1870

6 Apr and 5-8 May 1870, 40th Annual General Conference, Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly, 19:114, 4/13/70, p 6; 19:160, 5/11/70, p 4; Millennial Star 32:277, 344, 353, 369]

[6 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 19:114, 4/13/70, p 6]

FORTIETH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

OF THE

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, APRIL 6, 1870

_____

According to adjournment of the Conference held on Oct. 6th, 1869, the Saints met in a Conference capacity, this morning at 10 o'clock. The meeting was merely of a preliminary nature; as the Saints had been notified that, in consequence of the absence of Presidents Brigham Young and Geo. A. Smith, and also owing to the present unfinished condition of the gallery in the New Tabernacle, Conference would be re-adjourned until May 5th. The attendance was as large as might have been expected under the circumstances. The heavy snow storm which has prevailed almost without intermission, since yesterday morning, doubtless deterred many from being present who otherwise would have attended.

            The postponement of Conference seems to have been opportune, as but few of the Saints from the country settlements could have attended on account of the stormy weather.

            On the stand were President Daniel H. Wells, of the First Presidency; Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Geo. Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, of the Quorum of the Twelve; Edwin D. Woolley and Samuel W. Richards, of the Presidency of the High Priests' Quorum; George B. Wallace, of the Presidency of this Stake of Zion; Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge and John Van Cott, of the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies; Edward Hunter, Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse c. Little, the Presidency of the bishopric; John W. Hess, Bishop of Farmington, F. A. Hammond, Bishop of Huntsville, and several other prominent Elders.

            Conference was called to order by President Daniel H. Wells. The Tabernacle choir sang the hymn, commencing, "See! all creation join To praise th' eternal God."

            Prayer was offered by Elder John Van Cott. The hymn "The towers of Zion soon shall rise Above the clouds and reach the skies." was sung by the Tabernacle choir.

PRESIDENT DANIEL H. WELLS

Said we have convened in a Conference capacity this morning, but we do not propose to transact the business that is usually attended to on such occasions, as those matters will be left over until the re-convening of Conference on the 5th of May. President Young and party were at Tokerville last night, all well.

ELDER JOHN TAYLOR

            Spoke. It has been customary for the Latter-day Saints to meet on the 6th of April; although it has been considered wise and necessary to adjourn till another time. It is not so much mere forms and observances that we are after, but we are in search of truths and principles. Yet we feel a particular attachment for the times that have been set apart, not only in this city but in other parts of the Territory, and in various parts of the world where an organized portion of the church exists. The carrying out of the purposes of Jehovah and establishing righteousness on the earth ought to be the polar star of our ambition. If we have the spirit of the gospel this will be our aim. This is the object of the First Presidency, of the Twelve and of the Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons. The object for which we are here is not to introduce ideas of our own but to promulgate the laws of life. There were no philosophers, theologians, or scientists that knew our relationship to God, or His purposes with regard to the earth, before He revealed these things to Joseph Smith the Prophet; neither they nor we knew anything about them. It was the Lord, through His Prophet, who revealed the sealing ordinances; how we might save ourselves and our families. It was He who taught us to be baptised for our dead. We are indebted to the Lord for all the blessings we enjoy. The kingdom of God will stand whilst all that is not founded on the rock of truth shall pass away like the baseless fabric of a dream. We know in whom we trust and he will sustain His Saints and will cause the discomfiture and overthrow of their enemies. May God bless all who love and favor Zion. Amen.

ELDER ORSON PRATT

            Addressed the conference. forty years ago God organized His Church. It has not been sustained by human wisdom but by the power of God who is its Author. On the day when the Church was organized God gave many instructions relative to the duties of its officers. The Lord continued to give line upon line and precept upon precept. The command for the Saints to assemble together in conference, at stated intervals, wherever the Church was organized, came direct from the Almighty.

            When it became necessary to build a Temple the plan was not devised by man's wisdom, but the Lord commanded that three men should be selected, unto whom the plan of the Temple would be shown, and it was done as directed and the Temple was erected according to the pattern given. The ordinances which were administered in the Temple were given by direct revelation. As the Elders went forth and declared unto the people, in the surrounding country, what the Lord was doing, persecution arose. The Saints were driven from place to place and despoiled of their property. Their persecutors had not polygamy then to plead as an excuse for their course; the reasons stated by them were that the Saints professed to have revelations from God, that they believed in the laying on of hands and anointing with oil for the healing of the sick; and another great objection urged was that the Latter-day Saints were too united. In the various parts where the Saints located and from which they were so ruthlessly driven, they petitioned the State authorities and laid before them their grievances, some of whom listened respectfully and others treated the matter with contempt. After we had been driven from Jackson county, Missouri, our steps were directed towards the West, and whilst we were out on the prairies a deputation was sent to inform us that we were required to furnish five hundred men to fight the battles of the country in Mexico; and although the circumstances under which the request was made were so peculiarly disadvantageous to the Saints, yet the quota of men was furnished.

            When we came here we brought polygamy with us. It is an eternal part of our religion, and we will never relinquish it. We love the glorious principles we have received better than we do our homes, better than we do our lives. When compared with our hopes of eternal exaltation life is as nothing. When the Government granted to us, as a community, our present civil rights and government they were perfectly aware that we were a polygamous people. When the homestead law was extended to us it was well known that we believed in and practiced plural marriage. When the homestead law was made applicable to the people of this Territory we went forth in good faith and paid our money for our land, and we are now coolly informed that we shall not be permitted to possess these lands that we have pre-empted, cultivated and paid for. Is this just?

            It is not in the province of congress to say what portion of the Bible we shall or shall not believe in. Should the bill,which has just passed the House of Representatives, become law, then alas! for the liberty of our common country. The enjoining or compulsory enforcement of the monogamic law is one of the "twin relics of barbarism."

            May the Lord bless us: Amen.

ELDER WILFORD WOODRUFF

Spoke. Our religion is God-given, and were we to relinquish it because of the fear of man, we would be recreant to every heaven-born principle. Civil and religious liberty is the keystone in the arch of the glorious Constitution of our country; if that be taken away the whole fabric must fall to pieces. This Government is in the hands of God. My life is of but small consequence when compared with my hopes of eternal happiness. No power will put down this work for God is at the helm and will guide it safely through. President Young has done and is doing all in his power to benefit mankind, thus following in the footsteps of the prophet Joseph. I pray that we may be faithful to the holy principles we have received. Amen.

ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON.

            Addressed the Conference. The Lord is calling the Saints to pass through circumstances that will conduce to make them a great people. We have had trials and persecutions, and the end is not yet. We shall doubtless have to pass through trials that will prove to God that we love Him supremely. All who have read the history of this people cannot but acknowledge that it is not plurality which causes the intense hatred that exists against them. If polygamy did not exist something else would be urged as an excuse for attempting to crush us out of existence. This we have bitterly experienced in the past.

            It is not a light thing to embrace the gospel of Jesus. We are engaged in a joyous work and f we have to suffer in sustaining it, it is a glorious reflection that we are but following in the footsteps of others who have labored in the same cause. Although the clouds that seem now to be hovering over us, appear dark, doubtless God will deliver His people as signally as He ever has done heretofore, for we are laboring for the triumph of a principle that will tend to purify the human family. When the gospel was first revealed, revelation was not believed in. How widely revelations are believed in to-day! Thus it is that, although it may be unacknowledged, the world follow in our footsteps, although it may be in their own peculiar way. So will it be, probably, in relation to polygamy. If the Saints will be faithful the Lord will deliver them which is my desire in the name of Jesus, Amen.

PRESIDENT DANIEL H. WELLS.

            If the Saints will be directed by the authority of the Holy Priesthood, the thing that is aimed at us will miss its mark. The blessings of God cannot be obtained on any other principle than by abiding His law.

            President Wells then moved that this Conference adjourn to the 5th day of May. The vote in favor of the motion was unanimous.

            The Tabernacle choir sang the hymn commencing "Daniel's wisdom may I know, Stephen's faith and patience show."

            Conference was dismissed by prayer by Elder Joseph F. Smith.

            The Spirit of God was manifested and felt throughout the meeting; and the speakers were blessed with extraordinary freedom and power We feel assured that none present, who came for the purpose of being edified, left, without feeling an increased desire, come what may, to sustain the work of God. We may look upon this as a harbinger of the good time that will be enjoyed at the Conference on Thursday the 5th of May.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference.

[5 May, 10 am]

[DNW 19:160, 5/11/70, p 4]

FORTIETH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
OF THE
CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
_____

The Fortieth Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convened, according to adjournment on April 6th, this morning at ten o'clock, in the New Tabernacle.

            The interesting nature of the times, the increased facilities for travel from the northern settlements and the beautiful weather having induced larger numbers of the Saints than usual from the country districts to flock to the city, the congregation was more numerous than is usual at the first meeting. For nearly an hour before the opening of the gates, and about two hours before the time announced for opening Conference, a living stream flowed towards the Temple Block and collected on First south street. Many faces could be observed among the throng, that had not been seen in this city for years. Capt. Beezly's Martial Band was on the ground and increased the interest and animation of the scene with its enlivening strains.

            On the stand were:

Of the First presidency:

Brigham Young, Geo. A. Smith and Daniel H. Wells.

Of the Twelve Apostles:

            Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Geo. Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, jun., and Joseph F. Smith.

Patriarch

            John Smith

Of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies:

Joseph Young, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge and John Van Cott.

Of the Presidency of the High Priests' Quorum:

            Edwin D. Woolley and Samuel W. Richards.

Of the Presidency of the Bishopric:

            Edward Hunter, Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little.

            There were also Bishops, Elders and leading men from every settlement in the Territory.

            Conference was called to order by President Brigham Young.

            The choir sang the hymn commencing: "The morning breaks, the shadows flee."

            Prayer by President Geo. A. Smith.

            The choir sang: "The towers of Zion soon shall rise."

PRESIDENT GEO. A. SMITH

            Addressed the Conference on the first principles of the gospel. The Latter-day saints had never been permitted to stay long enough in one place to enable them to build a house large enough to accommodate all who wished to attend our conferences. By the blessing of God, however, we are now in a position that we will not be under the necessity of requesting any of our brethren and sisters of the city to stay away to make room for the Saints from the country.

            Forty years since, on the 6th day of last April, the Church of Jesus Christ was organized with six members. at that time fragmentary portions of the gospel of Christ could be found in the various sectarian churches throughout the world; but when the gospel was restored by the Almighty through the instrumentality of the prophet Joseph, a complete system was introduced. Have we adhered to those ordinances and those glorious principles which were incorporated in that system? In the days of Joseph men were tried and tempted and many were led astray by false spirits. At one time Oliver Cowdery remarked that if he should apostatize the church would be broken up. The Prophet told him, however, that it was the work of the Lord and it would roll on without him. This work is not dependent upon any man or set of men. In the days of Joseph it was predicted by many that if he were destroyed the Church would fall to pieces, yet it exists to-day and is more powerful than it ever was. May the Lord of life and glory bless his servants and all Israel, is my prayer, Amen.

[George A. Smith]

[DNW 19:186, 5/25/70, p 6; JD 13:345]

REMARKS

By President GEORGE A. SMITH, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 5th 1870.

_____

[REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.]

_____

      It is a great pleasure to meet with the brethren again in Conference, and it is certainly very gratifying to see the people so comfortably seated, with a prospect of enjoying the benefits and blessings of the Conference; even should the elements not be favorable we have a shelter and a shade. It has been the fortune of the Latter-day Saints never to stay in any place long enough to build a house sufficiently large to hold the people; but, with the blessing of the Lord and the united efforts of the brethren, we have room sufficient to hold a very large audience, though no doubt occasions will still occur when we shall cry out, "More room," and probably before our Conference closes. I think, however, that we need not ask any of our brethren who reside in this city, as we have had to do, to stay at home to make room for those who may be in from a distance; all may come and be accommodated. The acoustic properties of the Tabernacle are evidently improved by the erection of the gallery, and if all who attend Conference will leave their coughing at home, sit still while here and omit shuffling their feet, they may have an opportunity of hearing pretty much everything that may be said. It will certainly require, even when all these conditions are complied with, considerable effort to fill so large a house with one voice, and that effort must be met by a corresponding effort on the part of the audience to preserve perfect stillness.

      It was forty years ago on the 6th of last month since the organization of the Church took place, in the chamber of Father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, New York, with six members. The history of that forty years would require volumes to record. The institution, as it then commenced, was in its infancy; yet the Lord revealed to His servant, that He had laid the foundation of a great work; the truth of that saying has been realized by the progress of events. The changes that have transpired in connection with this people have been very remarkable. The work commenced by preaching faith in the Lord Jesus, repentance and the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, which was an innovation upon the creeds and practices of every other religious sect; I am not aware that any one denomination believed in and practiced all the principles that were introduced at the organization of this Church. The first three of these principles were faith in the Lord Jesus, repentance, and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. The next principle was the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, precisely as it was pointed out by the Savior and practised by his disciples in Judea.

      There were denominations who believed in baptism by immersion, but not for the remission of sins, they believed that remission of sins was necessary previous to baptism; but they were ignorant of the possibility of the reception of the Holy Ghost, and, consequently, of the doctrine of the laying on of hands. The Church of England, it is true, would confirm by the laying on of the hand of the bishops, but not for confirming the gift of the Holy Ghost on the heads of the believers; and while all the professed believers in the doctrine of Christ had some portions or fragments of his Gospel as revealed and established by him and his Apostles, it was the Church of Latter-day Saints which introduced and established, complete, the principles of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance towards God, baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. These principles were all important, and the moment the Bible was brought forth everybody could find that they coincided exactly with the principles set forth by the Savior, and it required to be spiritualized and changed to make it appear otherwise. But the Christian world had gone astray from these things, and when they were restored they rejected them. There were, however, honest persons in all of the denominations, and God has respect to every man who is honest of heart and purpose, though he may be deceived, and in error as to principle and doctrine; yet so far as that error is the result of their being deceived by the cunning craftiness of men, or of circumstances over which such have no control, the Lord in His abundant mercy looks with allowance thereon, and in His great economy He has provided different glories and ordained that all persons shall be judged according to the knowledge they possess and the use they make of that knowledge, and according to the deeds done in the body, whether good or evil.

      "And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the first born, who have received the fullness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from that of the sun in the firmament. Behold, these are they who died without law, and also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the Gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. These are they who receive of His glory, but not of His fullness. These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fullness of the Father; wherefore they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun. These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God."

      In opening this Conference it would be well for us individually to ask ourselves, Have we received the first principles of the Gospel of Christ, and have we continued in those principles which were first taught unto us; or is it necessary for us again to lay the foundation of repentance from dead works? It is very singular that when the principles of the Gospel, as I have stated them, were presented to the different sects, they were disposed to reject them and to persecute those who preached them in their fullness. Such, however, was the fact, and it is owing to this that the Latter-day Saints are now in the Great Basin of the Rocky Mountains, in the heart of the American continent, in the enjoyment of political and religious liberty and freedom, for which they have sacrificed more perhaps than any other people on the face of the earth. And we have the greatest reason of all people to be thankful to God for these blessings.

      Then let, us ask ourselves, Are we prepared for the great blessings which God has bestowed upon us? Are we living up to our callings and magnifying the same? Do we observe the duties which are imposed upon us by our holy religion? Or are we foolish enough, while recognizing its truth, and professing to be Latter-day Saints, to treat it with carelessness and neglect, and failing to live up to our high and holy calling?

      From the earliest days of the preaching of the Gospel by Joseph Smith men were tried and tempted and led astray by false spirits and doctrines of devils. We find at the commencement of Joseph's mission that many who entered into covenant turned away, and some became very bitter enemies. It was necessary from the very beginning that there should be a sifting, for the Lord declared unto His people that He would sift them as with a sieve. This sifting had to continue, and hence every time the Latter-day Saints were driven, scattered, or otherwise persecuted, it caused those who could not abide in the faith to pass quietly away, or to make their wickedness manifest unto the church and unto the world. But while this was going on, the strength of Zion was increasing. It is said, and I presume correctly, that Oliver Cowdery remarked at one time to Joseph Smith, "If I should apostatize and leave the Church, the Church would be broken up." The answer of the Prophet was, "What and who are you? This is the work of God, and if you turn against it and withdraw from it, it will still roll on and you will not be missed." It was not long until Oliver turned away, but the work continued. God raised up men from obscurity to step forth and shoulder the burdens, and it was hardly known when and where he went. In about ten years he came back again, came before a local Conference at Mosquito Creek, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, Oct., 1848, and acknowledged his faults. He bore testimony of the mission of the Prophet, Joseph Smith, and of the truth of the Book of Mormon; he exhorted the Saints to follow the authority of the Holy Priesthood, which he assured them was with the Twelve Apostles. He said, "When the Saints follow the main channel of the stream, they find themselves in deep water and always right, pursuing their journey with safety; but when they turned aside into sloughs and bayous, they are left to flounder in the mud and are lost, for the Angel of God said unto Joseph in my hearing that this Priesthood shall remain on the earth until the end."

      Oliver declared he took pleasure in bearing this testimony to the largest congregation of Saints he had ever seen together. He was re-baptized and made arrangements to come to the mountains, but died soon after, while on a visit to the Whitmers, in Missouri.

      This circumstance shows how little God depends upon man to carry on His work. He does it by His own power, His own majesty, by His own mighty hand and for the accomplishment of His own glorious purposes.

      It was thought and felt throughout the world, about the year 1844, that if Joseph Smith, the Prophet, could be destroyed, that would be the end of the Latter-day Saints. Men conspired together to shed his blood; they sought occasion against him; they made him an offender for a word; they swore falsely against him, and some who had been his friends turned traitors and conspired with the wicked and shed his flood. It was generally believed by the enemies of the Saints that that was the end of the work of the Lord. The pulpit resounded with thanks to God that the great arch-impostor, Joseph Smith, was slain. The priests rejoiced over it; and though there was a feeling, tolerably wide-spread, that it was barbarous to kill him, under the plighted faith of Illinois, yet the general feeling was that it was a good thing that he was dead. But God had a work to perform, and it did not depend upon the life of one or two individuals. It was His work, His kingdom, His Church, His plan of salvation, and He, by His own wisdom and His own mighty hand bore it off.

      These were the facts, and these continue to be the facts; and all that the Latter-day Saints have to do is to live within the confines of God's holy law and up to their privileges. Are we doing so? Are we walking in accordance with these principles? Let us ask ourselves these questions, and if any of us are remiss, let us immediately commence to reform, humble ourselves before God, and be ready to sacrifice ourselves and all we have, if necessary, for the building up and redemption of Zion and for our salvation.

      We have come together as a Conference to compare notes with each other, to rejoice together and to receive instruction; and let every man and woman that has come or that may yet come, lift their hearts to God in solemn prayer that His blessing may rest upon His servants, that they may be inspired with a double portion of His holy Spirit, that the Priesthood, in all its life, power and glory, may speak forth the words of truth, light and intelligence. that shall pour comfort into the hearts of the Saints, and guide and strengthen them, and illuminate their path, that we, one and all, may continue in the great and glorious work which we have commenced.

      May the Lord God of Hosts bless you, and peace be and abide in your hearts, that you may appreciate these things, and exercise faith, union, knowledge, power, and wisdom in your walk and conduct henceforth, and that these meetings may be a blessing to all who attend them, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

PRESIDENT DANIEL H. WELLS.

            The Lord knew the right time to reveal His gospel to His children, and He sent His messenger to the right Joseph. He knew that Joseph would receive it and could never be induced to deny it. The children of men have their agency to accept or reject the principles of the Holy Gospel, when those principles are unfolded to them. Those who reject the gospel take upon themselves an awful responsibility. The Lord will leave all of His children without excuse. Those who do not know the gospel in this life will have an opportunity in another sphere. The Latter-day Saints know in whom they have trusted. They have relied upon Him who is indeed their Father. The gospel should be sweeter to us now than it has ever been, and we should be willing, were it necessary, to place our all, even to our existence, on the altar, for the furtherance of the cause of God on the earth. When any new principle, or even a new idea respecting some old principle is advanced, many are ready to oppose it. How many, for instance, have raised a hue and cry because the people were counseled not to trade with their enemies. The kingdom and the greatness thereof will never be given to a people who would hand them over to the Devil as fast as the Lord bestowed them. The Lord tests and tries his people to see whether they have integrity, and those who fly the track the moment they are tired show to Him that they have no integrity. It is the greatest calamity tat can befall a person, to make shipwreck of his most Holy Faith. In all ages of the world the people of God have had to endure the hatred and persecution of the world. The tables, however, will finally be changed. The Saints will yet have power to erect a holy temple to the Lord, and the glory of God shall rest upon the Temple and the habitations of the Saints.

[Daniel H. Wells]

[DNW 19:187, 5/25/70, p 7; JD 18:349]

REMARKS

By President D. H. WELLS, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 5th, 1870.

_____

[REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.]

_____

      It has pleased God in the day and generation in which we live to reveal His holy Gospel. I expect that He knew the time to bring it forth; that lie understood the proper time to introduce its principles, and chose that period in the world's history in which it would be received by, at least, a portion of His children. I apprehend that He made no mistake; that the angel which John prophesied should come forth, bearing the everlasting Gospel to the children of men, came to the right person, to the true Joseph—to the one who would receive it, and bear testimony that he had seen an angel, though all the world should deride and point the finger of scorn, call him a dreamer, and treat him with every kind of contumely and reproach; and though they eventually persecuted him unto the death, they could not prevail upon him to deny that he had seen an angel, and that he received from the Lord those principles which he taught.

      We believe, then, that it was the right time, and that he, the angel, came to the right person; that the Gospel has gone forth unto the world, that the minds of the children of men have been touched with the light of truth, and that it has had the effect to inspire some to seek after the Lord, to observe and keep His laws, learn His ways and walk in His paths. The object and purpose of our gathering together, brethren and sisters, is to learn of His ways, and walk in His paths.

      It is one of the greatest conceivable blessings which can be conferred upon the children of men to live in the day and generation in which the Lord has sent forth His Gospel; in an ago in which He has conferred upon men the authority of the holy Priesthood to administer in sacred and holy things. It is one of the greatest blessings that could be conferred upon His children to become the happy recipients of that knowledge which leads to eternal life and exaltation in His kingdom. All people have this privilege so far as the knowledge of the Gospel has come to their ears. In this the children of men are independent; they have their volition and agency to receive or to reject these principles when they shall hear them; but when they are sent forth with the authority of the holy Priesthood, which is the authority of God, and are sounded in the ears of God's creatures here on the earth, and they reject them, they incur a fearful responsibility. Still they have the power to act as they please in this matter; but the consequences rest upon themselves—the Lord has left them without excuse. It is a matter for you and me and for all persons to canvas in their own minds, and we can then act upon our own volition in receiving or rejecting the truth.

      All who have not heard the principles of life and salvation proclaimed will have the privilege of doing so; if not here, then in some other sphere or state of existence. The plan of salvation is ample, full and complete, and will save all the children of men who let it, and the Lord will be left without excuse in the final winding up, so far as the probation of man on the earth is concerned.

      We read in the Scriptures that to know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent, is life eternal. To enable His creatures to obtain this knowledge the Lord has kindly sent forth His revelations from time to time; but we do honestly believe that the Latter-day Saints are the only people on the face of the earth at the present time that have any true knowledge of God, of the relationship that does exist between Him and the inhabitants of the earth and of the design and object of the Almighty in bringing them into existence, and the purpose to be accomplished thereby in their future state. I say we believe that the Latter-day Saints are the only people who possess this knowledge. The world have no just conceptions of the Deity; even the Christian world are without the knowledge of God as much as the heathen nations. This may be deemed a sweeping declaration, but it is susceptible of proof, if we take the Scriptures for our guide and as the foundation of our argument; that is, if the Christian world believe as they profess to do. I do not care to illustrate at this present time, or to bring evidence to bear to sustain my position, to a people who understand these arguments and principles, and who have learned better things, as is the case with this congregation. We know in whom we have trusted; we know who has led us forth to the valleys of the mountains; who has blessed the land and caused it to bring forth its strength for our sustenance; who has shielded and protected us from the power of the adversary—those who have sought our overthrow and destruction. We have learned to know Him as our Father, the Father of our spirits, and the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has exercised a parental care over us, and has delivered us at all times from the power of our enemies, brought us an inheritance in a goodly land, blessed the land and caused it to bring forth in its strength for our sustenance. We know that we are dependent upon Him for our very existence, and that by Him only are we preserved, just as well as we know that the children of men, impelled by the great adversary, Satan, are seeking to overthrow us, to break in pieces the kingdom of God, and to destroy from the face of the earth the rule and authority of the Priesthood of God.

      Are we prepared to take upon ourselves the labor, the self-denial, the self-abnegation, I might say the persecution, it it should be permitted to come upon us, that continually besets the pathway of the Saint of God? If we are, we are all right; if we are not, we had better repent and seek unto the Lord for strength, retrace our steps, and get the Spirit of God in our hearts that we may become more confirmed in our most holy faith. When we received the Gospel we felt as though it would be a great privilege to devote our whole lives and all our interests in this existence to the extension of this great and glorious cause. Have we grown lukewarm in our feelings and love? If so it is time to retrace our steps, lest we become darkened in the counsel of our minds and turn away to the beggarly elements of the world.

      I will say, this morning, that the Gospel that I received is as sweet to me to-day as it ever was during my existence on the earth, yea, more so, for as I advance, greater and more glorious truths and beauties develop themselves and come home to my understanding. If the first principles of the Gospel were true in the days of Joseph, they are true to-day. If the principles that have been developed as we have passed along were true when they first struck our minds with their convincing proofs, they are also true to-day. If what we believed were the whisperings of the Spirit of God confirming these truths on our minds, were really so, and we received them from Heaven, we should live faithful to what we have received, that we may progress and improve as we pass along. We have received an item of truth here and another there, as we could receive and maintain it; but the revelations declare that there are things yet to be revealed which have been kept bid from the foundations of the world. I, for one, expect that the volume of revelation will remain open, and that the servants of God will, in the future as they have in the past, read to us from the Book of Life. The reflection that we shall not be confined to what has already been given, but that we shall continue to grow and increase in the knowledge of God, and in every good, is one of the most highly-prized principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      How true it is that, when any new principle, or any new idea concerning an old principle is promulgated, the human heart seems to rise up in rebellion against it, and the Saints are no exception in this respect, for when the Lord condescends to reveal any new principle pertaining to their welfare and the building up of His kingdom on the earth, many are ready, both in feelings and practices, to rise up and rebel against it. What is the matter? Are we pent up in a nut-shell and confined in our feelings to such an extent that we cannot receive new revelations and instructions from time to time when they come from the proper source? No. I think that, for the great majority of the Latter-day Saints, I can answer it is not so. It may be so with individuals; but as a general thing the Saints are glad to receive instruction, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, as they can receive and endure it. I heard President Young say that he told the Prophet Joseph never to reveal a new principle to him if he thought that he could not receive it, that it would be detrimental to his faith or cause him to turn from that which he had received. He said he would rather remain in ignorance than to have it prove a stumbling-block to him. I have seen a great many people anxious for revelation, and for the development of some great mystery concerning the kingdom of God. I have never felt so; I have been satisfied with what the Lord should condescend to reveal, and more than glad if, when it did come, I was able to receive and practice it.

      How many are there within the hearing of my voice who have felt infringed upon in their feelings when they were told to sustain Zion and not to trade with their enemies. This was a new feature, but it touched things of a temporal nature. Why a great many felt as though they could not submit to be dictated to, though it was by the servant of God, in regard to temporal affairs. Is not this true, and we, too, right in the midst of Israel? O, yes, we can't deny it, there has been considerable howling made concerning this item. But yet this is the kingdom of God, and the kingdom and the greatness thereof are to be given to the Saints of the Most High. Can we expect anything else than that His servant will dictate us concerning our temporal matters? I do not understand it in any other way. When, I would ask, can the kingdom of God be established on the earth, or in other words when can the kingdom and the greatness thereof be given to the Saints of the Most High? Never until a people is found possessing sufficient good, hard, sound sense to use the blessings of that kingdom to build it up and not to give it to the devil just as fast as the Lord hands them over to them. We have come up to Zion that we may be taught in the ways of the Lord and that we may learn to walk in His paths. And you know I have told you how independent we are—we can either receive the Gospel, or reject it and take the consequences. But let no man lay the flattering unction to his soul that he can do just as he pleases and obtain celestial glory. We can never do this except we make our ways, notions and ideas correspond with the Lord's. If we expect to attain to celestial glory, and be prepared and qualified to receive the kingdom of God in its greatness upon the earth, we shall have to make our ways correspond with the Lord's, so much so at least as to be found faithful in making good use of the blessings which He has entrusted to us. It is those who are found faithful over a few things unto whom the promise is made that they shall become rulers over many things. It is not those who fly the track at the moment of peril and difficulty who will obtain the blessings of high heaven; no, the Lord tests and tries us, to prove if we have integrity, and the man who flies the track, when tested, proves that he is lacking in integrity and is not worthy to receive the blessings of those who are faithful and true. Blessings are no doubt withheld in kindness for a time, for many who receive them grow fat and kick, thus proving to the Lord that they are not worthy; and peradventure He withholds blessings from many very good people, who will finally triumph over their own peculiar notions and ideas, and make their ways so far correspond with the Lord's as to be worthy.

      We are in a school of experience, brethren and sisters, and it will be well for us if we will wisely use and apply the blessings we receive and the experience that we are passing through, and so govern and control ourselves in the future that the experience of the past may be a light to our feet in time to come.

      It is most desirable to us all that we should be preserved in the purity of our most holy faith, and never depart therefrom or swerve either to the right hand or to the left. The fate of others who have departed from the path of rectitude ought to be a warning to as all to be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit, lest we fall into the same pit. It is a very easy thing for a man to get into the dark, and small things often lead to it. He sees, peradventure, something in his Bishop or Teacher, or in some of the authorities, which he does not like, and instead of going to the proper place to ascertain the truth in the case, and informing his mind correctly concerning the matter, he lets it corrode in his heart until disaffection is produced and he begins to lose confidence. In a short time, if he indulges in this spirit, he mouths it to some confidant or friend, and after doing it once he mouths it again, and if you follow that man a little longer you will find that he neglects his prayers and the duties of his calling, and very soon the counsel of his mind becomes darkened, and soon he is on the highway to apostasy, and, in fact, he has been there from the beginning, if he had only known it; and if no good friend should tell him his error, in a short time such a man goes over the dam and makes shipwreck of his faith, and that is the greatest calamity that can befall any person.

      What matters it to the Saints what path they are led into if the Lord leads? If they are submissive and yield to His dictation, no matter whether it brings weal or woe, it will work out good; it may bring poverty, so far as the things of the world are concerned, but it will never bring poverty to the soul. And it will be a happy reflection when we have passed through this mortal existence, that we were able to stand the test, enduring the ordeals and remaining steadfast and faithful to the end.

      I do not know that we are promised anything here but the hatred and persecution of the world; and this has been the portion of the Saints of God in every age of the world. I do believe, however, that the table is going to change; I believe that when the people are sufficiently pure and worthy, and capable of wisely using the blessings of which I have spoken, the blessings of earth and heaven will be poured upon them in rich abundance. We have a little foretaste of this in the blessings that we have received and enjoy to-day. Although the power of the Adversary is very great, and he still seeks the overthrow and destruction of the cause and kingdom of God on the earth; yet it is a different age of the world, it is a different dispensation; it is the dispensation of the fulness of times, in which, no matter how much we may be overturned, no matter how much individuals may suffer, or how much they may be called to endure, the final result will be triumph to the kingdom, and it will not be given to another people; but we shall have power to redeem Zion and to build that great and glorious temple in which the Saints will receive the blessings of eternity, and on which the glory of God will rest as a cloud by day and as a pillar of fire by night. This people are that people; these Saints are the Saints of the Most High, to whom the kingdom and the greatness thereof will be given, and another people shall never possess it.

      This should be a great satisfaction to us, and should encourage us in our pathway through all the difficulties we may have to encounter. We would not be worth much if we could not pass through ordeals. The Savior of the world had to pass through them, and we should not complain if we have to tread in his footsteps in order to obtain great blessings at the end of the race. Let us reflect on these things and go on our way rejoicing, filling the full measure of our creation with credit to ourselves, and with honor to God, our Father, who brought us to this state of existence, Which is my prayer for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Said that the people would be required, during conference, to pay strict attention and to keep good order. He thought it would be advisable for the sisters to make arrangements to leave their babies at home, as little children could not possibly understand anything that might be said, and by their noise, they prevent the congregation from hearing. As our congregations will be of necessity large, we will be compelled to be a little exacting on those points. Referring to the filthy practice indulged in by some, while at meeting, of chewing tobacco, Present Young said:

            On Sunday, after meeting, going through the gallery which had been occupied by those claiming, no doubt, to be gentlemen, and perhaps, brethren, you might have supposed that cattle had been standing around there and dropping their nuisances. Here and there were great quids of tobacco, and places a foot or two feet square smeared with tobacco juice. I wish the door-keepers, when, in the future, they observe any persons besmearing the seats and floor in this way to request them to leave the house; and, if they refuse and will not stop spitting about and besmearing their neighbors, just take them and lead them out carefully and kindly. It is an imposition for those claiming to be gentlemen to spit tobacco juice for ladies to draw their clothes through and besmear them, or to leave their dirt in the house. We request all addicted to this practice, to omit it while in this house. Elders of Israel, if you must chew tobacco, omit it while in meeting, and when you leave, you can take a double portion, if you wish to.

            PRESIDENT YOUNG made some excellent practical remarks in relation to the necessity for the Saints being continually taught in the things of God.

[Brigham Young]

[DNW 19:199, 6/1/70, p 7; JD 13:343]

REMARKS

By President BRIGHAM YOUNG, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 5th, 1870.

_____

[REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.]

_____

      During our Conference we shall require the people to pay attention and to preserve good order, and perhaps we shall require that that will not be altogether pleasing in some respects. One thing which strikes me here this morning, and which is a source of considerable annoyance to the congregation, appears to me might be avoided, and that is bringing children here who are not capable of understanding the preaching. If we were to set them on the stand, where they could hear every word, it would convey to them no knowledge or instruction, and would not be the least benefit to them. I will ask my sisters: Cannot we avoid this? Have you not daughters, sisters, or friends, or some one who can take care of these children while you attend meeting? When meetings are over, the mothers can go home and bestow all the care and attention upon their children which may be necessary. I cannot understand the utility of bringing children into such a congregation as we shall have here through the Conference, just for the sake of pleasing the mothers, when the noise made by them disturbs all around them. I therefore request that the sisters will leave their babies at home in the care of good nurses. And when you come here, sisters and brethren, sit still and make no noise by shuffling your feet or whispering. Wait till meeting is dismissed, then you may go out and talk and walk as much as you please; but while you are in this house it is necessary to keep perfectly still.

      I hope our doorkeepers are instructed and understand, so that they will keep order, and also be still themselves. I have noticed sometimes that our doorkeepers and policemen will make more disturbance in a congregation than the people do. This is very unbecoming, and it certainly exhibits a great lack of understanding. If a look or motion will not answer, do not holloa; we, on the Stand, will do all the talking necessary. But if a doorkeeper holloas to this one and that one, he makes more confusion than the people will make. Now, doorkeepers, be sure their you are perfectly still; and if you are obliged to walk around here much, I would recommend that you wear india-rubber overshoes, so that you may be able to walk without making a noise.

      There is another subject I wish to refer to. Last Sabbath this front gallery, the gentleman's gallery, was very full. After meeting was dismissed I took a walk through it, and to see the floor that had been occupied by those professing to be gentlemen, and I do not know but brethren, you might have supposed that cattle had been there rolling and standing around, for here and there were great quids of tobacco, and places one or two feet square smeared with tobacco juice. I want to say to the doorkeepers that when you see gentlemen who cannot omit chewing and spitting while in this house, request them to leave; and if such persons refuse to leave, and continue their spitting, just take them and lead them out carefully and kindly. We do not want to have the house thus defiled. It is an imposition for gentlemen to spit tobacco juice around, or to leave their quids of tobacco on the floor; they dirty the house, and if a lady happen to besmear the bottom of her dress, which can hardly be avoided, it is highly offensive. We therefore request all gentlemen attending Conference to omit tobacco chewing while here. To the Elders of Israel who cannot and will not keep the Word of Wisdom, I say, omit tobacco chewing while here.

      In all probability our congregations will be large, and we shall be under the necessity of being a little stringent and exacting in regard to leaving the children at home and in preserving quietness and order while in the house. You may think it a little unreasonable, sisters, to make such a request, but it is not so, for you who are here this morning have seen the great amount of confusion and annoyance the crying of children has caused; and if you cannot, for the space of two or three hours, forego the pleasure of gazing upon the faces of your little darlings, just stay at home with them. This we earnestly request while we are here in Conference. We have all the brethren of the Twelve here, except Brother Carrington, who is in Liverpool, and we shall have speeches, exhortations and advice from them, which, if followed and observed by the people, will lead them in the path of truth, light, intelligence, virtue, soberness and godliness, and we want such good order preserved and maintained that all attending Conference can hear the instructions given.

      We have many things to say to the people. They need a great amount of talking to and instruction. They are a good deal like children and need to have words of counsel and advice constantly reiterated. The mother says to the child, "My darling little Johnny, don't you get that knife," or "Can't you let your father's razor alone," or "Let the crockery alone, you will break it." And the "little darling Johnny" lets it alone for a minute or two, but soon he makes another stretch after the knife, razor, tumbler, pitcher, or something that his mother does not want him to have, and again her voice is heard, "Johnny, let that alone, it is not good for you to have;" or, "You will break that pitcher." Johnny sets down the pitcher, and pretty soon it is gone from his mind, but he runs around a little, and then he wants a drink, and while getting the pitcher, or perhaps the knife, the mother coaxingly says, "My darling dear, will you let that alone," and finally, wearied with talking to "Johnny," she probably boxes his ears. It is precisely so with the people, or many of them. We exhort them to observe the Word of Wisdom, to be faithful, truthful and prayerful, and so on, but many of them forget, and we have to ask and beseech them again and again.

      We shall now dismiss our morning's meeting, and shall assemble again at two o'clock this afternoon, and I trust that strict attention will be paid to what is said. I am of the opinion that what is said will be instructive and good for the people. We do not want the teachings of the Elders to drop upon senseless, careless, indolent ears; but let every ear be open, and every heart receive understanding, that good may result from our labors. We are teaching the people how to be saved—how to walk and talk so as to secure eternal salvation, and I do hope and pray my brethren and sisters to pay attention, that the Spirit of the Lord may be in your hearts, that you may see and understand things as they are. I would say, still further, if there be error advanced here, do not receive it, pass it by, and live so that you will know truth from error, light from darkness, the things that are of God from these not of God; and if an error should drop from the lips of one of our Elders, do not receive, believe, or practice it. Truth is what we want, and we ought to live so that we can understand and know it for ourselves. This is our privilege and duty; and we request of the Latter-day Saints; and of all people, to live so that they may know and understand the things of God, and receive and embrace them in their faith, and practice them in their lives.

 

            The choir sang "Holy Lord God of Hosts."

            Conference adjourned till 2 p.m.

            Prayer by Elder Geo. Q. Cannon.

_____

[5 May, 2 pm]

[DNW 19:160, 5/11/70, p 4]

THURSDAY, 2 p.m.

            Meeting was called to order by President Brigham Young.

            The choir sang: "Hosannah to the great Messiah."

            Prayer by Elder Brigham Young, jr.

            The choir sang: "What wondrous things we now behold."

ELDER ORSON HYDE

            We are engaged in the cause of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet, and although we cannot see him with the natural eye, yet he is moving in that cause we are engaged in. Not only can I bear my testimony that Joseph Smith was sent of God, but that Prest. Brigham Young is his legal successor. Although the enemies of President Young may vent their rage and spleen against him, yet their machinations will have no more effect on him than the warring elements which gather around our mountain tops have up- the Twin Peaks, which have withstood the storms of ages. The man who has been appointed to lead Israel will stand an immovable pillar of the Almighty.

            The Latter-day Saints should be prompt in paying their debts. They should owe no man anything but love and good will. We may turn away those to whom we are indebted with some frivolous excuse, but we cannot in this way, turn aside the demands of justice. If we are slack in discharging our obligations and have no fixed determination to do so, will the Lord hear and answer our prayers? Some people run into debt to gratify pride an fashion; this is not right. Some actually sell their crop of wheat as soon as it is sown. Such should deny themselves indulgences that can be dispensed with. It would be well for the people to ask themselves whether they have settled their indebtedness to the Emigrating fund, whether they have paid up their Tithing, their newspapers, &c. Joseph the Prophet once said that the majority of this people would never go astray. If we will walk uprightly and honestly the blessings of the Lord will rest upon us. I expect to see the day when those who have sought the injury of the Saints will feel ashamed in the presence of honorable men. God defend this people and their rights, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

[Orson Hyde]

[DNW 19:235, 6/22/70, p 7; JD 13:363]

DISCOURSE

By President Orson Hyde, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 5th, 1870.

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REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.]

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      Brethren and sisters, my heart almost falters at the idea of attempting to make you all distinctly hear me, but by the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, in answer to your good wishes and prayers, I will do my best to make you hear such things as it may suggest to me. I am thankful for this opportunity of meeting the Saints from different parts of the Territory, of beholding their friendly faces, and of greeting them with a cordial "How do you do?" and "God bless you." It really fills me with joy and gladness, and I am thankful that I have the privilege of meeting with my brethren who bear the Priesthood, and of mingling my testimony with theirs, to establish the truths of heaven long since revealed by the Lord to His people—the Latter-day Saints. Brethren and sisters, I know that the cause in which we are engaged is the cause of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a true and faithful Prophet of the Most High God. I know that be sealed his testimony with his blood, and though he is invisible to our natural eyes at the present time, he is moving the cause of Zion by an influence which we can better feel than see. I feel thankful that I have the privilege of bearing this testimony; and not only do I bear it in behalf of the martyred Prophet, but I bear the same testimony in behalf of him whom God has placed to lead, guide and govern the affairs of His kingdom on the earth—namely, President Brigham Young.

      You can all behold the "Twin Peaks" down here, when you are out in the open air, towering aloft towards heaven. You have seen the clouds gather around their brow, you have heard the thunders roll and seen the lightnings flash as if they would demolish those proud monuments of nature, and the elements have expended upon them their fury, yet after all, the clouds retired, the thunders ceased to roll, the lightnings to flash, and the sky became clearer; and there stand to-day those proud monuments, unscathed and unmoved. Why? Because God Almighty's hand reared them and placed them there. And the elements by which we are more or less surrounded may gather around our President, Brigham Young, until his name is almost obscured for the time being; the thunders may roll over his head, the lightnings may flash or the clouds gather; is he affected? Is he not the same identical pillar, leading, guiding and sustaining the cause of God? Most assuredly he is. And remember that, although the elements are lively and they play around the "Twin Peaks" with a great deal of force and fury, they can have but very little effect upon them; and so it is with the man whom God has ordained and placed to guide His Saints. Apostates may cause the clouds to gather, and they may thunder and they may lighten, and they may do this, that and the other, but at last they must yield and give place to the monument that God has erected; and he will stand forth in hold relief, towering to heaven and pointing the way to eternal life.

      This is my testimony. This is the way my heart feels to-day; and it is the way it has ever felt towards that individual; it is the way that I am inclined to think that it ever will feel. It is my determination. Why? Because I have had evidence that is unmistakable that I am occupying grounds that are correct, that are true and faithful, and I cannot forget it. I pray the Lord that He may always lead me to keep the truth in mind, vivid and clear as the sun at noonday.

      Brethren and sisters, if we will be united in keeping the commandments of God, in observing and cleaving to the Word of Wisdom, not for the time being only, but always while life shall last; if we will remember our prayers and be faithful in the discharge of our duties, I will tell you that any measure, inimical to our welfare and interests it may seem, that may be sought to be carried against us, will utterly fail. We have the means within ourselves to defeat almost anything that is intended for our destruction and overthrow. However I want to talk but little about this. I have endeavored to instruct the brethren and sisters where I bare labored in relation to this matter, and if I shall repeat here to-day some things that I have said heretofore, do not think that it is because Brother Hyde lacks a subject; but he is happy to have the opportunity of declaring the truth; and truth never becomes stale because of being often repeated.

      We are a commercial and trading people, although far inland, and hence we buy and sell. Now the question is, are we always punctual to pay according to promise and agreement? I am sorry to say that in too many instances we are careless and indifferent with regard to fulfilling our word and agreement. We are told in the good Book that we should owe no man anything but love and good will; and if every man that hears the sound of my voice to-day could stand out like an angel of God and say, "I owe no man anything but love and good will," what missile from the enemies' ranks could he successfully hurled against us? I say not one. We have paid that which we owe, and no man can say aught in complaint against us because we are delinquents; and every one that knows us will he ready to say, "God bless you, you are punctual and faithful." Do we all desire, brethren and sisters, to maintain this character and stand upon this ground? I know that cases will arise, and almost unavoidably, in which we may be indebted to our brethren; but how is it with some of us when those to whom we are indebted apply for payment? I am afraid that such creditors, instead of receiving that which is their due, are sometimes turned away with an excuse; when, if the debtor would exert himself, he might pay about as well then as at any other time. But though we may turn away a brother with an excuse, does that turn away the demands of justice and right? I tell you no. I have seen individuals who would contract a debt, apparently regardless whether they paid or not. I do not know that there are any here, but if there are I hope they will heed the words which I speak. Let me say that I very much question whether, if we have contracted debts and do not pay them, nor manifest any desire to do so, we shall go into the celestial kingdom. I cannot tell how this will be, but I should rather fear that, instead of going into the celestial kingdom, we should go down to that prison that is spoken of in the Scriptures. Hence we are exhorted to "agree with thine adversary quickly whilst thou art in the way with him, lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison: verily, verily, I say unto thee that thou shalt not come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." Whether this Scripture legitimately applies in this case, I will not say; but to my mind it has a strong beginning in that direction. Well, if I have to go to prison and there work to pay the uttermost farthing, heaven nerve my arm so that I may meet and pay my obligations while I am in the flesh. I know that in relation to these matters some of us have been in the habit of considering, "Well, it is a brother to whom I owe this debt, and I can put him off, he will bear with me, and if he begins to make any particular demonstration towards collecting it, I will twine around him, and say, 'Bear with me a little, and I will pay you,'" when perhaps we have no real, firm and fixed determination to pay that debt at all.

      Will the Lord hear and answer our prayers if this be our condition? I cannot say, but I will tell you I would rather be clear of any obligation except those of love and good will. I would rather risk prayer offered under these circumstances than when offered while the suppliant is involved in debts and obligations he has failed to discharge.

      Now, brethren and sisters, if we will train ourselves never to contract a debt, unless we feel sure, and not only feel sure, but determined, to pay according to promise, we shall not have the burdens on our shoulders that we otherwise shall have. Times are changing. Sometimes we are tempted by the allurements of the world, by the flow of money and by the abundance of everything, to go beyond the mark, and we contract debts; then perhaps there is a shutdown on the sources of prosperity, and a dark, dull time, financially, may set in, and everything we have got is at stake. Which, then, is the better way? The better way, in my opinion, is to keep clear of debt; whether times are prosperous or tight, keep clear of debt if possible.

      Some will run into debt to gratify pride, and they will really rob themselves and their creditors just to keep up. with this fanciful thing called fashion. Brother or sister So and So says, "I must have this or that, because somebody else has it;" or somebody has got such a thing, and I feel that I am as much entitled to it as he or she. I say let somebody else have as many fashions as they like, but let us abide by what God has given us and be content therewith; and if we really want more, let us make a little extra exertion, and before we spend money let us earn it. I know men who will actually go to work and sell the crop, that they are perhaps planting now, to merchants; and when they irrigate those crops it is not for themselves, but for them to whom they have sold it. The same is true when the grain is harvested and when it is threshed. There is no liberty, independence or nobility in this; but they who take this course are bound down and are slaves to somebody else. I feel that a little economy and self-denial would relieve us very much from this embarrassment and incumbrance. I believe the good Book says, "Except a man deny himself, take up his cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple." Do we seek to deny ourselves or to gratify ourselves? Which is the greater labor, to gratify or to deny ourselves? I will tell you that if we would bestow as much labor in denying ourselves as we do in gratifying ourselves, we should feel better and should be happier, and the heavens would plead our cause more effectually. How comfortable a man feels when be can say to himself, "Though I have but little, thank God I do not owe anybody anything." I have paid up my tithing, my emigration indebtedness, I have paid for my newspaper, and done the best I could to keep the hearts of my brethren whole by paying promptly, according to promise, so that the great machine of progress may move without obstruction and hindrance? I believe that if we will all turn in from this time and be honest, and really pay our debts and obligations, we have no great reason to fear anything injurious proceeding from any quarter.

      Suppose now, brethren and sisters, that we should be united in this one thing, and should actually go to and pay our debts and obligations. Let me suggest to you one thing. Says one, "Really, I would very much like if I had the assurance that God heard my prayers." Now, when you go home, just think of them to whom you are indebted and who is in most need among your creditors, and then go right to that individual and bless him with an instalment of what you owe him, and I tell you that will aid very much the acceptance of your offering unto God; it will induce Him to hear your prayer and to answer it. If you don't believe it, try it, and instead of putting off your brother, to whom you are indebted, and making a thousand excuses and apologies, and trying to get out of his road, go right to him, be honest, lay your heart open to him, and say, "My brother, I will do all I can for you. I will bless you by paying you what I owe, or a portion of it, and I will pay you the remainder as fast as I possibly can." Let this course be taken throughout Israel, and see if the tables will not turn in favor of Zion. I feel that they will; let us all take this course and see.

      I intend, if the Lord will let me live, and I believe He will, to work just as hard as I can to pay every just obligation that I owe, and I believe I shall accomplish it. I pray the Lord to let me live until I can say, boldly and honestly and truly, that I owe no man anything but love and goodwill; and then as much longer as He pleases. That is what I desire and intend. And I believe that if we, as a people, do this, remember our prayers, and keep the words of wisdom, the Lord will not suffer the enemy to prevail against us.

      Now I look around this congregation, and contemplate that there are, perhaps, some ten or twelve thousand persons, and it may be more, I do not know, there is a very large number; then when I think that numerous as we are here we are but the representatives—not more than a tithing of those left behind, of the same stripe, if reminds me of the words of Joseph the Prophet, when he said, "Brethren, remember that the majority of this people will never go astray; and as long as you keep with the majority you are sure to enter the celestial kingdom." I am satisfied, brethren, that if we will go to with our might and strength and pay our debts and liabilities the blessing of God will attend us, and that too in the eyes of all the world.

      I will tell you what I expect. I expect to live to see the day when those in our midst, who have sought our injury and ruin, will stand the same as men do, when discovered, that I read of in the papers, who rob henroosts or steal sheep. You know how they feel—they feel "cheap," they would feel very mean in the presence of honorable men. I expect to live to see the day, brethren, when those who have sought our injury will quail in our presence.

      Well, this is no time for long sermons. There are my brethren of the Twelve here, besides many others, who want to speak; and I presume to say that I have occupied my share of the time. One thing more, however, I will say. You who have money owing to you, do not, from my remarks, go to him who owes you and take him by the throat and say, "Pay me that which thou owest." Do not do that. No, let your debtor remain undisturbed by you; you be silent, and see whether that man's conscience will operate upon him so as to induce him to come and make reasonable and proper satisfaction to you; and if he will not when this subject is fully laid before him you may begin to think that he is not as honest as he should be, and by and by he will work himself out of the kingdom.

      I feel, brethren and sisters, that I am in the right company. If I can only manage to keep right myself, if I can only manage to be true and faithful to my God and myself, while I am in the midst of this assembly—the representatives of a host of Latter-day Saints—their hearts beating in unison with my words, and my words with their hearts, I feel that I am not following the few who break off, but that I am with the majority, and we are bound for the celestial kingdom.

      God defend His people and their rights, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

ELDER ORSON PRATT.

            Here in these wilds of North America is a great people whose views are one; who believe that God has commenced for the last time to establish His kingdom. No other consideration than the building up of Zion could have induced this great people to gather together in these valley. Had they gathered to a rich country, other motives might have been assigned for their gathering. We came here because God commanded us to come. We were willing to forego the luxuries that abounded in the countries from which we have come. We believed before we came ere that the Lord would, in this mountainous country, raise up a great and powerful people. We had faith in the prophecies contained in the bible, some of which say that Zion should be commanded to get up into a high mountain, and that an ensign shall be lifted up to the nations and unto which many people shall flow. The kingdom of God will stand forever, whilst all earthly governments shall crumble to pieces. Jesus said if ye love me, keep my commandments. Before a people can obey these commandments it is necessary for them to know what they are. I remember when I was a boy, visiting the Prophet Joseph, in Seneca county, New York, on the 2nd day of January, 1831, a Conference of the church was held, and at the solicitation of the people for the Prophet to enquire of the Lord what was required of them, a revelation was given to the effect that they were to gather up to the State of Ohio. Under these circumstances the only way those people could have manifested their love for Jesus would be to obey this commandment. The people, at that time, with but few exceptions, rejoiced to have the privilege of obeying that command. Commandments and revelations are given according to the circumstances of the people unto whom they are given. Many commandments and revelations were given to the Saints, whilst in Kirtland, Ohio. He commanded that a Temple should then be built, and gave, by revelation, the pattern after which it should be erected, even to the minutest particular. The people manifested their love for the Lord by obeying His commandment. In that Temple, the Prophet Elijah visited the Prophet Joseph. This was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi: that the hearts of the children might be turned to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children. Previous to this we knew nothing of salvation and baptism for the dead who had died without the knowledge of the gospel. Elijah was not the only ancient prophet that came and ministered in that temple. Others came and delivered to the servants of God keys connected with the great and last dispensation. And here around me are men who hold those keys, which were delivered by heavenly messengers. And although apostates may arise and raise their heel against the Lord's anointed, yet those keys will never again be taken from the earth. The saints were told by the Lord that unless they obeyed strictly his commandments in relation to the purchase of lands they should be scourged and driven by their enemies; and although the prophet Joseph, accompanied by a number of prominent Elders, traveled over one thousand miles among the Saints and warned them of the judgments of God that would visit them if the did not repent of their short comings, the Saints were driven from place to place, until finally they, being led by the servants of God, came to this country. In 1831 the Lord promised that the Saints would, before the generation had all passed away that was in existence then, build up the centre stake of Zion where a Temple should be reared and the glory of God would rest upon it.

            I rejoice to see so great an improvement in the Latter-day Saints as has taken place since then. They are more united now than they have ever been at any former time. They will continue to improve until they shall be prepared to associate with heavenly beings.

[Orson Pratt]

[JD 13:354]

DISCOURSE

By Elder Orson Pratt, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 5th, 1870.

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[REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS]

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      It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that I, arise before so large an assembly of people this afternoon, in the capacity of a General Conference. It is truly wonderful to me that God has begun so great and important a work in the day in which I am permitted to live. I do not read in history of any other work of a similar character since the creation of the world. We behold before us, in these interior wilds of North America, a great people called the Latter-day Saints—a people whose faith and doctrine are one, who believe in the same God, and in the same great plan of salvation; who believe that God has established His kingdom on the earth for the last time. It has been a manifestation of faith on the part of this people to gather here; they have exhibited to one another and before all mankind that they have faith in the doctrines which they have received. What other purpose could have gathered out so great a people? If we had gathered into a healthy, rich country where there was an expectation of bettering our condition, temporarily; where there were prospects of our becoming exceedingly rich in the goods of this world, it might have been supposed that we had some selfish motive in view in thus assembling ourselves together. But there were no such prospects before us. We came here, some 1200 miles, from the Eastern settlements to this isolated region, almost naked and barefoot, having been despoiled by our enemies—having suffered the loss of property to the extent of millions—having been reduced to the last degree of poverty. We came here—not into the midst of a land of cities and villages, not into the midst of a country where all was prepared for us beforehand; but we came into the heart of a desert, since, in some measure, reclaimed from its barrenness and sterility. We came because we had faith in our religion, because we not only believed, but most of us knew with a certainty, that God had spoken from on high and had commanded as to gather together. In this we have manifested a sincerity that ought to be convincing to all the world that we have embraced a religion in all of the depths of the sincerity of our hearts. We did not care for the riches and honors of the world; we did not care for the pleasures of our native countries, nor for the luxuries with which those countries abounded; but we came because we verily believed in our hearts that it was our duty to do so in obedience to the voice of the Lord through His servants. It is true that some of this people came to this land because they were forced hither by persecution; but whether obliged to come or not we, many of us, clearly understood from the spirit of prophecy and revelation, as manifested through our prophet and leader before his martyrdom, that we should be required to locate ourselves in the heart of this continent. We came here then to fulfil the commandments of the Lord our God, and to be free, in a measure, from the persecutions of our enemies, that we might have none to mob or molest us as they had done from the time of the rise of the Church until our flight to these mountains. We came here because we loved God, because we loved His laws—we loved the plan of salvation, we loved the principles that He had revealed, and because we knew that in process of time, in fulfilment of ancient prophecy respecting the Latter-day Zion and the Church of the Most High God, we should become a great and powerful people.

      We are taught in the Jewish record, the Bible, that a little one shall become a thousand and a small one a strong nation. We believe these prophecies, we know this to be the kingdom of God. We well understood by the spirit of revelation that God intended to fulfil all that was spoken by the mouths of His ancient prophets, as well as that which had been delivered in our day in regard to the future glory and prosperity of Zion, or the Church of the living God. We understood that Zion was to be located in the mountains; we understood, as I have often repeated, from the 40th chapter of Isaiah, that the time would come when the Lord would command His people, saying unto Zion, "Get up into the high mountains." These things had not been fulfilled in former ages, consequently we know that they were yet in the future. We knew that the Zion of the latter days must be located in the mountains. We could read the ancient prophecies of that great prophet—Isaiah, in the 18th chapter, that a great work should be performed in the mountains, a work that should attract the attention of all the nations of the earth, so much so that the prophet, when gazing upon the work as shown to him by the spirit of prophecy, calls upon all the inhabitants of the world and the dwellers on the earth to see when the Lord should lift up an ensign upon the mountains. That ensign we knew must be reared, that great work must be accomplished, and all people—not only those on the American continent but all dwelling in the four quarters of the globe, however obscure, and however distant they might be from the place where the ensign was to, be reared, would be required by the power of the Lord, and by the marvelous work that He should perform, to open their eyes and contemplate that ensign, understand its nature and comprehend, in some measure, its purpose.

      We came here to fulfil these ancient prophecies. God has lifted up this Church—this kingdom, as a standard—as an ensign to which the nations are invited, and the ambassadors of the Most High are sent forth from these mountains carrying the glad tidings of salvation in their months—carrying forth the great and glorious principles that God has revealed in establishing his latter-day kingdom on the earth. Beautiful indeed are the feet of those who are sent forth from the mountains of Zion to publish glad tidings of great joy among the various nations and kingdoms of the earth; God is with them in very deed. His power is over them, and His arm encircles them round about. Their voice is lifted up to the nations; their hands are pointed to the West, to the heart of the American continent—to the everlasting hills, saying to mankind, "Yonder, in those mountains, is a kingdom that is never to be destroyed, a kingdom that must exist for ever; while all earthly kingdoms and governments will crumble to the dust and will be blown away, like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, to the four winds of heaven."

      Jesus said on a certain occasion to his disciples, and to the multitudes, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." There are tens of thousands, yes, hundreds of thousands, of people now upon our globe who profess to love Jesus Christ. Do they keep his commandments? Some of them no doubt strive to do so. But there are many things to be taken into consideration in connection with the keeping of the commandments of Jesus. In the first place it is very essential and necessary that we should know what his commandments are before we can keep them. In the second place it is very important and essential that we should give heed to all those commandments, whether they appear great or small in our estimation.

      Do this people, called Latter-day Saints, really love the Lord their God, or is it a mere profession? When God raised up His servant Joseph Smith and inspired him from on high to give commandments and revelations and to organize His Church, forty years ago, we were but few in number. I well recollect when I was but a boy of nineteen visiting the place where this Church was organized, and visiting the Prophet Joseph, who resided at that time in Fayette, Seneca County, New York, at the house where the Church was organized. I became acquainted more fully with that man and with the revelations and commandments that God had given to him; also with the few people who had been organized into a Church capacity. I saw the spirit of the people, that is, I saw there was a desire to do good, to love the Lord, and to be obedient to the commandments which the Prophet Joseph had delivered unto them.

      On the 2nd day of January, 1831, a Conference was held in the same house where this Church was organized, and the various Branches in the State of New York were there gathered together. By the solicitations of the Conference the Prophet Joseph enquired of the Lord to know what was His will concerning the few Latter-day Saints that were then in existence. The Lord hearkened to him, and gave on that occasion a revelation contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in which certain commandments were given, one being that all the Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons of the various Branches of the Church, instead of going out to preach, should go to with all their might and labor for the gathering up of the people from the State of New York to the State of Ohio; that is, they were to assist those in the various Branches who had property to dispose of the same, and in regulating all their affairs, and to arrange business in such a manner that they might be able to keep this commandment to gather together.

      Now, suppose the people had refused to comply with this commandment; suppose that the Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons had considered the physical labor which the carrying out of this command entailed upon them beneath their notice, and had refused to make preparations to flee from the State of New York and to gather up some six hundred miles to the State of Ohio, what would have been the result? Would the love of God have dwelt in their hearts? No. Would they have manifested before the heavens that they loved God with all their hearts? No. Would they have manifested to the Prophet, to the Priesthood and to one another that they really were sincere in their religion? No. There was no possible way for these Latter-day Saints to show their love to God, only by obeying His command that was given and written for their instruction on that occasion. If there were any who refused to do that, I will venture to say that they are not members of the Church to-day. If there were any who had so much means or property that they did not feel disposed to leave their pleasant homes and make a sacrifice of their wealth, in some measure, in order to fulfil the commandment of Jehovah, I will venture to say that they are not in the Church to-day. Why? Because God would withdraw His Holy Spirit from them They might make great profession, and say how much they loved the Lord and His ways; how much they loved Jesus, who was crucified for the sins of the world, yet all this would be foolish and vain if they refused to keep his commandments, for, "If ye love me, keep my commandments," saith the Savior. Again, it is written, "This is the love of God, that ye do keep His commandments, and His commandments are not grievous." His commandments to most of the people of the Latter-day Saints were not grievous in the winter and spring of 1831. They rejoiced in having the privilege of obeying the Lord's commandments, through His servant, the Prophet. Hence they gathered up all the various Branches of the Church, with some few exceptions, to Kirtland, in the State of Ohio.

      This is the right way to keep the Lord's commandments; but it is, in the first place, necessary to find what His commandments are. You might have taken this big book, the Jewish record, or Bible, and searched it from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelations to find out your duties as Saints, and you never could have found within it what the Lord required of His Saints at that time—namely, to remove from the State of New York to the State of Ohio. No such Scripture as that was given. That was the duty required of individuals in the nineteenth century. No other people were ever required to do that; it cannot be found within the lids of the Bible. That commandment was specially adapted to the circumstances of the few Latter-day Saints then existing, and they were the ones required to keep it. The ancients were not required to do that, neither are we; it was a commandment having relation to the time then being, and it was fulfilled. With that commandment we have nothing further to do, provided that we, or as many of us as were included among those to whom it was given, kept it. If we have not kept it we have something further to do with it—we shall have to meet it in the great judgment day.

      When we came to Kirtland the Lord gave us further commandments, and He revealed a great many things through His servant Joseph. Among others, He gave one that the Latter-day Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, should go to with their might and build a house to His name, wherein He promised to bestow great and choice blessings upon His people. He revealed the pattern according to which that house should be built, pointing out the various courts and apartments, telling the size of the house, the order of the pulpits, and in fact everything pertaining to it was clearly pointed out by revelation. God gave a vision of these things, not only to Joseph, but to several others, and they were strictly commanded to build according to the pattern revealed from the heavens.

      Now, then, no other people was ever commanded to do that work in Kirtland, Ohio, but the people then living there, called Latter-day Saints. It was not a work required of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, nor of any other man that ever existed on the earth, nor of any people but those to whom it was given, then living in the State of Ohio. Supposing they had said, "We will not build the house; we can meet in a common meeting-house, after the order of the Gentiles, and we will take their forms of building, it does not matter, we do not think it necessary to be at all this expense, and we can hire a house." Would that have been sufficient? No, the only way we could witness to one another and before the Lord of hosts that we loved Him with all our hearts was to go to and build a house just according to the pattern.

      Well, when we did build it, did the Lord accept it, according to promise? He did, and He revealed great and important things in that house through His servant, Joseph the Prophet; and not only did Joseph have the privilege of seeing and understanding the mind and will of the Lord, but after the house was built many others had this great privilege given to them. For instance, the Lord had promised to reveal Himself unto many of His people and His Priesthood in that house. He did so. Among other great revelations and visions given there, was the revelation, which you will find recorded in our Church history, of Elijah, the Prophet, of him who was translated to heaven in a chariot of fire. That same personage came and stood in that temple and manifested certain keys, gave these keys to the servant of the Lord, the Prophet Joseph, and said unto him that that was the fulfilment of that which was spoken by the Prophet Malachi. What has Malachi said? He has told us of the great day of the Lord that should come, when it should burn as an oven, and when all the proud and they that do wickedly shall become as stubble and shall be burned up, leaving them neither root nor branch. He has told us that before that great and terrible day the Lord would send Elijah the Prophet. Or, to quote the words of Scripture, "Behold I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord shall come." What great object had the Lord in view in sending His ancient prophet as a ministering angel to His people on the earth? It is expressed in one sentence—"He shall turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." In other words, there will be no flesh prepared to escape the day appointed—no flesh but what will become as stubble, no flesh will be able to abide the presence of the Lord until Elijah comes. He did come in that Kirtland Temple; he appeared in his glorious majesty, and there revealed the keys unto the servants of the Lord which should restore this union between the fathers and the children—something that we did not understand anything about, until the angel Elijah revealed it unto us. This was a great work to be accomplished in the latter days, in order that the fathers, from the days of the ancient Priesthood, or those who were in the spirit world—millions and millions of them, might be redeemed through the ordinance of baptism for the dead, turning the minds and thoughts and affections of the children, living on the earth, to search after their ancient fathers and to be baptized for them according to that which is contained in the New Testament about baptism for the dead. Moreover it turned the hearts of those ancient fathers to their children, for they looked to us, their children, to accomplish a work that is needful to be accomplished in their behalf, for God's house is a house of order; God's kingdom is a kingdom of order; and His ordinances were instituted from before the foundation of the world, and they are adapted to the condition of the living and the dead; and God revealed these things that our fathers, in all past generations, might rejoice with their children in the latter days, by being united in the same bonds, in the same New and Everlasting Covenants. They died without the Gospel, without understanding the plan of salvation. They were brought up in the midst of the sectarian world, where all was confusion and darkness; where no voice of God was heard; no voice of living prophets or Apostles to direct them, or to teach them in the mysteries of the kingdom of God. They went down to their graves as sincere, many of them, as you and I are. Must they be for ever cast off? Must they always remain in prison and be forever deprived of the society of their children that should live on the earth in the latter days, when God should again open the heavens and send His angels to minister to His people? No; they without us cannot be made perfect; for there is no way for them to receive the Gospel only through their children. We have the work to do for them, and that work we could not commence until Elijah the Prophet was sent from heaven, holding the keys that were to be committed to the children in behalf of the fathers, in the last dispensation, before the great day of the Lord should come.

      Then you see that even this one revelation, which God gave in that Temple, paid the people for the toil they had endured in erecting it. What a satisfaction it was to them to know that angels administered in that Temple! What a satisfaction it was for them to go into that Temple and have the heavens opened to them so that they could gaze on the glory of God! What a satisfaction it was for them to know that the Lord accepted, as His own, the house which they had built according to the pattern which He had given! And what a satisfaction it was for them to know that they loved God by keeping His commandments!

      Elijah was not the only angel that administered in that house. Others holding keys pertaining to the last dispensation of the fullness of times came forth and manifested those keys and bestowed the authority upon the servants of God living in the flesh to carry out certain great and important purposes pertaining to this dispensation. These keys are still on the earth. Here are the servants of the living God, sitting on my right hand and on my left, who have had these keys committed into their hands by authority from the proper source, from those who received them from the heavenly messengers. These keys, being now in the hands of the Priesthood, never will be taken from them while the earth shall stand or eternal duration shall roll on. There may be apostates, those who fight against the anointed of the Lord and lift up their heel against those holding these keys; yet be it known to the Latter-day Saints and to all the ends of the earth that the almighty hand of the Great Jehovah is stretched out and He will accomplish the purposes ordained by Him in regard to this great and important work of the latter-days.

      Are these the only commandments that God has given for us to keep wherein we have manifested our love towards Him? No. God gave commandment to His people in the summer of 1831 that they should gather up from the Eastern lands, New York, the New England States, Pennsylvania and the Middle States, from Ohio and various parts of the United States, upon the western frontiers of Missouri; that is, that they should continue to gather, but not let their flight be in haste, and let all things be prepared before them. God led forth the Prophet that He had raised up to the western part of Missouri, and pointed out, by His own finger, where the great city of Zion should stand in the latter days, the great city of the New Jerusalem that should be built up on the American continent. I say He pointed out these things and gave direction to His people to gather to that land, and commanded them to lay the corner stone of a great and magnificent temple that was to be built during the generation in which the people then lived. The corner stone was laid in the summer of 1831, in Jackson County, State of Missouri. All these things were done by the people of God by commandment and revelation, and in this way they still further showed, one to another and to all people as well as to the heavens, that they did love the Lord their God.

      Many commandments were given to the people about affairs there in Jackson county—how they should regulate their property and how they should become one—revelations that were intended to produce the greatest possible union that could exist among the people of God, if they had been complied with. The people complied with them in part, but yet, through inexperience, for the want of understanding, because of the weakness of mortality, and because of the wicked and corrupt traditions that they had imbibed in regard to property, they did not fully carry out the mind and will of God in relation to their consecrations and inheritances. It is true that they purchased the land from the American Government, or much of it, and paid their money into the land office in that county; but yet, not carrying out the command of God to the very letter, the Lord was not pleased, and before they had been located there fourteen months He threatened them very severely. Said He, "If you do not remember my commandments to keep them, and not only my commandments, but the Book of Mormon, which I have caused to come forth and to be written for your edification, as the New and Everlasting Covenant; if you do not give heed to the words of instruction and counsel, and the commandments written in that book, behold, saith the Lord, there remains a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the inhabitants of Zion."

      We did not know what the judgment or scourging was. We had only been about fourteen months on the land, and we did not understand the nature of it. The Lord told us in another revelation, which is published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, that, inasmuch as we did not do just precisely as He told us to do in regard to obtaining our lands, we should be driven by our enemies—"Behold and lo, your enemies shall be upon you; you shall be persecuted and driven from city to city, and but few of you shall stand to receive an inheritance." We could not comprehend all this. We thought perhaps we should be faithful enough that this prophecy might not be fulfilled upon our heads. Although they were the very best people on the earth, yet there was a lack among them, through want of experience or through the former traditions of the Gentiles which they had imbibed from their childhood; but the Lord required us to be very good and to give heed to every word that proceeded out of His month, and never disobey the least filing; and consequently when He found that we lacked in some of these things, He told us He would not suffer that land to be polluted by those who were called by His name; for it was a choice land—a holy land, and those who were called by His name, and professed to be His disciples, should not pollute it, and if they did they should be scourged and driven away and persecuted, and there would be few left who would receive their inheritance there.

      In the year 1833, in the month of November, we began to feel this scourge that the Lord had forewarned us of. Yet so anxious was the Prophet Joseph that the scourge might be averted that he took a journey, in connection with some of the prominent Elders of the Church, from the State of Ohio, about one thousand miles, to the western frontiers of Missouri, to warn the people of the terrible judgment that would overtake them, if they were not more obedient. But, alas! their repentance was not sufficient, though they were such a good people—far better than any other people or Church on the face of the earth; but yet they did not come up to the letter of the law which God had revealed, consequently they did not manifest before Him that they loved Him with all their hearts, souls, might, mind and strength, and judgment carne upon them and they were driven. Two hundred houses were burned, our haystacks were burned, our cattle were shot down by the mob, our merchandize were strewn in the streets, our household furniture broken up and scattered, and the people were driven forth on the bleak prairies in the cold month of November. Then they remembered the prophecies which the Lord had delivered by His servant Joseph; they remembered what had been written and published, which they had been warned of time and time again, both by letter and by the personal ministry of the servants of God in their midst.

      They fled to Clay County and were driven thence in a few months, when they fled still further north into other unsettled portions of the State of Missouri, and again purchased lands of the Government, and entered them and continued there a few years; but by and by we were again driven, thus fulfilling the word of the Lord through His servant Joseph—that we should be persecuted and driven from place to place and from city to city unless we did as He told us. Finally, we were driven into the State of Illinois, where we purchased a beautiful spot of ground on the eastern bank of the Mississippi river, called Commerce, which we afterwards called Nauvoo, a Hebrew word which means beautiful for location.

      After we had worked in Nauvoo for a few years, and had gathered together our people from various parts of the United States and some from Great Britain, to the number of some fifteen or twenty thousand souls, in Nauvoo and the regions round about, behold the mob was again upon us and we were driven again, thus fulfilling more fully the prophecies that had been made, and we were driven here to these mountains. We came here by the direction of the servant of God, being led by him on whom the Lord had placed the great responsibility of leading this people. He brought us here, and established us in the heart of this country. Here we have extended our settlements south, north, east and west, until the country is now populated with, as I suppose, some hundred thousand inhabitants. I do not know how many, it may be a hundred and fifty thousand for aught I know. Suffice it to say, we have over a hundred towns, cities and villages built up in the various portions of this great Basin, this desert country. We have beautified our inheritances; we have planted fruit trees in abundance and ornamental shade trees, so as to make our residences cheering and beautiful in the midst of a desert. God has been with us from the time that we came to this land, and I hope that the days of our tribulation are past. I hope this, because God promised in the year 1832 that we should, before the generation then living had passed away, return and build up the City of Zion in Jackson County; that we should return and build up the temple of the Most High where we formerly laid the corner stone. He promised us that He would manifest Himself on that temple, that the glory of God should be upon it; and not only upon the temple, but within it, even a cloud by day and a flaming fire by night.

      We believe in these promises as much as we believe in any promise ever uttered by the mouth of Jehovah. The Latter-day Saints just as much expect to receive a fulfilment of that promise during the generation that was in existence in 1832 as they expect that the sun will rise and set to-morrow. Why? Because God cannot lie. He will fulfil all His promises. He has spoken, it must come to pass. This is our faith. It will depend upon the conduct of the Latter-day Saints whether we suffer more tribulation. We may suffer tribulation although we are righteous in every respect, though there were no sin found in the midst of the people. Why? Because the wicked always did persecute the righteous, they always did hate the principles and plan of salvation; still we have greater claim upon the arm of Jehovah for protection and assistance when we keep His commandments and love and serve Him.

      Did you ever hear of the Elders of this Church getting up like the sectarian world and speaking about the love of God dwelling in their bosoms, and saying how much they loved Jesus, and at the same time transgressing his laws? No, we have no right to make any such declaration as this; hence we show to the heavens that we are determined to do the will of God. Then we may say that we love God; then we can say that we love His ways, and His Priesthood, and His Church, and His kingdom, and His Gospel which He has sent forth by His angels in the latter day.

      I feel truly grateful to the Most High God that such a great improvement has been made among the Latter-day Saints in these mountains. I think I am able to judge. I have been with this people from my youth up. Forty years have almost expired since I was baptized into this Church and kingdom. I have known the former history of the Saints; and I know and understand, in some measure, their present condition, and I can contrast the two, and I see a decided improvement. Is there more union amongst them? Yes; far more than there was in the lifetime of Joseph; and all that the great mass of the people want is to know what God requires, and, with one heart and mind, they will do it. If God requires them to be baptized for their dead, as far as they can search and find out their ancestors' names, they will do it with all their hearts and souls. If He requires them to receive the sacred ordinance of the endowments, by which they may attain to greater blessings and glory in His presence, they will go to with one heart and mind to receive those ordinances. If God requires His people to take a plurality of wives and have them sealed to them for time and eternity, behold they will do these things. If God requires the young, middle-aged, or even the aged, Elders to start from their farms or from their various occupations and leave this Territory on a journey across the Plains or across the great ocean and to the different nations of the earth and study their language and preach to the people, behold they will do it. If God calls upon this people to go forth into the South country, which is still more barren and desolate than the northern portion of the Territory, behold they are willing to go and do it. If God requires anything at their hands there is a union, oneness and willingness to go forward and carry out His great designs and purposes in regard to the rolling forth of His kingdom in the last days. By all these acts, by all these manifestations, by the good feeling that exists in the bosoms of this people, we know that they have made great improvement and advancement in the things of the kingdom of God since our Prophet was called upon to offer his great and last testimony by the shedding of his blood.

      This union will increase and become stronger and stronger; it will continue until this people shall be prepared and sanctified before the heavens, and be permitted to return and build up the waste places of Zion in the western frontiers of the United States. This people will wax stronger in faith, in love towards God, in the power of the Priesthood and in the demonstration of the Spirit, until they are able to build the city wherein God shall reveal Himself, as He did in ancient times before the flood, among the people of ancient Zion—the Zion built up by Enoch. This people will increase in union, faith, greatness and glory, until the heavens shall come down and embrace us, and we shall embrace them, and all the heavenly host shall be united together in one with the hosts of the Saints of God here on earth, and a union will be created such as exists nowhere but in the celestial kingdom of our God, for the Saints themselves will ere long become celestial. Amen.

 

            Conference adjourned till to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.

            The choir sang: "We thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet."

            Prayer by Elder John Taylor.

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[6 May, 10 am]

[DNW 19:160-161, 5/11/70, p 4-5]

FRIDAY, 10 a.m.

            Meeting was called to order by President Brigham Young.

            The choir sang: "Hark! listen to the Gentle breeze."

ELDER JOHN TAYLOR.

            All mankind need the guidance of the Almighty; without it it is impossible for us to do right. The world, by wisdom, know not God. Yet they comprehend many things. Many entertain the idea that, by advancing in the knowledge of science and philosophy, God can be known. This is not the case. No man knoweth the things of God, but by the spirit of God. Scientific knowledge has wonderfully increased during the present age, and has been a great benefit to mankind, as instanced in the utilization of steam, electricity, etc. Because of the progress made in those things it has been supposed that the intellect of man is capable of grasping all things. Men get puffed up because of their discoveries, forgetting that they owe all to the Almighty, from whom proceeds every good gift, forgetting also that they are still grasping in the dark relating to God and His designs. There is a philosophy of the earth and there is a philosophy of the Heavens. The philosophy of the Heavens comprehends all things, but the philosophy of the earth cannot comprehend the nature and designs of God. Who among philosophers can tell how this earth was organized, by what power it moves, or what is the nature of the inhabitants of the worlds we behold above us? No man ever has or ever will comprehend those things by human philosophy or wisdom alone. They can only be understood as the knowledge of them is imparted by the Heavens. It is the greatest absurdity for man to boast of his superior intelligence. None of the principles that have been discovered by man were originated by human wisdom; they emanated from Nature's God. The boasting of men with regard to their intelligence reminds us of an infant who lifts its hand, and discovers for the first time that it has a hand, although the hand was there before it made the discovery. Notwithstanding the ignorance of mankind in relation to the knowledge of God, they would undertake to dictate what we shall and shall not believe in, and what shall be our code of morals, just as if they were immaculate. The gospel is everlasting; it brought an everlasting priesthood with it and has everlasting covenants connected with it. According to promise, when we obeyed, we received the Holy Ghost, which placed us in communication with the heavens. Things that, previous to our obedience to the gospel, we did not comprehend, were made plain to our minds. And although we were derided by the world, because of our acceptance of the plan of salvation, yet we knew that whereas we had been blind, to the things of God, we had been made to see. We care not for the opinions of men, but desire to be judged according to our works. We know that God has pointed out the path we should pursue and we will walk in it independent of all the powers of earth and hell. What did we know pertaining to the future before obeying the gospel? When we went to be married, the priests of the day said we were married till death did us part. Under the gospel dispensation we are married not only for time, but for all eternity. The gospel is eternal and so are its covenants.

            Elder Taylor spoke eloquently and interestingly on the resurrection and bore a powerful testimony to the final success and triumph of the Kingdom of God on the earth. His remarks will be printed in full.

[John Taylor]

[DNW 19:355, 8/31/70, p 7; JD 13:221]

DISCOURSE

By Elder JOHN TAYLOR delivered, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 6th, 1870.

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REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS

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      The Scriptures inform us "that no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God;" and then no man can speak the things of God unless aided by the Spirit of the Lord; and no people can comprehend the things spoken unless inspired and guided by the same Spirit. We need this Spirit continually and so do all mankind, to guide us, to enable us to comprehend the laws of life, to regulate and concentrate our thoughts, to elevate and ennoble our feelings, to give force and vitality to our actions, and to place us in a position before God, before men, and before the holy angels, that will be right, acceptable and proper to all true intelligence, to the angelic host, and to our heavenly Father. It matters very little what we are engaged in, it is impossible for us to do right without the guidance of the Almighty; but aided and directed by the Spirit of the Lord, we can act in consonance with the dignity of our high position as immortal beings possessing the holy Priesthood, and participating in the new and everlasting covenant; by the aid of that unerring Spirit we can fulfil the measure of our creation and prepare ourselves for an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of our God.

      We are told "that the world by wisdom knows not God;" yet they do comprehend a great many things, and because of the spread of general intelligence and the great progress of science, literature and the arts, they believe they can find out God. Like the framers of Babel's Tower, they seek to penetrate the heavens on natural principles. Like them they are mistaken, as all men have been who have sought to solve the problem of life through the influence of human wisdom. No man ever did understand God on this principle; neither can they by mortal agency alone understand the principles of life and salvation. No man in the present generation comprehends them on this principle; neither will human wisdom enable any man who ever will live to understand them. It is true that mankind, within a short time, have made great advances in the arts and sciences. During the last half century scientific research has made many wonderful developments; and many things which, before that time, were unknown to the human family, are now quite familiar. There was very little known of the application of the power of steam half a century ago. I remember, very well, the first steam-boat and locomotive that were propelled by steam, and riding on the first railway. Before that, locomotion had to depend upon the winds and tides and horse power and a few other agencies. These are now supplanted by what all will acknowledge as a very superior agent—namely, the power of steam.

      Electricity, or rather its application, so as to subserve the wants of man, was unknown until a comparatively recent period. I refer now more particularly to the electric telegraph. That has been a means of greatly facilitating the transmission of thought and the spread of intelligence among the human family, and has been a great advantage to the world at large. When we came to this valley, for instance, even so late as that, we had to depend upon ox teams to bring our mails and to convey intelligence from the East, and I have known it to be four, five, and sometimes as long as six months before we knew what President was elected. Now we can have it in fewer minutes; this exhibits a great improvement in such matters.

      I can remember the time when we had to plod along at night, nearly in the dark, in our largest cities, the streets being lighted only by dim oil lamps. Now we have gas and various luminous oils, which we have made the earth teem forth by millions of gallons, that are almost equivalent to gas. Daguerreotyping, or as it is more generally called photography, is another great achievement of the human mind, conferring the power to take likenesses, landscapes and views in a moment, which formerly required days or months, even by the most eminent artists.

      In machinery and chemistry, manufactures, and many other scientific developments connected with human life, wonderful advances have been made, and the world seems to have been progressing with great rapidity in the arts and sciences, in regard to manufactures. Some years ago every texture had to be spun by a single thread, now, by the aid of steam and machinery, it is done by thousands and hundreds of thousands. We might go on enumerating many other improvements which have taken place within the past few years; from which it is very evident that the progress of the present generation has far eclipsed that of any preceding it, of which we have any knowledge. Because of these things it has been supposed by many that the human intellect is capable of grasping everything in this world and the world to come—even eternal things, and many men have got puffed up and vain in their imaginations because of the discoveries they have made and the advancement in science, literature and the arts. They forget "that every good and perfect gift proceeds from God, the Father of light, in whom there is no variableness nor the shadow of a turning." They forget that every particle of wisdom that any man possesses comes from God, and that without Him they would still continue to grope in the dark. They forget that, with all the increase of wisdom and intelligence and the expansion of the human mind, they are in the dark in regard to God, and that no man by wisdom can find Him out. The mystery which enshrouds Him is as high as heaven, as deep as hell and as wide as the universe; and it is unfathomable and incomprehensible by human intelligence, unaided by the inspiration of the Almighty.

      There are men, it is true, who profess from the little knowledge they have of earthly things, by a series of deductions, to be able to find out heavenly things, but there is a very material difference between the two. There is a philosophy of the earth and a philosophy of the heavens; the latter can unravel all mysteries pertaining to earth; but the philosophy of the earth cannot enter into the mysteries of the kingdom of God, or the purposes of the Most High. But because of the advancement to which I have alluded, men set themselves up as teachers of things pertaining to spiritual matters, of which they know nothing. But the moment they do that, they exhibit their folly, vanity, imbecility and shortsightedness, for, as I have stated, they never did comprehend the things of God without the Spirit of God, and they never will. What folly it is, for men with the breath in their nostrils, who are but worms of the earth, existing as it were for a day, and to-morrow are cut down like the grass; or like the moth or butterfly, which flutters around for a brief space and then passes away into everlasting oblivion; I say what folly it is for beings so circumstanced, so weak, imbecile, circumscribed and controlled to set themselves forward, unaided by the Spirit of the Almighty, to fathom the designs of God, to unravel the principles of eternal life, to comprehend the relationship that subsists between God and man and to draw aside the curtain of futurity. Who is there who has seen God or can comprehend Him, His designs and purposes? No man is capable of fathoming these mysteries. Man, indeed, can comprehend some of the principles which are developed in nature, and only a few of these. But who can grasp the intelligence theft dwells in the bosom of Jehovah? Who can unravel His designs and penetrate the unfathomable abyss of the future? Who can tell upon what principle this world was organized or anything about the denizens of those worlds that we see moving around us? It is true that by the science of astronomy nice calculation in regard to the heavenly bodies can be made; but none can tell who put those bodies in motion, how they are controlled, or by what class of people they are inhabited. As the Scriptures say, "What man, by his wisdom, can find out God?" No one can comprehend Him. We can find ourselves to be a remarkable enigma, both in regard to body and mind—each individual man, woman and child; but who can draw aside the veil and tell how or why we came here, and what awaits us when we lay aside this mortal coil? None can do this, unless God reveals it. There never was a man, neither is there a man now, nor ever will be, that can comprehend these things upon the principle of natural or human philosophy, and nothing short of the philosophy of heaven—the intelligence that flows from God, can unravel these mysteries.

      Some men will stultify themselves with the idea that in ages gone and past the human race was in a semi-civilized or barbarous condition, and that any kind of a religion would do for the people in those days; but with the progress of intelligence, the march of intellect, the development of the arts and sciences and the expansion of the human mind, it is necessary that we should have something more elevated, refined and intellectual than that which existed then. To me such notions are perfect foolishness. If I read my Bible aright and believe in it, known unto God were all things from before the foundation of the world, and I do not think that the intelligence of the nineteenth century can enlighten His mind in relation to these matters. He that framed the body, shall He not know its structure? He that organized the mind, shall not He understand it? Before this world rolled into existence or the morning stars sang together for joy, the great Eloheim comprehended all things pertaining to the world that He organized and the people who should inhabit it; the position that they would occupy and the intelligence that they would possess; their future destiny and the destiny of the world that He then made. It is vanity, puerility and weakness for men to attempt to gainsay the designs of God, or to boast of their own intelligence. What do they know? Why, they discovered awhile ago that there is such a thing as electricity. Who made that electricity? Did man? Did, he originate and place it among the nature's forces? Did it proceed from the acumen of man's intelligence and his expansive mind? No, it always existed, and the man who discovered it—a little smarter than his fellows—only found out one of the laws of nature that emanated from and originated with God. It is just so with steam—the properties which render it so useful in subserving man's purposes always existed, but man discovered them; if there had been no God to make these properties, no one could have found them out. It is so with the various gases and their properties, with minerals—their attractions and repulsions—they originated with God; man is incompetent to form anything of the kind. So we might go on through all man's boasted achievements; they amount to no more than the discovery of some of the active or latent laws of nature, not comprehended by men generally, but discovered by some who consider themselves, and they no doubt are, smarter than their fellows. Where, then, is the boasted intelligence of man? Science reveals the beauty and harmony of the world material; it unveils to us ten thou, sand mysteries in the kingdom of nature, and shows that all forms of life through fire and analogous decay are returned again to its bosom. It unfolds to us the mysteries of cloud and rains, dew and frost, growth and decay, and reveals the operation of those silent irresistible forces which give vitality to the world. It reveals to us the more wonderful operations of distant orbs and their relations to the forces of nature. It also reveals another grand principle, that the laws of nature are immutable and unchangeable as are all the works of God. Those principles and powers and forces have undergone no change since they were first organized, or, if changed, they have returned again to the original elements from which they were derived. All of the properties of nature were as perfect at the creation as now; all the elements of nature possessed the same specific properties, affinities and capacity of combination that they do at present. Trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, birds, beasts, fishes and man were as perfect then as now. God's works are all perfect and governed by eternal laws. It reminds me of an infant; I can compare it to nothing else. The new-born child is perfectly oblivious to anything and everything around it, although marvelous in its organization and perfect in its structure. By and by it holds up its hand and discovers for the first time that it has a hand. It had it before, but a new light bursts upon the brain of the child, and it discovers it has a hand, and no doubt thinks it is wonderful wise in finding it out, just as some of our philosophers do when they discover the properties of matter. But God made the child's hand, and it was in existence before its brain was capable of comprehending it. And so were all these things, about the discovery of which men boast so much. God made them and made them perfect. Yet men will boast that they know things independent of God, whereas unless they had been aided by the Spirit of the Lord, and unless the principles had existed they never could have been found out, for no man could have originated them himself. All that man has ever done, with all his boasted intelligence, has been simply to develop or find out a few of the common principles of nature that always have existed, and always will exist, for these things and every principle of nature are eternal. The Gospel is also eternal. But where is there a man who understands heavenly things? Who can unravel them? Who has been behind the vail and talked with the Gods? Who among the wise men, philosophers, divines, philanthropists, kings, rulers or authorities of the earth can comprehend God or His designs. If we can understand so imperfectly the laws of nature with which we are surrounded, with the privileges of seeing, feeling, comparing and analyzing, what do we know of things beyond our vision, hearing, or comprehension? We can read, in the history of the past, of the rise and fall of nations, of the downfall of thrones and of the destruction of kingdoms; we can read of wars and rumors of wars. History points out what has transpired in relation to the nations of the earth and to men who have lived upon it, but who can penetrate into the future? Man is an immortal being: he is destined to live in time and throughout all eternity. He possesses not only a body, but a soul that will exist while "life or thought or being lasts, or immortality endures." Who can tell in relation to this future? Who can tell things pertaining to our heavenly existence, or the object God had in view for creating this and other worlds, and the destiny of the human family? No man, except God reveals it to him. What has been and still is the position of the world in relation to these things? It has been governed by every kind of dogma and theory of religion. "Isms" of every kind have prevailed in turn—polytheism, infidelity, Christianity in its ten thousand forms, and every kind of theory and dogma that the human imagination could invent. Such contrarieties show definitely and positively that men, by wisdom, cannot find out God. And Christianity, at the present time, is no more enlightened than other systems have been. What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing; yet these very men assume the right and power to tell others what they shall and what they shall not believe in. Why, so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God. Our Government is engaged just now in an act of this kind. Our legislators would tell me what I shall and shall not believe in, what shall be the course of my morals, as if they were immaculate and had been made perfect; as though they had inspiration from on high, and had found out the truth in all its richness, power and glory; as though they had conversed with the heavens and were acquainted with God. Oh, fools! What do they know about the truth? No more than a child about its hand. They are imbecile and ignorant and in the dark, and the greatest difficulty in the matter is—they are fools and don't know it.

      We consider, and always have since this Church was organized, that that part of Scripture that I quoted before is true—namely, "No, man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God." We, as Latter-day Saints, understood no correct principle until it was revealed to us. I did not, nor have I ever met with anybody that did, and I have travelled very extensively over the world that we live in, and have met with all classes and grades of men in different nations, We, as Latter-day Saints, are indebted to the revelations of God, given unto Joseph Smith, for the knowledge of the very first principles of the doctrine of Christ, and he could not have known it unless it had been revealed to him. One thing I did know of myself before I came into this Church, and that is more than a great many know of themselves—namely, that I was a fool, and did not know anything unless God revealed it. It takes a great deal of hammering to get that into some men's minds. The main questions in my mind, when this Gospel came, were, "Is this true?" "Is this from God, or is it not?" "Has God, indeed, spoken as this man says He has?" If He has not, it is all a fiction, a farce and delusion, like the other "isms" that exist in the world; if He has, it is for me to obey, no matter what the consequences may be.

      There is one thing that has always been satisfactory to my mind in relation to this Gospel—there has never been one principle revealed, at any time, but what has been instructive and in accordance with the Scriptures, which we consider to be of divine origin. Never one principle but what could be substantiated by the word of God, although we did not know it before, and the world does not know it now. And I may also say that there has never been a principle revealed but what has been strictly philosophical and is in accordance with good, sound common sense; and, furthermore, I will go on beyond that and say that no principle ever will be revealed but what will be in accordance with philosophy, if we can comprehend it. As there is a philosophy of the earth and a philosophy of the heavens, it needs heavenly instruction to comprehend the heavenly things. But, as I said before, "no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God." The Scriptures show unto us how we may obtain that Spirit, which will give us a knowledge for ourselves.

      When this Gospel was revealed, it was declared unto us that it was an everlasting Gospel, that there was a Priesthood associated with it, and that that Priesthood was everlasting; so we were presented with an everlasting Priesthood, and with an everlasting Gospel. There was also an everlasting covenant associated with it. We were told how we might obtain a knowledge of this Gospel for ourselves—the promise being that if we would repent of our sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of them, by one having authority, we should receive the Holy Ghost. We were also told that that Holy Ghost would place us in communication with God; that it would take of the things of God and show them unto us, and that we should know for a certainty, each of us for ourselves, of the truths that had been proclaimed unto us.

      This was the position that we were placed in. We went forward and obeyed it, for we were told that God had revealed Himself from the heavens, that He had restored the Gospel by the means of a holy angel, as referred to by John the Revelator, and that He had restored, by authority direct from heaven, communication between Himself, the heavenly world and His creatures here. We were told that by obedience to that Gospel we should be made the recipients of a Spirit which would bring things past to our remembrance, that would load us into all truth and show us things to come.

      Believing in this message, this vast crowd of people before me to-day, went forth and bowed in obedience, and they received that Spirit, and they knew and do know that the Gospel they had preached unto them came not in word only, but, in power and in the demonstration of the Spirit, and that the Holy Ghost accompanied it. You know, and I know, that when you obeyed this Gospel and had hands laid upon you for the reception of the Holy Ghost, you received it. Who else knows anything about it? Nobody. Do any of these strangers around? No. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Except, a man is born again, he can not see the kingdom of God." Then what do they know about it? You talk to a blind man about colors, and ask him to tell the difference between red and white, black and blue, and he would tell you perhaps that one was long and the other short, that one was light and the other heavy. He could not describe, nor his sense comprehend it. Jesus said a man could not see the kingdom of God unless he was born of the Spirit. Did he speak the truth? I think he did. And when you were born again of the water and of the Spirit, you saw and you entered into the kingdom of God, and things that, you were ignorant of before, you then comprehended. Many of you felt a good deal like the blind man spoken of in the Scriptures, after he had been healed by our Savior. The Scribes and Pharisees, a learned and very holy body of men—spoke to his father, saying, "Give God the glory, for we know that this man is a sinner." They knew that Jesus was an imposter, a deceiver, a false prophet, a blasphemer, and that he cast out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of devils, and that he was one of the wickedest, meanest curses in existence. "Give God the glory," said they, "for we know this man is a sinner." The father of him who had been healed of his blindness said, "Whether he is a sinner, I know not; but this I do know, that whereas this my son was once blind and now he sees." Now a great many of you here are very much deluded in the estimation of the philosophers, wise men and priests of the world; but if you do not comprehend the philosophy of the whole matter, one thing you all know—that once you were blind, but now you see. You understood that years ago and you understand it to-day, and no man can deprive you of that knowledge, or strip you of that information. No man can rob you of that light: it is the gift of God, it emanates from Jehovah, and no man can take it away, or reason or legislate it away; it is an eternal principle, emanating from God, and that is something the worldly-wise and great know nothing about. You who are here to-day, who have obeyed this Gospel, are witnesses of the truth of which I speak; I am a witness and I bear witness to it.

      We are told that Jesus said on a certain occasion to his disciples, "It is necessary that I go away, for if I go not away the Comforter will not come. If I go away I will send you a Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost." What will it do for you? It will lead you into all truth, so that you will see eye to eye and comprehend the purposes of God; you will march in line; you will be under one instructor; you will have one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God who is in all and through all, will inspire and guide and dictate you; you will not be split up and divided as the sectarians are—every man taking his own course, every man for himself and the devil for the whole; it will not be setting up human intellect above the intelligence and inspiration of the Almighty. Instead of this, all will bow to the dictates of Jehovah; the aspiration of every heart will be, "O, God, thou that rulest in the heavens; O thou Supreme Governor of the universe, that created all things and controls all things, impart to me a small moiety of Thy wisdom! Inspire me with a little of that intelligence that dwells in Thy bosom! Give me a little of Thy Holy Spirit, that I may comprehend Thee and Thy laws, and walk in obedience to Thy commands!" This will be the feeling of that individual. "O God, teach me the paths of life and then give power to walk in them?

      Jesus told them they should have the Holy Ghost, the Comforter; the Spirit should bring things past to their remembrance, it should enable them to comprehend something about the world and why it was organized and by whom; why man was placed upon it; what the position of the human family is in relation to the present, past and future; find out what God's dealings had been with the human family in ages gone and past, and His designs in relation to the world. Then it should unfold things to come, it should draw back the curtain of futurity and by the inspiration and intelligence of that Spirit which proceeds from God, it should grasp the future. It should comprehend the destiny of the human family, and by the revelations which God should communicate, make known the life to come in the eternal worlds. This is the kind of thing that the everlasting Gospel communicates, and it is the revelation of God to man. But the world, as I said before, know not the things I of God, and they cannot comprehend them.

      I have had it asked me by philosophers, "Is this the only way you propose to ameliorate the condition of the human family—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, baptism for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost?" Yes, that is God's way of doing it; that is the way He has pointed out. I remember, on one occasion, being in the city of Paris, and a gentleman came to me to inquire concerning the Gospel. He was associated with a system of socialism, very common in France, called Icarianism. A company of them went to Nauvoo after we left. This gentleman was a philosopher, and the society was trying to carry out its philosophy in France, and they aimed to bring about the Millennium. They never prayed to God, they were going to do it by human intelligence. This gentleman, whose name was Krolikrosky, called upon me, when after a lengthy conversation on the principles of our faith, said he, referring to faith, repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, the first principles of our Gospel: "Is this all you propose to ameliorate the condition of the world?" "Yes." He answered, "I hope you will succeed, but I am afraid you will not." "Permit me," I said, "to draw your attention to one or two things. I am a religionist." "Yes." "I profess to have had revelation from God; you do not." "That is so," said he. "You have sent out to Nauvoo a number of your most intellectual men, well provided with means of every kind and with talent of the first order. Now what is the result? They have gone to a place that we have deserted; they found houses built, gardens and farms enclosed, nothing to do but to take possession of them?" "Yes. They found buildings of all kinds, public and private, in which they could live and congregate." "Yes. Was there ever a people better situated in regard to testing your natural philosophy? You could not have hit upon a better place. It is a fertile country, on the banks of the most magnificent stream in the United States—the Mississippi. Houses built, gardens made, fields enclosed and cultivated. You have wise men among you—the wisest, the creme de la creme of your society, yet with all this and the favorable circumstances under which your people commenced there, what have you done? Every time that I take up a paper of yours the cry from there is, ' Send us means ;' ' we want means ;' ' we are in difficulty ;' ' we want more money.' This is their eternal cry, is it not?" "Yes." "Now," said I, "on the other hand, we left our farms, houses, gardens, fields, orchards, and everything we had, except what we took along in the shape of food, seeds, farming utensils, wagons, carts, and we wandered for from ten to fifteen hundred miles, with hand-carts, ox teams and any way we could, and settled, finally, among the red savages of the forest. We had no fields to go to and no houses built; when we went there it was a desert—a howling wilderness, and the natives with which we were surrounded were as savage as the country itself. Now then, what is the result? We have only been there a few years, but what are we doing? We are sending money to bring in our emigration; we are sending hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have expended half a million a year in teams to bring in our poor from the nations. But what of you wise men who know not God, and think you know better than He does, what are you doing—you philosophers, intelligent men and philanthropists, crying out eternally, ' Send us help?" Which is the best?" Said he, "Mr. Taylor, I have nothing to say."

      We care nothing about the opinions of men, let them look upon us as they may. We can say as the old Apostle said, "We are living epistles, known and read of all men." Judge us by our works. Do thieves, renegades, blacklegs and corrupt men accomplish the work done here? Where are your Gentile associations? Here we have a magnificent city called Corinne, instituted by you gentlemen Gentiles here. What a magnificent place it is! It looks as if Topher has been been spewed out to people it with honorable American citizens! Yet these men will prate to us about morality, the poor miserable curses! O, shame, if thou hadst any blood in thy body, thou wouldst blush for very shame at the transactions of this world in which we live.

      But we believe in God, and you Latter-day Saints, your religion is as true as it was ten, twenty, thirty, or eighteen hundred or six thousand years ago. It has not changed, and I do not think that it will. It is everlasting; it is eternal in its nature and its consequences, and, whether other men know what they are doing or not, we do. If others do not attend to eternity, we do; if others know nothing about God, we do, and we know where we are going and how we are going. God has pointed out to us the path, and we intend to walk in it, in spite of all the powers of earth and hell.

      God has taught us the relationship that should exist between us and the eternal worlds. That is a thing that is very much found fault with. He has unveiled the future to us and told us that man is not made for here alone, and then to die and rot and be forgotten, or to sing himself away somewhere beyond the bounds of time and space where nobody ever was nor ever will be. We have been taught something different from that. We are aiming at eternal exaltation, at thrones, principalities and powers in the eternal worlds. Being made in the image of God, male and female, and having had developed to us the laws of this life and the laws of the life to come, we take the privilege of walking according to these laws, despite the ideas and notions of men.

      Who is there among the men of the world who know anything about the future? I know how it was with me, and how it was with you, Jew, Gentile, Mormon, everybody. What was it! If you applied to the priesthood of the day to be married, the priest told you he joined you in the holy bonds of matrimony until death. And what then? You had to find out the rest by your own ingenuity. No matter about the future. Is that all man was made for—to live, marry and die—and nothing pertaining to the future? Is man made in the image of God? Is God our Father? Is there a heaven above? Is there an eternity before us, and are we to prepare ourselves for it or not? We take the liberty of following the counsel of Jehovah, revealed to us in relation to it.

      What man has a claim upon his wife in eternity? It is true that some of the writers of the yellow-backed literature have a philosophy a little in advance of the priests of the day. Some of them do tell us about eternal unions. They expect to be married here and hereafter. They know nothing about it, still they are in advance of the clergy. They follow the instincts of nature, and nature unperverted looks forward to a reunion. We are not governed by opinion in these matters. God has revealed the principle, and our wives are sealed to us for time and eternity. When we get through with this life we expect to be associated in the next, and therefore we pursue the course that we do, and no power this side of hell, nor there either, can stop it.

      Our course is onward. The Lord has revealed to us the pearl of great price. We have sacrificed everything that the world calls good to purchase it; we are in possession and we will not part with it for worlds. We "fear not men, who can kill the body," as Jesus said; and after that there is no more that they can do. We fear God who is able to cast both soul and body into hell. Yea, we fear Him.

      We make our covenants, then, for eternity, because the Gospel is an everlasting Gospel. Every truth that ever did exist is everlasting. Man is an eternal being; his body is eternal. It may die and slumber, but it will burst the barriers of the tomb and come forth in the resurrection of the just. I know that some of our wise men, even some among us, profess to think that these things are only folly. However, I look at them differently. I believe the Bible; I believe in the revelations of God and in the manifestations of the Spirit of God. I would rather possess the feeling that Job had when he was afflicted, cast out, oppressed and despoiled, when he lay scraping himself with a potsherd, wallowing in ashes, than the proud and lofty folly that dwells in the heart of the unbeliever and scorner. Said Job, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand in the latter days upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, not for another; and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." Those were his feelings. This transpired in the "dark ages," when men did not know so much about electricity, locomotives and a few other scientific discoveries, as they do in this enlightened age. I also read in the sayings of the prophets, given under the inspiration of the Almighty, that "the dead, small and great, shall rise, and that bone shall be joined to its bone, sinew to sinew, and they became a living army before God." I knew a man, whom many of you knew, who built a tomb for himself in the city of Nauvoo. His name was Joseph Smith, and many of you heard him say what I shall now relate. Said he, "I expect when the time of the resurrection comes to rise up in my tomb there, and strike hands with my brethren, with my father and with my mother, and hail the day when we shall burst from the barriers of the tomb and awake to immortal life." Have you never heard him talk thus? I have. Shall we reject from our belief the glorious principles of eternity—the resurrection of the just? Says John, when wrapt in prophetic vision, and clothed upon with the Spirit and power of God and the revelations of Jehovah, "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and all nations stood before God."

      I want a part in the resurrection. The angel said, "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection." I want to have part in the first resurrection. It is that which leads me to hope. It is that hope which buoys me up under difficulties and sustains me while passing through tribulation, for I know as well as Job knew that my "Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand in the latter day upon the earth," and I know that I shall stand upon it with him. I therefore bear this testimony.

      Allow me to quote a little Scripture. You know that there is a saying, by one of the Apostles, that Jesus was a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec; and speaking further of this Melchizedec, the Apostle says he was "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of years." A very singular sort of man, was he not? Did you ever see a man like that? We are told that Jesus was a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec. Now, there never was a man without father or mother, but this refers to his Priesthood, that was without beginning of days or end of years, and Jesus had the same kind of Priesthood that Melchizedec had.

      Now we talk about the everlasting Gospel, and we will go back to some of these dark ages referred to. The Melchizedec Priesthood holds the mysteries of the revelations of God. Wherever that Priesthood exists, there also exists a knowledge of the laws of God; and wherever the Gospel has existed, there has always been revelation; and where there has been no revelation, there never has been the true Gospel. Let us go back to those times. We find that the Gospel was preached unto Abraham, and that Melchizedec was the man to whom Abraham paid tithes, and that Melchizedec blessed him. Paul tells us, "Verily the less is blessed of the better." Now Abraham had the Gospel, and Melchizedec had it, and the law was added because of transgression; and by and by, when Jesus came, He was a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek, and he restored the Gospel, and consequently revelations, the opening of the heavens and the manifestation of the power of God; and whenever the Gospel has existed, in any age of the world, these same manifestations have existed with it; and whenever these have not been upon the earth, there has been no Gospel. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith."

      In addition to Melchizedec, the Bible also mentions a man called Moses, and he bad the Gospel, for Paul tells us "that he preached it to the children of Israel in the wilderness, but that it profited them nothing, not being mixed with faith." There was another man called Elijah, that we read of in the Bible. He was one of those fanatics who believe in revelation, and he had the Gospel. We come down to the time that Jesus was here on the earth; and on one occasion we read that he was on the mount with three of his disciples, Peter, James and John, and Jesus was transfigured before them. And Peter said, "Master, it is good for us to be here, let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses and one for Elias." What? Was Moses, that old fellow who led the children of Israel from Egypt, there? That shows that he had the everlasting Gospel and Priesthood; and having got rid of the affairs of this world, he returned to minister to Jesus when he was on the earth. Was Elias there too? So Peter said. What was he doing there? He died long before, but having held the everlasting Priesthood he lived again, and lives for evermore. We will go to another man. There are curious things in the Bible, if the people only believed them; but they do not, and that is the trouble. I refer to John, the beloved disciple. We are told that he was banished because he was a fanatic—I was going to say a Mormon—as John did not agree with the enlightenment, philosophy and intelligence that existed then. What did they do with him? They banished him and sent him to the Isle of Patmos; and compelled him to labor among the slaves in the lead mines; he was not fit for civilized society, but they could not deprive him of fellowship. While there with the Almighty, he was carried away in the Spirit, and that Spirit manifested to him things past, for generations gone; things present—the condition of the churches that then existed; and also things to come—the world with all its myriads of inhabitants down to the winding-up scene. He saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, called the Book of Life; and he saw a hundred and forty-four thousand, and a number that no man can number, who sang a new song, and the glories of eternity, and the past, present and future were unveiled before his vision. He saw the new Jerusalem descend from above, and the Zion from above meeting the Zion from below, and they were married and became one. He saw the end of the nations, and of the world. "Cloud-capped towers and gorgeous palaces were dissolved," and everything passed away. He gazed upon the whole; and a mighty angel stood before him, and he was about to bow down before him and to worship him; but the angel said, "Stop, do not worship me?' "Why? Who are you? You are a glorious personage; you are filled, with greatness, and surrounded by majesty, glory and power, and the visions of eternity seem to be at your command, for you have unfolded them to me. Will you not let me worship you?" "No." "Who are you?" "I am one of thy fellow-servants, the prophets, who kept the testimony of Jesus, and the word of God, while here upon the earth, and feared God and kept His commandments. Do not worship me, worship God." Said he, "I am one of those old fellows who were buffeted, persecuted and misrepresented just as you are; despised as you are by fools who knew nothing about God or eternity."

      Well, now, we believe these things. We believe in a religion that will reach into eternity, that will bring us into connection with God. We believe that God has set up His kingdom on the earth; we believe and know that it will roll forth and spread and extend, that Zion will be built up, that the glory of God will rest upon it; that the arm of Jehovah will be made bare in its defence; that the power of God will be exerted in behalf of His people; that Zion will rise and shine, and that the glory of God will be manifested among His Saints. We know that this kingdom will grow and increase until the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ, and that He shall rule and reign for ever and ever. And we expect to join in the universal anthem, "Hosanna, hosanna, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth," and will reign until all enemies are under His feet.

      God bless Israel. God bless all His Saints, and let the wrath of God be upon the enemies of Zion from this time henceforth and for ever, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            The names of the following Elders were presented to the Conference by Elder George Q. Cannon, as having been called to go on missions. The vote in favor of their going was unanimous:

President Joseph Young,
Horace S. Eldredge,
Wm. C. Staines,
Wm. W. Cluff,
Geo. G. Bywater,
David Brinton,
Robert F. Neslen,
Joseph Parry, of Ogden,
Thomas Howell,
Eleazer Edwards, of Newton,
N. C. Edlefson,
Oliver Snow,
Peter Madsen, of Brigham City,
Joseph Argyle, Sen.,
Geo. Barber,
Peter Evans,
Ralph Thompson,
Edmund F. Bird,
Hezekiah Thatcher,
Geo. W. Thatcher,
Seymour B. Young,
Soren Christiansen Turd, of Ephraim, San Pete county.

            The choir sang the anthem: "The earth is the Lord's."

            Conference adjourned till 2 p.m.

            Prayer by Elder Erastus Snow.

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[6 May, 2 pm]

[DNW 19:161, 5/11/70, p 5]

FRIDAY, 2 p. m.

            The choir sang: "Let every mortal ear attend."

            Prayer by Elder Lorenzo Snow.

            The choir sang: "Sweet is the peace the gospel brings."

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Delivered an excellent, instructive discourse on the condition and practices of the Latter-day Saints, and compared them with the condition and practices of the world. In the course of his remarks he alluded to the foolish practice of many of the Saints, in patterning after the world in relation to the absurd styles of fashionable dress. He showed that they who love the things of the world, are more or less destitute of the love of God. It is an imperative necessity for all the Saints to live in accordance with the word of wisdom. A portion of the discourse was devoted to instructing the Saints as to the best course to pursue in order to become self-sustaining. His remarks were replete with plain, practical facts and instructions; they will shortly be published verbatim.

[Brigham Young]

[DNW 19:199, 6/1/70, p 7; JD 14:15]

REMARKS

By President BRIGHAM YOUNG, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 6th, 1870.

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[REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS]

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      If I can have the ears and attention of the people, I want to preach to them a short sermon on our present condition and on some particulars with regard to our customs. We, the Latter-day Saints, as a people, received a command many years ago to gather out from the wicked world and to gather ourselves together to stand in holy places, preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man. We have been gathered together promiscuously from the nations of the earth, and in many respects we are like the rest of the world. But I wish to make a few remarks on some points wherein we differ. We differ from the infidel world in our belief, and from the vulgar world in regard to the language we use. It is not common for the Latter-day Saints to take the name of the Deity in vain, while it is common and quite fashionable to do so in Christendom. Herein we disagree with the outside world, or we may call it the vulgar world, for no matter how high or how low their position may be, or how poor or how wealthy, when people use language which is unbecoming they descend to a very low level, and in this respect I am happy to say that the Latter-day Saints differ from the wicked or vulgar world. I will also put in the political world. It is a very common practice throughout the fashionable, political world to gamble; we differ also in this respect, for the Latter-day Saints are not in the habit of gambling at any game whatever; neither are they in the habit of drinking intoxicating liquors, which, throughout the world at large, and especially the Christian world, is such a prolific source of wretchedness and misery. In a great degree, I may also say that, as a people, we are not in the habit of lying and deceiving; but there is one thing that we are too much guilty of, and that is, evil speaking of our neighbors—bearing false witness against them. As a people we are too lavish in our conversation in this respect, our words come too easy and cheap, and we use them too freely in many instances. This is one thing in which we do not differ so much from the world as I should wish. There is another point on which the same remark is true, and that is fashion in dress. Look over this congregation and we see this demonstrated before us, and on this particular item I wish to lay my views before the minds of the people.

      To me a desire to follow the ever-varying fashions of the world manifests a great weakness of mind in either gentleman or lady. We are too apt to to low the foolish fashions of the world; and if means were plentiful, I do not think that there are many families among the Latter-day Saints but what would be up to the highest and latest fashions of the day. Perhaps there are a great many that would not follow these fashions had they ever so much means. But too many of this people follow after the foolish, giddy, vain fashions of the world. It any persons want proof of this they need only look over this congregation, and view the bonnets, hats or headdresses of our fashionable ladies. Do they wear bonnets that will screen their faces from the sun, or shelter their heads from the rain? Oh, no, it is not fashionable. Well what do they wear? Just such as the wicked would wear.

      My discourse will have to be brief, and I am going to ask my sisters in particular to stop following these foolish fashions, and to introduce fashions of their own. This is the place, and this the time to make known the word of the Lord to the people.

      It is vain and foolish, it does not evince godliness, and is inconsistent with the spirit of a saint to follow after the fashions of the world. I wish to impress these remarks especially on the minds of my young Sisters—the daughters of the Elders of Israel. Not but what our wives as well as daughters follow many fashions that are uncomely, foolish and vain. What do you say? "Snail we introduce a fashion of our own, and what shall it be?" Do you want us to answer and tell you how to make your bonnets? Let me say to you that, in the works of God, you see an eternal variety, consequently we do not ask the people to become Quakers, and all the men wear wide-brimmed hats, and the ladies wear drab or cream-colored silk bonnets projecting in the front, perhaps six or seven inches, rounded on the corners, with a cape behind. This is Quakerism, that is, so far as headdresses are concerned for ladies and gentlemen. But while we do not ask this, we do ask the sisters to make their bonnets so as to shelter themselves from the storm and from the rays of the sun. I have heard a saying that three straws and a ribbon would make a headdress for a fashionable lady. This was a year or two ago; and the same varying, fantastic, foolish notions prevail with regard to other portions of a lady's habiliments as much as with her headdress. A few years ago it took about sixteen yards of common-width cloth to make a dress for a lady, for she wanted two or three yards to drag in the streets, to be smeared by every nuisance she walked over. Now I suppose they make their dresses out of five yards and a half, and then have abundance left for an apron. They put me now strongly in mind of the ladies I used to see in Canada some years ago, who made their dresses out of two breadths of tow and linen, and when they were in meeting they were all the time busy pulling them down, for they would draw up. The young ladies look now as if they needed somebody to walk after them to keep pulling down their dresses.

      How foolish and unwise this is, and how contrary to the spirit of the Gospel that we have embraced! This Gospel is full of good sense, judgment, discretion and intelligence Does this look intelligent? Suppose the ladies continue the fashion of shortening their dresses how long will it be before three-quarters of a yard will be enough for them? You may say that such extravagant comparisons are ridiculous. I say, no more than your dresses and many of your habits and fashions now, only they may be a little exaggerated, that is all. Anything is ridiculous, more or less, that is not comely. I do beseech my sisters to stop their foolishness and to go to work and make their own headdresses. If they will they will be blessed. Do you say, "How shall we be blessed?" I will tell you—by introducing a spirit of industry into your families, and a spirit of contentment into your hearts, which will give you an interest in your domestic cares and affairs that you have not hitherto enjoyed. Doctor Young says that "Life's cares are comforts," and they who take an interest in and try to promote their individual welfare, that of their neighbors or of the human family, will find a pleasure such as is derived from few other sources. They derive delight and pleasure from it, and are filled with peace. But when, the eyes of people are like the fool's eyes—wandering to the ends of the earth, continually wishing, longing for and desiring that which they have not got, they are never happy. If we will take the course I have indicated, we shall be benefited in our spirits, and shall have more of the Spirit of the Lord.

      I wish to say to you, and you may read it in the Bible if you wish, that he who has the love of the world within him hath not the love of the Father. They who love the things of this world are destitute of the love of the Gospel of the Son of God. This is my Scripture: They who long and lust after the fashions of the world are destitute of the Spirit of God. Every person of experience will testify that this is the truth. Now, my sisters, let me urge you to make your own headdresses. You have the material here, and if you wish to make your hat with a brim six, twelve, twenty, or three inches wide, we will not quarrel with you; but make your own headdresses, and do not hunt after the fashions of the wicked world. If you wish to make a cottage, or a corn-fan bonnet, or a hat, make it to suit yourselves, but do not run after the fashions of the world. I expect, by and by, if this taste for fashion, be not checked, to see this house alive, more or less, with what are termed "shoo fly" hats, bonnets and headdresses; and what else you'll get I do not know. But no matter what the name nor what the fashion if we do not lust lifter the wicked world. And when you buy yourselves dresses do not purchase one for six or eight dollars, and then want about twenty more for trimmings. What is the use of of it? I asked some of my wives the other evening, "What is the use of all this velvet ribbon—perhaps ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty yards, on a linsey dress?" Said I, "What is the use of it? Does it do any good?" I was asked, very spiritedly and promptly, in return, "What good do those buttons do on the back of your coat?" Said I, "How many have I set?" and turning round I showed that there were none there.

      This reform in fashion and extravagance in dress is needed. God has a purpose in it, and so have his servants. What is it? If the Lord has given me means and I spend it needlessly, in rings for my fingers, and jewelry for adornment, I deprive the Priesthood of that which they ought to have to gather the poor, to preach the Gospel, to build temples and to feed the hungry in our midst. I deprive a people, who will by and by inherit the earth, of so many blessings. Every yard of ribbon that I buy that is needless, every flounce, and every gewgaw that is purchased for my family needlessly, robs the Church of God of just so much. But it seems as though the people do not think of these things; they do not lay them to heart. Our wives and daughters seem to forget that they have responsibilities resting upon them in these respects. The conduct of a great many of them indicates a care for nothing but, "How much can I get? Can I get everything I want? I wish I could see something new, I want to pattern after it!" This manifests the spirit of the world, and a foolish, vain disposition. Not but that I am guilty myself, perhaps, of using means for my individual person that is not necessary; but if I do, will some of you kindly tell me? I recollect once, when preaching in England, that I passed through Smithfield Market, in Manchester, and I saw some very fine grapes just arrived from France. I spent a penny for some of them, but I had not taken half a dozen steps from the stand where I purchased them, before I saw an old lady passing along who, I could tell by her appearance, was starving to death. Said I, "I have done wrong in spending that penny, I should have given it to that old lady." I made it a practice, before leaving my office, of going to a drawer, taking out a handful of pence, in order to give to the numerous beggars which everywhere meet the eye in walking the streets in the large towns in that country, and in this instance I felt guilty at having spent a penny in grapes, and I thought of it many times after. What else did I spend needlessly? Not much. "Well," but say some, "Brother Brigham do not you have good horses?" Yes, I do. Do you know where I got them? But some of them were given to me, and I thank God and those who bestowed them, and I use them prudently. But I would as lief my poor brethren and sisters would ride in my carriage as to ride in it myself. Yet in many things I may be to blame, and do wrong, but in many things I know that we as a people do wrong.

      "Well, Brother Brigham, what shall we do?" I say make your own headdresses; here is abundance of material to do it with, and it is not right for me to pay out hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars annually for needless articles of dress for my family. The same is true of my brethren. If that means were to go to gather the poor this season, it would bring many from the old countries. About this, however, I will say that it is rather discouraging to bring people here and to put them in situations to live and accumulate, and then they, as soon as they make a little means, lift their heel against God and his anointed. Nevertheless it is Our duty to feed nine persons who are unworthy rather than to turn away the tenth, if he be worthy. It is better to bring ninety-nine persons here who are unworthy than to leave one that is worthy to perish there, consequently we say we will do all we can. They, whom we bring here, are agents for themselves before God, and they act for themselves.

      But now, brethren and sisters, let us stop and again consider and think. Can we not sustain ourselves more than we do? I do not ask my sisters to make themselves sunbonnets and wear them and nothing else. I do not say, all of you adopt some particular fashion and stick to that alone. This is not the question; the question is, will we stop wearing that that is so useless and needless? If we will, we can have scores of thousands annually to bestow upon the poor, to rear temples, to build tabernacles and schoolhouses, to endow schools, to educate our children, and to aid every charitable institution and every other purpose that will advance the kingdom of God on the earth.

      This would be wisdom in us. What do we think about it? What do you say, young ladies—I mean all of you this side of a hundred years old—will you step following the foolish fashions of the world, and begin to act like people possessing moral courage and good natural sense? If this is your mind, brethren and sisters, I ask you, young and old, to make it manifest, as I do, by raising your right hand. (A sea of hands was immediately raised.) Some, no doubt, feel ready to say, "Why, Brother Brigham, do not you know that your family is the most fashionable in the city?" No, I do not; but I am sure that my wives and children, in their fashions and gewgaws, cannot beat some of my neighbors. I will tell you what I have said to my wives and children; shall I? Shall I expose what I say to them on these points? Yes, I will. I have said to my wives, "If you will not stop these foolish fashions and customs I will give you a bill if you want it." That is what I have said, and that is what I think. "Well, but you would not part with your wives?" Yes, indeed I would. I am not bound to wife or child, to house or farm, or anything else on the face of the earth, but the Gospel of the Son of God. I have enlisted all in this cause, and in it is my heart, and here is my treasure. Some may say, "Why, really, Brother Brigham, you almost worship your family; you think a great deal of your wives." Yes, I do, but, from my youth up, I never had but one object in taking a wife, and that was to do her good. The first one I had was the poorest girl I could find in the town; and my object with the second, and third, and so on to the last one was to save them. You say," Do I humor them?" Yes I do, and perhaps too much.

      Now, my brethren and sisters, a few words more. We have been striving for some time to get the people to observe the Word of Wisdom. But why do they not observe it? Why will they cling to those habits that are inimical to life and health? "Well," says a sister, "I cannot leave off my tea, I must have a cup of tea every morning, I feel so sick." I say then, go to bed, and there lie until you are better. "Oh, but it will kill me if I quit it." Then die, and die in the faith, instead of living and breaking the requests of Heaven. That is my mind about the sisters dying for the want of tea. With regard to drinking liquor, I am happy to say that we are improving. But there are some of our Elders who still drink a little liquor occasionally, I think, and use a little tobacco. They feel as though they would die without it, but I say they will die with it, and they will die transgressing the revelations and commands of Heaven, and the wishes of our heavenly Father, who has said hot drinks are not good.

      Now let us observe the Word of Wisdom. Shall I take a vote on it? Everybody would vote, but who would observe it? A good many, but not all. I can say that a good many do observe their covenants in this thing. But who is it that understands Wisdom before God? In some respects we have to define it for ourselves—each for himself—according to our own views, judgment and faith, and the observance of the Word of Wisdom, or the interpretation of God's requirements on this subject, must be left, partially, with the people. We cannot make laws like the Medes and Persians. We cannot say you shall never drink a cup of tea, or you shall never taste of this, or you shall never taste of that; but we can say that Wisdom is justified of her children. Brethren and sisters, hearken to these things. I do not know that we shall have much time to talk about them; but take the little counsel given, and observe it. This is the place to give counsel to the people. Go home, Bishops and Elders, when the Conference is over, and observe what has been told you here. If we commence making our own bonnets, we shall find that we shall increase in other directions besides making leather for our boots and shoes, and cloth for coats and pantaloons.

      It is very pleasant in passing through the Territory to have brethren in the various settlements say, "Bro. Brigham, Brother Geo. A., or Brother Daniel, come and see our store, or our shop; here are boots and shoes made from leather of our own manufacture;" and some are as fine looking as you can see anywhere. They are doings good deal in this city, and also in other places Some are making straw hats and bonnets, and others are endeavoring to promote other branches of home manufacture. This is very pleasant, but we want to see it more general in this great community. If it were so this season in the one branch of straw hat and bonnet manufacture we should not see the scores and hundreds of five-dollar hats brought here and sold, that are good for nothing in the world. They have no strength about them. The manufacturers of these hats pick up old cloth that is rotten and good for nothing, and make hats of it, and the result is that the hats brought here have very little wear in them. They may look decent to begin with, but after being worn a few times they are shapeless and worthless. Let us go to work and make them for ourselves and save this expense. If we do this, we are wise; if we do it not, we are foolish.

      We heard Brother Taylor's exposition of what is called Socialism this morning. What can they do? Live on each other and beg. It is a poor, unwise and very imbecile people who cannot take care of themselves. Well, we, in the providences of God, are forced to do a great many things that are very advantageous to us. Let us observe the Word of Wisdom, and also begin and manufacture our clothing. We are doing a good deal now, but let us do more. I have learned one fact that is very gratifying: A few years ago when we commenced our little factories here we could obtain no wool—the sheep were not taken care of. A seen as we commenced to manufacture cloth and to distribute it among the people, taking their wool in exchange, we found that the wool increased; and this season, if we had had the factory, in course of construction at Provo, finished, the supply of wool would have been so great that the factory would have been overstocked. Some idea may be formed of the great increase in the supply of wool when I state that the Provo factory, when running, will be capable of making perhaps ten or twelve hundred yards of cloth per day. This is pleasing. Let us get factories built. I find they are building South, and they are preparing to build North; and pretty soon you will see the brethren, as a general thing, dressed in home-made.

      Some here are thinking, probably: "Brigham, why don't you dress in home-made?" I do. "Well, have you got it on to-day?" No, but I want to wear out, if I can, what I have on hand. I give away a suit every little while, and I would like to give some more away if I could find anybody my clothes would fit. I travel in home-made and wear it at home. As for fashion, it does not trouble me, my fashion is convenience and comfort. The most comfortable coat that a man can wear in my opinion is what the old Yankees and Eastern and Southern people call a "warmus." Some of the people here know what I mean; it is something between an overshirt and a blouse, buttons round the neck and wrists. I have worked in one many a day. If I introduce the fashion of wearing them here who will follow it? I expect a good many would. I recollect that I wore one when Colonel Kane was here. Said he, "I am gratified to see that you do not ask any odds about the fashions, you have one of your own." My feelings then, as now, were, whatever, in Brother Brigham's judgment, is comfortable and comely is the fashion with him, and he cares nothing about the fashions of the world. There is a style of pantaloons very generally worn, about which I would say something if there were no ladies here. When I first saw them I gave them a name. I never wore them; I consider them uncomely and indecent. But why is it that they are worn so generally by others? Because they are fashionable. If it were the fashion to go with them unbuttoned I expect you would see plenty of our Elders wearing them unbuttoned. This shows the power that fashion exerts over the majority of minds. You may see it in the theatre; if you had attended ours recently you might have seen that that was not comely; you might have seen Mazeppa ride, with but a very small amount of clothing on. In New York I am told it is much worse. I heard a gentleman say that a full dress for Mazeppa there was one Government stamp. I do not know whether it is so or not. Fashion has great influence everywhere, Salt Lake not excepted. No matter how ridiculous, the fashions must be followed. If it be for the ladies to have their dresses to drag along the streets, or so short that they show their garters, we see it here; the same is true if they are sixteen or twenty-four feet round, or so tight that they can hardly walk. A great many seem to regard and follow fashion, with all its follies and vagaries, far more fervently than duty. How foolish is such a course. I have talked long enough. God bless you.

 

ELDER WILFORD WOODRUFF.

            No dispensation has ever been looked upon with so much interest as that which was ushered in through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith. The Zion of the latter-days has been before the face of God from before the foundations of the world. The hand of God sustained the prophet Joseph, when he was encompassed by his foes. He knew that God lived. This has been the case also with President Young. Notwithstanding the machinations of his enemies, he has had faith in the Lord and the Lord has sustained him. Without the inspiration of the Almighty President Young could not lead the church twenty-four hours. Neither could Joseph Smith have done so; nor any other man. I would say, in the name of the Lord, that no man who will operate against the counsel of Joseph Smith or Brigham Young will ever prosper. No man will ever gain honor or prosperity by fighting against the work of the Lord. If any man undertakes to stand in the way of the Kingdom of God, it will roll over him. Its progress cannot be stayed. If the ancient prophets have seen our day and rejoiced, what manner of men should we be? I rejoice to see manifested the faith that has been and is shown by those appointed to lead Israel. I trust that the Female Relief Societies will institute schools to instruct the young in the art of straw braiding, and other useful employments. It is necessary we should be united in all our temporal labors. In all matters, where the principle of co-operation can be applied, we ought to co-operate.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 19:402, 9/28/70, p 6; JD 14:31]

DISCOURSE,

By Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF, delivered in the new Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 6th, 1870.

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REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

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      I believe this is the largest assembly of Saints or sinners, Jew or Gentile, that ever I saw together under one roof. There are very few of us capable of making such an assembly hear, unless it is very still; and when persons have come from twenty to two hundred and fifty miles to attend Conference, it certainly is important that we give them a chance to hear what is said.

      It is true that God has set his hand in these latter days to bring to pass his act, his strange act, and to accomplish his work, his strange work—that truth should spring out of the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven; and it certainly would be strange if these things were not performed. The Supreme Ruler would not be like a God who had created a world like this and peopled it it he let it go at random, without any purpose or plan for the benefit and salvation of the children of men.

      I want to say a few words on this subject. I consider that the work we now see taking place in these mountains, and which has been going on from the time this Church was organized, is but carrying out the great plan of our Father in heaven—that plan which was ordained from before the foundation of the world. In fact there is no dispensation that has been looked upon with as much interest by all the prophets of God and inspired men, from the day of Joseph Smith, as that in which we live, in which the Zion of God is being built up, and the earth is being prepared for the coming of the Son of Man.

      Isaiah, in looking by prophetic vision to this day, makes use of very strong language in endeavoring to express his feelings in relation to it. In one instance he says, "Sing, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth! Break forth into singing, O ye mountains, for the Lord has comforted his people, and will have mercy on his afflicted yet." Zion says, "The Lord has forsaken me, my God has forgotten me." "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?" "Yea," the Lord says, "a woman may do that," but he will not forget Zion. Says he, "Zion is engraven on the palms of my hands, her walls are continually before me."

      Now this Zion of God has been before his face from before the foundation of the world, and it is no more going to fail in the latter days than any of the purposes of God are going to fail, hence I look upon this work as the work of God, and it makes no difference to the Lord Almighty, nor to his Saints, what the world may think or do about it, or what course they may pursue with regard to it; they cannot stop its progress, because it is the work of God. If it were the work of man it would not exist as it does to-day. If God had no hand in this work, we should not have seen this assembly here to-day in this Tabernacle, nor this Territory filled with cities and towns. But being the work of God, he asks no odds of any nation, kindred, tongue or people under the whole heavens, any further than they are willing to keep his commandments and do his will; for as the Lord God Almighty lives, so true will the work, the foundation of which has been laid in these latter days, increase and continue until its consummation is effected, and the great Zion of God is established in beauty, power and glory, and the dominion of the kingdom of our God extends over the whole earth.

      Joseph Smith laid the foundation of this work; he was chosen by the Lord for that purpose, and was ordained by prophets and inspired men who formerly held the keys of the kingdom of God upon the earth. They laid their hands upon his head and ordained him to the Priesthood, and gave him power to unlock the heavens and to administer the ordinances of the house of God upon the earth. This work he performed in the face of difficulty, persecution, opposition and oppression; but the hand of God sustained him. He knew what few men or people on the whole face of the earth know—that God lives, and he also knew that the work whose foundations he laid was the work of God.

      This is what has sustained President Young through all his labors. Many men have looked upon him, and, in consequence of outside pressure, have expected him to say this, that, and the other; but all the time he has taken a straightforward course, walking in the path pointed out by the God of heaven; and that same hand has sustained him and you and me and every good and virtuous man and woman on the face of the earth who has listened to the commandments of God.

      Isaiah and other prophets saw in vision much concerning the building up and establishment of the latter-day Zion of God upon the earth. They saw the people gathering from the nations of the earth to the mountains of Israel; they speak of a great company coming up to Zion, the women with child and her that travailed with child together; and a great many other things in relation to the internal workings of the inhabitants of Zion in building up the kingdom of God they do not mention, whether they ever saw them or not. Isaiah has not written concerning many of these things, neither has anybody yet that we know of. Perhaps when the remainder of the plates, which were delivered to the Prophet Joseph, and which he was commanded not to translate, come forth, we may learn many more things pertaining to our labor on the earth which we do not know now. But be this as it may, all this internal work is left for the Holy Ghost to reveal to the living oracles, as they guide, lead, dictate and direct; the people day by day. This is one thing I want to say to my friends and to the Saints of God, that without the Holy Ghost, without direct revelation and the inspiration of God continually, Brigham Young could not lead this people twenty-four hours. He could not lead them at all. Joseph could not have done it, neither could any man. This power is in the bosom of Almighty God, and he imparts it to his servants the prophets as they stand in need of it day by day to build up Zion.

      I want to say to my brethren and sisters that President Young is our leader; he is our lawgiver in the Church and kingdom of God. He is called to this office; it is his prerogative to tell this people what to do, and it is our duty to obey the counsel that he has given to-day to the sisters and the brethren. We, as a people, should not treat lightly this counsel, for I will tell you in the name of the Lord—and I have watched it from the time I became a member of this Church—there is no man who undertakes to run counter to the counsel of the legally authorized leader of this people that ever prospers, and no such man ever will prosper. Many things I might name, if it were wisdom to do so, to prove the truth of this statement, but you may watch for yourselves, and you will find that all persons who take a stand against this counsel will never prosper.

      A great deal has been said with regard to guiding this people in temporal matters. I ask you in the name of the Lord, who is called to guide the temporal affairs of this Church and kingdom, for its advantage, redemption and exaltation, as pure as a bride adorned for her husband, if it be not that man who is placed as the lawgiver and leader of Israel? There is no man on the footstool of God who has this authority but him who stands at the head; and his Counsellors and the Apostles, Bishops and Elders ought to be coworkers with him, and they should work together in carrying out his counsel. And when counsel comes we should not treat it lightly, no matter to what subject it pertains, for if we do it will work evil unto us. Co-operation, it is well known to every Saint who has his eyes and ears open, has brought much good to Israel, yet from the very commencement of it there has been more or less discontent and dissatisfaction felt and manifested towards it; but there is not an individual who has attempted to work against it but who has lost the Spirit of God unless he has repented. It is so in all things, as every one of us who has had experience in this kingdom has seen over and over again. No man has ever prospered by this course, but if he has continued it he, by and by, has gone downward instead of upward; no such man ever received and gained to himself honor by taking such a course, and no man ever will. They may try it as often as they wish; no matter whether they are insiders or outsiders, every man who undertakes to fight against this work and people will, in God's own time, receive chastisement at his hand. Many who have done so, have been cut off, and others will follow. This is true, whether it is in regard to following counsel or not. We cannot treat lightly the counsel of God without incurring his displeasure.

      Does any man or woman wonder that President Young leads out, and calls upon us to follow, in directing temporal affairs? What would become of us and Zion if there were no one to give counsel in temporal matters? We could not advance if such were the case; but we have been guided so far by the servants of God and the Spirit of God. We have been dull scholars perhaps in a great many things, but I thank God that it is as well as it is with us to-day. The organization of this Church took place forty years ago with six members, and here is a congregation that would make two thousand branches of the Church as large as the first branch that was established, and this is only one congregation, while we have 600 miles of towns, villages and settlements in this Territory. It is progress all the time. Why? Because it is the work of God. No one can stand in the way of the work of God in safety. The Lord is not dependant upon any man on his footstool; if one man will not do his bidding, another will. He gives his law to all men, and inasmuch as they reject it they ate under condemnation.

      I fear not the world. We are the only people under heaven who are one, and we are not half as much one in we ought to be; we have to improve. We are the only people in the whole Christian world who make any pretensions to oneness in building up the Zion of God on the earth. We profess to be one in the Gospel, and we have to become so in temporal matters. We have to become of one heart and mind in giving attention and obedience to the counsel of God in all things, both spiritual and temporal. Zion has got to advance; she has got to rise and shine and put on her beautiful garments. She is advancing and has been from the time of the organization of this Church, and she will continue to do so until the winding up scene.

      When I look at the blessing of the Gospel of Christ, and at the blessings which we as a people enjoy; when I look at the glorious principles which God has revealed for the exaltation and glory of man, I rejoice in them, and ask who will obey them? I feel that we ought to be thankful to God day and night; we should be humble and always ready to listen to counsel. Let us go to and carry out these principles. "If ye love me, keep my commandments," says the Lord Jesus. President Young preached on that subject a few Sabbaths ago, showing that however great our professions as Saints may be, they are vain unless we keep the commandments and counsels of the Lord given unto us. What are they? We have the moral law and we have the Gospel in the Scriptures; but there are commandments and ordinances, and there is counsel which we have to observe which are not contained in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, or in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. In fact there is very little there in regard to our work and labors here as a people.

      The Lord has put into our hands the power to build up this great Zion, which all the ancient prophets rejoiced in and prophecied about. What manner of people ought we to be who are called to carry out this work? We ought to be the Saints and children of God in very deed. Our hearts ought to be open and prepared to receive instruction, light and truth, and to carry out, all principles which may be communicated unto us by the servants of the Lord. The counsels we have had to-day are of great value to the Latter-day Saints. By and by Babylon will fall; in a little while "no man will buy her merchandise," and the sooner we are prepared for the changes which are about to take place in our nation and in the nations of the earth the better for us. We are all interested in the welfare of Zion. Our wives, daughters and sons are interested in the welfare of the husbands and fathers, and the children in that of the parents; and we all should be interested in each other's temporal and spiritual labors, and there should not be a selfish feeling on the part of any portion of a family—"I do not care what becomes of this, that or the other, if I can only get what I want myself." This is selfishness, it produces disunion and is inconsistent with the profession of a Saint of God. We should labor, each and every one of us to put such feelings from our hearts, and then we, in our family organizations, should strive to promote the general interest of the members thereof; but the interest of Zion and the kingdom of God should be first with us all the time, for we are all members of that kingdom and its welfare is ours.

      I consider that we are in a position in which we have every chance to do a great deal of good in our day and generation, we have every chance to work with the Lord, every chance to fulfil our mission and calling here on the earth. We have every chance to build up the Zion of God. I rejoice in the faith that has been manifested by those who have charge of the affairs of the kingdom of God, in the revelations of God. By their works they have manifested their determination continually to carry out the commands of God. "Who am I," saith the Lord, "that I command and am not obeyed?" "Who am I," saith the Lord, "that I promise and do not fulfil?" The Lord has never made a promise to the children of men but what he has fulfilled it; and all the promises that the Lord has made and all the revelations that have been given by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, will have their fulfilment, and we have nothing to fear. As President Young said a few Sabbaths ago, the only thing we need fear is that we shall not keep the commandments of the Lord. Let us keep the commandments of God and then we shall have power with him; the word of the Lord will sustain us and he will fight our battles. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," saith the Lord. We need have no fears with regard to the future. The Zion of God is before his face continually. He has laid a foundation and He will build upon it, and his Saints will build upon it; and thousands and tens of thousands of the meek of the earth will yet take hold and become co-workers in the great work of God. I feel, myself, as though we should lay these counsels that we receive to heart; we should not treat them lightly. We have been called upon by the Lord and his servants to keep the Word of Wisdom; it is time we did it. Wherein we have failed in these things in the past we should try to improve.

      I rejoice in this work, I rejoice in the Gospel of Christ. I rejoice that we live in a day when we have inspiration, when we have prophets, Apostles and inspired men to lead us, and when we are made partakers of the blessings of the kingdom of God upon the earth. It is safe for us to pursue that course wherein we can walk in the light, and we need not find fault with the principles of the Gospel because any brother does that which we cannot endorse. It is for us, each of us, individually, to see to our own conduct, and never follow the errors of others. It is not difficult to find them in our own conduct. We should all bring this home to ourselves.

      I do hope that the sisters, generally, and the Female Relief Societies in particular, will listen to the counsel that has been given to-day, and that they will go to and establish braiding schools in all their societies, where the young ladies may be taught to braid straw. President Young has called upon them to do it from time to time. It is true that he has not always commanded them, in the name of the Lord, to do thus and so, and this has been a great blessing to Israel. We have been governed by counsel instead of commandment in many things, which has been a blessing to the Saints, for "he that is commanded in all things" and obeyeth it with slothfulness and not a willing mind, is not qualified before the Lord as that man is who, having the power within him, bringeth to pass much righteousness without being commanded in all that he does.

      I feel thankful for the blessings that we enjoy. The Prophet Joseph was called an idler and a gold digger. We have been called a great many things—such as lazy, indolent, and many other things discreditable. Why, every man possessing reason and judgment, who knows anything about the Territory of Utah, will at once pronounce such assertions nonsensical, for this city and every portion of the Territory bear witness to the untiring labor and industry of the Latter-day Saints, and the people, as a general thing outside, are beginning to give up the idea that we are an idle people. They formerly found a great deal of fault with Joseph Smith, because they said he was a gold digger; but since then nearly all the Christian world have turned gold diggers. Hundreds of thousands of them have run into this western country to dig gold; and, while they formerly found fault with us for digging gold they have latterly found fault because we do not dig it. I hope and trust that all the accusations of wrong brought against us in the future will be as groundless as those of the past. Let us show our faith by our works, let us show to the Lord our God that we have faith and confidence in his word and works.

      We have to become united as a people in all our labors—in our agriculture, manufactures; and every branch of our temporal labors. It is of great importance to the Latter-day Saints that they should unite together on the principle of co-operation. Where this is not done we still ought to try individually to manufacture all we can. I was pleased, a few days ago, while paying a visit; to Jenning's shoe factory, to see the large number of home-made boots and shoes, many of which were made with machinery which had been imported for the purpose. This should be done wherever it is possible; the people should co-operate and import labor-saving machinery, so as to be able to compete with foreign manufacturers of goods of all kinds. President Young has set an example in introducing carding machines and in establishing factories here. He has done all he could in this direction, and we should follow in the wake as far as we can. I know that God will bless the people by doing this.

      I do not wish to occupy any more time. I feel to say God bless you. Lay these things to heart. Let us lay hold and build up Zion. Let us realize that we are the children of God, that he is at work with us and that we are at work with him. It has been said that the Lord and a good man are a great majority. He has got a great many good men on the earth, and he is gathering them together to build up Zion, to carry out his work and to do his will. He will also control the course of human events so as to forward his purposes. He holds the destinies of the nations in his hands. He holds Zion in his hands and he will carry out his work and do all he has promised. Those who fight against Zion fight against God, and he will break every weapon formed against his kingdom, and will bring his people triumphant over every obstacle, and finally give them eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God. May God grant that it may be bestowed upon us by our faith, works, and labors, through his mercy and goodness, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 

PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH.

            Soon after the organization of the Church, the Lord gave a command that the beauty of the garments of the Saints should be the workmanship of their hands. Many of the commandments of God that were given in the early rise of the Church are only now beginning to be fully considered. We have made slow progress, but we understand that it took Enoch three hundred and sixty-five years to prepare a people to dwell in a purer sphere than that of this earth: we therefore rejoice at the progress already made by the Zion of the last days. It is necessary that a people should be prepared to sustain themselves when Babylon shall have fallen; for that prophesy shall be fulfilled. Some years ago, many were called to go and build up settlements and cultivate the land in the southern parts of our Territory. Some had no faith that anything could be accomplished in that direction. Yet much has been done. I feel that those who have been called to go there and have not fulfilled their mission, have lost a blessing. If we co-operate in building factories an introduce all kinds of manufactures we make ourselves independent. This is the only way in which we can become independent of the world. What has already been done in this direction is an evidence of what can still be accomplished. I have been astonished at the patience and perseverance of President Young in teaching the people their every day labors and duties. We are still ignorant in regard to many things, therefore, never let us be too proud to e taught. May the Lord bless us all, Amen.

[George A. Smith]

[DNW 19:234, 6/22/70, p 6; JD 14:12]

REMARKS

By President GEORGE A. SMITH, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 6th, 1870.

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[REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.]

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      In February, 1831, just after the organization of the Church, we received a revelation through Joseph Smith, commanding the members of the Church to let the beauty of their garments be the workmanship of their own hands. It reads as follows: "And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands; and let all things be done in cleanliness before me. Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer." This revelation was given almost forty years ago, but slowly, very slowly, have we advanced in fulfilling it; and it really seems that some of the first commandments given to the Church are amongst the last obeyed. I realize the reason of this, when reflecting upon the great work to be done in moulding the children of God, gathered from the various nations and denominations, with all their prejudices, traditions, and varied habits of living. They come here filled with ideas averse to those of God and differing from each other; and under these circumstances it is difficult for them to arrive at a oneness in their associations—to use an expression common amongst us at the present—it is difficult for them to co-operate to build up Zion in the last days. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was three hundred and sixty-five years preparing the people, before the saying went forth: "Zion has fled." "Enoch was 25 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, and he was 65 and Adam blessed him, and he saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God 365 years, making him 430 years old when he was translated." Doc. and Cov., sec. 3, par. 24. Three hundred and sixty-five years teaching and instructing the people, and setting examples before them, and forming a city that should be a model city of Zion. It was in an age when men lived longer, and when, peradventure, they had not become so full of tradition as at the present day; yet when we consider the time that it took Enoch to accomplish this work, we have every reason to rejoice at the progress of Zion at the present time. Most of the efforts we have made to advance the cause of Zion we have been able to carry through successfully. For instance, when in the temple of the Lord at Nauvoo, we entered into a covenant that we would, to the extent of our influence and property, do all in our power to help our poor brethren and sisters in emancipating themselves from tyranny and oppression, that they might come to the mountains, where they could enjoy religious liberty. Just as soon as food was raised in this Valley this work continued, and every effort and energy was used to fulfil this covenant. It required unity of effort, but it has been a success. Roads had to be constructed, bridges built, ways bought out, mountains, as it were, torn down, deserts turned into fruitful fields, and savages more wild than the mountain gorges they inhabit conciliated and controlled, and all this to effect a purpose. But it has been done by unity of effort, and hundreds and thousands of Latter-day Saints rejoice in the fact.

      We extended our work of gathering the Saints across the mighty deep, and aided the poor brethren in Europe, continuing our donations in money, and, in addition to this, we went with our hundred, two hundred, three hundred or five hundred teams annually across the great desert plains, to bring home to Zion those who desired to be gathered. This was done by co-operation, by unity and a determined purpose.

      It appears that we have gathered many to Zion who do not fully appreciate the great work of these Says—namely, to place the people of God in a condition that they can sustain themselves, against the time that Babylon the Great shall fall. Some will say that it is ridiculous to suppose that Babylon, the "Mother of Harlots," is going to fall. Ridiculous as it may seem, the time will come when no man will buy her merchandise, and when the Latter-day Saints will be under the necessity of providing for themselves, or going without. "This may be a wild idea," bat it is no more wild or wonderful than what has already transpired, and that before our eyes When we are counseled to "provide for your wants within yourselves, we are only told to prepare for that day. When we are told, "Unite your interests and establish every variety of business that may be necessary to supply your wants," we are only told to lay a plan to enjoy liberty, peace and plenty.

      Many years ago efforts were made on the part of the Presidency to extend the settlements into the warm valleys south of the rim of the Basin. The country was very forbidding and sterile. Many were invited and called upon to go and settle there. Numbers went, but many of them returned disheartened; but the mass of those who went, confident that the blessings of God would be upon their labors, pushed forth their exertions and built up towns, cities and villages; they established cotton fields and erected factories, and supplied many wants which could not be supplied within the rim of the Basin.

      It has been my lot to visit these regions recently, and I have felt to rejoice to see the kind spirit, genial dispositions and warm hearts that were manifested in all those settlements, where men and women had taken hold with all their hearts to obey the commandments of God, and to lay a foundation for Zion to become self-sustaining. I feel that those who have turned away from that country and swerved from the mission assigned them there have lost a great and glorious blessing, which it will be exceedingly difficult for them ever to regain. I am exceedingly gratified at the progress which has been made in that country, and I realize that our brethren, from year to year, are becoming more and more united.

      Some tell us that we want capital, and that we should send abroad and get men to come here with money to build factories. This is not what we need. If the cotton lord and the millionaire come here and hire you to build factories and pay you their money for their work, when the factory is erected they own it, and they set their price upon your labor and your wool or cotton—they have dominion over you. But if, by your own efforts and exertions, you cooperate together and build a factory it is your own. You are the lords of the land, and if fortunes are made the means is yours and it is used to oppress no one. The profits are divided among those whose labor produced it, and will be used to build up the country. Hence it is not capital, that is, it is not so much money that is needed. It is unity of effort on the part of the bone, sinew, skill and ingenuity which we have in our midst, and which, in whatever enterprise has been attempted hitherto, under the direction of the servants of the Lord, with whole-souled unity on the part of the people, has proved successful. Let us be diligent in these things. Why send abroad for our cloth when we have the necessary means and skill to manufacture it for ourselves? Why not let these mountains produce the fine wool? and why not let the low valleys produce the silk, flax, and all other articles that are necessary which it is possible to produce within the range of our climate, and thus secure to ourselves independence? I am very well aware that this has looked, and to many still looks, a wild undertaking; but that which has been accomplished gives abundant evidence of what may be. If we continue to import our hats, bonnets, boots, shoes and clothing, and send away all the gold, silver and currency that we can command to pay for them, we shall ever remain dependent upon the labor of others for many of the actual necessaries of life. If, on the other band, we devise means to produce them from the elements by our own labor we keep our money at home, and it can be used for other and more noble purposes, and we become independent.

      Some may say, "We are willing that you should preach faith and repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, but we do not want you to have anything to say about business matters." No idea could be more delusive; this oversight in temporal matters being indispensably necessary; for the Latter-day Saints have been gathered from the old settled nations of the earth and are unacquainted with the manner of life in new and sparsely settled countries. An intelligent citizen of Provo, on his arrival in this country, came to my garden to work; he undertook to set out some vegetables—onions, carrots, and parsnips, and he set every one of them wrongside up. My wife went out, and, seeing what he was doing, she said, "You are foolish." "Why so?" said he, "I thought I was pretty smart." "Why you have planted these things all wrong end up." "Have I, I did not know any better. I never saw such things planted before." That man became a wealthy farmer. But he had to learn; he had never seen a carrot planted to produce seed in his life, and did not realize which end up to put it in the ground. We have tens of thousands of men, women and children who have had to learn how to get a living in this country, who perhaps had spent their days in painting a tea cup, turning a bowl, weaving a ribbon or spinning a thread, and knew nothing else. Here they have had to work at several kinds of work at once, and had to learn how, and it required all the power, energy and influence of the Elders of Israel to instruct them and tell them holy to live. I have been astonished at the patience, perseverance, determination and incessant labor of President Young in giving these instructions—telling men how to build mills and houses, so that they would not fall over their own heads; telling them how to yoke cattle, harness horses, how to make fences, and, in fact, how to do almost every kind of business.

      There are very few in our midst now Who know how to make good bread. I advise the ladies' relief societies to teach all the sisters to make first-class bread. Many of them do not know how; and let every sister in Israel be thankful for instruction in relation to cooking or any other useful information that can be imparted unto her. Do not let pride and independence make you feel that you know how to do everything. There are a great many things that the smartest among us do not know how to do; then we should be anxious and willing to be taught, and go to work and learn.

      Much of the sickness which is amongst our children is the result of improperly prepared food. We raise choice wheat; our millers make good flour, yet in many instances bread is so prepared that it is heavy and unpalatable, causing disease of the stomach and bowels, with which many of our little ones are afflicted, and find rest in premature graves. Give the children good light bread that they may be healthy.

      Brethren and sisters, may the blessings of Israel's God be upon you and may you continue to improve in everything useful and good. Seek after the Lord with all your hearts. Co-operate in building factories, importing merchandise and machinery, taking care of your cattle, and in every kind of business. Remember that, "United we stand, divided we fall."

      May God bless you for ever. Amen.

 

            Conference adjourned till to-morrow morning at ten o'clock.

            The choir sang "Hail to the Prophet, ascending to Heaven."

            Prayer by Elder Franklin D. Richards.

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[7 May, 10 am]

[DNW 19:161, 5/11/70, p 5]

SATURDAY, 10 A.M.

            The choir sang: "An Angel from on High."

            Prayer by Elder Joseph F. Smith.

            The choir sang: "Come ye that Love the Lord."

ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON.

            The congregation are probably aware, from reading the papers, that the Rev. Doctor Newman lately preached a discourse at Washington, against plural marriage, in reply to a speech made in the House of Representatives by Hon. W. H. Hooper, entitled a plea for religious liberty. Doctor Newman's discourse was delivered in presence of President U. S. Grant, Vice-President S. Colfax, Chief Justice Chase, the speaker of the House of Representatives and a large number of other distinguished personages. Doubtless Dr. Newman had taken considerable time and great care to prepare his discourse, as he had it announced two weeks before he preached it. Elder Orson Pratt had written a reply to Doctor Newman, which he had but a short time to prepare. Elder Cannon then read Elder Pratt's reply to the Conference.

            At the close of the reading of Elder Pratt's reply to the Rev. Mr. Newman, President Young arose and made the following remarks:

            I feel to bear my testimony to the divine truths of heaven and the revelations given upon the doctrine of celestial marriage. I wish to say a few words upon this subject. I will not appeal to the scriptures, you can read them for yourselves; but I will appeal to the reasoning of revelation direct from Heaven, saying nothing about the Old Testament or about any man's work.

            We find ourselves on this earth, male and female. Whether there are just as many male born as there are females, or just as many females as males, it matters not; here are facts that we should understand. Man is the Lord of the creation, man is the head of the woman. Man is accountable to God; man is the transgressor, and man must be the restorer. The statistics of both past and present will sustain this. Take for instance those of one city in our own Government -- I mean the city of New York. Since we came to these mountains I suppose there have perished in the streets and sink-holes of that one city between two hundred and fifty and three hundred thousand females, from sixteen to twenty years of age. This number far exceeds the number of females in these mountains.

            Some of the leading men of our own Government, the adjudicators and framers of the law, are more or less guilty; they suffer and permit it and have a share in it. Is this a sin? Yes it is. It is a national and an individual sin; it is a sin that God will reckon with the people for, and for which He will call the nation to account.

            Man is the transgressor. Will man repent of his sins? No. Man, the head, the king, the lawgiver and protector on this great earth, or little earth, whichever you have a mind to call it, is the lord of the vineyard, the lord of the earth now. Call upon men, the male portion of the inhabitants of the earth, to repent of their sins, and if they will do so and receive the gospel how many women would be left who would reject it? They would be just about as scarce as white blackbirds: you would not find one, probably, to a million but what would receive the gospel; and if the husband, or father, was faithful to its principles, the wife or wives and daughters would be. But men will transgress the law of God; they have done it all the time, and changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant. Take our own society and see men apostatize; and then women apostatize because the husband or father does so. If the husband and father were to remain faithful, do you think the wife or daughter would apostatize? I reckon not. Man is accountable and man will have to bear this sin; he will have to pay the debt. Women, generally, are inclined to believe and embrace the truth and live according to its dictates a great deal more than men are.

            It is no matter with regard to the monogamy of father Adam and mother Eve: they were just enough to start the work of populating the earth; if man had lived as he ought to have lived, the earth would have been peopled quite soon enough, and to its utmost capacity, but there is enough upon it now; and if men will hearken to, obey the truth and will cease their adulterous practices and whoredoms, cease their wickedness with the sex, and repent of their sins, we will fling up at once and will have but one wife; and if there are two or three women left without husbands we will give them to the best man we can find. The reason the Lord requires His people to practice the principle of celestial marriage is to save those who are willing to be saved; to gather up the pure in heart, those who will hearken to and receive the gospel. We have a great many more women than men in this church, because more of them are inclined to believe the gospel. A great many more females than males leave their families and friends to gather with the Saints; for this reason there are more women than men here.

            In the world many men will not marry; and I am ashamed to say that in our own midst many young men are not inclined to marry. It is their duty to take o themselves wives. I would be willing, and should rejoice and be thankful, and would praise God if the men would be humble, repent of their sins, turn to God and take to themselves wives and save them without putting us to this great trouble. I should be very willing to part with mine and say "if you can only get better men, take them and give them to them." These are the reasons why God has called upon His people in the latter days to enter into the practice of plural marriage. They do not practice it because Abraham did it, or because Jacob did it, or because anybody else did: but they practice it because it is right, because it is a duty imposed upon them by Heaven, and it will save the souls of the children of men who receive it.

            According to the reading of the Bible, Isaac was not a polygamist, that I am aware of. When he was about forty years old Abraham called one of his servants unto him, and said he: "Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will go unto my country and my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.' And the servant did get a wife for the lad; and though forty years of age, Isaac, in this and other places was called "the lad." He was not old enough to choose for himself, but the servant of Abraham must go to the house of a certain kinsman, and bring him a kinswoman to wife. But what Isaac did in regard to this matter we care nothing about, nor what anybody else did. God has revealed the fact that this is a celestial law, and h who received this law shall be blessed; and whosoever received not this law, and rejects it, is damned, no matter who, whether kings, princes, presidents, rulers, governors, legislators, or authorities whether nations or individuals; all who reject this everlasting covenant are damned.

            I have received it. I received it on this principle -- because it was the commandment of the Lord, -- because it was the will of the Lord, and I mean to save all I can. Whether I shall take any more wives or not I do not know. There may be something to be said on this principle, perhaps, before we get through with our Conference. I do not think anybody will have power to hinder this people going along serving God, and building up His kingdom on the earth. I rather think they will not. They may war, they may legislate, and they may take counsel together and devise mischief against God and His Anointed. But the work is the Lord's, and I rather think He is able to carry it on if we will do our part. If we will not we will be removed out of the way and others called to labor in this great work; and the Kingdom of God will prosper, for it is onward and upward in spite of earth and hell.

            The choir sang: "Though Nations rise and Men Conspire."

            Prayer by Elder Orson Pratt.

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[7 May, 2 pm*]

[DNW 19:161-162, 5/11/70, p 5-6]

SATURDAY, 2 p.m.

            The choir sang: "O God! our help in ages past."

            Prayer by Elder Wilford Woodruff.

            The choir sang: "How beautiful upon the mountains."

PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH.

            We have established in this city a University and also a branch of the same institution at Provo, that our young people may be educated. It is necessary we should be careful in the selection of teachers. We advise our young brethren and sisters to avail themselves of the opportunities afforded, in our University, of qualifying themselves to act as teachers. As we increase in wealth we desire that our facilities for education be proportionately increased. We have heretofore labored under almost unparalleled difficulties with regard to educating our young. We are improving greatly in this direction, insomuch that none need be destitute of a knowledge of at least the rudiments of education. Parents should take an interest in the education of their children more than by merely sending them to school. The Sunday school is an excellent means of impressing proper sentiments and truths on the minds of the young. I would recommend to the Saints the Juvenile Instructor as a suitable periodical to put into the hands of children from which they can gain a great deal of suitable information.

            ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON presented the Authorities of the Church to the Conference. The votes to sustain them in the following order were unanimous:

            Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; George A. Smith, his first, and Daniel H. Wells his second counselor.

            Orson Hyde, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Orson Pratt, sen., John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, jun., Joseph F. Smith, and Albert Carrington, members of the said Quorum.

            John Smith, Patriarch of the Church.

            John W. Young, President of this Stake of Zion, and George B. Wallace, and John T. Caine his counselors.

            William Eddington, John L. Blythe, Howard O. Spencer, Claudius V. Spencer;, John Squires, Wm. H. Folsom, Emanuel M. Murphy, Thomas E. Jeremy, Joseph L. Barfoot, Samuel W. Richards, Nathaniel H. Felt, John H. Rumell, Miner G. Atwood, Hampton S. Beatie, Wm. Thorn, Dimick B. Huntington, Theodore McKean and Hosea Stout, members of the high Council.

            Elias Smith;, President of the High Priests' Quorum.

            Joseph Young, President of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies, and Levi W. Hancock, Henry Harriman, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates, and John Van Cott, members of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies.

            Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishop, Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little his counselors, if they will keep the Word of Wisdom.

            Benjamin L. Peart, President of the Elders' Quorum, Edward Davis and Abinadi Pratt, his counselors.

            Samuel G. Ladd, President of the Priests' Quorum; Wm. McLachlan and James Latham, his counselors.

            Adam Spiers, President of the Teachers' Quorum; Martin Lenzi and Henry I. Doremus, his counselors.

            James Leach, President of the Deacons' Quorum; Peter Johnson and Chas. S. Cram his counselors.

            Brigham Young, Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            Truman O. Angell, Architect for the Church.

            Daniel H. Wells, Superintendent of Public Works.

            Brigham Young, President of the Perpetual Emigration Fund to gather the poor; Geo. A. Smith, Daniel H. Wells, and Edward Hunter, his assistants for said fund.

            George A. Smith, Historian and General Church Recorder, and Wilford Woodruff, his assistant.

_____

SATURDAY AFTERNOON (concluded).

ELDER ERASTUS SNOW

            Alluded to the saying of Jesus "except ye are one, ye are none of mine." He spoke at some length on the necessity of the saints increasing in unity and in their efforts to develop home manufactures and to cease importing from abroad. This might be considered a hackneyed subject but the Lord will never allow His servants to be silent with regard to it until the people thoroughly understand it and are willing to take hold of it in the right way. Capital should not be viewed as individual property, but should be devoted to the building up of the Kingdom of God. Our young men should not feel above entering the workshop; and our young folks, male and female, should have a practical as well as a theoretical education. Co-operation as applied to merchandizing is but an initiatory step towards its universal adoption. Zion's Co-operative Institution is now purchasing woolen goods manufactured at the Deseret Mills. This is a step in the right direction. When people wear good home-made cloth and discover that one pair of pants suffices where they previously had to have two pairs, they will probably cease to import foreign goods.

ELDER LORENZO SNOW

            Spoke on the eternal nature of the Kingdom of God and the necessity of being planted on the rock of revelation.

ELDER JOSEPH YOUNG, SEN.

            My lungs are not so strong as they formerly were. The promise of Jesus was that "if any man will do my will he will know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself. For one I know his to be true. It is required of all men that they should be baptized for the remission of sins, and receive the Holy Ghost. This is part of the will of the Lord. If we are faithful God will take care of us.

            The choir and congregation sang: "The spirit of God like a fire is burning."

            Prayer by President Geo. A. Smith.

_____

[8 May, 10 am]

[DNW 19:162, 5/11/70, p 6]

SUNDAY, 10 a.m.

            The choir sang: "O God, thou good, thou great, thou wise."

            Prayer by Elder John Taylor. The choir sang: "How beauteous are their feet."

PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH.

            A very pleasant feature of our assembling here and one that is noticed by nearly every visitor, is our music. The material of which our grand organ is composed has been almost entirely obtained in these mountains, and it has been constructed by our own brethren. For one I sincerely thank our brethren and sisters who have labored to attain to a sufficient knowledge of music so as to make it an important part of our worship. Our door keepers are deserving of our thanks for the way in which they have attended to their duties. It is gratifying to know that this building is so constructed as to be emptied of an assembly of twelve thousand persons in three minutes.

            I have been asked by some of the brethren whether it would not be well for them to devote their time in discovering and developing gold mines in our Territory. Hitherto such pursuits have not proved advantageous to the brethren who have engaged in them. They can occupy themselves to better advantage by devoting themselves to agriculture and manufacture, in preference to mining. As soon as consistent, it is our intention to enter into the manufacture of Iron.

            I wish to notify the brethren that most of the land in their localities either has been or is being surveyed and is being made subject to entry. I advise them not to loose any time in obtaining the United States titles to their lands. It is advisable that all new comers should take steps to obtain their citizenship papers.

            Our country is capable of sustaining a large silk production; therefore this branch of industry should not be neglected. It has been remarked by Chief Justice Wilson that the culture of hope would prove a profitable trade in this Territory. The people should not neglect the culture of the peach. Let all the brethren leave off chewing to bacco and drinking hot drinks that our posterity may not inherit our weaknesses. It is the business of the Latter-day Saints to reclaim humanity from disease. Let the Saints be satisfied in wearing clothing made by themselves. Let those settlements that have not already done so obtain libraries, that we may obey revelation in obtaining knowledge from good books. The work continues to roll and will roll till Zion is built up on this continent.

[Elder Joseph Young, Sen.]

            ELDER JOSEPH YOUNG, Sen., bore testimony to the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, and exhorted the Saints to faithfulness.

[Elder Charles C. Rich]

            ELDER CHARLES C. RICH spoke on the present as well as future benefits to be derived from a practical application of the principles of the gospel in this life.

[Elder Franklin D. Richards]

            ELDER FRANKLIN D. RICHARDS delivered an interesting discourse on the great causes for the gratitude of the Saints, to the Almighty, the nature of the power bestowed by God on His elders, and the difference betwixt the spirit of the world and that possessed by the Saints.

            ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON read the names of the following brethren, as having been called to go on missions:

P. C. Thomassen
Peter Brown, of Coalville,
Joseph Bean, 11th Ward,
Peter Madsen, Provo
Richard Smith,
Francis Fouk,
Thomas W. Ellerbeck,
Caleb Parry
DAniel McAllister,
Thomas Woolley, Pleasant Grove.

ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON.

            I have had peculiar reflections in witnessing the spirit of infidelity in the world, in seeing men who were once numbered among us calling light darkness and darkness light. Probably there never was a generation more inclined to yield to the spirit of infidelity than the present one. When men entertain the idea or believe that God is the same yesterday, to-day and forever, they are considered fanatical. Where is faith to be found? Go to any of the religious sects and enquire of them whether God is a God of revelation today, and they will inform you that He is not. They are united in this belief. This is infidelity. No wonder that men are divided and that sects are multiplied. How is it with those who have tasted of the good word of God and turned away and denied that which they have received? how great is the infidelity of such? They are like persons who, seeing the sun shine, say there is no light, and, tasting something which is sweet, call it bitter. When the light within a man becomes darkness, how great is that darkness! Such falling away from the grace of God is caused by the withdrawal of the good spirit of God. No person will abandon the truth unless he does something to cause the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit. No matter what may be the standing of men; they may even have had the Heavens opened to them, but if they do wickedly they will deny the faith. We ought therefore to be careful how we conduct ourselves. May God bless you all. Amen.

            The choir sung "Jerusalem y Glorious Home."

            Prayer by Elder Brigham Young, Jun.

_____

[8 May, 2 pm]

[DNW 19:162, 5/11/70, p 6]

SUNDAY, 2 p. m.

            The choir sung: "Sweet is the work, my God, my King."

            Prayer by Elder Orson Pratt.

            The choir sang: "Arise, my soul, arise."

            The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered to the congregation.

ELDER BRIGHAM YOUNG, JR.

            There are thousands of people in Europe and on the islands of the sea who are anxious to be gathered to these valleys. Many people who have gathered here, who were assisted to emigrate by their brethren, and who left, with those from whom they borrowed means, their written obligations to refund the money as soon as possible. A great deal of indebtedness of this kind remains yet unpaid. It is a gross wrong on the part of those thus indebted to delay the gathering of those who assisted them by keeping from the m the means that rightly belongs to them. It is impossible for any to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord who thus forsake those who have substantially blessed them. Who are the enemies of this people? They are the enemies of God; for they are our enemies, because we are determined to serve God. A few have told the truth concerning us, as far as they knew it, but the many have spoken evil against us falsely.

            Elder Young then read the 6th chapter of Daniel, from the 1st to the 26th verse. After which he sat down, as the passage which he read was a sermon of itself, and spoke volumes. No one could fail to see its applicability to the present situation of the Latter-day Saints.

ELDER JOSEPH F. SMITH.

            We believe in the atonement and resurrection of Christ and if we are obedient to the laws of God we shall arise and be like him. All who have once been connected with the Church and now deny this, have apostatized and denied the faith. Should the world be arrayed against us to prevent our obeying the commands of God, there is but one alternative for the Latter-day Saints, that is to obey God rather than man. We will continue to preach Christ and Him crucified and Joseph and him martyred for the truth. I know that the power to unite on the earth for time and eternity has been revealed for the salvation of man. On the reception of this principle depends the power of eternal increase in the world to come, without which the future, to the mind of man, is but a blank.

PRESIDENT GEO. A. SMITH.

            Let every Saint us his and her influence in having the Sabbath remembered that it may be kept holy. Also let us remember our fast days; remember our fast offerings to feed the hungry. It has been plainly manifested in all apostacies that they have resulted from a violation of the laws of God. They who defile the temple of God will deny the faith. When a man corrupts his way before the Lord, he denies the faith, and is soon found among those who would shed the blood of the Lord's anointed. The sin of shedding the blood of innocence is one of the hardest to wash out. Never get alarmed and jump out of the good ship Zion; stick to it and you will come safely to port.

[President Brigham Young]

            PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG spoke upon the blessings that have accrued to the Latter-day Saints, from being thrown upon their own resources, upon infidelity, the personality of God and upon Celestial Marriage. His remarks were eloquent and encouraging. They will, in a short time, be published in full.

[Brigham Young]

[DNW 19:223, 6/15/70, p 7; JD 14:37]

DISCOURSE

By President BRIGHAM YOUNG, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, May 8th, 1870.

____

[REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.]

_____

      We have now been together in a Conference capacity for four days. It seems a very short time; we would like to stay a little longer, if it were prudent. This is the place to give general instruction to the Latter-day Saints. It is good when the Saints meet together to look at each other, to hear the brethren bear testimony of the truth and to feel the fellowship of the Holy Ghost. This makes our hearts joyful and glad. It will be prudent for us now to bring our Conference to a close, and, after I have spent a few minutes in speaking, we shall adjourn until the 6th of next October, at ten o'clock in the morning, at this place.

      There are many things which we would like to talk about; I would like to do a great deal of talking if I had the opportunity and were able to do so. There are many little items pertaining to what are called temporal matters, which it would be well for the people to understand in order to promote their happiness here on the earth and to aid them in securing eternal salvation. It is not those who are bearers of the word only who are blessed and who secure to themselves the blessings of eternal life; they who secure eternal life are doers of the word as well as hearers. If we hear the word and do not perform the labors indicated by it, it will profit us noticing. To hear the word, as the Latter-day Saints do, and then to perform the labor devolving upon them, requires a great deal of wisdom; and to bring the people up to this standard much labor and instruction from the Elders is necessary.

      If we can remember what we have heard at this Conference, and carry it out in our lives, it will profit us. I hope and trust that we may. Let us apply our hearts to the wisdom that has been exhibited before, the Conference, and observe the little duties of every-day life, that we may be prepared to receive more. It is not possible for a person to learn all the will of God in an hour, a day, or a week; it requires much time and attention to do this. The Lord gives a little here and a little there, a precept now and a precept again, and by close observance of these things in our lives we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth.

      We are thankful for the privilege of talking a little. We ought all to be very thankful that we have the privilege of the Gospel and of the ordinances of the house of God, for by applying them to the duties of life we can increase in knowledge, wisdom and understanding. We are thankful to see the increase that there is in the midst of the people.

      You very well know that it is said by many of those who wish to traduce the character of the Latter-day Saints that we are a poor, miserable, ignorant people. If we are, there is a great chance for improvement. We will acknowledge that we are very ignorant, and that the Lord has taken the weak things of the world to confound the wisdom of the wise. He has picked up the poor of the earth and brought them together, because they seek after him; while the hearts of the rich and the proud, the high and the noble, are lifted up, and they cannot hearken to the principles of the Gospel and receive them and obey them. They feel themselves too good; they know too much; while the poor and needy, those who suffer from hunger and nakedness, and from hard labor and taskmasters, are the ones who naturally seek after the Lord. The Lord is just as willing to bless and to pour out his Spirit upon the king on the throne as upon the beggar in the street; but the king has sufficient—he does not feel after the Lord; but the beggar cries unto the Lord for his daily bread. Hence the Lord gathers the poor. When we are gathered together, if we will improve ourselves by and by we will be filled with wisdom.

      When we look at the Latter-day Saints and remember that they have been taken from the coal pits, from the ironworks, from the streets, from the kitchens and from the barns and factories and from hard service in the countries where they formerly lived, we cannot wonder at their ignorance. But when they are brought together they soon become scholars. Many of them become farmers and merchants, and they soon learn to procure a sustenance for themselves and families, and gather around them the necessaries and comforts of life. They also learn the object of their being, of the creation of the earth, and how to organize the elements so as to subserve their own wants and necessities. This is a blessing, and we are proud to see the industry of the Latter-day Saints, and also their improvements and faithfulness. If we are ignorant, let us become wise; if we are poor, let us gather around us the comforts of life. I look around among my brethren and I see scholars. The world say we are ignorant; we acknowledge it, but we are not as ignorant as they are, although they have had opportunities of education perhaps that many of our brethren have not had. We study from the great book of nature. We are driven to this of necessity Where is there another people who have done what this people have done in these mountains, by way of making improvements in their own midst—upon the soil and in their cities and towns. They are not to be found on the face of the earth. If this is not intelligence—if this is not good, hard, sound sense, I wish somebody would come and teach us a little. If we are taken from the poor, ignorant, low and degraded, and make ourselves wise and happy, it is a credit to us.

      There are causes for this which some may not have thought about. I often think of them. You take, for instance, a father, who has, say, four, ten or twelve sons. He may have abundance to dispose of to each and every one; but he dislikes some particular one, and perhaps feeds and clothes eleven, but the twelfth, whom he hates and despises, he turns out of doors to provide for himself. This one son goes forth weeping, and says, "I am forsaken of my father and his house; now I have to look after myself. I have the earth before me; I have to live; I do not want to kill myself, and as I have lite before me I certainly must make my own future. I will go to work and accumulate a little of something, so that I can purchase me a piece of land. When it is purchased I will put improvements upon it. I will build me a house; I will fence my farm; I will set off my orchard and plant out my garden; and I will gather around me my horses, my cattle, my wagons and carriages, and I will get me a family." Pretty soon here is a boy who knows how to live as well as his father does. How is it with the rest of the family? They are led and clothed by their Father; they know not where it comes from nor how it is obtained, and they scarcely know their right hand from their left with regard to the things of the world.

      This illustrates the history of this people. We have been under the necessity of learning every art—to cultivate the soil and how to provide for our own wants under the most adverse circumstances. We have been compelled to do this or go without, for none would do it for us. We have been forced to study mechanism, all kinds of machinery, how to build, and how to provide and take care of ourselves in every respect I thank the parent and the boys for turning us out of doors. Why? Because it has thrown us on our own resources, and taught us to provide for ourselves. We have a future before us, and God will take care of us. In my meditations I say, "Shall I complain of father? No. I will not complain at all, he has done the best he could for me, though he knew it not. If he had made my house, opened my farm, planted my orchard, seen to my planting and ploughing as well as the gathering; and then had brought my food to my chamber and appointed a servant to feed me, what should I have known about, getting my living? How could I have known anything about raising fruit or anything else? I could not have known. I might read books until Doomsday, and unless I apply the knowledge thus obtained I should know but little." Without the application of knowledge acquired by reading, it makes mere machines of us; we can tell what others have done, but we know nothing ourselves. Then speak evil of no man, and acknowledge that it has been a blessing to us to be cast aside and compelled to take care of ourselves.

      When we left our homes in the East and started for the Rocky Mountains the feeling in regard to us was, "There is starvation before you Mormons; but if you do not die of starvation the Indians will kill you." We knew that they would do no such thing; we knew that we could live when we got here, and we also knew that we could travel twelve or fourteen hundred miles with our cows, calves, colts, lame cattle, our seed grain and provisions and farming utensils on wagons, carts and handcarts, without an ounce of iron on some of them. It was said that we could raise nothing when we got here; but I said, "We will wait and see; we know that God has led us out here, and we will wait and see what he will do for us." You can see what he has done, and thank his name and be humble. Shall we speak evil of others? No. Why? Because the result of their treatment towards us has made us better and greater than we could have been otherwise. It has brought us closer together than we could possibly have come without a great deal more revelation than we have had. Our enemies have pushed us together; and it is excellent to be surrounded by circumstances that will bring us close together. We learn then whether we have fellowship one for another. Let us thank God, and speak evil of none; and instead of finding fault with father, let us thank him for turning us out of doors, for we have learned a great many useful lessons in life that we could not have learned without. We can read just as much as the inhabitants of the earth, and after reading we can practice a thousand times more than many of them.

      I wish now to say a few words in relation to a subject which is attracting the attention of thousands of people in the world. I refer to what is termed infidelity. We are very well aware that a statement made in reference to this matter in this Conference is true—namely, that the inhabitants of the earth are drifting, as fast as time can roll, to infidelity. I do not profess to know a great deal; but some things I do know. Shall I take the liberty of telling you the story of the boy who went to the mill? He was looking at the miller's hogs, which were very fat, clean and fine. The miller came out, and, seeing the boy attentively observing the pigs, said to him, "What are you thinking about?" Said the boy, "I was thinking that millers have fat hogs." "Were you thinking of anything else?" said the miller. "Yes." "What was it?" "I do not know whose grain they are fed on," said the boy. I take the liberty of telling this story for illustration. Some things I do know and some I do not know; if I do not know whose grain the pigs eat, I do know that there are some fat hogs.

      What shall I say with regard to infidelity? I do not know a great deal, but I say that a man has not good common sense who denies his Maker; such a man is not endowed with reasoning powers. I hold this book in my hand, and I say that for its production from the crude element it required a type founder, paper maker, printer and a book binder, and by their united exertions the book was made. But the infidel bases his argument on the principle that the book is here without a producer—that no type founder, paper maker, printer, nor bookbinder was necessary. Is not a man who argues on this principle a feel? If he is not he comes pretty near it.

      There are a great many who say that there is no embodiment of the Deity. Our Christian brethren almost deny the existence of a God; but it is in word only; they do not feel it in their hearts, they do not mean any such thing. They are like the people of whom Paul speaks, who had temples reared to the unknown God. The Christians do not know anything about God, neither does the infidel. The Christian world say, "We believe in a God who has no body." You do not believe in anything of the sort, Christian world! You think you believe it, but it is only tradition with you. Your fathers told you that God has no body; the priests told them; the schoolmasters have joined in the endorsement of the same ridiculous idea; it is also written in your church creeds; but, when you let common sense have place in your hearts, you do not believe in any such nonentity or nondescript as a God without body, parts or passions.

      But foolish and absurd as is such an idea, it is not so ridiculous as that of the infidel. The Christian world, while virtually declaring that God is nothing, also declare that the world was created by him; but the infidel says the world had no creator, it is the result of chance. Now I defy any infidel, or any other person on the face of the earth, to prove that anything can be made or exist without a maker. The world and all its various grades of organized denizens, from the lowest forms of vegetable or animal life, up to man, the lord of creation, were framed and made, or they would not have been here.

      I just want to say with regard to infidelity, it means nothing more nor less than to disbelieve anything we have a mind to. If we disbelieve in the existence of the Eternal, as an embodiment or personage, we are infidel on that point. If we disbelieve in the efficacy of the blood of the Savior and his atonement, we are infidels on that subject. I wish to say, however, to the Christian world, that the moment the atonement of the Savior is done away, that moment, at one sweep, the hopes of salvation entertained by the Christian world are destroyed, the foundation of their faith is taken away, and there is nothing left for them to stand upon. When this is gone all the revelations God ever gave to the Jewish nation, to the Gentiles and to us are rendered valueless, and all hope is taken from us at one sweep.

      What proof have you, Infidels, that Jesus is not the Christ? What proof have you of the negative of the existence of God the Father, or of Jesus as the Mediator, or of the Holy Ghost as God's minister, or of the gifts and graces that God has bestowed upon his people? None at all, not the least thing in the world. Is there anybody living on the earth that has the proof of the affirmative? Yes; we have. We have proof that God lives and that he has a body; that he has eyes, and ears to hear; that he has arms, hands and feet; that he can walk and does walk. He has declared himself to be a man of war—Jehovah, the great I Am, the Lord Almighty, and many other titles of a like import are used in reference to him in the Scriptures. But take away the atonement of the Son of God and the Scriptures fall useless to the ground.

      How is it, Infidel, have you any proof that Jesus did not die for the sins of the world? No; not the least, any more than you have proof that there was no need to go to the mountains to cut the timber used in building this house, or to quarry the rock of which the pillars of this house are composed. How is it, Mr. Infidel, have you any proof of the non-existence of Him who rules and reigns in heaven, and who controls the destinies of the earth? No; not the least. But you say, "I do not believe it." That is your affair only, nobody cares about that.

      Infidelity extends to other subjects besides the existence of God and the atonement of the Savior. Some are infidel on one point and some on another. I want to say that so far as a God without a body, parts and passions is concerned, I am a complete infidel. The God whom I serve has got eyes, ears, nose and mouth. He has hands to handle; his footsteps are seen in the midst of his people, and his goings forth among the nations; and he who has the Spirit of the Almighty can see the providences of God and behold his ways. I ask the infidel if he has any proof that I do not enjoy that Spirit? I have proof that I do. What is that proof. The peace, light and intelligence that I enjoy, which I have not obtained from the infidel, from reading books, from going to school, nor from studying the wisdom of any man that ever lived on the face of the earth. "Where did you obtain it?" says the infidel. From heaven, from the fountain of light and intelligence. "Where is your wisdom?" again says the infidel. Here, right before me, teaching the people how to be saved, how to live, and to live with each other; how to improve their minds; how to govern and control themselves. It was so with Joseph Smith, in his day. So it is to-day; how else could it be done? Who can gather rite people from the nations in their poverty and ignorance and fill them with light and intelligence, teach them how to live, what the earth is and what it is for, make them understand that God is our father, Jesus the Mediator, and that we belong to the highest intelligence that there is in existence, and that we are the natural offspring of God the Father? God only can do this Yet the infidel will say there is no God, that we are creatures of to-day that we had no existence before this, and that when this is over there is nothing after. And following down the chain of his reasoning, he will say there was a time when there was no earth, no stars, no worlds, no anything. Well, I know there never was such a time. That is faith against faith, declaration against declaration. What a pitiful condition it would be for all space to contain nothing! To suppose that element, worlds, men, the grass of the fields, or the trees of the forest were created, is all folly! They are from eternity. It is equally vain to imagine space empty! There is no space without a kingdom, neither is there any kingdom without space, and they are from everlasting to everlasting. "How do you know it?" asks the unbeliever. By the revelations of God, by the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ. "How do you know how to teach the people to control themselves and make them of one heart and one mind?" By the revelations of the Lord. Well, then, I guess we will sing and pray and serve our God and keep his commandments; and I rather think that Zion will prosper. That is my opinion.

      While the chapter from the prophecies of Daniel was being read, showing the plans and schemes of those who sought to entrap Daniel, and their miserable end, I was thinking how wise (!) men were in those days. How wise were those great captains, counselors and presidents! Could they not foresee that they could not overthrow Daniel? No, they could see no further than to believe that if the King would sign the decree that no petition should be presented to any potentate, on, above, or around about the earth, but to himself, for the space of thirty days, they would entrap and destroy Daniel. What was the result? Just as quick as they commenced their special legislation against Daniel the Lord commenced special legislation for him and against those who got him into the lion's den. The final result was that Daniel lodged with the lions over night and came out unscathed, not injured in the least; the lions lay there peaceable when the stone was rolled away, and those who had caused him to be thrust there were condemned to take the place he left, and the lions devoured them. they could not foresee what Daniel could; he could have foretold their destiny, and that the legislation of the Lord Almighty would be a little above the special legislation of which they were the authors against him.

      Brethren and sisters, will you keep the Word of Wisdom, say your prayers, observe the Sabbath, speak evil of no man, and strive to be humble and faithful in all things? It you will, we shall be one by and by; we are not yet. We must overcome the love of the world. He that hath the love of the world hath not the love of the Father. He that loves the things of the world loves not the kingdom of heaven on the earth. Whosoever serves mammon cannot serve God. We must let these things go out of our affections, then lay hold of the principles of eternal life and sustain the kingdom of God on the earth, or else we shall go by the board. If we jump over, we shall certainly sink, and if we stay aboard Zion's ship, we can do no more than sink, and it will be just as well if Zion's ship sink to be aboard as to jump overboard and sink. We had better stay aboard, she may go into harbor; and I can promise you in the name of Israel's God that she will go there safe and carry every one of her passengers. Will we be humble and faithful? I trust we will. I hope—I pray you, brethren and sisters, let us be humble, be faithful to our God, our religion, and each other.

      I will say a few words on a subject which has been mentioned here—that is, celestial marriage. God has given a revelation to seal for time and for eternity, just as he did in days of old. In our own days he has commanded his people to receive the New and Everlasting Covenant, and he has said, "If ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned." We have received it. What is the result of it? I look at the world, or that small portion of it which believes in monogamy. It is only a small portion of the human family who do believe in it, for from nine to ten of the twelve hundred millions that live on the earth believe in and practice polygamy. Well, what is the result? Right in our land the doctrine and practice of plurality of wives tend to the preservation of life. Do you know it? Do you see it? What is our duty? To preserve life or destroy it? Can any of you answer? Why yes, it is to perpetuate and preserve life. But what principle do we see prevailing in our own land? What is that of which, in the East, West, North and South, ministers in their pulpits complain, and against which both gentlemen and ladies lecture? It is against taking life. They say, "Cease the destruction of pre-natal life!" Our doctrine and practice make and preserve life; theirs destroy it. Which is the best, saying nothing about revelation, which is the best in a moral point of view, to preserve or to destroy the life which God designs to bring upon the earth. Just look at it and decide for yourselves.

      This house is very large, but as a general thing the people bare been very attentive, and they have tried to keep as still as possible. Still, I believe they can improve a little. I think that many of our sisters who have children can stay nearer the doors, and then, if they cannot prevent their children crying, they can step out. I do believe they can stop their whispering. When there is anything said from this Stand that pleases or displeases you, you turn to your neighbor and whisper, and the next one does the same, and directly there are a few thousand whispering, creating a noise like the rushing of many waters. Then you scrape your feet a little, and the many little noises are like the dust that composes the mountains and the whole earth. Every person should be silent when we meet here to worship God. Remember and try to keep perfectly quiet, and do not whisper, talk, nor scrape your feet; and do not let your children cry if you can help it. Twenty years ago I used to tell you that you might pinch your children to make them cry as loud as they could if you wished, and I could preach louder than they could cry. I could do it then, but now I want all to keep still.

      I trust we shall long have the privilege of enjoying this shade which we have built; it is a cover from the burning sun in summer; and when the storm of rain comes this umbrella will shelter us. I perceive that, in the gallery, there is a little more heat now than before; we shall open the ventilators and put in some skylights, then I think it will be as cool as in the past.

      Brethren and sisters, I feel to bless you. I ask my Father in heaven to bless the Saints, to bless every quorum and organization of his kingdom, from the First Presidency down to the last organization to promote good in the midst of his people. I pray continually for the Bishops, presiding Elders, High Councillors, and the Female Relief Societies. I will bless you, my sisters, if you will hearken to the counsel which has been given you with regard to these fashions. Then, to my brethren, I say, I will bless you, if you will seek a little closer to sustain yourselves, by preserving and wisely using that which the Lord gives you, and not suffer your cattle and sheep to die on the prairies, but preserve them, that we may have the wherewithal to supply ourselves with the necessaries of life, by raising sheep, building factories, raising flax, the mulberry and silk and other things useful. I do not care how beautifully you are adorned, ladies, if you will only raise the silk and adorn yourselves with your own hands. That is the requirement of heaven. It was so almost forty years ago. The word of the Lord to his Saints then was, "Let the beauty of your apparel be the beauty of the work of your own hands." If you will observe this, adorn yourselves as much as you please. Make your hats and bonnets, and also make hats for your brothers and sons. It is your duty to do it. Preserve that that the Lord has given you, and waste nothing. I can say to the Latter-day Saints that there is no man nor woman, person or persons, but what I would rather feed, clothe, and sustain than to see a particle wasted in the midst of my family or this people. God does not like it, his Spirit is grieved with it. Idleness and wastefulness are not according to the rules of heaven. Preserve all you can, that you may have abundance to bless your friends and your enemies, as we did in '49, '50 and '61. In those years we fed thousands and thousands of poor, starving emigrants, who had gold so big in their eyes that, when they started for the Plains, they did not know whether they had anything to eat or not. By our instrumentality they were fed and sent on their way rejoicing. If we take the counsel now given we shall have abundance to bless our enemies if it be necessary. Shall we say that we have any? Yes, there are those who would delight to be our enemies if they knew how; but they do not know how. I do not suppose that there was a greater enemy to the Savior, when he was on the earth, than the devil. How he did plead with the Savior to worship him! Said he, "I will give you all you can see, if you will fall down and worship me." But Jesus rebuked him. Yet the devil hunted and followed up Jews and Gentiles, that is, the Romans, until they betrayed the Redeemer into the hands of his enemies, who crucified him, and in doing that they consummated the great act for the salvation of the human family, which will cheat the devil out of pretty much all of them, one way or the other. If he had had any good sense about him—but he was as short of that as the infidels in our day—he would have said, "I am with you, I will go with you, pay your taxes, and will make you welcome to my house." But no, the devil and his followers did not know enough to do this, neither do our enemies, and thank God for it!

      Again I say, I feel to bless my brethren and sisters—every quorum, every authority; our brethren and sisters who have sung for us, or played on the organ. I thank you, doorkeepers, and you who have waited on the congregation, and I say God bless you, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I bless the whole house of Israel. I pray for the redemption of the centre stake of Zion, and the upbuilding thereof. It is before us continually in our faith, and I hope that we shall live to see it. Amen.

 

            Conference adjourned till the 6th of October next, to meet in the New Tabernacle.

            The choir, joined by the congregation, sang: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."

            Benediction by President George A. Smith.

            There are but few, if any, sights more grand, or more calculated to inspire sublime emotions and a high sense of the power of the Omnipotent Jehovah, than a vast multitude of people assembled for divine worship. Such a spectacle has been presented in the New Tabernacle during Conference. The huge building, at nearly all of the meetings, was filled in every part. At each meeting, before the people were fairly seated and called to order, the murmuring noise of the voices of the great assembly sounded, as aptly remarked by President Young, like the rushing of many waters or the roaring of the sea.

            The spirit and power of God were abundantly manifested at conference. And such an immense gathering of the Latter-day Saints and the feeling of unity that prevailed among them must have thrown a damper on those who have been so lavish in their prognostications of the downfall of the Kingdom of God. We are safe in saying that the Saints never felt more like adhering to the good ship Zion and sustaining the Lord's anointed than they do now.

            The singing of the choir and the music of the grand Organ were interesting features of the Conference.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference

_____

 

6-9 Oct 1870, 40th Semi-Annual General Conference.
[Deseret News Weekly 19:417-420, 10/12/70, p 5-8; Millennial Star 32:684, 698, 705, 721]

[6 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 19:417-418, 10/12/70, p 5-6]

FORTIETH SEMI-ANNUAL CONFERENCE

OF THE

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS

_____

THE Fortieth Semi-Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convened on this the sixth day of October, at 10 o'clock a.m., in the New Tabernacle.

            On the stand were:

Of the First Presidency:

            Brigham Young, Geo. A. Smith and Daniel H. Wells.

Of the Twelve Apostles:

            Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Geo. Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, jr., Joseph F. Smith and Albert Carrington.

Patriarch:

            John Smith.

Of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies:

            Joseph Young, Albert P. Rockwood, Jacob Gates and John Van Cott.

Of the Presidency of the High Priests' Quorum:

            Elias Smith.

Of the Presidency of this Stake of Zion:

            George B. Wallace and John T. Caine.

Of the Presidency of the bishopric:

            Edward Hunter, Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little.

            There were also Bishops, Elders and leading men from every settlement in the Territory.

            Conference was called to order by President Brigham Young.

            The choir sang: "Lord, we come before Thee now."

            Prayer by Elder Albert Carrington.

            The choir sang: "Great God, indulge my humble claim."

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Addressed the Conference. His instructions were practical and pointed, showing that to truly worship God is to perform well our duties in every position we may be placed in. He exhorted the people to pay diligent attention to the instructions that would be given during Conference, and practically carry them out. His remarks were reported in full and will shortly be published.

[Brigham Young]

[DNW 19:442, 10/26/70, p 6; JD 13:260]

REMARKS

By President BRIGHAM YOUNG, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 6th 1870.

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

_____

      As we have met in the capacity of a General Conference, we shall expect to hear instructions from the Elders pertaining to the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth This is our calling, this is the labor devolving upon us, and it should occupy our attention day by day from morning until evening and from week to week; in fact, we have no other calling or business, and if we are humble and faithful, God will strengthen us and increase our ability and give us power sufficient to accomplish the tasks devolving upon us in the performance of His work.

      The oracles of truth are delivered; men have been called and ordained; the gifts and graces of the Gospel are restored; the kingdom is organized; it is committed to the servants of the Lord, and if we are faithful we shall bear it off; we will establish it and make it firm in the earth, no more to be interrupted or removed, and the teachings that we shall hear will be pertaining to our spiritual and temporal labors in this kingdom. With God, and also with those who understand the principles of life and salvation, the Priesthood, the oracles of truth and the gifts and callings of God to the children of men, there is no difference in spiritual and temporal labors—all are one. If I am in the line of my duty, I am doing the will of God, whether I am preaching, praying, laboring with my hands for an honorable support; whether I am in the field, mechanic's shop, or following mercantile business, or wherever duty calls, I am serving God as much in one place as another; and so it is with all, each in his place, turn and time. Consequently our teachings during Conference will be to instruct the people how to live and order their lives before the Lord and each other; how to accomplish the work devolving upon them in building up Zion on the earth. To accomplish this will require steady faith and firm determination, and we come together in this capacity that our faith and determination may be increased and strengthened. When we have spent three, four or five days together in giving instruction, we shall only just have commenced to instruct the people; and when we have spent a lifetime in learning and dispensing what we do learn to our fellow beings, we have only commenced in the career of intelligence. Our faith and prayers, the ordinances that we attend to, our assembling ourselves together, our dispersing after attending to the business of life, in our schools, all our educational pursuits are in the service of God, for all these labors are to establish truth on the earth, and that we may increase in knowledge, wisdom, understanding in the power of faith and in the wisdom of God, that we may become fit subjects to dwell in a higher state of existence and intelligence than we now enjoy. We can attain to this only by adding faith to faith, knowledge to knowledge, temperance to temperance, patience to patience, and godliness to godliness, and so increasing in the principles of happiness and salvation.

      We shall call upon the Elders to speak to the congregation as they assemble here from day to day, and I hope and trust that the brethren and sisters will treasure up in their hearts the instructions that they receive, and that they will carry them out in their lives. This Sunday religion that a great many of our Christian brethren believe in and practice, when their every-day life is spent in selfishness and for self-aggrandizement, will not do for the Latter-day Saints; with us Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday must be spent to the glory of God, as much as Sunday, or we shall come short of the object of our pursuit. Consequently we must pay attention to the things that we hear, and to the principles of the religion that we have embraced in our faith, and seek diligently to break up the prejudices and prepossessed notions and feelings that have woven themselves around us through the traditions of the fathers, and endeavor to know and understand as God knows, that we may do His will. Our traditions are so firmly fixed in our feelings that it is almost impossible to rise above, over-ride, or get rid of them; they cling to us like the affections of tender friends. But we must learn to know the will of God and do it, and let our traditions go, then we shall be blessed.

      There are many things that we should understand with regard to ourselves and our children; and when the mind opens upon the vision of life by the spirit of revelation, there is not a person but what can see the eternity of teaching yet to be imparted to the Saints.

      I trust that we shall be edified and rejoice together, and shall return from this place strengthened and confirmed in our faith and hopes, feeling that steadiness of nerve, by the spirit of revelation, that we shall not be wafted to and fro, imagining a thousand things incorrect, and pass by those doctrines and truths that are calculated to exalt the human family.

 

ELDER ORSON HYDE.

            The Lord is perfectly capable of taking care of his people. I know that the work we are engaged in is true, and the opposition of the world can never extinguish this testimony from the hearts of the faithful Saints. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and that he faithfully laid the foundation of this great work. I also know that President Brigham Young is his true and legal successor, and that under his direction the Saints have prospered and flourished. There may be some who murmur because he does not give revelations with "thus saith the Lord," but he who cannot see the voice of God in the dictations of the Holy Spirit to His servant Brigham must be blind indeed. In relation to the late discussion on the system of plural marriage, I do not know that the perusal of the arguments used made any difference to my feelings or views for, although the scriptures are replete with evidences to sustain the position of the Saints in that matter, yet we have a more sure word of prophecy unto which we would do well to take heed. Elder Hyde continued to speak for some time on the designs of the Almighty and showed that the great plan of salvation for the human family is not only applicable to those who live on the earth during a dispensation of the gospel to man, but the plan of redemption can be offered to, and received by those who have died without a knowledge of its principles, and that the labors of the servants of God do not cease here but become even more extended behind the ail. He wound up by bearing a powerful testimony to the final triumph of the Saints and the discomfiture of their enemies.

PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH.

            We should be prepared to receive instructions that the spirit of our Heavenly Father may be with us. The path of Zion has been one of great difficulties, but there is a saying, "the fiercer the battle the greater the victory." Some people try to make themselves acceptable both to the righteous and the wicked. The fate of such is darkness inevitably, as the records of the past show. I have lately devoted some little time to examining the fate of those who once belonged to the Church but who have left. The cause of their fall, in the first place, generally resulted from their infringing on the principles of righteousness. It is good to preach repentance at our Conferences, to tell the people to put away their follies. I am not simply a believer in this work, I have a knowledge of it. The Prophet Joseph was slain by the wicked after he had laid the foundation of the Church. The Lord, however, caused his inspiration to rest upon his servant Brigham. I consider it a great miracle that the Lord raised up a man who has miraculously led the Saints through difficulties, and over superhuman obstacles, to a place where they can enjoy peace, happiness and liberty I warn my brethren to be faithful that they may gain the reward of the righteous, which may God grant: Amen.

            The Parowan choir sang: "Praise ye the Lord!"

            Prayer by Elder John Taylor.

_____

[6 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 19:418, 10/12/70, p 6]

Thursday, 2. P. M.

            The choir sang: "Come all ye saints who dwell on earth."

            Prayer by Elder Orson Pratt.

            The Parowan choir sang: "Oh Lord! responsive to thy call."

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Requested the door keepers and those who are engaged in seating the congregation to see that a few seats be reserved in the front for the accommodation of strangers who may attend the Conference. He gave some texts to the brethren who would speak, unity of action, the necessity of overcoming our traditions, and the proper training and instruction of our children are subjects worthy the attention of those who may address the people. The building of the Temple might occupy a share of attention by the speakers. Those, however, who may not wish to preach to any of these texts can preach from them. The union of the sexes is also a subject which he would just as soon hear treated upon in this as in any other place. The Elders should never attempt to teach anything that they do not understand. There is scope enough without this. He delivered a very stirring and instructing discourse in which he showed that unless the people are inspired by the Spirit of God it will be impossible to serve the Almighty acceptably. He spoke on the nature of what is called the one-man power and other topics. A synopsis of his discourse would give but a very inadequate idea of it. It will shortly appear in the NEWS verbatim.

[Brigham Young]

[DNW 19:442, 10/26/70, p 6; JD 13:261]

REMARKS

By President BRIGHAM YOUNG, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 6th, 1870.

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

_____

      I have a request to make of the door-keepers and of those brethren who seat the congregation, as also of our sisters, some of whom, I see, are occupying a few of the seats that we usually reserve for strangers. We should be very much pleased if the sisters would fill up other parts of the house first, and we would like the brethren who seat the congregation, to see that the seats generally occupied by strangers are hold in reserve to-day until the meeting commences; then, if those for whom they are reserved do not come to fill them, they may be used by the sisters. I hope this will be recollected and observed.

      As our brethren of the Twelve will address us during the Conference, I feel like giving them a few texts to preach upon if they choose to do so. I should have no objection to hear them discourse upon union of action, or concentration of faith and action, or, as some call it, co-operation. That is one item. I would also like to hear them give instruction with regard to our traditions; instruction on this subject is necessary all the time. We must overcome them and adopt the rules laid down in revelation for the guidance of man's life here on the earth. If any of our brethren feel to speak upon this subject we should be very pleased to hear them; if they are not disposed to preach to the text, they may preach from it, as most ministers do. I have heard very few ministers preach to their texts, they generally preach from them.

      The education of our children is worthy of our attention, and the instruction of the Elders from this stand. It is a subject that should be thoroughly impressed upon the minds of parents and the rising generation; and those who wish to preach from this text may do so. And if they do not feel to preach to the text, they may preach from it.

      The subject of the building of the Temple is a very good one for occupying a portion of the time. The ordinances of the House of God are for the salvation of the human family. We are the only ones on the earth at the present time, that we have any knowledge of, who hold the keys of salvation committed to the children of men from the heavens by the Lord Almighty; and inasmuch as there are those who hold these keys, it is important that they should be acted upon for the salvation of the human family. The building of Temples, places in which the ordinances of salvation are administered, is necessary to carry out the plan of redemption, and it is a glorious subject upon which to address the Saints.

      The gathering of the House of Israel is another text upon which the brethren might address the Saints with profit. We are in the midst of Israel; they are also scattered among the nations of the earth. They are mixed with all nations, especially the tribe of Ephraim. These are to be gathered out. We have Israel in our midst; we live upon their land; we have communion with them and we are under the necessity of feeding and clothing them to a certain extent, and to preserve peace with them at present, until they come to a knowledge of the truth. I mean the Lamanites, the aborigines of our country. They are of the House of Israel.

      Not least nor last, but one subject that I would as soon hear treated upon in this house as in any other place, is the union of the sexes. We cannot go into any town or little village in the Territory but we find quite a large number of young people who have arrived at a marriageable age and still they remain single. But this can be accounted for to some extent. The young man says, "I dare not marry a wife, the fashions and customs of the world prevail among the ladies here to such a degree that I should need a fortune to maintain one." The young lady says, "I don't wish to marry unless I can find a husband who can take care of me and support me according to my idle wishes." By their acts only can people be judged, and from observing them we must conclude that the ideas of the young men are too true, they are founded in fact. This should be done away. Such feelings, views and influences should be dispelled from and broken up in the midst of the people. Our young men and women should consider their obligations to each other, to God, the earth, their parents, and to future generations for their salvation and exaltation among the Gods and for the glory of Him whom we serve. These are not idle tales, they are not fictions, but facts; and for a community, believing as we do, to live like the Gentile nations in these things is very incorrect. It is not according to our faith; we should put our faith into practice, and be willing to sustain ourselves, each and every one of us. Our young folks who have arrived at years of maturity should think and act for themselves. They are citizens of the earth; they have a share here, and have a part to bear—a character to form and frame and present to the world, or they will sink into oblivion and forgetfulness. These things are of importance to us at least, and especially in this nation, where many of the people are wasting away their lives, bartering away their very existence, and will hardly receive in return therefor a mess of pottage.

      The education of youth is an important text for the brethren to preach from. A very high value should be placed upon it by the Saints. We have the privilege of enjoying the spirit of revelation and the knowledge which comes from above, and in addition to this, every branch of education known in the world should be taught among and acquired by us. All the arts and sciences, and every branch of mechanism known and understood by man should be understood by this people. But no matter how much knowledge we may acquire in a worldly point of view, by study, unless the revelations of the Lord Jesus are dispensed to each and every individual, they cannot use or apply their acquirements to the best advantage. A man may know facts without revelation. The mathematician, for instance, may acquire a great amount of knowledge without any special revelation by the Spirit of the Lord to enlighten his mind; but still he will not know and understand what he might if he had applied his heart unto wisdom. So it is with all the sciences.

      These principles should be considered by this people. This is the place, brethren, to teach them. But I will give a caution to my brethren, the Elders—never undertake to teach a thing that you do not understand. Such things will come into your minds; but without launching out on such subjects, questions may be asked and answered, and we gain knowledge from each other. There is plenty within the scope of our own brains that, by the assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, will enable us to tell many things—more than the world or even more than the Saints can receive.

      Suppose a man should come here and tell you the very nature of our Father Adam—tell precisely how he was organized, his height, his proportions, the extent of his knowledge, tell you the agreement that was entered into, the amount of knowledge that he had to forgot to reduce himself to the capacity of a corruptible being! Suppose this could all be told to the congregations of the Saints, what would they know about it? Very little. There may be some minds which could grasp some things pertaining to it, but others could not. The spirit of revelation can reveal these things to the people, but unless they live so as to have the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, they will remain a mystery, for there is a vail before the minds of the people, and they cannot be understood. Some of these principles have been taught to the Latter-day Saints, but who can understand them?

      Brother Orson Hyde referred to a few who complained about not getting revelations. I will make a statement here that has been brought against me as a crime, perhaps, or as a fault in my life. Not here, I do not allude to anything of the kind in this place, but in the councils of the nations—that Brigham Young has said "when he sends forth his discourses to the world they may call them Scripture." I say now, when they are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible, and if you want to read revelation read the sayings of him who knows the mind of God, without any special command to one man to go here, and to another to go yonder, or to do this or that, or to go and settle here or there. In the early days of the Church, if a man was going to sell a farm he must have a revelation—Joseph must receive and give a revelation. Many men would not do one thing until God had given them a revelation through the prophet. It must be: "Thus saith the Lord, sell your farm, devote such a portion of your means to education, or printing, or for distributing knowledge to the world. Devote such a portion of your means to do this, and such a portion to do that." I have known a good many men in the early days of the Church who had property, that must have revelation to know what disposition to make of their substance; but who, when they received it, were sure not to strictly obey it. What did revelation do for such persons? Nothing but seal their condemnation. Why do the people want revelations to damn themselves?

      Give the mind of the Lord to this people here in this Conference, would they observe it? There is a few who would like to; but take some of those who are called Latter-day Saints, would they follow it if it were given them? I know they would not, still the Lord is merciful and forbearing and He bears with His people. He has borne with and blest us, to see if we would walk in the knowledge of the truth and yield strict obedience to His requirements.

      Poverty, persecution and oppression we have endured; many of us have suffered the loss of all things in a worldly point of view. Give us prosperity and see if we would bear it, and be willing to serve God. See if we would be as willing to sacrifice millions as we were to sacrifice what we had when in comparative poverty. Men of property, as a general thing, would not be. We know this, God knows it, and He has to treat us as unruly, disobedient, slow to think and slow to act—as a set of children.

      It has been said, time and time again, that if the people would live worthy of the great things God has in store for them, they are ready to come forth for their salvation and edification; but until we improve upon little things and hearken to the voice of the Lord in our first duties, He is not going to bestow the great mysteries of the invisible worlds upon us. We know too much already unless we do better. You may think I am complaining; well, I am just a trifle. I see the Latter-day Saints here and there going to destruction, apostatizing. "Oh," say they, "we have a little wealth, a little means," and in some instances that is leading them to destruction.

      These merchants that we have made rich, where are they? Those who are not in fellowship and some who are in fellowship with us? They are in our midst, but their feelings are, "We want more, we want your money, Latter-day Saints." Ask them to sacrifice their all and see what course they will take. When they came here they had not a wagon and did not own five dollars in the world; we have made them rich. Is there one in ten that would endure if we were to get a revelation for them to make a sacrifice of all they have? No, they would lift up their heels against the Almighty and His Anointed. Whether I am complaining or not, this is too true.

      Now, brethren, preach the things that we verily believe, and when we come to points of doctrine that we do not know, even if we have good reason to believe them, if our philosophy teaches us they are true, pass them by and teach only to the people that that we do know.

      You can know nothing of this Gospel short of the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ. If our Gospel, that we preach in this house and that the Elders of Israel teach, is hid to any man on earth, it is because he is lost. It is not hid to him whose eyes are open to the things of God; he understands it. When he hears the voice of the Good Shepherd, when he hears sound doctrine—that that comes from God, he knows it and receives it. Says he, "That is right, correct, that is congenial to my ears and sits smoothly and satisfactorily on my understanding. I like that doctrine because it is true. The reason we like "Mormonism" is because it is true. It is good; it embraces all the good there is in the sciences, and all that ever was revealed for the benefit of the children of men. There is no art beneficial to the human family but what, is incorporated in our religion. The only true philosophy ever revealed by God to man on this earth is comprised within and is part of our religion. It embraces the whole man and all. his talents and time while he lives here on the earth, and then will only prepare him, let him do his best, to enter a higher state of glory, where he will see that he is but just commencing to learn the things of God and the riches of eternity, to know and understand the life of those immortal beings who dwell in light and live in glory and who are surrounded with light, glory, immortality, and eternal lives, and live in accordance with the laws which control the Gods. When we have learned all that we can learn here by a close application in our lives to the faith which Jesus has unfolded, we shall see that we are then just commencing to learn, as it were; and when the spirit is reunited with the body we shall be prepared to enter into the joy of our Lord.

      A good deal is said about so much power being given to one man. What does man's power on the earth consist of? Of the influence he possesses. If a man have influence with God he has power with Him. Again, if he has influence with the people he has power with them; that is all the legitimate or righteous power man has. We have influence; God has given it to us, and the Latter-day Saints delight to place that confidence in us that is deserving, and the wicked world cannot help it. It may be a great pity in the estimation of a great many, but still the world cannot help it; and justice, mercy, truth, righteousness, love, and good will command this respect, and the worthy get it. We have heard considerable about "down with the one-man power!" All right, down with it! What is it and how are you going to get it down? When you get down the power of God, that which is called one-man power in the midst of the Latter-day Saints will fall, but not before! It is no more nor less than the concentration of the faith and action of the people. And this brings to my mind the facts that exist with regard to the faith of the Latter-day Saints.

      When we go into the world we find quite a portion of the people who belong to a class called Spiritualists. I do not know that I am right in styling them a class, but they aspire to be so considered. They would like to have it considered that "Mormonism" is nothing but Spiritualism; but it is temporalism as well as Spiritualism. A great many want to know the difference between the two. I will give one feature of the difference, and then set the whole scientific world to work to see if they can ever bring to bear the same feature in Spiritualism. Take all who are called Spiritualists and see if they can produce the order that is in the midst of this people. Here are system, order, organization, law, rule, and facts. Now see if they can produce any one of these features. They cannot. Why? Because their system is from beneath, while ours is perfect and is from above; one is from God, the other is from the devil, that is all the difference. Now see if the whole Spiritualist world can organize a community of six individuals who will agree for a year, that will not fall to pieces like a rope of sand. Now, Spiritualists, go to work, bring your science to bear and demonstrate the fact that you have a system if you can. We have demonstrated it to the world; it is manifest, it is before us, we see it, it is tangible, we can see its results, it has wrought wonders. See if they can do like this. If the kingdom of the devil can do like the kingdom of God on the earth, it is deserving of credit; but its members can only divide and subdivide, produce confusion on confusion, disorder following on the heels of disorder, one to the right, another to the left. another for the front, another for the rear, one pulling this way, another pulling that, sect against sect., people against people, community against community, politically, religiously, and I may say morally to a great extent; and I do not know but I might say scientifically, although the sciences agree better than the faith, feelings and imaginations of the people. Now try this, Spiritualists! This is a text for you; and when you have produced order, system and unity among the inhabitants of the earth we will look and see what more there is that we have that the world have not. I am not going into details at all, but I just mention this to see if the Spiritualists can systematize or organize anything. When they have done this it will be time enough to admit that they have some science; but until then we will say that Spiritualism is a mass of confusion, it is a body without parts and passions, principle or power, just like, I do not like to say it, but just like the so-called Christians' God. The creed of the so-called Christians represents that their God is without body, parts or passions; and it should be added, without principle or power, for the latter is the corollary of the former. When we see anything that has solidity and permanency, that produces good, that builds up, creates, organizes, sustains, and betters the condition of the people, we pronounce that good and from God; but when we see that that injures, hurts, destroys, produces confusion in a community, disturbance and discord, strife and animosity, hatefulness and bitter feelings one towards another, we at once pronounce it evil, and declare that it springs from beneath. All evil is from beneath, while all that is good is from God.

      I did not think to preach you a sermon when I commenced, but to call upon some of the brethren to do so. I have given them some texts, and they may preach to or from them, just as they please. Some of them will probably talk about organizing the kingdom of God on the earth, and so governing a community as to make them of one heart and one mind. I am prepared to prove to any sensible congregation, any good philosopher or thinking person or people, who have steady brain and nerve to look at things as they are, that can tell white from black and daylight from midnight darkness, that the closer the connection in a business point of view that a community hold themselves together, the greater will be their joy and wealth. I am prepared to prove, from all the facts that have existed or that now exist in all branches of human affairs, that union is strength, and that division is weakness and confusion.

      I do not know but I will advert once more to Spiritualism. Spiritualism is like Methodism and the sects of the day exactly, I mean so far as unity of faith or action is concerned. When I was a Methodist, as I was once, they said to me, "You may be baptized by immersion if you absolutely require it, but we do not believe in it, but we do believe in giving every person his choice." "Well," said I, "I believe in it. There are some things required in the doctrine of the Close Communion Baptists which I cannot subscribe to as well as to most of the principles that you hold in your catechisms, and in the tenets of your church, but," said I, "they believe in baptism by immersion, and I want to be baptized by immersion;" and finally they consented to baptize me, and did do it. So say the Spiritualists.

      Another one says, "I want to kneel down in the water and have the water poured on my head." Says the Methodist priest, "We don't believe in it, but you can have it done. It is no matter, one method of baptism, perhaps, is as good as another." So say the Spiritualists. Another one says, "I want to get down into the water and be baptized face foremost." "Well," says the priest, "we don't think it makes any difference, and if you really desire it, you may have the ordinance administered to you according to your wishes." So say the Spiritualists. Another one says, "I want to sit in my chair and have the minister dip his fingers into a bowl, and put it on my forehead, add call that baptism in the name of the Trinity, The Methodist says, "We will consent to that; it is just as good as anything else." So say the Spiritualists. Another one says he wants to kneel down in the water and have water poured on him. The priest consents to this also. So do the Spiritualists. Why do I say this? Because men baptized by these various methods can all get communications, they say, from the spirits sanctioning each and every different form of baptism. The Methodists say, "We believe in a God without body, parts and passions;" so say the Spiritualists, the Presbyterian and other sects, but the Latter-day Saints do not. And in reference to the ordinance of baptism; the Latter-day Saints say, "Go down into the water and be buried with Christ in the water; and come out of the water as Christ came up out of the water, when the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove rested on His head, and a voice from heaven was heard saying, 'This is my beloved Son, hear ye him.' He will tell you what to do, teach you correct doctrine. He has no traditions to overcome, no prepossessed notions taught by parents, binding him to the sects that are now on the earth. Hear ye Him! have hands laid upon you that you may receive the Holy Ghost." The Latter-day Saints say to the people, "Believe in God the Father and in Jesus, the Son! Believe in the gifts of the holy Gospel! They are as ready to be bestowed upon His children at this day as any other in the history of the world. This is the time to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; this is the very time that we should acknowledge him and believe in his ordinances and in the gifts and graces that are promised to the children of God. We are living in a Gospel age and dispensation, we are living right in the day in which, as the Apostles said on the Day of Pentecost, the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Has the Lord called upon the children of men in this day? Yes, in the east and the west, from the north to the south, and in the uttermost parts of the earth. He has called upon the inhabitants of the earth to believe in the Lord Jeans Christ. Suppose this order of things had continued from the days of the ancient Apostles; suppose there had been no backsliding, no merchants to lift their heels because they are getting rich, no apostates, and the successors of the Apostles had received the holy Priesthood and had gone to the uttermost parts of the earth, where would have been your paganism to-day? It would not have been on the earth; infidelity would not have been known. Children would have been taught the ways of the Lord and brought up in the way they should go, and the whole world would have been full of the knowledge of God, instead of being in darkness as now!

 

ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON.

            The day in which we live is one of the most important, if not the most important that man has ever seen on the earth. It is the day in which the purposes of God shall be accomplished. The subject of unity can not receive too much of our attention. Without unity of action, in our temporal matters, our professions would be useless. The gospel brings salvation in every situation of life; it permeates the whole from the cradle to the grave. Therefore I love it. It is the Gospel carried out which has built this city and the various cities and settlements throughout this Territory. Our President has given us many wise counsels which we have not yet carried out. No people on earth have been so wisely counselled with regard to the affairs of life as the Latter-day Saints. In many respects we, as a community, are far from being united as we should be, considering our opportunities. Many who claim to be Latter-day Saints are so blind to the interests of everything connected with the Kingdom of God that they are loud in their denunciations of the principle of co-operation. It is opposed by individuals in the city, who ought to be the foremost to sustain it. But nevertheless it gradually gains influence and obtains more wide support from the masses of the people, who as a body are in favor of it. There is no man who has faith in the work of God who hesitates or feels doubtful respecting this principle. Yet it, like other true principles, has to meet with opposition. It has been the same with nearly every other principle the Lord has revealed. It is God's will that we should be united in all things. The Lord said, through Joseph, "except ye are one ye are not mine." I do not fear the pressure from the outside world it will never triumph. Because we are willing to be led and counseled by the servants of God. The world call us foolish, and there is a class calling themselves Latter-day-Saints who seem to have caught the same spirit. All the foothold that our enemies gain is the result of our want of unity. We have been advised in relation to our grain, about how to direct our labors and with regard to the railroad from Ogden to this place. I have often regretted the indifference manifested by many parents with regard to the education of their children. Education is of incalculable benefit to those who use it aright. Education should not be confined to the school room. children should be trained to draw near to the Lord. When the father of a family is absent the son should call the family together to family worship, and should ask a blessing on their food. Many of our young people are rude and unmannerly. A great deal of he proper training of children devolves upon mothers. Sons and daughters will eventually bless fathers and mothers who have been strict with them in wisdom. There is nothing more beautiful than well ordered society.

            Elder Cannon continued to speak for some time interestingly on the importance of training the young.

            Conference adjourned till tomorrow at 10 o'clock.

            The Choir sang: "Great God attend while Zion sings."

            Prayer by Elder Wilford Woodruff.

_____

[7 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 19:418, 10/12/70, p 6]

            Friday, 7th, 10 a. m.

            The choir sang: "Behold! the harvest wide extends."

            Prayer by Elder John Taylor.

            The Parowan choir sang: "Sweet is the work, my God, my King."

ELDER ORSON PRATT.

            The great object of these conferences is that we may be edified concerning the things of God, to examine ourselves to see if we are alive to our duties. God has wisely designed that men should be placed in this probation that he may be prepared to obey higher laws. We have a great variety of ideas and notions of our own, but God designs that we should all be instructed in one grand system. All nations have traditions that have been handed down to them from their fathers. Some of these traditions are erroneous and some correct and beneficial. Let us see whether some of our traditions are consistent with the laws of God. We have been educated with regard to our property. We have been taught that all men and women should use all their efforts to accumulate wealth for their personal aggrandizement. This seems to be the main object of the people in all nations and in all classes of society. They believe that wealth is power and happiness. Is tis a correct tradition? It is in one sense and in another it is not. God created man to eventually possess wealth. It was He who created the vast resources of wealth that so abound on the earth. That same God that made those riches and endowed men with the power to accumulate them designed that they should be used for His own honor and glory. He did not design that the use of them should cause man to be lifted above his fellow, but for him to do good in the use of them. This is one of the traditions of which the Latter-day Saints are called, by the voice of God and revelation, to free themselves. To free themselves from selfishness and devote their substance to building up God's kingdom, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. To use wealth for self aggrandizement only, is a tradition which entwines itself around the hearts of the children of men probably more than any other. Jesus instructed his disciples to pray that the will of God be done on earth as it is done in Heaven. This prayer is taught in all Christian nations. The difference between the order of things, in relation to property, in Heaven and the order existing on earth is very great. The riches of eternity are for the Saints of the Most High God. Those who shall be counted worthy to inherit the kingdom of God will be made heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; joint heirs to riches, happiness, dominion and glory. This is the destiny of the Latter-day Saints. How great, then, will be your individual possessions. There should, therefore, be a preparation in this life before such a condition of things can be entered upon. We should have a very different order of things in relation to property from that which has obtained in the world. Some have murmured concerning what they term the strictness of matters about property, but there has been no strictness compared with what must ere long be introduced. Who has violated the vote that was taken at one of our Conferences that we would cease to sustain our enemies and that we would seek to sustain ourselves? There are men in our midst who would like to see this people persecuted and driven. If you trade with and sustain such characters here you will be miserable as well as accountable for the blood of the brethren providing it should be spilt.

            There are other traditions besides the one I have referred to which need the attention of the Latter-day Saints. It is not considered dishonorable in the world for a young man to marry a young lady without the consent of her parents. A young man who would do this is guilty of robbery of the meanest description. No young man has any right to make any advances whatever to a young woman without first consulting her parents, and no language could portray his contempt for a person who would take any other course. It is true, as was said here yesterday, that our young and young women are, as a general rule, virtuous, yet the practice, that has obtained here somewhat, of young people staying out of evenings in by places courting and probably keeping up that courtship for years is highly reprehensible. Those who oppose the true order of marriage as revealed by God virtually shut themselves out from a prospect of having wives and children in eternity. The speaker continued to speak for some time on the true order of marriage.

PRESIDENT GEO. A. SMITH.

            The Lord commanded the first man to take a wife and the commandment is applicable to every other man, therefore those who do not obey it are living in persistent opposition to the will of heaven. It was suggested at one of our Conferences, that all the unmarried young men over a certain age, should pay $200 annually to the P. E. Fund till married. Those young men who are liable to this fine are reminded that the fund needs replenishing and he would advise those young ladies who are still single through the dereliction of such young men, to stir them up and help collect the fines. The principle of union in temporal matters is not only applicable to merchandise but to everything else. We should unite so that we shall not build up merchant princes or an aristocracy of wealth in our midst. Let union be introduced in agriculture and agricultural machinery might be brought here that would reduce the labor of the farmer at least one half. Agricultural unions can be formed with success. There is but little of anything raised here to be sent abroad. Some Latter-day Saints have got wrong ideas on the mining question. They seem to think that, when they enter a mining camp, they must drink, swear, &c. This is a foolish tradition and, if any Latter-day Saints should enter into mining, let them not be foolish enough to indulge in vicious practices that degrade them. Let us support our tanneries and home shoe establishments. Let us see that sheep herds cover our mountains and that the necessary roots be raised to support them during the rough season, and give the charge of the herds to men who know how to treat sheep, and let the community own the herds. Thus, with union, factories and union sheep herds, we will clothes our backs with our own wool. We can just as well as not have co-operative butcher stalls. Unity can accomplish all these things. Why should we not have union cattle herds, having one brand on each animal, have it put in at a value and, when taken out, let it be taken out at a value. The same is applicable to horse herds. Cheese can be manufactured in every settlement just as well as not. He would advise our Dixie brethren to commence some cotton fields on the principle of co-operation and give the cultivation of this important article more attention than it has yet received.

            The choir sang: "Daniel's wisdom may I know."

            Prayer by Elder Geo. Q. Cannon.

            Conference adjourned till 2 p.m.

_____

[7 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 19:418, 10/12/70, p 6]

Friday, 7th, 2 P. M.

            The Parowan choir sung: "We shall know each other there."

            Prayer by Elder Joseph F. Smith.

            Choir sung: "See all creation joins, to praise the eternal God."

ELDER CHARLES C. RICH

Spoke on the necessity of the Latter-day Saints being united, and on the beneficial results of all the experiences they have been called to pass through as a people.

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Delivered a discourse on the subject of co-operation, showing that the principle can be applied in every department of industry, and how its application in domestic affairs and all other matters would be the very best system of economy that could be adopted. He advanced powerful reasons in favor of co-operative stock herds.

PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH

Spoke on the strict observance the words of wisdom, the necessity of sustaining schools, and especially those which have been established for the purpose of sustaining schools, and especially those which have been established for the purpose of graduating teachers, that we may never be under the necessity of engaging teachers of doubtful character. He advised those who attend Conference to take memoranda of the teachings given and carry them to the various settlements that they may be carried out by the whole: For the time will come when we will build a Temple in Jackson County, Missouri, and the Saints will have to be prepared before they can perform the work.

            The choir sang: "O my Father thou that dwellest In the high and holy place.

            Prayer by Elder Lorenzo snow.

            Conference adjourned till to-morrow at 10 a.m.

[7 Oct, 6:30 pm]

[DNW 19:418-419, 10/12/70, p 6-7]

            A Priesthood meeting, which was numerously attended was held at half-past six, p.m., in the Tabernacle. On the stand were the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, First Presidency of the Bishopric and many Bishops and other leading elders. The spirit of God was powerfully manifested. Bishop Hunter, and Presidents Daniel H. Wells, Geo. A. Smith and Brigham Young were the speakers and much valuable instruction was given.

            Another meeting of the same kind will be held this evening at half-past six o'clock, in the same place.

_____

[8 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 19:419, 10/12/70, p 7]

Saturday 8th, 10 a.m.

            The Choir sang: "Give us room that we may dwell"

            Prayer by Elder Erastus Snow.

            The Parowan Choir sang: "There is not time like the present time."

ELDER ERASTUS SNOW

Spoke on the first principles of the gospel. In the course of his remarks he alluded to some of the causes which induce people to apostatize from the truth. He also treated upon the transient nature of worldly honors and pleasures and the consequences which result to those who are engrossed by them, and the glorious destiny of hose who become grounded in the love of God in Christ Jesus through a faithful observance of His laws. He alluded to the calling of missionaries to settle new sections of country, and stated that many who had been called on such missions, and had run well for a season and then given up, are now going into darkness. Such are in danger of forsaking the service of God. He showed that it is the duty of the Saints to go where the Lord and His servants want them and to labor as they are directed.

PRESIDENT GEO A. SMITH.

            Spoke: He advised the brethren to work for a reasonable remuneration, and to do all the labor that has to be done in this Territory, instead of making it necessary for those who want it done to import it, on account of the high price demanded for it. If the brethren go to mining,he would advise them to work for pay instead of taking up claims for, in most cases those who invest in mining speculations fall, financially. If those who own mines want the brethren to work for them, do so and get money. He continued at some length on this subject and gave some very practical illustrations.

PRESIDENT D. H. WELLS

Spoke on the religious beliefs and practices of the world, showing that whatever of a saving nature may be inculcated in the various systems extant, is comprehended within the purview of the gospel of Jesus which we have received, and what is lacked by them to make up the plan of salvation is also incorporated in the gospel which is a complete system. He showed that the principles of the gospel would yet infuse themselves into the minds of the Saints to such an extent that they would be sought after to fill positions of trust all over the world.

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG.

Spoke briefly on the labor question. He advised the brethren to work for strangers who come here if they desire it, and use the means they receive in payment for the building up of the Zion of God.

            The choir sang: "Awake ye Saints of God, awake."

            Prayer by Elder Jacob Gates.

            Conference adjourned till 2 p.m.

_____

[8 Oct, 2 pm*]

[DNW 19:418, 10/12/70, p 6]

Saturday 8th, 2 P. M.

            The choir sang: "Glorious things of Thee are spoken."

            Prayer by Elder Elias Morris.

            The Parowan choir sung: "Hark! the song of Jubilee."

            ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON presented the Authorities of the Church to the Conference. The votes to sustain them in the following order were unanimous:

            Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; George A. Smith, his first, and Daniel H. Wells his second counselor.

            Orson Hyde, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Orson Pratt, Sen., John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, Jun., Joseph F. Smith and Albert Carrington, members of said Quorum.

            John Smith, Patriarch of the Church.

            John W. Young, President of this Stake of Zion, and George B. Wallace, and John T. Caine his counselors.

            William Eddington, John L. Blythe, Howard O. Spencer, John Squires, Wm. H. Folsom, Emanuel M. Murphy, Thos. E. Jeremy, Joseph L. Barfoot, Samuel W. Richards, John H. Rumell, Miner G. Atwood, Wm. Thorn, Dimick B. Huntington, Theodore McKean and Hosea Stout, members of the High Council.

            Elias Smith, President of the High Priests' Quorum, and Edward Snelgrove and Elias Morris as his counselors.

            Joseph Young, President of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies, and Levi W. Hancock, Henry Harriman, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates and John Van Cott, members of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies.

            Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishop; Leonard w. Hardy and Jesse C. Little his councilors.

            Benjamin L. Peart, President of the Elders' Quorum; Edward Davis and Abinadi Pratt, his councilors.

            Samuel G. Ladd, President of the Priests' Quorum; Wm. McLachlan and James Latham, his councilors.

            Adam Spiers, President of the Teachers' Quorum; Martin Lenzi and Henry I. Doremus, his councilors

            James Leach, President of the Deacon's Quorum; Peter Johnson and Chas. S. Cram his counselors.

            Brigham Young, Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            Truman O. Angell, Architect for the Church.

            Horace S. Eldredge, President of the Perpetual Emigration Fund to gather the Poor.

            Albert Carrington, Historian and General Church Recorder, and Wilford Woodruff, his assistant.

            Elders Lorin Farr, of Ogden, and Wm. L. Paine, of Kaysville, were cal[led] to go on missions to England.

            When the motion was put to the Conference to sustain President Brigham Young as Trustee-in-Trust for the Church, he arose and tendered his resignation of that office. At this the congregation manifested strong signs of disapproval. And, when Elder Cannon stated that there were two motions before the Conference, one to sustain President Young as Trustee-in-Trust, and the other to accept of his resignation of that office, thousands of the people shouted "no," "no;" and, when the first motion was put, the vast congregation, agitated by one common feeling, moved and surged for a few moments, and, not satisfied with merely holding up the right hand in token of sustaining the motion, great numbers rose to their feet and held up both hands and a murmur went up from the human sea. Many of the strangers present held up their hands as if impelled by the same spirit that moved the great assembly. The scene was one which will never be forgotten by those who beheld it, and but few persons present could prevent feelings of intense emotion swelling up in their bosoms. There stood the veteran, faithful leader of a people who had been led by him through the most trying scenes that have proved him to be their best earthly friend as well as spiritual guide, and the people uttering a united protest against his resigning to act for them in a position of trust.

            President Young tendered his resignation of the office of President of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, and nominated Horace S. Eldredge as his successor to that office. The resignation was accepted and the nomination unanimously sustained.

            When the motions were put to sustain President George A. Smith as Historian and General Church Recorder, and President Daniel H. Wells as Superintendent of Public Works, they resigned those offices. Albert Carrington was nominated to the office of Historian and General Church Recorder, which was carried unanimously. Nominations to the office of Superintendent of Public Works was left over for the present.

            A vote of confidence and thanks to the First Presidency, for their labors in the offices they had just resigned, was carried unanimously.

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Gave it as a reason for the First Presidency resigning those offices that they would be more free to travel among the people and preach to them. He delivered a very powerful discourse in which he showed what had produced the wonderful union that exists among the Latter-day Saints. His remarks were reported.

ELDER ORSON HYDE

Addressed the Conference for a short time. He stated that none had ever helped the Saints but the Almighty, and that He would continue to be their friend. He prophesied of the ultimate triumph of the Saints over all their enemies and that no power would ever stay their progress.

            The choir sang: "Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah."

            Prayer by President George A. Smith. Conference adjourned till to-morrow at 10 a.m.

_____

[9 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 19:419, 10/12/70, p 7]

Sunday 9th, 10 a.m.

            The Parowan Choir sang: "How beautiful upon the Mountains"

            Prayer by Elder Albert Carrington.

            The choir sang: "The morning breaks, the shadows flee."

ELDER JOHN TAYLOR.

Showed that, in the Latter-day Saints taking the course they do they are but carrying out the designs of the Almighty, and that no power will ever hinder them from performing the work they have commenced if they are faithful.

            The gospel addresses itself more particularly to those who love truth and right. There is ;no wickedness so despicable as that which is perpetrated under the garb of religion. It has been mostly men who were enwrapped in the cloak of pretended Christianity, who in the past have driven and persecuted the Latter-day Saints. God, in inaugurating the work in which we are engaged, has commenced to correct all the evils that are in the world. Notwithstanding the numberless religions and vain philosophical organizations that exist, the demon of war and other great wrongs still stalk abroad. No power can correct them but that of the Almighty, through revealing heavenly principles to those who are willing to receive them. There has been considerable said about the one-man power. It is a mistake to use this expression in connection with the Latter day work unless God be called that one man. He believed in the power of God; but the Almighty raises up men to act for him on the earth, as he raised up a Moses to lead Israel anciently. President Brigham Young is the mouth-piece of God to us. We are all instructed by him; we receive intelligence from the same source as he does and we therefore know that he speaks by the inspiration of God. This cements us together. We sustain him as our head and this is the one-man power. Our unity extends to temporal concerns because it is right. God has a right to govern us in those matters, for he created them all. He created all our surroundings as well as those beautiful bodies which our spirits inhabit.

[Mr. Martin Harris]

            MR. MARTIN HARRIS, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, arose and bore testimony to its divine authenticity.

[President George A. Smith]

            President George A. Smith spoke a short time: he said it is remarkable to have the testimony of Martin Harris. The Book of Mormon, however, carries evidence with it. The promise has been fulfilled that those who do the will of God should know of the doctrine that it is true; thus the book of Mormon has thousands of witnesses. He bore a powerful testimony to the truth of the latter-day work.

[Elder George Q. Cannon]

            ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON read the testimony of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon as published on the first page of that book.

[President Brigham Young]

            PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG gave a brief account of the manner in which the witnesses of the Book of Mormon left the church. He related circumstances showing that none of those witnesses had ever denied their testimony. He bore testimony that Joseph Smith was as great a prophet, as true and faithful, and as good a man -- Jesus excepted, as ever lived.

            The choir sang: "Go, ye messengers of glory."

            Prayer by elder Charles C. Rich.

            Conference adjourned till 2 p. m.

_____

[9 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 19:419-420, 10/12/70, p 7-8]

SUNDAY 9TH, 2 P. M.

            The Parowan choir sang "He's gone to the silent land."

            Prayer by Elder George Q. Cannon.

            The choir sang: "Arise my soul arise, Shake off thy guilty fears."

ELDER ALBERT CARRINGTON

Addressed the conference: He showed that there is but one way by which the human family can attain to the things of God; that is by obeying the simple principles of the Gospel of Jesus. He desired the welfare of all mankind whatever might be their views or traditions. We gathered to these valleys to devote ourselves to the worship of God and there can be no better or nobler pursuit. Many would like to see us give up this pursuit and introduce the institutions of so-called civilization amongst us; but we will never do it. Although he, in common with the rest of the Saints, had been driven and persecuted for worshiping God according to the dictates of his own conscience, yet he had no bitter feelings against his persecutors, as he believed they did it in their ignorance. He continued to speak for some time on the political position of the people of this Territory, showing that Congress could not be Constitutionally sustained in the position it assumed toward them. The programme of the enemies is to oppress them, so as to goad them on to the commission of some overt act that would be a pretext for waging an exterminating crusade against them. Those, however, who plot and scheme for the overthrow of this people will accomplish their own discomfiture.

PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH

Addressed the Conference. He stated that when the State of Deseret applied for admission into the Union as a State Congress was bound, according to the Constitution, to give us a republican form of government in which all the officers would be elected by the people, but they did not do it. He spoke in relation to the ordinance of baptism for the dead, showing that all the benefits of that ordinance could not be fully enjoyed until a temple should be built in which it could be administered; and that, if we go to work with a determination to finish the Temple here, our enemies will begin to howl; yet, if the Saints continue faithful, they will accomplish the work. We should devote some of our attention to erecting that building. Let the Saints learn all they can about their fathers, that the ordinances pertaining to the dead may be attended to.

            President Smith then spoke on the nature of the institution of marriage. He said, let every man marry for eternity and every woman seek after a good, faithful husband, for the man is not without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord. The speaker gave some excellent instructions on the subjects upon which he treated.

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Spoke for some time on the subject of salvation for the dead, who had passed from earth without the privilege of obeying the gospel. He showed the comprehensiveness of the plan of salvation At the conclusion of his discourse he blessed, in the name of Jesus, the congregation, all the Saints and all the inhabitants of the earth who are for the promotion of truth and righteousness.

            Elder Cannon called over the names of the following brethren as having been called to assist Elders c. C. Rich and Lorenzo Snow in settling the northern part of the Territory:

Ezra T Clark
Bro Vitsall, 13th Ward
John L brushes
David Hess, Farmington
Niels Wahlstrom, 17th Ward
Ludwig Shurke, 14th Ward
Charles E Robinson, Pleasant Grove
John A Robinson, do
Charles A Berry, Springville
Horace Drake, 12th Ward
John Luther Dolton, Weber City
Ebenezer Farns
Charles Hubbard
James Peterson, Mill Creek
Jeppe George Farlkman
Joseph Evans, Lehi
Joseph Thomas Kingsberry
Carl Marcussen, North Ogden
Wilholm Hiskey
J E Lane
Daniel Law
Benjamin Clark
Peere Fordham
William Jenkins
Walter Hoge, Providence
Lewis Gerand
George B Morris, 19th Ward
George Clissold, 11th Ward
William Andrus, Morgan County
Benjamin Wright, South Cottonwood
Frederick Y Bishop do do
Charles K Wright, West Jordan
Henry Lewis, 20th Ward
Joseph E Mullet, 19th Ward
Milo Andrus, Jr, Dry Creek
Laron Andrus, do do
Samuel M Price
David B Bybee
Alma Peterson
Charles Peterson, Weber City, Morgan Co
Thomas Ashment
Benjamin Peart
Miron Higley, Jr
Henry Dixon
Neils Rassmussen
Ezra F Martin, 3d Ward
Andrew J Johnson, 15th Ward
Robert Collins
Fritz L Johnson, 19th Ward
Benjamin M Harman, 15th Ward
Henry Hayward, 16th Ward
Robert S Wood, 14th Ward
Stephen Theobald, West Jordan
James Johnson, 16th Ward
Franklin Merrill
Albert M Merrill
Daniel Bryan

            Also the following to go on missions to England:

John I Hart, Ogden
Charles Lambert, 7th Ward

            Conference adjourned till the 6th day of April next.

            The choir sang: "The earth is the Lord's."

            Benediction by President George A. Smith.

            The Conference throughout has been characterized by the rich outpourings of the Spirit of God. The instructions have been of a nature to make all true-hearted Saints rejoice, and none who attended could fail to see that the power of Israel is on the increase.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference.

_____

1871

6-9 Apr 1871, 41st Annual General Conference, Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly, 20:112-114, 4/12/71, p 4-6; Millennial Star 33: 273, 289, 305]

[6 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 20:112-113, 4/12/71, p 4-5]

FORTY-FIRST

ANNUAL CONFERENCE

OF THE

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

_____

THE Forty-first Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convened on this the sixth day of April, 1871, at 10 o'clock a.m., in the New Tabernacle.

            On the stand were:

Of the First Presidency:

            Brigham Young, Geo. A. Smith and Daniel H. Wells.

Of the Twelve Apostles:

            Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles c. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, jr., Joseph F. Smith and Albert Carrington.

Patriarch:

            John Smith.

Of the First Seven presidents of Seventies:

            Joseph Young, Albert P. Rockwood and John Van Cott.

Of the Presidency of the High Priests' Quorum:

            Elias Smith, Edward Snelgrove and Elias Morris.

Of the Presidency of this Stake of Zion:

            George B. Wallace and John T. Caine.

Of the Presidency of the Bishops:

            Edward Hunter, Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little.

            There were also Bishops, Elders and leading men from every settlement in the Territory.

            Conference was called to order by President Brigham Young.

            The choir sang: "The towers of Zion soon shall rise."

            Prayer by Elder John Taylor.

            The choir sang: "Mortals awake! let angels join."

PRESIDENT GEO. A. SMITH

Made a few preliminary remarks. He said it was a source of joy that we could assemble here on the occasion of the Forty-first Annual Conference of the Church. He alluded to the changes and persecutions through which the church had passed since its organization. Our coming here, building cities, towns, &c., has constituted us the pioneers of civilization in the great West. These things are now matters of history. During the Conference instructive addresses will be delivered by the apostles and Elders. Also a number of matters of business will be laid before the people; among which will be the building of the Temple, the payment of tithes. The construction of a railroad south will be considered. This road would greatly facilitate the transportation of the necessary material to build the house of God. Measures will probably be taken to build a Temple at St. George. The time will come when each stake of Zion will have its Temple. On account of President Eldredge's health failing, it will be necessary to appoint some one to fill his place as President of the European mission; and, as Elder W. W. Cluff will probably return this season, also some one to fill his present position in the Scandinavian mission. The foreign mission, however, may not be very much extended at this Conference. We would be glad if the people of this city would understand that there is plenty of room in this tabernacle for them. He hoped they would tell this to their friends. He continued to speak on the present condition of the nations of the earth and bore testimony to the truth of the great latter-day work.

ORSON HYDE

Next spoke. He said that the weather having been for some time unpropitious for farming and the farmers in consequence being very busy, this conference may probably not be quite so well attended as some previous ones. Whether there be few or many, if the spirit of God is poured out on us we can enjoy ourselves. He read a passage from the 18th Psalms beginning at the 25th verse, and then spoke for some time on the attribute of mercy as shown by the Almighty and how it should be exercised by all men and women in every department of life. In the course of his remarks he alluded to the eternal nature of man and all the ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, speaking more particularly of the law of marriage. He also made some remarks with regard to the opposition manifested against the work of God, stating that he was inclined to believe that many who thus array themselves against the Latter-day Saints are imbued with a degree o sincerity, as all have their peculiar stand-point from which they view the Kingdom of God. Such sincerity, however, does its possessor more injury than good. In speaking of polygamy, he said, how many of those who oppose the practice of that principle by the Saints, if they should be arraigned before the bar of God with the polygamist, could say, "here are my wives and children whom I have honored, acknowledged and sustained?"They would be compelled rather to tell a tale of sin and shame, in giving their account. He exhorted the Saints to increased diligence in keeping the commandments of God. If the Saints will do right, they will live to see their enemies humbled in the dust. He hoped there would be an abundant harvest, that tithes and offerings may flow into the storehouse of the Lord.

            The Choir sang: "Great is Jehovah."

            Prayer by Elder Franklin D. Richards.

            Conference adjourned till 2 p. m.

_____

[6 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 20:113, 4/12/71, p 5]

            2 p. m.

            The choir sang: "Let every mortal ear attend."

            Prayer by Elder Wilford Woodruff.

            The Choir sang: "Arise, O glorious Zion."

ELDER LORENZO SNOW

Addressed the Conference. He said, although the church has passed through many checkered and trying scenes since its organization, and notwithstanding the circumstances of the Saints have undergone many changes temporally, their faith and the principles of the gospel remain unchanged. He spoke of the various dispensations in which God had revealed his will to man, showing the opposition with which such dispensations had been met by the great bulk of the human family. He showed the absolute necessity of mankind being guided by revelation and alluded to the gift and power of the Holy Ghost and the only way by which that great gift could be obtained. There need be no dubiety in the minds of any respecting the truth of the gospel we preach, for the servants of God declare they have authority to administer the ordinances of the House of God and that if people will repent of their sins and be baptized for the remission of them, they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and they will thus have the truth revealed to themselves. This has been tested and proved by tens of thousands in various parts of the earth, who are living examples of the fulfillment of those promises. Many who see the good effects of gathering the poor to these valleys, thus enabling them to better their circumstances, say President Young is a very smart may. But those good effects are not particularly because he is a smart man, but because the Lord continually inspires him with the necessary wisdom to direct the work we are engaged in.

BISHOP JOHN SHARP

Said he was fortunate enough to be one of those to whom the servants of God brought the plan of salvation. When he heard the glad message he received it readily. The spirit of the Lord bore testimony to him that what he heard was the truth. The gospel found him in a coal pit and had brought him from darkness to light. He was not an enemy to mankind and he never would quarrel with his neighbor if he could not see as he did. He claimed the same right of religious freedom he was willing to accord to others, and in exercising that right, he took pleasure in bearing testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God raised to introduce the fullness of the gospel of truth. It takes but little education to tell of the testimony he has received and the peace he enjoys in this world of strife. He alluded to the comprehensive nature of the gospel, as illustrated in the design of the Almighty to save not only those being in the flesh, but the dead who have gone before who will listen to His voice.

PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH

Addressed the Conference for a short time. He gave a graphic description of some of the persecutions endured by the Saints in the early rise of the church. He showed the great obstacles to be overcome in first bringing so many people, nearly all of whom were very poor, to these valleys. He also alluded to the help that had been extended in gathering the poor from the nations of the earth. The contributions for carrying on this important work have been limited for some time, on account of the destruction of crops by grasshoppers, &c. Let the brethren consider, during this conference, what they will donate for this purpose and, when they become liberal, say what they will do. This is one of the items of this Conference. Those who owe the P. E. fund should immediately pay up. Let all the elders who have been on missions remember their brethren in the old countries. May God bless us in doing this and every good thing.

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Briefly addressed the Conference. He said it would be gratifying if those who spoke would take the course that had been pursued this afternoon, viz., not so speak too long. He bore his testimony to the truth of the gospel, and stated that a great many evil spirits were seeking to overthrow every good Saint. The Saints should be on their guard against such influences. He showed that there was not a science in existence but substantiated the truth of the gospel we have received, for it embraces all truth. He requested that, to avoid confusion, the people should remain quietly until meeting be dismissed, and that the door-keepers see that the door be kept closed.

            It was announced that a Priesthood meeting would be held to-morrow evening, at 7 o'clock.

            The choir sang: "Make a joyful noise."

            Prayer by Elder George Q. Cannon. Adjourned till to-morrow, 7th, at 10 a.m.

_____

[7 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 20:113, 4/12/71, p 5]

            7th, 10 a.m.

            The choir sang: "See! all creation joins To praise th' eternal God."

            Prayer by Elder Orson Hyde.

            The choir sang: "Hosannah to the great Messiah."

ELDER WILLIAM C. STAINES

Addressed the conference. He said he had no subject but life and salvation which he had studied for many years. It was thirty years since he heard the gospel. The first prayer he heard offered up by an Elder of Israel was commenced thus: "O thou God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, unto Thee I lift up my voice this morning." He felt convinced that he indeed addressed the true and living God, and by his discourse he felt he was a servant of the Almighty.

            Previous to this he had been a Methodist. He was baptized for the remission of sins and received the Holy Ghost. After this he sought for the gifts of the spirit. Once while alone, the Spirit of prophesy came upon him. He was tempted to think that his having that gift and exercising it while alone, was useless. On consulting Elder Lorenzo Snow upon the subject, he told him that he would yet exercise that gift publicly and repeat the same prophesy h e had uttered when alone. This was fulfilled afterward, just as Brother Snow had said.

            Elder Staines bore a powerful testimony to the truth of the work of God, saying he knew by revelation that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and also that the Spirit and power of God had rested upon President Young from the death of Joseph to the present time. He spoke of the great difficulties that had to be encountered and overcome by the Saints since their settlement here, and through which they had been safely led by the servants of God. He exhorted the Saints to increased faithfulness and especially the young brethren and sisters to be obedient to their parents. He said he knew that when the prophet Joseph was martyred, his mantle fell upon Brigham and had remained with him from that day to the present. He desired that the blessings of God should be upon the people.

ELDER FRANKLIN D. RICHARDS

Spoke. He said that he first heard the gospel preached by President Young in Massachusetts. It was over thirty years since he embraced that gospel. He had not long obeyed its principles until it was revealed to him, by the Holy Ghost, that he had received the truth. He had never doubted the truth from that time until now. His only object in life was to assist in building up the Kingdom of God. He alluded to the probable great influx of strangers that the opening of our mineral resources would bring here, and the mistaken notions of many with regard to the way in which we look upon such an advent. We do not look upon strangers with hostility, but otherwise. We have been expecting strangers to come here. No gentleman or lady has ever come here who has been uncourteously treated. There are, however, many who come with their minds filled with prejudice and with a determination to find fault with everything and, when they leave, they speak evil falsely against the people. The honorable, however, will tell the truth concerning us. He alluded to the war and contention in some parts of the world, showing that peace was being taken from the earth; that the spirit of peace is with the Saints and that President Young is the greatest living benefactor of the human family. He spoke of the allurements that would probably be placed before the people by the introduction of so-called civilization, and warned them against being led astray by them. We are greatly blessed in having the privilege of rearing two Temples at the present time. The prophet Joseph said there was no greater responsibility resting upon the Saints than looking after the interests of their dead. It is time we looked after our progenitors, to whom we are indebted for our existence. It is to be hoped that tithes and offerings will flow in to help carry on this work. He spoke of those who are indebted to the P. E. fund and the necessity of their paying up and of the brethren donating of their means to gather the poor. He bore a strong testimony to the restoration of the gospel in these days.

PRESIDENT GEO. A. SMITH

Addressed the conference. He said the hard labors of the Saints, such as moving the people to these valleys with insufficient outfits, building cities and settlements, &c., have hitherto operated against the extension and introduction of facilities for education. Yet, whenever a settlement has been established, a school house has been the first building erected and the means of education have spread as rapidly as circumstances will permit. In this city and at Provo graded schools have been instituted. Government has rendered us no assistance in this direction. Let the brethren and sisters sustain these institutions by sending their children to attend them and furnish means to carry them on. It has been a great misfortune to us, he continued, that some of our school trustees', have engaged teachers of irresponsible character. The greatest and best foundation for a good teacher is a sound moral character, that his or her influence with pupils may be on the side of righteousness and purity.

            The choir sang: "Glory to God."

            Prayer by Elder Geo. Q. Cannon.

            Adjourned till 2 p.m.

_____

[7 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 20:113, 4/12/71, p 5]

            7th, 2 p. m.

            The choir sang: "The great and glorious gospel light."

            Prayer was offered by Joseph F. Smith.

            The choir sang; "Author of faith, Eternal word."

ELDER JOHN TAYLOR

Addressed the assembly. He said he would take a text from the Church of England prayer Book: "As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, worlds without end." He thought, as great improvements had taken place in literature, science, &c., that there ought to be a corresponding improvement among men in religious matters. The rapid progress in science, art, and mechanism, however, affect us only temporally. Discoveries are but the development of latent principles which have existed eternally in nature. Man, he said, was formed in the image of God; had come from and would, in due time, return to him. Elder Taylor discoursed, at considerable length on the nature and constitution of man; his relationship to the Deity; what should be his present hopes and aspirations, and what shall be his ultimate destiny. He also alluded to the eternal nature of the plans and purposes of the Almighty. This discourse was reported in full;.

ELDER JOSEPH F. SMITH

Briefly addressed the conference. He said that all Latter-day Saints should devote themselves exclusively to building up the kingdom of God. However assiduously we may work to that end, the fruits of our labors are with the Lord. We have, he said, been able to accomplish what has already been done by His blessing. Our enemies, have, at various times, endeavored to overthrow us. Their operations against us have invariably been overruled for our benefit. As this has been the case in the past, so will it ever be in the future. He alluded to the sending of the army here in 1857-8; the object of those who were instrumental in having it sent, and the benefits to the Saints accruing therefrom. He referred to the magnitude of the work that lies before the people of God, and exhorted the Saints to cast aside every evil habit, and practice the holy and ennobling principles of life and salvation.

            The choir sang: "Praise Him."

            Prayer by Elder Orson Pratt.

            Adjourned till 10 a.m., to-morrow.

____

[7 Apr, 7 pm]

[DNW 20:113, 4/12/71, p 5]

            According to appointment, a meeting of the priesthood was held in the old Tabernacle, last night, commencing at 7 o'clock, at which many valuable instructions were given, principally with regard to the necessity and best method of carrying on the work of building the Temple in this city. Elders Geo. Q. Cannon, and Orson Hyde, and Presidents Daniel H. Wells and Brigham Young were the speakers.

_____

[8 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 20:113-114, 4/12/71, p 5-6]

SATURDAY, 8th, 10, a. m.

            The choir sang: "An angel from on high."

            Prayer by Elder Orson Pratt.

            The choir sang: "Ye wondering nations, now give ear."

ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON

"Addressed the assembly. He read a portion of the 17th chapter of the first book of Chronicles, commencing at the third verse. After which he delivered a highly instructive discourse upon the subject of rearing Temples to God. He alluded to the desire which David of old had to erect such an edifice and the reason the Lord had for not permitting him to do so, and why that important labor was transferred to Solomon. No people, he said, excepting the Latter-day Saints, now design to build an house unto the Most High God, upon which His glory might rest and in which His power could be manifested and the ordinances of the everlasting gospel attended to. He spoke of the Temples that were built in the places from which the Saints had been driven by persecution, and the blessings and endowments that were received therein, and which can only be bestowed and conferred in a house built and dedicated for the purpose.

            The servants of God, he said, are very desirous that the Temple in this city should be pushed to completion. If the people would faithfully pay their tithes, there would be no difficulty in accomplishing this. There has been much negligence on the part of many in this matter. There was, however, a chance now to make up for past negligence. He showed that additional power would be bestowed on the Elders of Israel if the Temple were finished. This has been illustrated in the past by the power received through the ministrations in the Temples already built by the Saints.

            To the keys, powers, &c., thus received could be attributed the miraculous intervention of God's power in our behalf when we were hemmed in by dangers on every side, and there seemed to be no means of escape. If it must be fulfilled that "the tabernacle of God shall be with men," and that God will suddenly come to His Temple, we must build that Temple, that He may visit it.

He showed the eternal nature of the ordinances of the House of God and their absolute necessity in binding the human family together in all the relationships of life and in joining the connecting link between the living and the dead. He gave numerous and conclusive reasons why the Saints should prosecute with energy the work of completing the Temple.

[George Q. Cannon]

[DNW 20:209, 6/7/71, p 5; JD 14:122]

DISCOURSE.

By Elder GEORGE Q. CANNON delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 8, 1871.

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

_____

      I will read a portion of Scripture which is found in the 17th chapter of the First Book of Chronicles, commencing at the 3rd verse—

      "And it came to pass the same night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,

      "Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:

      "For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel until this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.

      "Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?

      "Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:

      "And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.

      "Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning:

      "And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover, I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore, I tell thee that the Lord will build thee a house.

      "And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.

      "He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.

      "I will be his father, and he shall be my son; and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:

      "But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever; and his throne shall be established for evermore.

      "According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David."

      There is one point, brethren and sisters, in the passages I have just read in your hearing, to which I wish to call your attention—namely, the pleasure that was evinced by the Lord at the disposition which David manifested—a disposition which none of his predecessors, apparently, had exhibited, to build unto the Lord of hosts a house, a temple, a place upon and within which his glory could rest. So pleased appeared the Lord to be with this disposition of David that he promised him that he would establish his dynasty, that his son should reign after him, and that this son should be the instrument in his hands of building a glorious temple unto his name. The reasons are given in other portions of Scripture why the Lord did not accept this offering on the part of David. The Lord, in one place, alludes to his life, saying that he had been a man of war and blood; that he had gone forth and fought his enemies, and because of this the Lord Was not disposed to accept his offer, but he promised David that he would raise up a son after him who should be a man of peace—a man free from war and blood, and that during his lifetime his temple should be reared; and, according to the prediction of the Lord God, through Nathan the Prophet, Solomon was raised up and did accomplish the work which his father David had desired to do, and he did rear a temple unto the name of the Lord upon and within which his glory rested and was manifested; and the blessing of God rested upon Solomon so long as he continued to serve with a perfect heart the Lord God of his fathers. Israel was also greatly blessed and prospered in rearing that house; and though Solomon, in his prayer, when dedicating it, said how was it possible that God could take up his residence upon earth, when the heavens, and the heaven of heavens could not contain him, still God did condescend to manifest his glory in that house to such an extent that the priests could not endure it; and the blessings of God rested visibly, in the presence of the people, upon that house, and they knew that he bad accepted their labors and the dedication of their means for the erection of a house to his name.

      This labor appeals to us in a very peculiar manner. There is no people or community on the face of the earth to-day, except the Latter-day Saints, who think of rearing unto the Lord of Hosts a temple upon the same principle and for the same objects and ends that the temple was reared in Jerusalem. Already we have completed two temples, and laid the foundation of five. The Saints are all familiar with the history of the building of the temple of Kirtland, whether they were there personally or not; they are also familiar with the blessed results which followed its erection. They know that God did manifest himself to his servants and people in a very peculiar manner, and poured out upon them great and precious blessings; many ordinances which bad been lost to man, or of which he scarcely knew anything, and for the administration of which there had been no authority upon the earth for generations, were restored, and men and women received ordinances, promises and blessings which comforted their hearts and encouraged them in the work of God. And not only were these ordinances administered, but additional authority was bestowed upon the prophet of God who stood at the head of this dispensation. And so also the completion of the temple at Nauvoo brought many blessings; that is, so far as it was completed, for the enemies of God's kingdom did not permit us to complete it entirely; but so far as it was completed God accepted the labor of the hands of his servants and people, and great and precious blessings were bestowed upon the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the faithfulness and diligence of its members in rearing that house.

      I have often thought of the shortness of the period, after the death of Joseph, which was continued in building that house. He died, as you well know, or was murdered, on the 27th of June, 1844. Before 1845 had passed away the Saints were receiving their endowments in that house. The walls were completed, it was roofed, the spire finished, and the upper story so far completed that the Elders could go in and administer in the ordinances of God's house—the sealings, washings and anointings, and in the performance of those ceremonies and ordinances which were necessary for our growth, increase and perfection as a people; and when it is recollected that all this was done in a very short period over one year, it bears testimony to the zeal of the Saints and the mighty exertions they made to fulfil the word of God and the requirements He made of us as a people, that we and our dead might not be rejected. But we were not permitted to enjoy that house, we were not permitted to continue receiving blessings there; the enemies of God's kingdom were upon us, and we were compelled to abandon it and our homes, and it fell a sacrifice to the wickedness of the wicked and it was burned with fire—probably a better fate than to have it stand and be defiled by the wicked.

      We have now to commence again the erection of another temple. For many years the foundation of one on this block has been laid, and the Saints have labored upon it to some extent; but it has not been pushed forward with very great rapidity. There have been reasons for this—good and weighty reasons. It is desirable when we build another temple that it should not fall into the hands of the wicked, as those we have already built have done; but that it should stand as an enduring monument of the faith, zeal and perseverance of the Latter-day Saints, in which the ordinances of God's house and kingdom may be administered through all coming time. There seems to be a spirit now resting upon the servants of God to push this house forward to its completion; and I doubt not that this spirit will be received and cherished by the Saints. throughout Utah Territory, and throughout the world. Judging by my own feelings on this subject and by the expressions of those who have alluded to it, I confidently believe that a spirit is resting upon the people to receive the counsel that is given concerning it, and to carry forward the work to a speedy completion.

      There are many reasons why we should do it. It is true that God, in his mercy, has permitted us to build another house, which we call the Endowment House, and in which we have received many ordinances and blessings; but there are several which cannot be attended to in the Endowment House; they must be postponed until a temple is completed, in which the Elders and men of God who bear the Holy Priesthood, can go and administer the things of God, and have them accepted by him. This, of itself, is sufficient to stir us up, as a people, to exceeding great diligence in pushing forward this work.

      When David announced his intention to prepare the means for the building of the house that should be erected by his son Solomon, he accumulated everything that could be prepared beforehand, So that when Solomon should come to the throne after his decease, he might be full-handed and have abundance wherewith to commence the labor of building. To accomplish this, David called upon Israel to come forward and exert themselves, and they did so, so we are told, and had exceeding great, joy in contributing of their means for the erection of that building. Of course there is no objection to the Latter-day Saints doing the same; still, that requirement is not made of us at the present time. All that we are required to do is to obey the law that God has given unto us, that is, to pay our tithing. It has been said, and I do not doubt the correctness of the statement, in fact, I may say I am fully aware and conscious of it, that if this people would pay one-tenth of their tithing this temple could be pushed forward to completion very speedily. As a people we have been very negligent in paying our tithing; there are doubtless many exceptions, but as a rule we have not complied with that law with the strictness which we should have done. Now, however, there is an opportunity for us to compensate for our shortcomings in the past, and to go to with zeal and energy to rear this house, so that there may be a temple of God in our midst in which ordinances can be administered for the living and for the dead. I fully believe that when that temple is once finished there will be a power and manifestations of the goodness of God unto this people such as they have never before experienced. Every work of this kind that we have accomplished has been attended with increased and wonderful results unto us as a people—an increase of power and of God's blessings upon us. It was so in Kirtland and at Nauvoo; at both places the Elders had an increase of power, and the Saints, since the completion of, and the administration of ordinances in, those buildings have had a power they never possessed previously.

      If any proof of this is needed let us reflect upon the wonderful deliverances that God has wrought out for us since we left Illinois. Up to that period or up to the time that the temple was partly finished and the blessings of God bestowed within its walls, our enemies to a very great extent had triumphed over us. We had been driven from place to place; compelled to flee from one town, county and State to another; but how great the change since then! We started out a poor, friendless people, with nothing but God's blessing upon us, his power overshadowing us and his guidance to lead us in the wilderness; and from the day that we crossed the Mississippi river until this day—the 8th of April, 1871—we have had continued success and triumphs. God has signally delivered us from the hands of our enemies, and when it has seemed as though we would be overwhelmed, as though no earthly power could succor or deliver us from the hands of those who sought our overthrow, God has done for us as he did for his ancient covenant people, when he caused the waters of the Red Sea to separate, that they might pass through and escape the destruction their enemies threatened. So have we been in as remarkable a manner delivered from, apparently, overwhelming difficulty and danger.

      Whence, I ask, my brethren and sisters, has this power come? Whence has it been derived? I attribute it to the blessings and the power and the authority and the keys which God gave unto his Saints, and which he commenced to give in the Temple at Nauvoo. The Elders of Israel there received keys, endowments and authority which they have not failed to exercise in times of extremity and danger; and clouds have been scattered and storms blown over, and peace and guidance, and all the blessings which have been desired have been bestowed upon the people, according to the faith that has been exercised. Others may attribute these things to other causes; but I attribute them to this, and I feel to give God the glory; and I trace these deliverances to the power that the Elders received in that temple and previously. I fully believe also, as I have said, that when this and other temples are completed, there will be an increase of power bestowed upon the people of God, and that they will, thereby, be better fitted to go forth and cope with the powers of darkness and with the evils that exist in the world and to establish the Zion of God never more to be thrown down.

      I know that there is a feeling in the breasts of many people that this sort of thing is fanaticism. This is characteristic of the age of unbelief in which we live. God, in the minds of this generation, is removed far from them. He dwells at an illimitable distance from man, and is not supposed to interfere with his affairs. Man, they think, is left to work out deliverance and salvation according. to his own wisdom; and there are a great many people, and it may be said, a great many nations, who do not believe that God interferes at all with matters off the earth. They think of and speak about him; but it is mere form and tradition with them; very few believe that he interferes directly with the affairs of men. Of course when such a belief is prevalent, or rather when such unbelief prevails, the idea of building a temple or temples to the Most High God, in which ordinances shall be performed for the living and the dead, strikes the people as something strange and fanatical. But, let me ask, what was the object of building a temple in the days of Solomon? What was the object of rebuilding it after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar? Why was it that Ezra and the Jews who were him in Babylonish captivity were strengthened to go forth to rebuild the temple of God at Jerusalem? We read in the Scriptures that God's blessing rested upon them. Their enemies, it is true, harrassed them and did all in their power to check their labors, but nevertheless they were exceedingly blessed, and God accepted their work and bestowed choice and peculiar blessings upon them.

      When Jesus came the temple still stood in Jerusalem, but it had become defiled. He was so angered on one occasion on this account that he took a scourge of cords and beat out the money changers and others who had defiled it, and upset their tables, and in this visible manner showed his anger at the defilement of his Father's house.

      We read in the revelations that the time will come when the tabernacle of God will be with men on the earth. How shall we, as men and women, prepare for this? One of the prophets says, "And the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his Temple," showing that there will be, at some period or other, a temple or temples built on the earth to which God will come.

      I have often thought, in reflecting on this subject, how careless mankind are in relation to the future. We are born on the earth, where family relationships that are most desirable are formed. Parents have their children whom they love beyond expression. These children grow up and form associations in life and raise families, and these relationships are the most tender known to the human heart. There is nothing so much calculated to make life desirable as the relation of parents to children and children to parents, husbands to wives and wives to husbands; and many a man when he loses his partner, loses all the hope that he has; his heart sinks within him, and he feels as if life was undesirable; and instances are not rare of men, through grief on this account, having their lives shortened. And so with the other sex; sometimes through the loss of a husband a woman's heart will break and she goes down to an early grave. And yet, in the midst of the world where all these tender ties and emotions exist there is no preparation for their perpetuation. The people do not believe that they exist beyond the grave. Imagine, if you can, a state of things where all these relationships are utterly destroyed and all mingle in one common herd! This is the kind of heaven that many people believe they are going to. I have heard ministers say, "O, I will not know any relationship between myself and my wife hereafter; she, then, will be no nearer to me than any other woman, nor I to her than any other man; our children will be no nearer to us than any other children, and we will live in this condition throughout the endless ages of eternity." This is a dreary prospect for any human being who has the affection of a husband, wife, parent, or child—a dreary prospect for that endless eternity to which we are all hastening.

      But God, in ancient days, gave certain authority unto one of his Apostles—namely, Peter. He gave to him authority to bind on earth, and it should be bound in heaven; to loose on earth and it should be loosed in heaven. Where is this authority now? Shall we go to the Roman Catholic Church to find it? If it be there it is not exercised. Shall we go to the Episcopal Church to find it? If it be there they fail to proclaim it. Where shall we go to find a man who has authority to bind on earth and it is bound in heaven, as Jesus told Peter? Where shall we find a man whose acts will be thus recognized of God, and whose performances or solemnizations are confirmed by the heavens themselves? You travel throughout all the earth and mingle with the various sects who claim to be the descendants of the Apostles, and you will look in vain for any claims to such authority. But come among the Latter-day Saints, who claim to be the original Church restored to the earth again, who claim to have the authority of the Apostleship—the same Apostleship that was exercised by Peter, James, John and the other Apostles, and you will find the authority to bind and loose on earth and it will be bound or loosed in heaven, claimed and exercised in their midst. It is claimed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that God has restored the keys of the Apostleship; that he has restored the authority by which the ordinances shall be performed on the earth that will bind man to woman, woman to man, children to parents and parents to children, so that these relationships which are so acceptable in the sight of God may not only exist for time, but may be perpetuated throughout the endless ages of eternity.

      This is the claim the Latter-day Saints make, and it is the authority they exercise. To claim the Apostleship and authority without claiming and exercising its functions would be altogether contrary to the spirit and power of that office and authority when it was upon the earth in ancient days; therefore we wish to rear temples and administer ordinances, looking, as we do, upon this life as a state of probation in which we may gain experience and prepare ourselves for higher exaltation and a greater degree of felicity in the world to come.

      We build temples and we administer and submit to ordinances and perform those things within them which will prepare us to dwell eternally with our God, with Jesus and the Apostles in the heavens. There each man will have his family and kingdom. It is said that God is Lord of lords and King of kings; but how can he be King of kings unless there be kings under him to give him homage and pay respect unto him and acknowledge him as their Lord and their King? When God led forth Abraham and told him that as the stars of the firmament were innumerable so should his seed be, he proclaimed to him the greatness of his kingdom in eternity. He told Abraham that he should be a king Over this innumerable host; for if Abraham were not to be king over them, of what use or glory would his posterity be to him? When God pointed Abraham to the sand on the sea shore and told him that as it was countless so should his seed be, he told him in accents that could not be mistaken of the future glory of his eternal kingdom. And if all mankind attained to the same promises as Abraham, they also would have an innumerable posterity to reign over. As the prophet says concerning our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, "To the increase of his kingdom there shall be no end." It shall go on increasing with every cycle of eternity, as long as time endures. There shall be no end to the increase of his kingdom. His glory consisted of this; and the glory of God consists in the number of his posterity; and as generation succeeds generation, until the earth is filled and glorified, other worlds will be rolled into existence, upon which the posterity of God, our heavenly Father, shall increase throughout the endless ages of eternity.

      As it was said to Abraham and Jesus, so it will be said to the faithful sons and daughters of God; hence the Latter-day Saints believe in the eternal nature of the marriage relation. When we marry there is a power here to bind on earth and it is bound in heaven. Men and women are married to each other for time and for all eternity; not as it is in the world, "until death shall them part;" but that tie shall be as enduring as eternity itself, and there shall never be a time when it shall be dissolved; and to their increase there shall be no end, for this is the glory of God, and this is the blessing of God upon his faithful children. The godlike power has been given us here on the earth to bear and perpetuate our own species; and shall this power, which brings so much joy, peace and happiness, be confined and limited to this short life? It is folly to talk about such a thing; common sense teaches us better. It teaches that we have been organized, not for time alone; that we have been endowed as we are, in the image of God, not for thirty, forty, fifty, seventy or a hundred years, but as eternal beings, exercising our endowments and functions for all eternity, if we live faithful or take a course that God approves. Therefore there is great sense, beauty and godliness in the idea that God taught Abraham with respect to his posterity becoming as numerous as the stars of the firmament.

      The Latter-day Saints live for this. We look upon this life as a very short period of time. We have suffered and are likely to suffer as the Saints of God did anciently; and this life is a state of probation—a short period filled with sorrow. Difficulties, thorns, briars, brambles, and obstacles of various kinds beset our pathway; but, as was said yesterday, we look forward to a heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God. We look forward to the time when this earth will be redeemed from corruption and cleansed by fire; when there shall be a new heaven and a new earth, and when the Saints shall possess their native inheritance purified from sin, redeemed from corruption, with the power of Satan curtailed, and when we shall be able to increase and multiply and fill this earth, go to other earths and carry on the work of emigration through the endless ages of eternity.

      This is a little of the heaven that the Latter-day Saints look forward to. It is not a heaven where all distinctions are abolished—where parents and children are mingled with the common mass, where wives and husbands are undistinguishable; but where all these ties exist and are preserved and perpetuated, and man goes forward on that heavenly career which God, his Heavenly Father, has assigned to him, and which he designs that all his faithful children shall walk in. These are some of the reasons why we want a temple built. There are innumerable reasons why we should go to with our might and rush forward this work. Let us push it to its completion as speedily as may be required, and God will bless us; he will make our feet fast in these valleys; he will give us increase and make of us a mighty nation. Already he has set his seal upon us; already he has given us the glorious privilege of bearing his name. Let us rear a house upon which his glory shall rest, and that shall be called by his name. This is required at our hands; and that God may help us to accomplish it, and keep us faithful to the end, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

ELDER CHARLES W. PENROSE

Addressed the Conference. He spoke of the joy that had animated the breasts of all the Saints, in every part of the world, when it was announced to the that they would have the privilege of building a Temple to the name of God. He alluded to the prophecies of the ancients in relation to the establishment and building of the House of the Lord in the last days. Our gathering here has so far fulfilled those prophecies, but there is an immense amount of labor yet remaining, one of the initiatory parts of which is to build temples to the Most High. The Lord now requires that we should go to and build a House to His name, not for His benefit, but for our own. He thought that when this announcement was made to all of the Saints it would be received with gladness and acted upon, and explained the necessity for this important matter being attended to. After showing that the living Priesthood was the only channel through which heavenly intelligence can be received and by which life and exaltation can be obtained, he bore testimony to the restoration of the gospel in these days and that the power of God was with President Young and his associates, and predicted the final triumph of the cause of God on the earth.

            The choir sang: "Seraph's Anthem."

            Benedictory prayer by Elder Brigham Young, jun.

            Adjourned till 2 p. m.

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[8 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 20:114, 4/12/71, p 6]

2 p.m.

            The Choir sang: "Great God, indulge my humble claim."

            Prayer by Elder Joseph W. Young.

            The choir sang: "Hark! ye mortals, hist! be still."

            ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON presented the Authorities of the Church to the Conference. The votes to sustain them in the following order were unanimous:

            Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; George A. Smith, his first, and Daniel H. Wells his second councilor.

            Orson Hyde, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Orson Pratt, Sen., John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young Jun., Joseph F. Smith, and Albert Carrington, members of said Quorum.

            John Smith, Patriarch of the Church.

            John W. Young, President of this Stake of Zion, and George B. Wallace and John T. Caine his councilors.

            William Eddington;, John L. Blythe, Howard O. Spencer, John Squires, Wm. H. Folson, Emanuel M. Murphy, Thos. E. Jeremy, Joseph L. Barfoot, Samuel W. Richards, John H. Rumell, Miner G. Atwood, Wm. Thorn, Dimick B. Huntington, Theodore McKean and Hosea Stout, members of the High Council.

            Elias Smith;, President of the High Priests' Quorum and Edward Snelgrove and Elias Morris as his councilors.

            Joseph Young, President of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies and Levi W. Hancock, Henry Harriman, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates and John Van Cott, members of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies.

            Benjamin L. Peart, President of the Elders' Quorum; Edward Davis and Abinadi Pratt, his councilors.

            Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishop: Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little his councilors.

            Samuel G. Ladd, President of the Priests' Quorum; Wm. McLachlan and James Latham;, his councilors.

            Adam Spiers, President of the Teachers' Quorum; Martin Lenzi and Henry I. Doremus, his councilors.

            James Leach, President of the Deacon's Quorum; Peter Johnson and Chas. S. Cram his counselors.

            Brigham Young, Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            Truman O. Angell, Architect for the Church.

            Horace S. Eldredge, President of the Perpetual Emigration Fund to gather the Poor.

            Albert Carrington, Historian and general Church Recorder, and Wilford Woodruff, his assistant.

            He then presented the names of the following brethren as having been called to go on missions to Europe, which were unanimously sustained:

      Albert Carrington to succeed Horace S. Eldredge as President of the European mission; Canute Peterson to succeed W. W. Cluff as President of the Scandinavian mission.

Antoine H. Lund, of Ephraim;
Christian Willardsen, "
Jens C. A. Welbye, Manti;
Christian Madsen, Gunnison;
Paul Dehlen, Mount Pleasant;
Paul Paulsen, Fountain Green;
Philip Lenba;
Ferdinand Oberhaensh, of Payson;
Johannes Huber, Midway, Provo Valley
        TO THE EASTERN STATES:
Jesreel Shoemaker.

ELDER ALBERT CARRINGTON

Addressed the congregation. He delivered a discourse on the object of the existence of man on the earth, showing the foolishness of men who take credit to themselves for the discovery and development of principles which had been in existence throughout all eternity. He alluded to the instability of human governments and the eternal nature of a government founded upon the rock of revelation, explaining that such was the nature of the kingdom of God, which the Latter-day Saints are seeking to establish. He alluded to the desire manifested by a large portion of the human family to apply the principle of force to compel their fellows to think as they do. He continued at some length, touching upon many important points. His remarks were reported in full.

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Addressed the assemblage. He showed that the objectionable point in Mormonism, to those opposed to it, was the unity manifested by the Latter-day Saints. He said that there was no iniquity in a people being united. Our doctrine is true and we like it, our object is one, and we pursue it. This is the cause of our unity. He explained that there was no confusion in the House of God. There are no two sides to the question. He continued at some length, giving much valuable instruction and dwelling upon many important points, showing the broad, free and comprehensive nature of the plan of salvation. An adequate idea of his remarks could not be conveyed in a synopsis. They were reported in full and will shortly be published.

[Brigham Young]

[DNW 20:149, 5/3/71, p 5; JD 14:91]

DISCOURSE

By President BRIGHAM YOUNG, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 8th 1871.

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

_____

      I have a few words to say to the congregation and I wish perfect silence. This is a very large room, and for any person to fill the space within these walls with his voice, he needs strength of lungs and stomach and the attention of the congregation.

      We have been witnessing, this afternoon, the world's great objection to "Mormonism," for we have had the privilege of beholding the unanimous vote of the people when the names of the officers of the Church were presented for election or rejection. We have seen the same oneness and unanimity this afternoon which characterize the Latter-day Saints on all occasions, and this is objectionable to the world. They say it is anti-democratic, though we think not. I looked over the congregation pretty diligently to discover a contrary vote; but I could not see such a thing. When the vote was called all hands were up. I thought, while witnessing this spectacle, "What harm is there in a people being of one heart and one mind?" but, to use a common phrase, I could not see the point. I cannot discover any iniquity in a people's being one. If they are disposed to chose evil instead of good, sin instead of righteousness, darkness instead of light, falsehood instead of truth, where is the utility in being divided and quarrelling about it? And if they have embraced, believe in and love the truth; or if they desire and are seeking for it, I ask, where can be the harm in being one in this? This is the "one-man power" that there is so much said about.

      Now, ask yourselves, and let me ask you, who has been to you, individually, and told you to vote just as you have voted here to-day? Has any man visited your habitations to tell you that when you came to this house you must all vote precisely alike? I will pause right here and will request that, if any person present has been so instructed, he or she will let us know it. I do not see any person rise, and I need not look for any one to do so, from the simple fact that not a word on this subject has been said to the Latter-day Saints. Our doctrine is true and we like it; our faith is one and we are one in it, our object is one and we unitedly pursue the straight and narrow path that leads to it.

      This is for those who have only one ear, half an ear, or no ear at all for the truth; or for those who wish to leave the truth. Though I do not suppose there are any here this afternoon that wish to leave the truth for error, that wish to forsake righteousness, holiness and truth for unrighteousness, corruption, disorder, confusion and death. People do, however, leave this Church, but they leave it because they get into darkness, and the very day they conclude that there should be a democratic vote, or in other words, that we should have two candidates for the presiding Priesthood in the midst of the Latter-day Saints, they conclude to be apostates. There is no such thing as confusion, division, strife, animosity, hatred, malice, or two sides to the question in the house of God; there is but one side to the question there.

      You ask the kingdoms of the world if they have such an organization as the kingdom of God, and they will tell you they have not. They have no organization amongst them so perfect and complete. Well, is it right for the people of the world to elect their presidents and rulers? Yes, if they wish to. For four years? Yes, or for one year, or for six months or one month, if they wish to; but when the Lord appoints presidents, he does not change them every month or year, or every four years. Should they be changed? No, they should not. Should they be changed in human governments? No, they should not; and the nation that would delight in a good government, the best possible for its preservation and strength, should pattern, in its organization, after the kingdom of God on the earth. Here are our tribunals and courts; and our courts are courts of error, to judge every matter and cause according to its merits and demerits.

      Well, where is the harm in this I wish the world, or any scientific men in it, would detail the error in a people being one; and I will go still further, and say, being one in the Lord, as we are commanded and recommended to be. Even in the wicked world, where there is so much confusion, where is the good that arises from contention and opposition? I have not seen it, and, as I have said, I cannot see the point. But here in Utah that "one-man power" is such a terrible thing. I would ask: Who is that man, and where is the power, and what is the power? It is the power of him who brought us into existence, and he is the MAN who wields it, and he is the Father of us all, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Maker and Possessor of this earth that we inhabit, and is the Producer of all things upon it. Is he one? Yes. Is his trinity one? Yes. Is his organization one? Are the heavens one? Yes. Although we have a short account, in what are called the Scriptures of truth, that on a certain occasion there was a little confusion in heaven. The Lord has revealed something of this in these latter days. What was the result? One-third part of the hosts of heaven walked out. I do not think the election lasted a great while, if they had two candidates, and it appears they had; and I do not think they stopped very long at the polls, or were very long counting the votes to find out who would be president or who would not, for they turned them out. Was there any reason for this? Would it be democratic to get up an election in heaven and have opposition? Why, yes, according to the feelings and understandings of the political world it would be very democratic; but I would say to the political world, if they were before me, that the opposition they are so anxious to promote contains the seeds of the destruction of the government that we live in. This is the plant or tree flora which schism springs; and every government lays the foundation of its own downfall when it permits what are called democratic elections. If a party spirit is developed, the formation of one party will be speedily followed by another; and furthermore, the very moment that we admit this, we admit the existence of error and corruption somewhere. Where is it? Right points out its hiding place, and says that truth, and truth only, will endure, and that falsehood and corruption and error of every description are from beneath—are of the enemy; and the Lord Almighty suffered this schism in heaven to see what his subjects would do preparatory to their coming to this earth, which we need not talk about to-day. But the division did not take place in those who were redeemed from the earth and exalted and brought up into the presence of the Father and the Son, to live in their presence and in their glory, and be partakers of their power. But it was among another class, and we are now in the midst of them. There is but one thread that can be followed that can endure for ever, but one path that we can walk in that is eternal—and that path is the path of perfection, purity and holiness, By this, and this only, have the Gods been exalted, the angels live and the heavenly hosts bask in purity. We are trying to prepare for it.

      Can error live? No, it is the very plant of destruction, it destroys itself; it withers, it fades, it falls and decays and returns to its native element. Every untruth, all error, everything that is unholy, unlike God, will, in its time, perish. Every government not ordained of God, as we have just been hearing, will, in its time, crumble to the dust and be lost in the fog of forgetfulness, and will leave no history of its doings. Why, with all the knowledge and learning now in the world we have the history of only a very scanty portion of those who have peopled our earth from the days of Adam until now. And we, in our turn, should go into the land of forgetfulness were it, not for our organization and the oneness which prevail in our midst. Says Jesus, "Unless ye are one, ye are not mine." The counsel contained in this saying is the best that could be given. Who could have given better advice to his friends than Jesus gave to his disciples? Be one, for union is strength, is it not? Yes. Go into the political world, and you will find that union is strength; it is the same in the mechanical world; and if we take every art and science, and all the pursuits of the human family, in oneness there is strength. Said Jesus, "Be ye one, as I and my Father are one, he in me and I in him; I in you," &c. Now, I finish this by saying if there is a person on the face of this earth that can give a true and philosophical reason why we should not be one, I wish he would bring it forth, for the Latter-day Saints want to have the best organization that can be formed, and they want the best of everything that can be got. We want the truth, and the whole truth; and we look forward with gladness to the time when we can say we have nothing out the truth. We cannot say that now; we have an immense amount of error, and we are very far from being perfect; but we hope to see the time that we can say that we have truth only, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

      I want to say a few words for the benefit of my brethren the Elders, and of all the Latter-day Saints, male and female, old and young; and then for the benefit of strangers, Christians and ministers of the different religious sects, if they could all hear me to-day. I can tell you the difference in one grand principle, between your religion and ours. It is this: we would not make everybody bow down to our religion, if we had the power; for this would not be Godlike; but other religionists would. It is not discovered by the world, and it is not perceived enough by the Elders of Israel. The reasons why we do not prosper and travel faster and further than we do, we have not time to talk about, perhaps, to-day; but I will say this: our religion, the religion of heaven, differs very much from man's religion. It has just been told us that the divines are in the habit of taking a text from the Scriptures, but when they do so they almost invariably preach from it. I hardly ever heard a man in my life, when in the Christian world, preach to his text, but directly from it. This makes confusion.

      Now, suppose that we were to issue our edicts to the whole world of mankind for them to obey the Gospel we preach, and had the power to compel them to obey, could we do it according to the dictates of our religion? We could not. We could invite them, and could tell them how, but we could not say, and maintain the faith that we have embraced, you must bow down and profess our religion and submit to the ordinances of the kingdom of God. I will give you a reason for this. If this were our duty, and it were legitimate, if we had the power, for us to make every person on the earth submit to the code of laws and ordinances that we have submitted to, it would prove that God is in fault in not making them do so. But if we become Godlike we will be just as full of charity as he is. We would let pagans worship as they please, and to the Christians and Mahommedans, and all sects and parties in the world we would say, "Do just as you please, for your volition is free, and you must act upon it for yourselves before the heavens. Our religion will not permit us to command or force any man or woman to obey the Gospel we have embraced. And we are under no obligation to do this, for every creature has as good a right, according to his organization, to choose for himself as the Gods. To use a comparison, all have a right to eat bread or let it alone; they may make and eat unleavened cakes as the people did anciently, if they choose; and no person has a right to say to another, "Why do you eat wheat bread, corn bread, or no bread at all? why do you eat potatoes, or why do you not eat them? why do you walk, or why do you sit down? why do you read this or that book? or why do you go to the right or the left?" for everyone has a right to do as he likes in these respects, all being independent in their capacity and choice. Here is life for you, here is salvation for you, choose ye this day whom ye will serve. If the Lord be God, serve him, or you may serve Baal, just at your pleasure. If the Elders of Israel could understand this a little better, we would like it, for the simple reason that if they had power given them now they manifest the same weaknesses in the exercise thereof as any other people. They have not an eye to discern between the spirit, power, and principles by which the the Gods live, and those which govern and control the children of men; and yet between the two there is an infinite difference.

      Can you find a Christian denomination which would not make us bow down to their creeds if they had the power? Not one. We have plenty of evidence to prove this. We have history enough to prove that when they have the power their motto is, "You shall." But there is no such thing in the economy of heaven. Life is before us, death is before us, we can choose for ourselves; and this is one of the differences between the religion of heaven and the religions of men. Do we profess to say that the various religious systems of the world are the religions of men? If they are not, what are they? If the sects and parties have not been formed by man and the wisdom of man, what power did form them?

      I will now say a few words with regard to our faith. Our religion, in common with everything of which God is the Author, is a system of law and order. The earth on which we live hangs and floats in its own element, rotates upon its axis and moves at an immense velocity without our perceiving it either asleep or awake, it performs its revolutions, the atmosphere moving with it, so as not to injure, disturb, or molest any being on its face. But how long would it retain its position and move unwaveringly in the orbit assigned it without law? Can you tell us, you astronomers? How long would the moon and the members of our planetary system retain their positions, were it not for strict law? Who gave that law? He who had the right. The world do not know him, but he will call around one of these days and let them know that be is in being. I will say to Saint and sinner, that if we do not know him, he will call by and by, and let us know that he lives, and will bring us to judgment. If we do know him, happy are we if we obey his laws. He is not a phantom; he does not exist without law, order, rule, and strict regulation. And the laws by which he is governed are the laws of purity. He has instituted laws and ordinances for the government and benefit of the children of men, to see if they would obey them and prove themselves worthy of eternal life by the law of the celestial worlds; and it is of these laws that our religion is composed. This holy Priesthood that we talk about is a perfect system of government. The best way I can think of to express my idea of Priesthood of the Son of God is to call it a perfect system of laws and government. By obedience to these laws we expect to enter the celestial kingdom and be exalted.

      We have had a few words with regard to temples. We are going to build temples. This law is given to the children of men. I will carry this a little further, and say to my brethren and sisters and all present, that the law of the celestial kingdom that is introduced here upon the earth in our day is for the salvation and exaltation of the human family. Previous to the coming forth of this Priesthood and code of laws, there was no law on the earth that we have any knowledge of whereby a man or woman could be sanctified and prepared to enter the presence of the Father and the Son. This may sound in the ears of many like strange doctrine. But pause a moment; do not let any of your hearts flutter, not for a moment. If you and the world generally knew all that we know, I do not believe that there is a wicked man on the earth, unless he be past the day of grace, but would say, "Thank you, Latter-day Saints, God bless you! I will help you to carry on your work, for you have the keys of life and salvation committed to you for this last dispensation." We could enumerate a few of the laws that we have embraced in our faith pertaining to the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth. How is it with regard to the authority to proclaim the words of salvation to the children of men? According to the Scriptures of divine truth, and the revelations that God has given, "no man taketh this honor unto himself, except he be called of God, as was Aaron." These are the words of the Apostle. Did Joseph Smith ever arrogate to himself this right? Never, never, never; and if, God had not sent a messenger to ordain him to the Aaronic Priesthood and then other messengers to ordain him to the Apostleship, and told him to build up his kingdom on the earth, it would have remained in chaos to this day. There is no objection to people having the spirit of their calling, and having it even before they are called; but if they have the spirit of wisdom given to them they wait until a servant of God says, "My brother John," or, "My brother William, the Lord Almighty has called thee to be a minister of salvation to the inhabitants of the earth, and I ordain thee to this office. This is the law of heaven. Is it observed in the Christian world? No, it is not; there man's authority and notions prevail entirely, and this is the cause of their confusion and variety in their methods of expounding the Gospel as contained in the Scriptures; but when a man who is called and ordained of God goes forth he preaches the ordinances, faith in Christ and obedience to him as our Savior. He declares that the first step to be taken, after believing in the Father and the Son, is to go down into the waters of baptism and there be immersed in the water, and come up out of the water as Jesus did. Some may inquire why the Latter-day Saints are so strenuous on this point? We do it for the remission of sins; Jesus did this to fulfill all righteousness. John said to him, when he went and demanded baptism at his hands, "I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me!" Jesus answered: I do this to fulfill all righteousness; I do this to set a pattern for my brethren, and for all who come after me and believe on my name; and this is why the Latter-day Saints are so strenuous with regard to baptism by immersion. What was the result of obedience to the ordinance of baptism in the case of the Savior? The Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, it is said, rested upon him. This is not exactly the fact, though a natural dove descended and rested on the head of the Lord Jesus, in witness that God had accepted the offering of his Son. But the dove was not the Holy Ghost, but the siren that the Holy Ghost was given to him. And after that, Jesus went forth and was tempted, as you read.

      Obedience to the ordinance of baptism is required that people may receive the remission of their sins. After that, hands are laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost; and this Holy Ghost teaches you and me to vote exactly alike; it teaches us to believe alike and to receive the ordinances of the house of God. No man or woman ever received the faith of this Gospel but what desired to be baptized by immersion for the remission of sins and to have hands laid upon them for the Holy Ghost. Then come the blessings of healing, faith, prophecy, tongues, and so forth.

      I recollect when brothers Kimball and Hyde went to England the first man they baptized was George D. Watt. In the second or third meeting after his baptism, Brother Watt got up and said: "I have the spirit of prophecy upon me;" and said he, "We are all going to leave England, and are going to America, for America is the land of Zion." Not a word had been said to Brother Watt about the gathering. Is not this so, Brother Hyde? (Brother O. Hyde: Yes, sir.) I wanted to say these few words on this subject.

      And now, my brethren, the Elders of Israel, have compassion on all the inhabitants of the earth, for we shall never have the keys of authority committed to us to he rulers until we will rule just as God would rule if he were here himself. We have been persecuted, driven, smitten, cast out, robbed and hated; and I may say it was for our coldness and neglect of duty; and if we did not exactly deserve it, there have been times when we did deserve it. If we did not deserve it at, the time, it was good for and gave us an experience, though I must say that one of the hardest lessons for me to learn on earth is to love a man Who hates me and would put me to death if he had the power. I do not think I have got this lesson by heart, and I do not know how long I shall have to live to learn it. I am trying. I believe that if the reins of power were in my hands to-day, I never would ask a man to be a Saint if he did not want to be; and I do not think I would persecute him if he worshiped a white dog, the sun, moon, or a graven image. But let us alone; let the kingdom of God alone that is all we want. If the principles of eternal life are not sufficient to win fine hearts of the children of men, just take your course—the downward road. I will say if there be any here who were once Latter-day Saints, but have apostatized, do not persecute us; do not try to hinder the work we are engaged in. We are trying to save the living and the dead. The living can have their choice, the dead have not. Millions of them died without the Gospel, without the Priesthood, without the opportunities that we enjoy. We shall go forth in the name of Israel's God and attend to the ordinances for them. And through the Millennium, the thousand years that the people will love and serve God, we will build temples and officiate therein for these who have slept for hundreds and thousands of years—those who would have received the truth if they had had the opportunity; and we will bring them up, and form the chain entire, back to Adam.

      I will say that there is not a man on the face of the earth but, if he knew the objects the Saints have in view, and the work they are engaged in, would rather say, "I have a sixpence to help you," sooner than he would persecute and slander this Priesthood or people. No, he would say, "I have a sixpence or thousands to help on this good work." We Will bring up all the inhabitants of the earth, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost, and save them in some kingdom where they will receive more glory and honor than ever the Methodist contemplated. This should be a comfort and a consolation to all the inhabitants of the earth. They will not save themselves, millions have not had a chance, and millions now living, through the strength of their traditions, will not do it; their consciences and feelings are bound up in their systems and creeds, whereas, if they felt as independent as they should feel, they would break loose and receive the truth; but they will live and die in bondage, and we calculate to officiate for them. Many a man I know of, who has fallen asleep, we have been baptized for since the Church was organized—good, honest, honorable men, charitable to all, living good, virtuous lives. We will not let them go down to hell; God will not. The plan of salvation is ample to bring them all up and to place them where they may enjoy all they could anticipate. Is there any harm in this? No. God bless you. Amen.

 

            The choir sang: "Star of Bethlehem."

            Benedictory prayer by President George A. Smith.

            Adjourned till Sunday 9th, at 10 a.m.

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[9 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 20:114, 4/12/71, p 6]

            Sunday 10 a. m.

            The choir sang: "Though nations rise, and men conspire, Their efforts will be vain;"

            Prayer by Elder John W. Young.

            The choir sang: "Oh God, our help in ages past."

ELDER JOSEPH YOUNG, SEN.,

            Addressed the congregation. He stated that he was glad that he was numbered among the Latter-day Saints that their God was his God, and that, with them, he had been permitted to enjoy the spirit of the gospel of Jesus, through which he had been enabled to learn something about the Creator. He impressed upon the Saints the necessity of being humble, submissive and forgiving. He bore testimony that the gospel preached by the Elders of Israel was the same as that taught by Jesus and His Apostles, and declared that he knew Joseph Smith was a true prophet on the same principle as Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ; by revelation from the Almighty. He reviewed some of the trying circumstances through which the Saints passed in coming to these valleys and at various times after their settlement here, and alluded to his late mission to Europe and the peculiar feelings he experienced in being so far from his brethren, kindred and friends. He drew a picture of the extremes of wealth and squalid penury which characterize England, in which country he had labored. He described the wretched condition of many of the poor Saints there and strongly advised those who had means to send assistance to enable them to come here.

ELDER ORSON PRATT

Addressed the assemblage. He showed that no blessing pertaining to life and salvation can accrue to any of the children of men otherwise than through strict obedience to law. The blessing of the remission of sins could be obtained in no other way than through obedience to the laws of faith, repentance and baptism, and the Holy Ghost could only be received through the laying on of hands. Those ordinances could only be administered by those holding authority from God, for the House of God is a house of order. He spoke of the glorious promise given to the pure in heart, that they should see the face of God, and of the promise of the Almighty that when a house should be built to His name, providing it should not be defiled His power should rest upon and be manifested in it, and that He should visit it. He referred to the blessings that were received in the Temple at Kirtland, and said that the time would come when all that were pure in heart who should enter the Temple of the Almighty, which should be built in the "tops of the mountains," would see the face of God. He continued to speak for a considerable time with regard to the building of temples in these days, upon which the glory of God shall rest, quoting several prophecies, ancient and modern, bearing upon those things. He showed clearly through his entire discourse that all things must be done in order; in accordance with law, to be acceptable to heaven.

[Orson Pratt]

[DNW 20:161, 5/10/71, p 5; JD 14:271]

DISCOURSE

By Elder ORSON PRATT, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 9th, 1871

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS, TRANSCRIBED BY MASTERS FERAMORZ YOUNG AND JOHN Q. CANNON.

_____

      Brethren, sisters, and strangers, I wish to address you for a few moments this forenoon, and to speak upon those things that may be put into my mind. We, all of us, believe that our God is a God of order, that all things that are conducted by him are conducted in the most perfect order, according to law. Hence it is written somewhere in the New Testament, I think in the 14th chapter of Paul's 1st epistle to the Corinthians that: "My house is a house of order and not a house of confusion." What we mean by this is, that everything pertaining to the salvation of men, which is acceptable in the sight of heaven, must be in accordance with strict law. In other words, that the Lord designed a work among the human family according to those laws that were ordained by him from before the foundation of the world. If he desires them to be baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, he has ordained a law through and by which mankind may be made partakers of the blessing. If he is willing to extend mercy and pardon to the children of men he has ordained a law, namely, faith in his Son Jesus Christ, in the atonement that he wrought out in the ordinances and institutions of the Gospel that he established, requiring the human family to repent, and reform their lives, to put away their sins, break off from every manner of evil and enter into a covenant with him to serve him faithfully, and to manifest their repentance by obeying a certain ordinance, then comes forgiveness. That ordinance is baptism, which must be performed according to the pattern and law of heaven; it must not be varied from. Sprinkling will not do; pouring water on the head will not do; baptism administered by a man having no authority from heaven will not be accepted; it must be administered according to law, order and authority, by one who is commissioned, to whom the Lord has spoken and to whom he has given revelation and called to perform that work, then it will be acceptable, and will be acknowledged in heaven, and be recorded in the archives of eternity; and when the books are opened it will be found in those books that that man or that woman has complied with the order of God's house, given heed to the institutions and ordinances of his kingdom, and having continued to do so to the end he or she can be saved.

      God has also ordained that when he bestows upon the children of men spiritual gifts that they must be received in order; they must be given according to the laws and institutions of the church, through the administration of that authority and power that he has established here on the earth. Hence, Paul, in writing to the saints in his day, said to them on a certain occasion that he greatly desired to visit certain branches of the church in order that he might impart to them some spiritual gifts. Why not receive these spiritual gifts in some other way? Why not receive these great and choice heavenly blessings according to our own will? Because God is a God of order and his house is not a house of confusion. If he desires to bestow any great, choice heavenly gift upon his servants and handmaidens he has ordained an authority and set that authority in his church, and through the administration of the ordinances that pertain to that heavenly gift they may be made partakers thereof.

      God has promised in the sermon on the mount a very great blessing to the pure in heart:—"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." How great is the blessing that is here pronounced! They shall see God. God is a being who is willing to reveal himself, even to his children here on the earth. If they will abide by law, give heed to the ordinances that he has ordained, and walk in consistency with the principles that are revealed, they may come up to that high privilege here, in time, that the vail will be taken away and their eyes can look on the face of the Lord, for they are pure in heart. I know it is written in other places that no man hath seen God at any time. In the book of Exodus it is written that "no man shall see my face;" and then again, the same book says that Jacob saw God face to face and talked with him. Again it is written that Moses talked with the Lord face to face as a man talks with his friend. How shall we reconcile these passages of scripture? If we take the scriptures in their true import, and according to the general tenor of their reading, they are easily reconciled. No natural man hath seen God at any time. A natural man could not behold the face of the Lord in his glory, for he could not endure it; but when a mortal man or woman here on the earth has put away the natural or carnal mind; when he or she has put away all sin and iniquity, and has complied with the laws and commandments of God, then, like Jacob of old, he or she may see God face to face, and, like Moses, talk with the Lord as one man talks with another. It is written here in this book which you and I have received as a part and portion of our rule of faith and practice, "The Book of Covenants," as follows: "Verily thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that, every soul that forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me and calleth on my name and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments shall see my face, and know that I am, and that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and that I am in the Father and the Father in me; and the Father and I are one." Again it is written in another revelation: "And in as much as my people shall build up a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it, yea, my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God; but if it be defiled I will not come into it and my glory shall not be there, for I will not come into unholy temples, etc."

      I have read these sayings, in order that the Latter-day Saints may perceive that God is willing that you and I and the least of those that are called Latter-day Saints, if they will purify themselves before him and call upon his name, keep his commandments, obey his institutions, comply with the order of his house, regulating their lives and conduct by every word that proceeds forth out of his mouth—may rend the veil, and be permitted to gaze upon the face of our Redeemer and Creator. This was the privilege of the Saints of God in times of old. Paul in addressing the Saints who lived in his day writes thus:

      "Ye are came unto Mount Zion, unto the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, unto God the judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant."

      What high privileges and great blessings were conferred upon those former-day Saints! They had been enabled by their faith to come up before God and claim, not only those common spiritual gifts that are imparted to the church for the mutual edification of its members, but they were also permitted to rise still higher, by virtue of their faith, and gaze upon the heavenly Jerusalem, to come unto mount Zion, to the city of the living God. They could behold the face of God, the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the faces of an innumerable company of angels,—the church of the First Born, and mingle themselves, as it were, in their society. All these things were obtained through obedience to the laws and institutions that God had made manifest in the midst of his house.

      When the Lord commanded this people to build a house in the land of Kirtland, in the early rise of this church, he gave them the pattern by vision from heaven, and commanded them to build that house according to that pattern and order; to have the architecture, not in accordance with architecture devised by men, but to have every thing constructed in that house according to the heavenly pattern that he by his voice had inspired to his servants. When this was complied with did the Lord accept that house? Yes! They having complied with the order and built the house according to the pattern, the Lord condescended to grace that house with his presence. In that house the veil was taken away from the eyes of many of the servants of God and they beheld his glory. In that house the Lord Jesus Christ was seen by some of the Elders of the Church in heavenly vision standing upon the threshold of the pulpit, proclaiming himself to be Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the Great I Am, &c. And he gave keys of instruction and counsel and authority to his servants, declaring unto them that he accepted that house at their hands, and inasmuch as they had been faithful in the performance of their duty in building a temple to his name, he blessed them therein. He also proclaimed unto them that from that house his servants should go forth armed with the power of his priesthood, and proclaim the Gospel among the various nations, and that many people should come from the uttermost parts of the earth and praise the name of the Lord in Zion, and in the midst of his house. Thus did the Lord, when we fulfilled on our part, fulfil his promises on his part. So, in the latter-days, when the Lord our God shall permit us to build that house of which he has spoken in the paragraph just quoted from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, it shall come to pass in that day that all who are pure in heart that enter into that house shall see God. Thus we perceive that the Lord chooses to have a house built unto his holy name, wherein he shall manifest his glory and power.

      When Moses reared a tabernacle in the wilderness of the land of Egypt according to the pattern that God gave unto him did the Lord acknowledge it? He did. Did he show forth his power and glory in that house? He did. Did a cloud rest upon it by day and a pillar of flaming fire hover over it by night? Yes! It was done according to the pattern and according to the heavenly order and commandment of the Great Jehovah. So, when the servants of God in the last days shall build a house in the the tops of the mountains, he will acknowledge it if they build it according to the pattern which shall be revealed from heaven, on the spot that the Lord shall designate by his own voice, and in the time and in the season, proclaimed by the Almighty. It shall come to pass in that day, also, that the Lord will show forth his glory in that house, and the fame thereof shall go forth to the uttermost parts of the earth: all people, nations, languages and tongues, kings upon their thrones, and many nations will say, "come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us of his ways." That is, that he may inform our minds concerning the order and laws that pertain to his house and kingdom, that everything may be done by law and authority, that what is done here on the earth may be acknowledged and recorded in the heavens, for the benefit of those who believe.

      I have about five minutes more. We read in the scriptures of diviner truth that the Lord our God is to come to his temple in the last days, as was quoted yesterday by Elder Penrose. It is recorded in the 3rd chapter of Malachi that "the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to. his temple." This had no reference to the first coming of the Messiah, to the day when he appeared in the flesh; but it has reference to that glorious period termed the last days, when the Lord will again have a house, or a temple reared up on the earth to his holy name. "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, but who shall abide the day of his coming? Who shall stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner's fire and like fuller's soap. He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver upon the sons of Levi; that they may offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord as in days of old and as in former years." The Lord intends to have a temple not only in Zion, but, according to this, in old Jerusalem; and he intends that the sons of Levi shall receive their blessings—the blessings of their priesthood that were conferred upon them in that temple; and he is determined that the ministers in that temple shall be purified as gold and silver is purified, and he is determined to sit as a refiner's fire in the midst of that temple. So it will be in the temple in Zion, for behold in the last days the Lord will rear up Zion upon the American continent, and he will also rear up Jerusalem on the eastern hemisphere. Zion on the western continent will be the place where the Lord will also purify and cleanse these two priesthoods,—the priesthood of Levi and the priesthood of Melchizedec—the lower and the higher priesthood,—and they will be filled with the glory of God upon Mount Zion in the Lord's house.

      Let me read a few passages in the Book of Covenants. Thirty-nine years ago a revelation was given, a passage or two of which I will now read; "A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith and six Elders, as they united their minds and lifted up their voices on high. Yea the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken again by the mouth of his prophets, for the gathering of his saints, to stand on Mount Zion, which shall be the city of the New Jerusalem, which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot which is appointed by the finger of the Lord in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith and others with whom the Lord was well pleased."

      I now notice another prediction: "Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city of the New Jerusalem shall be built up by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation, for verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house."

      We will now read an item from the sixth paragraph: "The sons of Moses," that is, those that pertain to the two priesthoods, "the sons of Moses and the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be established in this generation upon the consecrated spot, as I have appointed; and the sons of Moses and of Aaron," that is, those who receive the two priesthoods," shall be filled with the glory of God upon Mount Zion in the Lord's house, whose sons are ye, and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church; for whosoever is faithful to the obtaining of these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying of their calling are sanctified by the spirit unto the renewing of their bodies, that they become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom and the elect of God," etc.

      Here then we see a prediction, and we believe it. Yes! The Latter-day Saints have as firm faith and rely upon this promise as much as they rely upon the promise of forgiveness of sins when they comply with the first principles of the Gospel. We just as much expect that a city will be built, called Zion, in the place and on the land which has been appointed by the Lord our God, and that a temple will be reared o~ the spot that has been selected, and the cornerstone of which has been laid, in the generation when this revelation was given; we just as much expect this as we expect the sun to rise in the morning and set in the evening; or as much as we expect to see the fulfillment of any of the purposes of the Lord our God, pertaining to the works of his hands. But says the objector, "thirty-nine years have passed away." What of that? The generation has not passed away; all the people that were living thirty-nine years ago have not passed away; but before they do pass away this will be fulfilled. What is the object of this Temple? The object is that the Lord may, according to the order that he has instituted, unveil his face to his servants, that those that are pure in heart and enter into that temple may be filled with the glory of God upon Mount Zion in the Lord's house; and, finally, whatever we may be called upon to do, whether it be building temples, cultivating the earth, organizing ourselves into co-operative companies to carry out the purposes and designs of Jehovah; whether we are sent abroad on missions or remain at home, it matters not, all things must be done in order, all things must be performed according to law, so that they will be acceptable in the sight of heaven, and be recorded there for the benefit of the people of God here on the earth. Why? Because God is a God of order; he is a God of law. God is that being that sways his scepter over universal nature and controls the suns and systems of suns and worlds and planets and keeps them moving in their spheres and orbits by law; and all his subjects must comply with law here on the earth, that they may be prepared to do his will on the earth as his will is done by the angelic hosts and those higher order of intelligences that reign in his own presence. Amen.

 

            The choir sang: "How beautiful upon the mountains."

            Prayer by Elder George Q. Cannon.

_____

[9 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 20:114, 4/12/71, p 6]

            2 p.m.

            The choir sang: "Behold the mountain of the Lord."

            Prayer was offered by Elder Orson Pratt.

            "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire," was sung by the choir.

ELDER ALBERT CARRINGTON

Expressed his gratitude that, after a short sojourn at home since his return from Europe, he should again be called to go forth to assist in spreading the gospel and gathering Israel. He had no desire but to go where he was sent and where he could do the most good. There were many saints in Europe who would like and who deserve to be gathered. A great deal of care should, however, be exercised in assisting the poor. The last financial report from Liverpool showed that that office was not in possession of any means; therefore he wished it to be understood that all letters sent from here to that office asking the mission to help out their relatives and promising that they would pay when they could, would received no attention whatever; unless means was supplied from some other source no help could be rendered. There were many saints in England who had saved considerable towards their emigration and who could therefore be brought out with but a little assistance. He spoke of some Elders who had been sent from here, and, after having been sustained by the saints, had borrowed means from poor people, under solemn promises that it should be refunded, which promises had never been fulfilled. Such conduct could not be too strongly reprobated. He spoke for some time on the gathering of Israel from the nations.

            Elder George Q. Cannon read over the following additional names of Elders who were called to go on missions, the vote that they should go being unanimous:

William C. Staines, Emigration Agent at New York;
Warren N. Dusenberry, to assist Elder Staines;
Benjamin Hulse.

            The following brethren were called to go to Europe:

George Reynolds, Salt Lake City;
Ralph Harrison, Providence, Cache Co.;
William M. Bromley, Springville;
George Wilkins, Spanish Fork;
John Roberts, Lehi;
Solomon Chase, Springville;
John Pyper, Nephi;
John B. Fairbanks, Bishop of Payson;
Jacob Miller, Farmington;
Benjamin W. Driggs, Pleasant Grove;
Elijah Box, Brigham City;
David John, Provo;
Caleb Hawes, Provo;
Joseph V. Robinson, Fillmore;
William C. Anderson, Salt Lake City;
Thomas Dobson, Coalville;
James A. Leishman, Wellsville;
George P. Ward, Hyrum;
B. W. Carrington, Salt Lake City;
George W. Thatcher, Logan.

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG

Said he had a few sermons to preach, and that they would be short. He had to say to the Elders who would go to preach the gospel, when people who might even be unworthy applied to them for baptism, to forbid them not, and they would thus clear their skirts. He explained that many embrace the gospel because they know it to be true, but many such have not the love of the truth in their hearts. He expressed the pleasure he experienced in laboring for the building up of the Kingdom of God, because he took care to keep his conscience clear and leave all results with the Lord, and advised the Elders to take the same course. There was no such thing as a miracle only to those who are ignorant of the principle upon which such results are produced, and related many instances of the scanty supplies of the Saints being increased by invisible powers, in times of scarcity. He commented severely on the conduct of Elders who, while on missions, had borrowed money and had not repaid it. We must, he said, carry on the work of gathering the good, bad and indifferent, for the net catches all kinds of fish. It does not matter whether they come here and apostatize or not. He made a powerful appeal to the Saints to contribute freely of their means to help gather the poor. He alluded to the mining excitement here and advised those who came to open mines, and all others, not to go to law, for by doing so they would but waste their substance. There is a certain class who, instead of directing their energies in legitimate labor, try to lie by their wits; such characters are useless. He defined the difference between true and false education, and showed how men of wealth, intelligence and education could direct their resources and ability so as to be benefactors to the human family. He advised the Latter-day Saints to work for capitalists who come here to open mines, and they would pay them honestly. Many of them are here to make money and they wish to make it honorably. There has been a great deal of negligence in regard to the payment of tithes. A few have been strict in this matter but they were the exceptions, and those exceptions were among the poor and not the rich. His discourse was eloquent, powerful and highly instructive, comprehending many matters of vital importance. It was reported in full and will soon appear in the NEWS.

[Brigham Young]

[DNW 20:125, 4/19/71, p 5; JD 14:78-91]

DISCOURSE

By President Brigham Young, delivered
in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 9th, 1871.

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REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

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      I have a few sermons to preach, and as the time is short I do not know that I shall be able to deliver as many as I wish to. I want your attention, and you will have to be quiet. I find that my voice is a little broken, and it will be pretty hard for me to speak so that you can hear me. I shall not try to talk down the crying of children, the whispering of the congregation, or the shuffling of feet, as I have often done. I want your attention to the various subjects I wish to lay before you; for I shall have but a few minutes to speak on each one.

      In the first place, I want to say to the Elders who go forth to preach the Gospel—no matter who may apply to you for baptism, even if you have good reason to believe they are unworthy, if they require it forbid them not, but perform that duty and administer the ordinance for them; it clears the skirts of your garments, and the responsibility is upon them.

      A few words now with regard to gathering. I will say that if unworthy people are gathered in the future, it is nothing new or strange, nothing more than we expect. If this net does not gather the good and the bad we should have no idea that it is the net that Jesus spoke about when he said that it should gather of all kinds. Furthermore, there are a great many who come into the Church because they know the work is true. Their judgment, and every reasoning faculty and power of their minds tells them it is true; consequently they embrace the truth. But do they receive the love of it? That is the question. I will tell you that very few of those who receive the love of the truth, but many of those who fall away, though they know the Gospel is true, do not possess the love of the truth, and they will not apostatize while scattered. We try to get them to do so in the old country, but they will not. Bring them over to New York and they will not apostatize. They will labor there year after year, and struggle and toil until they can get to the gathering place, they must come to headquarters, then they can apostatize, forsake the faith, and turn away from the holy commandments of the Lord Jesus. This is not our business. Our duty is to preach the Gospel and to receive all that wish to have the ordinances administered to them, and leave the result in the hands of God. This is his work, not ours. He has called us to be co-laborers with him.

      I want to say for the consolation of the Elders of Israel and those who go forth to preside, you need have no trouble with regard to the building up of this kingdom, only do your duty in the sphere to which you are assigned. I think there is more responsibility on myself than any other one man on this earth pertaining to the salvation of the human family; yet my path is a pleasant path to walk in, my labors are very agreeable, for I take no thought what I shall say; I trouble not myself with regard to my duties. All I have to do is to live, as I have often made the comparison, and keep my spirit, feelings and conscience like a sheet of blank paper, and let the Spirit and power of God write upon it what he pleases. When he writes I will read; but if I read before he writes, I am very likely to be wrong. If you will take the same course you will not have the least trouble.

      Brother Carrington was telling us about the way in Which money turned up to clear the ship after sending off more Saints than he had means to pay for. Was this a miracle any more than many other things in our lives and in the work of God? No, the providences of God are all a miracle to the human family until they understand them. There are no miracles only to those who are ignorant. A miracle is supposed to he a result without a cause, but there is no such thing. There is a cause for every result we see; and if we see a result without understanding the cause we call it a miracle. This is what we have been taught; but there is no miracle to those who understand.

      While Brother Cartington was speaking about getting twenty pounds, I thought of a few circumstances which have transpired here. I will refer to one that came along in 1856. In that year our agents in England loaded up the Saints, brought them over the ocean, up the rivers and railroads, and fitted them out with ox teams, wagons, and provisions, and then sent on their drafts to me, and within thirty days I had piled upon me $78,000 that I had to pay. I never was apprized of any draft being drawn upon me, or one word sent from the Liverpool office, until I saw the drafts as they commenced to come in for five, ten, or fifteen thousand dollars. I did not know where I was going to get the first dollar; but I did just as I always do—my duty and trusted in God. I had not, a draft protested, and I do not think that any man went without his pay. But let me have done the business, I should have done it differently. When I have the privilege of acting, I act a little more by works than altogether by faith. I dare not trust my faith quite so far, but others dare, and they have not swamped me yet; they have not lettered my feet so that I cannot walk, nor tied my hands so that I cannot handle; nor my tongue so that I cannot speak; and the Lord has delivered me every time with the help of my brethren.

      We do not care anything about these things, they are but trifles. We could stand here and talk until tomorrow morning, telling remarkable instances of the providences of God towards his servants and people, and then only have just commenced. Who put flour into the barrels here when we were destitute and had nothing to eat? The women would go and scrape the precious barrel and take out the last half ounce of meal and make up a little cake to divide among the children; and perhaps the next time they would go to the barrel they would find it halt full of flour. Who put it in? Their neighbors? No, they had none to put in. Was it from the States? If it was, they who brought it must have flown through, the air, for they could not have brought it with ox teams quite so quickly. But without stopping to inquire further about how this replenishing of the flour barrels was effected, I know now, and knew then, that these elements that we live in are full of all that we produce from the earth, air, and water. I told the people when we settled here that we had all the facilities here that we could ask for, all we had to do was to go to work and organize the elements. How far Jesus went to get the wine that was put into the pots which we read about in the account of the marriage at Cans of Galilee I do not know; but I know that he had power to call the elements that enter into the grape into those pots of water, unperceived by anybody in the room. He had power to pass through a congregation unseen by them; he had power to step through a wall and no person be able to see him; he had power to walk on the water, and none of those with whom he associated could tell how; he had power to call the elements together and they were made into bread, but it was done by invisible hands.

      Well, I will change the subject a little, and I say to the brethren, do not be discouraged; bring on all who wish to obey the Gospel, that they may apostatize. We want them to apostatize as quickly as possible. How long will the people continue to apostatize? Until the Master comes. When he comes the word will go forth, "Gather my wheat into my garner, and bind the tares in bundles, that they may be burned." The wheat and the tares will grow together until harvest, and we cannot help it, and we need not worry about it neither.

      We want the brethren and sisters to feel around and see if they can find a sixpence, a dollar or five dollars to help out the poor. Talk about the people over yonder being hungry, why I have known them eat not more than a third of a meal for a whole week in order to save enough to feed two or three of us Elders. I was always ashamed to take it; and I will tell you what else I am ashamed of. I am ashamed that any man calling himself an Elder of Israel should go to any country to preach the Gospel and then commence begging. Such a course is disgraceful. I have no fellowship for those who do it; and those who will borrow and not repay ought to be cut off the Church. I will give you a little of my experience when on my English mission. When I landed in Liverpool I had six bits, and with that I bought me a hat. I had worn, on my journey to England, a little cap that my wife had made me out of a pair of pantaloons that I could not wear any longer. We stayed in Liverpool one year and sixteen days, and during that time we baptized between eight and nine thousand persons, printed five thousand Books of Mormon, three thousand hymn books, over sixty thousand tracts that we gave to the people, and the Millennial Star; established a mission in London, Edinburgh, and I do not know but in a hundred other places, and we sustained ourselves. Who was there on that mission, I mean among the missionaries, that had a coat or cloak that I didn't pay for? I transacted the business myself, and we paid every dime. We got money from the brethren and sisters and paid them up. Besides doing this, we fed family after family; and I never allowed myself to do down to the printing office without putting my hand in the drawer and taking out as many coppers as I could hold, so that I might throw them to beggars without being stopped by them on the road. Did we borrow that which we did not pay? No. Did we beg? No. The brethren and sisters, and especially the sisters, would urge us to come and eat with them. I would try to beg off; but that would not do, it would hurt their feelings, we must go and eat their food, while they would starve to procure it. I was always ashamed of this; but I invariably had a sixpence to give them. How much had I given to me? One sister, who now lives in Payson, gave me a sovereign and a pair of stockings; and when I came away a hatter, by the name of Miller, sent two hats by me to my little boys. The sisters, when I first went to Liverpool, made a little contribution and got me a pair of pantaloons. I was not in the habit of begging, but I said to them, "When my trousers are a little ridiculous, I guess you will know it. won't you?" and they gave me a pair of pantaloons, otherwise I do not think I received one farthing. I might have received a shilling or two from others, but I do not recollect. When we left we sent over a shipload of the brethren and sisters, a good many of whose fares we paid. When I went into Liverpool I do not think I could have got trusted a sixpence if I had gone into every store and shop in the place. When we came away a certain Captain wanted to bring us over, and said he, "Are you ready?" "No." "How long must I wait for you? "Eight days;" and they tied up one of the finest vessels in the harbor of Liverpool in order to bring us over. I thought, this was a miracle, don't you? I am sure there are some sisters now here who came with us in that vessel. I received that as a miracle. It was the hand of God. Was it our ability? No. Is it our ability that has accomplished what we see here in building up a colony in the wilderness? Is it the doings of man? No. To be sure we assist in it, and we do as we are directed. But God is our Captain; he is our master. He is the "ONE MAN" that we serve. In him is our light, in him is our life; in him is our hope, and we serve him with an undivided heart, or we should do so.

      What do you suppose I think when I hear people say, "O, see what the Mormons have done in the mountains. It is Brigham Young. What a head he has got! What power he has got! How well he controls the people? The people are ignorant of our true character. It is the Lord that has done this. It is not any one man or set of men; only as we are led and guided by the spirit of truth. It is the oneness, wisdom, power, knowledge and providences of God; and all that we can say is, we are his servants and handmaids, and let us serve him with an undivided heart.

      Let us gather the poor. Look up your sixpences, dimes, and dollars. Just think what your feelings would be, if your children had to go to bed to-night crying for bread and you had none to give them! Think of it, families, you who profess to be Saints! Fathers, think of getting up in the morning and not a mouthful to feed your families with. I have seen them totter along, although it was good times when I was there to what it is now, so they say; but I have seen them totter along the streets when they could hardly stand up, for want. But I never failed to give such persons sixpence, a shilling, or a penny, when I realized that such was their position before they passed me. The Lord gave it to me and I dealt it out freely, and am doing so still, and I calculate to do so.

      Now, let us help the poor, bring them here, place them in good, comfortable circumstances, so that they can strut up and say, "I guess I am somebody, and I ask no odds of the Lord." O, fools! When I hear such expressions, or see such a disposition manifested, I think, "O, foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you? who has turned your brain and made you believe that you are independent of that Being who brought you and all the human family on the earth? Who has instructed you to believe that God has nothing to do with us, that everything that is is by the providence of chance, or no providence at all, and that man is all there is?" Who has taught the people this? Not the wise, not the true philosopher. Find a true philosopher and you find one who has the true principles of Christianity. He delights in them; and sees and understands the hand of Providence guiding and directing in all the affairs of this life. Though Inert are severed far from God, and though they have hewn out to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that will hold no water, the true philosopher recognizes the hand of the Supreme, guiding and controlling the affairs of the children of men.

      I have a short discourse to preach now to my friends who may be here to-day, who are engaged in, or who may contemplate commencing operations in, the mining business. It is the general belief now, that there is a great deal of mineral wealth in these mountains. The reports that have gone abroad concerning this are causing great excitement; and I will preach a short discourse now to miners, merchants, lawyers, doctors, priests, people, everybody. I want to talk to you a little and give you some counsel; and I want the Saints to take this counsel. But they take it all the time, and I expect they will continue to do so. This counsel is with regard to lawing with one another. I want to say to you miners: Do not go to law at all; it does you no good, and only wastes your substance. It causes idleness, waste, wickedness, vice, and immorality. Do not go to law. You cannot find a court room without a great number of spectators in it; what are they doing? Idling away their time to no profit whatever. As for lawyers, if they will put their brains to work and learn how to raise potatoes, wheat, cattle, build factories, be merchants or tradesmen, it will be a great deal better for them than trying to take the property of others from them through litigation.

      We have got to a state in our nation when there is quite a portion of the young and middle-aged men who calculate to live, as the saying is, by their wits. I would like to have a man look philosophically into his own heart, by the spirit of truth, and examine himself, and see what he is, what he was made for, and what, use he is on the earth if he never did a thing to produce a morsel of bread. Such a man eats the bread of the laborer, he wears the clothing of the laborer; every time he lies down on his bed he lies on that which the labor of another produced; he never took the pains to raise a goose, duck, lamb, or sheep. He never sheared a sheep or tried to make cloth of the wool; he never took the pains to plough the ground and sow a little wheat, to plant a few potatoes, to raise a calf, a pig, or a chicken. No, he never did anything useful; but still he eats, drinks, and wears, and lives in luxury. In the name of common sense What use is such a man on this earth? The question may arise, "Must we not have law?" We have plenty of it, and sometimes we have a little too much. Legislators make too many laws; they make so many that the people do not know anything about them. Wise legislators will never make more laws than the people can understand. But by reason of the wealth of our country, young men are sent to schools and colleges, and after receiving their education they calculate to live by it. Will education feed and clothe you, keep you warm on a cold day, or enable you to build a house? Not at all. Should we cry down education on this account? No. What is it for? The improvement of the mind; to instruct us in all arts and sciences, in the history of the world, in the laws of nations; to enable us to understand the laws and principles of life, and how to be useful while we live. But the idler is of no use to himself or to the world in which he dwells.

      In all nations, or at least in all civilized nations, there are distinctions among the people created by rank, titles, and property. How does God look upon these distinctions? How do Truth, Justice, and Mercy look upon them? They are all alike in their eyes. The king upon the throne and the beggar in the street are the same before the Heavens—the same in the eyes of Truth, Justice, Love, and Mercy. Find a true philosopher and he will look at the children of men as they are. I do not care whether he says so or not, he regards the poorest of the poor as human beings—men and women, and the kings and great ones, no matter how they are clothed, if they wear crowns, diadems, and diamonds, and ride in gilded coaches, are but human beings.

      Our education should be such as to improve our minds and fit us for increased usefulness; to make us of greater service be the human family; to enable us to stop our rude methods of living, speaking, and thinking. But you take those who bear the sway among men, those who hold the affairs of the nations in their hands, catch them in the dark, and they are the lowest of the creations of God. Many of them descend to the lowest gutters they can find, and there, in darkness and in private, wallow in filth and wickedness. This is a waste of their lives, a prostitution of their knowledge and of the blessings Providence has bestowed upon them. Many of them will sit and gamble all night, to see who shall have the pile; and such men are called gentlemen! And in the day time they seem the most perfect gentlemen imaginable. They are accomplished to the highest degree; they understand languages, and amongst them are to be found lawyers, doctors, statesmen and members of the highest classes of society. I heard of one in New York. A young man went there from Boston, and a gentleman wished to show him around, and initiate him into the mysteries of high life in New York. He took him to one of the finest houses on Fifth Avenue, I think it was. The young man supposed it was the residence of a private family. He was led into a long hall, so richly adorned and ornamented that his eyes were dazzled. There was table after table, table after table, surrounded by gentlemen who were gambling, and the furniture and the room throughout were gorgeous in the extreme. Here was hall after after hall, side rooms, refreshment rooms, etc., and the young man found out that he was in a fashionable gambling hell. He had not believed in such things before; but he sat there all night watching, for he wanted to find out something pertaining to fashionable life in the metropolis. About 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning there was a gentleman sat back from one of the tables. He had played, played, played at one of the tables until he had played himself perfectly out, his money and estate all gone. He entered the place the night before a wealthy man, and by 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning he was not worth a penny in the world. He threw himself back from the table, and saying, "Gentlemen, I am played out," he took a derringer pistol from his pocket, put it to his ear, and put a ball through his brains. He was one of the wisest of that class of men I ever heard of. If each and every one of them would do like this one, before commencing to game, and leave their substance to men and women who would labor, they would prove themselves wise, for their wealth would benefit the earth. "O," say they, "we have plenty." If you have, go and build up another city or town; go into the wilderness, take the poor with you, teach them how to farm, how to raise cattle, how to gather around them the comforts of life, and prove yourselves worthy of an existence. If you have money to gamble with, you have money to buy a farm and set the poor to work. In doing this, you are helping to elevate the human family; but in gambling and otherwise abusing the blessings, power and influence you possess, you do no good to anybody, and work out your own destruction. When you have bought a farm and set the poor to work, get a school on your farm, and begin and teach those who never had the privilege of going to school. There are hundreds and thousands in the City of New York who never went to school a day in their lives; they are wallowing in the gutter, ragged, dirty, and filthy. They learn sharpness, it is true; but where do they sleep? By the wayside, or crawl into some old building—girls and boys, and live there by the thousand. They have not a shelter to place their heads under, but when night comes their only refuge is old buildings, hovels, and corners of streets forsaken by the police, and there they must spend the night. Why not take such characters and bring them out to this country, or take them to California, Oregon, or to the plains of Illinois, Wisconsin, &c., and make a town, settle up the country, and make these poor, miserable creatures better off? You would prove yourselves worthy of existence on the earth if you would. But no, "We will gamble." Now gamblers, stop your gambling here and go to work; that is my advice. "Well but," say some, "we are not going to be instructed by Brigham Young." Who cares for that? If you will not receive my instructions, instruct yourselves. I want you to see, in and of yourselves, that your life is a poor miserable life of waste, a disgrace to the human family. Go to work, improve the country, build towns and cities, set out shade trees, build school houses and meeting houses and worship what you please, we do not care what. Be civil, honest in your deal, be upright, do not take that which belongs to your neighbor; and miners do not go to law, and lawyers go to work. If you have difficulties that you cannot settle among yourselves, have recourse to arbitration. Select your men, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, or what number you please, men without prejudice for this or that side, place them in possession of the facts of the case; and when they say, "Mr. James Munroe, you do so much;" or, "Mr. John Jones, you do so and so, this is our decision," abide by it. This course will cost you nothing, you go about your business, the country is quiet, and the community is not running after these infernal courts. Excuse me for the expression; but the whole nation think we must have courts, and the courts adjudicate; and some courts take the liberty of legislating as well as adjudicating, when, the fact is, if all difficulties now taken into courts were submitted to men's honor, honesty, brains, and hearts, they could be adjudicated without the least trouble in the world. What would we do with our judges in such a state of society? Let them go to farming, get a factory, or go into business and improve the country.

      I cannot say that this counsel is especially for the Latter-day Saints. Why? For this simple reason—you take out of these mountains the whole of the community except the Latter-day Saints, and I might include a good many who do not belong to the Church, and we would not have a lawsuit in our midst from one year's end to another for five hundred miles square. And if the counsel I have just given be adopted, we shall have the most stable mining districts through our settlements that have ever been found in the western country. You will never see the excitement that you have seen in other mining localities. Of course there may be some who will crawl up into the mountains, build up little towns, and have their games and a little rowdyism, but not much; you will see a steadfast community.

      We say to the Latter-day Saints, work for these capitalists, and work honestly and faithfully, and they will pay you faithfully. I am acquainted with a good many of them, and as far as I know them, I do not know but every one is an honorable man. They are capitalists, they want to make money, and they want to make it honestly and according to the principles of honest dealing. If they have means and are determined to risk it in opening mines you work for them by the day. Haul their ores, build their furnaces, and take your pay for it, and enter your lands, build houses, improve your farms, buy your stock, and make yourselves better off; but, no lawing in the case. I have had an experience in this. I never lawed it much in my life; but from my youth my study has been to avoid law, and to take a course that no man could get the advantage of me.

      The esteem in which I hold law prompts me to keep out of it. You recollect the story of the lawyer and the two farmers. The farmers had quarreled about a cow, and they went to law, and the result was the farmers held the cow and the lawyer milked her. I never see law going on much without the lawyer getting the milk and the cream, while those who go to law hold the cow for him to milk. I know you think my esteem is not very high for lawyers. I will say it is not for their evil practices; but as men and gentlemen I have known many who never dabbled in dishonesty. I have marveled many times at the oath that is required Of a lawyer with regard to his client; it gives him license to make white black, and black white. If I were to fix up an oath for a lawyer to take when he entered upon business, I would make him swear to tell the truth, and to show the right of the case, for or against, every time, that is what I would do. But they are licensed from the very oath they take to justify their client, let him be ever so wrong; this, however, does not compel them to be dishonest. Now, I do beseech you, I pray you, for your own sakes, you capitalists, to have no law. I have heard it said that a mine is good for nothing until there has been two or three lawsuits over it, but I say that will make your claims no better whatever.

      I will say still further with regard to our rich country here. Suppose there was no railroad across this continent, could you do anything with these mines? Not the least in the world. All this galena would not bear transportation were it not for that; and, take the mines from first to last, there is not enough silver and gold in the galena ore to pay for shipping were it not for the railroad And then, were it not for this little railroad from Ogden to this city these Cottonwood mines would not pay, for you could not, cart the ore. Well, they want a little more help, and we want to build them a railroad direct to Cottonwood, so that they can make money. We want them to do it and to do it on business principles, so that they can keep it, and when you get it, make good use of it and we will help you. There is enough for all. We do not want any quarreling or contention; and I believe that, if dishonest capitalists were to come here and commence a dishonest course with our citizens in hiring them, there are men of honor sufficient to say, "You had better get out of this place; we are an honest and industrious community, and we wish to deal on honest principles and make this community substantial. We will finnish you with all your supplies that we can produce here, and take our pay for it; you take your capital and add to it, and then when you leave you will, feel well about us and yourselves."

      I do not want you to think that I have ever counseled this. Do it, in and of yourselves, for you know it would be ridiculous in the eyes of some to take counsel of Brigham Young; it would be preposterous to suppose he can give good counsel. I leave that, however, to every man or woman to decide whether or not it is good counsel. There has been but little of this contention and lawing here, and I do hope and pray there will be less; it only creates bad feelings and distress in any society in the world.

      We are here as a human family. Bless your hearts, there is not one of us but what is a son or daughter of Adam and Eve, not any but what are just as much brothers and sisters as we should, be if born of the same parents, right in the same family, with only ten children in the family. It is the same blood precisely. I do not care where we come from, we are all of this family, and the blood has not been changed. It is true that a curse came upon certain portions of the human family—those who turned away from the holy commandments of the Lord our God. What did they do? In ancient days old Israel was the chosen people in whom the Lord delighted, and whom he blessed and did so much for. Yet they transgressed every law that he gave them, changed every ordinance that he delivered to them, broke every covenant made with the fathers, and turned away entirely from his holy commandments, and the Lord cursed them. Cain was cursed for this, with this black skin that there is so much said about. Do you thing that we scald make laws to change the color of the skin of Cain's descendants? If we can, we can change the leopard's spots; but we cannot do this, neither can we change their blood.

      There is a curse on these aborigines of our country who roam the plains, and are so wild that you cannot tame them. They are of the house of Israel; they once had the Gospel, delivered to them, they had the oracles of truth; Jesus came and administered to them after his resurrection, and they received and delighted in the Gospel until the fourth generation, when they turned away and became so wicked that God cursed them with this dark and benighted and loathsome condition; and they want to sit on the ground in the dirt, and to live by hunting, and they cannot be civilized. And right upon this, I will say to our government if they could hear me," You need never fight the Indians, but if you want to get rid of them try to civilize them." How many were here when we came? At the Warm Springs, at this little grove where they would pitch their tents, we found perhaps three hundred Indians; but I do not suppose that there are three of that band left alive now. There was another band a little south, another north, another further east; but I do not suppose there is one in ten, perhaps not one in a hundred, now alive of those who were here when we came. Did we kill them? No, we fed them. They would say, "We want just as fine flour as you have." To Walker, the chief, whom all California and New Mexico dreaded, I said, "It will just as sure kill as the world, if you live as we live." Said he, "I want as good as Brigham, I want to eat as he does." Said I, "Eat then, but it will kill you." I told the same to Arapeen, Walker's brother; but they must eat and drink as the whites did, and I do not suppose that one in a hundred of those bands are alive. We brought their children into our families, and nursed and did everything for them it was possible to do for human beings, but die they would. Do not fight them, but treat them kindly. There will then be no stain on the Government, and it will get rid of them much quicker than by fighting them. They have got to be civilized, and there will be a remnant of them saved. I have said enough on this subject.

      I want to say a little now with regard to tithing. Some of this people think they pay their tithing. I expect they do; but I can make the same comparison that Jesus did when in Jerusalem. Here came the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, &c., and put their substance in the Lord's storehouse; and there came along a poor widow with nothing, to all appearance. She had not clothing to make her comfortable, but she had two mites, which she had saved probably by her labor, and she placed them in the storehouse of the Lord. Jesus lifted himself up, and, seeing what they were doing, said, "Of a truth I say unto you that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all; for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God; but she of her penny hath cast in all her living that she had." Now there are a few of just this same kind of characters here who do pay their tithing. But do we rich men pay ours? Not by considerable. I can inform the Elders of Israel and everybody else that since we have been raising grain in these valleys the deposits paid in on tithing have not amounted to one-hundredth part of all that has been raised, whereas one-tenth was due the storehouse of the Lord. You may say, "Brother Brigham, have you paid in yours?" No, I have not. There is a number of the brethren who have paid in considerable, but I expect I have paid more tithing than any other man in this Church. I expect I have done more for the poor than any other man in the Church; yet I have hardly commenced to pay my tithing. How is it with you? I know how it is. There are a few poor who pay their tithing, and who are pretty strict; but take the masses of the people, and they have not paid one-twentieth of their tithing. Do you believe it? I know it. If I were to reason over this and attempt to show the Latter-day Saints the inconsistency of their course in the matter, I would plant my feet on this ground: We are not our own, we are bought with a price, we are the Lord's; our time, our talents, our gold and silver, our wheat and fine flour, our wine and our oil, our cattle, and all there is on this earth that we have in our possession is the Lord's and he requires one-tenth of this for the building up of his kingdom. Whether we have much or little, one-tenth should be paid in for tithing. What for? I can tell you what for in a hundred instances, but I will only tell you just a few, and will commence with the poor. You count me out fifty, a hundred, five hundred, or a thousand of the poorest men and women you can find in this community; with the means that I have in my possession, I will take these ten, fifty, hundred, five hundred, or a thousand people, and put them to labor; but only enough to benefit their health and to make their food and sleep sweet unto them, and in ten years I will make that community wealthy. In ten years I will put six, a hundred, or a thousand individuals, whom we have to support now by donations, in a position not only to support themselves, but they shall be wealthy, shall ride in their carriages, have fine houses to live in, orchards to go to, flocks and herds and everything to make them comfortable. But it is not every man that can do this. The Bishops cannot do it; not that I would speak lightly of the wisdom of our Bishops, but we have hardly a Bishop in the Church who knows A with regard to the duties of his office. Still we have good men, but our hearts are somewhere else, and we are not studying the kingdom, the welfare of the human family, nor what our office calls upon Us to perform. We do not seek after the poor and have every man and woman put to usury. This ought to be, for our time is the Lord's. All we want is to direct this time and use it profitably. There is abundance of labor before us. We have the earth to subdue, and to make it like the Garden to Eden. Do you believe it? I know it. But how do we live? Very much like the rest of the world. We are ready to run over all creation. Just as I have said to some of the brethren, and to some that I have known in the world; they get their eye on a dime; they see it roll away and they go after it. By and by they stub their toe against an eagle; soon they come to another one, a doubloon or a slug, and they will stub their toe against it, and down they go; but they are up again, for their eye is on that, dime, and, in their eagerness to obtain it, they stumble over the eagles they might pick up if they had wisdom to do it. Is this so? O yes, they who have eyes to see can see. Take things calm and easy, pick up everything, let nothing go to waste.

      You, sisters, know I have sometimes told you what my office is. Does it make you ashamed of me when you hear some of the brethren say, "Well, I do not believe that Brother Brigham has anything to do with my farm or household matters; or with temporal things; I do not think the First Presidency has anything to do with my temporal affairs." O, yes, we have; and to come right down to the point, it is my privilege, if I were capable, to teach every woman in this Church and kingdom how to keep house, and how to sweep house, cook meat, wash dishes, make bread without any waste, &c. I may go to a house and what do I see? Perhaps the bottom or top of the bread is burnt to a coal. Why did you not do different? "O, these are accidents." Yes, because we never think of the business on our hands. Mother gets up and it is: "O, Sally, where is the dish cloth, I want it in a minute?" "Susan, where in the world have you put that broom?" or, "Where is the iron holder?" and Susan knows nothing about either dish cloth or broom, and says, "We have no iron holder except some waste paper? If I had nothing but a piece of an old newspaper folded for a holder I would have it where I could put my hand on it in a moment, in the dark if I wanted it. And so with the dishcloth, the broom, the chairs, tables, sofas, and everything about the house, so that if you had to get up in the night you could lay your hand on whatever, you wanted instantly. Have a place for everything and everything in its place.

      If I only had time I would teach you how to knit stockings, for there are very few women now-a-days who know how many stitches to set on to knit stockings for their husbands or for themselves; or what size yarn or needles they require; and when their stockings are finished they are like some of these knitted by machinery—a leg six inches long' while the foot is a foot or a foot and a half long; or the leg only big enough for a boy ten years old, while the foot is big enough for any miner in the country: You know this is extravagant, but it is a fact that the art of knitting stockings is not near so generally understood among the ladies as it should be. I could tell you how it should be done had I time and knew how myself.

      I will ask the whole human family is there any harm in teaching people how to be mechanics and artists, and what their life is for? Is there any harm in teaching them the laws of life and how to live, so that when they go down to the grave they can say, "There is my life, and it has been one of honor; look at it and do as much better than I have as God will give you ability to do. This is the duty of the human family, instead of wasting their lives and the lives of their fellow-beings, and the precious time God has given us to improve our minds and bodies by observing the laws of life, so that the longevity of the human family may begin to return. By and by, according to the Scriptures, the days of a man shall be like the days of a tree. But in those days people will not eat and drink as they do now; if they do their days will not be like a tree, unless it be a very short-lived tree. This is our business.

      Then pay your tithing, just because you like to, not unless you want to. They say we cut people off the Church for not paying tithing; we never have yet, but they ought to be. God does not fellowship them. The law of tithing is an eternal law. The Lord Almighty never had his kingdom on the earth without the law of tithing being in the midst of his people, and he never will. It is an eternal law that God has instituted for the benefit of the human family, for their salvation and exaltation. This law is in the Priesthood, but we do not want any to observe it unless they are willing to do so. If I ask my brethren, "Are you willing to pay tithing?" Many of them would say, "Yes, we are not only willing to pay tithing, but all that we have, for we are the Lord's, and all that he has given us is his." That would be the reply of thousands here to-day. If the law of the land would permit us we would show whether we are willing to deed our property to the kingdom of God or not. Mine has been deeded; and now I will tell you that the insurance company that I have taken stock in is up yonder, and the Lord of Hosts is President of that company. I do not want to insure my life in any other; and if we want to insure property, let us insure each others' and our own. I say, my brethren and sisters, that if we had the privilege, we would show to the world whether we would deed everything to the kingdom of God or not. But can we do it here? The Government has passed a law to the effect:

      "That it shall not be lawful for any corporation or association for religious or charitable purposes to acquire or hold real estate in any Territory of the United States during the existence of the territorial government of a greater value than fifty thousand dollars; and all real estate acquired or held by any such corporation or association contrary to the provisions of this act shall be forfeited and escheat to the United States: Provided, that existing vested rights in real estate shall not be impaired by the provisions of this section."

      That is how the Government binds us up. Never mind, we can build temples, pay our tithing and our free-will offerings; we can raise our bread, hire our school teachers and teach our children without help. We came here stripped of everything, and men in high places sat and laughed at us, and said we should perish; but we have not perished. Many of them have gone down to their graves and their spirits have gone into the spirit world, where they will not have the comforting influences of the angels of God as the Saints will. Hades, the grave and the world of spirits are called hell in the original language. Now I don't expect them to go down, down, down to the bottom of the bottomless pit, where they will be pitched over with pitchforks. I do not have reference to anything of this kind when I speak of hell, or the world of spirits. I do not wish to frighten people to the anxious seat, and then say, "O, my beloved sister, how did you feel when your dear little infant died?" and, "O, my beloved brother, did not your heart bleed for your dear companion when you laid her in the silent bourne from whence no traveler returns." This is not our religion; our religion does not consist of sensation or animal magnetism, as that of the sectarian world does. I have seen it from my youth up, working on the passions of the people, making them crazy. About what? Nothing at all. I have seen them lie, when under their religious excitement, from ten minutes to probably an hour without the least sign of life in their systems; not a pulse about them, and lay the slightest feather in the world to their nose and not the least sign of breathing could be discerned there, any more than anywhere else. After lying awhile they would get up all right. "What have you seen, sister or brother? What have you learned more than before you had this fit?" I do not know what kind of a fit it would be, whether a falling sickness or fainting fit, or a fit of animal magnetism. "What do you know, sister?" "Nothing." "What have you seen, brother?" "Nothing nor nobody." "What have you to tell us that you have learned while in this vision?" "Nothing at all." It always wound up like the old song, "All about nothing at all."

      That is not the faith of the Latter-day Saints. Their religion consists of the knowledge that comes from God; a knowledge of the law of heaven, the power of the eternal Priesthood of the Son of God; and by obeying this law and these ordinances we, in a business manner, philosophically, in a manner that can be demonstrated as clearly as a mathematical problem, gain the right to eternal life; and though we do not see the Lord in the flesh we can see him in vision, and we have a right to visions, administration of angels, the power of the eternal Priesthood with the keys and blessings thereof. And by and through the labors of his faithful servants the Lord offers salvation to the human family; and though they will not save themselves we calculate to do all we can for them.

      God bless you. Amen.

 

            The choir sang: "Rejoice in the Lord."

            The benediction was pronounced by President Brigham Young.

            Conference adjourned till the 6th of October, at 10 a.m.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference.

_____

 

5 Oct 1871, Special Conference, Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly 20:416, 10/11/71, p 4]

[5 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 20:416, 10/11/71, p 4]

SPECIAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

_____

According to previous announcement, a Special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convened on this the fifth day of October, 1871, at ten a.m., in the New Tabernacle in this City.

            On the stand were

Of the First Presidency:

            Brigham Young, Geo. A. Smith and Daniel H. Wells.

Of the Twelve Apostles:

            Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young jr., Joseph F. Smith.

Of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies:

            Joseph Young, Albert P. Rockwood, John Van Cott and Horace S. Eldredge.

Of the presidency of the High Priests' Quorum:

            Elias Smith;, Edward Snelgrove and Elias Morris.

Of the Presidency of this Stake of Zion:

            George B. Wallace and John T. Caine.

Of the Presidency of the Bishopric:

            Edward Hunter, Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little.

            There were also Bishops, Elders and leading men from every settlement in the Territory.

            The choir sang: "The towers of Zion soon shall rise."

            Elder john Taylor offered up the opening prayer.

            "Mortals awake! with angels join." was sung by the choir.

[President George A. Smith]

            PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH said the design in the appointment of this meeting was to have a day's preaching to the Saints previous to commencing the business of the Semi-Annual Conference. He spoke of the kind manner in which the Lord had dealt with the people. It seemed to be a weakness with most people that in the midst of prosperity they were apt to measurably forget their duty to God, and it required something occasionally to stir them up to diligence. There was a sufficiency of the necessaries of life in the Territory, business had increased among us, and great energy had been displayed by the people in the building of railroads and developing the resources of the country. co-operation had succeeded, thus far beyond the highest anticipations of its advocated and supporters. But in the midst of our prosperity had we been consistent with our profession as Latter-day Saints, and remembered the interests of the kingdom of God? However this might be, there were strong indications that the Lord was still mindful of us. Jesus said, "Blessed are ye when all men shall speak evil of you for my sake." There never were more lies sent abroad concerning us than now. We should so live that no evil can be spoken of us truthfully.

            The Elders would be called on to preach to the people during the four days we should probably be together. President Young was in feeble health yet it was exceedingly gratifying to have his presence at Conference. The faith and prayers of the Saints were desired for his recovery.

            Quite a number of missionaries might be called during conference, to visit various portions of the United States to declare the gospel. President Smith then bore testimony to the truth of the gospel and the final triumph of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

[President Daniel H. Wells]

            PRESIDENT DANIEL H. WELLS testified that God had spoken from the heavens and revealed the fullness of the holy gospel, of which the Latter-day Saints were the recipients, Joseph Smith was inspired of the Almighty and he communed with holy angels. The world might ignore our testimonies, yet the plan of salvation for the living and for the dead had been restored, and nothing could impede the progress of the great work the Lord had commenced. We were here, and God was with us. We had come up together to the valleys of the mountains to learn of the ways of the Lord and we had the most virtuous and industrious community on the whole earth. At no moment since the commencement of this work had it ceased to grow and increase, and it would continue to be so, and we would come off victorious in every struggle. We might expect opposition. In fact the road we had traveled had not been near so rough as he expected it would be. We know we had the truth, so do many others who came in contact with us, whether they were willing to admit it or no, and since, knowing they were unable to cope with the truth by fair means or argument, resorted to disreputable and unfair means to accomplish its overthrow.

[Elder George Q. Cannon]

            ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON addressed the Conference. He said there were many subjects which could be spoken about and listened to with profit. There were probably more reasons why the present Conference should be a good one than might be expected under other circumstances. Occurrences which were transpiring should arouse the people to diligence and unity. He felt in his heart to prophesy peace to Zion. There was nothing in our surroundings to cause us to feel downcast, but everything to the contrary. The Lord had blessed us in these valleys during the past twenty-four years in a marvelous manner, and should the adversary not marshal his hosts and show his anger, it would indeed by astonishing. Whether we resided here or went anywhere else, it did not matter; God had established His work, never more to be thrown down. He did not anticipate, however, that we should have to leave this city or Territory. He rejoiced that the devil was not yet dead, for we were not yet perfect and his services could not yet be dispensed with.

            There was one thing which had been demonstrated beyond doubt, that was that no dependence could be placed on the man who did not live his religion, and who might be simply what was called "a good fellow." It took faith, humility, honesty, virtue, sobriety and other qualities to constitute a true Saint, and it would only be those who sought to cultivate such qualities who would stand.

            He had watched the course of the First Presidency and others against whom combinations had been formed, and he rejoiced in seeing the serenity and peace that had pervaded their hearts, notwithstanding the circumstances which surrounded them, and in witnessing this he had thought what a blessed thing it was to be a servant of God, having implicit confidence in the Almighty. What a blessed feeling it was to have the assurance that nothing could occur to us but what was permitted by Him. We had broken no law, we had not violated the Constitution, but we had served God and accomplished the work that was to be seen in these valleys. The persecutions now being inaugurated against us would only enhance the interests and accelerate the progress of the work of God.

            The Choir sang: "Praise Him."

            Conference was adjourned until 2 p.m.

            Prayer by President George A. Smith.

_____

[5 Oct, 2 pm]

            Two p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5th.

            The choir sang: "God moves in a mysterious way."

            Prayer by Elder Lorenzo Snow.

            "Ere long the vail will rend in twain," was sung by the choir.

[President Joseph Young]

            PRESIDENT JOSEPH YOUNG endorsed the sentiments advanced by those who spoke at the morning meeting. He alluded to the manifestations of the power of God in behalf of His people in every age, and especially dwelt upon the goodness of the Almighty to His Saints in these latter ays. If he should represent the feelings that animated him, he would but express those entertained by his brethren. The Latter-day Saints believed in the efficacy of the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, for the redemption of the human race, for it was a true principle. If a person, upon evidence presented, received an impression with regard to the truth of the gospel, and should drive such impression away by resisting it, he would be held guilty in the sight of God. He continued to speak for some time and bore a powerful testimony to the truth of the great Latter day work.

[Elder John Nicholson]

            ELDER JOHN NICHOLSON alluded to the promise of Jesus that those who obeyed heavenly principles should obtain a knowledge and testimony of their divine nature. Wherever the plan of salvation was found the people who embraced it would have a testimony of its truth and would hold out the same promise to all who would obey it. The ability to testify of the divine nature of the principles they had received was one of the peculiarities which distinguished the Latter-day Saints from all other people.

            It was a bad sign when those who professed to be Latter-day Saints manifested a disposition to "steady the ark" as they thus showed an inclination to mistrust those whom the Lord had appointed as His agents to oversee and carry on His work. The Almighty, in His supreme wisdom, knew who were qualified to assist in bringing about His purposes and it was for us to sustain the priesthood.

            He testified that he knew that God had revealed the everlasting gospel in these days, that His work would stand forever, and that those who endeavored to overturn it would but accomplish their own ultimate discomfiture.

[Elder C. W. Penrose]

            ELDER C. W. PENROSE said every stage of his experience connected with the Church of Jesus Christ only served to strengthen his faith in the work. God had given him a witness that was satisfactory to his mind; wherever he traveled and bore testimony and the people received it, they invariably testified that they also received a like witness. What he said before this congregation he would be willing to meet before the bar of God. Plurality of wives was an article of his religious faith. He adduced scriptural evidence to the truthfulness of that doctrine, and spoke of the evidence impressed on his mind by the Spirit of God when the revelation upon it was first made to him.

            He continued to speak on the nature of true marriage. Marriage with the Latter-day Saints was not a mere civil contract. A marriage by a magistrate or civil officer was to them no marriage at all -- mariage was "ordained of God" and, whether single or plural, must be administered by one having authority from God. This was a part of their religious faith previous to the passage of the act of 1862, which was a piece of special legislation for the people of the Territory, and, being aimed against their religion, was unconstitutional, as the great American people would one day acknowledge.

            He testified strongly concerning the future triumph of the Church of the living God, and the crumbling of every opposing power, and that the efforts now being made against us would but serve to bind us closer together. They would serve as a purifier of the Church, and we were now in need of a little purification.

[Elder Brigham Young, Jun.]

            ELDER BRIGHAM YOUNG, JUN., next addressed the assemblage. He said if a call were made for those who had received a testimony that God had spoken in these days to arise, a very large majority would get upon their feet, and the effect would be the same throughout the Territory. His testimony today was that God was able to defend His people now as He ever was, and He had shown His ability to do so in the past. He quoted the saying, "Trust in God and keep your powder dry." He knew that every honorable man would go with us in standing up for our rights as men.

[President George A. Smith]

            PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH said he had been pleased to listen to the testimonies of the brethren. He was also gratified to see so many people from a distance. There was still plenty of room for the people of this city to come here. God had commenced, so to speak, a reconstruction of the human family, and He used us as His instruments. It was good for us to come together to talk over matters of profit, that we might be stirred up to activity in the work we were indemnified with. Peace reigned in the one hundred and fifty settlements of the Territory, and peace was one of the fruits of the gospel. The tree was good, and so therefore was the fruit.

            The choir sang: "Sing unto God."

            Prayer by Elder C. C. Rich.

            The Special conference adjourned, and it was announced that the Semi-Annual Conference would commence the next day at ten a.m.

 

6-8 Oct 1871, 41st Semi-Annual Conference, Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly, 20:417, 10/11/71, p 5; Millennial Star 33:689, 705]

[6 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 20:417, 10/11/71, p 5]

Forty-First Semi-Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

_____

THE Forty-first Semi-Annual Conference convened in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, at 10 a.m., on this the Sixth day of October, 1871.

            The names of the authorities and leading elders on the stand being much the same as published in the minutes of the Special Conference held yesterday, it is deemed unnecessary to include them in these.

FRIDAY, Oct. 6th, 10 a.m.

            "Ye wond'ring nations, now give ear." was sung by the choir.

            The opening prayer was offered up by Elder Orson Pratt.

            The choir sang: "See! all creation joins To praise th' eternal God."

[Elder Wilford Woodruff]

            ELDER WILFORD WOODRUFF addressed the Conference. All of his experience confirmed him in the faith that we were entirely dependent on the Almighty for all things. The servants of God bore record that the work we were engaged in was true. They did not gain this knowledge through hearing others testify to its truthfulness. Each individual must receive it for himself or herself, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This had been the principle upon which the people of God in all days had relied. Upon this principle he could testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God, raised up as an instrument to usher in the great last dispensation. He had been intimately acquainted with the prophet, whom he knew to have been animated with a fervent desire to bless and benefit his fellowmen. Joseph Smith was taught by holy messengers. These were his teachers, and they informed him that the time had come for the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth, which would gather people out of every system and sect in the world. He labored faithfully in laying the foundation of the great work of the Lord until he sealed his testimony with his blood. Although he was slain, the principles he sacrificed his life to establish still lived and flourished.

            President Brigham Young was before the world. He had been acquainted with him since 1833, and could bear record, with uplifted hand before heaven, that he never had heard him give any counsel to any person other than was consonant with principles of peace and righteousness. His course had been one of uprightness and justice. Many then in meeting knew that he had been a true man in every respect. When the dark days existed among the Saints at Kirtland, when it was almost as much as a man's life was worth to confess that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, Brigham Young upheld and sustained the prophet. He came with him to these valleys, when they present a barren and uninviting appearance, and now look at the great work that had been accomplished here, through his untiring energy and wisdom in the hands of God, and in connection with his brethren.

            He continued speaking for some time longer, expressing his desires concern[ing] the salvation of the human race, alluded to his travels and labors for that purpose, and showed the extent and disinterestedness of the labors of the Elders of the Church in carrying the gospel to the nations. He explained the religious rights to which all men were entitled, stating that God the Father and Jesus Christ the Redeemer allowed the human race perfect liberty in this respect, and no man or class of men had the least right to curtail it. The constitution of the country guaranteed it to all. He also discoursed on the patriarchal order of marriage, explained the eternal nature of that ordinance, and the only way by which the social or family relations formed here could be binding in the world to come. He was willing, and so were the great bulk of the Latter-day Saints, to obey every good and constitutional law enacted by the government of our country. With laws, however, which were designed to infringe upon his or their rights, as freemen, he could not say quite so much.

            The building of Temples was mentioned by the speaker. The saints should be energetic in performing that work, that those sacred and holy ordinances necessary for the salvation of the dead might be attended to.

            The Brigham City (Professor Fishburn's) choir sang: "Praise ye the Lord."

[Elder C. C. Rich]

            ELDER C. C. RICH expressed his gratification at the privilege afforded him of listening to the testimonies and instructions enunciated by his brethren. He had been connected with the church for the past forty years, during which time he had labored, in connection with others, in helping to build up the kingdom of God. In doing this work, they had met with many and formidable obstacles, yet in every trial a spirit of peace and comfort from the Lord had been enjoyed. They never had sought to encourage principles that would tear down or destroy, but, on the contrary, had sought to foster and develop whatever tended to build up and save. The works of this people showed that they had taken that course. They had sought to establish good. Satan had been at the beginning, and would continue to oppose them until he was bound and had no longer any power on the earth. He then contrasted the gospel of Jesus Christ with the various religious systems now extant on the earth, showing that the former not only pointed to a glorious and happy future in the world to come, but the practical application of its principles brought salvation and peace in the present existence. He bore testimony that he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and also that Brigham Young was a prophet, and that he had obtained this knowledge by the inspiration of the Almighty.

            The meeting adjourned till 2 p.m.

            "I will praise thee." was sung by the choir, and prayer was offered by Elder George Q. Cannon.

_____

[6 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 20:417, 10/11/71, p 5]

2 P.M., FRIDAY, Oct. 6th.

            "Though nations rise, and men conspire, Their efforts will be vain," was sung by the choir.

            Prayer by Elder HORACE S. ELDREDGE.

            The choir sang "All praise to our redeeming Lord."

[Elder James S. Brown]

            Elder JAMES S. BROWN spoke of the nature of the testimony received by those who embraced the gospel, showing that it was not a testimony that was received through the evidence of the outward senses. It was "a more sure word of prophecy," and it was this testimony that had induced so many people to leave their homes and friends in distant lands to come here. He had received that testimony himself, and could bear witness that the same gospel taught by Jesus in his day, was being preached by the Elders of this church; also to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the Bible. He brought forth evidence from the latter book in support of the patriarchal order of marriage.

            Professor Fishburn's choir sang, "Great is the Lord! 'tis good to praise His high and holy name."

[Bishop William H. Cluff]

            BISHOP WILLIAM H. CLUFF Spoke of the manner in which the elders of Israel went forth to preach the gospel of salvation, and alluded to his labors while on his recent mission to Scandinavia, giving a brief sketch of his travels and ministry in that part of the globe. The people in the church there were generally poor, but notwithstanding this they were liberal in sustaining the mission and were doing all in their power to emigrate. Before leaving to return home, he had promised such that he would lay their case before their friends in Utah on the first opportunity that presented itself. Many people here had promised, by letter to them, that if their friends in the old country could borrow the means necessary to emigrate with, they would refund the same in grain, stock, real estate or some such way. He would say to such that there was an excellent opportunity for such persons to fulfill their promises. He would address himself more particularly to the Scandinavians on this subject.

            PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH here requested Bishop Cluff to speak in the Scandinavian language, which he did continuing his remarks for some time in that tongue.

[Elder George Q. Cannon]

            ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON thought it was an excellent thing to have the Elders bear testimony to the work of God. Their testimonies had a responsive echo in the heart of each Saint. One of the most remarkable features connected with this work was that people receiving its principles in every land obtained the same testimony concerning it. It was also a remarkable thing that this great and wonderful work was founded by a boy. This work was a problem that none of the learned of the age had been able to solve. If the statements made concerning it were true -- that it was an imposture, where could the true gospel be found? Where could be discovered so many evidences of divinity in any other system? We went forth to preach this gospel because we had received the holy priesthood, and woe unto us if we failed to declare it after having received the authority to disseminate its principles. We had gone forth in weakness, but had been sustained by God, for when we had baptized people and laid hands upon them, He had sent among them the Holy Ghost. He knew this was the work of God because the Almighty had revealed it to him.

            PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH announced that a Priesthood meeting would be held at 7 p.m., in the Old Tabernacle, the principal object of which was to take into consideration the building of Temples.

            Conference adjourned till Friday at 10 a.m.

            The choir sang, "Give ear to my word."

            Benedictory prayer by President D. H. Wells.

            While the assemblage were leaving the Tabernacle, the Fishburn choir sang, "The mountain brave.

_____

[6 Oct, 7 pm]

[DNW 20:417, 10/11/71, p 5]

7 P.M.

            The priesthood meeting in the old Tabernacle was well attended, the building being completely filled. Bishops John Sharp and Edward Hunter, President D. H. Wells and Elder Wilford Woodruff were the speakers, each of whom spoke with great power, imparting valuable instructions regarding the building of the Temples and kindred subjects. It was concluded to build a Temple in St. George, and, if possible, to complete the mason work of the same during the coming winter.

_____

[7 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 20:417, 10/11/71, p 5]

SATURDAY, Oct 7th, 10 a. m.

            "Come listen to a prophet's voice," Was sung by the choir.

            Prayer by Elder Joseph F. Smith.

            The choir sang, "Come, all ye saints who dwell on earth."

[Elder Isaac Groo]

            ELDER ISAAC GROO said we were a peculiar people. The people of God in all ages had been regarded as such by the bulk of mankind. The Latter-day Saints were peculiar because they warned the world to abandon their sinful ways and turn to the Lord. When the generations of men had been thus warned by the servants of God in all ages and those warnings had been unheeded, the consequences had been disheeded, the consequences had been disastrous to the disobedient. The same results would follow the warnings uttered and testimonies borne by the Elders of Israel in these days. He referred to the 3rd chapter of the Acts, in support of the faith of the Latter-day Saints in the doctrines of faith in Jesus Christ, baptism, by divine authority, for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. He testified that he knew that the Latter-day Saints taught and practised the same gospel that was taught by Jesus and his ancient apostles, and spoke of the prophetic sayings of Paul and others with regard to the falling away from the true plan of salvation and its ultimate restoration in the last days, showing that those predictions had been fulfilled. The wicked might scheme and plan for the overthrow of God's work, but all their plots would utterly fail. This work would never stop, but would triumph over all its enemies. He exhorted the people to sustain the priesthood and not indulge in finding fault with God's anointed. He knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that Brigham Young was his legal and duly authorized successor; he knew this by revelation from God.

            "Up, awake, ye defenders of Zion," was sung by the Fishburn choir.

[Elder David McKenzie]

            ELDER DAVID MCKENZIE felt that he was in the house of his friends; among those whose hearts were open to the revelations of the Almighty. He had no disposition to say anything that would cause any additional friction to the ill feeling which, to say the least, had been most maliciously stirred up by certain parties. His disposition was more to pour oil on the troubled waters. He would say that if those endeavoring to cause trouble here would repent of their sins and seek unto the Lord for wisdom to enable them to administer even-handed justice, they would feel much better than they now did. He continued to speak on the doctrine of plural marriage, and quoted the scriptures in support of the faith of the Latter-day Saints concerning that order. If those adopting and practicing that law were, as claimed by some, guilty of "lascivious cohabitation," why did not the Lord check it among ancient Israel? He quoted form the history of the Reformation to show that Melancthou, Luther and other great reformers were of the decided opinion that there was nothing in the gospel of Christ which set aside the law of Moses relating to marriage. Polygamy originated by revelation from God, and he wished to know whether it would not be as consistent for certain parties to send their Marshal, with a writ, after the great originator of the doctrine, as to taking their present course toward certain respected citizens.

            In the days of Joseph Smith, the prophet, there was not a true Elder in the Church, who would not have freely sacrificed his life rather than that Joseph's blood should have been shed. He wished to know whether the feelings of the people were different to-day with regard to President Young. The response of the vast congregation was, "No!"

            "We thank thee, O God, for a prophet," Was sung by the Fishburne choir.

[Bishop Elijah F. Sheets]

            BISHOP ELIJAH F. SHEETS made some remarks principally concerning the law of tithing and the building of Temples. Were the Savior to come to the world now, he would not have a house to come to. We looked forward to His second advent, and when he did appear, he would suddenly come to His Temple. The duty of this people therefore was to pay their tithes and offerings, that a place might be prepared to receive Him, and in which the holy ordinances for the living and the dead could be given an received, that the connecting link might be formed between us and our fathers who have gone before us, for the faith of this people taught them that they would have the privilege, if faithful, of striking hands with their ancestors in the kingdom of God. Let the people therefore pay their tithes and offerings, that the store house of the Lord might be filled, and pay them in their kind and at the proper time. He knew that this was the work of God, that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Brigham Young was his rightful successor

            He spoke of the past history of the Church, showing that each time the Saints had been driven, it had increased their strength, and said that if their enemies wanted them to stop growing the best thing they could do would be to let them alone.

            The choir sang "The Seraph's anthem."

            Conference adjourned till 2 p. m.

            Prayer by Elder B. Young, jun.

_____

[7 Oct, 2 pm*]

[DNW 20:417-418, 10/11/71, p 5-6]

SATURDAY, OCT. 7th, 2 P. M.

            "Behold, the mountain of the Lord In latter days shall rise," was sung by the choir.

            Prayer by Elder GEORGE Q. CANNON.

            The choir sang, "How beauteous are their feet, Who stand on Zion's hill!"

            ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON presented the Authorities of the Church to the Conference. The votes to sustain them in the following order were unanimous:

            Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; George A. Smith, his first, and Daniel H. Wells his second councilor.

            Orson Hyde, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Orson Pratt, Sen., John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young Jun., Joseph F. Smith, and Albert Carrington, members of said Quorum.

            John Smith, Patriarch of the Church.

            John W. Young, President of this Stake of Zion, and George B. Wallace and John T. Caine his councilors.

            William Eddington, John L Blythe, Howard O. Spencer, John Squires, Wm. H. Fulsom, Emanuel M. Murphy, Thos. E. Jeremy, Joseph L. Barfoot, Samuel W. Richards, John H. Rumell, Miner G. Atwood, Wm. Thorn, Dimick B. Huntington, Theodore McKean and Hosea Stout, members of the High Council.

            Elias Smith, President of the High Priests' Quorum, and Edward Snelgrove and Elias Morris as his councilors.

            Joseph Young, President of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies, and Levi W. Hancock, Henry Harriman, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates and John Van Cott, members of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies.

            Benjamin L. Peart, President of the Elders' Quorum; Edward Davis and Abinadi Pratt, his councilors.

            Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishop; Leonard W. Hardy and Jessie C. Little his councillors.

            Samuel G. Ladd, President of the Priests' Quorum; Wm. McLachlan and James Latham his councilors.

            Adam Spiers, President of the Teachers' Quorum; Martin Lenzi and Henry I Doremus, his councilors.

            James Leach, President of the Deacon's Quorum; Peter Johnson and Chas. S. Cram his councilors.

            Brigham Young, Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            Truman O. Angell, Architect for the church.

            Horace S. Eldredge, President of the Perpetual Emigration Fund to Gather the Poor.

            Albert Carrington, Historian and General Church Recorder, and Wilford Woodruff, his assistant.

[Bishop Abram Hatch]

            BISHOP ABRAM HATCH bore testimony that President Young was a prophet of God and that he was a father as well as a leader to the people. This people were peaceable and law abiding. There had not been a lawsuit in his county for the last three years. There was but one lawyer there, and he had so little business that he had not money enough to buy a law book, and he had recently commenced to run a grist mill and become an honest miller.

            In relation to the much talked of doctrine of polygamy, it was plain to him that a person could not believe the Bible unless he believed in that doctrine. He thought the Christian world were in the position of the man who told his friend he had given up drinking whisky. The friend said, "Then why don't you take down your sign?" He had a red nose. If the world wanted to cast aside polygamy, why did they not take down their sign by throwing away the Bible.

            It was the height of the ambition of the Elders of Israel to devote their time, talent and means for the rolling onward of this great work. He thought Bishop Hunter's advice excellent -- to talk little and do much.

[Bishop A. O. Smoot]

            BISHOP A. O. SMOOT bore a powerful testimony to the restoration of the gospel to the earth in these days. He showed the opposition manifested toward the latter-day work, and that every step of advancement taken by the Saints, would but increase that opposition. Every effort put forth by the people to rear temples to God would cause the devil to howl through his emissaries, yet the Kingdom of God would triumph and the Saints would rejoice under all circumstances.

            The Fishburn choir sang, "Hard times come again no more."

[Elder W. C. Staines]

            ELDER W. C. STAINES gave a brief account of his labors as agent in forwarding the emigration from New York. Everything had passed along satisfactorily, there having been little sickness and only two deaths among the people. He had talked in relation to the people of Utah with many gentlemen, and ladies in the east, and found that the prevailing sentiment was that we should be left alone. He testified to the uprightness of the characters of the leaders of the people. He alluded to the efforts being made by parties who said we should not practice plural marriage. God revealed that doctrine -- to whom therefore should we appeal in this matter? We would appeal it to the God of heaven. The priesthood was with us and in the name of Israel's God the people should be blessed.

            The choir sang "Sing ye Jehovah's praise."

            Adjourned till ten a. m., to-morrow.

            Benedictory prayer by President George A. Smith.

____

[8 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 20:418, 10/11/71, p 6]

SUNDAY, OCT. 8th, 10 A. M.

            "O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come," was sung by the choir.

            Opening prayer by Bishop LORENZO D. YOUNG.

            The choir sang, "Sweet is the work, my God, my King."

[Elder John Taylor]

            ELDER JOHN TAYLOR addressed the Conference. He was pleased to see so many people who had come together to learn concerning the interests of the Kingdom of God. They did not come together to combine against men, but to learn that which would be most conducive to their present and eternal happiness and the progress of the principles of eternal truth, as they had been revealed unto them.

            Those principles were like their author, eternal in their nature. The gospel threw light upon their minds concerning their relationship to God, the purposes of their being on the earth and their duty to mankind, and they went forth in the name of Israel's God to accomplish that destiny which he had placed in their hands. This vast assemblage were witnesses of the truth of the holy gospel which had been revealed. They received this gospel not of man, but by the influence of the holy spirit and through the priesthood, by whom it was administered.

            Elder Taylor continued to dwell for some time on the comprehensive and eternal nature of the gospel of Christ, and declared that the most untrammeled freedom should be allowed to all men, to enjoy whatever religion they chose. He had no fault to find with anybody, not even the devil, for had it not been necessary to have one, the devil would not have existed.

            Since the organization of this Church the Elders had preached to the world that it would gradually grow worse with regard to deceiving and being deceived, also that thrones would be cast down, and that any people would come out of the world to escape the sins and judgments which would exist, and it was not strange that those things had been fulfilled. The Latter-day Saints did not want the corruptions, the iniquities and abominations that existed in the world, and had become a stink in the nostrils of Jehovah, but whatsoever was good, pure and holy, that they wanted.

            The speaker alluded to the ill-treatment heaped upon the Latter-day Saints by their enemies, and said that the servants of God could not be made afraid, for God, angels and all good men were their friends. Some might think that fear existed among them, but it was a mistake, there was no such thing. He quoted the saying of one of the ancient prophets -- "They who be for us are more than they who be against us."

            He spoke with much eloquence and power, prophesying of the glorious triumph of Zion, and the overthrow of all her enemies.

[John Taylor]

[DNW 20:441, 10/25/71, p 5; JD 14:245]

DISCOURSE.

Delivered by Elder JOHN TAYLOR, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday ;Morning, October 8th, 1871.

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

_____

      We are met here in a conference capacity, and have assembled ostensibly, and in reality, to confer together about the general interests of the church and kingdom of God upon the earth. The authorities from the distant settlements are here to represent themselves and their people, and a great many are here from the surrounding settlements to listen to the teachings that may be given, to the business that may be transacted, to the doctrines that may he promulgated, and in general to make themselves acquainted with the spirit of the times, with the obligations that devolve upon them; and the various responsibilities that rest upon all parties.

      We meet, then, as I have said, to consult on the general interests of the the church and kingdom of God upon the earth, and not upon our own peculiar ideas and notions, to carry out any particular favorite theme or to establish any special dogma of our own devising; nor do we meet here to combine against men; but to seek, by all reasonable and proper means, through the interposition and guidance of the Almighty, and under the influence of His Holy Spirit, to adopt such means and to carry out such measures as will most conduce to our individual happiness; the happiness of the community with which we are associated; to the establishment of correct principles; to the building up of our faith, and strengthening us in the principles of eternal truth; to our advancement and progress in the ways of life and salvation, and to devise such measures and carry out such plans as will best accord with the position and relationship we occupy to God, to the world we live in, and to each other.

      So far as the principles of truth are concerned they are like the Author of truth—"the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." No change has taken place in the programme of the Almighty in regard to His relationship with men, the duties and responsibilities that devolve upon men in general, or upon us, as the elders of Israel and representatives of God upon the earth. Years ago, when we listened to the glad tidings which had been again revealed to man, by the opening of the heavens and by the revelations of God, we rejoiced in the great principles of truth that were then divulged. The gospel that we then obeyed brought peace to our bosoms; for it enlightened the eyes of our understandings and gave us a knowledge of our standing with and relation to the Almighty; made us acquainted with the position we occupy in relation to the living and the dead; opened up a way whereby we might pour blessings on the latter, and, as ancient patriarchs and servants if God did, by which we could confer blessings on unborn generations. That gospel unfolded unto us some of those glorious principles associated with the present position and future destiny of man. The work in which we are engaged is like the Great Jehovah—eternal and unchangeable. It emanated from God, and was imparted to man by revelation. By obedience to that gospel we received the Holy Ghost, which partook of the things of God and showed them unto us. That spirit imparted light, truth, and intelligence, which have continued to be manifested to the church of the living God and to all who are faithful in that church up to the present time.

      Men have their ideas and theories and notions, their views of morality, politics, science, and philosophy; we have our ideas in relation to God, to angels, to eternity and to our responsibility to God and to the world; and acting upon that faith we go forth in the name of Israel's God to accomplish that destiny which God has placed in our hands. God has decreed certain things with regard to the earth and the people who live on it. He has revealed unto His servants, the prophets, certain things that should transpire in connection with the world and its inhabitants, and we are left no longer to the wild chaos of fleeting thought that exists, everywhere in the world; for God has placed us under His inspiration, given unto us a knowledge of His law, revealed unto us His purposes, drawn back the curtain that intervenes between man and his heavenly Father, and divulged unto us His will; designs, and purposes concerning us. We know for ourselves of the truth of those principles that God has revealed, and if in former days Paul could say, "Ye are our witnesses, as also is the Holy Ghost who bears witness unto us," it can be said more emphatically of this day. This assembly now before me have received the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost accompanying that gospel; and every man and woman present who has lived the religion of Jesus Christ has the witness of the truth of the work they have obeyed, and they are ready with one acclaim to pronounce:" We are His witnesses, as is also the Holy Ghost which bears witness unto us." You, my brethren and sisters, know of the truths of that gospel which you have received, and you are not indebted for that knowledge to any organization that exists under the face of the heavens, other than the one you are now associated with. No philosophy, no religious combination, no school, no doctors of divinity, no priesthood of any order revealed unto you the principles which you are in possession of. The gospel that you received, you received "not of man nor by man, but through the influence of the Spirit of God and the power of the holy priesthood that administered it." This you know now, and this you then knew. It is no wild phantom, no idle theory, no notion propagated by man; but it is the word of eternal life, the revelations of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the principles of eternal truth, which you have received, from the God of truth, through the medium of that priesthood which He has organized on the earth; and this you know, realize, and understand for yourselves. You understood it years ago, and you understand it to-day. It is the same gospel, the same priesthood, the same principles of truth; it imparts the same hope, fills the besom with the same joy, disperses that uncertainty and doubt that dwell in the bosoms of unbelievers, and opens to the view of the believer visions of "glory, honor, immortality and eternal lives." And there is nothing in this world that can change these feelings—no vain philosophy, no political influence, no combinations of any kind that can root out of the mind these principles of eternal truth which are inspired and implanted there by the spirit, of the living God. They are written on the tablets of the heart in characters of living fire, and they will burn and extend while time exists or eternity endures. So far then we feel comforted and blessed. If others are satisfied with their views, all right. If a man wants to be a Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Shaker, or Quaker, all right, he can be what he pleases; but let me have my religion. Let me have principles that will draw aside the curtain of futurity and introduce me to those scenes that exist behind the veil. Let me, as an immortal being, know my destiny pertaining to time and eternity, and the destiny of my brethren and friends, and of the earth that I live upon; let me have a religion that will lead me to God, and others may take what they please, it is immaterial to me. I have no quarrel with them. They can have their own ideas and carry out their own views, so far as I am concerned, untrammelled, if they will let me have mine. Let me be surrounded with the panoply of truth, let me have the favor of Jehovah, let me associate with angels and the heavens, and eternity be opened to my view, and be placed in such a relationship with God that He can communicate His will to me, and I ask no more of this world. I have no complaint to make about anybody, I don't even complain of the devil. I know that he was sent here for a certain purpose—to carry out the purposes of God, and God did not even banish him His presence when the sons of God met together, for the devil was also among them, and we need not be surprised at anything of that kind now. When the Lord asked him where he came from, said he, "I came from wandering to and fro in the earth." What did he do in the earth? Not much good, and, I presume, all the evil he could. And I presume it was absolutely necessary that there should be devils, or there would not have been any.

      Years and years ago, I preached abroad among the nations of the earth, and I see around me here many of my brethren, the elders, whose heads are now as grey as mine, who did the same. We preached to many of you who are here, and told you that the world would wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Did we not preach this doctrine? I think we did, ten, twenty, thirty, and forty years ago. We told you then that in consequence of the wickedness that would exist upon the earth, thrones would be cast down, empires be demoralised, and that wars and bloodshed would exist upon the face of the earth, and that God would arise and vex the nations and bring them to judgment, because of their iniquities. Is it anything astonishing that these words should be fulfilled? Why, they are the words of truth! They were spoken by the spirit of revelation, and were in accordance with the revelations given to ancient men of God, who spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and who, while rapt in prophetic vision, saw and foretold what should transpire on the earth. God revealed the same things to us that He did to them.

      And what other doctrines did you bear the elders proclaim, my friends? You heard them proclaim, "Come out of her, my people." Why? "That you partake not of her sins and receive not of her plagues." Didn't you hear that? I think you did. Did you hear that her sins had reached up to heaven, and that God would remember her iniquities? Yes, you did. Do you believe it to-day? Yes: you believe just the same principles now that you believed then. Your ideas and views, feelings and theories in these respects have not advanced, as people tell us sometimes, with the intelligence of the age. God save me from such intelligence, the Lord deliver me from their infidelity, corruption, and iniquity, social, moral, political, and of every kind you can mention; and the Lord God deliver this people from it. I don't want it. I want to know God and the principles of truth. I want, as an immortal being to understand something of my relationship with the other world. I want to know how to save the living and to redeem the dead, and to stand as a savior on Mount Zion, and to bring to pass the purposes of Jehovah in relation to this people and the earth whereon we live. That is what I want to know; that is the kind of intelligence I am after. Then, if there is anything else that we have not got, that is good, virtuous, holy, pure, or intellectual, give it to us, and we will embrace it; but we don't want your corruptions, debaucheries, and crimes, which everywhere prevail, and which are a stench in the nostrils of God, angels, and all good men; and I would make a prayer here which I used to hear very often when I was an Episcopalian: "From all such things, good Lord deliver us." We want truth, purity, integrity, and honesty; we want men who live so that they dare face any man, or, even God himself; and to reach this standard is what we are after, and it is our constant aim and desire. I was very much pleased with a song I heard sung yesterday. I don't know that I can remember it, but it was something like this:

"Hurrah, hurrah, for the mountain brave,
No trembling serf is he;
Nor earth, nor hell can him enslave—
The Gods have set him free."

      There is nothing faltering in the knees of a man of God, you can't. make him quail. God is his friend, and angels and all good men are his friends. He is living for time and eternity, and all is right with him, living or dying.

      Well, but don't you think some folks are very bad? I always thought so; my mind is not changed about that a particle. Well, but don't you think the folks don't treat us very well sometimes? I never knew the time they did; I never expect to be well treated by them. I never knew nor read of any men of God that were well treated by the people of the world, and if we were I should not think we were men of God at all. Why men who feared God anciently were generally the most unpopular of men, they were considered a kind of fools, or half crazy, or something the matter with them. The enlightened pagans of former days did not like either the religion or the God of the Hebrews. They thought them a shame and a disgrace, and that Baal and their gods were much better. Men of God, in old times, we are told, had to wander about in sheepskins and goatskins, and to dwell in deserts and in dens and caves of the earth. "They must have been very wicked people in those days," say you; and they were, and so they are to-day. There is not much difference, only I think we are a little better situated, for we have our good houses and farms and an extensive territory. We live under our own vine and figtree, and none can make us afraid. They think they can, but they make a mistake; there is no trembling of the knees here. Fear does not dwell here, and if it did a little more of the principles of that gospel you have received would dispel it. I remember a kind of shaky-kneed fellow in old times, and they were in rather a critical position. There was some Gentiles holding court there. Oh no, it was not that, I forgot; it was another affair, an army was surrounding them. Excuse me for making the mistake! There was an old prophet there, rather a rough sort of a fellow, and very unpopular. His servant was a rather shaky-kneed sort of chap, was in a tremble, and wanted to know what was going to be done. "Why," says the prophet, "They are more who are for us than those who can be against us." The servant didn't understand this exactly, and the prophet prayed that he might get a little more religion. Said he, "O God, open the young man's eyes," and the Lord did so, and as soon as his eyes were opened he saw thousands of the heavenly hosts surrounding him, and said he, "The chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof." That inspired him with confidence, and did away with that trembling in the knees. Now if any of you should have had a little trembling of that kind, go to your God, seek for the spirit of revelation that flows from Him; get hold of the light and intelligence which the Holy Ghost imparts, and you will cry, "Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to the God of Israel, for He rules and will rule until He has put all enemies under His feet," you will cry out, "Zion shall arise and shine, and the glory of God shall rest upon her!" You will cry aloud, "The principles of eternal truth will triumph, not all the powers of earth and hell can stay their progress, for Zion is onward, onward, onward, until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ, and He will rule for ever and ever!"

      If there is anything the matter with any of you, I don't think there is much; but if there is, get a little more religion; live your religion, seek for the spirit of revelation, which has led you on to the present time. If you cling to that it will lead you to the portals of eternal life. Talk about the Saints of God quailing, pshaw! The work of God is onward, the kingdom of God is forward, and all that I have to say is, get out of the way, for the chariots of Israel are advancing, the purposes of God are being unfolded, the work of God will roll forth, and woe to that man who lifts his puny arm against it.

      But I am not strong in body, rather feeble in health, and I do not feel that my bodily strength is sufficient to talk much longer to this large assembly. I have heard men say they know this is the truth; so do I. I know that God has spoken. If nobody else knows on the earth besides, I know that the truths of God have been revealed; I know that the gospel has been restored; I know that this people will continue to cleave to the truth, that the kingdom of God will progress, and that by and by we will shout victory! victory! victory! now and for ever, worlds without end. May God bless Israel and all who bless Israel, and let the curse of God rest, upon her enemies, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            The Fishburn choir sang, "Hark! the song of Jubilee."

[Elder George Q. Cannon]

            ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON said the spirit that had rested upon the Elders who had addressed this Conference had been exceedingly comforting. It as a spirit of calm resignation and trust in God. The same spirit had rested upon the congregations. This was as it should be. The Saints had received the gospel f Christ, and the spirit of it had rested upon them with power. It was far better to live on the earth but a brief period and enjoy the blessings accruing from embracing the gospel than to live an extended time in possession of all earthly privileges and emoluments, but destitute of those heavenly blessings. The past history of the church shows that adversity in temporal circumstances does not bring that misery and hopelessness that would be produced upon other people in a like position. They enjoy the Spirit of God, which brings peace and joy under all circumstances. That spirit of peace is enjoyed to-day.

            Elder Cannon then gave some excellent instructions relative to the Word of Wisdom. It was a subject of extreme importance, and it was God's will that it should be observed. It was calculated to make us a healthy and long lived people, and its observance would also bring the gift of wisdom. Abstinance from those substances which were injurious to the systems of men and women would bring blessings, and each should, from this time, seek unto the Lord for strength to enable him to abstain. He did not think the spirit of God would rest to that extent upon those who used substances of an injurious nature, as upon those who kept the word of wisdom. He knew that the observance of those matters would make the Lord better pleased with the people; they would have more faith and better health.

            He next spoke of the erection of temples. Steps were being taken to push the one in this city to completion. The railroad south would make the work easier, as the rock to build it would be more readily obtained. It had been concluded to build a temple at St. George. This was a great necessity, as it was too much of a labor for the people to travel from there to this city in order to receive the holy ordinances of the gospel. It would also have the effect of dividing the attention of the adversary. Men would be wanted to go to St. George to erect the house there, and men would also be wanted to work on the temple in this city. The Lord did not wish to depend upon the spasmodic offerings of His people for the carrying on of such work; He had instituted the law of tithing for that purpose, and the people therefore should promptly pay their tithing, a tenth of their increase. They had been blessed of the Lord the present season, the wheat and some other crops this season being unequalled on the continent, also the fruit crops, and if the Saints would keep His commandments the Lord would bless the land, but if they did not He would withdraw His favor.

            The speaker continued, at some length, showing that in no age of the world had the righteous ever persecuted the wicked, but the wicked had invariably persecuted the righteous. His remarks were most eloquent and instructive. He concluded by bearing a faithful testimony to the truth of the Latter-day work.

            The choir sang, "The Lord reigneth."

            Conference adjourned till 2 p. m.

_____

[8 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 20:418, 10/11/71, p 6]

2 P. M.

            "Arise, O glorious Zion," Was sung by the choir,

            Prayer by Elder George Q. Cannon.

            The choir sung "Arise, my soul arise."

[Elder Orson Pratt]

            ELDER ORSON PRATT delivered an elaborate and powerful discourse concerning the salvation of the living and the dead, taking his text from the last chapter of Malachi. It was reported in full and will be published.

            Fishburn's choir sang, "How beautiful upon the mountains."

            ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON presented the names of a number of brethren to the Conference as having been selected to go on missions, the vote to sustain them being unanimous.

            President Brigham Young motioned that the Conference be adjourned till the 6th day of April, 1872, at 10- a.m., which was unanimously sustained.

            The choir sang, "Rejoice in the Lord."

            Benediction by President George A. Smith.

            The Conference throughout was well attended, large numbers of people being present from all parts of the Territory. The large Tabernacle, during the last three meetings, was well filled, there being probably not less than 12,000 present to-day. The attendance in the afternoon was somewhat smaller, owing to the rain.

            The spirit of God was manifestly poured out upon the Elders who spoke and upon the congregations, and notwithstanding the apparently threatening nature of surrounding circumstances, no cloud was felt to be hanging over the work or the people of God. On the contrary, the spirit enjoyed indicated an implicit trust that the all-powerful arm of Jehovah would be stretched out to defend Israel from all her enemies, and that the work of the Most High would continue to roll onward until the purposes of its inauguration were fully consummated.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference

_____

1872

6-9, 14, 21, 29 Apr 1872, 42nd General Conference, Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly, 21:120, 4/10/72, p 4; Millennial Star 34:289, 305, 321, 337]

[6 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 21:120, 4/10/72, p 4]

GENERAL CONFERENCE,

_____

SATURDAY MORNING, April 6.

THE Forty-second Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assembled in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, at 10 o'clock this morning.

            On the stand were,

Of the First Presidency.

            Geo. A. Smith and Daniel H. Wells.

Of the Twelve Apostles.

            Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Jr., Joseph F. Smith, Albert Carrington.

            Patriarch -- John Smith.

Of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies.

            Joseph Young, Albert P. Rockwood, John Van Cott and Horace S. Eldredge.

Of the Presidency of the High Priests' Quorum.

            Elias Smith, Edward Snelgrove and Elias Morris.

Of the Presidency of this Stake of Zion.

            John W. Young, George B. Wallace and John T. Caine.

Of the Presidency of the Bishopric.

            Edward Hunter, Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little.

            There were also Bishops, Elders and leading men from every settlement in the Territory.

            Conference was called to order by President GEORGE A. SMITH.

            The choir sang: "An angel from on high."

            The opening prayer was offered by Elder ERASTUS SNOW.

            The choir sang: "See, all creation join To praise th' Eternal God."

[President Geo. A. Smith]

            President GEO. A. SMITH addressed the Conference. He said that owing to a spirit of persecution disgraceful to the age our First President was not permitted to be with us. But notwithstanding the prevalence of religious bigotry, and its being brought to bear against us, we rejoiced in the blessings of God. It was not strange that men, in some respects probably illiterate, yet declaring that they possessed the principles calculated to exalt and elevate the human family, should be misunderstood. The persecutors of Jesus and his ancient disciples were men who were loud in their professions of religion and of holiness. The same principle now existed and the Saints had to contend with it. From the time the church was organized in 1830 this spirit of persecution had been manifested toward the Saints. Abuse was a poor argument to use against a system of religion.

            God had commenced a work to cause men to love one another and bring about a reign of peace. There was no doubt Satan stirred up the hearts of men to oppose the principles that would produce this result, and they followed his suggestions.

            The brethren should free their minds from all business cares and pay attention to what might be said and done, and offer mighty prayer for the redemption of Zion, for the blessings of God to rest on President Brigham Young, that he might e strengthened in body and enabled to counsel and instruct in the kingdom of God. All should consider what they could do in aid of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, that the poor might be gathered.

            President Brigham Young, when on his last visit to St. George, selected and dedicated the ground for a Temple, that the ordinances of the holy gospel might be administered there The work upon the Temple in this city should be forwarded with even greater rapidity than heretofore.

            The principle of co-operation had been adopted in many ways in the settlements, and had been gratifyingly successful, and the Female Relief Societies had been productive of good, showing what could be accomplished by the people when they were united.

            The speaker than bore a powerful testimony to the truth of the work of God. The Almighty had revealed it to him, and he therefore knew it to be true.

[George A. Smith]

[DNW 21:136, 4/17/72, p 4; JD 14:368]

REMARKS,

By President GEORGE A. SMITH, Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Saturday Morning, April 6th, 1872.

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS

_____

      Owing to a spirit of persecution and religious bigotry, alike disgraceful to the age, the enlightenment of the present generation and the nation in which we live, our First President is not permitted to be with us. While we regret such a state of affairs, we rejoice in the many liberties, privileges, blessings and powers which are extended unto us. It is not by any means strange that, while the world has been plunged in ignorance upon matters of religion and morality, and broken up into factions, on the appearance in the midst of the whole, of a small body of men, illiterate in their character, proclaiming to the world that they are inspired of the Lord, and undertake to introduce system and principles calculated to elevate mankind from degradation and destruction, and exalt them to eternal glory and endless increase, they should be misunderstood; it has been so in all ages of the world. When our Savior visited the earth bringing the simple principles of salvation, he was misunderstood, mis-apprehended, persecuted, imprisoned, crowned with thorns, tortured, as a man who was opposed to the religion of the age, and dangerous to the State. He was accused of a great variety of crimes, of being a pestilent fellow, and was finally put to death by a class of men a great number of whom were zealous professors of religion—elders, high priests, rabbis, doctors of the law and others claiming to be exceedingly holy. Jesus, in referring to the history of the past, said that the fathers of those who persecuted him had slain the prophets, and such was the case; and we find that, in every age, when God inspired a man to proclaim the Gospel of salvation, all, or a large portion of mankind, were ready to denounce him and put him to death, to whip, imprison, annoy, lie about him, proclaim all manner of evil against him, and so on, until his influence should be annihilated from the earth. The same principle still exists, and the Latter-day Saints have had to contend with it. When Joseph Smith, in 1830, organized the Church with six members, the war as it were commenced; a few hours only had passed away when he was arrested, taken before a magistrate and accused of prophesying. He was discharged, arrested again, taken before another magistrate, and finally a declaration was made that if the law could not reach him tar and feathers and mob power should. This is a very poor argument and shows the weakness of those who have recourse to it.

      We live in an age of science, in an age when intelligence is being developed in a great many directions, and when the learning of man is vastly extended. The Apostle Paul cautioned the Saints in his day to beware lest any spoil them through philosophy and vain deceit; yet the religion of Jesus Christ embraces every true and perfect principle, every correct science, every principle of philosophy—that is every true principle, and is calculated to benefit mankind in every way; and yet the laws of life as revealed, explained and developed in the organization of the human family are trampled under foot and very little understood. God has commenced a work in these last days to elevate mankind, to save them to increase them, to place them on a footing of independence; to cause them to love one another and to lay a foundation for peace and harmony, that bloodshed and war, contention and devastation shall cease; that the power of the oppressor shall be broken and that the honest in heart may have the privilege of dwelling together and building up Zion in all the earth, and of continuing the blessings and ordinances of exaltation for time and throughout all eternity.

      There is no doubt but Satan stirs up the hearts of the children of man to disobedience and to war against the principles of righteousness; but they are true. Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, he was a minister of the Most High; he brought forth pure and holy principles, principles which are calculated to save and exalt mankind. He was slain, and those who received his testimony were rob bed of all they possessed and driver into the wilderness under the influence of religious fanaticism and bigotry, which apprehended nothing but their utter destruction. God preserved them, blessed them, and they spread abroad in the midst of these valleys; they converted the desert into fruitful fields, and laid a foundation for the redemption of the human race, and thank God for these privileges.

      We want while we are here at Conference, to have our brethren collect in their minds—that is, leave their business out of doors. It is a good time to come to Conference, a splendid time to do business and all that; but while the hours of Conference are on, let us come to meeting, give strict attention to what is said and done, and call upon God in mighty prayer, that he will deliver Zion from her oppressors; that he will bless the efforts of his servants for the advancement of his work; that he will bless the Missionaries that are sent abroad, and those who are abroad among the nations, and the missions of the native elders in the various counties; that he will open the way that the poor may be gathered. And, by the way, while we are doing this, let us reflect how much we can do to aid the Perpetual Emigration Fund, in bringing home the Poor. Many of them have been scattered among the nations half a generation and more, and they are unable to gather home. Think of these things. Pray the Lord to give his servants wisdom; pray the Lord to strengthen the President of the Church—Brigham Young, heal his body, make him strong, sound and healthy, deliver him from the power of the oppressor and those who seek to destroy him, that he may have wisdom, intelligence and power to preach to and teach the Saints, and to counsel and guide the affairs of the great work which God has entrusted to him. Let us devote a few days, as the case may be, to counsel, to instruction, to bearing testimony, to acquiring a knowledge of the things of God, speaking of those things that are for the welfare of Zion; taking counsel together as to the best course to pursue on the various subjects that are before us—forwarding the building of Temples, &c.

      After last Conference President Young and myself made a journey to St. George. His health was very poor and he was quite feeble when he left here. When he reached that mild climate, or rather, that even, dry climate, he seemed immediately to commence to recruit, and while we remained there—we were absent about ten weeks—he improved very much; but in consequence of the persecution which was inaugurated against the Latter-day Saints, aiming at him directly, it became necessary for him to return in the midst of a very cold and stormy season, and very muddy roads. While at St. George he selected a spot, laid out the foundation and dedicated the ground and made a commencement, to build a temple, which is being continued under the direction of President Erastus Snow, that the ordinances of the holy priesthood, which should be administered only in a Temple, may be attended to in that part of the Territory, in the neighborhood and vicinity of those settlements.

      Our brethren can observe that a very handsome addition has been made to the foundation of the Temple here since the last Annual Conference, and they can now begin to form some idea of how the work is going to look. When you realize that all the granite that is in that immense foundation has been hauled some seventeen miles with oxen, mules and horses, you must realize that a very great job has been accomplished. But at the present time we have a railroad almost into the quarry, and the result is that the labor has been greatly lessened, and the rock and the sand and other building material can be brought here at vastly less expense than formerly, and consequently we will be able to push the work forward more rapidly. We want the brethren and sisters—all of them, to feel an interest in the tithes and offerings for the Temple, and in the labor upon it.

      All must be aware that considerable expense and a great deal of time and disarrangement of business has been caused by the persecutions and prosecutions of the last year. But we are very glad that Co-operative Associations for mercantile, manufacturing, agricultural, grazing and other purposes that have been forming in this City and throughout this Territory for several years past, have proved in an eminent degree successful, manifesting what wonderful results can be accomplished by the Latter-day Saints when united in the exercise of their several duties and in the performance of their labors. The want of unity and organization causes the loss of a good deal of time, and hence the necessity of organization and united efforts.

      The ladies relief societies in all the several settlements wherever they have existed have also been in many respects highly successful, and great blessings to the community—looking after the poor and introducing improvements, encouraging and enabling women to take charge of branches of business that are suited to their strength, knowledge and condition. It always did seem to me ridiculous to see a man six feet two and weighing two hundred and twenty measuring tape or ribbons in a store; and I shall be very thankful when I can see changes effected to such an extent that nimble fingers, suited to handle light goods will be permitted to follow that kind of employment, and so on throughout the whole organization of society. Let those great big men go and dig the rock, handle the saw log, or do something that their strength was made for, and not let their giant power wilt away in the shadow of a store. However these are things yet to come. It is not my design to offer many remarks, but merely as an introduction to the conference, to express my faith. I know that this is the work of God, and that all the efforts of wicked men to trample it under foot will be vain. I know the Lord has commenced his great work of the latter days, and that Zion will triumph. This is my testimony. I am not talking what I guess at, what I imagine or what I think, but what I verily know—God has revealed it unto me. Brethren, if you have not this knowledge within yourselves, seek it of the Lord by obedience to his laws, by observing his counsel, by walking in his ordinances, by laboring for the upbuilding of Zion, and you will obtain it, and it will be like a well of water springing up in your hearts unto everlasting life.

      May the blessing of Israel's God be and abide upon you for ever and ever. Amen.

 

[Elder Wilford Woodruff]

            Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF was the next speaker. He referred to the organization of the Church forty-two years ago by a prophet of the living God, and stated that we understood than on the 6th day of April, 1842 years ago, the Savior was crucified for the sins of the world. He quoted from the prophecies of Isaiah, showing that that prophet, in looking through futurity by the prophetic gift, could see the inauguration of the work that we, by the help of the Almighty, were engaged in forwarding. Whether men believed it or not, the predictions of holy men of old concerning the last days would follow each other in fulfillment in rapid succession from this time on. The progress of this kingdom had been onward, and its progress could not be retarded by the combined efforts of all existing powers. The set time had come to favor Zion and every weapon formed against it would fall. Every President, Judge, officer and priest who had exerted their power against this work in the past, had felt the chastening hand of God.

            Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God, and he lived long enough to receive all the keys and powers of the Holy Priesthood that had been held by any man of God that ever lived. He lived long enough to confer keys and powers and blessings on the Twelve Apostles and he sealed his testimony with his blood.

            The blessing of God had been upon President Brigham Young, and although his liberties had been curtailed by the persecutors of the Saints, he had felt calm and collected throughout.

            We had every reason to have faith that the blessings and protection of God would continue to be poured out on us as a people. Had we not come here we could not have fulfilled the predictions in the bible, Book of Mormon, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants concerning us.

            The speaker gave some excellent advice to mothers, showing the powerful influence they exercised over children, and the course they should take to properly educate them.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 21:152, 4/24/72, p 4; JD 15:7]

DISCOURSE

By Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF, delivered in the new Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 6, 1872.

_____

REPORTED BY D. W. EVANS.

_____

      Through the mercy and loving kindness of our Father in the heavens we are again permitted to meet in a general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Forty-two years ago this day this church was organized with six members, by a prophet of the living God, raised up in these last days by the administration of angels from God, and ordained unto all the keys and powers of the Melchizedec priesthood and apostleship, and of the kingdom of God on the earth. According to the best knowledge we have, 1842 years ago to-day, the Lord Jesus was crucified on Mount Calvary for the sins of the world. The 6th day of April is a very important day in many respects. It has certainly been very interesting to the Latter-day Saints to watch the history and progress of this Church and kingdom during the last forty-two years. This is one of the most important generations that men, or God, or angels have ever seen on the earth: it is a dispensation and generation when the whole flood of prophecy and revelation and vision given through inspired men for the last six thousand years is to have its fulfillment, and especially in relation to the establishment of the great kingdom and Zion of God on the earth. Joseph Smith was one of the greatest prophets God ever raised up on the earth, and the Lord has had his eye upon him from the foundation of the world. Any man who has ever read the book of Isaiah, which we frequently have quoted to us, can see that he, with other prophets, had his eye upon the latter-day Zion of God. He says in one place, "Sing O heavens, rejoice O earth, break forth into singing, O ye mountains, for the Lord hath comforted his people, he will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me;" "Ah," says the Lord, "Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."

      The Lord never created this world at random; he has never done any of his work at random. The earth was created for certain purposes; and one of these purposes was its final redemption, and the establishment of his government and kingdom upon it in the latter days, to prepare it for the reign of the lord Jesus Christ, whose right it is to reign. That set time has come, that dispensation is before us, we are living in the midst of it. It is before the Latter-day Saints, it is before the world; whether or not the people have more faith in the promises of God now than they had in the days of Noah makes no difference, the unbelief of men will not make the truth of God without effect. The great and mighty events that the Lord Almighty has decreed from before the foundation of the world, to be performed in the latter days are resting upon us, and they will follow each other in quick succession, whether men believe or net, for no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, but holy men of God spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and what they said will come to pass; though the heaven and the earth pass away net one jot or tittle of the word of the Lord will go unfulfilled.

      Some of us have lived in and been intimately acquainted with this church for the last forty years, a very few more than that, and some less; but where is the Latter-day Saint or any other person who has ever seen this church or kingdom go backward? No matter what position we were in, whether exterminated by the order of Governor Boggs of Missouri, or whether we lay, sick and afflicted, on the muddy banks of the Missouri river; whether it was Zion's Camp going up for her redemption; whether it was the pioneers coming to these mountains, making the roads, building the bridges, killing the snakes and opening the way for the gathering of the people, no matter what our circumstances may have been, this kingdom has been onward and upward all the day long until the present hour. Will it ever go backward? No, it will not. This Zion of the Lord, in all its beauty, power and glory is engraven upon the hands of Almighty God, and it is before his face continually; his decrees are set and no man can turn them aside.

      There never was a dispensation on the earth when prophets and apostles, the inspiration, revelation and power of God, the holy priesthood and the keys of the kingdom were needed more than they are in this generation. There never has been a dispensation when the friends of God and righteousness are among the children of men needed more faith in the promises and prophecies than they do to-day; and there certainly never has been a generation of people on the earth that has had a greater work to perform than the inhabitants of the earth in the latter days. That is one reason why this church and kingdom has progressed from its commencement until to-day, in the midst of all the opposition, oppression and warfare which have been waged against it by men inspired by the evil one. If this had not been the dispensation of the fulness of times—the dispensation in which God has declared that he will establish his kingdom on the earth never more to be thrown down, the inhabitants of the earth would have been enabled to overcome the kingdom and Zion of God in this as well as in any former dispensation. But the set time has come to favor Zion, and the Lord Almighty has decreed in the heavens that every weapon formed against her shall be broken. And if we take the history of any man, from the days Joseph Smith received the plates from the hill Cumorah, and translated the Book of Mormon by the Urim and Thummim, until to-day, whoever has raised his hand against this work has tell the chastening hand of Almighty God upon him; and I am at the defiance of the world to show me a president, governor, judge, ruler, priest or anybody else on the earth who has taken a stand against this kingdom who is an exception, and you may search their whole history. We have outlived several generations of our persecutors. Where are the men who tarred and leathered Joseph Smith in Portage County, Ohio? Where are the men who drove this people from Kirtland? Where are the men who drove the Church and kingdom from Jackson County, Missouri? Where are the men who undertook to kidnap the prophet while in Illinois? Where are they who drove the Latter-day Saints from Illinois into these mountains? Trace their whole history and see for yourselves. The fact is many of them are in their graves, awaiting their final judgment. And in the whole history of this people and their remarkable preservation, the invisible hand of God is as plainly to be seen as it has been in the history of the Jews from the days of Christ until now; and it will continue until this scene is wound up.

      We are led by men who are filled with inspiration. Joseph Smith was a man of God, through the loins of the ancient Joseph who, through the wisdom which God gave him, redeemed his father's house after having been sold by his brethren into Egypt. All the blessings that old father Jacob pronounced upon Joseph and upon the sons of Ephraim, his son and grandsons have rested upon them until this day. Joseph Smith was through that lineage. In his youth he was inspired of God, and was administered to by angels. Under their guidance and counsel he laid the foundation of this work, and lived long enough to receive all the keys necessary for bearing off this dispensation. He lived long enough to have these individuals administer unto him—John the Baptist, Peter, James and John the Apostles, Elisha and Elijah, who held the keys of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers; and Moroni, who held the keys of the stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim to come forth in the latter day, administered in person to Joseph Smith, and gave him these records and instructed him in the things of God from time to time until he was qualified and prepared to lay the foundation of this work. The Prophet Joseph lived to see the Church organized with apostles and prophets, patriarchs, pastors, teachers, helps, governments, and all the gifts and graces of the spirit of God; to give the Twelve Apostles their endowments and to seal upon their heads all the authority and power that were necessary to enable them to fulfil their missions. Why did the Lord take him away? He laid down his life, and sealed his testimony with his blood that it might be in three upon the heads of this generation, and that he might be crowned with crowns of glory, immortality and eternal life; that he might go to the other side of the vail, and there organize the Church and kingdom in this last dispensation. He and his two brothers were taken away into the spirit world, and they are at work there, while Brigham Young and the quorum of the Twelve were preserved on the earth for a special purpose in the hands of God. These things are true, and the hand of the Lord has been over Brigham Young, although now he is under bonds and a prisoner, and has his privileges curtailed for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Yet in the midst of all this he is calm and composed before the Lord, and has his mind open to the things of God. He still lives in the midst of this people and will live as long as the Lord wishes him to remain in the flesh to guide the affairs of Zion.

      I will say to the Latter-day Saints that we have been more blessed in this land than has any other dispensation or generation of men. The Lord has been at work for the last three hundred years preparing this land, with a government and constitution which would guarantee equal rights and privileges to the inhabitants thereof, in the midst of which he could establish his kingdom. The kingdom is established, the work of God is manifest in the earth, the Saints have come up here into the valleys of the mountains, and they are erecting the house of God in the tops thereof, for the nations to flow unto. A standard of truth has been lifted up to the people, and from the commencement of this work the Latter-day Saints have been fulfilling that flood of revelation and prophecy which was given formerly concerning this great work in the last days. I rejoice in this, and also because we have every reason to expect a continuation of these blessings unto Zion. We have always had a vail over us, we have had to walk by faith all the day long until the present time: this is the decree of God. When we were driven from Jackson County, Clay County, Caldwell County, Kirtland, and finally from Nauvoo into these mountains, we did not see and understand what lay before us: there was a vail over our faces, in a measure. It has been the same with the people of God in all ages. At that time we could not see this tabernacle, and the five hundred miles of villages, towns, cities, gardens, orchards, fields, or the desert blossoming as the rose as we see them to-day. We came here and found a barren desert: we were led hither by inspiration, by a law-giver, by a man of God; the Lord was with him, he was with the pioneers. If we had not come here we could not have fulfilled the prophecies which the prophets have left on record in the stick of Judah as well as in the stick of Ephraim—the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We have done that, and we can look back twenty-four years and see the change that has been effected since our arrival; but who can see the change that will be effected in the next twenty-four years? No man can see it unless the vision of his mind is opened by the power of God. The Lord told Joseph Smith to lay the foundation of this work; he told him that the day had come when the harvest was ready, and to thrust in the sickle and reap; and every man who would do so was called of God and had this privilege.

      The Lord has sent forth the Gospel, and it is offered to the children of men as it was in ancient days; men are required to have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and to be baptized for the remission of them, and the promise is that they shall receive the Holy Ghost, which shall teach them the things of God, bring things past to their remembrance, and show them things to come.

      What principle has sustained the Elders of Israel for the last forty years in their travels? They have gone forth without purse or scrip, preached without money or price; they have swam rivers, waded swamps, and traveled hundreds of thousands of miles on foot to bear record of this work to the nations of the earth. What has sustained them? It has been this power of God, this Holy Ghost, the spirit of inspiration from the God of Israel that has been given to his friends on the earth in these latter days. The blood of Israel has flowed in the veins of the children of men, mixed among the Gentile nations, and when they have heard the sound of the Gospel of Christ it has been like vivid lightning to them; it has opened their understandings, enlarged their minds, and enabled them to see the things of God. They have been born of the Spirit, and then they could behold the kingdom of God; they have been baptized in water and had hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and they have received that Holy Ghost among every Gentile nation under heaven wherever the Gospel has been permitted to be preached; and here they are to-day, from all those nations, gathered in the valleys of the mountains. And this is but the beginning; it is like a mustard seed, it is very small; but the little one is to become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation. The Lord will hasten it in his own time. Zion shall be called a "City sought out." The Lord is watching over us.

      I wish to say to the Latter-day Saints, we must not forget our position, nor the blessings that we hope for. All that we expect, we have got to inquire of the Lord for. Some of our brethren, as has been said here, have suffered a little through the spirit of bigotry and persecution that is in the world. I wonder many times there is not a great deal more of it. the Lord Almighty is going to make a short work in the earth; lest no flesh should be saved he will cut his work short in righteousness. The Lord is putting his hook into the jaws of the nations. He holds Great Babylon in his hands as well as Zion. He will control the children of men; and, as the Lord God lives, if the Latter-day Saints do their duty—live their religion and keep their covenants, Zion will arise, put on her beautiful garments, be clothed with the glory of God, have power in the earth, and the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Then let our prayers ascend into the ears of the Lord God of Sabbaoth, for he will hear them, that the wisdom of the wise may perish and the understanding of the prudent be hid. Our weapons are faith, prayer, and confidence in God, for he is our friend if we have any, and we are his if he has any on the face of the earth. The Lord will work with us, and we should work with him; therefore, brethren, let us live by faith, walk by faith, overcome by faith, so that we may enjoy the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us. All the institutions pertaining to the work of God in these latter days are going to progress, Zion is bound to arise, and to arrive at that position in our great future that the Prophets have seen by prophecy and revelation.

      I want to say a few words to the sisters, who have been referred to this morning—the Female Relief Societies. Our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters occupy a very important position in this generation, far more so than they realize or understand. You are raising up your sons and daughters as plants of renown in the house of Israel in these latter-days. Upon the shoulders of you mothers rests, in a great measure, the responsibility of correctly developing the mental and moral powers of the rising generation, whether in infancy, childhood, or still riper years. Your husbands—the fathers of your children, are messengers to the nations of the earth, or they are engaged in business, and can not be at home to attend to the children. No mother in Israel should let a day pass over her head without teaching her children to pray. You should pray yourselves, and teach your children to do the same, and you should bring them up in this way, that when you have passed away and they take your places in bearing off the great work of God, they may have principles instilled into their minds that will sustain them in time and in eternity. I have often said it is the mother who forms the mind of the child. Take men anywhere, at sea, sinking with their ship, dying in battle, lying down in death almost under any circumstances, and the last thing they think of, the last word they say, is "mother." Such is the influence of woman. Our children should not be neglected; they should receive a proper education in both spiritual and temporal things. That is the best legacy any parents can leave to their children. We should teach them to pray, find instil into their minds while young every correct principle. Ninety-nine out of every hundred children who are taught by their parents the principles of honesty and integrity, truth and virtue, will observe them through life. Such principles will exalt any people or nation who make them the rule of their conduct. Show me a mother who prays, who has passed through the trials of life by prayer, who has trusted in the Lord God of Israel in her trials and difficulties, and her children will follow in the same path. These things will not forsake them when they come to act in the kingdom of God.

      I want to say to our mothers in Israel, your children are approaching a very important day and age of the world. In a few more years their parents will pass away. We will go where our brethren have gone—to the other side of the vail. Our children will remain and will possess this kingdom when God's judgments await the nations of the earth, when war, calamity, sword, fire, famine, pestilence and earthquake will stalk abroad and distress the people. Our children should be prepared to build up the kingdom of God. Then qualify them in the days of childhood for the great duties they will be called upon to perform; and that God may enable us to do so is my prayer for Christ's sake. Amen.

 

[Elder C. C. Rich]

            ELDER C. C. RICH said we were so constituted that we needed continual instruction upon the principles of truth, in order to impress them upon our minds. We were laboring for salvation, and it was the only thing we should strive for. As fast as we learned truth and applied it to our lives, we were saved from error.

            The speaker spoke of the effects of obedience to the gospel of Christ, all of which were a sure testimony of the correctness of that which was obeyed, and alluded to the glorious results that would accrue were the people all over the world to cease doing wrong, and to the fact that e should form a nucleus of righteousness. It was a little over forty years since he had embraced the gospel and he knew it to be true. He had proved it for himself.

            PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH requested the people present to tell their friends that there was plenty of room here for all who wished to come and hear the gospel preached.

            The choir sang: "Sing ye Jehovah's praises."

            President DANIEL H. WELLS offered prayer and Conference adjourned till 2 p. m.

_____

[6 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 21:120, 4/10/72, p 4]

SATURDAY, April 6th, 2 p. m.

            The choir sang: "Jehovah, Lord of heaven and earth."

            Prayer was offered by Elder JOHN VAN COTT.

            "Hosannah to the great Messiah," Was sung by the choir.

[Bishop A. O. Smoot]

            Bishop A. O. SMOOT addressed the assemblage. He spoke of the earthly mission of the Savior, stating that he came to revolutionize the world. He organized a kingdom with its officers, immunities and privileges. He was persecuted and reviled. The speaker next touched upon the progress of the Church of Christ in these latter day, and of the growth of persecution in proportion. Persecution was first manifested in the capacity of a neighborhood and has extended gradually until it has reached what we now see. It was similar in Jesus' day. Herod issued a proclamation -- not exactly a fourth of July proclamation (the Bishop here desired to be excused for the allusion), but a proclamation that the male children of a certain age should be slain, that the child Christ might be destroyed.

            The speaker next alluded to the blessings promised to those obedient to the principles of the gospel, and, in illustration of his discourse, mentioned the day of Pentecost, when power was sent from heaven upon the ancient disciple. The same spirit and blessings were enjoyed by the Latter-day Saints. It was through great tribulation that eternal life could be obtained. We enjoyed a very inspiring hope -- the kingdom of God now set up would never fall, but would stand for ever. Our mission was not only one of a spiritual nature, but it partook of every element of life, and was both temporal and spiritual. The principles the Latter-day Saints had embraced would revolutionize the whole world eventually. Our mission was not only to disabuse the minds of people of religious error. "Mormonism," in its broad platform embraces ever[y] truth.

            The speaker concluded by bearing testimony to the truth of the great latter-day work. He knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that President Brigham Young was his legal successor.

[Elder John Nicholson]

            Elder JOHN NICHOLSON spoke of the antipathy and bitterness manifested by the people of the world generally to the work of God, and of the liberal and comprehensive nature of the gospel, showing that it was destined to save not only the living but its provisions were also applicable to those who had gone before into the spirit world. He dwelt on the importance of the work we had to perform in behalf of the dead in building temples, attending to holy ordinances, &c., and concluded by bearing testimony that God was doing a work on the earth, and the Latter-day Saints were engaged in forwarding its interests.

[Elder John W. Young]

            Elder JOHN W. YOUNG next addressed the Conference. He was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, and was willing to bear testimony to its truthfulness. He knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that our present leaders were also inspired and led by the Almighty. If any thought the work of God was less potent now than heretofore it was they who were wrong and not the work.

[Elder Charles W. Penrose]

            Elder CHARLES W. PENROSE bore testimony to the work of the Lord. Our knowledge of the truth was the cause of our coming to Utah. We did not come to learn that "Mormonism" was true, for we already knew it. It was comforting to know that God was at the helm of this work. We ought to acknowledge the hand of God in all things that transpire. If we do so all things will be overruled for our good, and his kingdom will ultimately gain the victory. Arguments had been adduced by men to show that it was a fallacy for the Latter-day Saints to trust in God, but none who ever trusted in him ever trusted in vain; not even if they died thus trusting, for the principles that men and women of God had died for would live, spread and accomplish their high destiny.

            The speaker said he had no principle to sacrifice. The principles of truth had brought him to Utah and he intended to stand by them; to live, and , if necessary, to die for them. He could not give up any principle of the gospel for any earthly fear or consideration. His experience had been that when he had gone forth to perform any duty connected with the work of God the lord had sustained him.

            He continued at some length, and concluded by exhorting the people to maintain their integrity to God and his servants.

            The choir sang: "Great is the Lord."

            Prayer by Elder JOHN TAYLOR.

            Adjourned till 10 a.m. to-morrow.

_____

SECOND DAY.

_____

[7 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 21:120-121, 4/10/72, p 4-5]

SUNDAY, April 7, 10 a.m.

            The choir sang: "When earth in bondage long had lain."

            Prayer by Elder JOSEPH W. YOUNG.

            "Behold the mountain of the Lord," was sung by the choir.

[President George A. Smith]

            President GEORGE A. SMITH said he had been requested by President Young to state to the conference that he was in comfortable health and good spirits, and that he regretted the circumstances which prevented him from meeting with the people this morning. He hoped, however, at no distant day, to meet again with the people and bear testimony of the goodness of God, and of the principles of truth.

            We need not be surprised at the feeling of malignity manifested towards the work of God when pulpit and press were given over to lying, slandering, and misrepresenting.

            The speaker desired to call the attention of the brethren who had been on missions to Europe to the fact that some of them, when they returned home, seemed to forget that they were missionaries. At times the people who had treated them with kindness while on their missions were forgotten by them. This should not be. We should continue to be missionaries and instruct the people after they came here, that they might not be lead away by wrong influences.

            The Elders should remember those who entertained them while on their missions, at a sacrifice to themselves. Those who could should extend a helping hand to them. It should be made a point to do something handsome annually to help to emigrate the poor. Here were a hundred thousand Saints in Utah and could they not assist in emigrating the few thousands who wanted to come here? If they apostatized after they came here, all right. If we did our duty the responsibility rested with them.

            When President Young returned from St. George and gave himself up voluntarily into the hands of the U. S. Marshal, he, the speaker, received a letter from a prominent gentleman of Massachusetts, who stated that it was nothing but a put up job, and that President Young had done more than any other living man, to benefit large bodies of people, and this was true. God bless such a man and God bless every man and woman engaged in so good a work.

            The history of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund was one of great interest. The people had in the past sent 200, 300, 400 and 500 wagons and teams in four separate years to the Missouri river to help the poor. This was the work of Brigham Young in conjunction with the efforts of a free-hearted, generous people.

[George A. Smith]

[DNW 21:136, 4/17/72, p 4; JD 15:13]

REMARKS.

By President GEORGE A. SMITH, Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Saturday Morning, April 6th, 1872.

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

_____

      We are again assembled this morning to continue the duties and services of our Conference, and I am requested by President Young to state that he is in the enjoyment of comfortable health and in excellent spirits. He regrets very much the circumstances which render it inexpedient for him to meet with you this morning, and hopes the time may soon come when he will again enjoy theft privilege, also the privilege of bearing testimony to the glorious work of the last days, in the public congregation. He desires and appreciates the prayers and faith of the Saints; he thinks that it is quite proper that any man before he is thoroughly qualified to rule shall learn to be ruled—that, he shall learn to obey before he learns to command. All these lessons in their time and in their season are proper for us to learn.

      When we realize the malignity of the spirit of persecution which is aimed at the Latter-day Saints in these valleys, we need not wonder that we have to contend with vexatious lawsuits and with illegal and unjustifiable prosecutions, for the influence of the pulpit and the press when controlled by the spirit of lying is very great for evil, but God is greater—his power is more omnipotent; and although thousands of prophets, priests and wise men in the earth have been compelled to lay down their lives for the cause of Zion, and for the sake of the principles of the gospel of peace, and in doing so they have acquired honors that could not be attained in any other way; their reward is certain, eternal and sure.

      I wish to call the attention of the elders who have been in years past, on missions, to one important item of duty. It is well known that our emigration annually brings some thousands of persons among whom our missionaries have labored and with whom they are acquainted, and among whom are many who still look to them for fatherly advice and encouragement, but many of the elders who return immediately forget that they have been missionaries. When they reach home they perhaps find their affairs a little deranged, business having stopped in their absence, money making or procuring the means of living having gone rather behind hand, they drop right into a groove as it were to catch up, and they forget their duties, and the people whom they have been acquainted with and who have treated them with kindness and generosity are also frequently forgotten and neglected. The emigrants come into these valleys and fall perhaps under influences that are wrong and wicked, for men inspired with a spirit of hostility to the work of God will take more pains to poison their minds than those who feel all right do to give them correct information. I wish to say to all such elders and to all the brethren, that when they get home their mission is not consummated, and that when new comers arrive we should take pains to look after their welfare, give them counsel and instruction, aid and comfort, and realize that we are missionaries all our lives, and that it is our duty to instruct such in the things of the kingdom, to encourage them and set before them principles of intelligence, such as will be for their benefit.

      I wish further to say to the Elders and to the brethren who have emigrated, that they should remember their friends they visited before they came here, or when they were on missions in the old world. Remember the poor family that went without their provision, perhaps, to give you a feast, or the family that to make you warm and comfortable gave up their beds to you, themselves enduring cold, discomfort and inconvenience to do so; or the family that opened their doors to shelter you from the storm when their neighbors hooted and scouted them, as it were, for entertaining a stranger. You missionaries in your experience have all met with such families, and many of them are there yet without the means to get here. Perhaps they have said to you, "Will you help me when you get home?" and you may have given them a look of encouragement, a half promise, or expressed a hope that you might be able to do so. Have you forgotten it? Perhaps a little effort on your part and on the part of your neighbors might bring these families to this country and place them in a position to acquire lots, farms, and homes of their own, redeem them from thraldom and bondage worse than slavery, and place them in a position of independence on their own soil, enjoy the fruits of their own labors and help to build up and develop the rising, spreading glory of Zion.

      I have heard there is an Elder who, when on a mission borrowed some money of a widow that had not means enough to get away, but had a little she could spare until she could acquire enough to bring her family here; and that Elder, peradventure, has forgotten to pay it. I have heard there is such an Elder in Utah. Shame on him if there is! Under such circumstances we should not only pay punctually and faithfully what we owe, with good and reasonable interest, but all of us European missionaries should be prepared to do something handsome annually to help those from the bondage and thraldom in which we found them, and where they must remain until means are obtained to deliver them. I am calling now for the donation to the Perpetual Emigration Fund. A hundred thousand Latter-day Saints in Utah, and can we riot help a few thousand that yet remain in the old missions, and bring them here? "Well," some may say, "they will apostatize if they come." That is all right, they must have the privilege. I understand that we have brought some men here with the Fund that have apostatized, betrayed the Saints and done all in their power to stain their garments in the blood of the prophets; but that is not our fault, it is theirs. We should gather the Saints and they themselves are responsible for the use they make of the blessings which God bestows upon them, even if they come through our hands and exertions. Look at the tens of thousands of families now in Utah in comfortable circumstances with houses, farms, wagons, cattle and horses of their own, many of them with carriages, and these families taken by the contributions of the Latter-day Saints from the most abject servitude and poverty from the bowels of the earth, from within the walls of factories, where but for this fund they must have remained for their lives; but now they are in comparative independence and enjoying the blessings of freemen.

      After President Young returned from St. George for the purpose of voluntarily placing himself in the custody of United States Officers, as is well known, I received a letter from an eminent gentleman in the State of Massachusetts, who said that the prosecution against him could be nothing more nor less than a put-up job, and that the people of the country understood it as such; "and the fact is," said he, "Brigham Young has done more for the benefit of large bodies of people than any other living man on the earth." That is true. By the inspiration of Almighty God through his servant Brigham Young, this Fund was organized, and he has been the President of it, and through his energy and enterprise and the aid of the Latter-day Saints—his friends—he has gathered tens of thousands that could never have owned a rod of ground or a house as long as they lived, but would have been at the mercy of employers who looked upon them only as a portion of their property, and the question with them has been how much of this man's labor can I get for the smallest pittance; but through the exertions and counsels of President Young and his brethren they have been delivered from this bondage and placed in comparative independence. I say God bless such a man, (Congregation said Amen) and God bless every man and every woman who will contribute to carry out this glorious purpose.

      I am very anxious to wake up the Elders to labor at home, to keep alive in the hearts of the Saints the spirit of truth. While all those who so desire are free to apostatize, it should not be for the want of proper information, care and instruction, or in consequence of the neglect of the Elders to do their duty. I exhort the Latter-day Saints to unite in carrying on the work of gathering. A few years ago we thought that we would gather them all. When we had raised what means we could, and had expended it, we found the Elders were baptizing about as fast as we were bringing the Saints away. That is all right. Let us get the old and faithful Latter-day Saints away, and keep baptizing all that desire to be baptized. In the Scandinavian Mission the number of baptisms keep up, and some years a little more than keep up, with the emigration. There are families from year to year that can be brought away by a little assistance; they have part means, and only need a little more to emigrate. I do think that the history of the Perpetual Emigration Fund is a wonderful one. The Latter-day Saints in Utah sent from here two hundred wagons one year, three hundred another year, four hundred the next, arm for two years five hundred wagons each year, each wagon having four yoke of oxen, or their equivalent in mules and horses, and bore all the expenses consequent upon bringing people across the Plains, bringing from one to four thousand persons a season. This is certainly creditable, and it has been done through the influence of Brigham Young and the united efforts of a free-hearted and noble people. We have got a railroad now and do not have to send the wagons; the business assumes another shape. The emigration is brought here with less labor and in less time, but with more outlay.

      I have now laid before you my views on the emigration of the poor Saints from abroad. Consider upon and think about them. Make your calculations, and feel in your pockets and contribute to help on the work, and carry with you to all the settlements of the Saints a spirit that shall bring home to Zion the brethren and sisters from abroad. In that way the work can continue. May God bless all who aid in this glorious work is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[Elder John Taylor]

            Elder JOHN TAYLOR addressed the conference. We had met in our present capacity to be instructed in matters pertaining to our faith and practice in the building up of the church of God upon the earth. We were under the guidance of the Almighty, for he has revealed to us the everlasting gospel, and we had been gathered here under its auspices, and to help to fulfill the designs of the Lord which were in his mind before the world was.

            The speaker commented upon the church of Christ as it existed in the Savior's day, its priesthood, offices, blessings, &c., and upon the other religious systems and people contemporaneous with it, showing points of similarity to things as they existed in these days. He spoke of the necessity for our manifesting an appreciation of the incalculable blessings we had received. We should cast aside all sluggishness and be active in honoring our great calling. It was to the principle of revelation that we were indebted for all the light and intelligence in the possession of man in relation to God and eternity, and every system not founded upon it was destined to pass away. The people of the world did not understand the principles which God had revealed to us, therefore they could not do as our elders had done. Their ministers would not like them, go forth among strangers and preach without purse or scrip. They would not sufficiently trust in God.

            "Mormonism" was an enigma to the world. The United States had been endeavoring to solve it for years, but they had not yet done it, and they never would. It was incomprehensible to the world, for it was as high, deep, wide and comprehensive as eternity Our faith was the same as the faith of the Saints of all ages. Men differed from us in views and practice and they had a right to do so, and we had no objection.

            The speaker predicted that no power could stay the fulfillment of the purposes of God, commented upon the future glorious destiny of Zion, and upon the prophecies of the ancient prophets, relating to the work of the latter days.

[John Taylor]

[DNW 21:186, 5/8/72, p 6; JD 15:21]

DISCOURSE

By Elder JOHN TAYLOR, Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning April 7, 1872.

_____

REPORTED BY D. W. EVANS

_____

      We are again met, in our Annual Conference, for the purpose of hearing the words of life, and of being instructed in the various duties and responsibilities that rest upon us, and that we, as Latter-day Saints, may be taught principles pertaining to our holy faith, and be instructed in the duties devolving upon us in the various positions that we occupy; that by a unity of faith, purpose and action, we may be able to accomplish something that will promote truth, advance the interests of Zion and the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth.

      We are told that it is not in man to direct his steps, and we stand here in a peculiar position under the guidance and direction of the Almighty. The Lord has seen fit to reveal unto us the everlasting Gospel, and we have been enabled, by the grace of God, to appreciate that message of life which he has communicated unto us, and we have been gathered from the nations of the earth under the influences and auspices of that Gospel. We are gathered here for the accomplishment of certain objects relative both to ourselves and others, the great leading principle of which is—to help to fulfil the designs that existed in the mind of the Almighty before the world was, relative to the earth and humanity; and I presume that that exhortation which was made eighteen hundred years ago to certain Saints, would be just as applicable to us to-day as it was to them. They were exhorted to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints." That, no doubt, sounded very strange to them in that day and age of the world; they had had Jesus among them, he had preached his Gospel unto them; the light of eternal truth had been made manifest, and they had participated in the blessings of the Gospel; and yet, under these peculiar circumstances, blessed, as it were, with the light of revelation, with Apostles in their midst, with a complete Church organization, with everything that was calculated to enlighten, instruct and lead them on in the path of righteousness, they were told to contend earnestly for that faith once delivered to the Saints.

      It seems that in the different ages of the world in the past, there has existed, as there does to-day, a species of self-righteousness, self-complacence, a reliance upon the wisdom, intelligence and virtue of man. In that day the Scribes and Pharisees, the lawyers and doctors, the great Sanhedrim, the pious men, thought they were the peculiar elect of God, and that wisdom would die with them. Jesus came among them and told them very many unpalatable truths; among others, that they were "whited walls and painted sepulchres; that they appeared fair on the outside, but inwardly there was nothing but rottenness and dead men's bones." He told them that for a pretense they made long prayers; not that they had any reference to God at all, for God had very little to do with them. They did it, he told them, in order that "they might be heard of men." They made broad their phylacteries, (that is a species of writing which they bound on all their garments,) with certain passages of Scripture. They made them very broad, that they might he considered extra pure, virtuous and holy. Jesus called these very pure, holy, virtuous people, painted sepulchres.

      But there is something else associated with these matters very peculiar. Jesus taught the principles of life and salvation—the everlasting Gospel. He introduced men into the kingdom of God; he organized a pure Church, based upon correct principles, according to the order of God. Men were baptized into that Church; they had hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and they received it. They had among them Apostles and Prophets, Pastors and Teachers, Evangelists and inspired men. The Church enjoyed among themselves the gift of tongues, visions, prophecy; the sick were healed, the blind received their sight, the deaf heard, and the lame leaped for joy; the visions of heaven were unfolded to their view, and they had a knowledge of many things pertaining to eternity; and yet, with all their light, intelligence and blessings, with all their Apostles, with the fulness of the Gospel in their midst, they were advised to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints. The Lord has revealed to us many blessings, and I sometimes think that we hardly appreciate the light of truth which has been developed, the glory that is connected with the Gospel which has been restored, the light of revelation which has been communicated, the position that we occupy in relation to God, angels, our posterity and our progenitors, the hope that the Gospel has implanted in the bosom of every faithful Latter-day Saint, which blooms with immortality and eternal life; and sometimes, when exposed to the various trials with which we are encompassed, to the opprobrium and reproach frequently heaped upon us by ignorant and evil disposed persons, some of us, perhaps, think that our religion is something like that with which we are surrounded. We sometimes forget our prayers, responsibilities, duties and covenants, and we give way in many instances to things which have a tendency to darken the mind, becloud the understanding, weaken our faith, and deprive us of the Spirit of God. We forget the pit whence we were dug, and the rock from which we were hewn, and it is necessary that we should reflect on the position that we occupy, upon the relationship we sustain to God, to each other and to our families, that our minds may be drawn back again to the God who made us—our Father in the heavens, who hears our prayers, and who is ready at all times to supply the wants of his faithful Saints. And it is sometimes necessary that we should reflect upon the position we hold in relation to the earth on which we live, to the existence that we had before we came here, and to the eternities to come. We should not be sluggish and dull and careless and indifferent; but as the ancient Saints were exhorted, so let us exhort you to-day—contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints.

      The religion of the everlasting gospel did not originate with any man or any set of men. It is wide as the world and originated with the Great Eloheim. It is a plan ordained by him before the world was for the salvation and redemption of the human family. It is a thing that men, in various dispensations, under the influence and inspiration of the Almighty, have possessed more or less; and it is to that that we are indebted for all the knowledge, and the light, and all the intelligence in relation to eternity. The gospel which you have received you received not of man, neither by man, but on the same principle as they received it in former days—by the revelation of Jesus Christ, by the communication of God to man, and any religion that has not this for its foundation amounts to nothing, and any superstructure built upon any other foundation will fade and vanish away like the baseless fabric of a vision, and leave not a wreck behind.

      One of old in speaking of these things said: If any man build with wood, or hay, or stubble, or anything perishable, the day would come when it would be burned up and there would be left neither root nor branch. But we, as eternal beings, associated with an eternal God, having a religion that leads to that God, are desirous, as the ancients were, to know something about him, to be brought into communication with him, to fulfil the measure of our creation and our destiny on the earth, and to help the Lord to bring to pass those things that he designed from before the foundation of the world, in regard to the human family. God has designed to redeem the earth whereon we live. Mankind were placed on this earth for a certain purpose, and however erratic, foolish and visionary the course of man may have been, the Almighty has never altered his purpose, never changed his designs nor abrogated his laws; but with one steady, undeviating course from the time the morning stars first sang together for joy, until the earth shall be redeemed from under the curse and every creature in heaven and on the earth shall be heard to say: "Blessing and glory, honor and power, might, majesty and dominion be ascribed unto Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb for ever;" and throughout all the successive ages that have been and that will be, his course is one eternal round. He has had one object in view, and that object will be accomplished in regard to man and tide earth whereon he lives. The only question with us is whether we will co-operate with God, or whether we will individually work out our own salvation or not; whether we will individually fulfil the various responsibilities that devolve upon us or not; whether we will attend to the ordinances that God has introduced or not; for ourselves to begin with, for our families, for the living and for the dead. Whether we will co-operate in building temples and administering in them; whether we will unite with the Almighty, under the direction of his holy priesthood, in bringing to pass things that have been spoken of by the holy prophets since the world was; whether we will contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints. These things rest with us to a certain extent. God has communicated to the Latter-day Saints principles that the world are ignorant of, and being ignorant of them they know not how to appreciate our feelings. They call good evil, light darkness, error truth, and truth error, because they have not the means of seeing the difference between one and the other. "But you are a chosen people, a royal generation, a holy priesthood," separate and set apart by the Almighty for the accomplishment of his purposes. God has ordained among you presidents, apostles, prophets, high priests, seventies, bishops and other authorities; they are of his appointment, empowered and directed by him, under his influence, teaching his law, unfolding the principles of life, and are organized and ordained expressly to lead the people in the path of exaltation and eternal glory. The world know nothing about these things—we are not talking to them to-day, they can not comprehend them. Their religion teaches them nothing about any such things—they are simply a phantasm to them. They have not any revelation, they do not profess it. All that they have is their Bible given by ancient men of God, who spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. They repudiate the Holy Ghost, not in name, but in reality. Many of them are very sincere; we give them credit for that. That is all right, but they do not understand our principles, views, or ideas. They could not do as we have done; they could not trust in God as our Elders do. Their ideas are more material. Ask any of them to go to the ends of the earth, as these Elders have done, without purse or scrip, trusting in God, would they do it? No, they would not, they would see the gospel damned first, and then they would not. They do not understand the principle by which we are actuated, we have done it and we will do it again, and we will keep doing it; we believe in a living God, in a living religion, in the living, vital, eternal principles which God has communicated; this is the reason why we act as we do, why we talk and believe as we do. Men are not supposed to understand our principles. The Scripture says that no man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God. And how are they to get that? Just as you got it. And how was that? By repenting of your sins, being baptized in the name of Jesus for their remission; by having hands laid upon you by those having authority for the reception of the Holy Ghost. This is the way God appointed in former days, this is the way he has appointed in our day.

      And what brought you here? Why the light of revelation—the light of truth, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of God. That is what brought you here. The Gospel you received you received not of men, but by the revelations of Jesus Christ; and consequently how can men outside comprehend these things? They can not do it, it is beyond their reach. They can reason on natural principles; they have their own peculiar ideas, but they cannot comprehend the Latter-day Saints. "Mormonism" is an enigma to the world. Why, the United States have been trying to solve the problem of "Mormonism" for years and years; but with all their sagacity and intelligence they have not made it out yet; and they never will. Philosophy can not comprehend it; it is beyond the reach of natural philosophy. It is the philosophy of heaven, it is the revelation of God to man. It is philosophical, but it is heavenly philosophy, and beyond the ken of human judgment, beyond the reach of human intelligence. They cannot grasp it, it is as high as heaven, what can they know about it? It is deeper than hell, they cannot fathom it. It is as wide as the universe, it extends over all creation. it goes back into eternity and forward into eternity. It associates with the past, present and future; it is connected with time and eternity, with men, angels, and Gods, with beings that were, that are and that are to come.

      The Saints of God in all ages had the kind of faith that we have to-day. You Latter-day Saints know it, but other men do not. They will talk about their nonsense, their ideas and theories, and call it the religion of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Well, I am quite willing they should enjoy their notions. It is all right; we would not interfere with them if we could. Our feelings in regard to that are just the same as the Lord's. And what are his? His ideas are not bound in a nutshell, there is nothing contracted about the Almighty. He makes his sun shine on the evil and on the good; he sends his rain on the just and on the unjust. He is liberal, free, generous, philanthropic, full of benevolence and kindness to the human family, and he hopes and desires that all men may be saved, and he will save them all as far as they are capable of being saved. But he desires that his people shall contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints, that as immortal beings they may act in unison with the Almighty, that they may be inspired by the principle of revelation; that they should comprehend something of their dignity and manhood; of their relationship to eternity, to the world that we live in as it is and as it will be, and to the worlds that are to come. The Lord has no such idea as some of these narrow, contracted sectarian people have that we read of. They remind me of a prayer of a man I once heard of, who in his prayer said: "Lord bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more, amen." I do not believe in any such thing as that. I think the world on which we live was organized for a certain purpose. I think that man was made for a certain purpose, and so do you as Latter-day Saints. We think that the spirit of man, possessing a body, will through the medium of the everlasting Gospel, be exalted; and that man, inasmuch as he is faithful, will, by and by, be associated with the Gods in the eternal worlds; and while we plant and sow and reap, and pursue the common avocations of life, as other men do, our main object is eternal lives and exaltations; our main object is to prepare ourselves, our posterity and our progenitors for thrones, principalities and powers in the eternal worlds.

      This is what we are after, and what the ancient Saints were after. This is what Adam, Noah, Enoch, Abraham and the Prophets were after, that they might fulfil their destiny on the earth, and, as one of the old Prophets said, "stand in their lot in the end of days," when the books should be opened, when the great white throne should appear and he who sits upon it, before whose face the heavens and the earth fled away; that we and they, and they and we might be prepared, having fulfilled the measure of our creation on the earth, to associate with the intelligences that exist in the eternal worlds; be admitted again to the presence of our Father, whence we came, and participate in those eternal realities which mankind, without revelation, know nothing about. We are here for that purpose; we left our homes for that purpose; we came here for that purpose; we are building temples for that purpose; we are receiving endowments for that purpose; we are making covenants for that purpose; we are administering for the living and the dead for that purpose, and all our objects, and all our aims, like the object and aim of inspired men in former days, are altogether with reference to eternal realities as well as to time. We have a Zion to build up, and we shall build it. We shall build it. WE SHALL BUILD IT. No power can stop it. God has established his kingdom, it is in his hands, and no influence, no power, no combination of whatever kind it may be can stop the progress of the work of God. You Latter-day Saints know very well that you have not received a cunningly devised fable, concocted by the wisdom, ingenuity, talent or caprice of man. All of you who comprehend the Gospel comprehend this; you all, male and female, if you are living your religion, know this. Men of old knew it as well as you; and by and by we expect to live and associate with them, with Patriarchs, Prophets and men of God, who had faith in him, the accomplishment of his purposes in former times, and we are contending for the faith which they possessed. For instance old Moses and Elias, you know, came to Peter, James, John and Jesus while they were on the mount. They did not think they were very old fogies that it was not worth while to listen to; but said they, "Let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses and and one for Elias. It is good to be here, why here is old Moses, and old Elias." Who was Moses? A man who had the ancient Gospel in former times. Who was Elias? A man who had the ancient Gospel in former times. They came and administered unto Jesus, and his Apostles would have liked to stay with them for ever. But they could not do it at that time.

      Then again we read of John on the Isle of Patmos. You know he was in vision, and the Lord revealed unto him many great things, and there was a personage appeared, one of the old Prophets that used to be led around probably by a marshal. John thought he was an angel, and he was about to fall down and worship him after he had unfolded to him the glories of eternity. "But," says he, "do not do it." "Why?" "Because I am one of thy fellow-servants, the Prophets; I am one of those old fellows that used to have to wander about in my day in sheepskins and goatskins. The priests, hypocrites, &c., of that day persecuted me; but now I am exalted, and have come to minister unto you John."

      While the world was wrapped in superstition, ignorance and darkness, the angels of God came and ministered to Joseph Smith, and unfolded to him the purposes of God and made known his designs. Joseph told it to the people, and through this means you are gathered together as you are to-day. What did men, the best of them, know about the Gospel, or about Apostles or Prophets, when the Prophet Joseph made his appearance? Nothing at all, and yet there have been good men. Old John Wesley, for instance, in his day, was very anxious to see something of this kind, but he could not see it. Says he—

"From chosen Abraham's seed,
The old apostles choose,
O'er isles and continents to spread
The dead reviving news."

      He would have been glad to see something of that kind, but he could not. It was reserved for Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints; it was reserved for our day. Well, then, what will we do? Fulfil the measure of our creation; go to work and redeem those men who had not the Gospel, be baptized for them, as the Scriptures fell us, and bring them up, for they without us can not be made perfect, neither can we be made perfect without them. And we will fulfil and accomplish the purposes of God, and bring to pass the things which were spoken of by the Prophets.

      This is what we are after, and we shall accomplish it, and no man can stop it, no organization, no power, no authority, for God is at the helm, and his kingdom is onward, onward, onward, and it will continue, and grow and increase until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ.

      May God help us to be faithful, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[Elder Joseph W. Young]

            Elder JOSEPH W. YOUNG bore testimony that God had spoken by the voice of revelation and of holy angels, and had bestowed divine authority on Joseph Smith. Those who did not know any better had ascribed the great work accomplished by the Latter-day Saints to the shrewdness and intelligence of the leaders of this people. This was not altogether the case, for although credit was due to those leaders for what had been done, still what had been accomplished had been done by the power and efficacy of the principles of the gospel. When the people first settled these valleys, they were comparatively destitute of the necessaries, and almost entirely so of the comforts of life, and there was no source of supply nearer than a thousand miles. What was it that brought us here? Was it that we might become rich by development of mineral resources? No. It was that we might find a home where we would be free from the persecution of bigots, and live in peace unmolested. It took a great concentration of faith to accomplish this.

            Allusion had been made to the labors of our elders who had willingly gone forth preaching the gospel, trusting in God, trusting that their families would be provided for in their absence. This was considered fanaticism by some. No important truths, however, had ever been introduced among men but the promulgators of those truths had been considered fanatics.

            Elder Young, in conclusion, predicted the ultimate and sure triumph of the work of God.

            The choir sang: "When the Lord shall build up Zion."

            Adjourned till 2 p.m.

            Elder BRIGHAM YOUNG, Jun., pronounced the benedictory prayer.

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[7 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 21:121, 4/10/72, p 5]

SUNDAY, 2 p. m.

            The choir sang: "Arise, O glorious Zion."

            Opening prayer by Elder JOSEPH F. SMITH.

            "Behold the great Redeemer die," was sung by the choir.

            The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered.

[Elder Orson Pratt]

            Elder ORSON PRATT delivered a powerful and elaborate discourse on the restoration of the gospel in these days and its effects, as illustrated in the work accomplished by the Latter-day Saints, and the judgments of God which would be poured out upon those who rejected the message of salvation. He quoted a large number of prophecies in the course of his address, showing their literal fulfilment. He showed in a lucid manner how the saving power of the gospel reached the dead who had departed from the earth without a knowledge of its principles, and also treated upon the eternal nature of marriage. It would be impossible to give a definite idea of the discourse in a short synopsis. It was reported in full, for publication.

[Orson Pratt]

[DNW 21:200, 5/15/72, p 4; JD 15:44]

DISCOURSE

By Elder ORSON PRATT Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 7th, 1872.

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[REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS]

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      When I look over this vast congregation, assembled in the body of this house as well as in the gallery, it seems to be an impossibility to make all hear; and to give all an opportunity to do so it will be necessary that the closest attention be given and that shuffling of feet and whispering cease. I suppose there must be congregated here something in the neighborhood of twelve thousand persons, and there are but very few voices or lungs that are able to reach such a multitude, and edify and instruct them. I know from former experience in speaking from this stand, that it requires a great exertion of the lungs and body to speak so as to be understood, and this great exertion of the physical system is calculated in a very short time to weary also the mind, therefore I may not be able to address you for any great length of time.

      It is now forty-two years since the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. Forty-two years ago, on the 6th day of April, the Prophet Joseph Smith was commanded by the Lord Almighty to organize the Kingdom of God on the earth for the last time—to set up and make a beginning—to form the nucleus of a Government that never should be destroyed from the earth, or, in other words, that should stand forever. The founding of governments, of whatsoever nature they may be, may be considered in the estimation of some, very honorable; but there is no special honor attached to a man who is called upon by the Almighty to found a Government on the earth, for it is the Lord who works by him as an instrument, using him for that purpose. That, of course, is honorable. Perhaps there never was a work accomplished among men of so great and important a nature as that of the foundation of a kingdom that never is to be destroyed. About six thousand years have passed away since the Government established by the Patriarchs, or by the first man, was commenced here on the earth. From that time until the present vast numbers and descriptions of Governments, some Patriarchal in their nature, others taking the form of kingdoms, others of empires and so forth, have been organized here on the earth. During that long interval of time whenever a man has founded a Government he has been greatly honored, not only by the generation among whom he lived, and in which he formed the Government, but he has been honored generally by after generations. But nearly all the Governments that have been established have been thrown down—they have been only temporary in their nature—existing for a few centuries perhaps, and then overthrown. It is not my intention this afternoon to examine the nature and forms of these various human Governments, but to state in a few words that there is now organized on the earth a Government which never will be broken as former Governments have been. This will stand for ever. It began very small—only six members were organized in this Government on Tuesday the 6th day of April, 1830, that is according to the vulgar era; according to the true era it was some two or three years longer. The Christian era, that is in common use now among the human family is called the vulgar era, because it is incorrect. Jesus, it is acknowledged by the most learned men at the present day, was born two or three years before the period that is now commonly called the vulgar Christian era. It is also acknowledged by the greater portion of the learned men of the day, who have carefully examined the subject, that Jesus was crucified on the 6th day of April; and according to the true Christian era it was precisely eighteen hundred years from the day of his crucifixion until the day that this Church was organized. Why the Lord chose this particular period—the anniversary of the day of his crucifixion for the organization of his kingdom on the earth I do not know. I do know that he has a set time in his own mind for accomplishing his great purposes; but why he should purpose in his own mind that precisely eighteen hundred years should elapse from the day of the crucifixion until the day of the organization of his church, we do not know. Suffice it to say that this is the interval that elapsed. The Book of Mormon gives the exact interval from the day of his birth to the day of the crucifixion, and by putting these two periods together we can ascertain the true Christian era. There is a great dispute, however, among chronologists in regard to this matter; many of them say Jesus was born one year before the vulgar era, others that he was born two years before that. Four different chronologists, mentioned by name in Smith's Bible Dictionary, place the period three years before the vulgar era; others place it at four years before, some five, and some have placed it seven years before the present vulgar era. If we take a medium between these combined with the testimony of a great many who have written upon the subject, we find, as I said before, that it makes precisely eighteen hundred years between the two great events that took place, namely the crucifixion and the building up of his kingdom in these latter days.

      God has seen proper in the progress of this kingdom to restore to his servants holding the priesthood every key and power pertaining to the restitution of all things spoken of by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets since the world began. One of the first things that he condescended to restore was the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, just according to the prediction of the ancient Prophets—by the coming of an angel from heaven. Mr. Smith fulfilled that prediction, or rather it was fulfilled to him. He declares, in language most plain and positive, that God did send an angel from heaven and committed to him the everlasting Gospel on plates of gold; or in other words, he had it revealed to him by this angel, where the plates of gold were deposited containing the everlasting Gospel, as it was preached to the ancient inhabitants of this American continent, by the personal ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This was the restoration predicted by John in the 14th chapter of Revelations, where it is declared that such an event should take place. John says that he saw, in vision, an angel come from heaven to earth, to restore the everlasting Gospel. No people on earth, prior to the advent of the Prophet Joseph Smith, ever testified to the fulfilment of John's prediction. If you make the inquiry of the various Christian denominations, whether Catholic, Greek or Dissenters, they will tell you unitedly that no such event characterized the rise of their churches; we have therefore their testimony, proving that God never fulfilled this portion of his word through them; but on the contrary the united voice and testimony of all these Christians, from one end of the earth to the other is that the Bible contains the Gospel, "And we have preached the Gospel," say they, "as we found it recorded in the Bible," and no angel to restore the authority to preach the Gospel, to baptize, to confirm by the laying on of hands, to administer the Lord's Supper, or to restore or give authority to organize the kingdom of God on the earth, was necessary." To this we reply, the history of the Gospel is one thing, and the authority to preach it and administer its ordinances is another. We can read its history in the New Testament; and we can also read there how the ancient servants of God organized the Church in their day; we can read what ordinances they performed or administered among the children of men; we can read what was needful for the organization of the Christian Church eighteen hundred years ago. We have the history of all these things in the Scriptures, but for some seventeen centuries past prior to the coming of this angel, there has been no authority to preach it; no Apostles, no Prophets, no Revelators, no visions from heaven, no inspiration from heaven; no voice of the Lord has been heard among the nations during the long interval that has elapsed since the putting to death of the ancient servants of God, and the destruction of the ancient Christian Church. Joseph Smith came to this generation testifying to the fulfillment of that which God predicted in the Revelations of Saint John—the restoration of the Gospel. But says John the Revelator, "when it is restored it shall be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue and people."

      Is there any prospect of this Gospel being thus extensively preached among the inhabitants of the earth in this generation? We need not refer you to the missions that have been taken by the Elders of this Church. Their works speak for themselves. Behold this vast congregation of people assembled here, and nearly all who inhabit this Territory. Why are they here? Because the angel has brought the everlasting Gospel, and because the servants of God have been commissioned and sent forth with the sound of the Gospel among the various nations and kingdoms of the earth; and because they have succeeded in preaching it among vast numbers of people, and gathering them out from the midst of the nations. But it has not yet gone to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people; but wait a little longer, it will shortly go, for just as sure as it has already been preached to nearly all the nations of Christendom, so will it go to every other people—heathen, Mahomedan, and every class, whether in Europe, Asia, Africa, or the uttermost parts of South America, the frozen regions in the north, or the numerous islands in the great western and eastern oceans. Every people must be warned that the great day of the Lord is close at hand; every people must know that the Lord God has spoken in these latter times; every people must know something concerning the purposes of the Great Jehovah in fulfilling and accomplishing the great preparatory work for the second advent of the Son of God from the heavens. Here then is the fulfilment of one prophecy. Let us now come to another.

      John, who saw this angel restore the everlasting Gospel to be preached to all the nations, declares that another proclamation was closely connected with the preaching of the Gospel. What was it? "The hour of his judgment has come"—the eleventh hour, the last time that God will warn the nations of the earth. "The hour of God's judgment has come," and that is the reason why the Gospel is to be so extensively preached among all people, nations and tongues, because the Lord intends through this warning to prepare them, if they will, to escape the hour of his judgment, which must come upon all people who will refuse to receive the divine message of the everlasting Gospel.

      We will now pass on to another prophecy. Another angel followed. What was his proclamation? Another angel followed, and he cried with a loud voice, saying: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen. She has made all nations drink of the wine of the Wrath of her fornication," &c. Spiritual Babylon the Great, "the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." "Mystery Babylon"—that great power that has held sway over the nations of the earth—that great ecclesiastical power which has ruled over the consciences of the children of men, she is to fall and is to be destroyed from the face of the earth. Will the righteous fall with her? No. Why not? Because there is a way for their escape.

      Now mark another prophecy. "I heard a great voice," says John, "from heaven, saying, 'Come out of her, O my people!'" Out of where? "Mystery Babylon, the Great"—out of this great confusion that exists throughout all the nations and multitudes of Christendom. "Come out; of her, O my people, that ye partake not of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues; for her sins have reached to the heavens, and God hath remembered her iniquities!" Is this being fulfilled? Do you see any indications of the people of God coming out from "Mystery Babylon the Great?" Yes, for forty-two years, and upwards, God has commanded his people, not by something devised by a congregation of divines, or by human ingenuity, but by a voice from heaven which has been published and printed, requiring all who receive the everlasting Gospel to come out from the midst of great Babylon. One hundred thousand Latter-day Saints, approximately speaking, now inherit these mountain regions. They are here because of this prediction of John, because of its being fulfilled, because of the voice that has come from heaven—the proclamation of the Almighty for his people to flee from amongst the nations of the earth. I need not say any more in regard to this prophecy; it is in the Bible, and is being fulfilled before the eyes of all people.

      Let me refer now to another prophecy. Daniel the Prophet has told us that in the latter days after the great image that was seen in dream by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, representing the various kingdoms of the world, should be destroyed, and those nations should pass away and become like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, the Lord would establish an everlasting Government here upon the earth. The Lord God saw proper to reveal to his servant Daniel the nature of this Government. He represented it as having a very small beginning—as a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which stone should fail upon the feet of the image, and they should be broken in pieces. After the destruction of the feet all the image should fall—the legs of iron, the belly and thighs of brass, the breast and arms of silver, the head of gold—representing the remnants of all those ancient nations—the Babylonians, Medes and Persians, and the Greeks; also the remnants of those that once constituted the great Roman empire—those now in Europe and those of European origin which have come across the great ocean and established themselves here on the vast continent of the west, all, all were to be destroyed by the force of this little kingdom to be established by the power of truth, and by the authority that should characterize the nature of the stone cut Out of the mountains. "In the days of these kings," says the Prophet, "shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, neither shall it be left to any other people, but it shall stand for ever," etc. The Prophet Daniel uttered the prophecy; Joseph Smith, by authority of the Almighty, fulfilled it, so far as the organization or setting up of the kingdom was concerned.

      Let me refer now to some other prophecies. I do not want to dwell long upon any of them. We are told in the prophecies of Isaiah that before the time of the second advent, when the glory of the Lord should be revealed and all flesh should see it together, there should be a Zion built up on the earth. The Prophet gives the following exhortation to that Zion—"O Zion, thou that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain." Here then is a prophecy that, in the latter days, God would have a Zion on the earth before he should reveal himself from heaven and manifest his glory to all people; and the people called Zion are exhorted, in the 40th chapter of Isaiah, to get up into the high mountain. Here we are in this great mountain region, in a Territory called the mountain Territory. Here we are on the great backbone, as it were, of the western hemisphere, located among the valleys of this great ridge of mountains, which extends for thousands of miles—from the frozen regions in the north, almost to the southern extremity of South America. Here are the people called Zion, gone up into the high mountain, according to the prediction of the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah uttered the prophecy; Joseph Smith also prophecied the same thing, but died without seeing it fulfilled. His successor, Brigham Young, lived to be the favored instrument in the hands of God, of taking the people from those countries down in the States, those countries upon the low elevations of our globe, and bringing them up here into this vast mountain region. Thus the prophecy was uttered—thus it has been fulfilled.

      We will pass on to some other prophecies. In the eighteenth chapter of the prophecies of Isaiah we have a prediction about a time when the Lord should make a great destruction upon a certain portion of the earth. The Prophet begins the chapter by saying, "woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. Recollect where the Prophet dwelt when he uttered this prophecy—in Palestine, east of the Mediterranean Sea. Where was Ethiopia? South-west from Palestine. Where was there a land located beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. Every person acquainted with the geography of our globe knows that this American continent was beyond the rivers of Ethiopia from the land of Palestine, where the prophecy was uttered. A woe was pronounced upon that land, and that woe is this: "For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning-hooks, and take away and cut down the branches. They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth. And the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them." But first, before this destruction, there is a remarkable prophecy. Says the Prophet: "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains, and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye." From this we learn that, before this great destruction, there is to be an ensign lifted up on the mountains, and this, too, beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, from Palestine. This is the reason why Zion in the latter days goes up into the mountains, in order that an ensign might be lifted up on the mountains. This prophecy was uttered some twenty-five hundred years ago, and has been fulfilled before the eyes of the people in our day.

      But more in regard to this ensign; we find that it was not an ensign to be lifted up in Palestine, for in the fifth chapter of his prophecies, Isaiah, speaking of it says—"The Lord shall lift up an ensign for the nations from afar." What does this mean? It means a land far distant from where the Prophet Isaiah lived—the land of Palestine. Now there is no land of magnitude or greatness that is far off from Palestine that would answer the description of this prophecy any better than this great western hemisphere; it is located almost on the opposite side of the globe from Palestine. The Lord, then, was to lift the ensign on a land that was far off from where the Prophet lived; and that ensign, we are told, should be set up on the mountains, and that, too, on a land shadowing with wings. When looking on the map of North and South America it has oftentimes suggested to my own mind the two wings of a great bird. No doubt the Prophet Isaiah saw this great western continent in vision, and recognized the resemblance to the wings of a bird in the general outline of the two branches of the continent. On such a land, on the mountains afar off from Palestine, an ensign was to be raised. But remember another thing in connection with this ensign—See how extensive the proclamation was to be—"All ye inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth, see ye when he lifts up an ensign on the mountains." It was to be a work that was to attract the attention of all people, unto the ends of the world.

      "But," enquires one, "what do you call an ensign?" Webster gives the definition of an ensign or standard—"Something to which the people gather; a notice for the people to assemble." In other words it is the great standard of the Almighty—the great ensign that he is lifting up in the shape of his Church and kingdom, on the mountains in the latter days, with all the order and form of his ancient system of church government, with its inspired Apostles and Prophets and with all the gifts, powers and blessings characterizing the Christian Church in ancient days. That is an ensign that should attract the people unto the very ends of the world.

      With the establishment of this ensign God has not only restored the Gospel, but the keys of gathering the people together and building up Zion, and he has also restored other keys and blessings that were to characterize the great and last dispensation of the fullness of times. What are they? The same as predicted in the last chapter of the prophecy of Malachi. That Prophet, speaking of the great day of burning says, "Behold the day shall come that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud and they that do wickedly shall become as stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." This is something that has never been fulfilled yet. But mark! Before the Lord burns all the proud and those who do wickedly, he has told us be would send Elijah the Prophet. He says, "Behold, I will send unto you Elijah the Prophet, he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Recollect, this is to be just before the day of burning, before the great and notable day of the Lord should come.

      Elijah, the Prophet, then, must come from heaven—that same man who was translated in a chariot of fire, and who had such power while on the earth that he could fight, as it were, all the enemies of Israel that came against him; he could call down fire from heaven and consume the fifties as they came by companies to take him. That same man was to be sent in the last days, before the great and notable day of the Lord. What for? To restore a very important principle—a principle which will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children. Has that Prophet been sent to the earth, according to the prediction? Yes. When did he come, and to whom did he come? He came to that despised young man, Joseph Smith. According to the testimony of Joseph Smith, the Prophet Elijah stood before him, in the presence of Oliver Cowdery, and gave them these keys. What is included in this turning of the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children? There is included in it a principle for the salvation of the fathers that are dead, as well as for the children who are living. You have heard, Latter-day Saints, for years and years, that God has given keys, by which the living in this Church might do, not only the works necessary for their own salvation, but also certain works necessary to the salvation of their ancestors as far back as they could obtain their genealogies. What can be done by us for our fathers who have lived and died during the last seventeen hundred years, without hearing the Gospel in its fullness and power? Hundreds and thousands, and millions of them were sincere and honest, and served the Lord the best they knew; but they lived in the midst of apostate Christendom, and never heard the Gospel preached by inspired men, neither had they the chance of having its ordinances administered to them by men having authority from God. Must they be shut out from the kingdom of God, and be deprived of the glory, joys and blessings of celestial life because of this? No, God is an impartial being, and when he sent Elijah the Prophet to confer the keys I have referred to upon Joseph Smith, he intended that this people should work for the generations of the dead, as well as for the generations of the living; that these ordinances which pertain to men here in the flesh might be administered in their behalf by those of their kindred living in this day and generation. In this way the Latter-day Saints will be baptized and receive the various ordinances of the Gospel of the Son of God for their forefathers, as far as they can trace them; and when we have traced them as far back as we can possibly go, the Lord God has promised that he will reveal our ancestry back until it shall Connect with the ancient priesthood, so that there will be no link wanting in the great chain of redemption.

      Here then was a restoration in fulfillment of the prediction of Malachi, and for this reason Temples are being built. The Temple, of which the foundation is laid on this block, is intended for that purpose among others. It is not intended for the assembling of vast congregations of the Saints, but it is intended to be for the administration of sacred and holy ordinances. There will be a font for baptism, in its proper place, built according to the pattern that God shall give unto his servants. It is intended that, in these sacred and holy places, appointed, set apart and dedicated by the command of the Almighty, genealogies shall be revealed, and that the living shall officiate for the dead, that those who have not bad the opportunity while in the flesh in past generations to obey the Gospel, might have their friends now living, officiate for them. This does not destroy their agency, for although they laid down their bodies and went to their graves in a day of darkness, and they are now mingled with the hosts of spirits in the eternal worlds, their agency still continues, and that agency gives them power to believe in Jesus Christ there, just as well as we can who are here. Those spirits on the other side of the veil can repent just the same as we, in the flesh, can repent. Faith in God and in his son Jesus Christ, and repentance are acts of the mind—mental operations—but when it comes to baptism for the remission of sins they cannot perform that, we act for them, that having been ordained to be performed in the flesh. They can receive the benefit of whatever is done for them here, and whatever the Lord God commands his people here in the flesh to do for them will be published to them there by those holding the everlasting Priesthood of the Son of God. If, when the Gospel is preached to them there, they will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, they will receive the benefits of the ordinances performed on their behalf here, and they will be partakers, with their kindred, of all the blessings of the fullness of the Gospel of the Son of God; but if they will not do this they will be bound over in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, when they will be judged according to men in the flesh. We are here in the flesh, and the same Gospel that condemns the disobedient and the sinner here, will, by the same law, condemn those who are on the other side of the veil.

      We have an account of baptism for the dead, as it was administered among the ancient Saints. Paul refers to it in his epistle to the Corinthians, to prove to them that the resurrection was a reality, "else," says he, "what shall they do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead rise not at all, why then are they baptized for the dead?" It was a strong argument that Paul brought forward, and one that the Corinthians well understood. It was a practice among them to be baptized for their dead, and Paul, knowing that they understood this principle, uses an argument to show that the dead would have a resurrection, and that baptism or immersion in water, a being buried in and the coming forth out of the water, was a simile of the resurrection from the dead. The same doctrine is taught in one of Peter's epistles. About preaching to those who are dead, Peter says that "Jesus was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison, which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing?" Indeed! Jesus himself go to the dead and preach to them? Yes. Go to the old antediluvian spirits, and preach to them? Yes, preach to spirits who had lain in prison over two thousand years, shut up and deprived of entering into the fulness of the kingdom of God because of their disobedience. Jesus went and preached to them. "What did he preach?" He did not preach eternal damnation, for that would have been re use. He did not go and say to them, "You ante-diluvian spirits, I have come here to torment you." He did not declare that "I have opened your prison doors to tell you there is no hope for you, your case is past recovery, you must be damned to everlasting despair." This was not his preaching. He went there to declare glad tidings. When he entered the prison of those antediluvians, Peter says he preached the Gospel. "For, for this cause was the Gospel preached to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, and live according to God in the spirit." Yes, the inhabitants of the spirit world—far more numerous than those in the flesh—must hear the glad tidings of the Gospel of the Son of God, that all may be judged by the same Gospel and the same law; and if they will receive it be blessed, exalted from their prison house, and brought into the presence of the Father and the Son, and inherit celestial glory.

      This, therefore, is among the greatest of all the keys that God has revealed in the last dispensation—the saving of the generations of the dead, as well as the generations of the living, inasmuch as they will repent. Shall we stop here? Perhaps I have spoken sufficiently long. There are other principles, just as important in their nature, that must be restored in the latter-days, but I have not time to dwell upon them. I have reference now to the restoration of that eternal principle—the marriage covenant, which once was on the earth in the days of our first parents, the eternal union of husband and wife, according to the law of God, in the first pattern of marriage that is given to the children of men. That must also be restored, and everything in its time and in its season must be restored, in order that all things spoken of by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began may be fulfilled. But we will leave this subject for some future time. There must, however, be a restoration of the eternal covenant of marriage, and also of that order of marriage which existed among the old Patriarchs, before the prophecies can be fulfilled, wherein seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, "we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach." That must be restored, or the prophecies of Isaiah never can be fulfilled. A great many other things might be named which must be restored in the dispensation of the fulness of times. It is a dispensation to restore all things, it is the dispensation of the spirit and power of Elias or Elijah, "to seal all things unto the end of all things" preparatory to the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      The wicked as well as the righteous will feel the power of these keys. The wicked as well as the righteous must be sealed to that end for which they have lived. The wicked, who have disobeyed the law of God, must be sealed over unto darkness, until they have been punished and beaten with many stripes, until the last resurrection, until the last trump shall sound. But the righteous, in the flesh and behind the veil, will come forth in the first resurrection, but prior to that great event they will co-operate in their labors for the consummation of the purposes of the Almighty so far as necessary to prepare the way for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign here, personally, on the earth for the space of one thousand years. Amen.

 

            Elder ALBERT CARRINGTON read over the names of the following brethren as having been called to go on missions. The motion to sustain their going was unanimous.

TO EUROPE

David O. Calder, Salt Lake City.
Samuel S. Jones, Provo.
James G. Bleak, St. George.
Jesse Gardiner, Springville.
W. H. Kelsey, "
David Cazier, Nephi.
John Neff, Mill Creek.
Erastus W. Snow, St. George.
Junis F. Wells, Salt Lake City.
David Duncanson, "
John A. Lewis, Spanish Fork.
John Reese, Wales, Sanpete County.
C. F. Schade, Huntsville.
P. C. Carstensen, Ogden.
P. C. Christiansen, Manti
Jens Mickelsen, Spanish Fork.
John Keller, Santa Clara.
Henry Riser, Salt Lake City.

TO THE WESTERN ISLANDS.

William Moody, Dry Valley.
John A. West, Parowan.
F. A. Mitchell, Salt Lake City

TO THE UNITED STATES

Charles C. Rich, Paris, Rich Co.
Joseph C. Rich, "
Charles S. Cram, Salt Lake City.
Joshua Clark, Grantsville.

            Elder Carrington then briefly addressed the conference. He knew for himself that the work we were engaged in was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God, and that Brigham Young was his legal successor and also a prophet of the living God, and the contradiction of all the world would not invalidate those great truths. He also spoke of the founding of the work of the latter days by the prophet Joseph Smith, showing that the Lord undoubtedly operated through him.

            President GEORGE A. SMITH said the conference had only about just begun, and he invited all to come and fill the Tabernacle, that all might be strengthened and encouraged by the instructions given and the blessing of God which was being poured out upon us.

            The choir sang. "How beautiful upon the mountains."

            Prayer by Elder ALBERT CARRINGTON.

            Adjourned till to-morrow at 10 a.m.

            The congregations to-day were very large, there being probably from eight to ten thousand persons present in the forenoon, and in the afternoon the large building appeared to be filled to its utmost seating capacity, there being from ten to twelve thousand in attendance.

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THIRD DAY

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[8 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 21:121, 4/10/72, p 5]

MONDAY, April 8th, 10 a.m.

            "See, the morning sun Pursues his shining way." was sung by the choir.

            The opening prayer was offered by President JOSEPH YOUNG, Senr.

            The choir sang: "Come we that love the Lord, And let our joys be known."

[President George A. Smith]

            President GEORGE A. SMITH addressed the assemblage. He felt gratified for the privilege of continuing the conference and for the good spirit that had been thus far manifested. There were many subjects to lay before the brethren. A great responsibility rested upon our heads, and we should be accordingly diligent in magnifying our priesthood. One item of responsibility was the education of our children, not only in branches of book learning, but in the principles of our holy religion. The report of school superintendent R. L. Campbell showed that there were about 30,000 school children in the Territory, between the ages of four and sixteen years. It seemed to be the policy of government to give no assistance to Territories in educational matters, but to States the government was liberal. Therefore whatever improvements were made in the Territories in this direction depended entirely on the energy of the people thereof. The school report for the Territory also showed that the children generally attended school for a longer period than in places where greater educational facilities were enjoyed. Notwithstanding this, there was considerable in our school system that was faulty. A free school system had not yet been inaugurated, and any man who would view the matter clearly and deliberately could see that it would not be wise to do so until we enjoyed the privileges and immunities of a state form of government. There might, however, be some counties where such a system could be adopted, but in others it could scarcely operate.

            The building of good, substantial, well ventilated school-houses was a matter which should receive a great deal of attention, and to have them furnished with suitable benches, which should be arranged, with regard to height, &c., to suit the size of the children. There were numbers of Elders who were willing to take missions to the nations of the earth, but were unwilling to take a mission to teach a common school, yet the latter was probably as important a mission as the former. It was of no use to whip "Mormon" children, for they could not be coerced. In most cases they could be ruled and governed by kindness, but hot otherwise.

            A considerable number of young men had been under the necessity of going to universities abroad to obtain an education that we should have the facilities to give them here. It was a noble mission to educate the rising generation.

            A great deal of labor and attention should be bestowed on the subject of Sunday Schools. Dr. Vincent and Mr. Moody, two gentlemen interested in Sunday Schools, who visited here last summer and who attended some of the ward Sunday schools here, said they were free to admit that our system of this class of schools was most excellent, although those gentlemen were strongly prejudiced against the Latter-day Saints. The brethren should continue this work. Those who wished to see the destruction of the Saints said that their only hope was to lead away the "Mormon" children. The Juvenile Instructor and the standard publications of the church should be taken and widely disseminated among the people.

            President Smith next spoke of the influences of the so-called civilization which was being manifested in this Territory, and which, unless care were taken, might tend to lead our children astray. The moral influence would be likely however still to maintain a good hold in these valleys.

[George A. Smith]

[DNW 21:137, 4/17/72, p 5; JD 14:371]

REMARKS,

By President GEORGE A. SMITH, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Monday morning, April 8, 1872.

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REPORTED BY D. W. EVANS.

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      I am gratified in the enjoyment of the privilege of continuing our Conference, and rejoice in the instructions and testimonies of the Elders which have been given during the two days past. There are a few subjects I feel anxious to lay before the brethren and sisters. I should be glad, had I strength and opportunity, to explain many things more minutely. I feel that God is with us, but that a great and fearful responsibility rests upon our heads. In order that we may be prepared to enjoy the blessings of our high and holy calling we should be diligent, humble, faithful, and constantly unite our powers of mind to magnify our Priesthood. One great responsibility which rests upon us is the education of our children—the proper forming of their minds and understandings, not only in the ordinary branches of education, but in the principles of our holy religion.

      I understand from the reports of Mr. Robert L. Campbell, Superintendent of common schools for the Territory, that there are about thirty thousand school children in the Territory, between the ages of four and sixteen.

      Our golden browed neighbors here in Nevada, who have for several years enjoyed all the benefits and blessings accruing to common schools from a State government, have about four thousand, if I am rightly informed, and no doubt, with the means which they possess, they are enabled to get up excellent schools.

      It appears to be a portion of the policy of the national government never to do anything for schools in a Territory. When a Territory becomes a State, the policy of Congress, in years past, and it will probably continue to be so in years to come, has been to extend liberal privileges and immunities, in the donation of lands and of the per cents from the sales of public lands within the State for educational purposes—the support of common schools and universities. This parsimonious policy towards Territories may be an enlightened one, and it may not; having lived in a Territory most of my life I may not be considered a proper judge. Suffice it to say, however, that so far as legislation for education is concerned, or any encouragement or assistance extended from the United States to the people of the Territories, their children must be raised in absolute ignorance. The result is, that whatever progress is made or improvement attained in these directions in the Territories is due entirely to the energy, enterprise and enlightenment of the inhabitants—the hardy pioneers who break the ground, make the roads, fight the Indians and create the State.

      The report of the Superintendent of Common Schools for this Territory goes to show, not only that there are about thirty thousand school children, but that they have attended school a greater portion of the time than is sometimes reported in the new States, and in some of the older ones, where they have all the advantages granted by the general government. This speaks well for the pioneers of Utah; it is a proud record, and one of which the Latter-day Saints may justly boast. It is true that most of our schools are simply primary schools; but, from what I have seen while visiting a good many of them, I know they are vastly superior to schools which I attended, more or less, in my earlier years in other States and Territories. I am proud of these facts; but at the same time there is a great deal in our system that is not by any means up to the mark. All that has been done has been done voluntarily. The school laws of Utah Territory authorize districts to establish free schools, if they choose to do so, by a two-thirds vote of the inhabitants of the district, and a number of districts have adopted this system with satisfactory results. Otherwise the schools are sustained by the tuition fees of the pupils, with the exception that taxes are generally levied on the property in the school districts to assist to build school houses and to supply a portion of the expenses and extend some little aid to the more indigent, that all may have the privilege of going to school. A general free school system has not been inaugurated, and any man who will coolly, deliberately and wisely consider the condition, associations and changeable nature of the government of our Territory, will see the wisdom of not entering upon such a system until it can be done under the regulations and privileges which a State government would bring. At least, that is my judgment on the subject, though we have advocates for the establishment of a general free school system now. I want to say in relation to this, that perhaps there are counties where such a system might be adopted with advantage; but if it were adopted generally throughout the Territory, it would have to contend with difficulties and dangers which I would wish to avoid. As I am not here to deliver a political speech I shall not, of course, undertake to explain what these are. I will simply refer you to certain little difficulties that have occurred in neighboring States in relation to the handling of school funds, and other important items, which show the delicacy of these matters unless they are in the hands of the most reliable men, who are absolutely responsible to the people by whom they are appointed and elected.

      I feel satisfied, notwithstanding this good record, that there is a very great necessity for the minds of many people to be stirred up in relation to the education of their children, the building of good, healthy, well ventilated school-houses, and the sending of the children to school, providing suitable books and seats. I remember once, in a new country, going into a school-house, and finding the children packed almost like herrings in a box, some on the floor, some on seats, little fellows with short legs sitting on high benches, and all breathing air that, perhaps, might not inaptly be compared to that of the black-hole of Calcutta. A couple of men, ignorant even of the most simple principles of ventilation, were laboring to teach these children, and I have sometimes taken the liberty to carry a carpenter's saw into a school to saw off the legs of the benches to make them a proper height to correspond with the length of the children's legs, for I do despise the idea of putting small children upon a high bench and large children upon a low one. I am very fond of seeing straight, erect, well formed boys and girls, and in three months a little inattention on the part of teachers trustees, and school superintendents in matters of this kind, will crook the necks, crook the backs, weaken the stomachs, produce deformity, lay a foundation for consumption, and shorten the children's lives ten years. I suggest to the brethren from all parts of the Territory—go into your school-rooms, measure the children's legs, if you please, and the benches, and see how they correspond. See whether the little fellows sit up straight, or humped up as if they were trying to imitate the back of a camel or dromedary, and give particular attention to the manner in which the school-rooms are ventilated. Do not deprive the little fellows of the most necessary and the cheapest of all elements—atmospheric air, in its purity, and thereby sow in their systems the seeds of premature death.

      There are many persons come into the Territory who do not speak the English language. I think more institutions should be got up in all the neighborhoods to encourage the learning of our tongue. I know young people generally learn it pretty quickly; but as the laws and most of the public speeches are made in the English language, it is important even in Welsh, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, German and French settlements, that the language in which law and justice are administered, and in which public meetings are generally conducted, should be well and properly understood.

      It occurs not only with some of the foreign emigration, but with some other persons, that they fail to appreciate the necessity of education, and of sending their children to school. Good and wholesome influences, exercised through teachers, Elders and Bishops, should be brought to bear on all this class of people, to show them the importance of educating their children. There are Elders who seem willing and ready to take missions to the most distant foreign countries, but when they are invited to go into a school-room to teach a school, they will say, "Well, I can make more money at something else, I would rather be land speculating, go a lumbering, or set up merchandizing." Let me say to you, brethren, that there is no calling in which a missionary can do more good, either man or woman, than to teach a common school, if he or she is qualified to do so.

      We are very well aware that it is but little use to whip "Mormon" children. You undertake to thrash anything into them, and you will most surely thrash it out of them. It was never any use to undertake to drive or coerce Latter-day Saints, they never could be coerced in their religious faith or practice. It is not their nature, and the mountain air our children breathe inspires them with the idea that they are not to be whipped like dogs to make them learn. The manner in which it must be done is by moral suasion, superior intellect, wisdom, prudence and good straightforward management in forming the judgment of the pupil by cultivating his manly qualities. This principle should be carried out in all our schools. In my boyhood discipline was enforced by the application of the blue beech switch. The blue beech does not grow in this country, but many school-masters in former times in New York and New England were provided with these tough limber switches, and I have seen them used among the scholars with fearful effect, and in cases where I am satisfied the pupil was less at fault than the preceptor. I know they say Solomon declared if you spare the rod you will spoil the child. My opinion is that the use of the red is very frequently the result of a want of understanding on the part of a spoiled parent or teacher in guiding, directing and controlling the feelings and affections of children, though of course the use of the rod in some cases might be necessary; but I have seen children abused when they ought not to have been, because King Solomon is believed to have made that remark, which, if he did, in nine cases out of ten referred to mental rather than physical correction. I will, however, allow other men who have taught school, as a profession, to offer their suggestions on these subjects; but I will say that I have known Professor Dusenberry teach a hundred scholars—the wildest, roughest boys we had in a frontier town, and never lay a stick on one of them. He has done it term after term, and the children liked and respected him and would mind him, and there was nothing on the face of the earth that seemed to hurt their feelings more than to feel that they had lost the confidence of their preceptor. This was simply the result of cultivating reasoning powers in the minds of the children, and I am happy to say there are many such teachers now in Utah.

      I will say a few words in relation to normal schools. As I said before, we have had nothing to encourage primary schools but what we ourselves with our bone, sinew, energy and enterprise have done. So it is with the more advanced branches. The Deseret University has made efforts to establish graded schools for the education of teachers. This has been done by small appropriations from the Legislative Assembly and Salt Lake City and County; but the great mass of the work has been done by individual enterprise. There are many at the present time in Utah who have been thus educated, who devote the winter season, and many of them the summer, to teaching schools. The energy of Superintendent Campbell in introducing suitable books and apparatus, and to improve the condition of our schools has been commendable; and the Timpanogus branch of the University of Deseret, at Provo, one at St. George and several others established in the Territory for the education of teachers have had their good effects. But their effects are limited, compared with what they might be, and I am sorry to say that several of our young men have been under the necessity of going to universities in other parts of the world to obtain an education, which it is desirable we should have the facilities to give them here. Brethren and sisters, take this matter to your hearts, for it is one of the great missions of the Latter-day Saints to do all in their power to educate the rising generation and to teach them the principles of eternal truth.

      I have had the pleasure of visiting a good many Sunday-schools, from time to time, from a very early period after they were established in this Territory, and I can speak highly of their influence and the benefits they have produced. I visited a Bible class while at St. George, composed of young gentlemen and ladies, and I found that they were as well instructed in relation to the principles of the Gospel, as laid down in the Bible and in the revelations of the Lord, as a very large portion of the Elders. I was very glad to see it. I visited Sunday-schools when I could in the course of my travels, and I was gratified to see the progress that has been made. I want to stir up parents to the necessity of fitting up and encouraging their children to attend Sunday-school. I also want to encourage them to attend themselves and act as teachers; and for the young men and young women, whenever they can, or those whose family arrangements are such that they can attend to it, to volunteer and contribute their exertions in carrying on Sunday-schools. A great many Elders have devoted much time to this useful and important subject, and have labored to teach, encourage and strengthen Sunday-schools. Last summer, two weeks previous to the celebrated Methodist camp meeting that was held in this city, Dr. Vincent, a Methodist minister, and two others connected with Sunday-schools, by their own request, addressed in this Tabernacle about four thousand Sunday-school children. They told me they had visited the Sunday-school in the 13th Ward, and had addressed the scholars there, and they said that that Sunday-school was highly creditable. But although they gave us so much credit, they went away feeling very bitter towards us. I asked them if they had not been treated as well here as we would be in their society. "O, yes," said they, "We were invited to attend Sunday-schools and we did so. We were allowed to address the children, and at our request four or five thousand were brought together for us to talk to." And they went on and told how well they were treated; but notwithstanding that, they said they had been told from the most reliable sources that a great many men had been killed in this country for not being "Mormons." Said I, "You have been most foully gulled by somebody." Dr. Vincent replied, "The authority is most reliable, for it came from our officers." I said to him, "The officers change so often that they can have no personal knowledge on these subjects. Some of them are interested in promoting difficulty with the people of Utah. No man was ever killed in Utah for his religion; and if the few cases of murder that have occurred here were thoroughly investigated they would be found to be the result of private quarrels; and there have been five hundred per cent. less of such cases here than in any other new State or Territory with which I have been acquainted; and the country can not be found on the face of the earth where the population is scattered over such a large area which has maintained such perfect police regulations, and these statements are simply scandal."

      I name this circumstance from the fact that a man who bad been so liberally treated by the Latter-day Saints, who had had the privilege of speaking to the largest collection of school children that he probably ever saw in his life, would believe lies told him by renegades, and carry them away and publish them rather than the real facts which he had the privilege of seeing, hearing and learning from reliable authority while here.

      I wish to stir up our brethren to continue their labor in Sunday-schools, and, in doing so, to continue to sustain liberally the Juvenile Instructor. Place it in the hands of your children, it contains some of the best reading matter for them I know of, and its circulation should be widely extended. I notice from pieces published by Protestant ministers who have established churches in this city, that their principal hope of converting the "Mormons" is by leading, (I call it misleading) away their children. They despair of converting the old ones who are perfectly established in their religious faith; and their hope appears to be in misleading their children by getting them into their schools. By so doing they can probably draw them away from the Latter-day faith, and through the children they may also succeed in gaining over some of their parents. The enemy of all righteousness is sagacious, and so are his servants, and I think it quite honest, but not very creditable to Christian ministers to frankly acknowledge that their business here is to try and entice children from their parents. But so far as this is concerned our brethren and sisters should learn a lesson by it, and see that the persons who educate their children do not plant in their hearts falsehood, deception, wickedness and corruption. They should place them under the tuition of those who will teach them the principles they are employed to teach, and not instil into their minds those things that will lead them to destruction. The catechism for children, exhibiting the prominent doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, should be in every family, school and Bible class.

      I think measures should be taken to increase the circulation among the people of the Deseret News, and the standard works of the Church. A great many read them, and many do not; and if in the various neighborhoods, a little more pains were taken, the information they contain could be more widely disseminated. I know the enemies of Zion are willing take any pains in the world almost to circulate lies; why should we not take a little pains to circulate truth, and to spread and to disseminate abroad pure and holy principles? I call the attention of Elders of the various stakes to these subjects.

      Peace to the faithful. Amen.

 

[Elder Erastus Snow]

            Elder ERASTUS SNOW was the next speaker. He had been preaching thirty-eight years and could not speak so loud now as formerly. He had seen the time when all the Latter-day Saints could have been comfortably seated in one of our ordinary primary school houses. He had witnessed the rise and progress of the church in the various stages from that time to the present. During that time some had lifted their puny arms and voices against the work in order to cover up their own cupidity and folly. All such had but shown their own weakness and mendacity, while those who had maintained their integrity had grown with he work of the latter days. All that the Latter-day Saints had to fear was that they might forget the testimonies they had received, the glitterings of wealth and the allurements of crime. Too much care could not possibly be bestowed on the moral and intellectual education of children. Our boys who had been accustomed to the hardships of frontier life, were being wrought in contact with influences that were strange to them. They might be somewhat uncouth in manners, yet they would generally fight for their religion, but they did not generally pay sufficient attention to living it, and were probably too apt to strike hands with the wicked, especially in the vicinity of mining camps.

            We were waging a war against wickedness of every kind. We were not blindly led in the work that we had undertaken, but our leaders saw, and so did they who followed them. The opposition manifested towards us to day was because of our consolidation and unity, for we were the best ordered community, so far as the old citizens were concerned, in the land. He said this knowingly, having traversed this continent from one end to the other, and many of the countries of Europe. In this city, it was true, under the auspices of a federal and judicial ring, crime was beginning to manifest itself. There was a time in this city when locks and keys were unneeded, but that time was past.

            It was probable that the people would be tried by circumstances, and many would be found wanting. Not by prisons or persecutions of that kind, but by the allurements of wealth, crime and corruption. There were many who had not yet learned the proper uses of the good things of the world. If we would use all things for the forwarding of the interests of the kingdom of God, we would be permitted to live long upon the land which the Lord had given us.

            Should the government continue to listen to slanders and lies concerning us, and refuse to admit Deseret, we would still go onward and upward, for Zion must and would be built up and redeemed.

            The choir sang: "Jerusalem, my Glorious home."

            Adjourned till 2 p.m.

            Prayer by Elder Lorenzo Snow.

_____

[8 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 21:138, 4/10/72, p 6]

GENERAL CONFERENCE.

_____

THIRD DAY.

_____

MONDAY, April 8th, 2 p.m.

            The choir sang: "Mortals awaked with angels join, And chant the solemn lay."

            Prayer by Elder FRANKLIN D. RICHARDS.

            The choir sang: "Sweet is the work, my God, my King."

[President Joseph Young]

            President JOSEPH YOUNG addressed the Conference. He had listened with great please to the testimonies and preaching of the brethren who had preceded him in speaking. We lived in a world whose history furnished many problems, which could only be solved by revelation from God. God himself could see it all, and could we but do so we would be more willing than we were to extend charity toward our brethren and sisters who had sprung from the same parent source as ourselves. Mankind had become fallen, and consequently generally unbelieving and dark, but God had at different periods of the history of the world sent messengers to the human race and proclamations of mercy had been published, yet those proclamations had almost invariably been rejected by those unto whom they were sent.

            The speaker continued at some length, dwelling especially upon the different gospel dispensations of God to man, and the consequences which invariably attended the rejection by man of heavenly messages.

            We did not believe in coercion, and it was the speaker's belief that we could exist as a religious organization under a republican form of government without infringing upon anybody's privileges. We were willing all other people should enjoy their rights.

            Brother Young concluded by exhorting the Saints to be faithful to their religion.

            Elder ALBERT CARRINGTON presented the authorities of the Church in the following order, the vote to sustain them in their various positions being unanimous:

            Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; George A. Smith his first, and Daniel H. Wells his second councilor.

            Orson Hyde, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Orson Pratt, Sen., John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, Jun., Joseph F. Smith, and Albert Carrington, members of said Quorum.

            John Smith, Patriarch of the Church. John W. Young, President of this Stake of Zion, and George B. Wallace and John T. Caine his councilors.

            William Eddington, John L. Blythe, Howard O. Spencer, John Squires, Wm. H. Folsom, Thomas E. Jeremy, Joseph L. Barfoot, John H. Rumell, Miner G. Attwood, Wm. Thorn, Dimick B. Huntington, Theodore McKean and Hosea Stout, members of the High Council.

            Elias Smith, President of the High Priests' Quorum, and Edward Snelgrove and Elias Morris, his councilors.

            Joseph young, President of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies, and Levi W. Hancock, Henry Harriman, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge and John Van Cott, members of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies.

            President GEORGE A. SMITH made a motion that the presentation of the name of Jacob Gates to the Conference, as one of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies, be deferred until certain matters of business were investigated and an understanding arrived at, which was carried unanimously.

            Benjamin L. Peart, President of the Elders' Quorum; Edward Davis and Abinadi Pratt, his councilors.

            Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishop; Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little, his councilors.

            Samuel G. Ludd, President of the Priests' Quorum; Wm. McLachlan and James Latham his councilors.

            Adam Spears, President of the Teachers' Quorum; Martin Lenzi and Henry I Doremus, his councilors.

            James Leach, President of the Deacon's Quorum; Peter Johnson and Chas. S. Cram his councilors.

            Brigham Young, Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            Truman O. Angell, Architect for the Church.

            Horace S. Eldredge, President of the Perpetual Emigration Fund to Gather the Poor.

            Albert Carrington, Historian and General Church Recorder, and Wilford Woodruff, his assistant.

            The names of the following brethren were then presented, and unanimously sustained, to go on missions--

TO EUROPE.

N. P. Lindelof, Plain City.
John Mendenhall, Springville.
Joseph Wadley, Pleasant Grove

TO THE UNITED STATES.

James S . Brown, Salt Lake City.
Moroni Brown, Ogden.

            President GEORGE A. SMITH said he hoped the brethren and sisters were prepared to remain in Conference a few more days.

            The choir and congregation sang: "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow."

            Adjourned till 10 a.m. to-morrow.

            Prayer by President DANIEL H. WELLS.

_____

[9 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 21:138; 4/17/72, p 6]

FOURTH DAY.

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TUESDAY, April 9th, 10 a. m.

            The choir sang: "The morning breaks, the shadows flee."

            The opening prayer was offered by Elder LORENZO D. YOUNG.

            "Once more, my soul, the rising, Salutes thy waking eyes." was sung by the choir.

[Bishoop E. F. Sheets]

            Bishop E. F. SHEETS said he had had the privilege of meeting with the saints in every General Conference that had been held in this city. Whenever God had a people upon the earth he always required them to do a certain work, and his revelations differed at various times according to the nature of the work to be accomplished. The work committed to us is that of building up Zion, to prepare for the second coming of Christ. When we gathered together we had to open up farms, make roads, build towns, cities and temples, &c. We had accomplished considerable in this direction and we had been directed in what we had done by the servants of God. These things constituted the foundation for the building up of Zion in its glory and beauty. We could all do something towards building Temples, for although we could not all quarry rock or prepare and lay it, yet we could pay our tithes and our offerings to help on this good work.

            The speaker commented at some length on the inseparability of temporal and spiritual things, and urged the Saints to be faithful in the performance of their duties. He bore testimony that he knew the work he was engaged in to be the work of God.

[Elder F. A. Mitchell]

            Elder F. A. MITCHELL said that it afforded him inexpressible satisfaction to have a testimony to bear to the truthfulness of the work of God with which he was identified. It was by the blessings and power of God that we had been enabled to gather together and work unitedly in his cause. We knew that God would justify his cause and that of his people. He had been called on a mission to the Western Islands and with the help of God he purposed going forth to fulfil it, for he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God, and that Brigham Young was his legal successor. He desired nothing more than to be able to do whatever God through his servants required of him.

[Elder Wm. C. Saines]

            Elder Wm. C. STAINES addressed the Conference. Twenty five years ago the general Conference of the Saints assembled on the warmest side of a haystack, which covered an area not larger than that of our large organ. What an evidence was this that the progress of this work was onward and upward. The first time he heard the sound of the gospel he believed it. He was informed by the person whom he first heard preach, that if he obeyed the first principles of that gospel he would know the truth for himself. He responded to the invitation of the servant of God and he received the promised testimony and had retained that knowledge till the present moment. He regretted that President Young was not permitted to be present with us. We all knew the reason of his absence. He knew, however, that God would ultimately bear him off victorious. During the past ten years he had assisted in gathering thousands of the poor, and he always rejoiced in doing any public service connected with the work of God. He predicted that President Young would be again among us before long, that the Saints would not only see the Temple built in this city, but temples would be reared in other places and ultimately all over the land.

[Bishop Samuel A. Woolley]

            Bishop SAMUEL A. WOOLLEY said he had been a member of the church thirty-one years, six months, and two days. He had in his time circumnavigated the globe, preaching the gospel in distant lands without purse or scrip, and he had done so because he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that it was indeed the gospel of Christ which he had to deliver to mankind. He knew Brigham Young was the legal successor of Joseph Smith. He was in Nauvoo when President Young returned from Boston;, after Joseph and Hyrum were murdered, and attended a meeting in a grove. When President Young walked upon the stand and commenced to speak, his appearance and his voice were like unto Joseph's. He knew by these things and by the power of God which then rested upon President Young, that he was the legal successor of Joseph.

            The speaker adverted to the work which had been accomplished by the Saints in these valleys, and thought we should remain here, at least as long as the Lord wished us to.

[Elder Robert L. Campbell]

            Elder ROBERT L. CAMPBELL was the next speaker. He testified that the gospel introduced by Joseph Smith and which was being taught by President Brigham Young and the present authorities of the church was true. No power would ever succeed in destroying this work, for it was of God. He exhorted the Saints to live for the salvation of the living and the dead, and to be charitable to the children of men. To be charitable was Godlike. Many would be brought under the auspices, saving power and benign influences of the gospel of salvation.

[Elder Jesse N. Smith]

            Elder JESSE N. SMITH bore testimony that he knew this to be the work of God There was no point in our earthly career when we should not need to exercise faith in God. Faith in the Almighty was something much lacked by the people of the world. It was difficult for people to give up ideas in which they had been traditionated from their childhood. It required divine assistance to enable them to do so. It had required the blessing and power of God to enable him, the speaker, to do some things in which he had engaged connected with the work of God.

[Bishop W. W. Cluff]

            Bishop W. W. CLUFF referred to the inestimable blessings and privileges enjoyed by the Latter-day Saints, and especially to the improvement of the circumstances of the people who had come from the countries and gathered here. He, the speaker, in fulfilment of the mission to which he was called last conference to peach to the Scandinavians in the Territory, had visited many of those people in their new homes and he knew their temporal condition was greatly improved, and did we accomplish no more than this we should do a good work among the poor. Notwithstanding the apparent cloud that had been hanging over the Saints lately, he had seen more unity among them within the last few months.

                        The speaker referred to the statement of Bishop S. A. Woolley that when President Young was upon the stand at Nauvoo after the death of Joseph, he resembled the latter, and Elder Cluff testified that he too was the same way impressed. He was a boy at the time and he could well remember that it actually seemed to be Joseph whom he saw and heard speak.

            The choir sang: "Arise, shine, for thy light is come."

            Adjourned till 2 p.m.

            Prayer by President DANIEL H. WELLS.

_____

[9 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 21:138-139; 4/17/72, p 6-7]

TUESDAY, April 9th, 2 p.m.

            The choir sang: "Though nations rise and men conspire, Their efforts will be vain."

            Prayer by Elder A. M. MUSSER.

            "Hark! the song of jubilee, Loud as mighty thunders roar." was sung by the choir.

[Bishop Henry Moon]

            Bishop HENRY MOON said:

            I was one of the missionaries who were called to go to the United States last fall. In my travels I met with Mr. David Whitmer, one of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. What made me visit him was, I was reading the testimony of the witnesses to some people on Shoal Creek, in Caldwell County. One of them, Mr. John Lefler, was very anxious to see one of these witnesses, and to hear his testimony. I went down to Richmond with him. We got to Mr. David Whitmer's a little after dark. I told Mr. Whitmer that I was from Utah. "From Utah?" said he. "Yes, Sir." "Well, you have a good deal of trouble, I suppose in Utah?" Oh, not very much, I told him. He got up from his supper and went out of the house, and I followed him. I told him I wanted to have a few moments' talk with him. He said he had not time, he wanted to see after some horses, and his son was sick. But I hung to him, and followed him in the street, and told him that this gentleman, Mr. Lefler, who was with me, had come from Caldwell county, to see if that which was written in the book of Mormon -- the testimony of the witnesses -- was true. Mr. Whitmer turned round to the gentleman and said: "God Almighty requires at my hands to bear record of the truth of the Book of Mormon. That book is a true record; it is the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, translated by the gift and power of God through Joseph Smith." He then talked to Mr. Lefler, who also asked him a few questions. Then Mr. Whitmer talked a little to me about Utah. I asked the gentleman if he wanted any more conversation with Mr. Whitmer? He said, "No," he was quite satisfied, and we got on to the cars and went back to Caldwell county the same evening.

            I am glad that I, with my brethren, can also bear witness with regard to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth, and that this is the kingdom established through Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. I am as satisfied of it, and I know it as well as I know that I am talking to this large congregation. Amen.

[Elder Isaac Groo]

            Elder ISAAC GROO addressed the conference. He bore testimony to the divine authenticity of the work he was connected with. No people living had so much cause for thankfulness as the Latter-day Saints, for they were identified with a kingdom that would stand forever. The church of Christ, since the date of its organization forty-two years ago, had met with the most virulent opposition;, but instead of staying this had accelerated its progress. This gospel was still being preached and would continue to spread until all living people would have an opportunity of embracing it. Some who had embraced the gospel had turned away therefrom, after having borne testimony to its truthfulness.

            The speaker had obeyed the gospel while President Young was leader of the Saints, and had received a sure testimony under that administration. It was the individual knowledge enjoyed by the Elders of Israel that caused them to go forth into the world and preach the gospel. It was falsely reported that we were held in bondage by one man. What we did we conformed to because we knew it to be the will of God. Those who fought against us fought against God, for it was his work they opposed.

[Elder Wilford Woodruff]

            Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF delivered a very interesting and instructive discourse, being of a very practical character. He urged upon the Saints the necessity of attending to the development of the agricultural and manufacturing resources of the Territory, showing that our prosperity and comfort greatly depended upon the counsel we took to that direction. His remarks included wool-growing, cattle raising, farming, cotton and woolen manufacturing and kindred matters. He showed that our attention to those matters would enable us to be measurably self sustaining and consequently independent.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 21:216, 5/22/72, p 4; JD 15:77]

REMARKS,

By Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF, Delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, April 8th [9th], 1872.

_____

REPORTED BY DAVID W. EVANS.

_____

      We have had a very good Conference; we have heard a great deal of testimony from the servants of the Lord, and that testimony has been true. The building up of the Zion of God in these latter days includes, I may say of a truth, every branch of business, both temporal and spiritual, in which we are engaged. We can not touch upon any subject which is lawful in the sight of God and man, that is not embraced in our religion. The Gospel of Jesus Christ which we have embraced, and which we preach, includes all truth, and every lawful calling and occupation of man. One subject that we are deeply interested in I wish to say a few words upon. In the first place I wish to give notice in this stage of my remarks to the members of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society, that they are requested to meet, at the close of this meeting, at the Historian's Office, to appoint their president and board of directors for the coming season, for the times demand that we should hold a State fair in this city this fall.

      Strangers may think this a very strange subject to present in a religious meeting, but we are building up the literal kingdom of God on the earth, and we have temporal duties to perform. We inhabit temporal bodies, we eat temporal food, we build temporal houses, we raise temporal cattle and temporal wheat; we contend with temporal weeds, and with temporal enemies in our soil, and these things naturally give rise to the necessity of attending to and performing many duties of a temporal and arduous nature, and they, of course, are embraced in our religion. In building up the Zion and kingdom of God in these latter days, our agricultural and manufacturing interests are of the most vital importance; in fact manufacturing and agricultural pursuits are of vital importance to any nation under heaven. Show me a nation whose people cultivate the earth, and manufacture what they need, and I will show you a rich and independent nation. Show me a nation that lives entirely by mining and I will show you a poor nation—one that is, ready to run out and become obsolete. You see this manifest in the history of all nations under heaven. What gives England her wealth to-day? Her coal, iron, and the products of her soil, in connection with her prodigious manufactures; and it is so with all the nations of the earth. What makes the United States what she is to-day? Her products and the cultivation of her soil, and the constant efforts she has made to supply the wants of her people. Not but what mining is all right, there is no fault with the development of the resources of the earth under favorable circumstances. When we came here our position demanded that the very first thing we did was to plant our potatoes and sow our wheat, or we had starvation before us; and I will here say that the Saints and the Elders of Israel have gone before the Lord day after day and week after week, and prayed the Almighty to hide up the treasures of these mountains, lest even the Latter-day Saints, with all the faith they had, should be tempted to turn away from the cultivation of the earth and the manufacture of what they needed; and the Lord heard our prayers, and we dwelt here many years and filled these valleys for six hundred miles with cities, towns, villages, gardens, orchards, fields, vineyards, hundreds of school-houses, and places of worship, until we made the desert blossom as the rose, and had a supply of wheat, bread and clothing upon our hands. Then, I do not know but the Elders ceased praying for the Lord to hide up the treasures of the earth—I guess they did, for very soon after mines began to be opened, and now silver mines are being worked in many parts of the Territory. A few years ago General Connor and others, who dwelt here, with soldiers under them, spent very many days in prospecting these mountains from one end to the other for gold and silver, but they could find none; to-day you may go over the same places, and if you dig into the earth you may find plenty of silver, and you may find it almost anywhere in these mountains. I suppose this is all right, I have no fault to find with it; but I still say that the interest of the Latter-day Saints in these mountains is to cultivate the soil and to manufacture what they use.

      Through the influence of President Young We have many manufactories for wool and cotton already established in this Territory. He has done more than any man living in these last days, according to the means he has had at his command, to establish these branches of business in the midst of these mountains. We have now many large factories in this Territory that have to stand still for want of wool. I want to say a few words on this subject to the wool growers of Deseret. Instead of sending our wool out of the Territory, to eastern States to be manufactured into cloth, and purchasing it and paying eastern manufacturers a large per centage for it when brought here by railroad, I feel that it is our duty, and it would be far wiser for us, to sell our wool to those who own factories in this Territory, and to sustain ourselves by sustaining home manufactures.

      One of the first commands given to Adam, after being placed in Eden, was to dress the garden; and he was permitted to eat of the fruit of every tree except one. After a while Adam and his wife, Eve, partook of the fruit of this tree, and the history of the Fall is before us and the world. After Adam was cast out of the garden the Lord told him that there should be a curse on the earth, and instead of bringing forth beautiful flowers, fruit and grain spontaneously, as before the Fall, it should bring forth thorns, briers, thistles and noxious weeds, and that man should earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; and from that time to the present mankind has had this curse to contend with in the cultivation of the earth. In consequence of this the inhabitants of Utah, in their agricultural operations have to fight against the cockle burr, the black seed and sunflower, as well as thorns and thistles and many other noxious weeds, which, if not eradicated, speedily take advantage of us, and to a great extent, mar the result of our labors. It will pay us to pay attention to these things; it will pay us to dress the earth, to till it, to take care of and spend time and means in manuring and feeding it; it will pay us to gather out these noxious weeds, for the earth will then have a chance to bring forth in its strength. This, with the blessing of God upon our labors, has made the soil of Utah as productive as it is to-day. I wish to see this interest increase in our midst; and I hope, in addition to this, that those who are raising sheep—our wool growers—will pay attention to and carry on that branch of business systematically, and that we will sell our wool to those who manufacture it at home, instead of sending it out of the Territory to be manufactured. I feel that this is our duty, and the course which will promote our best interests, and it is a principle which is true, independent of religion, in any community or nation; it is a self-sustaining principle.

      God has blessed us, he has blessed the earth, and our labors in the tilling of the soil have been greatly prospered. As has been said by some of our brethren in their remarks, when the pioneers came here, no mark of civilization or of the white man, was found. If those who are now so anxious to obtain the homes we have made, had seen Utah as we saw it, they would never have desired a habitation here, but they would have got out of it as soon as they could. It was barren, desolate, abounding with grasshoppers, crickets and kiote [coyote?] wolves, and these things seemed to be the only natural productions of the soil. We went to work by faith, not much by sight, to cultivate the earth. We broke almost all the plows we had the first day. We had to let streams of water out to moisten the earth, and by experience we had to learn to raise anything. The stranger comes into Salt Lake City and sees our orchards, and the trees in our streets, and he thinks, what a fruitful and delightful place it is. He does not think that, for twenty or twenty-four years, almost every tree he beholds, according to its age, has had to be watered twice a week through the whole summer season, or they would all have been dead long since. We have had to unite upon these things, the Lord has blessed our labors, and his mercies have been over this people.

      If we had not cultivated the earth, but had turned our attention to mining, we should not only have starved to death ourselves, but thousands of strangers, who have passed through, would have shared the same fate. Utah Territory has been the great highway to California, Nevada, and all the western States and Territories, and they have all looked, in a measure, to Utah for their bread. Nobody but Latter-day Saints would have lived here, and endured the trials and afflictions that we endured in the beginning; none others would have stayed and fought the crickets one year, as we had to do year after year. Any people but the Latter-day Saints would have left this country long ago. Not only so, on account of the things I have already named, but I will here say that no other people could have lived here—no, they would have knocked each others brains out on account of the little water they would have had in their irrigating operations. When men saw their crops and trees withering and perishing for the want of water, the selfishness so general in the world would have worked up to such an extent, that they would have killed one another, and hence I say that none but Latter-day Saints would have stood it; but they, by the training and experience they had before received, were prepared for the hardships and trials they had to encounter in this country.

      Brethren and sisters, let us continue our efforts in cultivating the earth, and in manufacturing what we want. And I still urge upon our Female Relief Societies, in this city and throughout the Territory, to carry out the counsel President Young gave us years and years ago, and try, as far as possible, within ourselves, to make our own bonnets, hats and clothing, and to let the beauty of what we wear be the workmanship of our own hands. It is true that our religion is not in our coat or bonnet, or it should not be. If a man's religion is there it is not generally very deep anywhere else. But God has blessed us with the products of earth and the blessings of heaven, and his Spirit has been with us; we have been preserved, and the Lord has turned away the edge of the sword, and he has protected us during many years past and gone, and we all have to acknowledge his hand in these things.

      I do not wish to detain this Conference. I felt as though I wanted to make a few remarks on these subjects. I hope, brethren, that we will not slacken our hands with regard to the cultivation of the earth. In the prosecution of our labors in that respect we have everything to contend with that man has been cursed with for five thousand years. We should clean our fields, as far as we can, of the noxious weeds, and our streets of sunflowers. These things encumber the earth. We have one difficulty to contend with, unknown save in those portions of the earth where irrigation is practiced. It is true that a man may clean his fields of sunflowers, cockle burrs, blackseed and every other noxious weed that grows, and the very first time he waters his land here will come a peck or a bushel of foul seed from the mountains, and fill every field through which the stream flows. These difficulties we have to fight against, but we must do the best we can. As farmers, we should clean our seed, and not sow the foul along with the good. One man, in a few hours, with a good wire sieve, can sift enough seed for ten acres of land, and perhaps for twenty; while, to pull that bad seed out when grown will cost from one to five hundred dollars, for it will take a score of men days to do it. We should use our time, judgment and the wisdom God has given us to the best advantage in all these things.

      I want the brethren to come together this afternoon and elect their officers, for we desire to hold a fair this fall, in which the agricultural and manufacturing interests of the Territory may be represented and interested. Let us not be weary in well doing; let us not slacken our hands, either in cultivating the earth or in the manufacturing of what we deed. Co-operate in agricultural and mercantile matters, also in our tanneries, and in the making of butter and cheese. One man may engage in these branches of business with advantage if he have skill and experience to guide him; but in co-operation the wisdom of all is combined for the general good. This plan has been adopted with advantage in other communities, cities, States, Territories and countries, and it can be in this more extensively than it has been hitherto.

      I pray that God will bless us, and bless this whole people; and I pray that the testimony which we have received here during this Conference, which is true, may not be forgotten by us. I can bear the same testimony. I know this work is of God. I know Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. I have heard two or three of the brethren testify about brother Young in Nauvoo. Every man and every Woman in that assembly, which perhaps might number thousands, could bear the same testimony. I was there, the Twelve were there, and a good many others, and all can bear the same testimony. The question might be asked, why was the appearance of Joseph Smith given to Brigham Young? Because here was Sidney Rigdon and other men rising up and claiming to be the leaders of the Church, and men stood, as it were, on a pivot, not knowing which way to turn. But just as quick as Brigham Young rose in that assembly, his face was that of Joseph Smith—the mantle of Joseph had fallen upon him, the power of God that was upon Joseph Smith was upon him, he had the voice of Joseph, and it was the voice of the shepherd. There was not a person in that assembly, Rigdon, himself, not excepted, but was satisfied in his own mind that Brigham was the proper leader of the people, for he would not have his name presented, by hid own consent, after that sermon was delivered. There was a reason for this in the mind of God; it convinced the people. They saw and heard for themselves, and it was by the power of God.

      May God bless you. May he give us wisdom to direct us in all things, and promote all the interests of Zion for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 

[President George A. Smith]

            President GEORGE A. SMITH said the Lord had blessed us in a most remarkable manner considering the efforts of the father of lies to hinder our progress. He did not believe it possible to find on the earth a more law-abiding, temperate and orderly people than the people of Utah. They had especially vindicated their character in those respects during the last few months. We did not propose to relinquish any of the principles of morality and virtue which we so dearly prized. The wicked have introduced a few places of immorality, but we should keep ourselves uncontaminated. We should keep the Word of Wisdom. To its observance were attached great promises. We should observe it strictly, not only for our own sakes, but also for the sake of our children. He urged those who were engaged in working mines to be careful not to fall into the vicious practices so often prevalent in mining camps. We could not be placed in any position where we could not serve God.

            The speaker again drew the attention of the Elders and Saints to the importance of supporting the Perpetual Emigrating Fund and urged those indebted to it to make payments. He spoke of he necessity of home missionary labor being vigorously prosecuted, and gave some excellent advice to all who had difficulties to settle to avoid law suits, and to settle disagreements by arbitration He said that fears were entertained by some people that some great trouble was coming upon the Saints, but there need be no fears, for this work was the work of God. He was our protector and ruler and we need not fear man nor his power.

            Elder ALBERT CARRINGTON presented the names of the following missionaries, which were sustained by the Conference --

TO EUROPE.

Walter Thomson, Ogden City.
Newel Clayton, S. L. City.

TO THE EASTERN STATES.

W. C. Staines, to take charge of the emigration business at New York.

HOME MISSIONARIES.

To the Scandinavians in the northern counties -- C. D. Fjeldsted.
Beaver County -- John R. Murdock, Wm. Fotheringham, Wm. Ashworth, M. L. Shepherd.
Box Elder County -- Lorenzo Snow, Jonathan C. Wright, Samuel Smith, H. P. Jensen, John Reese, G. W. Ward of Willard City.
Cache County -- W. B. Preston, Moses Thatcher, Wm. Hyde, O. N. Liljenquist, Lorenzo H. Hatch, Wm. Maughan, Samuel Roskelly, Jeremiah Hatch, M. W. Merrill.
Davis County -- Job Welling, Nathan T. Porter, Anson Call, Joel Parrish, Joseph Argyle, Roswell Hyde, John W. Hess, Thomas S. Smith.
Iron County -- Edward Dalton, Jesse N. Smith, Silas S. Smith, Samuel H. Rogers, W. H. Dame, Henry Lunt, Samuel Leigh.
Juab county -- Jacob G. Bigler, Joel Grover, Andrew Love, John Andrews, Elmer Taylor
Kane County -- Charles N. Smith;, Jehiel McConnell.
Millard County -- Thomas Callister, Marion Lyman, Piatt D. Lyman, Nephi Pratt, Collins R. Hakes.
Morgan County -- Lot Smith;, William Eddington, Jesse Haven, Bishop Petersen, Bishop W. G. Smith.
Rich County -- Charles C. Rich, Wilford Woodruff, David P; Kimball, Wm. Budge, James H. Hart, Jos. C. Rich, John Hart, Randolph Steward, Bishop Lee, Ira Nebeker
Salt Lake County -- David Candland, Milo Andrus, N. H. Felt, Samuel A. Woolley, Thomas Taylor, George G. Bywater, John Van Cott, Reuben Miller, Isaac Groo, Absalom Smith.
Sanpete County -- Noah T. Guyman;, R. L. Johnson, Abner Lowry, Christian Christiansen, George Peacock, W. F. Simon, W. S. Seeley
Wasatch County -- Abraham Hatch, David Van Waggener, John W. Witt.
Washington County -- Joseph W. Young, Miles P. Romney, Charles Smith, John E. Pace.
Weber County -- F. D. Richards, Lorin Farr, Richard Ballantyne, David M. Stuart, Robert McQuarrie, C. W. Penrose, Edmund Ellsworth, L. J. Herrick, F. A. Hammond.
Summit county -- W. W. Cluff, Geo. G. Snyder, William Black, Abraham Merchant.
Tooele County -- Orson Pratt, Lorenzo D. Young, Joseph Young, senior, George Bryan.
Utah County -- Abraham O. Smoot, David Evans, L. E. Harrington, A. K. Thurber, William Bringhurst, David Holladay, George Halliday, Zebedee Coltrin, Warren N. Dusenberry, L. John Nuttall, Joseph Cluff, Charles D. Evans, Orawell Simons.

            President GEORGE A. SMITH alluded to the nature of the duties of the home missionaries. He said Elder Albert Carrington was appointed at the last April Conference to preside over the European mission, and he went and still presided over that mission, though he had been called home on public business. He (President Smith) made a motion that Elder Carrington return to Europe in that capacity, which was unanimously sustained.

            President Smith also stated that we had been together in conference for days, and that all necessary business had not yet been attended to, and made a motion, which he put to the assemblage, that the conference adjourn to meet again next Sunday, April 14th, in the new Tabernacle, which was unanimously sustained.

            The choir sang: "Daughter of Zion."

            President GEORGE A. SMITH said that the thanks of the people were due to Brother George Careless, the Tabernacle choir, and all the brethren and sisters of the choirs from places outside of the city who had assisted him in singing during conference, also to brother Joseph Daynes, the organist, and all who had contributed to make our assembling together pleasant with sweet music. He felt to thank them and say God bless them.

            At his request the congregation arose to their feet and they all joined in singing that sublime hymn: "The spirit of God, like a fire is burning, The latter-day glory begins to come forth."

            It was a scene calculated to incite deep and peculiar emotions, to see the thousands of people, assembled from almost every known nationality, that they might learn to worship God in his own appointed way, arise, and unitedly mingle their voices in pouring forth soul-inspiring strains of worship to the Great Jehovah, while the magnificent organ sent forth its powerful tones which sounded at times like subdued thunder.

            Conference adjourned till Sunday, April 14, at 10 a.m.

            Benediction by President GEO. A. SMITH.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference

_____

[14 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 21:140, 4/17/72, p 8]

GENERAL CONFERENCE.

_____

FIFTH DAY.

_____

SUNDAY, April 14th, 10 a.m.

            According to adjournment of Tuesday, April 9th, the Forty-second Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reassembled this (Sunday) morning, April 14th, at ten o'clock, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City.

            Conference was called to order by President GEO. A. SMITH.

            The choir sang: "The towers of Zion soon shall rise Above the clouds and reach the skies."

            The opening prayer was offered by Elder L. W. HARDY.

            "Come, listen to a prophet's voice, And hear the word of God," was sung by the choir.

[Elder John Van Cott]

            Elder JOHN VAN COTT addressed the Conference. He was aware that the Latter-day Saints were a discriminating people, being in possession of a spirit which enabled them to judge correctly as to that which was true and that which was erroneous. This spirit enabled them to perceive that God still manifested his power and wisdom at the head of his kingdom, and that he constantly inspired his servants, the leaders of the Saints, with the revelations of his will. The speaker had known for many years that h was identified with a work which was of divine origin. It was that knowledge which brought him to Utah. In his experience in the Church he had seen many manifestations of divine providence in behalf of God's people. He doubted if there was another man on earth who would have done as President Young had, in voluntarily delivering himself up and allowing vexatious writs to be served upon him. It was not only an evidence of the absolute innocence of President Young, but, to him it was an evidence that God directed his movements.

            Whatever the future political status of the Saints might be -- whether Utah became a State or not, he was satisfied the result, so far as the work of the Lord was concerned, would be the same. Zion would be built up and those who engaged in that work would be blessed. All should seek earnestly for the Spirit of the Lord, that they might e able to understand the dealings of the Almighty with his people, and with all the people of the world. The strength of the Latter-day Saints was not in numbers, ;neither in the arm of man, but in the arm of the great Jehovah.

[Elder Thomas Taylor]

            Elder THOMAS TAYLOR was the next speaker. When he first heard the message of the everlasting gospel, he saw no reason why that message should not be true, and that God should establish his kingdom. He felt certain that if the Lord did so, it would be such a system of government as would far excel in every virtue every other government. He was of opinion, if those who were so much opposed to us would lay aside prejudice and reason with us, that they would not feel so much embittered against us as they did. The constitution of this republican government was a most liberal and excellent instrument. The principles of the Kingdom of God were liberal also. Men did not apostatize from this work because the principles of the gospel did not allow them the exercise of the utmost freedom. Those who forsook and turned against the work of God generally did so because in the Church of Jesus Christ they were not permitted to take advantage of their neighbors and otherwise act unrighteously. The opponents of the Saints were not the good among men, but the reverse. They had been opposed generally by men who were actuated by ulterior motives. Some opposed us because perchance their craft was at stake, and who thought that if let alone the Saints would, by their faith in God and their unity, become a great and a powerful people. Those who had thought their interests were at stake had invariably been among the first to vilify and maltreat the Latter-day Saints. If people thought we were deluded, their best course would be to lay the principles they had to offer side by side with those we possessed and see how they compared. -- It indicated a lack of confidence in their own systems when they refused to do this, and they did refuse almost invariably.

            The speaker next commented upon the nature of the circumstances through which many of the Saints had been called to pass, and how they had had to trust in God as their only source of deliverance, and who had never failed them. Hundreds of sick, by the exercise of faith and the administration of the ordinances of the gospel, had been healed by the power of God. He had been cognizant of many instances of this kind in his personal labors, and administrations. We were engaged in laying a foundation for eternal bliss and glory in the future, for we believed in the eternal nature of the family unions and ties formed in righteousness in this life. The kingdom of God was an indestructible system and would stand for ever, notwithstanding the powers that might be arrayed against it.

            The choir sang: "O praise the Lord."

            Adjourned till 2 o'clock.

            Prayer by President D. H. WELLS.

_____

[14 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 21:140-141; 4/17/72, p 8-9]

SUNDAY, 2 p.m.

            Great God, indulge my humble claim; Thou art my hope, my joy, my rest." was sung by the choir.

            Prayer by Bishop JOHN W. HESS.

            The choir sang: "Spirit of faith come down, Reveal the things of God."

            The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered.

[Elder David Candland]

            Elder DAVID CANDLAND addressed the assemblage. It doubtless sounded peculiar to strangers to hear the Elders of Israel talk so much about the kingdom of God being established on the earth; yet those very people who sometimes expressed astonishment from this cause had been tutored, from childhood, to repeat the form of prayer taught by Jesus to his disciples in his day, in which the desire was expressed that the kingdom of God might come, that his will might be done here as it was in heaven. When we talk of the kingdom of God being inaugurated, we did not mean that the constitutional or other liberties and privileges of any of the human family would be abridged or taken away. The instituting of a divine system of government was for the benefit of the human family, and not to bring them into bondage.

            The speaker was surprised that people should be blinded with the belief that the canon of Scripture closed with the Bible, when it was distinctly declared in that sacred record that this was not the case. It was stated there that the work of bringing the ancient Israelites out of the land of Egypt and through the Red Sea would be comparatively insignificant when compared with the great work God would accomplish in the latter days. if he had called upon no man for the accomplishment of this great work, and to prepare for the coming of the Savior, we were in a pitiable condition. We knew, however, that such a man had been raised up and inspired by the Almighty. The time must and would come when all would be under the influence and dominion of the Kingdom of God.

            The speaker commented for some time on the necessity for revelation from God, and kindred subjects, and showed the nature of the work being performed by the Latter-day Saints. The works of the latter were before the world and spoke for themselves. He exhorted the people to avoid the evil practices that had been lately brought here by the so called "civilization" of the age. He concluded by stating that he knew the work with which he was identified to be one of divine origin.

            Elder ALBERT CARRINGTON presented the names of the following brethren, who were called on missions and unanimously sustained--

TO EUROPE.

Robert McQuarrie, Ogden City.

TO THE STATES.

Lucien Noble, Salt Lake City.
John Evans, Davis Co.

HOME MISSIONARIES.

William Jeffries, Grantsville; William G. Young, cottonwood; William Lee, Grantsville; Cyrus H. Wheelock, Mount Pleasant; Evan M. Greene, Smithfield; James A. Little, Kanab; John R. Young, Glendale; James L. Bunting, Kanab; John L. Smith, Beaver; Jonathan Crosby, Beaver; Joseph B. Nobles, bountiful; William Martindale, Duncan.

            Elder Carrington stated that it had been thought best to release Brother Walter Thomson, of Ogden City, from the mission assigned to him, and to substitute in his stead, Robert McQuarrie, of Ogden City. This was in consequence of Brother Thomson's important public duties. The motion for Brother Thomson's release was unanimous.

[Elder Carrington]

            Elder Carrington then proceeded to address the Conference. His remarks were interesting and instructive, being principally upon the necessity of all people endeavoring to honor God, showing that those who did so would be honored by him in turn. He show[ed] that our Father and God was the source of all the intelli8gence and truth possessed by mankind. He also spoke of the utter shallowness and worthlessness of all things outside the gifts, graces and blessings comprehended in the gospel of Christ. He described the nature and organization of the Church of Christ, and also the kingdom of God, and the consequences that would accompany and follow the growth and development of the same. He showed the distinction between the church and the kingdom of God. Elder Carrington's remarks were reported in full.

[President Geo. A. Smith]

            President GEO. A. SMITH then addressed the conference as follows --

            The snow storm has prevented the large gathering that was anticipated. A great many people that would have attended conference this morning could not consistently come on account of the weather, and the house is not as comfortable as it otherwise would have been; yet we are gratified at the liberal manner which has assembled in this rather unexpected storm at this season. We have learned, I believe, to make no particular or certain calculations on the weather in these mountains in the spring season. It very frequently happens we have our spring in the winter, and our winter in the spring.

            I have been edified in listening to the remarks of the elders who have spoken; but as the Conference has not been very large, and we shall not, at the present time, be able to entirely close our business, we think proper to adjourn from week to week until our business is completed. I wish, however, to offer a few suggestions for the benefit of the elders, who have been called to take part in the labor of preaching the gospel more directly than they have hitherto done in the various settlements. It will be necessary that they organize themselves into convenient companies for the holding of two-days' meetings. Where it is practicable perhaps the Twelve would superintend this organization; but where it is not, some of the more experienced missionaries can step forward and make the necessary arrangements. for instance, in this county, Elders Lorenzo D. Young and Milo Andrus, and perhaps some one or two others, might confer together, and appoint meetings in the different settlements -- say at Mill Creek, Draper, at the Cottonwoods, West Jordan, and others; and on the occasions appointed for meetings enough of these elders, as they arrange among themselves, could meet there and devote a couple of days to preaching, giving instructions, talking upon the things of the kingdom and bearing testimony to the plan of salvation, stirring up the hearts of the brethren to faithfulness and diligence.

            You know it is said by the apostle, "It pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believed." I have felt satisfied that the preaching of the elders was very important, not only in instructing the young and rising generation, but in keeping alive and awake all those in the church who, peradventure, through the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and a hundred other causes, may suffer themselves to become slothful, thoughtless and lukewarm. We see this very clearly illustrated in the revelation concerning Zion. The Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith, speaking concerning Zion, in Book D. C., page 279, pars. 6 and 7 says:

            A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants, Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees, and set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one my overlook the land around about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive trees may not be broken down, when the enemy shall come to spoil, and take unto themselves the fruit of my vineyard. now the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them; and planted the olive trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower. And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves, And what need hath my lord of this tower? and consulted for a long time, saying among themselves, What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace? Might not this money be given to the exchangers? for there is no need of these things! And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord, and the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge, an the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive trees.

            Now behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil? ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you? and after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof, built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you? and behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off, and then you could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.

            Now if they had done as they had been instructed and kept awake, perhaps by faithful preaching and diligence on the part of some of them in getting up meetings, or in some other way had taken upon themselves to build the tower and set watchmen upon it, they would have seen the enemy when afar off and would have been prepared to defend the tower and the vineyard, and to preserve the property of their lord. I have quoted the parable, to show the importance, as I think, not only of our bishops and the presidents of stakes and branches being diligent with the aid of their teachers, but that the elders should wake up and have meetings more frequently than for some time past. In the county of Davis, a number of elders have been selected to take part in these home missions. We do not wish to confine any of them to the two days' meetings; nor to labor within the limits of that county. They should be alive, on any and every occasion that they may have opportunity, in ward meetings, or circulating round through the settlements, in preaching the gospel of peace, bearing testimony and stirring the Saints up to diligence. It will be well for Elders Anson Call, W. B. Nobles, or some of the other elders who have been appointed, to ;notify the rest, and make arrangements for their meetings in the different wards -- Bountiful, Kaysville, Farmington, and all those places, where there are large houses; and perhaps when the season advances, get up one or two county meetings. And if the houses are too small, hold your meetings under the shade of a grove or bowery, and have a general good time. And the same course may be taken by the elders in other counties.

            The Twelve will give advice or instruction at any time it is required, in relation to the duties of these missionaries. It is very likely that before the close of the Conference there may be more selected; but those we have already selected, we hope will be alive and diligent in the performance of their duties, and aid the bishops and all the presiding authorities of the several wards in giving instructions, preaching the gospel of peace, and causing comfort, satisfaction and happiness to dwell freely and abundantly in the hearts of all. We are very well aware that one of the great enjoyments of a Latter-day Saint, when he is living in the exercise of his holy religion, is in going to meeting, and in hearing the instructions of the servants of the Lord.

            These missionaries should also visit and encourage the Sunday schools in all the neighborhoods where they travel. I do not expect them to be stationary where they live, but to pass into neighboring counties, and, if necessary, and their circumstances will permit, to travel from one end of the Territory to the other. Those who have been appointed heretofore as home missionaries need not consider that they are released from that appointment in consequence of their not being included in this one. They should continue their labors and instructions among the Scandinavian brethren in their native tongue, as well as among the German, French, Welsh, or other branches wherever it may be necessary to have meetings in the languages of emigrants from other nations who have not had time, opportunities or facilities to learn the English language well enough to understand the general preaching and instruction.

            The day is cold, and the room somewhat unpleasant; it is therefore probably best not to continue our services. May the blessings of God be and abide upon you. Amen.

            President Smith moved that the Conference adjourn to meet again on Sunday, April 21st, at 10 a.m. in the New Tabernacle, which was carried unanimously.

            The choir sang: "O make a joyful noise unto the Lord."

            Benedictory prayer by Patriarch JOHN SMITH.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of conference.

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[21 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 21: 153, 4/24/72, p 5]

GENERAL CONFERENCE.

_____

SIXTH DAY.

SUNDAY MORNING, April 21.

            According to adjournment of Sunday, April 14, the Forty-second Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reassembled at 10 o'clock, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City.

            Conference was called to order by President GEO. A. SMITH.

            The choir sang: "May we who know the joyful sound, Still practice what we know."

            The opening prayer was offered by Elder LORENZO D. YOUNG.

            "The great and glorious gospel light Has ushered forth into my sight." was sung by the choir.

[Elder Robert F. Nelsen]

            Elder ROBERT F. NESLEN addressed the Conference. He rejoiced that the kingdom of God was organized for the permanent benefit of humanity at large. The principles of the gospel were efficacious in bringing happiness to mankind, but through the perverseness of the latter, those principles had not been so very extensively beneficial. The speaker quoted some passage