believe in, than there is in
          regard to any other subject which has acquired the same
          The Church of Jesus Christ for a great many years has kept a
          large number of missionaries in the field; they have traversed
          the whole of Christendom, in a greater or less degree, visited
          also the heathen nation and lands that are afar off; but yet a
          traveler would find that but little impression has been made
          among the masses of mankind. Even among those which are most
          advanced, and whose citizens are presumed to be intelligent, and
          to comprehend the questions which agitate the public mind, there
          is an amount of ignorance which is, to say the least,
          discreditable. It has been my lot individually, to come in
          contact with many who have visited this Territory and city, and
          to hear their expressions of surprise in regard to the religious
          faith of the Latter-day Saints. To tell a stranger that the
          people of Utah believe in the Bible, appears to be something
          altogether unlooked for. The assertion of their faith in God and
          in His Son Jesus Christ, appears to be received with more or less
          incredulity, and there are others who believe that the marriage
          customs of the Latter-day Saints are the beginning and the end,
          and all there was and is or will be, to give them distinction and
          peculiarity among the people of this nation. And yet if you were
          to sweep your eye over this congregation--which is probably an
          average one of the people of this Territory, you would instantly
          say, that there does not appear to be much difference in the
          appearance of the people here and the average congregations of
          worshippers elsewhere. The facts are that the people here--the
          older ones at all events--have been called and gathered from
          among mankind, and from Christendom, as a rule. There are in this
          Church many native-born citizens, who have come from every State
          of the American Union, and are fully acquainted with all its
          religious sects and creeds. There are those who have come from
          the different nations of Europe, and they have been familiar with
          the institutions which exist there; they have attended the
          services and been identified with the same organizations that you
          find to-day. They know all about the churches and the ministers
          and the Sabbath schools and the literature of the religious
          world. They have analyzed and compared and contrasted these until
          they understand not only the differences that exist between the
          several churches, individually, as they are known in Christendom,
          but they understand also the vast differences between those
          churches and that record called the Bible. They have been
          familiar with that, including the New Testament, from their
          childhood. They were taught it of their mothers and their
          fathers. They read it in the Sabbath school. They listened to the
          exposition of its truths and doctrines in the churches to which
          they belonged, and it was personal mental analysis and comparison
          that gave conviction to their souls and induced them to receive
          that order which the world has designated "Mormonism." As a rule
          the people of Utah are "Mormons," from conviction and from
          choice. They have left the institutions of their fathers because
          of the defects which were discovered therein, because of the
          inconsistencies which prevailed there, and in thousands of
          instances have reached conclusions because of the teachings that
          many of them received in the religious organizations of the
          world. The Latter-day Saints, to the surprise of many, call
          themselves Christians. Notwithstanding the opposition that they
          have encountered; notwithstanding the prejudice with which they
          have had to contend; notwithstanding the ignorance that is
          everywhere manifest in regard to them and to their institutions,
          they claim to be Christians,--or followers of Christ; and in
          assuming this title, they accept it with all that it implies.
          They defend with as much devotion and persistence the character
          and institutions and teachings that were given of their Lord and
          Savior as recorded in the Books that have been handed down from
          the fathers as do the disciples of any system, either secular or
          religious, who follow out the dictates, theories and ideas of
          those whom they have accepted as their leaders. The followers of
          John Wesley are no more tenacious of the teachings of their
          illustrious predecessor, the founder of their church, than are
          the Latter-day Saints in regard to the teachings of the Savior,
          and of His servant the Prophet Joseph Smith. Those who revere the
          name of Washington and of the fathers of this republic, and
          because of that reverence, cherish the fundamental truths of the
          Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, are no more
          tenacious of the truths uttered by those whom they accept as
          leaders, than are the Latter-day Saints in regard to the
          teachings and ordinances as established by Christ. They have
          accepted Him as their authority; they have accepted Him as their
          example; they have accepted Him as their leader; and while their
          claims to Christianity, or the epithet of Christians, may be
          ignored, disputed, or repudiated by others, still they are
          abundantly able to prove that their position is correct. To those
          who would dispute this let it be said that they can find (if they
          so desire it) testimony in abundance in the publications which
          have been issued by this Church; they can find testimony in
          abundance if they will inquire of those who are "Mormons" or
          Latter-day Saints by faith and profession. It is not usual,
          however, for inquirers to address themselves to this class. It is
          well known that of the thousands who travel this Territory, and
          who visit the people in the capacity of tourists every summer,
          that there are but few, very few, who ever seek an interview with
          those who are believers in and receivers of, that which they
          designate "Mormonism." They as a rule are more willing to receive
          all the flying rumors and reports, and to listen to all who
          button-hole them, and believe anyone they come in contact with,
          in regard to the character of this community, in regard to their
          faith and practice, their social theories, and the results of
          these, than they are to inquire of Latter-day Saints; and yet
          there is not a man or woman within the confines of this Territory
          or elsewhere, who is a believer in the Gospel, but who is more
          than willing to impart what information they possess and to give
          a reason for the hope that is within them, though they might do
          it conscious of their own weakness and with a measure of
          fear--not fear as to the truth of that which they might
          repeat--not fear because they have any doubt as to the character
          of the truths they have received, but with that trembling which
          inevitably grows in the feelings of those who are ostracized by
          society and who are vilified and repudiated by the world.
          It may be asked, what then as "Mormons" are your views in a
          religious sense? What are your peculiarities? Where do you get
          the doctrines that you teach?
          I am of the opinion that the doctrines of the Latter-day Saints
          can be easily proved and established from the sacred Scriptures,
          and I can further say that the missionaries who have gone from
          Utah--the Elders who have labored in the midst of the nations of
          the earth--have always been able to substantiate their testimony
          by the word of God. They have never asked the world to receive a
          doctrine that they could not read in their own Bible, in their
          own study and in their own homes. They have never asked mankind
          to accept any dogma, doctrine or principle which they believed
          would be calculated to work them injury, but they have believed
          that the nature of man everywhere was of such a uniform
          character, and the purposes of his creation were of such divine
          intent, that those truths which in their essential nature would
          bless one man, were equally calculated to bless all mankind.
          I presume that it is everywhere comprehended that man is a
          religious being; that he has within him aspirations, feelings and
          thoughts in regard to the Supreme, which unitedly declare that he
          needs some assistance from outside sources if he is to possess
          knowledge and understanding of the nature of his existence.
          Knowledge in regard to the purpose of that existence, in regard
          to its past, and in regard to the present and future of that
          existence. All the facts of a man's organization bear testimony
          to the necessity (and where there is necessity there is
          advantage) of religious training, culture and education. The
          soarings of his spirit, the dissatisfaction with earthly things,
          with its failures, and lack of recompense, the consequent
          reaching out into the future for an assurance of compensation,
          are all so many evidences that there is somewhere the material to
          satisfy these aspirations; the same as the feeling of hunger and
          thirst is abundant testimony that somewhere there are elements to
          minister to the gratification of that hunger and thirst. And when
          this conclusion is reached it is very easy to advance another
          step in religious science, and to understand that if there is
          that material, that intelligence calculated to minister to his
          religious aspirations, its faith and hope, it must come from a
          source outside of himself--in other words it must proceed from
          that Being who is the originator, the Creator, the Lord of man,
          that in Him alone there must be that fountain of inspiration,
          revelation and intelligence which is essential in developing in
          man the purposes of his creation. This argument appears to me to
          be philosophical, to be sound, to be suited to every man's
          condition, and there is implied in that conclusion the inevitable
          necessity and advantages of inspiration and revelation. The
          Christian world have accepted this idea, and they will tell you
          that the fountain of inspiration was open to man some 1,800 years
          ago. The religious world hold to the theory that there was a
          period in the history and experience of mankind when this spirit
          of inspiration existed among men, but that it was some two or
          three or four thousand years ago. The Christian--I might
          emphasize that and say the CHRISTIAN world--have professed to
          have faith in the Savior of mankind as occupying an intermediate
          position between the Creator and his children. They will take up
          the Scriptures and point us to illustrations which establish his
          character in that respect. They will tell us in quoting the same
          that "He was a teacher sent from God;" that "He sought not His
          own will but the will of the Father who sent Him; that He
          declared that He spoke not of Himself, but of His Father who sent
          Him; that He did nothing of Himself, but as my Father hath taught
          me. I speak these things, for I do always those things that
          please Him!" They will tell us that even his enemies said, "He
          spoke like one having authority, and not as one of the Scribes."
          In all the churches of Christendom they will repeat the marvelous
          parables that He gave to His disciples; they will read to us the
          sermon on the mount; they will tell us of His miracles; they will
          endeavor ostensibly to carry out the institutions which He
          established, all of which substantiates the idea that they have
          at least some faith in the mission which He claimed upon the
          earth. But if you ask whether that spirit of inspiration and
          revelation which He promised His disciples was to be continuous,
          or whether it is now necessary, the whole religious world, both
          priests and people have reached the conclusion that it belongs to
          an era of the past; yet if ever the religious world, both priests
          and people have reached the conclusion that it belongs to an era
          of the past; yet if ever the religious world needed teachers it
          is now. If ever mankind needed revelation it is to-day. If ever
          there was a necessity for inspiration, we feel and know that it
          is in the midst of the nineteenth century. If ever there was a
          time when confusion, contention and strife, when inconsistency
          and skepticism prevailed it is surely now, among the most
          advanced nations of civilization and of Christendom; there men
          are to be found laying the axe at the foundation of religious
          faith, endeavoring to popularize their own doctrines, and to
          bring into disrepute and into contempt the teachings of the Book
          that for ages has been held sacred. This is being done with that
          force of rhetoric, with that glow of imagination, and with that
          wealth of illustration which belongs to men of the type of
          Ingersoll, and congregations everywhere, hang with breathless
          suspense upon the words they utter, and thousands are grateful in
          their iniquity that the myth of religion, the fear of God, the
          certainty of punishment, the future life, have been swept away by
          so ruthless and so untiring a hand. Ministers are paralyzed and
          stand aghast in presence of the enemy, and before a sinsick
          world, and now if there is one medicine needed more than another
          in this age, it is that medicine which will minister faith, to
          peace, to order, to confidence, which will bring assurance, and
          will give men that trust and satisfaction with and in the
          doctrines that they teach and practice, such as was possessed by
          the Apostles and teachers and Saints of olden time. Where in the
          churches of the world can you find men ready to say as Paul said
          to his converts, "The Gospel came not unto you in word only, but
          also in power and the Holy Ghost, and much assurance?" 1 Thess.
          1, 5, verses. Where are those who have the same authority to say,
          "though we or an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel unto
          you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
          accused." "I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was
          preached of me is not after man, for I neither receive it of man,
          neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
          Gal. 1 and 12. This assurance is not to be found. It is not
          known. The spirit of authority, the confidence which grows from
          the possession of truth is not in connection with the churches,
          or enjoyed among the intelligent of Christendom. To be sure the
          world go to a great expense in order that they may secure
          religious instruction. Colleges are erected. Men of certain
          temperament spend years and years in order that they may be
          fitted for the ministerial profession. The people delight to pour
          out of their wealth for the spiritual food that they receive of
          their teachers; but with it all, that uniformity, that beauty,
          that simplicity, that consistency, that force, that assurance
          which pertained to the primitive days of Christianity is not to
          be found in the religious world of to-day.
          Now, I might ask what was the order of things in the primitive
          church as established by the Savior? There are certain first
          principles which pertain to all branches of science--chemical
          science, agricultural science, astronomical science, or any other
          branch--there is implied in connection with all these a
          possession and use of primary or fundamental principles upon
          which the superstructure is built, and it is the same in regard
          to the science of religion. There are certain fundamental and
          foundation principles upon which the superstructure is built, and
          it is the same in regard to the science of religion. There are
          certain fundamental and foundation principles upon which the
          edifice is to be built, and upon which it must for ever stand,
          and these principles did not originate in any school in
          connection with any college, or really in connection with any
          organization or body of men. They are divine. They were revealed.
          They came through chosen messengers who tabernacled in the flesh,
          who taught and then transmitted them to their fellows, who in
          turn taught others, and thus made them powerful by final
          dissemination among nations. This idea, I think, is invulnerable.
          What, then, are the primary or foundation principles of religion?
          Faith in God, growing out of the necessities of man's nature,
          growing out of the nature of his spirit, the origin of his being,
          the history and memory of the past, the outlook into the
          future--these all foreshadowing the necessity and advantages and
          blessings of faith in God. Hence every man who is a religionist
          has sought unto a Being of some kind; whatever his conception of
          that Being may be, he looks upon it as fundamental that there is
          a God, and there are none but those that David speaks of, namely,
          the fool, who has said in his heart that "there is no God."
          Having established this faith in God, we want to know what
          position we occupy towards Him. He is our benefactor. He is our
          friend. We are His children. The Scriptures tell us that we are
          created in His image and likeness. They tell us that the Savior
          was "the express image of His Father's person." We, then, are
          like our Father. We are His posterity. We are His sons and
          daughters dwelling and tabernacling in the flesh. What is the
          position that a man's children occupy toward him as their parent?
          Every parent expects obedience. Every parents expects respect to
          his wishes. Every parent expects that when he makes a law that
          that law will be carried out in his household; that there shall
          be order, rule and authority there. This is the idea which
          prevails between God and man upon the earth, and that again
          implies the principle to which I have already alluded, the spirit
          of inspiration and revelation; for in our present condition the
          Almighty cannot communicate directly, probably, but He has
          selected certain mediums of communication. Who are they? His
          servants who--like His servants of Biblical note,--teach in His
          name. He promised, and gave unto mankind a witness of Himself,
          even when there was no law, by His Holy Spirit, and He has sent
          that true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the
          world, while to every baptized believer is given "the
          manifestation of the Spirit, to profit withal." 1 Cor., 12, 7.
          And this Spirit will bear testimony to the truths, or laws, that
          are revealed by His Son, and taught by His appointed servants.
          Well, now, how shall we ascertain these truths? Why, through this
          channel. Jesus Christ was the lawgiver. He established that
          system of things calculated to bring man back into the presence
          of His Father, and He commanded men everywhere that they should
          seek after Him, that they should pray unto Him, "Our Father, who
          art in Heaven, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in
          heaven," and He communicated that will unto those who listened to
          His teaching. What was that will? He continuously advocated and
          enforced the spirit of repentance. Why? Because men--all men, had
          wandered from the path of rectitude. They lived in violation of
          those laws which are divine; they failed to carry out that which
          would lead them on toward perfection. Hence as a natural and
          philosophical conclusion men are called upon to repent. What!
          Does this generation need to repent? There are many who think
          they need no repentance; that they occupy positions in society
          too elevated; that they belong to the upper crust, the great
          "upper ten," who are leaders in science, in art, and in
          literature, and who are among the cultured of our nation and in
          other nations of mankind. They think they have no occasion to
          repent; they "thank God that they are not as other men, not even
          as this publican, or as this "Mormon." But, brethren and sisters
          and friends, there is no royal road to salvation in the economy
          of God. There are no principles in the science of religion that
          can be repudiated, or neglected, or disobeyed by man, without his
          subjection to the penalty, repentance of all evil and a return to
          that which is right is one of the primary elements and evidences
          of true manhood and womanhood, and it is also an essential part
          of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When man has thus accepted and
          manifested his faith in God by his repentance, having believed on
          and in the word of His servants, and acquired active faith in
          them, he has made an advance. When I say His servants, I mean the
          Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in a primary sense, and those whom
          He has delegated and appointed in a secondary sense; for we read
          that the Apostles were commanded to teach that which He had
          taught them; they were sent out to "teach them to observe all
          things whatsoever I have commanded you;" they were not to teach
          their own ideas, their own theories, their own conclusions, but
          that they should teach the principles taught by Him, when they
          were asked the question, What is necessary for us "to do to be
          It is almost an insult to a great many people now, to tell them
          that they need salvation, but yet in the innermost recesses of
          every man's heart and every woman's soul, in the depths that no
          plummet that sounded, not even the one made by themselves,--there
          rests the feeling that they need be sorry for many of the things
          that they have done in life, and if not for those that they have
          done, at least for the thousand and one things that they have
          left undone, for there are sins of omission as fatal as those of
          Faith in God and repentance, then, and faith in His servants,
          rests upon a philosophical as well as upon a scriptural basis. It
          is rational and reasonable, it is easy to be comprehended, these
          things are true, in and of themselves!
          What shall we do after we have thus repented? What say the
          Scriptures? What said the Apostles? Why, when asked the question,
          "What shall we do?" Peter replied, "Repent, and be baptized every
          one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
          sins." "Why," say the religious world, "we don't believe in
          that." I know it. I cannot help that. If you choose to repudiate
          the authority that you at other times profess to accept, I do not
          know that it is much of my business. If Americans choose to
          apostatize from the political principles of the fathers of the
          Republic, I do not know that I can help that. If any man
          belonging to any religious or social organization chooses to
          neglect or repudiate the principle of that organization, I do not
          know that I can help it. I do not know that any community can
          help it, we can only state the facts as they are, premising,
          however, that apostacy admissible from the institutions of men in
          no way justifies the same action in regard to that which is
          divine. Jesus as an example went and was baptized of John in
          Jordan, and there is abundant proof in the New Testament, if I
          had time to quote it, to show that all the early christians were
          baptized? No. But we have a record that many were baptized, and
          the fact that one or more were baptised is evidence presumptive
          that the whole were, for we read of only "one Lord, one faith,
          and one baptism." "Well," says one, "I do not attach any
          importance to baptism." Probably not. I was amused just before I
          came to meeting in reading an account in the newspaper of a
          circumstance that occurred lately in the experience of General
          Grant. We have all sympathized with General Grant in his
          affliction. We have honored him for the position that he occupied
          in the nation, and many of us have hoped that he would live long
          to do good among the people. But at one period of his sickness
          the doctors asserted that the disease was likely to prove fatal
          at any moment, and Mrs. Grant was called into the room where he
          was. Dr. Newman, and two or three of the General's medical
          advisers were present, and Dr. Newman in the excess of his
          religion, or of his soul, and probably with some faith in the
          ceremony, got a little water and baptized the General--that is,
          sprinkled the water upon him--in the name of the Father and of
          the Son and of the Holy Ghost. General Grant was at the time
          unconscious and not expected to rally. But one of the doctors
          went out to an attendant and asked if he had a little brandy?
          Yes. After procuring the brandy he injected a little into the
          General's veins, which speedily restored him to consciousness.
          Dr. Newman on this recovery immediately said, "Oh! our faith and
          prayers have saved the General again. "No," says the doctor."
          This incident I only mention to show that there are theories in
          the Christian churches and among its most noted ministers in
          regard to the ordinance of baptism, and probably the great
          majority of Americans at some period of their lives have been
          baptized--as it is called, some having been sprinkled in
          childhood, some in more mature years, others by immersion, having
          been raised among the persuasion called Baptists, whether or no,
          there is some little importance attached to this ordinance of
          baptism, the Latter-day Saints accept in common with their
          fellow-Christians, or with other so-called Christians. They
          believe in being baptized as a necessary consequence of their
          faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ!
          Now, how were the early Christians baptized? I do not think that
          there is a shadow of evidence in the New Testament that they were
          any of them baptized by sprinkling, or in any other way save by
          that of immersion. We read of some that were baptized in a
          certain place "because there was much water there." We read of
          others who were converted in the night time, and who went
          straightway and were baptized. We read that the Savior told
          Nicodemus that, "except a man be born of water and of the spirit,
          he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." We read that Paul in
          writing to the Romans said that they were buried with Christ in
          baptism, and that their being raised from the water was an
          illustration of the rising of the Savior from the tomb, and we
          are further told by Peter that as the ark saved Noah, so also
          doth "baptism now save us." Baptism, indeed, was a divine
          ordinance. It was one of the steps in the science of religion
          having its own special position of power and blessing in the
          economy of God--one of the ordinances established for securing a
          certain measure or portion of salvation. 
          And after the disciples had thus been baptized they received the
          Holy Ghost by the "laying on of hands." Numerous illustrations of
          this fact might be pointed out; but as we are not speaking to
          skeptics, but to those who profess to believe the Bible, they can
          at their leisure refer to these illustrations, where the early
          converts had hands laid upon them for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
          And they can also look at the practice of the churches in our
          day, where in some denominations there is practiced the
          ordinances of confirmation and where the minister says unto those
          of his flock, "receive ye the gift of the Holy Ghost." This was
          also one of the principles of the Gospel. This gift of the Holy
          Ghost was the source of life, the source of intelligence, the
          source of knowledge and understanding: it was the power of
          inspiration and revelation resting upon the baptized--the men and
          women who had accepted the Savior as their leader and guide.
          I might multiply these illustrations of the science of religion.
          I might go on to show that there were other important elements in
          the teachings of those who were converted in early times to
          christianity. The world to-day is full of organizations. It knows
          the weakness of individual effort. It is when men and women are
          aggregated that they wield large influence over mankind, and the
          early christians were no strangers to the advantages of
          organization. They formed themselves into little groups called
          churches. In some places in the New Testament they are called the
          "church," in other places "the Church of God," in others "the
          Church of Christ." In these organizations there were officers.
          There were men appointed to fill certain positions in these
          organizations. This implied rule, authority; their power and
          authority to teach are everywhere exemplified in the Acts and
          Epistles of the New Testament. So much so that one of the
          apostles tells us that God had set in His Church Apostles,
          Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, etc., for the perfecting of the
          Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the
          body of Christ. These were the officers, the most active members
          of the church--those who had charge of its interests--those who
          had charge of the spiritual and temporal education of these early
          converts in the Church. There was a Christian church, then, in
          the early history of Christianity. Men were organized into
          groups--into churches and belonged to the true church of which
          Christ was the head! So there are organizations called churches
          in our day, and in the age in which we live. But there is one
          great difference between our age and that one. And what is that?
          Why, there is diversity in our time. The Church of Jesus Christ,
          the Church of the former-day Saints, was an unit. There was no
          rebellion within its ranks, no division in its councils, no
          clashing theories taught by its apostles. There was no rival or
          other organization ostensibly christian that could stand up and
          presume to dispute or deny that authority which the Church of God
          maintained. Yet in our time we have every variety of Church
          organization-- the Mother Church; the Episcopal Church; Methodism
          in all its forms and phases; Presbyterians, Baptists, and a host
          of others. These are diverse from each other in doctrine and
          sentiment and organization and theory and practice, and
          consequently unlike the primitive church as established by Christ
          and His Apostles. Now, can they with these differences, with
          these divergences, and with this variety of teaching,--can they
          accomplish that designed by the founder of the original church? I
          hardly think so. Common sense says this is impossible. If the
          first church was divine in its order, divine in its ordinances,
          divine in its officers, divine in its institutions, if it was to
          accomplish a divine purpose, nothing short of that divine order
          could accomplish that purpose in this or any other age of the
          world. That is why Sectarianism has failed to bring the people to
          a unity of the faith. That is why it has not accomplished so much
          good as it might have done upon the earth. It is like a rope of
          sand. Every minister fighting, and every congregation quarrelling
          for the ascendancy of their own special and peculiar sect and
          faith. You go into any little village of a few scattered hundreds
          and you will find four or five churches there, each one
          endeavoring to perpetuate its own special idea, partly
          irrespective of the salvation of the masses. In fact they have
          become money making institutions. Ministers have become
          professionals. They preach for money and divine for hire. They
          are more content to ask the congregation what they shall preach
          than to stand valiantly for the truth as preached by Jesus Christ
          and His Apostles, and as recorded in the book which from first to
          last, they profess to reverence and sustain.
          This is the criticism of the Latter-day Saint upon the religious
          world, and because of this criticism, because of this
          understanding, thousands and tens of thousands have been led to
          embrace that which is known to the world as "Mormonism."
          What is "Mormonism?" It is a restoration, a re-revealment of the
          same principles that were practiced by the early Christians. They
          had not a doctrine, they had not an ordinance, they had not an
          officer, but what is taught and found in the Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now, the world have no idea we have
          got away with them that far. Has it come about by our own wisdom?
          No, sir. Where did you get it? Right in the State of New York,
          through a chosen man--a boy, rather--by the name of Joseph Smith.
          Who was Joseph Smith? A man like you and I. Who were the old
          prophets? Who was Elijah? He was a man with all the failings of
          his fellow men; subject to like passions with his brethren. Who
          were the Savior's Apostles? Men like ourselves! Who was Joseph
          Smith? A young man with many weaknesses and follies, it may be,
          of his own, and some akin to the failings of those by whom he was
          surrounded. How did he acquire this knowledge and information? It
          was communicated from on high. The spirit of inspiration and
          revelation rested upon him. He held communion with God and with
          His Son Jesus Christ. He received the ministration of Angels, and
          the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood from those who
          once exercised that authority in the flesh and he was ordained
          and dedicated to introduce this order again among mankind. Do you
          believe that? We Latter-day Saints believe it. Nay, more, we know
          it for ourselves. We have had testimony for year upon year in our
          experience that God was with him in manhood; that He enabled him
          to establish His Church, and that He gave him power to ordain
          others to go forth to the nations of the earth and gather the
          obedient and the good from the masses of mankind. The good I
          said. "Well," says one, "do you mean that you Latter-day Saints
          are any better than we are." I do not know that I do in this
          sense of the word. I mean that there was found scattered among
          the nations a people prepared of God for the reception of the
          truth. Individuals were looking for the salvation of Israel. They
          had been suffering under the inconsistencies, traditions and
          superstitions of the churches to which they belonged, and they
          were waiting for the coming of the man sent of God. And when he
          came or sent his representatives, there were thousands everywhere
          that heard the word gladly. Where? In enlightened America, in the
          land of Bibles, in the land of churches, in the land of culture,
          in the land of religious liberty, where every one is supposed to
          have the right to worship God according to the dictates of his
          own conscience, and with none to molest him or make him afraid.
          They accepted the teachings of this lad. Was he an educated
          person? No, not in the sense that the world would call education.
          He had not been raised in any college of our great country; he
          had not studied the classics; he was not born in Boston, or
          anywhere in its immediate vicinity; but he was taught of the
          heavens, he was inspired of God, and he went forth in the
          strength of that education, and Utah Territory spreading from the
          north to the south, from the east to the west is the product of
          his labors and the labors of the Elders that have followed in his
          wake. "And," says one, "you believe this, that he was a prophet
          of God." Yes, we do. We will apply the same test that was applied
          in former days, the days of the Savior. Jesus said: If any man
          will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of
          God or whether I speak of myself, and as was said of the Savior
          "we know that thou art a teacher sent from God, for no man can do
          the things that thou does except God be with him," so we can say
          of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Though he was called in poverty and
          raised in ignorance, yet the Lord made him mighty, and no man
          unless he had been thus sent of God, could have accomplished the
          work that he has performed. You can find in this Territory people
          of every nationality almost. You can find them from every state
          of this Union. You can find people that have been identified with
          every religious organization. You can find people that are well
          up in the doctrines of the religious world, and who comprehend
          the truths that are taught to them from time to time. These have
          been gathered from the nations by the power of truth, by the
          influence that the Elders carried, and they have colonized and
          spread abroad until the population is numerous in all the valleys
          of this mountain country. Strangers come here very curious to
          know what kind of people these "Mormons" are. They come filled
          with prejudice and with hatred, with contention and strife. Many
          envy our prosperity, and some say, "If we let this people alone
          they will take away our place and nation." Well, as I have said,
          this has been done by the power of truth, by the preaching of the
          simple principles that you can find in the Bible, and that can
          never, no never, be overthrown. The Elders of Israel have never
          been met successfully by the combined learning of the ministers
          in Christendom. The Elders have gone for them like giants, while
          conscious of personal weakness; like little David, they have
          taken the sling and the stone gathered from the brook, until the
          heads of many goliaths of our day have reeled and fallen beneath
          the blow.
          This is what "Mormonism" is. It is nothing more, nothing less,
          than the restoration of the old Gospel under the sanction and
          approbation of the heavens. The Elders of Israel hold the
          authority of the Holy Priesthood to induct men into the Kingdom
          of God; to baptize in water for the remission of sins, and to lay
          hands upon them for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and as in olden
          times, the signs have followed the believer.
          With this knowledge don't you think we can stand a good deal of
          this persecution to which we are subject? Do you think that bonds
          or imprisonment or death affects so sublime and decided a faith?
          "But," say some, " you are not persecuted for these things: you
          are persecuted for other things. Here is that offensive practice
          that you call polygamy, this is the great trouble between you and
          the fifty-five millions of the nation." Well, who of that
          fifty-five millions have we robbed in that? Have we taken any
          man's wife who may have passed through this Territory against his
          consent? What law have we violated in regard to this thing? Any
          law in this book (holding up the Bible) against it? Can you find
          it, you ministers, you religious professors, you wide spread
          organizations? Have we done violence to the laws of God, or have
          we not honored the practice of the patriarchs? Have we not
          accepted that which was approved of God in the ages that are
          past, and which gave men prestige as the favored of our race. Men
          whom we are told were the friends of God. "Ah, well," says one,
          "that was in the dark ages." Just so. But it was when God made
          Himself manifest among His children; when angels communed with
          those that dwelt upon the earth; when the spirit of revelation
          was felt among mankind; when the institutions of God's house and
          the ordinances thereof prevailed among the chosen people of God?
          And you call that a day of darkness! Boston was not known then,
          it is true. The great cities of this day had no existence in
          their present form. Civilization with all its concomitants were
          not then in existence, or like Sodom and Gomorrah under the hall
          of brimstone and almighty wrath, its cities might only have been
          found to-day, as great, dead, saline seas. The dark ages! The age
          of Abraham! The age of Jacob and the founding of the tribes of
          Israel. The ages of Samuel! The age of the Judges of Israel! The
          ages when God made Himself manifest among that great people in
          delivering them from the hand of the iron rule of Pharaoh, and
          gave unto them a goodly land. The ages that gave David and
          Solomon and the magnificent Temple of Jerusalem. Dark ages, that
          brought on to this stage of action the Savior of mankind! Dark
          ages, when the church which He established, flourished in the
          midst of persecution, when its leaders suffered martyrdom. Dark
          indeed, if they had not had the light of the Gospel; if they had
          not had this sunshine of inspiration; if they had not known of
          the power of God; if they had not had a testimony within
          themselves that they had received that which would enhance their
          welfare not only in this life, but the life to come. Would to God
          we had again a renewal--nay, a glimpse of the dark ages of the
          past, and that the same benignant light was now spreading
          throughout this our land with its Christian churches, schools and
          colleges, that its corruptions and evils might hide their head
          and be banished from the midst of sorrowing mankind.
          This, then, as I have intimated to you, is "Mormonism." It is the
          power of God unto salvation to all those who shall obey. And the
          promise is not unto us only, but unto our children, and our
          children's children, down to the latest generation. And if men
          and women anywhere, want that salvation which comes of God, which
          comes of the Gospel, which comes of the acceptance of Jesus as
          the Savior of mankind, they will have to find it in "Mormonism"
          as the world call it, or in other words in the restoration of the
          Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; and if they want men to induct
          them into that Kingdom, to baptize them in water for the
          remission of sins, to lay hands on them for the gift of the Holy
          Ghost, they will have to find them in the Church of Jesus Christ
          of Latter-day Saints, the poor, despised, derided, and as men
          believe everywhere, ignorant people in the valleys of the
          mountains, called "Mormons;" whose faith and institutions are now
          sought to be overthrown by their enemies, by legislation of
          Congress, by proclamations of Governors and the action of the
          Courts, they will find salvation with that people just as
          assuredly as in primitive Christian times the Pharisees, the
          Saduccees, and other sectarians, found salvation at the hands of
          the fishermen of Galilee.
          I presume I have taken up all the time that is necessary; but I
          pray that the power of God may rest upon this congregation; that
          strangers may lay aside their prejudices and preconceived notions
          in regard to the Latter-day Saints; that they may be willing to
          believe that some good may come out of Nazareth, even from here;
          that every man and woman professing to be a Saint of God, may be
          able to give "a reason for the hope that is in them," in the name
          of Jesus Christ, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / George
          Q. Cannon, October 18th, 1884
                        George Q. Cannon, October 18th, 1884
                         Delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden,
                         Sunday Morning, October 18th, 1884.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                    ORDINANCES OF
                                     EXAMPLE OF
                                      WHO DIED
          I WILL read a portion of the 7th chapter of Paul's Epistle to the
          [The speaker read the whole of the 7th chapter.]
          Proceeding he said: This chapter that I have read in your hearing
          is the 7th chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews. In this
          entire book of Hebrews, Paul reasons with the Jews, unto whom the
          epistle was addressed, to show them that Jesus, the Son of God,
          whom they had crucified, was a Priest after the order of
          Melchizedek, and that the Priesthood which had been taken away
          during the days of Moses in the wilderness, had been restored
          through Him. The Jews entertained the idea that Priesthood
          necessarily came through the tribe of Levi, and that the power
          and the authority thereof--that is, to minister in all things
          pertaining to the Priesthood were confined to that tribe, and
          that no one had the right outside of that tribe to officiate in
          the ordinances pertaining to God and to mediation between God and
          the people or the people and God. But Paul very clearly proved in
          his reasoning with them that there was a Priesthood higher than
          that which had been exercised by the descendants of Aaron.
          It is well for us, who, as a people, believe in Priesthood, that
          we should understand the nature and character and power of the
          Priesthood which God confirms upon man when he calls him to act
          in His stead in the midst of the people. As a people we differ in
          our views upon these points from almost every other church. There
          are one or two sects in existence which attach a great importance
          to Priesthood, but the most of them which form the so-called
          Christian world reject the idea of Priesthood, and deny that it
          is necessary for it to be bestowed upon man. This feeling has
          doubtless arisen as a consequence of the abuses that have grown
          up through the maladministration of what is termed the
          Priesthood. In rebelling against the Catholic Church and its
          pretensions men have gone to the other extreme, and have
          discarded the idea of Priesthood entirely, and claimed that all
          men are alike before God; that all men are equally endowed with
          authority from God, and to exercise the power and the authority
          that were originally bestowed upon those who held the truth.
          In these last days, in the organization of this Church, God, in
          His infinite wisdom, impressed upon his servant Joseph Smith the
          necessity of there being a re-bestowal of the Priesthood, in
          order to give him the authority to officiate in the ordinances of
          the Kingdom of God. This must have been impressed upon the
          prophet's mind at a very early day, from the fact that,
          notwithstanding he had been brought up among the protestant
          sects, and had doubtless shared in the views which they
          entertained respecting the right of all men who were impressed by
          the spirit, and who were prompted by an inward call to act as
          ministers of God, he refrained from attempting in the least
          degree to do anything in the name of God or of Jesus Christ until
          he had received the power and authority from on high through the
          bestowal of the Priesthood upon him. The revelations he had
          received from the Lord, with the ministration of holy angels, did
          not, he plainly perceived, authorize him to act as a minister of
          the Lord in the administration of ordinances. He never attempted
          to anything in administering ordinances, or anything that a
          Priest might do, until he had been ordained of God through the
          administration of John the Baptist. Then, and not till then, did
          he officiate in the ordinance baptism. Much as he and his
          companion desired that ordinance; much as they desired to become
          participants in the blessings that flow from the reception of an
          ordinance of that holy character, he never attempted, until he
          had been thus empowered from on high, to administer it.
          Now, the prevalent idea in the world has been that if a man
          should be so favored as to receive the ministrations or
          visitations of angels, or to receive any manifestations of what
          might be termed a supernatural character, he would be completely
          invested with the power necessary to preach the Gospel unto his
          fellow men and to administer all the ordinances thereof. But the
          Prophet Joseph not only received the ministrations of angels, but
          actually had revelations from God, which are written in the Book
          of Doctrine and Covenants, and which are now the word of God to
          the Church. He received these revelations through the inspiration
          of the Almighty. He also by means of the Urim and Thummim
          translated the Book of Mormon; was, in fact, a seer as well as a
          revelator; had the spirit of prophecy to predict those things
          that should take place in the future, and many events that have
          since taken place were prophesied of by him before he was really
          ordained of God to administer the ordinances of life and
          salvation. I know that this is an exceptional instance. It may be
          possible that there is not another like it in the history of our
          race where a man was so highly favored of God, endowed with such
          authority, such power and had such manifestations of the mind and
          will of God as he received without having the Holy Priesthood.
          But it accords with the ideas so frequently expressed by the
          brethren respecting the Prophet Joseph and many others, that they
          were ordained before the foundations of the world were laid to
          come forth and accomplish the labor and the work that they did.
          There is no room for doubt in regard to the truth of this
          statement that is so frequently made. In the early boyhood of the
          Prophet Joseph, he was moved upon in a mysterious manner to seek
          unto God. By the exercise of a faith that was uncommon, and in
          fact it may be said unknown upon the earth, he was able to
          receive the ministrations of God the Father, and of His Son Jesus
          Christ; thus showing in the very beginning of his career, that he
          was a man or a spirit that was highly favored of God--a man to
          whom God desired to give particular manifestations of his
          kindness and goodness and power, and this was followed up from
          that time until his death by continued manifestations of the
          favor and the will and the power of God unto him. But it is a
          remarkable fact--and I wish to impress it, I think it is worthy
          of remembrance by all of us--that notwithstanding the Prophet
          Joseph had all these manifestations, and was, as I have said, a
          prophet and seer and revelator, he never
          attempted--notwithstanding the ideas that were so prevalent among
          mankind, and especially in the region where he lived and where he
          received his education--to officiate in any of the ordinances of
          the house of God, or of the Gospel of salvation, until he
          received the everlasting Priesthood. When that was bestowed upon
          him; when he received the Priesthood after the order of Aaron,
          and was ordained by the angel who alone held the keys, who was a
          literal descendant of Aaron, and by virtue of that descent
          entitled to the keys of that Priesthood, having exercised the
          authority thereof while in the flesh--then and not till then did
          he administer the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins.
          And then he refrained from acting in ordinances belonging to the
          Melchizedek Priesthood, that higher Priesthood, by the authority
          of which the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost is administered
          unto the children of men. Having authority to baptize in water
          given unto him, he did not go any farther, until the Lord in His
          kindness and mercy bestowed upon him, through the administration
          of those apostles who held the keys after the death of our
          Savior, the authority to administer in those higher ordinances
          and to exercise the power and authority of this higher
          Priesthood. This illustrates most perfectly how careful men ought
          to be in acting in the name of God, not to overstep the bounds of
          the authority conferred upon them, but to carefully keep within
          those limits that are assigned to them in which to exercise
          authority. It is a lesson unto us as a people. We should be
          particular ourselves and should impress every man with the great
          care that he should exercise to confine his acts to the authority
          which he has received from the Almighty.
          Jesus himself, no doubt, was equally careful in regard to the
          authority which He held. He was called to be a Priest after the
          order of Melchizedek--that is, this higher Priesthood. He
          exercised the authority thereof among the children of men. He
          still is a Priest after that holy order. It was by virtue of that
          Priesthood that He officiated in the ordinances that He
          administered unto men. Though the Son of God, the Savior himself,
          did not attempt, because of His sonship, because of His high
          descent, to officiate among the children of men aside from and
          independent of the authority of the Holy Priesthood, that is, the
          Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. It was by virtue of
          that Priesthood and authority that he officiated, that he
          administered the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, which
          John the Baptist announced unto the people he would do when He
          came. Jesus in administering that baptism and conferring that
          blessing, did so by virtue of and in the authority of the
          Melchizedek Priesthood. He would not, as I have said, have dared
          to do this independent of that authority; so in laying His hands
          upon His Apostles He conferred upon them this power and this
          authority. He commanded them to go forth and administer unto the
          children of men by virtue of that power and authority, and the
          Church that He built up, and this Church of His that is now
          established in these last days, and the officers of it, derive
          their authority from that source. It has come down legitimately
          from the days of Melchizedek; in fact it has come down from our
          great father Adam. He received the Priesthood of the Son of God;
          He was ordained to that Priesthood, and it has come down by
          lineal descent from him unto all his children who have that
          authority to-day and who exercise it upon the earth. It can be
          traced in the same manner as the descent of man can be traced. It
          can be traced to Father Adam. He received it through angelic
          administration. It was bestowed upon him and upon his son Abel
          and upon his son Seth, and from them it has come down through the
          line of the Priesthood--from Seth to Enos, from Enos to Cainan,
          from Cainan to Mahalaleel, and so on down until the days of Noah,
          who received it from his grandfather. These men were ordained in
          their various generations to this Priesthood, the Priesthood
          after the holiest order, the Priesthood after the order of the
          Son of God. By virtue of this Priesthood Noah and his sons
          ministered and labored, as we are told, among the children of men
          to persuade them to forsake their sins and turn to righteousness,
          lest the Lord should overwhelm them with a flood. This flood had
          been predicted long before it came. Enoch had beheld it in
          vision, and he went forth, as we are told in the record that has
          come down to us from him, and labored to the best of his ability
          among the children of men to avert the dreadful consequences of
          this threatened flood, which he had been informed by the Lord
          would overwhelm the inhabitants because of their wickedness. He
          labored in this Priesthood for 365 years and upwards--that is, he
          walked with God for that length of time,--and by the exercise of
          that Priesthood he obtained such great power from God that he and
          his people were translated. Zion was not. It was taken to the
          bosom of the Lord. The Priesthood, however, was still left. His
          son Methuselah received it, and he bestowed it upon Lamech, and
          Noah received it, from Methuselah, and the sons of Noah received
          and exercised the authority of it in the midst of the children of
          men in order to save them, but were unsuccessful. Melchizedek
          received it, and because of his greatness and the power that he
          attained unto with God, he became so distinguished that the
          Priesthood after the order of the Son of God has been called
          after his name from that time until the present, to avoid, as we
          are told in the revelations, the too frequent repetition of the
          name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Then Abraham received
          it, and he bestowed it upon his children. Moses, however,
          received it through a different line, as we are told. He received
          it from his father-in-law, Jethro, and exercised it among the
          people. It was the same Priesthood that his ancestor Abraham
          held, and by it he performed the mighty works that he
          To return again to Melchizedek. We find here that Paul in
          speaking about him says that he was "King of peace." And he goes
          on to say, as we have it translated, that he was "without father,
          without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of
          days, nor end of life," and the whole Christian world have gone
          astray over this expression of Paul, not being able to understand
          it, thinking that that which I read in your hearing referred to
          Melchizedek himself, when in reality it was the Priesthood he
          bore. It was after the power of an endless life. It had no
          beginning; no end. It is eternal as our Father and God, and it
          extends into the eternities to come, and it is as endless as
          eternity is endless, and as our God is endless: for it is the
          power and authority by which our Father and God sits upon His
          throne and wields the power He does throughout the innumerable
          worlds over which He exercises dominion. It is the power and
          authority by which the Son of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus
          Christ, has attained unto that which has been promised unto Him,
          and by which He has become the Savior and the Redeemer of the
          This Priesthood, as I have said, came down unto Moses, but the
          children of Israel would not have it in their midst. We are told
          very plainly in the revelation that Moses sought diligently to
          sanctify his people and to lead them into the presence of God by
          means of this Priesthood, but they would not have it. The
          ordinances of godliness that were administered by it were not
          acceptable to that generation; they rejected them, and besought
          Moses to stand between them and their Father and God, for they
          could not endure His presence. Hence the Priesthood was taken
          away, and there was no exercise of the power and the authority of
          it among the Jews, except occasionally, when Prophets received
          authority from the Lord, until the days of the Savior, when it
          was restored once more in its fullness and in the plentitude of
          its power to the earth, and men began to exercise the authority
          My brethren and sisters, we are building temples at the present
          time in which we have ordinances administered unto us for those
          who have died. Why is this necessary? It is because the
          Priesthood of the Son of God was withdrawn for a long period of
          time from the earth. The children of men have been born, they
          have lived, they have died without any of the ordinances being
          administered unto them by those who held the Priesthood of the
          Son of God. It is true that many sought after God in a certain
          manner and according to the light they had, and many obtained
          some degree of knowledge concerning God. Some of them had a
          testimony of Him through their faith, and died at peace with God.
          Many of our ancestors lived in this condition, and God bore
          witness to them by His Holy Spirit that He was pleased with them.
          But what of that? Is that all that is necessary to place them in
          a saved condition? By no means. Something more than that is
          necessary to obtain for them the full remission of their sins and
          to place them in a condition where they can be saved and exalted
          in God's presence. As I said to you in the beginning, something
          more was necessary for Joseph than that he was a Revelator, a
          Seer, and a Prophet to constitute him a servant of God empowered
          to administer the ordinances of life and salvation. A Wesley, a
          Luther, a Calvin, a Wycliffe, and a host of others who have
          arisen in the world, imbued with the highest and purest motives,
          and the highest and most intense desires for the salvation of
          their fellow men, have labored zealously to turn men to God, and
          to bring them to a knowledge of the Savior; but they have not had
          the authority of the Holy Priesthood. They themselves could not
          usher people into the Church of God. They could not legitimately
          administer an ordinance pertaining to the salvation of the human
          family. Yet God, in many instances, accepted of them, where they
          sought unto Him according to the best light they possessed; He
          accepted of them and their labors, and He witnessed unto them, by
          the outpouring of His Spirit upon them, that He was pleased with
          them and He whispered peace to their souls. In every land, in
          every nation, and among the people of every creed, men and women
          of this kind have been found, and according to their faith and
          diligence their works have been acceptable to our Father. Men
          have thought that the Christian lands and the Christian people,
          so called, have been the most favored of God in this respect. No
          doubt they have, because they have had knowledge concerning the
          Savior that other lands and other peoples have not had; but in
          pagan lands, where the name of Jesus has never been heard, where
          men have sought after God and endeavored to live according to the
          light that He has given unto them and the Spirit that He has
          bestowed upon them, and which He bestows upon every man and woman
          born into the world, He has accepted of them, and in the day of
          the Lord Jesus, the heathen will have part in the first
          resurrection. Our ancestors have, in common with others, been
          destitute of the power and the authority of the Holy Priesthood.
          Hence we build temples; hence we go into these temples and attend
          to the ordinances of life and salvation for our kindred who have
          died in ignorance of this power, or were in a position where they
          could not have it exercised in their behalf. They could not be
          baptized for the remission of their sins; they could not have
          hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost; they
          could not have any other ordinance administered unto them,
          because the authority to administer was not upon the earth, and
          whatever might be done in the name of God or in the name of
          Jesus, by those who thought they had the authority, or who
          assumed to possess it, was of no avail so far as salvation was
          concerned; so far as acceptance by the Lord our God is concerned
          it was as though nothing had been done. Hence it is that in these
          last days, God having in His great kindness and mercy, opened the
          heavens once more and sent from heaven that authority which has
          so long been withdrawn--God having done this, we are put in
          possession of the authority to administer to each other the
          ordinances of life and salvation, and not only to administer to
          each other, but to exercise that authority in behalf of those who
          have lived before us, lived in ages that are past, so that we can
          connect generation unto generation until we reach back to the
          time when our ancestors did hold the Holy Priesthood. In this
          manner the work of salvation will progress, until throughout the
          millennium, temples will be built, and the servants and
          handmaidens of God will go into these temples and officiate,
          until all who have been born upon the face of the earth, who have
          not become sons of perdition, will be redeemed, and the entire
          family be re-united, Adam standing at the head.
          You can see, my brethren and sisters, the importance there is in
          our having the Priesthood of the Son of God in our midst. You see
          how necessary it is that it should be exercised and exercised
          properly. You can see how necessary it is that the ordinances of
          life and salvation should be administered by those who are
          legitimately ordained to this authority. When a man lays his
          hands upon the head of his fellow man and professes to bestow
          authority, the mere profession of that authority will avail
          nothing unless he has indeed the authority and has it
          legitimately. A man who may profess to have the authority; a man
          who may say I have ordained this person or the other person,
          unless he has the authority to do so is a mere pretender, and his
          acts cannot be recognized nor acknowledged of God. I believe the
          time will come when it will be necessary for every man to trace
          the line in which he has received the Priesthood that he
          exercises. It is therefore of great importance in our Church that
          records should be kept, and that every man should know whence he
          derives his authority--from what source, through what channel he
          has received that Holy Priesthood, and by what right he exercises
          that authority and administers the ordinances thereof. I believe
          this is of extreme importance, and that where there are doubts as
          to a man's legitimately exercising that authority, that doubt
          should be removed. Every man should be careful on this point, to
          know where he gets his Priesthood; that it has come to him clean
          and undefiled, legitimately; and when men are cut off from that
          Priesthood by the voice of the servants of God, there is an
          authority on the earth which God recognizes in the heavens, and
          that man is cut off from the Priesthood. He said in ancient days
          in speaking to His Apostles:
          "Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and
          whosoever sins ye retain; they are retained."
          "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
          and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in
          In these last days God has, in like manner, restored this same
          authority of the Holy Priesthood. He has restored to man the
          power to bind on earth and it shall be bound in heaven. He has
          restored the authority to remit sins on earth, and He, the Great
          Eternal, our Father in heaven, says that when these sins are
          remitted they shall be remitted, but when they are not remitted
          they shall stand against those who commit the sins.
          Therefore, there is this authority in the Church, and you can
          witness the exercise of it, and the power of it, in your own
          experience. When ever the voice of the people of God, and the
          authorities that God has placed in His Church, whom He has
          ordained--whenever they lift up their hands against a man to cut
          him off from the Church, to withdraw from him the authority of
          the Priesthood that he has exercised, in every instance without a
          single exception, from the beginning of this Church until to-day,
          God has most signally and wonderfully manifested His approval of
          their acts and has withdrawn from that man, (whosoever he may be,
          however great and mighty he may have been in the Church) His
          power and His blessing. It was so with Oliver Cowdery, the
          companion of Joseph, the man who received with him the
          Priesthood, upon whose head John the Baptist laid his hands, and
          upon whose head, also, the Apostles Peter, James and John laid
          their hands. These glorious blessings and favors that God gave to
          him did not prevent his falling into sin. When he did fall into
          sin and the Church and the Priesthood united in lifting their
          hands to cut him off from the Church, and take from him the
          Priesthood united in lifting their hands to cut him off from the
          Church, and take from him the Priesthood and the authority that
          he had so powerfully exercised and which God had favored him with
          so much, God recognized the action. Other men fell, also. Six of
          the original twelve fell into transgression. They were men of
          ability, men of talent. Some of them were greatly favored. Lyman
          Johnson had wonderful manifestations given unto him; but when he
          fell into transgression and the Church with the Priesthood united
          in lifting up their hands against him the power and authority
          that had distinguished him before was withdrawn and he became as
          other men. And so with all of them. So with Sidney Rigdon, that
          mighty man, that eloquent man, that spokesman for the Prophet
          Joseph, of whom the Book of Mormon had spoken for hundreds yes,
          it may be said for thousands of years before his birth. He also,
          when the Priesthood and Church in Nauvoo lifted up their hands
          against him, fell like Lucifer, who once was a mighty angel in
          the presence of God, and exercised great authority; like Lucifer
          he fell, and the authority and power that had attended him were
          withdrawn, and he became like unto other men. This has been the
          case in every instance. Can you point out an exception? Look at
          them wherever you see them, the men that have held the
          Priesthood, who were bright and influential and powerful, whom
          God blessed, whose administrations God sealed when they were in
          the possession of that authority, exercising it in purity and in
          singleness of purpose--when this was the case He was with them;
          but when they went into transgression and fell and the Priesthood
          was taken from them, they became weak, and their strength was
          gone. They are marked among the people wherever you see them.
          Thus showing that God in these last days confirms the promise
          that He made unto His servants, that whatsoever they bound on
          earth should be bound in heaven, and that whatsoever they loosed
          on earth should be loosed in heaven.
          It is by the exercise of this power in our midst that we are
          preserved. God has given it unto us. It is true He has placed
          this authority and power, it may be said, in earthen vessels. He
          has chosen weak men, fallible men, men who are subject to all the
          failings and weaknesses of human nature. But, nevertheless, it is
          the authority of God. It is the authority by which He has built
          up His Church in all ages. It is the authority, the only
          authority upon the earth that can act in His name. When a man has
          this authority and goes forth and confines himself to its
          legitimate exercise and keeps within the bounds of his authority,
          God is with him; God confirms that which he does; God places His
          seal and His blessing and approval upon his acts; and though all
          the earth should endeavor to undo them and to say they are of no
          effect, they will stand, nevertheless, and in the Courts of
          heaven will be recorded and confirmed. There is no power among
          men that can disannul these acts, that can revoke or invalidate
          them in any manner. It is this that raises this Church beyond the
          power and reach of man. Courts cannot affect in any manner the
          decisions or the acts of the ordinances that are administered by
          the servants of God. That which is done in the name of the Holy
          Priesthood will stand and will be fulfilled both in the world and
          out of the world, both in time and in eternity. Hence it is that
          when an Elder goes forth in the authority of the Holy Priesthood,
          and baptizes a candidate who has repented of his sins, God
          confirms that ordinance; God remits the sins of that individual;
          God by bestowing His Holy Spirit witnesses unto that soul that
          his sins or her sins are remitted. In like manner when an Elder
          lays his hands upon the head of a man or a woman who has been
          thus baptized and says unto that individual, "receive ye the Holy
          Ghost," God in heaven bound by the oath and the covenant that He
          has made, bound by all the conditions that pertain to the
          everlasting Priesthood, will cause the Holy Ghost to descend upon
          that soul, and he or she will be filled therewith. He received
          the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, and it stands on the
          earth and it stands in heaven recorded in favor of that soul if
          he continues to observe the conditions under which that baptism
          and confirmation are administered. There is no human power that
          can deprive that individual of the fruits of that blessing which
          has been thus sealed upon him by authority of the Holy
          So with other ordinances. When men go forward and attend to other
          ordinances, such as receiving their endowments, their washings,
          their anointings, receiving the promises connected therewith,
          these promises will be fulfilled to the very letter in time and
          in eternity--that is, if they themselves are true to the
          conditions upon which the blessings are promised. And so it is
          when persons go to the altar and are married for time and
          eternity. When the man who officiates says: "I seal upon you the
          power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection,
          crowned with glory, immortality, and eternal lives," just as sure
          as that promise is made, and the persons united (to whom the
          promise is made) conform with the conditions thereof, the
          efficacy, or that can prevent the fulfillment of that promise
          when it is pronounced upon a man and woman by the authority of
          the Holy Priesthood--that is, there is no power but that which
          they themselves can exercise. It is a remarkable fact, that there
          is no blessing that God has promised unto us that any human
          being, that any angel, or any devil can take from us. There is no
          power of that kind that can take it from us. But a man himself,
          by sinning, can rob himself of his blessing; he can prevent its
          fulfillment; but no human being can do it beside himself.
          Remember this, Latter-day Saints; remember it, and treasure it up
          in your hearts, that you have salvation within your own keeping.
          If you are damned, you damn yourselves; you will be the
          instrument of your own damnation. It will not be because God will
          damn you; it will not be because Satan has such power that he can
          take away every blessing from you; it will not be because of
          anything of that kind. How will it come about? It will come to
          every soul by wrong-doing on the part of that soul. He or she
          alone can bring condemnation on himself or herself. There is no
          other power can do it. Hence if we are damned we shall have no
          one to blame but ourselves; we shall have no one to condemn but
          ourselves; it will be the result of our own agency, the exercise
          of that power which God gave to Adam and Eve in the Garden of
          Eden when he said, "of every tree of the garden thou mayest
          freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
          thou shall not eat." He gave them their agency. He said to them:
          "You can eat of every tree but one, and you can eat that also;
          but I forbid you to eat of it, the tree of the knowledge of good
          and evil; if you do eat of that tree you will have to endure the
          In the exercise of their agency they did eat of that tree, and
          the result was expulsion from the garden of Eden and death. And
          so it has been with all the rest of the human family from that
          time unto the present. Every one of us will bring upon ourselves
          either salvation or condemnation as the case may be, according to
          the manner in which we exercise our agency before God. It is by
          this Priesthood and the exercise of it, that the blessings of God
          will flow unto us. It is by this Priesthood that we are bound
          together. God has surrounded us by bonds that are indissoluble.
          They cannot be separated. Time cannot wear them out. They will
          endure throughout eternity. It is a most wonderful tie, the
          binding tie of the holy Priesthood. Never were a people upon the
          face of the earth since the Priesthood was among men, so bound
          together as we are being bound; and this is the glorious feature
          of the tie that binds us together; it can only operate upon those
          who are righteous; it can only have effect when righteousness
          prevails and where people live in such a manner as to receive the
          promises of God. A man who practices wrong may have all these
          blessings pronounced upon him; he may have been baptized and have
          had hands laid upon him; he may go through the Temple and have
          wives sealed to him and have every blessing promised unto him
          that is promised to the most faithful of the children of God, and
          yet if he does not live so as to be worthy of these blessings he
          will not receive them; he will, sooner or later, be bereft of
          them and left destitute. This is the glorious feature of this
          great tie that God has restored to the earth. It only binds the
          righteous. It does not bind the wicked to the righteous. It does
          not bind the wicked to the wicked. Its power and saving force can
          only be exercised or enjoyed where righteousness prevails. Hence
          when the people of God come forth in the resurrection, they will
          come forth pure. There will then be a separation of the wicked
          from the righteous. The righteous will enjoy their own society.
          In this probation it seems to be designed in providence of our
          God that we should all be mixed up together--no thorough
          separation. When we came to these valleys we thought we had left
          the world behind us. We thought that because these mighty
          mountains, which reared themselves on every hand as an impassable
          barrier between us and the rest of the world, Babylon was left
          behind. We thought we could live comparatively pure lives, and
          that we would be comparatively free from the associations of the
          world. But such ideas have been dispelled--very rudely
          dispelled--by that which has occurred. Babylon followed us. We
          find that these mountains are not sufficient to divide us from
          the rest of the world; that we must share with the rest of
          mankind the evils and the blessings that pertain to this mortal
          condition of existence. We have these circumstances to contend
          with. We are mixed with the wicked. The tares and the wheat grow
          together, and will grow until the harvest. This seems to be
          designed in the providence of our Father. But the time will come
          when there will be a separation, a final separation, of the
          righteous from the wicked, and that separation will be brought
          about by the exercise of the Priesthood which God has bestowed.
          That Priesthood will draw up from the earth the pure, the holy,
          the worthy. It will draw them up to the society of God.
          Everything that is not pure will be left behind. Then we will
          feel and known the value of that tie. By it the man will draw his
          wives to him; by it the father and mother will draw their
          children to them; by it generation will be linked to generation,
          until all will be united clear back to our father Adam, the
          father of the human race on the earth. All this will be
          accomplished by the power and authority of the Priesthood.
          Do you understand, then, why the Priesthood of the Son of God is
          hated; why the lives of the servants of God are sought after; why
          it is that they are sought to be imprisoned and ensnared in
          various forms? It is because the adversary of souls knows full
          well that if this Priesthood remains on the earth, then farewell
          to his kingdom, farewell to the dominion that he has exercised
          over the children of men. It cannot continue its existence. He
          knows that as well as we do. He understands it perfectly. Hence
          he has ever sought to destroy from the face of the earth the men
          who have held the Priesthood of the Son of God. He was not
          satisfied until the earth drank the precious blood of the Savior
          of the world, and the life of every man who has held the
          Priesthood, and has exercised it from the days of righteous Abel
          down to the present time, has been sought for to a greater or
          less extent by the adversary of souls. He has used men as his
          agents to accomplish this. He cannot himself come here and
          exercise his power in his own person, because it was forbidden
          him, and his angels who rebelled with him, in consequence of
          their great transgression, that they should have tabernacles of
          flesh. This was their punishment, that they should not have
          tabernacles of flesh. But from the day he entered into the
          serpent in the garden of Eden to the present he has sought,
          through the agency of man or beast, the lives of those who have
          held the Priesthood. In this way he has sought to exercise his
          power and authority among men. He did so with Cain. Read in the
          Pearl of Great Price what he did with him; how he tempted him,
          and how Cain succumbed to his temptation. He said to Cain,
          "believe it not," and he has been using the same words to all the
          children of men from that time to the present. "Believe it not!"
          When the servants of God have proclaimed the truth Satan has ever
          been ready to say, "believe it not!" He has instilled into the
          minds of the children of men hatred for the truth--that is, every
          one that has been willing to listen to him. He has entered into
          them, taken possession of their souls, and has used them to
          accomplish his wicked purposes. He has done this through man. He
          could not do it without he had some tabernacle to operate
          through. He could not deceive Eve--or did not deceive her--except
          through the means of the serpent. The serpent was willing,
          doubtless, to let him enter, and he spoke through the serpent. It
          was the mouth of the serpent, but it was the voice of Satan that
          beguiled the woman. He was determined that God's work should not
          prosper in the earth. He has determined that the children of men
          shall do as he wishes. He has been angry from the beginning
          because his plan was not adopted; because the Father did not see
          proper to select him to save man without the exercise of man's
          agency; because of this he has determined that he will destroy
          the work. He has drenched the earth with innocent blood to
          accomplish this purpose. He is still engaged in that work. He
          would destroy us if he could. See what is being done all over the
          Territory. See the agencies that are at work. See how many men
          are being used by the adversary of souls to accomplish his
          purposes in regard to this people--a people unexampled for
          sobriety, for temperance, for industry, for frugality, for
          kindness, for good order, for all the virtues that men revere.
          Where can you find a people like them? There is no place upon the
          face of the earth where these virtues are better exemplified in
          the lives of the people than they are in Utah Territory. What
          woman cries in vain for protection in all our land, from east to
          west, from north to south? Has the cry of distress gone up? Has
          the cry of the poor and the oppressed ascended from these valleys
          unto God unheard by the people? Do orphans and widows mourn and
          weep because of the circumstances which surround them? No, not in
          any part of our land. Not a beggar to be seen throughout all our
          settlements. No cry of distress either from man or beast. Virtue
          is upheld. Women are shielded as safely as they were when they
          were infants in their mother's bosoms--shielded from harm,
          shielded from the seducer, from those who would wreck their
          happiness. This is the case throughout all our society. Do
          drunkards flourish among us? Are they encouraged? We know they
          are not. Are persons encouraged in litigation and quarrelling?
          No; nowhere in the land is there anything of this kind. Peace
          prevails; good order prevails; quarrellings are seldom heard;
          virtue is protected and encouraged. Marriage is encouraged
          everywhere. Yet on this land we are threatened as a people
          because of these things. Our liberty is jeopardized. All kinds of
          machinery are put into operation to destroy us, or to entrap and
          ensnare us, and deprive us of liberty.
          Thank God, my brethren and sisters, for the restoration of the
          Priesthood. Thank God for the blessings we receive every day.
          Thank God for the persecutions we are called upon to endure. As
          the Savior said, let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad because
          the wicked array themselves against us in this manner. It is a
          testimony to us that we are not in harmony with the wicked; that
          we are not taking the course that Belial would like us to take;
          that we are pursuing the path that God has marked out for us. We
          can do this with perfect safety, and with the perfect assurance
          that it will all come out right. As I have said, there is no
          power that can separate a virtuous man and woman who have been
          united by the power of the Holy Priesthood; no power can do it;
          they must do it themselves if done at all. These ties that bind
          us together will endure through time and eternity. Let us so live
          that we shall never forfeit our claim upon the promises of our
          God, and that we may ever be faithful from this time forward,
          until we receive the fulfillment of all those promises in the
          presence of God and the Lamb, I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 /
          Franklin D. Richards, April 6, 1885
                         Franklin D. Richards, April 6, 1885
                         REMARKS BY APOSTLE F. D. RICHARDS,
                 Delivered at the General Conference, held in Logan,
                               on the 6th April, 1885.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                                FAITHFULNESS--WE MUST
          THE Latter-day Saints have very great reason to rejoice and to be
          exceedingly glad before our Father who is in heaven and before
          the people here on the earth. If we take a look at our condition,
          and consider the same carefully--whether it be in temporal
          matters or in spiritual concerns--we are better and more
          comfortably situated to-day than any other people of the same
          number anywhere on God's footstool. If we take into consideration
          our present condition as to the comforts of life, we are better
          situated to-day with grain in our granaries and food in our
          houses, than any other people of the same number upon the face of
          the earth, or that can be found located together upon the same
          extent of territory anywhere. If we take into consideration our
          condition as to homes, there is a greater proportion of this
          people to-day who have comfortable homes of their own than can be
          found anywhere else; more of them have no need to strive for the
          privilege of earning a living, as a great many of our people had
          to do before they were gathered when they often found it
          difficult to obtain employment, and even if successful were
          obliged to work by the piece or by the day, receiving their pay
          regularly at the end of the week, and in this way measuring the
          conditions of their living by the amount of means which they were
          permitted to earn. In this manner life or existence and its
          comforts were measured out to them. There was comparatively no
          room for the exercise of enterprise, of skill, of native wit, and
          those qualities which God has placed in their nature, and which
          He designed they should practice and thus become wise and skilled
          by their own ingenuity.
          We sometimes feel that we are oppressed, that we are pinched and
          persecuted by the people who are intruding upon our rights, and
          trampling upon our liberties, but as yet we know but little,
          comparatively speaking about oppression. The people of the
          countries of Asia and of Europe, with all of the liberty that
          they enjoy, are under the most severe daily oppression, continued
          dependence and subordination to those that are over them. In
          those countries there is a feeling of fear--fear of their rulers,
          terror in their minds caused by the dread of threatening war
          which is liable at any time to come upon them with all its
          horrors. In every national dispute that arises they see and feel
          at once the liability that their sons, fathers, neighbors and
          kinsmen may be drafted and sent off to the war, perhaps never to
          return. And their hearts are filled with fear and anxiety over
          this and other similar things.
          We see in newspapers that in Egypt, China, Central America, and
          almost everywhere else the air is thick with the mists and clouds
          of war. Where is the mother or sister, father or son among us
          that is to-day away from one of their kindred on account of war?
          The worst you have to dread is a short imprisonment and a few
          hundred dollars fine; that is the worst thing you can find to
          mourn and worry over. Why, bless your dear souls, there is not
          another community of the same number anywhere on the whole earth
          in which there is to be found such settled peace as right here
          among this very people that are before me, and the people that
          fill this territory all around us. And yet you think the times
          are terribly hard with your granaries full of wheat that you
          cannot sell, with large quantities of potatoes and vegetables
          that you cannot dispose of, with flocks and herds about you;
          because you cannot sell your products and get as good prices as
          you would like, some of you think you are in a terribly
          distressed condition. (Laughter).
          I wish the Saints would put away these foolish ideas. I want to
          have you realize that you are in a condition of peace and plenty,
          which liberty, too, for God has made you free. God has made His
          people free from the bondage of sin and death; we are at liberty,
          and there is no power on the earth that has the ability to fasten
          the shackles of sin and Satan upon us. It all depends upon our
          own conduct, as to whether we are and shall continue free.
          In almost all of the countries from which you came and in the
          nations that surrounded you in your former homes, people are
          taxed with a taxation that is oppressive. On the green Isle of
          Ireland, where the poor and afflicted are numerous there are
          people who have to pay a rent of five pounds an acre for land,
          and they must raise sufficient off it to support their families,
          and raise the money to pay the rent. But here we can buy or take
          up land, and have it, too, for the taking, but some of us
          consider it an awful job to fence it. (Laughter). No, we don't
          know anything about oppression, as compared with the Jews, the
          Poles and the Irish. In older portions of the United States, we
          never could have enjoyed the blessings we enjoy here; we never
          could have located and built up our towns and cities; as it was
          the mobs plundered us of our homes and drove us out here to this
          part of the earth. It was like a new world; it looked so entirely
          new, that it seemed as if the work of creation was scarcely
          finished. By the blessing of God we brought life with us and life
          came from heaven; life that animated the soil under our feet;
          that tempered and controlled the elements over our heads; so that
          in these high valleys and canyons, where it was thought no grain
          or fruit could be raised, with snow and frost every month in the
          year--now we raise good crops and varieties of fruits. A few
          years ago it was a problem whether an apple or a peach could be
          raised here in Cache valley; but it is not long since her
          enterprising fruit growers took the premium in the Territorial
          Fair for the best collection of apples to be found in the
          Who has done this for us? It is the Lord our God. He brought us
          to this land as He brought the children of Israel to the land of
          Judea, which He gave to them and to their children after them, to
          be their inheritance forever.
          I want to have us consider these things; and instead of being
          anxious and worried, troubled and filled with fear, learn to rely
          upon the arm of the Lord and trust Him for His goodness;
          cultivate the peace of heaven and let the love of God dwell in
          our hearts. Though our enemies may harass, trouble, and disturb
          us; the trouble that they will bring upon us will be but as a
          drop in the bucket compared with what will come upon them by and
          by. They cannot stop the work of God. His decree has established
          it. We have the promise that it never shall be overthrown or
          given to another people. Understand it. This form of government
          which the Lord has given to us, is the strongest form of
          government that was ever revealed to man. The governments of the
          world have power to oppress, annoy, make war upon and destroy men
          from the face of the earth. But this Kingdom that God has given
          to His people is to be a kingdom of peace, a kingdom of
          righteousness, and its righteousness is going to exalt His
          people, to make them become the greatest people of the face of
          the earth, filled with power, wisdom and intelligence that all
          the surrounding nations will look up to.
          The people that are around us in our midst, and who wish to
          dictate to us; those who sit in the council chambers to make laws
          against us and our holy faith, and thereby make us offenders--are
          themselves filled with fear and anxiety at what is taking place
          in this and other nations. This spirit of fear will increase upon
          them. Look at the dread they experienced at the work of the
          dynamiters in the old country, and that is but a beginning of
          what is to come. These secret societies will work great mischief
          and death, with frequent assassinations, and by and by these
          things will come so thick and fast that people will not know what
          way to escape. The Lord is gathering His people together that He
          may deal with them by themselves. The great trouble is, that we
          have too many among us who are careless and indifferent; that are
          wicked and sinful; that ought to be dealt with and cut off the
          Church. There are plenty who are ready to sell their brethren
          into the hands of their enemies, but the day will come, when they
          will realize the awful consequence of their acts. We have not
          much to fear unless we offend the God whom we agreed to serve.
          Brethren and sisters, let not your hearts be troubled. Obey the
          commandments of God, keep your covenants inviolate and learn to
          live by every word that proceeds from Him and the constituted
          authorities of His Church--and if you find trials in your pathway
          you will find help to endure them. Parents, cultivate affection
          toward each other, toward your children and toward all included
          in your households; do right by your wives, your husband, your
          children and your God. You will find that all the rest will come
          right in its own due time. The Lord will bring it about in so
          strange and simple a manner that it will be astonishing to us
          when we find out how He has done it. We cannot go to the Bible,
          Book of Mormon or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, to be
          informed how this, that and the other thing will be solved and
          arranged. We can read how He did anciently according to the
          circumstances that surrounded His people then; but we cannot find
          out His methods and plans of to-day only as He manifests them to
          us by the spirit of revelation. His ways are past finding out. He
          tells us that Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her
          converts with righteousness. We must remember this. If we would
          have power with God and with the angels, it must be because of
          our diligent attention to God, to the work He has called us to
          do, and we must see that we establish it in the earth. Every man
          should warn his neighbor; should teach his children and his
          family, and establish righteousness in his household. Presidents
          and Bishops should deal with transgressors in the Church, that
          they may repent, or be cut off. It is that righteousness may be
          established in the earth that the Lord has commenced His work
          again, that it may be established not in a little place, but in
          all the land, and it shall spread until His righteous word and
          work shall fill the whole earth, as the waters cover the mighty
          Do not let anything divert you from the path of duty; let nothing
          cause you to commit an overt act. Honor and respect the laws of
          the land as far as possible, consistent with the laws and
          commandments of God. Observe and obey every constitutional law.
          When our enemies place us in violation of a law of the land, it
          is painful to us, and it is our trial, but the responsibility of
          it rests with them. Let us make up our minds to bear this crusade
          of legal persecution with fortitude as Saints have had to do in
          all ages of Gospel reform, because they believed in the
          revelations of Jesus Christ. We have not revolted against any law
          of the land; we have not contended against any constitutional
          principle, law or doctrine that could benefit, improve or exalt
          the human family, nor anything that could promote the pursuit of
          happiness--we seek after all these things. But our Congressmen,
          Governors and Judges, in the supreme wisdom with which they
          imagine they are endowed, impose penalties upon God's people for
          keeping His commandments. Thus we see that when the wicked rule,
          the people mourn.
          We ought to gain by all this experience valuable knowledge. We
          want to profit by it. Let every man question himself: "Can I
          stand this or that without getting angry!" Or can we be
          righteously angry and sin not? If not we should go into our
          closets and ask God for that measure of His spirit that is
          necessary to sustain us in a proper frame of mind. This is the
          kind of experience, the very kind of discipline that is necessary
          for us, to make us find out whether we will draw near to Him and
          have fellowship, and communion with Him. These things are all for
          our experience, for our profit. The Lord has made known to us
          that the days we live in are dark with threatenings of war. The
          hour of his judgment is nigh at hand. We have seen one terrible
          war in our land--and it is well that we should take heed to His
          counsels. Wars and rumors of wars are spreading abroad upon the
          face of the earth, and it will come to pass before a great while
          that people will be so far from having peace that they must
          either take up the sword to contend against their neighbor, or
          flee to Zion and gather with God's people. You will see this come
          to pass. Mark my words. All kinds and conditions of people will
          desire to come here and make homes with us. You will see the day
          when it will be as hard to keep the wicked away from us as it
          ever has been to get people to join us. Mark that, too. I tell
          you that a people with full granaries, a people of peace and
          prosperity, is a people that will be sought after by the peoples
          of the nations of the earth, and things cannot always go on in
          the way they are going with us, without bringing down upon our
          oppressors the retribution of an offended God. We ought to rely
          upon His promises. These experiences are well calculated to do us
          good, and teach us to trust in the Lord.
          Nor should we forget that when a governor of unsavory memory
          forbade the use of the militia alike for defense against Indian
          depredations, as well as for Fourth of July celebrations; that
          since that date, no single predatory excursion of the red man has
          been experienced by any one of our settlements. On the contrary
          it would seem that all use of fire arms for any kind of military
          defense had become entirely obsolete--gone into utter
          desuetude--so entirely at peace have the Lamanites become, that
          instead of either noise of war, or even the apprehension thereof,
          there is given us of God to enjoy the most settled peace from the
          red man on all our borders round; and now having assisted to
          build our temples, they are enjoying with us the heavenly
          blessing bestowed therein. Instead of roaming wild and lawlessly
          over the plains, numbers have renounced their tribal relations,
          sworn allegiance to government, have pre-empted or homesteaded
          lands of the public domain, are raising crops, cultivating their
          flocks and herds, are building and occupying comfortable
          dwellings, as good neighbors among their white brethren, as is
          evidenced at Washakie in Oneida Stake, and at Indianola in the
          San Pete Stake. Their schools are turning out scholars in the
          elementary branches of good common school education.
          Not only has the need of firearms been done away as between us
          and the natives, but we have very great reason to be thankful
          that in the present unholy crusade against the Church the
          onslaught has not been with fire and the sword as in former
          times, but with mind and moral suasion in the application of the
          law by a perversion of many of its well-settled methods of
          interpretation, construction and application. These conclusions
          have been the implements and the tactics of the present warfare.
          It is devoutly to be hoped that no one with a zeal which is not
          according to knowledge shall commit an overt act that shall
          precipitate a conflict with carnal weapons and give the enemy an
          occasion or opportunity to shed the blood of the Saints or to
          increase their unhallowed oppressions upon us.
          Since, then, the weapons of our warfare are not powder, lead and
          fine steel; let us put on the whole armor of God; banish
          unrighteousness from our midst, and we or our children shall see
          the governments of this world become the Kingdom of our God and
          of His Christ in His own due time, for which all Saints should
          ever labor and pray.
          We have had a great deal of good instruction during this
          conference. I have been much edified myself in hearing my
          brethren talk, and I am sure you all have. The teachings which
          have been given are of a character to promote good feelings
          between brethren and sisters, fathers and mothers, parents and
          children, and it is pleasant to hear of each other's welfare.
          When we go to our respective homes let us go with the
          determination to stand steadfast in the faith. I am sure that
          after such a conference as this every honest soul who has met
          with us, if he wanted a portion of the bread of life, has
          received that portion, has received something which he can take
          home for his own use--some words of encouragement, some
          strengthening exhortation, some good words that will help to put
          away weakness and enable the feeble to say I am strong in the
          I pray God to bless you, to comfort your hearts; to increase your
          faith towards Him; to strengthen you that you may not be overcome
          of sin, and that you may seek in all things to overcome evil with
          good. Remember and pray for the brethren--our leaders. We do not
          know what awaits us; we care but little. The main thing devolving
          upon us is to do our duty acceptably day by day. We will trust in
          God and go forward. What if it were necessary that some of our
          lives should be taken? There is no need for fear or worriment
          about it. It has always been so when God had a people on the
          earth. Some of the best lives have been taken--taken as witnesses
          in yonder heavens to testify to facts as they exist here. Do you
          understand this? It is in accordance with the great principles of
          eternal justice which rule and regulate in heaven with a great
          deal more precision and certainty than here on the earth. The
          Lord has told us how He does business in some of these matters
          before the councils of the Church, namely by the voice of two or
          three witnesses every word is to be established, and so it has to
          be up yonder. Perhaps it is necessary once in a while to have
          some go in that kind of a way. Well don't get scared about that.
          We have all to die some day. It will be all right whether it
          shall be to-morrow or next week, if we keep the commandments of
          God in all matters. Choose the wise and the perfect way, and if
          we are right we will be willing to say, "O Lord, thy will be
          done." If when we embraced the Gospel we placed our all upon the
          altar, it is of every little consequence about all these things.
          For if we seek to save our lives we may lose them, but if we lose
          them in the service of God, we shall find life eternal.
          I pray that God may bless us all; you who are parents, should
          bless your children--that they may render more loving obedience
          to you, that you may be more affectionate to them, remembering
          the union in which you have been united and in which you have
          been sealed; that you may be strengthened of the Holy Ghost, and
          be enabled to go into the holy temples and set yourselves in
          order before the Lord; that you may obtain those eternal gifts
          that shall bring an eternal weight of glory to your household,
          families, friends and kindred; that you may have the full
          assurance of the promises of God, and have joy to animate,
          stimulate and sustain you through every trying circumstance in
          life, and bring you safely back into the presence of our heavenly
          Father. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / Orson
          F. Whitney, June 21, 1885
                           Orson F. Whitney, June 21, 1885
                        DISCOURSE BY BISHOP ORSON F. WHITNEY,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 
                          Sunday Afternoon, June 21, 1885.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                     WORLD WITH
                                TRUTH OF "MORMONISM."
          HAVING been called upon, my brethren and sisters and friends, to
          address you this afternoon, I feel as though I would like to read
          a portion of the word of God. I will therefore read to you a part
          of the 14th chapter of the Book of Revelation, from the Bible
          known as King James' translation.
          "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with
          him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name
          written in their foreheads.
          "And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters,
          and as the voice of a great thunder; and I heard the voice of
          harpers harping with their harps.
          "And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, and
          before the four beasts and the elders; and no man could learn
          that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were
          redeemed from the earth.
          "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are
          virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he
          goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits
          unto God and to the Lamb.
          "And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without
          fault before the throne of God.
          "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
          everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth,
          and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people;
          "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for
          the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made
          heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
          "And 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 fornication."
          It has been charged to the Latter-day Saints that they set but
          little value upon the Christian Bible; that they criticise its
          translation and the revisions through which it has passed, and
          that it is our endeavor to belittle the importance of this holy
          book. The words which I have read are a portion of that sacred
          record which we are charged with undervaluing, and I choose them
          as a basis for my remarks, in order to show how groundless is
          that charge, with many others, which are made falsely against
          this people. The words you have heard include a prophecy uttered
          some 1800 years ago by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, one
          of the Twelve whom He chose in the days of His personal ministry
          upon the earth. He had delivered unto them the keys of the
          kingdom of heaven, promising them that whatsoever they bound on
          earth should be bound in heaven; whatsoever they loosed upon
          earth should be loosed in heaven; whosesoever sins they should
          remit should be remitted, and whosesoever sins they should retain
          should be retained. He gave them power to go forth to all nations
          and preach the Gospel of life and salvation, telling them among
          the last things He said that, "He that believeth and is baptized
          shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned;" and
          that certain signs should follow them that believed. The Apostles
          went forth baptizing in the name of the Lord, and confirmed His
          word by signs, following:
          On a certain occasion, towards the close of the career of the Son
          of God in the flesh, His disciples asked Him if He would at that
          time restore the Kingdom of Israel, and what would be the signs
          of His second coming and of the end of the world. Among other
          things He told them that this Gospel of the Kingdom should be
          preached in all the world as a witness unto all nations and then
          should the end come. The Apostles set out upon the mission which
          had been given them, and we read in the Acts of the Apostles, and
          in their Epistles contained within the lids of this holy book, of
          the adventures which befell them, and the persecutions which they
          endured. It had been said of them by their Lord and Master, that
          they should be hated of all men for His name's sake; but "blessed
          are ye," said He, "when men shall revile you, and persecute you,
          and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.
          Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in
          heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before
          you," And the day would come, He said, when they that put His
          disciples to death would think they were doing God's service.
          Thus were the minds of the Apostles prepared for the fate which
          afterwards befell them. They embraced the truth, knowing that it
          might cost them their lives; for they had been told that if a man
          loved his life, or loved earthly possessions of any kind more
          than he did his God, more than he loved the work of that God, he
          was in no wise fit for His kingdom. They went into it with their
          eyes open; they knew what would befall them; but being men of
          integrity, men who loved truth, who based themselves upon
          principle, and thought more of doing the will of Him who sent
          them than they did of doing their own, they embraced their
          glorious mission and were willing even to lay down their lives
          for the sake of that Kingdom for which they were laboring. Their
          expectations were fulfilled. The truth was not popular. Although
          devils were subject to these men; although they performed mighty
          miracles in the name of Jesus, yet they were despised, persecuted
          or ignored by the great mass of humanity. A few believed in their
          words; a few rejoiced exceedingly that the Church of God was
          established on the earth; that the Savior who had been promised
          as a lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, had at
          last come in fulfillment of the prophecies of old. Their minds
          were prepared to receive Him, and they rejoiced in the work of
          God. Churches were formed in different lands. The Apostles went
          forth from Jerusalem, after they had been "endued with power from
          on high," and built up churches in many of the surrounding
          nations, perhaps in all the nations that then existed. But
          although they were successful in planting the tree of life upon
          the soil of a fallen world, it seems that the time had not come
          for it to remain there and bear fruit throughout the ages of
          eternity. It was destined to be uprooted, and there was to come
          another time when the truth should be transplanted once more, and
          should bear the fruits of righteousness forever. The glory of God
          was not destined in that day to cover the earth, as He has said
          it would in the latter days, "as the waters cover the mighty
          deep." The Apostles labored faithfully; they went forth baptizing
          in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost; but
          the power of sin, the power of the evil one was so great that it
          did not please the Almighty to establish upon the earth in that
          day a work which should endure forever. He permitted it for a
          wise purpose to be thrown down, and of this fact we are well
          assured by the prophecies of the Apostles which they have left on
          record. Paul, one of the most faithful laborers in the vineyard
          of our Lord in that day, said the time would come when the people
          would not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts should
          heap unto themselves teachers, and having itching ears, should
          turn away their ears from the truth, and should be turned into
          If we follow the history of the Apostles, we will see how their
          words were fulfilled. Nearly every one of the Twelve whom Jesus
          chose, met with a tragic death in defence of the principles which
          they proclaimed. Some were dragged to death, some beheaded, one
          was crucified with his head downward, others were thrown into
          cauldrons of boiling oil and others to wild beasts; so that at
          the end of the second century after Christ, the Church of God in
          its purity no longer existed upon the face of the earth. It had
          been torn asunder; it had apostatized from the truth; they who
          were faithful had been put to death, and in their place sprang up
          a race of compromisers, who were willing to barter away to the
          world the principles of truth, being too weak and cowardly to
          stand and die for their convictions as their fellow laborers had
          done. They were willing to give up this principle, and concede
          that point, to amalgamate for the purpose of making them popular
          and palatable the doctrines of the pure Christian faith with the
          pagan ideas of ancient Rome. So that the temporal body of Christ,
          the Church, became corrupt, deformed by this departure from first
          principles. Apostles, Prophets, were done away with; spiritual
          gifts became extinct and were said to be no longer needed;
          Bishops were put into the places of Apostles, and a multitude of
          new offices, unknown to the original church, were created.
          Finally two Bishops appeared, the Bishop of Rome and the Bishop
          of Constantinople, contending as to which was the greatest, and
          striving, in a church professing to regard unity and brotherly
          love, to divide the dominions of the Christian world between
          them. More attention was paid to outward forms, to grand and
          imposing ceremonies, than to the simple beautiful principles of
          the Gospel, and, in course of time were fulfilled the words of
          Isaiah, who said that they would "transgress the law, change the
          ordinances, and break the everlasting covenant." The result of
          this wide-spread departure, this apostacy from the primitive
          faith, was the withdrawal of the power of the Priesthood,
          typified by the "manchild" of the Apocalypse, which was taken
          into the heavens to preserve it from the mouth of the Dragon
          which sought its life; there to remain until a more auspicious
          time should arrive for the establishment of the work of God, and
          the winding up of the great plan of human redemption.
          But one of these original Apostles was left. The Latter-day
          Saints are taught that Jesus, on a certain occasion, speaking to
          the Twelve, wished to bestow upon them each a gift, to grant the
          desire of their hearts, and He asked them what they would He
          should do for them. They all but one requested to be taken home
          to Him in heaven when they should have filled the allotted age of
          man. But one turned away sorrowful, feeling that the wish he
          cherished in his heart was too great to be granted. Peter asked
          the Savior, "What shall this man do?" and received the reply, "If
          I will that he tarry till I come what is that to thee?" "Then
          when this saying abroad among the brethren that that disciple
          should not die." It is vaguely given, I admit, in the Bible from
          which I have quoted, but modern revelation has made it plainer,
          and shown us that the Apostle John obtained a promise from the
          Savior that he should remain upon the earth to witness the
          downfall and the rise of nations, that he should live to perform
          a mighty mission in the midst of the children of men; that he
          should prophesy before kings and rulers, and should tarry upon
          the earth until the Son of God came in His glory. This Apostle
          was the only one who escaped the tragic fate of his fellows. He
          was the only one of the original Twelve who was not put to death.
          An attempt was made upon his life by throwing him into a cauldron
          of boiling oil, but he escaped miraculously, and his enemies, not
          having the power to put him to death, banished him to the desert
          island of Patmos. It was during his exile upon his lonely spot,
          that God condescended to reveal to him what should come to pass
          in the last days, and the book which is called the Apocalypse is
          a record which the Apostle left of the great things that were
          shown him, and which he should remain upon the earth to see. An
          angel appeared unto him; John mistook him, it seems, for the
          Lord, and fell down at his feet to worship him, his person was so
          glorious. But the angel reproved him and said, "See thou do it
          not: for I am thy fellow-servant and of thy brethren the
          prophets." Here was one of the prophets who had been slain for
          the testimony of Jesus, who was so glorious when he appeared that
          John, who perhaps had labored with him, did not recognize him. He
          had been sent unto him to show him what should come to pass
          But not only was John shown what should occur after the time in
          which he was living, but he was shown what had already taken
          place; not as the imperfect records of profane history have given
          it to us, but he saw it typified in its fullness. The events of
          the seven thousand years of the world's temporal existence passed
          before him, like the scenes of a mighty panorama. If you will
          read the book which he left, you will there find portrayed
          symbolically each of the seven thousand years. He saw the events
          which had followed the creation down until one period had passed;
          he then saw the events of the second thousand years or until two
          periods has passed, and then the third and the fourth periods, at
          the end of which Jesus came as the Savior of mankind, to perform
          a personal work in the flesh. John saw, further, the events of
          the fifth thousand years. He saw the great apostacy that was to
          take place in the Christian church, when they put to death every
          inspired man; when they did away with the gifts and blessings of
          the Holy Ghost; when they said they were no longer necessary;
          when they engrafted upon the olive tree of the Christian faith
          the wild branches of paganism. He saw all this taking place down
          to the sixth thousand years, and after the world had wandered in
          darkness for centuries, he 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 waters."
          Showing conclusively, as well as language can show, that this was
          to be an event of the last days--the hour of God's judgment,
          which Christianity itself, in its perverted state, will admit is
          at the end of the world. John saw the angel restoring the Gospel
          shortly before the hour of God's judgment, saying with a loud
          voice to all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples--not only to
          the heathen nations, but to those who professed to have the true
          Christian faith--"Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour
          of his judgment is come." This to us is another proof of the
          apostasy of the Christian world; for if they had the truth, as
          they claim, by apostolic succession, from St. Peter down to the
          present day--what need of restoring the Gospel in its fullness to
          preach to them? It would be superfluous, unnecessary, a work of
          supererogation, to preach to those who were living in the full
          blaze of Gospel light, and call upon them to repent of their
          I never like to wound people's feelings in regard to religious
          matters. I never like to have my own feelings wounded. I try to
          have charity for the sincere sentiments of all men; but it is
          needful that the truth be spoken in plainness. It is no act of
          friendship to flatter, to deceive and to gloss over error, when
          by exposing it the souls of some honest people may be saved. The
          Latter-day Saints erect a nobler structure before they tear down
          that which is old. They do not wish to ridicule the opinions of
          their fellow creatures, it should never be done except where good
          will be the result. All men have the right to believe as they
          please. They have a right to worship where, how and what they
          please. God has made us free. We are in bondage to no man, to no
          power. His children, from the rising to the setting of the sun
          have been made free. Therefore I do not feel to ridicule the
          religion of my Christian friends; but I desire to lay before them
          and before this congregation the religion of the Latter-day
          Saints. We claim that the Christian world is in a state of
          apostasy, and though thousands and millions of them are perfectly
          sincere--just as sincere in their belief as we are in
          ours--still, it devolves upon me as a servant of God to preach
          what I know to be the truth, and you can take your choice whether
          you accept or reject it. The responsibility ends with me here; it
          is assumed by those who listen, who can act as they feel led;
          they give heed to the warning message, or whether they ignore and
          reject it.
          At any rate John saw the time when an angel would come and
          restore the everlasting Gospel--not another Gospel, not various
          kinds of gospels, not the precepts and fables of men, but the
          good, old, "sound doctrine" of ancient times. The Gospel of
          Christ in its fullness was to be preached to all the nations of
          the earth. What for? To fulfill the prediction of the son of God,
          who said that "this Gospel of the kingdom"--that Gospel which had
          Apostles to preach it and Prophets; which had gifts and miracles
          and signs following; a gospel of faith, repentance, baptism by
          immersion for the remission of sins, and laying on of hands for
          the gift of the Holy Ghost, and other principles to be revealed
          one after another as fast as the people were able to receive
          them--that this old original Gospel of the kingdom should come
          back to the earth to be preached as a witness unto all nations,
          and then should the end come.
               It is a merciful characteristic of our Heavenly Father that
          He brings to pass upon the human family no event affecting their
          eternal welfare, but He first sends Prophets to prepare the way,
          to give the people a warning that such and such things are coming
          to pass, that they may caught napping by the suddenness of their
          coming, even as a thief in the night. We read that as it was in
          the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the
          Son of Man. What was done in the days of Noah? A prophet--Noah
          himself--was raised up and sent forth to preach a warning message
          to the children of men. What was his warning? That the world was
          about to be deluged. Its sins had cried unto heaven, and God had
          remembered its iniquities. He was about to baptize the earth in
          water, to wash away its sins, that they should no longer smoke to
          heaven, an offering of wrath to an offended God. Noah preached
          this warning, and, as usual, was met with ridicule and scorn.
          Never did a prophet come forth that was not ridiculed and
          persecuted, and the message that he proclaimed considered
          foolishness by the wisdom of the world. But how did it result?
          Did the superior (?) wisdom of the world in that day save them
          from the truth of the words of Noah? Or did God stand by that
          prophet? Did He make good His words? Did He drown the world? Did
          He sweep the wicked from its surface? History will tell you what
          took place. It sees that Noah and the few souls that clung to him
          were right, and the world at large were in the wrong. Noah had
          really received a revelation from God. He was pointed at,
          despised and derided, doubtless called visionary and fanatic, an
          old fool, or anything else; but he had received a revelation and
          God made good the words which he proclaimed.
          The earth underwent a baptism by being immersed in water, for the
          remission of sins, the washing away of its iniquities. "As it was
          in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of
          the Son of Man." Is the world to be deluged in water again? No;
          because God gave a promise to Noah and set his bow in the clouds
          as a sign that the world should never again be drowned in water;
          but in the days of coming of the Son of Man it will receive the
          baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. John the Baptist said:
          "There cometh one mightier than I, after me, the latchet of whose
          shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have
          baptized you with water: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost
          and with fire." Not only man, but the earth itself, which is a
          living creature, must undergo this ordinance--this dual baptism,
          and Jesus, when He comes in the clouds of heaven with power and
          great glory, to take vengeance upon those who know not God, who
          have not sought to know Him, who have persecuted His people, and
          set aside the Gospel as a thing of naught, will deluge the earth
          with fire and the Holy Ghost. Then will the Scriptures be
          fulfilled which say that the glory of God shall radiate from the
          rivers to the ends of the earth.
          Nor is this all. The earth and its elements will melt, as Peter
          the Apostle said, "with fervent heat, and all the proud, yea, and
          all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that cometh
          shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts." These things are
          coming to pass. God only has to turn upon this world the glory of
          His presence to consume it from before His face and cause it to
          vanish like chaff in a flame. We are not prepared for the glory
          of His coming. But this work which has been established in our
          day, is one that will prepare us for His glorious advent. All who
          believe and are baptized into this Church have been promised the
          gift of the Holy Ghost. What is the Holy Ghost? It is the Spirit
          of God. God dwells in the pure element of fire; it is the
          atmosphere which the holy angels, the spirits of the just, the
          Gods in eternity breathe and live within, but which would consume
          us if we came too suddenly upon it, or it upon us. We must needs
          approach it gradually. We read that in the days of Moses, when
          God wished to commune with him, He called him up into a high
          mountain, and filled him with the Holy Ghost. Moses, therefore,
          could endure His presence; but when he came down from the Mount
          his face shone like an angel's, and he had to put a vail upon it
          lest the children of Israel should be consumed before him. This
          shows what we may expect when God comes in the clouds of heaven,
          if we do not rid ourselves of iniquity and prepare our souls to
          meet Him. But ere that day comes there shall be wars and rumors
          of wars, thunders and lightnings, famines and pestilences; the
          sea shall heave itself beyond its bounds, and all things shall be
          in commotion; the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall be turned
          to blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven like figs from off
          a fig tree. The judgments of God shall stalk through the earth,
          decimating the human race, before the great day of the Lord shall
          Are we to suppose that in a day like this, when such mighty and
          terrible things are coming upon the earth, God would leave the
          world in darkness; that he would shut the heaven, as our
          Christian friends say He has done; and send forth no more
          prophets to prepare us for these great events which are at our
          doors? I for one would have a very poor opinion of a God who
          would leaven His children in that cruel manner. But the God we
          worship is just and merciful. He never brings upon the earth any
          judgment but He sends first a warning message to prepare the
          people for its coming.
          This is our warning to-day--that the Gospel of the kingdom is
          being preached unto all nations as a witness, and then the hour
          of God's judgment, or the predicted end of the world shall come.
          It is a message of mercy, not one of anger, not one of cruelty.
          It is not cruel to tell men the truth. If we see a man on the
          brink of a precipice and tell him that if he takes another step
          forward he will be dashed to pieces, is that cruelty, or is it
          charity of the truest kind? It may humiliate him to be told of
          his danger; it may cast reflection upon his eyesight; he may not
          see the precipice; men do not always see things which are
          immediately near them; they who are at a distance sometimes
          observe the danger first and given warning. It is not
          uncharitable, it is not intolerant to tell men the truth; we must
          sometimes be cruel in order to be kind; and hurt men's feelings
          if necessary in order to save their souls. I do not mean the
          saving of their souls by the killing of their bodies. Heretics
          used to be punished on that theory. The object of "Mormonism" is
          to save the body and the spirit, which together constitute the
               This is the message we bring, the olive branch that we
          extend to the world, and for so doing we are despised and
          persecuted and trampled upon. But we know that we need expect no
          different fate from that which our predecessors have experienced.
          They laid down their lives in preaching this same Gospel. We must
          be willing to lay down ours, if need be, to establish these
          truths upon the earth.
          God does not punish except to save, He never chastens except to
          purify. In sweeping the antediluvian races from the earth, it was
          an act of mercy to them, that they might not add sin to sin and
          heap up iniquity until they could not have been pardoned. He
          swept them off when their cup was full, and imprisoned their
          spirits while their bodies mouldered in the grave. Jesus,
          however, while His body was lying in the tomb, went and preached
          to the spirits in prison; those who rejected the message that was
          offered to them by Noah, and were swept away by the flood. So it
          will be in this day, if this message is rejected; God will bring
          judgments upon the world until He has humbled the people to a
          state where they will be glad to receive it. He says to His
          Elders: Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
          creature; and after your testimony, comes the testimony of
          earthquakes and tempests, of thunders and lightnings, of the sea
          heaving itself beyond its bounds, of wars and rumors of wars, of
          famine and pestilence. Says He, the time shall come when he that
          will not take up his sword against his neighbor must needs flee
          unto Zion for safety, for there shall be gathered to it of every
          nation under heaven, and they shall be the only people who are
          not at war one with another.
          It is that the world may escape these terrible judgments and
          plagues that will desolate the wicked, that we put our lives and
          liberties in jeopardy in preaching that which is unpopular, and
          which brings upon us the wrath and hatred of the world. We
          desire, as much as men can desire, the salvation of our
          fellow-men. Our mission is to save, not to condemn. This is the
          Gospel of salvation, not a Gospel of damnation. Damnation follows
          as a necessary alternative of the rejection of the truth. Men who
          reject the truth damn themselves. The man who will shut the door
          in his own face keeps himself out from the Kingdom: it is
          nobody's fault but his own. The waters of life are free; come and
          partake of them, without money and without price! If you will not
          partake of them, how can you blame any one but yourself if you
          die of thirst in the desert? If you put out the light by
          persecuting the Saints of God, how can you blame anybody but
          yourself if you are left in darkness? Could the ancients blame
          God for taking His Church from the earth, when they took every
          pains to exterminate it? They destroyed the body of the Church,
          and the spirit departed, just as naturally as when the body of a
          man is killed; his spirit has no longer any business upon the
          earth. It returns to God who gave it, to come again at a more
          auspicious time, with the Son of God in clouds of glory, provided
          it be one of the 144,000 faithful ones who follow the Lamb
          whithersoever He goeth.
          If condemnation follows the rejection of the Gospel, God cannot
          help it, His servants cannot help it. If we invite men to come
          out into the sunlight and they prefer to stay in the shade, who
          is to blame but themselves? They prefer darkness to light. They
          have their choice. Light has burst forth in the midst of
          darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not. Men love
          darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. If,
          however, we extend the message of mercy and of peace, our
          responsibility ends. Men will be judged by the light they
          possess. The heathen nations will be redeemed and will obtain a
          higher exaltation than those who receive the truth and turn away
          from it, or refuse to accept it when it is offered to them. God
          is merciful to ignorance and lack of opportunity; but
          responsibility rests like a mountain upon those who hear the
          truth and then reject it.
          My testimony to this congregation is that Joseph Smith was a
          Prophet of the living God; that Brigham Young was a Prophet of
          God; That John Taylor is their legally ordained successor; that
          there are Prophets and Apostles in this Church to-day; that we
          preach the same Gospel that was preached in the days of Paul, for
          if we preached any other we should be accursed. My testimony is
          that "Mormonism" stigmatized and hated as it is, is the fullness
          of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only plan of life and
          salvation, the only one that will exalt man in the presence of
          God; and the world reject it to their condemnation. I pray God to
          bless this congregation, and grant that the words I have spoken
          may sink into some honest hearts, like good seed upon fertile
          soil, to spring forth and bear fruit for their salvation to the
          honor and glory of God. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 26 / Junius
          F. Wells, July 12th, 1885
                          Junius F. Wells, July 12th, 1885
                             REMARKS BY JUNIUS F. WELLS,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, July 12th, 1885.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
          270 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          IT is a pleasure that I arise to speak to you for a few moments,
          and to bear my testimony to the truth of the work in which we are
          engaged. I desire while I am before you that I may have the
          support of your faith and prayers, that what I may say may be
          dictated by the spirit of truth.
          270 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          I rejoice in assembling with the Latter-day Saints, in looking
          upon their faces, in mingling with them in the exercises of
          devotion which we are accustomed to pay our Father and God. I
          rejoice in the society of Latter-day Saints, because in their
          society I recognize a spirit of purity, of holiness and virtue,
          that in contrast with the state of things that predominates in
          the world is as the heavens to the earth. I love to be with our
          people in times when the wicked assail them, for I feel among
          them a sense of safety, a feeling of security, of contentment, of
          happiness that I do not believe can be realized to so great an
          extent among other people.
          271 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          We have among us our differences and evils. We have causes to
          mourn; occasions that make us feel sad; but I know of nothing
          that produces this feeling to so great a degree among the Saints
          as the growing consciousness among them that what is called the
          Christian world has concluded not to receive Christianity as it
          was revealed in the ministry of Jesus Christ. We know that God
          has revealed in the day in which we live the principles of truth
          as they were in the beginning, as they ever have been, as they
          ever must be in time and all eternity. We know that that which He
          has revealed in our day and generation is identical with the
          truths that fell from the lips of our Savior in the meridian of
          time, and challenge the world to a comparison of the doctrines to
          convince themselves. This challenge has been sent abroad to
          almost every nation, and kindred and tongue and people, of the
          whole earth. It is open to-day. We ask the investigation of
          mankind. We ask our fellow-men, brethren and sisters, sons and
          daughters of the same God, to listen to the truths of heaven,
          eternal truths that God has revealed. But mankind prefers,
          apparently, even in this enlightened age the truth that men by
          their own wisdom are enabled to discover to the truths which God
          by His infinite wisdom reveals. This is true to so great an
          extent that the foremost thinkers even among what is called the
          religious world, have concluded to lay aside the old truths of
          Christianity--the old doctrines of Christianity--as unfitted to
          the age in which we live. I had the pleasure, I think eight weeks
          ago to-day, to listen to first of a series of sermons by perhaps
          the foremost clergyman of this age, certainly of the country, in
          which, in his inimitable manner, he said he had concluded, after
          the profoundest research, that people should wipe out many of the
          old ideas of religion that have prevailed in Christendom for 1800
          years, so as to maintain harmony with the modern discoveries of
          science--with the Darwinian theory and philosophy. He has also
          sacrificed the book upon which their faiths and beliefs are
          founded, and as the surest possible evidence that faith in that
          sacred record, the Holy Bible, is a thing of the past, Rev. Henry
          Ward Beecher declares that if it is true then "Mormonism" is
          true! We are exactly of the same opinion as Rev. Beecher in that
          respect. But it does not prove altogether the falsity of that
          which has been accepted in the world as Christianity. The Bible
          contains the doctrines that the Latter-day Saints preach, that
          the Latter-day Saints have the courage in the face of all the
          world to practice. They are doctrines of truth, of holiness, of
          progress and advancement, designed to save men, to build them up,
          to develop the best thoughts in them, and prepare them for
          greater light and greater knowledge and understanding than dawned
          upon mankind in ages past; to prepare a people by their
          intelligence, by their fully developed characters, for that
          glorious day when the Son of God shall come among them and dwell
          with them. It is true that it is impossible for the Christian
          world to harmonize many of the doctrines that are growing in
          favor with them to-day with the holy Scriptures, and for that
          reason the Latter-day Saints mourn that their brethren and
          sisters of the world, though professing Christianity, should be
          averse to receiving the principles of Christianity as they were
          revealed by the Savior Himself. To-day with all the Christianity
          that prevails in the world where do you find men who are willing
          to receive the very first, the fundamental principles of the
          doctrine of Christ? Where are those who will receive the ministry
          of such as conveyed Christian principles in the meridian of time
          to the understanding of men? What! the administration of angels
          in our day and age of the world? A greater absurdity could not be
          proposed. What! faith as the first principle of salvation? No,
          reason is the first principle of salvation in the day and age in
          which we live. But it is not so written in the doctrine of
          Christ. "Believe and thou shalt be saved" is the doctrine of the
          Savior. It is belief, it is faith, that underlies that knowledge
          which secures mankind an entrance into the Kingdom of God. We
          teach and have been taught that we must have faith in the Lord
          Jesus Christ: that we must believe in the words of truth that
          have been revealed from Him; that we must put our trust in God
          who has delivered His people in times that are past and gone;
          that we must rely upon His direction and walk in the path that He
          shall lead us in, fearing only Him, fearing not man who can
          destroy the body but fearing God who can destroy both body and
          soul. In our endeavor to keep the commandments of God, to
          practice them, to heed the teachings of angels sent from the
          throne of grace, to put away our sins, to live pure lives, holy
          and righteous in the sight of God and our fellow men, to enter
          into sacred places and administer the ordinances of everlasting
          life for ourselves and for our dead--in endeavoring to do these
          things we have incurred the displeasure of an unbelieving world,
          of those who have substituted something else as the first
          principles of life and salvation for those which were given 1800
          years ago by the Savior of the world. The world has assumed to
          sit in judgment upon us for this belief. The world has assumed to
          say that we have done wrong in accepting these truths and living
          according to the law which God has revealed for our guidance and
          our government. Now, for one I do not believe that the judgment,
          in this respect, of the world will materially affect us in
          practicing and carrying out the purposes of Jehovah. Certainly it
          cannot change the truth. If Mormonism is truth the adverse
          criticism and judgment of mankind cannot materially affect its
          practice. They certainly cannot stand against that power which
          ever accompanies the promulgation of truth. Because of this
          Latter-day Saints have no fears of the future. We are dauntless
          in our advocacy of these principles because we know that they are
          true and must therefore prevail.
          272 JUNIUS F. WELLS
               There is very little endeavor, I may here remark, on the
          part of those who seek to abuse, and misrepresent us and to bring
          down upon us evils--there is among them very little disposition
          to examine the principles that we profess and teach; there is
          very little disposition among them or desire to ascertain if
          these things are not true, or to find anything in the way of
          argument against that which we teach and practice before the
          world. They have sent up the strong religious men of the nation
          to show us the error of our ways. We have gladly met them. We
          have met them in this building in discussion for the purpose of
          having them bring forth their reasons to show that we are in
          error and that the judgment of the world is right. What has been
          the result? The faith of the Latter-day Saints has been
          increased; they have been confirmed and strengthened in their
          belief; and we have heard very little boasting of the success of
          those who were sent to show us the error of our ways. I imagine
          that if there had been success we would never have heard the last
          of it.
          273 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          This judgment of the world against us, assuming that we are
          wrong, assuming that we are wrong, assuming that there is
          something up here in Utah that is not right, that is not
          consistent with Christianity, or the enlightenment of the age,
          has caused, perhaps, some distress, caused us to witness scenes
          that have a tendency to try the faith of the Latter-day Saints,
          to prove their integrity. For one, viewing the matter in that
          light, I thank God for it. I thank God that we are permitted to
          live in a day and age of the world when He has not forgotten His
          people, and has demonstrated to them and to mankind as well, that
          they are in possession of the truth. If we were of the world the
          world would love its own; but we have come out of the world,
          therefore the world hate us. They have in various ways manifested
          their evil disposition towards us, since the commencement of the
          Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth in this generation.
          Since the day that Joseph Smith received the revelations of God
          through the administration of angels from heaven, there has been
          a hue and cry raised against our people--an endeavor to blot out
          the work that the Saints have been engaged in. But let me tell
          you, my faith and belief and testimony is that the world has lost
          its opportunity to destroy that which is called "Mormonism;" that
          God's eternal truth, as received and practiced by the Latter-day
          Saints in these mountains, is rooted and grounded so deeply and
          firmly that it will never, while time and eternity lasts, be
          uprooted or destroyed. I cannot conceive, my brethren and
          sisters, of the destruction of a truth. If mankind will assume
          that there is an error here that needs to be rooted out--if their
          assumption were correct--I would not deny their power to succeed
          in the effort. They have said--that which they say most is--that
          our homes are not pure, that our homes are not constructed upon
          the right plan. They forget that the homes that God most honored
          in ages that are gone by, were constructed upon the plan that the
          Latter-day Saints advocate and hold out to the world as the plan
          of God. They forget that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, delighted
          in tracing His earthly lineage through the homes of polygamists.
          They have undertaken to destroy such homes. I feel in my heart
          sorry for the man who conceives that he has the power to succeed
          in such an unholy work. But they say fifty millions have declared
          against us. I do not take any stock in this assumption on the
          part of a few that fifty millions have condemned us--have said
          that we are wrong, and that we must go. There are those who have
          been throwing dust in the eyes of the fifty millions who say so.
          But let me tell you how it can very readily be discovered whether
          we are wrong or not. We have petitioned, we have plead with the
          power of this government to send among us a commission of
          honorable men to investigate the situation here, and to let all
          the world know what the great error and crime is that we are
          accused of.
          273 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          The kind of commission we want is this: We want the
          government--if it is possible in all this land of enlightenment,
          among all these people that are offended at the immorality of the
          "Mormons"-- to select a commission of men who are perfectly true
          to their marital relations, who are virtuous, and we challenge
          the commission of men to prove us an immoral people. Let them go
          into our homes and what will we show them there? We will show
          them respect of husbands for wives, wives for husbands, parents
          for children, children for parents and for each other. We will
          show them faith; we will show them virtue, and we challenge them
          to deny the truth of our showing to the American people. Then if
          we are not immoral, why this hue and cry raised against us? Can
          you answer who have passed laws to send men, whose lives are
          above reproach, into prison, and to scatter their families? Can
          you who have passed such wicked laws answer if we prove that we
          are a moral people?
          274 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          They may say that we are independent. Well, I thank God for one
          that I trace my lineage back through a race of independent men,
          who had the courage over 200 years ago to stand up in the face of
          inimical laws against their religion and say, "My conscience is
          my own. If need be I will leaven my native land that I may serve
          my God." And they did so, and helped to form a government upon
          this land that God in His infinite mercy and wisdom had held in
          reserve for many ages for a people that would accord to his sons
          and daughters the right to worship and honor Him according to the
          light that was in them. We do not see, unless "there is something
          rotten in Denmark," why the American people should fear the
          independence of the "Mormons." I do not see why there should be
          any dread at giving us our equal rights--the privilege to elect
          our officers and administer the laws according to the wisdom that
          is in us. God knows, our fellow men know, these hypocrites and
          liars who are misrepresenting us to the world know we are capable
          of self-government, and the most economical of any people in this
          land. I say that without boasting. But we would not have that
          reputation if we elected our vilifiers to the offices, and I do
          not think we will do it. I cannot see, my heart cannot conceive,
          my understanding is not broad enough to fathom the reason why we
          should not, because of our religion, be accorded equal rights
          with our fellow-citizens of this country. We have the stability
          of commerce and society; we have the wealth; we have the
          population; we have every requisite qualification for
          self-government, and in the light of freedom I have yet to hear a
          reason assigned for withholding from us our rights. The nearest
          thing to a reason I have heard is that we are an unpopular people
          with the rest of the citizens of this country, and then the next
          reason is--and that which I really believe is deeply felt--the
          jealousy of the east with respect to the west--the feeling that
          the great commercial interests of the east should have greater
          representation in the halls of Congress than the sparsely-settled
          regions of the west. 
          274 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          But I look forward, my brethren and sisters, to the time when the
          truth will dawn upon this nation with respect to the people. I
          look forward to the day when they will discover that there has
          been "a great bugaboo" raised over this question of "Mormonism,"
          which they will be ashamed to think they have paid much attention
          to, or taken much notice of. I may say in a word that I look
          forward to the time when the powers that be in Washington, having
          raked and scraped the country as with a fine tooth-comb, will
          perhaps find half-a-dozen men of the character I have referred
          to, who will look into this question out here in the mountains.
          And when that time shall come perhaps we shall be vindicated in
          the eyes of our fellowmen; perhaps there will be a blush of shame
          mantle the cheeks of some; and perhaps they will discover some
          slight improprieties nearer home that it will be well to regulate
          before sending all creation up here to set us right.
          274 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          There is one thing and only one thing for us to do that I can
          see, and that is to maintain our fidelity, to be true to that
          which we know is true. We ought not to be threatened or put in
          jeopardy for that. We ought to be protected in that. All the
          strength, all the power, all the influence of the land, of the
          government, of Christian sentiment, of enlightenment, of
          civilization--all these ought to sustain us in maintaining our
          fidelity to that which our conscience teaches us is truth. If we
          quail, if we vary one iota from that which we know to be true, we
          should be undeserving of support; but if we maintain our
          integrity in the opposition we may meet, God will not forsake us,
          and the better sentiment, the genuine and true civilization that
          is to be found in the world--for the world is full of truth,
          notwithstanding there are errors and wickedness alongside of
          it--will aid us in maintaining our integrity. I have yet failed
          to meet the man of honor, the man of sense, the man of
          discernment, the man of good judgment who would condemn me for
          maintaining the position that in my heart I feel to take
          respecting this question, even in these times. I have but
          recently returned from visiting among men in various classes of
          society in the east, and I have talked over this question in this
          manner to a great many, and the reply I have received, I must
          confess, has been one of encouragement, and one that has been
          gratifying to me.
          276 JUNIUS F. WELLS
          There have been gross errors committed in regard to Utah. For
          some cause the nation has received the idea that the "Mormons"
          are a wicked people. Their record disproves it. There has been a
          law passed which make a crime of a principle of the Latter-day
          Saints' religion, but there is no people in this land who have so
          free a record in the criminal courts. What was the percentage, as
          shown by the crime records in this territory, before the
          operation of this law against the "Mormons?" I believe, as nearly
          as I remember, while five-sixths of the population of this
          territory are "Mormons," and one-sixth non-"Mormons," eighty-five
          per cent of the criminals were from the ranks of the one-sixth,
          and fifteen per cent of the criminals were from the ranks of the
          five-sixths, who are "Mormons." Now it is intended, it appears to
          me, to change that by making a feature of the "Mormon" religion a
          crime, and sending just as many as possible into the ranks of the
          criminals, so-called, for practicing that principle. I maintain
          that it is a mistake to say that the Latter-day Saints are
          criminals, and have asked men everywhere to carefully, candidly,
          and honestly examine the situation for themselves. I would
          undertake to show that in our homes there is not the element of
          crime or sin or wrong, but that they will compare favorably with
          the homes of any. But to call that which I owe my being to, a
          crime--to take that position, when I know it is God's eternal
          truth, I would be a coward and a poltroon. I would be undeserving
          the respect of any man if I should thus reflect upon the holy
          institution to which I owe my being. I know there is virtue in
          it; I know there is purity in it; that it is right in the sight
          of my God and my conscience, and when I deny that, put a stone
          round my neck and cast me into the sea. I would have no courage
          to live and meet face to face any honorable man; I would slink