1880

4-5 Apr 1880, Special Two-day Meeting, SLC Assembly Hall.
[Deseret News Weekly, 29:149, 4/7/80, p 5; 29:168, 4/14/80, p 8; Millennial Star 42:273, 289, 305]

[4 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 29:149, 4/7/80, p 5]

TWO DAYS' MEETINGS IN THE SALT LAKE ASSEMBLY HALL.

_____

In accordance with the announcement in the DESERET NEWS, meetings were held in the Assembly Hall, on Sunday, preparatory to the General Conference to be convened in the Large Tabernacle. At an early hour, the Saints commenced to assemble, and by 10 o'clock a.m., the time for opening the services, the new and elegant building was filled, and soon after was crowded in every part.

            The congregation was called to order by President Taylor, and after singing by the Tabernacle choir, prayer was offered by Elder Moses Thatcher.

[President John Taylor]

            President JOHN TAYLOR made a few introductory remarks; explained the object of calling two-days' meetings as a preliminary to the Annual conference; referred to the pleasing fact that this was the year of the jubilee of the Church, which would be 50 years old on the 6th inst.; showed that in ancient Israel the year of jubilee was celebrated as a time of general rejoicing and forgiveness, when debtors were released from their obligations and prisoners were set free. congratulated the Saints on the progress of the work of God during the 50 years of its history and invoked the spirit of the Lord upon the meetings to be held.

[John Taylor]

[Apr 1880 CR, pp 5-6]

      I am happy to have the privilege of meeting with the Saints in this new hall. It is not quite finished, but yet it is so far comfortable that we can have an opportunity of meeting and conferring together. When the building is fully completed the organ and everything in its proper place we shall then have it dedicated, as is our custom, to the Lord our God, for the purpose of meeting here and attending to whatever may be required.
As the 6th of April falls on next Tuesday, we thought it better to have a two days' meeting before hand, that we might have an opportunity of listening to the principles that will be presented by our brethren, the Twelve and others, and we are in hopes that on the 6th day of April we shall be able to meet in the large Tabernacle, which will accommodate all who may desire to attend.

      And while we are assembled together in the capacity of a Conference, it is proper that our hearts and feelings and affections should be turned to God, that we may reflect upon his kindness, his mercy and salvation extended to us as a people; that we may also reflect upon our weaknesses, our infirmities, our follies and our foibles, and be enabled to lay them aside, feeling that we are the Saints of God, with responsibilities to attend to; and that it is our duty and our delight to listen to and be governed by those great principles which God has revealed for the salvation of the human family.

      On the 6th day of April the church will have been organized fifty years, and we might with very good propriety call it a year of jubilee, or rather the close of the year of jubilee. And while we are assembled together, either in our meeting prior to the Conference or afterwards in the Conference, it becomes us, when we reflect upon the kindness and mercy which God has vouchsafed to us during the last fifty years, to renew our covenants before him, and feel in our hearts that we are his people and that he is our God. His mercy and salvation will still be extended to us, if we will only obey his laws, keep his commandments, and pursue that course that is proper and acceptable in his sight.

      I do not wish to make many remarks this morning. I thought I would just rise and introduce some of those principles that naturally tend to bring our minds to reflection.

      On the fiftieth year, in former times, among the ancients, they had what was termed a year of jubilee. Slaves were liberated. People who were in debt were forgiven their indebtedness that is, the poor, the needy and the distressed. And we are reflecting upon some things pertaining to that matter, which will be presented in due form; and we wish to start, as it were, and feel to determine in our hearts that the Lord is our God, the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Law-giver, and he shall rule over us; and we will try and be his people and observe his laws. And I would ask my brethren and sisters to give us an interest in their faith and prayers, that we shall be enabled to advance such principles as will be calculated to enlighten, to quicken, to refresh and to strengthen us, that we may pursue in after years, with more vigor and determination, that path which God has revealed unto us. Amen.

 

He was followed by

[Elder Wilford Woodruff]

            Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF, who commenced with a hearty "God bless you," and proceeded to relate the circumstances of his recent mission in Arizona; spoke in praise of the Saints living in the United Order in that part of the country, and the good, kid, temperate and fervent spirit that prevails there; of the peace-making influence of our missionaries upon the warlike Navajoes and Apaches; of the customs and manner of life of the Moquis and Zunis; of the progress of the work of God among them; also of the interest taken in our labors by those in the spirit world with whom he had been much in communion for some time past. He bore testimony to the final triumph of the truth, and exhorted the Saints to upright and godly lives.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 6-14]

      President, brethren and sisters: God bless you, (Amen), and may the peace of God abide with you, and the Spirit of God within these walls, and may it rest upon the Apostles, Elders and Saints while we assemble together to worship God. I feel in my heart to praise the Lord for his mercies and blessings over the Apostles and Elders and Saints and church and kingdom of God to the present hour. I see before me here the symbols of the history of this church and kingdom, and some of us have been preserved by the hand of God to pass through its travels, its progress and its history almost from the beginning until the present day; and while I listened to the remarks of Brother Taylor, I reflected in my own mind upon the day and age and time of our history. Fifty years have passed and gone, or nearly so, since the organization of this church and kingdom on the earth. Whatever the feelings of the world may be with regard to the Latter-day Saints, with regard to their lives, their history, their organization, their persecutions, and their drivings until the present day, whether they believe or disbelieve, it matters not to the purposes of God, who stands at the head, even our Heavenly Father. This is the church and kingdom of God; it is the church of Christ; it is the organization of the kingdom of God, that has been spoken of by all the prophets since the world began; it is the Zion of God that Isaiah and Jeremiah and many of the other prophets saw by vision and revelation in their day and generation. In my own mind I cannot conceive of any fifty years since the creation of this world, in its history before the heavens, before the Gods, before the angels, and before the world, of more importance or consequence than the last fifty years through which we have passed; and if the vail could only be lifted from our eyes, so that we could see and comprehend our destiny, our position, our responsibilities, and what is required at our hands by the God of Israel, we should all of us feel the importance of improving our time, magnifying our calling, striving to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.

      I hold in my hand our testament. The testator is dead, has been dead for a great many years. He sealed his testimony with his blood. That testament is in force, has been in force upon all the world from the day of his death; and not only from that day, but from the time these revelations were given to the inhabitants of the earth. That testament contains a volume of the most important revelations God ever gave to man. Fifty years ago, or nearly so, when He gave some of these revelations, the Lord said to Joseph Smith, "If you believe my words you will go and prune my vineyard while the day lasts; If you believe these revelations I have given you, you will take hold and build up this kingdom." When I reflect that it is fifty years since these revelations were given, I ask myself the question What condition are we in to-day as a people, as Latter-day Saints? What is our condition, our position to-day before the Lord? What is the condition of the world? What is the condition of Great Babylon? What is the condition of the Saints, the Elders of Israel, and the Lord's anointed, and the people whom he has chosen and called upon and raised up to take hold and build up Zion, build up the kingdom, sanctify themselves before God and prepare themselves for the coming of the Son of man? I have sometimes feared in my own mind concerning ourselves, that we are not living as near to the Lord as we ought to do; we do not always comprehend the responsibilities which we are under to God our Heavenly Father. When I reflect, my brethren and sisters, that the Lord has ordained the establishment of Zion, upon the responsibility that rests upon us in warning the generation in which we live that they may be left without excuse in fulfilment of the revelations contained in this volume (the Book of Mormon)when I reflect that we are called as the servants of the Lord to perform this work, I feel within my own mind as the Lord has said now nearly fifty years ago, that if we believe the words of the Lord we will labor while it is called to-day. The Lord looks to nobody else, he expects nothing from anybody else, as far as the fulfilling of the revelations in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants are concerned; he looks to no other nation, kindred, tongue, or people henceforth to go and perform this work, but the Saints of the living God. If the Lord has any friends on the earth they are the Saints of God, and if the Saints of God have any friends anywhere, they consist of the God of Israel and the heavenly hosts, and the spirits of just men made perfect.

      In my view, we as Latter-day Saints are approaching a change. We are approaching important events. It cannot be otherwise in the face of the revelations of God, in the Bible, in the Testament, in the Doctrine and Covenants, than that a change is about to take place in the world. The Lord has said that he would make the work short in the latter days, that he would cut it short in righteousness. Fifty years is a good while to pass away in the dispensation and generation in which we live and it has taken from the earth during this time a great many, I will say all of the founders of this church and kingdom. It has taken into the spirit world many of the Apostles, many of the Elders, many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, and sometimes when I look around and contemplate on the past, I at times feel lonesome. I look back to the days of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and to the patriarchs, prophets and apostles that lived in that day, and I find that a great share of them are in the spirit world. There are but very few left now who were alive at the organization of this church upon the earth. I believe that Brother Orson Pratt is the only man who dwells in the flesh, who is in the church, who was organized in the first Quorum of the Twelve. Brother Taylor and myself remain of those who were organized in the second organization. But Brother Taylor and myself and Brother Pratt and a good many others will not tarry a great while here. We shall pass on to the other side of the vail, and join those who have gone before, as will many who are in this congregation. This is not our home, but we will dwell in the flesh until we pass through a change. We are apt sometimes in our reflections to marvel and wonder why the Lord has taken away so many men who have been called as Apostles and prophets and Elders of the Zion of God into the Spirit world. The Lord has had his motive in these things. I see (pointing to the paintings on the ceiling) Joseph Smith with Moroni, and here, with Peter, James and John, receiving the priesthood. How long did he (Joseph) tarry here in the flesh? Only fourteen years after he organized this church and kingdom, the church and kingdom of God, the church of Jesus Christ. We felt as though we could not live, could not exist, without Joseph. We felt a good deal as the Apostles did when Jesus told his disciples that if he did not go away the Comforter would not come. They did not comprehend him; they did not understand that Jesus Christ was to be crucified, notwithstanding that he told them that if be did not go away the Comforter would not come. Joseph Smith remained with us longer than the Savior did. He remained only about three and a half years after he was thirty years of age, an age which the Jewish law required a man to attain before officiating in the priesthood. Joseph Smith remained with us about fourteen years. He remained until he had received all the keys of the kingdom of God which were necessary for the establishment of this church and kingdom, and which were necessary for those men who followed him to have those keys upon their shoulders, that they might continue to build upon the foundation that had been laid; but as soon as Joseph received the keys of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood, as soon as he received the keys from Moses for the gathering together of the House of Israel in the latter days, and from Elijah to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children and children to the fathers when Joseph received all these keys, and had power to seal them upon the heads of other men, the Lord called him away. Why did he call him into the spirit world? Because he held the keys of this dispensation, not only before he came to this world and while he was in the flesh, but he would hold them throughout the endless ages of eternity. He held the keys of past generations of the millions of people who dwelt on the earth in the fifty generations that had passed and gone who had not the law of the gospel, who never saw a prophet, never saw an Apostle, never heard the voice of any man who was inspired of God and had power to teach them the gospel of Christ, and to organize the church of Christ on earth. He went to unlock the prison doors to these people as far as they would receive his testimony, and the Saints of God who dwell in the flesh will build temples unto the name of the Lord, and enter these temples and perform certain ordinances for the redemption of the dead. This was the work of Joseph the prophet in the spirit world. Now, I believe in my own mind that every Elder of Israel who has gone into the spirit world, who has been faithful in the flesh, has as much to do on the other side of the vail as we have to do here, and if anything more so. This is my view with regard to the labors of the Elders of Israel. The Lord hath need of some on the other side of the vail. He preserves some to labor here, and he takes home whom he will according to the counsels of his own will; this is his manner of dealing. Those of our brethren who have passed away have got through the labors of the flesh; we are left here to labor a little while on the earth. Then I would like to ask my brethren and sisters this morning, in view of these things, if these things are true, if this is the church of Christ, if this is the Zion of God which the Lord Almighty foreordained before the world was should be established in the latter days, and had a class of men and women whom he had reserved in the spirit world, whose lives were hid with Christ in God and knew it not, to come forth and stand in the flesh and take hold of this kingdom and build it up, and war with the world, the flesh and the devilthen, if this be true, what manner of men and women ought we to be? I feel in my reflections, in my thoughts and in my meditations, that we, as Elders of Israel, should have nothing else to do in this world while we dwell in the flesh but to build up this kingdom, and when we are building up this kingdom we are building up ourselves; when we are faithful to God we are magnifying our calling.

      The eyes of the heavenly hosts are over us; the eyes of God himself and his Son Jesus Christ; the eyes of all the prophets and Apostles who have dwelt in the flesh; they are watching our works. I have spent more time lately with those who are in the spirit world, in my night seasons, than in all the rest of my life together. On one occasion I thought in my dream that Presidents Young, Kimball George A. Smith, and many others, attended one of our Conferences. When Brother Young was asked to preach he said: "No, I have done my preaching, I have done my instructions in the flesh; I have come to hear you talk, I have come to look at you, I have come to watch over you, I wish to see what this people are doing." This has been the answer and these are thoughts I believe in. I believe we are not shut out from God, we are not shut out from our brethren, though the vail is between us. They understand our works, our condition, our position, and I feel a desire myself, what little time I have to spend in the flesh, to make my time useful. I wish to do what I can for the building up of the kingdom of God. I wish to do what I can to bring to pass righteousness, and I feel that we should all be in this position; we should all labor to occupy our time, our talents, and our attention as far as we possibly can to build up the kingdom of God.

      I wish to say to the Latter-day Saints. Sometimes people apostatize; we speak of people getting into the dark. It does not make any difference who sells whiskey, nor who drinks it; it makes no difference who blasphemes the name of God, or apostatizes from the church and kingdom of God, as far as the establishment of the kingdom of God is concerned; the Lord has got valiant men and women in his kingdom who will be true and faithful to the Lord and his work. If half of this church were to fall away, it would not destroy the purposes of the Lord. With regard to ourselves that is another thing. Many men who have received the gospel, and have had the Holy Ghost conferred upon them, have fallen away, but in doing so they condemn themselves, they destroy themselves, they miss and lose all the hopes they ever had of eternal life and the blessings of God in the celestial kingdom. Men may fall, but the kingdom of God never, never. The Lord has a good many men and women in this church and kingdom that cannot afford to surrender any principle that the God of Israel has commanded us to obey, no principle that the Lord has commanded us to receive, no principle that is embodied in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Why? Because we know and understand very well that our destiny, our position, and our blessings are all in his hands. We also know that the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth under the whole heavens are in the hands of God. The Lord guides these things; he will guide them. We are approaching an important day and time. We are approaching a period when there must be a change in Babylon, a change in our nation, and a change in Zion. Judgments are going to begin at the house of God. They will go forth, and will not be taken from the earth until all has been fulfilled.

      My brethren and sisters, I wished to say this much this morning. I desired to exhort you, and I exhort myself. Let us watch and be sober. Let us keep the commandments of God. Let us labor for the Holy Spirit, for without this no man can serve God. What condition is the world in? To-day the world is a great way from the Lord, and they are getting a great way further off year by year, and just so far as they get from the Lord in this world, just so far off will they be in the world to come. Bear this in mind.

      I do think that as Elders in Israel we have no reason to be discouraged. God is with us. God is with this people. He is watching over our interests. He guides and directs our destiny, and you may look back and scan the history of this church and kingdom from the days of its organization, and you will find it has never gone backward, it has gone forward all the way through, year by year, no matter the difficulties thrown in our way. We have had persecution and oppression; we were driven from one place to another for many years, until we were driven into these Rocky Mountains, to the land given to Jacob and his posterity, the land preserved for the gathering of the Saints in the latter days. When I look at this assembly and contemplate the work of this people in these valleys and in the surrounding Territories; when I perceive how this desert is occupied, how the Latter-day Saints are progressing, how they are cultivating the earth, building temples, halls, tabernacles, schoolhouses, towns and villages, I marvel at the work of the Lord. This is the work of the Almighty, and when our enemies look for the stoppage of this work, for the stoppage of the progress of the Latter-day Saints, they will be disappointed, because these things are in the hands of the Lord, and no power can hinder their progress.

      I rejoice in having the privilege of meeting with an assembly of the Saints of God in Salt Lake City, and especially in such a good building as this. It is a credit to the Latter-day Saints. It is an ornament to this Temple Block, and an honor to those who have helped to build it. We must continue these things. We must go forward, not backward. We have this fine temple which we are building at the present time, and there are others being erected in other parts of the Territory, that the Latter-day Saints may enter these temples of our God and attend to the ordinances for the redemption of the living and the dead. I bear testimony to you, my brethren and sisters, the whole spirit world is watching your labor and your works, and as I said in the beginning, if the vail was taken from off our eyes, we would see the responsibility of our acts, and what would be the result of these things? We would labor diligently and do all we could for the rearing of these temples for the redemption of our dead; we would sanctify ourselves and keep the Word of Wisdom, and unite ourselves together according to the law of God. There are many things we do as Latter-day Saints that we should abstain from; we should see the importance of our laboring in the flesh to build up the Zion of God.

      I have spent the last year of my life on a mission. I have been traveling with our southern brethren; spent some time in the temple; been through Arizona, where the brethren and sisters are living in the United Order. I will say that I have been pleased with my visit to the southern country. In many of our settlements the people are endeavoring to keep the commandments of God, uniting together according to the order of the kingdom of God; and I will say here that from my experience among them I am pleased with the result, I am pleased with the fruits manifested by the people, and you know we judge a tree by the fruit it bears. I made my home in Sunset when I was not traveling. The people there are living in the United Order, as also in Brigham City and St. Joseph, and while I was in those settlements I never heard an oath, I never saw a quarrel, I never saw any man or boy smoke a cigarette, or use an ounce of tobacco, or drink whiskey, or drink a cup of coffee or tea, except what I drank myself. The idea of drinking coffee where nobody else was drinking it was a very poor example, I thought, for an Apostle; I therefore took, instead of coffee, water and milk, and have felt a great deal better. The promise is that those who keep the Word of Wisdom "shall run and not be weary, shall walk and not faint," and I can say I have enjoyed much better health than before. Another thing I wish to mention. Among this people, if you go to the herd-grounds, to the shepherds, those who herd the sheep and cattle, you never see any man with a pack of cards. Every man prays morning and night at least, and you will always find a book of Doctrine and Covenants, Spencer's Letters, Voice of Warning, or other good books. I speak of these things because they are manifestations of good fruit. God has blessed the people; they are living together in peace and unity, and there are many others who are blessed of the Lord in that land who are not altogether carrying out these principles. But I do think the Lord requires of us to unite together. I think it is our duty to co-operate together and help bring about temperance, holiness and righteousness.

      I spent a good deal of my time last season in visiting our Lamanite brethren, the American Indians, and I will here remark that while in Apache County I learned it was reported that the Mormons were accused of having supplied arms to the Utes who have been at war with the whites, and that we urged them on to fight. A greater libel than this was never perpetrated. The Latter-day Saints have done more to bring the American Indians to peace than all the efforts of the United States put together. Until the Elders of Israel went among the Indians no man's life was safe, no matter who he was; but since we have been amongst them they are the friends of the white man; they are peaceable; many of them have turned their hearts to the cultivation of the earth, and to-day many tribes of them will not steal the cattle and the horses of the white men. We have become acquainted with many of the tribes in that part of the country. We have had many opportunities of becoming acquainted with both the Navajoes and Apaches, who have been wandering, warlike tribes, and no white man's life or scalp was safe with them until the "Mormon" Elders went among them and taught them the gospel and peace and the benefits of cultivating the earth. Now any white man can go among them in safety, if he will behave himself, attend to his own business, and not interfere with the families of the Indians. This will apply to the Navajoes and Apaches, with the exception of a remnant of Apaches who are not under the control of Petrone and Pedro, the war and peace chiefs. This remnant, under Vutone, is still on the war path. The Navajoes return to the whites any strayed or stolen horses or cattle. The Navajoes visit the "Mormon" settlements in peace, where they are fed and treated kindly, taught to cultivate the earth, and instructed in the principles of peace and to prevent war.

      We have visited the Oribas, Moquis, Zunis, Lagoonis, and Islatas. All live in villages, the houses of which are made of stone, laid in mortar, and are from one to four stories high, with flat roofs. They and their forefathers have occupied these villages for generations. They are all peaceable Indians, and all wish to avoid war. The Oribas and Moquis occupy seven villages, built upon the top of solid, barren rocks, from 500 to 1500 feet nearly perpendicular, with no soil upon the rocks. The last three villages we visited stand upon a barren rock, one mile long, 100 yards wide at the top, and about 1500 feet high. The three villages stand upon the south end of the rock, from 200 to 300 yards apart, and number about 1500 people. Were it not for a sink in the rock of about 200 feet, with a steep serpentine trail and stone steps, no mortal being could reach those villages, only in a balloon. The natives have no tradition who built the villages, but they have been occupied for centuries, and were located in their romantic situation evidently for the purpose of protection from the Navajoes, the traditional enemies of the Moquis, and also from other enemies, who would rob them of their horses, asses, sheep and goats whenever an opportunity presented itself, until the "Mormons" made peace between the contending parties, and now they are on friendly terms. The Moquis have a thousand or more acres of corn, beans, melons, squashes, and peach orchards planted in the sand on the earth below them, where they raise good corn, from pure white to jet black, without irrigation. The black corn is the best. Every pound of water, wood and corn, and everything they subsist upon, has to be carried up the steep trail and stone steps some 1500 feet, on the backs of men, women and asses, as it is too steep for mules and horses. There is a projection on the east side of the mountain, 100 feet from the top, about 100 yards in length and twelve feet wide. By a trail in the side of the mountain the projection is reached, and every night it is filled with thousands of sheep and goats, which are kept in by a frail stone wall about two feet high. Should an animal jump over, it would not touch ground for about 1200 feet, which would abridge its usefulness for either wool or mutton.

      The names of these three villages are first, Hano; second, Cheehomova; third, Walpe. The last named stands on the south end of the rock, and has about 1000 people. Their workshops stand flush with the outer edge of the precipice. Their dwellings stand from ten to twenty feet back from the edge, with nothing to keep men, women or children from falling off, either by day or night. Five Navajoes were thrust off this precipice, several years ago, in a quarrel, and never struck ground for about 1500 feet. One Moquis chief and several children have fallen off at the same place, and the only wonder is that half of the people of the village have not been killed in the same way. In my visit to these villages I was accompanied by Elders Lot Smith and Ira Hatch.

      The villages eastward are built upon slightly elevated pieces of ground, and are much better off than the Moquis. The Zunis, Lagoonis and Islatas, all have large cultivated fields. The Islatas are the most advanced in civilization and industry of any natives I ever visited. The village numbers 3000 inhabitants, and is located on the Rio del Norte, twelve miles below Albequerque. When I visited the village the people thereof had large fields of corn, kept clear of weeds and well irrigated. They had also large apple, pear and peach orchards, besides twenty-one grape vineyards, with about 1000 vines in each, kept clean and loaded with fine fruit. Their houses were clean and neat and some of their floors were carpeted. Their blood has been kept pure, they being unmixed with other tribes, or with the Mexicans or any white men. The old patriarch, John King, the leading spirit of the place, said it was seldom a case of seduction or adultery had occurred among his people; and he said that death had always been the penalty for the crime.

      I saw one peculiar practice in Islata that I never saw in any civilized city. No man, woman, or child was permitted to sweep any dust or dirt from the floor to the sidewalk or into the street under penalty of a fine. All sweepings had to be gathered into baskets, or on blankets, at the threshold, and emptied upon one of the mounds located in different parts of the city.

      We occupied a house facing the public square. The largest mound in the city was near that location, and measured 140 yards in circumference and forty feet high, all gathered from sweepings of floors, probably for generations, as it did not appear that any had been carted away.

      It is expected that the railway will cross at Islata, there being the only rocky bed and shores for many miles up and down that river.

      The Islatas have their own laws, rules, regulations, courts, police, etc. They are a wealthy people, and stand at the head of many of the surrounding villages. They have traditions among them concerning their past and future history, which they are looking for the fulfilment of. Their record gives a history of their final restoration to civilization, industry, prosperity and the gospel of Christ, and their deliverance from oppression and war. This must be the future destiny of a remnant of them, or the promises of their forefathers must fall unfulfilled. Elders Ammon M. Tenney and Christophersen accompanied me on my visit to these villages. Brother Tenney, three years previous, had visited the inhabitants of these villages, and had formed an acquaintance with them and assisted in baptizing one hundred and fifteen of the Zunis.

      I feel to thank the Lord that I have lived to see this day and time; that I have lived to see the Fiftieth Anniversary of the history of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and brethren and sisters, whatever little time we have to spend let us spend it in laying aside iniquity, let us labor to build up the kingdom of God. Our position after death will depend upon the little time that we spend here in the flesh, and when I consider when I can get enough of the Spirit of the Lord to guide my mind to comprehend the blessings of life and salvationwhen I consider the great difference between being in the kingdom of God and out of it I think it will pay any man or woman to keep the commandments of God. Blessed is that people whose God is the Lord. The Latter-day Saints profess to make our Heavenly Father their God.

      I do not wish to detain my brethren and sisters any longer this morning. I rejoice again to see you, and again to walk the streets of Salt Lake City. And I hope while we are together in this Conference the Spirit of God may be with us, that our hearts may be enlightened, our minds opened to comprehend our duties, and that we will be inspired to teach the Saints of God in the path of righteousness and truth, which is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

[Elder Moses Thatcher]

            Elder MOSES THATCHER gave an exceedingly interesting account of his mission to the capital of the Mexican republic. Described the country, the climate, the people and the government; showed the wide difference between the Indian race of Mexico and the tribes of these mountains; touched on the early history of the country and its people and the Spanish conquest under Cortez; pointed out the gradual decadence of Spain from that time, and predicted the future emergence of the native people from the evils surrounding them, and their elevation and redemption. Their forefathers slew the Nephite prophets, and hence the calamities that had befallen the nation, yet the enemy that had slain them by millions had not been prospered, but had rapidly declined. Showed that the ancestors of the Indians had a knowledge of the creation, the fall, the deluge, the Tower of Babel and other Biblical events, as well as of the birth, death and resurrection of the Savior, and his visit to this continent, corroborative of the truth of the Book of Mormon. Elder Thatcher related the incident which gave rise to his mission; how a teacher in the Presbyterian college in the City of Mexico, who spoke several languages, becoming interested in a socialistic scheme for the benefit of the poor, prayed for light from the Lord on this matter and dreamed that a person brought him a book which he was to read; how a boy came to him next day and presented to him a book, which he prevailed upon him to buy after several refusals, and which proved to be that part of the book of Mormon that had been translated into Spanish; and how the teacher was thus led to learn the truth and correspond with President Taylor, and finally come into the Church consequent upon the opening of the mission, by which a branch of 20 members had been organized in the City of Mexico. Elder Thatcher showed how by means of a telegram in the New York Sun, which had been copied into the Mexican papers, and which falsely stated that he had gone to Mexico to purchase land for the colonization of the "Mormons," the attention of influential persons in that country had been drawn to the mission, thus giving him and his companions -- Elders Stewart and Trejo, opportunities of preaching the gospel which they would not have had otherwise. He related several instances of the manifestation of the power of God there, predicted the accomplishment of a great work in that country and closed with a strong testimony of the truth of this work.

[Moses Thatcher]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 14-21]

      I have been very much edified with the remarks to which we have listened. I feel that we. are a blessed people in being; privileged to meet and worship God under so favorable circumstances; and while listening to the remarks of my brethren it has been very apparent to my mind that God's kingdom is increasing, that the stakes of Zion are being extended and her cords lengthened. We are engaged in the work of God, our Heavenly Father. We are, as a people, in the enjoyment of privileges that are very great; indeed, we live in that day and age of the world to which the prophets anciently looked with joy and rejoicing. God's kingdom is being built up, never again to be thrown down nor given to another people. Whatever may be the reflections of the people of the world in regard to the Latter-day Saints, there is one fact that is apparent to them, and that is that we are growing, that we are increasing in numbers, that while our mission is "peace on earth and good will to men," the powers of God are being made manifest, and the principles of the Gospel are being preached to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

      We have been seeking for years to extend this knowledge to the Lamanites, to the remnants of the House of Israel, to the fruit of the loins of Jacob through Joseph, but until recently it has been apparent to us that their hearts have not been opened to receive the testimony which is contained in the Book of Mormon.
I have listened with much pleasure to the remarks of Elder Woodruff which we have heard this morning, in regard to the experience he has had in laboring among the people of Arizona and New Mexico, and it might be of some interest to the Latter-day Saints to have a short sketch of my experience during the time I have been absent. I have visited the capital of the Republic of Mexico for the purpose of preaching the gospel to the people there. We were courteously received, kindly treated, had the Spirit of God to be with us and the Lord to be our Friend; and notwithstanding the reports that have been circulated through the medium of the press, we feel that a good work, a great work, will be accomplished in the Republic of Mexico. More than one-half of the entire population are of the pure Indian stock, numbering, I believe, a little in excess of five millions. They are different in many respects from the Indians who roam in these mountain regions, having at no time in their history, so far as we can trace it, been so steeped in ignorance, slothfulness and destitution as have been the Indians in this country. At the time they were subjugated by the Spaniards under Cortez, commencing in the year 1520, they were to some extent an enlightened race of people. They had a fair knowledge of the arts and sciences, and were particularly well versed in architecture; while their notation of time was quite equal to that of any nation then living. Their traditional history, as well as their written history, is very interesting, and had it not been for the dispositiondoubtless through ignorance of the Catholic priests who followed up the conquest, we might have had knowledge that would now be valuable to the world. But as Cortez bore down heavily upon the thirty millions of people who then lived in what was cared Mexico proper, so the priests who followed his camp bore heavily upon their works of art, and particularly in the destruction of their libraries, which were burned in great heaps, while the poor Indians gathered round, and, gazing upon the destruction of their treasures, wept like children. But there has been enough preserved to bring forth remarkable historical evidence in confirmation of the truths contained in the Book of Mormon.

      There are many interesting things connected with these historical works that I might mention if I had time to do so, but at present I will simply say that their history clearly portrays that they had a full knowledge of the creation of the earth, of the garden of Eden, the deluge, the ark, the tower of Babel, the confusion of tongues, and their construction of eight boats in which to cross the great waters. They also had a knowledge of the birth, ministry and crucifixion of the Savior, and a person answering the description of the Son of Man was well known in their midst. He taught them the arts of peace, and all those higher elements of learning which the Aztecs were found in possession of at the time of the conquest. We find that preceding the conquest they were highly educated, highly instructed in the arts and in some of the sciences, and their forefathers had what was called a sacred book. An aged Indian, when asked in reference to this sacred book by one of the early Catholic priests, replied that it contained to some extent the knowledge that they, the priests, sought to teach them; and when asked where that book was, the Indian replied that they had a tradition which had come down from generation to generation that it was buried in the earth. But I do not wish to take up time this morning upon these points, but desire to speak of the Indians as we find them now. They are the laborers of Mexico. Where there are railroads constructed, they construct them. Where there are cities built, they build them. They are an industrious class of people, many of them being skillful artisans and mechanics. They are docile, slow to resent an injury, but will remember an act of injustice for a long time. They are true to their promises, quite different in this respect from many who claim a higher civilization. If you can secure their word and their friendship they will be true to you. It is very remarkable to notice in the general cast of their features the resemblance to the Jewish race, even more striking than we find it here among our Indians; and when crossed with the white or Spanish race, you would almost in every instance take them to be Jews. Thus, when I first arrived in the city of Mexico I observed to a gentleman, "You have a great many Jews here." "No," said he, "they are not Jews, they are Mexicans." They are a very polite people. The common Indian laborer on the street is as polite as almost any one you meet in this country. As to the educated class such as congressmen, judges, and members of the Cabinet, you invariably find them well informed. Most of them have traveled extensively, and many of them speak German, French and English, as well as Spanish. The educated portion of the Mexicans are not ignorant with reference to the history of the Latter-day Saints. They have traced them up from the day of the organization of the church. They are familiar with our wanderings, our drivings, and our persecutions. They are also familiar with the indomitable courage which has been exhibited by the Latter-day Saints in redeeming this barren waste, and as a prominent Mexican gentleman expressed himself to me"Why," said he, "you Mormon people have a poor country, and yet you seem to prosper, while we have a very rich country, but as a whole a very poor people." This I have no doubt is mainly attributable to the nature of the climate. For it has been observed that where God has done much for man, man does very little for himself. I believe this is the case to some extent in Mexico. The climate at the capital does not, it is said, vary more than 10 the year round. Thus they have there what you might call perpetual spring. The result is that the people lack enterprise, and therefore it would be a delight to the leading men of Mexico if a population composed of the Anglo-Saxon race could be induced to locate themselves in that country, in order to develop its latent resources, because the undeveloped resources of Mexico are very great. The mines are not only numerous, but are rich. The land is also very productive, and is capable of growing anything you can name that can be produced in any Other part of the world. We have no climate here to be compared with that of the Gulf Coasts of Mexico. I was down there on the 14th of December; the heat was certainly not comfortable; indeed, it was so intense that we felt we must at once change our clothing and assume lighter garments. But, on leaving the city of Vera Cruz about eleven o'clock in the evening, and in passing up to the tablelands, we found that in a few hours we required heavy overcoats in order to keep us comfortable. The valley of Mexico proper is 7400 feet above the level of the sea. Thus you can see the altitude is much greater than ours.

      Referring to our missionary experience there, I will say, when the article appeared in the New York Sun stating that we had gone to Mexico to arrange with the Mexican Government officials for the purchase of land for the colonization of our people, of course it brought to us a great many inquiries, and while we had before desired that we might become acquainted with leading men and government officials, we had not up to that date had the privilege of doing so. But after the publication of this article, which was copied into the leading journals of the City of Mexico, we then had numerous callers, many having valuable tracts of land to sell, in which, as Colonel Sellers would say, "There's millions in it." Indeed, one man was anxious that we might secure twenty million acres; another, that we might secure an entire State; and they exhibited a good deal of anxiety that we might colonize in the Republic. But I told them we had no such mission, and that indeed if we had come to buy we had not yet seen sufficient of the country or people; adding that our mission was to preach, and to publish the word of the Lord to the people. Through the politeness of some of these gentlemen, we became acquainted with many influential officials and men of eminence, whose courtesy and kindness we shall not soon forget.

      We found on inquiry that the Mexican Constitution was much the same as our own; in some respects a little more liberal. It guarantees freedom of the press, of speech, and full religious toleration. It recognizes churches as no portion of the governmental power; while all are free to preach in their houses of worship, they are not free to perform religious ceremonies in the open streets, highways, or market places. The act prohibiting any manifestation of religious worship on the public highways and streets was caused to be passed by the late President, Juarez who was a pure-blooded Indian, then being not a drop of white blood in his veins. He was a great statesman and a thorough soldier. His name will pass down into history as being a great benefactor of his race and people. He was a liberal-minded man, whose heart beat for the highest human liberty. Being a foe to tyranny in every form, he traced the sufferings of Mexico very clearly, and comprehended that they were mainly traceable to the influence which the clergy exercised over the minds of the people. From ,this thraldom he labored with all his might to free his race, and sought to place them upon the solid basis of civil and religious liberty. Now the churches are entirely free to perform their ordinances within the walls of their buildings; but there was a time when, if a Catholic priest should happen to be moving along the street in his robes, the people were required to bow down. It was the oppression and not the rights of religious powers that Juarez sought to crush, and he succeeded. The second Judge of the Supreme Court of the Republic, who was for a number of years the leading man in the House of Representatives, predicted about ten years ago that the clergy in that land must be tolerant, and follow in the future, better than they had done in the past, the examples of the lowly Nazarene, or they would have to march out of Mexico by thousands. That predictional though it may not have been looked upon as such at the time was noticed by some eminent writers, and has been literally fulfilled. The clergy have, as I have been informed, had to leave in great numbers. Nunneries have been abolished and churches have been sold by hundreds, so that in the space of a few years $200,000,000 have been confiscated in this way. God has moved in the midst of the nation, and I believe a great work will be performed among the remnants of the House of Israel in that land. The power of God in the manifestation of their faith is greater perhaps than you will find among some of the Anglo-Saxon race. It is true, they have been under bondage for nearly 400 years. They may see the power of God made manifest to-day, in the healing of their infirmities, and to-morrow forget the blessings of the Lord. But in that respect wherein are they different from the children of Israel? Did they not witness the power of God in the separation of the waters of the Red Sea, and in various other ways? Did they not hear the voice of the Lord, and yet longed for the leeks and onions, and threatened to do evil to their leader, Moses?

      In this regard the Mexican people are much the same. They have ideas, ways and manners, peculiar to themselves. They are in their expressions very kind, and wherever we met influential menmen connected with the Government of Mexico we met with uniform kindness. Our reception was warm and genuine, and we felt to bless such people. We believe that the Lord will yet open up the way by which thousands and hundreds of thousands will receive a knowledge of the truth. We have baptized some twenty in that land, and have a little branch already formed, and the manifestations of the power of God among them are not wanting. The second member baptized into the branch is an Indian. It is very clear that he is of the House of Israel. After he was ordained to the office of an Elder, he began to read, to some extent, our works. He was very much interested in the Book of Mormon, so far as it is published in the Spanish language, and he has full faith in the ordinances of the Gospel. One day a woman was found in the street suffering under the influence of an evil spirit, being sadly deranged. The police were seeking to allay her feelings and quiet her, while a great crowd was attracted by the occurrence. The Indian happened to be there at the time, and, perceiving what was the matter, made his way through the crowd to the woman, and in the name of Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, whereupon she was quieted, and, to the astonishment of the people, walked away without uttering another word.

      Before closing my remarks it might be somewhat interesting to the congregation to learn the cause which led to sending the Elders to the city of Mexico. I will tell you briefly how it occurred. There is a Dr. Rhodacanaty, who is, I believe, a Greek on the side of his father and a Mexican on the side of his mother. He had been engaged in a socialistic work, having for its object the benefitting of the poorer classes seeking to organize a system, in some respects like our co-operative system here, for the intelligent direction of labor, and, having used his influence in this direction for a short time, he became perplexed, and his mind seemed to close down, so that he could not see how to make further progress. He therefore felt to pray to the Lord to give him wisdom to proceed. During the night he dreamed that a person came and presented to him a book, pressing it emphatically upon his forehead. On the following day, while teaching his class in the college, wherein he was Greek Professor, a little boy entered and asked him to buy a book. "No," said he to the boy, "I do not want your book." "But," says the boy, "you do want this book, and it is only a riel" (twelve and a half cents). He told the boy again that he did not want the book, but the boy still insisted that he did, and finally he took it. When he came to read the book, it proved to be that part of the Book of Mormon which has been translated into the Spanish language. From this time he received light daily, and finally communicated with President Taylor, and the result was that the Elders were sent and the mission was opened in Mexico.

      I will relate another circumstance to show you how the wisdom of the Lord is greater than that of man. We became acquainted with Professor Sherwin, an American from the State of Iowa, who was also teaching in the Presbyterian College, and who frequently visited us at our rooms. When we had prepared the "Voice of Warning" in manuscript for publication he desired that the Presbyterians should have a chance to bid for the printing of it. Elder Stewart told him that they would not print the work. "Why," said he, "they surely will not carry prejudice into business matters." "Well," replied Brother S., "to please you we will give them a chance to bid on the work, but I am satisfied that they will absolutely refuse to publish anything about 'Mormonism.'" He went to the printing establishment and offered the work. The young men who had charge of the printing office readily assented to bid upon the work, and asked until the next evening, in order that they might bid intelligently. In the meantime they submitted the matter to the head of the Presbyterian and other churches, (for there they work together Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists), and when the matter was submitted to the Bishop, he scouted the very idea, and said we had not money enough to hire them to print our works. The young men were astonished, and desired to see us in reference to such prejudice. They came and we talked with them, saying that it was because of the ignorance of the world in reference to us and the principles we advocated, that caused much of the prejudice which existed in the minds of many who neither knew us nor the object of our mission. We pointed out to them different texts of Scripture, and read from the Bible for some length of time. After we had talked with them an hour or two they desired us to pray with them, to which we readily assented. Closing the door of our room, we gave these two young men a chance to pray; and they did so, asking the Lord, if they had been deceived all the days of their life, to manifest it and to impart to them a testimony as to whether we spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost or by the wisdom of man, and that they might know by revelation for themselves that Jesus was the Christ. We endorsed their prayer, and prayed the Almighty most earnestly that they might have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand the truth which we sought to impart. The last we heard of these two young men was that they were preaching "Mormonism," and were in a fair way to convert themselves if not others.

      As another instance of the hatred shown towards the "Mormons," I might mention that there was a young friend who crossed the Gulf of Mexico with us, being in company with the nephew of the American Minister, Mr. Foster, and who remained in Mexico with us several weeks. This young friend of ours met a Methodist Minister one day in the streets of Mexico, and happened to mention that there were "Mormon" missionaries in the city. "Oh, yes." said the devout Minister, "and I would to God that the American Government would drive all the "Mormons" into the bottom of the sea." I simply mention these matters to show how ungenerous and uncharitable are the feelings of many religious denominations, or the members thereof, towards us as a people. They may never have known a "Mormon," they may never have met one; they certainly have received no unkindness at the hands of our people, and they have never placed themselves in a position to receive the courtesies of the people. I believe that as a general thing where men, influential, intelligent and honest men, have visited Salt Lake City, or other parts of the Territory, they have almost invariably spoken kindly of the "Mormon" people. I of course except a certain class, namely, those who make it their mission to persecute, hate and despise us; such men of course exhibit bitterness; deprive them of that and there would be little left of them. But the best thing we can do is to pass them by. In doing so I do not know that we can say in their case what the Lord said to the Jews, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." I fear many of them too well know what they do; but they have their mission, let them fill it. As an individual, I do not feel that we can afford to bestow much time or attention to what such may do or say. I learned one thing during my early boyhood, and that is that I cannot hate man and at the same time love God; therefore I pay little attention to what those evil disposed persons may do. They are in the hands of the Almighty, who will meet to them a just punishment. Let us pity rather than despise them.

      This I know, God will establish his Kingdom and carry it off victorious; he will redeem his people and make Zion to shine. But when I think of the benighted condition which the nations are in, it fills my heart with sorrow. I feel to thank God that he has placed in our hearts these compassionate feelings. To us he has been compassionate, and filled us with tender mercy. Therefore it becomes our duty as Elders to go to the ends of the earth to preach the Gospel. To the Lamanites? Yes; to every part of the habitable globe, to say to every people that we know that Jesus is the Christ, and he only can say this truthfully who has the spirit of prophecy upon him, because as it is written, "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Let us then make it the mission of our lives to preach the Gospel to the nations of the earth, to extend to them this knowledge which has made us so happy, and which has made us the people that we are.

      There will be a great work accomplished in Mexico. I feel that the Lamanites in that land will receive the Gospel by thousands. God will give them the power to heal the sick, unstop the eyes of the blind, and to open the ears of those that are deaf. He will manifest himself unto them as he did to their forefathers, the children of Israel. They have been downtrodden for more than three hundred years. They filled the cup of their iniquity, and thirty millions of them were killed off in about forty years. He permitted this to come upon them because of their iniquity and the sin of their fathers in slaying the prophets. The Spanish nation was once a great nation, but God has humbled them. In the work of death that nation filled a fearful mission among the Indians of Mexico and Peru, since when they have been treading the downward track. To-day what is Spain? A fallen, broken, Catholic-ridden nation that cannot understand the whisperings of the Spirit of God. But the remnant of Israel will come forth and manifest that they have faith in their forefathers, who knew Jesus, and when their children hear his voice a stranger they will not follow.

      May God bless the mission in Mexico, and the poor Indians whom our own great nation has seemed determined to exterminate, but who will yet arise and prove to the world their worth. May God bless them to this end.

      We have no mission save that of peace. We do not go to teach them the art of war, although many of them are soldiers. You can frequently see the streets of Mexico crowded with well drilled Indian regiments, but our mission to them or others is not war, it is peace and good will to all. And may the Lord give us power to extend this to them, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            The Choir sang an anthem and Elder Chas. C. Rich dismissed with prayer.

_____

[4 Apr, pm]

[DNW 29:149, 4/7/80, p 5]

            In the afternoon the hall was densely packed and hundreds went away disappointed, not being able to enter the building. After singing by the choir and prayer by Counselor D. H. Wells,

[Elder Orson Pratt]

            Elder ORSON PRATT delivered a discourse on the symbolism of the Sabbatic rest commanded in ancient Israel on the seventh day, the seventh year, and the year of jubilee. Showed that the Lord, after creating all things spiritually by the six days' period in the beginning, created man and the animals temporally on the beginning of the seventh day and then rested; also that after the sic "days" -- or thousand years -- had passed He would, the beginning of the seventh thousand year, perform the work of resurrection and spiritual sanctification, which would be followed by the great millennial rest spoken of by the prophets. Elder Pratt described at some length the jubilee commanded of ancient Israel, and showed that though no such law had been given to us, we looked forward with joyful anticipation to the great jubilee of the Saints' rest and reward in the thousand years reign of Christ, our Lawgiver, our Redeemer and our King. He explained that we took no authority for any of our religious acts from the doings of the ancients or the commandments they received, but derived it in every instance from modern revelation direct from heaven. He expressed his joy at the jubilee of the church, having belonged to it nearly from the beginning, and exhorted the Saints to endurance and faithfulness therein.

[Orson Pratt]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 21-27]

      It is many months since I attempted, except on one occasion, to address a public congregation. On account of ill health and other circumstances, I have refrained from public speaking, except at the former meeting held in this house last winter. I do not know whether I shall be able to raise my voice to that loudness that the congregation will be able to understand; I will, however, do the best that I can. I pray my Father in heaven to pour out his Spirit upon me, that what I may say whether it be a few words or many may be indited by the gift and inspiration of the Holy Ghost without which all our preaching is in vain.

      I certainly, for one, was very much instructed in our forenoon meeting, especially in regard to the remarks of the first speaker on the fiftieth anniversary since the organization of this church; and I was also very much instructed in the remarks made by the following speaker.

      It is a great delight to me, as an individual, to look forth upon the large congregations of the Latter-day Saints who are assembled from time to time in these mountains, in the capacity of a General Conference. In all these assemblies and conferences I remember the early rise of this church; I remember when we were a small people, when we could assemble ourselves in a very small room, and that in General Conference. I remember the first Conference that I attended, on the 2d day of January, 1831, consisting perhaps of some seventy or eighty members in all, assembled in the house of Father Whitmer, whose sons were chosen to be especial witnesses in relation to this great latter-day work. I remember our trials, our difficulties, our gathering, our persecutions, our afflictions, more or less, from that day until the present time. Then I was but a boy nineteen years of age; now I am over sixty-eight, and in a few months more fifty years will have passed over my head since I was first baptized into this church. How thankful I ought to be that I am still living. How thankful I ought to be that I am still numbered with this people. How thankful I ought to be that I have the opportunity and privilege of administering in your public congregations, preaching the words of eternal life, lifting up my voice in humble testimony concerning the great work which the Lord our God has been doing during the last fifty years.

      Among the ancient Jewish nation in the land of Palestine there was a law ordained in relation to the fiftieth year. Every fiftieth year was to be a peculiar year in the midst of that nation. There were many special times set apart by the Almighty, as times that were symbolical in their nature; times having reference to the future, among which was the cultivation of the earth for six years, and on the seventh year the land was made to rest. The tribes of Israel cultivated the soil, but they were required on the seventh year to let the whole land rest. I presume that the Lord had in view several things to be symbolized by these six years of labor and the resting on the seventh. This no doubt had a reference to the creation of the heavens and the earth, so that the Israelites might keep in remembrance the great work which was accomplished by the Lord our God in the beginning the formation or organization of the temporal heavens over our heads, and also of the earth upon which we stand. By resting on the seventh year from all their labors, they symbolized that which existed, or took place, when the seventh period or time came round in the creation. In six days, we are informed, this great work of creation was performed, at least so far as the spiritual portion thereof was concerned. On the seventh day, we are informed by new revelation, as well as instructed in part by old revelation, that the Lord rested. He did not commence resting, as some have supposed, on the sixth day evening, neither at midnight, nor early on the seventh day, because there was a certain work to be performed on the seventh day, which the Lord delayed until that time. On the seventh day the Lord formed the garden of Eden, planted the trees of that garden, laid out the work, beautified it, and also placed man in the garden, having formed his fleshly tabernacle, which was also the work of the morning of the seventh day, and he has informed us that on the morning of that day there was no flesh upon the earth except the man whom he had formed and placed in the garden. Yet all the children of men were created the day previous, or the period previous, called the sixth day, so that they all existed; but the Lord says "in heaven created I them." They were not created here upon the earth, but they were created in heaven; but on the seventh day man was placed here upon the earth, having a tabernacle of flesh and bones. So says the new translation, or that portion thereof contained in this book, called the "Pearl of Great Price." I have oftentimes thought, when reading these revelations, that they typified something; or that the Lord would not fully accomplish his work in six thousand years preparatory to the day of rest, but intended, on his part, to do something on the morning of the seventh thousand years, just as he did in the beginning. Was the spirit of man placed on the earth in a body of flesh and bones on the morning of the seventh day of the creation? He was. What was that typical of? Typical of the resurrection, when the righteous will again have fleshly tabernacles, formed, as in the beginning, out of the dust of the earth; when they will come forth from the grave with immortal bodies. These bodies will be flesh and bones, like unto the bodies of the first pair that were formed on the morning of the seventh day. Was the first man immortal? He was. Will those who shall be resurrected, or formed from the dust of the grave, in the morning of the seventh thousand years, also be immortal? They will; the one being typical of the other. Was there any curse upon the earth when the first man was permitted to occupy it with a body of flesh and bones? There was not. There was no death; indeed, man was "the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also." There were no beasts on the earth, no fowls to fly in the firmament of heaven, no fish to swim in the sea. But you may ask, how is this? Do we not read that on the fifth day God created great whales, fish of all kinds that could swim in the sea, &c.? Yes. How was it, then, that there was no flesh on the earth, neither in the sea, on the seventh day till man was placed there? All that we need in reconciling the two chapters is to understand the two creations. Everything was created first spiritual. The fish that swim in the waters were first made spiritual. The fowls that fly in the open firmament of the heavens, that were created also on the fifth day, were made spiritual. Their spirits existed and were formed; but God saw proper that on the seventh day the first flesh that should be on the earth should be man. Afterwards, out of the ground the Lord God made the beasts of the field and every creeping thing, and cattle, and every beast after his kind; that is, in the beginning, the first pairs were formed and placed upon this new creation, not before, but after man was placed here. Is this typical of anything? Yes; typical of the resurrection of beasts as well as of man, according to the revelations contained here in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Everything to which the Lord has granted life will be brought forth in its time and in its season, be resurrected, receive its body, and the spirits of beasts, and the spirits of fowls, and the spirits of fish and all animated beings will receive their bodies in the resurrection, and be made immortal, as they were on the morning of the seventh day; the one being typical of the other. This is one thing, no doubt, that the Lord intended to symbolize, in order to keep in remembrance before the minds of the children of Israel concerning that first great work of his, "firstly spiritual, and secondly temporal, which was the beginning of his work."

      Another thing intended to be typified by this seventh year, wherein the land was commanded to rest, was to show forth the future, to show forth the last of his work, which will be "firstly temporal and secondly spiritual," being the last of his work pertaining to this creation. But unto himself there is no beginning nor end of his works, neither to his words. Two great and important things were, therefore, symbolized by these ordinances which the children of Israel were required to observe throughout their generations, namely, the great future of this creation, commencing with the great temporal work in the morning of the seventh thousand years, wherein everything will be restored to its proper condition, as it was in the animal creation, with the fowls and fish and beasts, and man on the morning of the seventh day of creation.

      Prior to this time, or during this period of time, wherein this second temporal work will commence, there will be a literal sounding of seven trumpets, as recorded in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 278, electrotype edition, which you can read at your leisure. I will give you the words of the revelation, so that you can read it when you go home. It is called the "Key to the revelations given to St. John on Patmos." Joseph, inquiring of the Lord about the sounding of the seven trumpets, is informed that the sounding would take place, not directly near the close of the six thousand years, or rather not during the period of the six thousand years, but after the seventh thousand years should commence. He says that the sounding of the seven trumpets typifies this: "That as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth; even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he has not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years; the preparing of the way before the time of his coming." Thus we see, that as man in the beginning "was formed out of the dust of the earth" "on the seventh day," in his immortal state, so he shall be brought forth in the resurrection from the dust of the grave, on the morning of the seventh thousand years, by the sounding of these trumpets, to inherit certain blessings, even as it was promised in the beginning.

      We perceive, therefore, from the revelations of God, that the Lord instituted these ordinances and laws for the children of Israel for a double purpose, not only to commemorate the past, but to keep in the vivid remembrance of the children of Israel the great future, which they were never to lose sight of.

      Moreover, they were not only required, in the days of ancient Israel, to let their lands remain uncultivated in the seventh year, and to rest, but the Lord also, in order to doubly fix this idea upon their minds, established what is termed a year of Jubilee. After seven times seven years had passed away that is, forty-nine years then came the fiftieth year, which seemed to be above all the rest, so far as the observance thereof was concerned, and so far as certain duties were required at their hands. It was to be a year of rest, a year of jubilee a year wherein all real estate that had been sold during the past fifty years was to return again to the original owners. They could not sell their lands as we sell ours; that was not permitted; no man could sell his land in that time for fifty-one, fifty-two, nor one hundred years, nor to the people and their heirs forever. No such thing existed in those days as now exist in this and among other nations; their lands could only be sold for fifty years; then came the year of redemption, wherein all lands that were sold were to return to their original owners, or to the tribe, or their descendants, as the case might be; it matters not who bought it or paid for it, that was always understood in the deed of sale. It was the custom in those ancient times to purchase individuals for a certain term of years, in consequence of debts, &c., that they may have contracted; they would buy the people, not exactly as hired servants, but they were compelled, according to the laws of the nation, to remain in servitude for a certain period of time; but that period never extended beyond the year of Jubilee. When that notable year came, all those hand-maidens and servants that may have been sold in consequence of the debts that they had contracted, were to go free; all had the promise of liberty. It was a year of general release from bondage. There are a great many other privileges that might be named, set forth in the revelations of God, that existed in the year of Jubilee. Whether such a year will again be established by revelation, I do not certainly know; whether the Lord will command his servants to commemorate past events by the establishment of such a custom, in a time to come, is not fully revealed. It is revealed, however, in part, so that we may draw some conclusions from what has been revealed in ancient times. Moses says, by the word of the Lord, that when that people, Israel, should corrupt themselves before the heavens, and should do after the manner of the abominations of the heathen nations round about should forget the Lord their God, should bow down to the idols of the heathen nations, and turn away from the Lord, that he would send certain curses upon them, and among those curses they were to be scattered to the uttermost parts of the earth, &c., as mentioned in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy. A long list of plagues is given that should follow them among all the nations whither they should be driven. After they had experienced all these things, Moses says: "When thou shall return unto the Lord thy God, and shall obey his voice, according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thy heart and with all thy soul; that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the Lord thy God will bring thee unto the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shall possess it, and he will do thee good and multiply thee above thy fathers." Now, notice the conditions of this gathering: "And shall obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day." What were they commanded in that day? Among other things they were commanded to keep the year of Jubilee; to keep a great many other ordinances, such as the seventh year to let their land rest; also to keep certain feasts, such as the feast of tabernacles and the passover; and many other things, all of which were commanded in that day, and in that age, by the mouth of the servant of God, even Moses; when they should remember all these things, even every commandment, not neglecting one, then the Lord their God, should permit them to enjoy all the blessings of the promised land. I draw the conclusion, from this saying, that there will be a time when Israel shall return to their own lands, and that they will again keep the year of jubilee; I draw the conclusion that they will also offer up, as it is written in the Scriptures, offerings to the Lord; that they will keep all the commandments given unto them through the servant of God, even Moses. How long these institutions, given to Moses, will be observed; how long they will be compelled or required to give heed to that which he commanded them, through Moses, I do not know. The time may come, when they prove to the Lord that they can keep those commandments and do his will the time may come when some of these ordinances may be done away.

      But because such events may happen among Israel in their great future, is no evidence that we, as Latter-day Saints, should institute any of these things among ourselves, unless we are directed by divine revelation from the heavens. I do not know that we are under any obligations to keep any of the ordinances, rites, and ceremonies, that were given in the days of Moses, unless we receive direct revelation for ourselves in relation to these matters. If the Lord should, at some future period of the history of this Church, see proper to give us a commandment to keep every fiftieth year sacred unto him, in order to commemorate certain events that took place in the past, I think that this people will be ready and willing to obey such a commandment.

      Among Israel, in ancient days, they had the law of plurality of marriage. Did we adopt that in this Church from these old ancient commandments? No, we did not. Did that give us any authority in the least? No; the laws given to Moses have no bearing upon us, unless God should renew his commandments and laws to us as a people; for we profess, like Israel of old, to be under the direction and guidance of new revelation. Like the Church of God in all former ages, we receive no new ordinances, neither old ordinances, only by new revelation. Did we presume to baptize with water on the authority of old revelation? No. Did we presume to lay hands upon the people to confirm upon them the Holy Ghost, by the authority of ancient revelation? No. Did we presume to establish the Church of Jesus Christ, or organize it, about fifty years ago, because they established one eighteen hundred years ago and upwards? No. Did we presume to officiate in any order of the priesthood by virtue of any ancient revelation given to the ancient Saints? No. We did not undertake to do any of these things by virtue of former revelation; but all we have done in this Church has been done by direct communication and revelation from heaven; all the ordinances that we administer have been directed by new revelation; all the priesthood that this people hold this day was given by new revelation; all the various duties of the priesthood to be performed by us in our day were given by new revelation; and we would not dare presume to enter into this or that form of marriage, pertaining to plural matrimony, by any former revelation; it has been by new revelation that these things have been done.

      We say that this is the kingdom of God, established on the earth. We say that it was organized by divine revelation. We say that the authority was sent down from heaven and conferred upon the heads of mortal man in our generation. We have seen these things in the former days of this Church, or at least in the first rise of the Church. The Lord our God was pleased to confer the authority that is symbolized by these pictures here in this hall. We have no authority given by any other people, any other nation, any other sect, any other denomination; we do not consider their pretensions to divine authority worth the ashes of a rye straw we mean the whole of their authority put together. Hence the Lord has given all these things by his own power. Now, if this be the kingdom of God, as we testify, organized and set up by his own divine will, the authority restored by his own power, the ordinances renewed by divine revelation, what then should we expect in the future? Should we expect to lay down these principles in the future, and say they are no longer required? No. In all our future doings, in all our future journeyings, in all our future administrations among the inhabitants of the earth, from this time henceforth and forever, the Lord our God is our Lawgiver, the Lord our God is our King, the Lord our God is our Revelator, the Lord our God will direct in all these things.

      The year of jubilee! These are words that sound very pleasantly to my ears. I am looking forward to the Great Jubilee that is now near at hand, and when I hear the words spoken from this stand, when I read these ordinances that were instituted among ancient Israel, and when my thoughts reach out to the great future, to the time when there will be a jubilee indeed, my heart rejoices before the Lord. A jubilee for all the Saints of God, wherein they will be subject to no power, save it be the power of God and the power that he has ordained; wherein there will be no earthly governments to triumph over the Saints of that kingdom; wherein there will be but one government upon the face of the whole earth, and the dominion and the greatness of that dominion and that kingdom will extend forth under the whole heavens. It will be a time of jubilee a time wherein the inhabitants of the earth will rejoice, a time wherein the inhabitants of heaven will rejoice, a time when the inhabitants of heaven will join with the inhabitants of the earth in one great, grand, general assembly, although we will afterwards be permitted to spread forth in our generations over the face of the earth, to perform various duties required at our hands; but yet, in the commencement of that grand period it will be a general assembly of the Church of the First-born of the living and the dead who have died in Christ. Jesus will be our King; he will be our Lawgiver; he will reign over us. The resurrected Saints will be with us. We will hear the words of their mouths. They will also be kings and priests; they will administer among their households of the generations that shall be in mortal flesh; they will be called the priests of God, and will administer in power and great glory during the happy period of the Millennium.

      A year of Jubilee! No sorrow, no sighing, no bondage among the people of God, but all will be free, full of joy, full of blessings; and this jubilee will last for one thousand years. Amen.

 

[Charles C. Rich]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 27-29]

      I feel very thankful to enjoy the privilege of meeting with my brethren and sisters in this hall, and of listening to the instructions we have received to-day. I often feel that we are a highly favored people in being permitted to gather together from the different nations of the earth unto these valleys for the purpose of being instructed by the spirit and power of God in relation to the kingdom of God, and the building up of that kingdom on the earth. We are thus a highly favored people, and so far as I am concerned I only feel very desirous that we should appreciate the blessings we enjoy, realizing that they come from our Heavenly Father, realizing that we are in a position to receive such instruction as we need from day to day in order to comprehend his will concerning us, and be willing to perform the labor that is required of us. This should be our study by day and by night, in order that we may comprehend the duties and responsibilities that rest upon us as Saints, that we may perform them in the flesh in a manner that will be acceptable to God our Heavenly Father. We learn from the revelations that we have received, that the labors pertaining to the flesh should be performed whilst in the flesh. We are required to perform labors for our friends that have gone before, labors that they cannot perform for themselves, and should we pass away without doing this work we should fail in our duty. It would be well, therefore, for us to reflect upon these principles that is, upon the principle of performing the labors pertaining to us in the flesh while we are in the flesh. For this purpose we are laboring to build temples to enable us to perform the works we should perform. I sometimes think, however, that we are a little careless in relation to this matter. Having been favored as we have been as Saints of the Most High God, being directed what to do and how to do it, let us be found faithful in the discharge of the duties that are incumbent upon us.

      There are no people on the earth that I know anything about who have been so highly favored as we have been. We have had the word of the Lord from the beginning of this Church until the present time in relation to what we should do to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. We have had his servants that have said to us "verily, thus saith the Lord," do this thing, and that thing in our temporal as well as spiritual affairs that we might perform our duties in a manner acceptable to the Lord our God.

      In observing the principles of the everlasting gospel, we find that we are removed from difficulties that other people have to encounter. We find the gospel has a remedy for all our evils. We may have difficulties to encounter, but we have the opportunities of overcoming them. We have the privilege of doing right all the time and not doing wrong. Our words can be for good; our labors can be for good; and our energies can be used for the establishment of righteousness on the earth. This is our privilege, and I trust we are living with an eye single to the glory of God and the building up of his kingdom on the earth, for all other kingdoms, as we have been told, will pass away, but his kingdom will remain forever. We must labor in that direction. We must seek his Holy Spirit to assist us, for without it we can accomplish but very little.

      The Elders are sent all over the earth, or over a great portion of the earth, for the purpose of warning the inhabitants of the earth of the judgments to come, and of proclaiming the everlasting gospel that they may have an opportunity of embracing it, and be gathered out with his people. This is a privilege that is offered far and wide to the inhabitants of the earth inasmuch as they will receive it; but we have found that the great majority are not disposed to receive the benefits and blessings of the gospel; only a few out of the many are willing to hearken to the counsels offered unto them. We are among the few that have listened to and obeyed the principles of the gospel, and we are privileged to meet together on this occasion, and other occasions, for the purpose of being instructed in relation to the duties resting upon us. We find we do not learn everything at once. We receive something to-day, and probably something else tomorrow, and so on from time to time, and thus our knowledge increases in relation to the things of God. This is a great blessing to us; and we should embrace every opportunity of overcoming our faults, our follies, and our imperfections, realizing that they do us no good. They are an injury to us, and as fast as we can overcome them so fast are we blessed.

      I have thought sometimes that we are more anxious to know some things in relation to the future than we are things pertaining to the present life. I feel that it is a very important matter to comprehend the duties of this life, what we should do, and what we should not do. For instance, if the Lord desires a temple built, it is very desirable that we should know how to build it; if the Lord desires that we should go on a mission it is very desirable that we should go on that mission. These are things that we want to understand, and when we understand them we want to be engaged in that labor, and thus be engaged in that work the Lord requires us to perform. We have already learned that the Lord wants us to build temples for the purpose of redeeming our dead. We are engaged in that labor, and I trust we will accomplish the work required at our hands as speedily as possible. I will say, however, that I find a good spirit and a willing spirit to engage in this work, and the Lord has blessed those who have labored on these temples. He has poured out his blessings upon them; they have received an abundance to sustain them, and have got means as fast in laboring to build these temples as they did when engaged in other work. The Lord has verily fulfilled his promises in relation to this matter.

      We cannot carry with us behind the vail gold and silver, houses and lands, or any earthly substances; but the principles of eternal lifeif we practice them in our lives we will carry them with us. "Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it," is a saying of the Savior, and it is for us to reflect upon it. We should never tire in doing good. I once met a man who had reached the years of seventy. He thought he was free, he thought he had labored enough. Now, I do not feel so. I do not think we should feel so, if we live to be a thousand years old. I think we should feel to exert ourselves to accomplish all that the Lord requires of us both in time and eternity.

      Brother Pratt has been laboring in this Church almost fifty years. I have been in the Church a long time myself. What do I find in relation to myself? I find that with all my labors, and all the exertions that I have used, I come short of having done all that I would like to have done. The longer we live the more we learn. Then let us make good use of our time. Let us perform all the earthly labors we can, and leave nothing undone, so that when we pass away we shall feel satisfied with our labors in this probation, and receive the welcome "well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Now, the Lord has offered this freely to all, not to one, two, or twenty, but to all.

      Well, I feel very thankful that my life has been spared to behold the present day. I am very thankful that I was willing to receive, in the early rise of this Church, the everlasting gospel. I am very thankful that I am able to-day to bear testimony that I know it is true, and I know that if we hearken to the precepts of the gospel, and live up to them, we will receive an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of our God. Let us, then, be found faithful to the duties devolving upon us. Let us live with an eye single to the glory of God, to the building up of his kingdom, and to accomplishing the work he has designed we should accomplish.
That the Lord may bless us, and bless his Saints everywhere, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            President Taylor announced the conference in the Large Tabernacle on the 6th inst., and made a few powerful remarks on the absolute necessity of a righteous and godly life, of real, practical, active religion, instead of a mere profession.

[John Taylor]

[Apr 1880 CR p 30]

      I have been very much interested as no doubt you all have in listening to the principles that have been unfolded to us this day, in this house. I was going to say I almost wish the house was a little larger; but, then, upon reflection, it is right enough; it was not intended to be as large as the tabernacle. The large tabernacle is a place for the assembling of the people in General Conference, and on public occasions, and it has become a question whether we had better go into the other building or continue in this to-morrow. However, the weather is a little cold and inclement at present, and perhaps by the sixth of April it may be a little warmer and more comfortable. If not, we shall have to do the best we can. As I stated, this building is not intended for a General Conference, but for holding meetings in the winter time when the weather is cold, and as a Stake house to hold Priesthood and quarterly Conferences in, where all may be warm and comfortable; and so far as that is concerned, it seems to me that the house will accomplish all that is required in this respect. And then for our Conference meetings we have the large tabernacle, which will hold, I suppose, three or four times more people than this will. I am sorry that there should be a necessity for any to turn away; but we cannot always help these things, and it is better for those that are here to be comfortable, than for all to be uncomfortable, cold and unpleasant.

      In regard to the work in which we are engaged, we all feel to a certain extent interested therein, and there are many points that it will be necessary for us to reflect upon. One is, that it is "not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, that shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." And it is for us to square our lives according to the principles laid down for all of us; for all of the officers; for the Twelve and their Counselors; for the Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors; for High Priests, for Seventies, Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons; and for every man to magnify his calling with singleness of heart before God, and to feel that God demands of us righteousness, truth and integrity in our hearts; that we cleave unto him, observe his laws and keep his commandments; and if we do this, then the blessings of which we have heard are ours; if we do not we shall not possess them.

      I do not wish to talk long, as the time has expired. I thought I would make a very few remarks. There are other things to attend to; but for the present I will desist.

 

            President A. M. Cannon explained that the Stake Conference had been discontinued during the times so near the General conference, and would be held in July and January. Also announced meetings in the wards in the evening.

            The choir sang an anthem and after closing prayer by Elder F. D.Richards the meeting was adjourned till Monday at 10 a.m.

_____

[5 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 29:149, 4/7/80, p 5]

Monday 10 a. m.

            After singing, and prayer by Elder C. C. Rich,

[Elder Brigham Young]

            Elder BRIGHAM YOUNG addressed the congregation. He contrasted the fine building in which the meeting was held, with the old brush bowery and the first tabernacle in which the saints used to assemble in an early day. If we were improving as much in our spiritual condition, and making as much progress in our religion as in architectural skill and our material affairs, we were certainly preparing ourselves for the glory that awaits the righteous. He was afraid that this was not the case. We do not fully realize our responsibilities, and we often fail, in our daily course, to receive the guidance of the spirit of revelation which it is the privilege of all Saints to enjoy. Man is in a fallen condition. The principle of revelation should be in the hearts of the people and increase therein until they were thoroughly imbued therewith and every thought and act were prompted thereby. This would raise us above our fallen condition. We would necessarily partake of the influence of our associations. If we associated with the ungodly, the apostate, the evil-minded, the drunkard, we would measurably partake of that spirit. He censured the conduct of some people called Latter-day Saints who frequented drinking saloons and indulged in the sin of intoxication, and showed that such doings would drive away the spirit of revelation. Iniquity should be rooted out among the Saints and the line ought to be drawn between those who serve the Lord and those who serve him not. All things that tended to righteousness were of God, and those things that are unrighteous were not of God, and would lead down to destruction. He desired to exercise charity, but we do not consider it charitable to pander to wickedness, cast pearls before swine or fellowship iniquity. He believed in exclusiveness, so far as mingling with those associations which were opposed to God and His ways was concerned, and prayed that we might be able so to live as to be always under the influence of the spirit of revelation.

[Brigham Young]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 31-33]

      We have been highly edified during our meetings in this hall, and I am thankful for the privilege of meeting with the Saints in this beautiful building. It is certainly a great improvement upon those brush boweries that we once occupied, and even upon the old tabernacle that formerly stood in this corner of the block. If we are improving as Latter-day Saints in spiritual things, and in union in temporal matters, as we are improving in wealth, in architectural taste, and in all of those amenities that make life agreeable in a temporal point of view, no doubt it is well with us. I presume that we are advancing in the knowledge of God, and that we are preparing ourselves for a future life and exaltation in the kingdom of God. But when we examine ourselves closely, it is evident we are not making the progress in the knowledge of the things of the kingdom of God that we should make, as the representatives of the Almighty in this whole earth. Of all the millions of people that inhabit this globe the Latter-day Saints alone, so far as I know, represent the kingdom of God upon the earth, represent the great latter-day work the restoration of all things and are in possession of those ordinances which reach into eternity and which are of so vital importance to the future existence of all mankind. Do we truly realize the importance of the position we occupy? We have had revelation; we are receiving revelation constantly. God has placed us in a position that we may communicate with the heavens, that we may receive inspiration of the Holy Ghost and be actuated thereby in all the labors of this life. But in our daily avocations we fall frequently to enjoy the free flow of that Spirit that comes from above; our humanity too often steps in between, and when this is our condition we become more or less subject to other influences whose work is to deceive and lead astray. There is a principle of revelation which all Saints are required to understand and observe. It is not our province to have angels of God visit us, as they certainly did the Prophet Joseph Smith, when he laid out the broad foundation of the kingdom of God upon the earth. In his case their visits were actually necessary; for nothing short of direct communication with the heavens could have enabled him to do the work he did; in ours it is different. The foundation is already laid according to divine approval and the work of building fairly on its way; revelations communicating the will of the Lord have been given for our profit and general guidance, and it remains with us to carry it on to completion. But there is a principle of revelation in the heart of every Latter-day Saint which, if cherished and encouraged, is calculated to lead us safe in all the minor affairs of life; and we should live, and it is our privilege to so live, as to be operated upon by the influences of the Spirit of God through all our labors until the whisperings of that Spirit shall be constantly with us. Man is in a fallen condition we realize this every day. He looks hither and thither; he casts his eyes to the right and to left, and desires this thing and the other thing, and wishes and hopes to obtain them; and thus follows after those earthly possessions, paying heedless regard to more weighty things of the kingdom. Now, the principle of revelation should be in the breast of every Latter-day Saint; it should be there and continue to grow and increase and expand in the hearts of the people until they are thoroughly imbued with that Spirit. It will not come in a day nor perhaps in a year, nor in a series of years; it will take years and years of faithfulness on the part of the Latter-day Saints before their minds can be wholly and fully absorbed by the spirit of revelation, so that every thought and every act will be prompted by the influence of the Spirit of God. It is our duty to encourage that Spirit until it absorbs the whole being, until all our thoughts and actions shall spring from that pure source which comes from above.
Now, that our acts do not comport with this teaching at all times, I am aware; but it is expected of us to grow unto these things; and in order to grow unto them, it is necessary for us to take a course to nourish and cherish this Spirit in our every day associations and conversations, that nothing may obstruct the free flow of the Holy Spirit unto us.

      We listen to many things that are pleasing to the ear, but which are not profitable to the mind. This should not be. The things of the world should have no place in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints. If I place myself in a condition to receive the things which are outside of this Church and kingdom; if I associate with people who have denied the faith and who acknowledge not God, who will not bow in obedience to the principles of the everlasting Gospel, and who are, say, spiritualists and infidelsif I associate with such men, I must to a greater or less degree partake of their influence.

      Our associations have a great deal to do with either the encouraging or discouraging within us the principle of revelation. For instance, I hear of people calling themselves Latter-day Saints who make a practice of taking their wives and children to beer saloons, and while in such places they get so happy that they shout out the songs of Zion, and seem to enjoy themselves to a great degree. Does anybody know of circumstances of this kind? Yes; we cannot deny it. Who are these people? Are they Latter-day Saints? I should not think so, indeed; although to hear them sing one might be led to believe them the best of people, for they select the choicest of hymns, and they shout them out before men who make a living by selling intoxicating liquors. To my mind it is casting pearls before swine. Perhaps you may think that is a little strong; but that is the view I take of it. I am aware that all the people do not do this; I am aware, in fact, that they are very few, comparatively speaking. I am not censuring those people who do not do this thing, but there are some people who call themselves Latter-day Saints whose conduct in this respect is censurable. To associate with the drunkard is not the way to encourage the principle of revelation. Every Latter-day Saint is bound to encourage this principle if he desires to attain the blessings that accrue from the everlasting gospel. But there is but one way, one road, and the end thereof is life everlasting.

      Now, what shall we do, Latter-day Saints? We are aware of the fact that society is sadly mixed up in this city; and that every engine and power of darkness having a tendency to win away the hearts of our sons and daughters, and to allure the weak-minded is at work endeavoring to lead them down to destruction. These local affairs should engage our attention until these evils are rooted out from our midst. And let the line be drawn between those that live their religion and those that do not. The very best way to show them up in their true colors is for us to live our religion and let people see by our works that we are for God and his kingdom.
My prayer is and I presume it is the prayer of all Latter-day Saints that God will inspire our hearts to do right, to walk in his paths, and help us to overcome evil with good. Let us have charity. I believe in charity, I would like to have more of it; but I do not consider it is charity for me and mine to indulge in the society of those that are apostates, that are wicked in their hearts, and will deny the covenants which they have made before their Father and God. I do not think it is charity for me to throw pearls before swine. I believe in charity, and at the same time I believe in entire exclusiveness, so far as mixing up my interest and striking hands with the unbelievers is concerned.

      That God may help us to cultivate and develop within us the spirit of revelation, until every thought shall be inspired from on high, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[Elder Joseph F. Smith]

            Elder JOSEPH F. SMITH read from the Doctrine and Covenants revelations given in the early days of the Church in relation to the necessity of living by the laws of God revealed, otherwise the Lord could not receive Zion to himself, and declaring that the Saints should be chastened until they become obedient and united. It seemed to the speaker almost superfluous to read from the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, or the Bible, as the Saints ought to be familiar with those books. It also seemed that it would be superfluous to repeatedly exhort the Saints to the observance of those simple duties which all should perform in faithfulness. Yet the Lord had to plead with us continually and the Elders had to urge the people continually to cease from sin and serve the Lord. "To him who knoweth to do good and doeth it not, it is sin." He who violated his covenants became drunken, dishonest, corrupt, was two-fold more the child of hell than if he had never received the gospel. If the wicked who know not God were punished for their sins, how much more should those who have been enlightened from on high, and then violate their covenants and work iniquity, be worthy of the damnation of hell! We had been called to perform the great latter-day work, but if we did not work righteousness we should not be chosen. These remarks applied to individuals. So far as the Church was concerned it would stand, endure and triumph, but no man could receive the glory thereof unless he worked righteousness. God would use such instruments as were available to accomplish His work, and to Him would be the glory, not to men, but they would share in the reward if faithful. The Church was not led by man. Any man would lead the Church to hell if left to himself, but God would lead the Church to victory, using man as the instrument. The Saints must come up to that position that they must love God with all their hearts and their neighbors as themselves, and be ready to sacrifice all things for the truth. Every man should be able to refuse to do wrong, no matter under what circumstances. Anyone who would mingle in anything evil out of friendship for an associate was not fit to be an Elder in Israel. God expected us to keep our covenants and fulfil our agreements, and if we did not we should not be found guiltless. If this was radicalism the speaker confessed that he was a radical. He did not expect that liars, drunkards, adulterers, sorcerers, or any of the corrupt and abominable would enter the kingdom of heaven, unless they repented and forsook their evil ways. The cry was, "Come out of Babylon, that ye receive not of her sins and partake not of her plagues." The word of the Apostle to the Corinthians applied to us: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship hath Christ with Belial?" etc. The Bible contained the word of the Lord and had been re-enacted in this dispensation, therefore its laws were applicable to the Latter-day Saints. He denounced the course of those who disgraced themselves by entering grog shops, and guzzling strong drink and patterning after the practices of the wicked. It was only by righteousness that Zion would be built up, and a line of demarkation must be drawn between the Saints and the world.

[Joseph F. Smith]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 33-41]

      While listening to Brother Young, my mind reverted to one or two passages in the early revelations given to the Church, which would seem, from the testimony we have had from him, to be somewhat applicable at the present time as well as at the time the revelations were given, and I thought I would refer to, and perhaps read a few of these passages, so that we can reflect upon them ourselves. The speaker then read from the first to the tenth verse of the revelation given to Joseph Smith June 22, 1834, page 377 of the new edition of Doctrine and Covenants; also from a revelation given December 16, 1833, first to the nineteenth verse, same book, page 349.

      I realize that I am speaking to people that have joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and as members of that Church, profess faith in the Gospel as it has been revealed in this dispensation. It would seem, sometimes, almost superfluous to keep preaching upon these plain and simple principles, which all ought to understand and be anxious to carry out. Nevertheless we find it necessary, and therefore we continue to preach, expound, exhort and to plead with the people, our brethren and sisters in the covenant of the Gospel, to keep the commandments of God which they have covenanted to keep. The Lord keeps pleading with us; he has to forbear with us, to extend mercy, kindness and forgiveness day after day. For we are very forgetful, careless, indifferent and thoughtless of our duties. It is only when the Spirit of the Lord is upon us that we can really sense the responsibilities that we are under to God and to each other. When we are engaged in the daily avocations of life our minds are occupied with other things; we are thinking how to make means, or get wealth, how to provide for our necessities and to make our families comfortable. These thoughts take possession of our minds and exclude reflections upon the commandments of God which we have covenanted to keep, and which, by keeping, we would avoid all the errors, evils and follies that have been referred to by Elder Young, to which so many of us are liable, notwithstanding we are professedly Latter-day Saints. It was said by our Savior, to those who professed to be his disciples, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Now, where I see a Latter-day Saint, or, rather, a person who professes to be a Latter-day Saint, guilty of drunkenness, of profanity, of dishonesty, or cheating his neighbor, or of bearing false witness against his brother, I say in my heart that that man is two-fold more a child of hell than as though he had never been baptized; for "to him that knoweth how to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin," saith the Apostle James. And verily it is true in relation to those who profess to be Latter-day Saints, who should know to do good, for they have covenanted to do that which is right and forsake that which is evil. That covenant has been made with God, and is recorded in the archives of heaven as well as upon the earth. If we take a course to violate our covenants, we declare our unworthiness before him with whom those covenants are made, who understands the nature of the covenants and of the obligations we are under, and must regard us as transgressors, far more worthy of chastisement than those who have never entered into covenant with the Lord to keep his laws. Is not this correct, sound, just and reasonable doctrine? Is not this the way in which we would judge ourselves and regard one another? Do we not look upon our neighbor, who has made a promise to us and has willfully and intentionally broken that promise, as untrustworthy, as untrue to his word, and unworthy of our confidence and esteem? Certainly. Then how much more will God, who is perfect, who sees clearly the end from the beginning, look upon us with disfavor, who have received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and therefore the means of knowing the way of life, if we turn away from the truth and disregard our vows and covenants with God and each other. Are we not, under the circumstances, worthy of condemnation and chastisement? If the wicked, who will not repent of their sins, and who therefore know not God nor keep his commandments, will be destroyed for their wickedness, how much more worthy of destruction will they be who, having once repented of their sins and learned the way of life.

      It is said here, in the language that I have read, "Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom, otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself." In other words, those who profess to be Latter-day Saints must become acquainted with the laws of the celestial Kingdom, must abide by them, must comply with the requirements of heaven and hearken to the word of the Lord, in order that Zion may be built up acceptably, and that we may partake of the benefits and blessings of this labor. For it is a labor which devolves upon those who have been called out from the midst of the world in this dispensation. We have been called, and so far as we will be faithful we are chosen to do this work. But notwithstanding we have been called, if we do not prove faithful we will be rejected. I do not speak this in reference to the whole Church, but in reference to individual members of the Church; for it is my implicit faith and belief that this work will never cease, that it will never be given to another people, and that the purposes and designs of God will be accomplished for he has decreed it. In one sense we are not doing this work, for it is not the work of man, neither individually nor collectively, nor of any single quorum of the priesthood, nor of all the quorums combined, except God is with them. In other words, it is God Almighty who will accomplish this work, and he will use such instruments as he can find for its accomplishment, and those instruments will be honored and blessed of the Lord, and will share in the rewards, exaltation and glory of Zion. Yet the honor, glory and power must be ascribed unto the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever, for it is God's work and not the work of man. We often hear it said that if such and such a man should lead the Church that he would lead it to destruction. I will say, in the name of the Lord, that if any man were to lead the Church of Jesus Christ he would lead it to destruction; that is, if the Church would follow. But I will say, on the other hand, that if God Almighty chooses a man to lead the Church, God will speak through that man. It will not be the man that will lead the Church, but it will be God that will do it through that instrumentality.

      But we cannot build up Zion except upon the principles of righteousness. Men must forsake their wickedness, their lusts, covetousness, greed, and love of the pleasures of the world, and bring themselves under the laws of God, or they never will partake of the blessings and glory of Zion. And that is not all. It is said in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, that we must be willing to make a sacrifice of everything that we possess in the world for the Kingdom of God's sake, and the man or woman that presumes to lay claim to the gift of eternal life, who is unwilling to make this sacrifice, will be offering an insult to the dignity of the Creator. (See Sixth Lecture on Faith.) It is written that we must love the Lord with all our hearts, and our neighbor as we love ourselves. When we reach this point, we shall not be liable to the accusation of loving the world more than we love God. It will then be easy to make any sacrifice for the sake of truth, though it be the sacrifice of life itself; that is, this present life. Jesus said: "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Rather fear God than man. Rather fear to offend the Almighty than to offend mankind. Rather fear to transgress the laws of God than those of men.

      There are some few, so called, very good Latter-day Saints, who have formed the acquaintance of those who are not members of the Church, and because of these associations they are led into saloons to drink with them, not daring to refuse for fear of offending their friends! I say a man who is so weak as to do that is not fit to be an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ, nor to be fellowshipped, or held as in good standing in the ward in which he lives. Why? Because his example is bad. He shows weakness and unworthiness before the Lord and mankind. He has not the strength of character to refuse to join his friend in doing an evil, for fear of offending that friend. The same principle would lead him, and, by his example, others perhaps, to gambling, stealing, profanity, whoredom, or anything else in the catalogue of crime. I love a man who dares refuse to do wrong, no matter where he is nor what the wrong even to drinking hot drinks, or neglecting the "Word of Wisdom." Many of our good people have become so weak that, according to the "Word of Wisdom," they are not worthy to be called Saints, for it is "adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all Saints who are or can be called Saints." But says one, "If I am offered a cup of tea or a cup coffee I cannot refuse it." Then, according to the word of the Lord, you are too weak to be a Latter-day Saint.

      It has been said that Brother Joseph F. Smith is "radical." Perhaps so, for when I give my word I expect to fulfil it; I always have felt so, and always have endeavored to keep my word whenever I have given it. Those to whom my word is given have a right to expect and demand its fulfilment, or a justifiable reason for failing to do so. And if ever I fail to fulfil my word, I hope to be able to give a sufficient reason for it. I do not presume that I am better than the Lord, I do not think that man can be better than God; I therefore suppose that when God has given his word that he will fulfil it; I suppose that when he makes a requirement of men he expects them to comply therewith, and doubly so when they have agreed to comply, and if they fail, I am simple enough to believe with all my heart that God Almighty will demand satisfaction. Does any one call me radical for that? If so, then I confess that I am radical. When I read the laws of God in this good book (the Bible), that the liar, the hypocrite, the sorcerer, and the adulterer, cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, I understand that that is what is meant. I can give it no other construction or meaning, therefore I believe that liars, adulterers, drunkards, sorcerers, &c., &c., will not get into the kingdom of heaven, without they repent and make restitution for the wrongs they have done; God has opened the way of escape for those that will hearken to and avail themselves of the privileges of the Gospel. "Who is there," says the Lord, "that hath understanding, that I have not called to repentance." There is not one that God has not called to repentance, which means the forsaking of sin, a departure from evil to do righteousness and walk in the way of life and salvation. I understand that unless we do this we will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. Can you take any other view of these matters? How can a man excuse himself for drunkenness, when he knows that it is injurious to himself, to his family and others, and is forbidden by the law of God, and is a violation of the most sacred covenants he can make? How can a man excuse himself under these circumstances? What reason will he be able to give before God? How can he escape the damnation that awaits the wicked? It is written that "not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." No; but those who keep the commandments of God, who walk righteously before him; they shall say "Lord, Lord," and the Lord will hearken unto them.

      The cry of the angel was, "Come out of her (Babylon), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." The doom of Babylon is sealed. The judgments of God will be poured out upon her; they are at the door; the wicked will perish; Babylon will fall, for God has decreed it. They have rejected the prophets, and have shed the blood of the Saints and of those who brought life and salvation unto them. They have cast out the Church of Christ from their midst and have called it evil; they have blackened the character of those that have taken leading parts in the Church and Kingdom of God. Therefore, the cup of her iniquity is about full, and the cry is, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Now what will it avail us to come out of Babylon, if we bring Babylon with us, or continue her practices in Zion? It does not look to me as though it would be much benefit. I read, in the sixth chapter of the second epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, something that is applicable to some of us in our present condition. Paul says: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? For ye are the Temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Do you want any stronger language than that? Do you want any stricter command? for it is the word of God to us, although it is recorded here in the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, and written eighteen hundred years ago, or more, to the ancient Saints. It applies equally to us. The Bible contains the law of God to this people. The Lord says: "Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my Scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my Church, and he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned, if he continues." Thus you see the Bible is in force, and this is the word of the Lord to the people, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing." Do not assimilate to their ways, but forsake them, and in the name of reason and humanity, for the sake of the kingdom and for your own sakes, do not let it be necessary for an Elder of Israel to repeat on the stand what has been stated this day in your hearing by Elder Brigham Young. Let it not be necessary to proclaim these evils among the Latter-day Saints at a Conference of the people; let it be possible when we come together for the Elders who speak to testify of the good works of the people, of their increasing faith in God, of the power of God manifest in their midst, and to exhort the people to continued faithfulness and progress in the right path, until Zion shall be redeemed, the world subdued, and evil put under foot. Zion must be built up on the principles of righteousness, truth, and obedience to the laws of God; not an ignorant nor a "blind obedience" or submission to the requirements of heaven or the dictates of the priesthood, but an intelligent submission to the laws of God; for the Lord has said that he "requireth the heart and a willing mind, and the willing and the obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days; and the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land."

      May the Lord bless us as a people, and help us to be united, to be more faithful and upright, to live our religion, so that our righteousness may exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees of this dispensation, and to keep aloof from the wicked and ungodly, is my earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[Counselor D. H. Wells]

            Counselor D. H. WELLS said he had ever felt both to bring before a public congregation the evils that exist among us, for he felt ashamed that they should be known. But it seemed to be necessary, for the wound must be probed that it might be healed. We had been gathered from the wicked that we might learn God's ways and walk in them; that He might have a people who would be submissive of His will. The traditions of the world clang close to us, but we must put them away. A spark of light from the heavenly throne had pierced our hearts and this would lead us in the right way. It has brought us here. It was not the most desirable part of the world, but here we had come to do the will of the Lord. We had not really gathered from Babylon if we brought with us its ways and spirit. The way of life and the way of death were before us, and we must choose for ourselves; but celestial glory could not be obtained without obedience to celestial law. The Lord had revealed Himself to us, shown us who we are and His designs in relation to us, and no glory short o that in His presence would now content us. How was this to be attained? Only by doing those things which God had commanded, purifying ourselves from sin and walking in the narrow way of eternal life. "The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees" would not fill the bill. The speaker exhorted the Saints to works of righteousness, to union of faith and act, and invoked the blessings of God upon them.

[Daniel H. Wells]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 38-41]

            I have ever felt loth to bring before a public congregation the misdeeds of a few, lest a credulous public be led to suppose that evil is more prevalent among us than it really is; and for this reason, perhaps, if for no other, I feel ashamed that such things as have been referred to should exist. I have felt rather that people should turn away from evil and cleave to the Lord, and maintain that better character before him, before one another and before the world. It would seem as though it were necessary to bring up such matters, on the principle, perhaps, that a wound in order to be healed should be probed. But it would seem, too, that such things that have been referred to to-day, if they do exist in the church, that while they should not pass unrebuked, there is certainly a more proper time and place to deal with them than before a public congregation.

            We are gathering out from the midst of the people of the earth to be taught in the ways of the Lord, and to walk more perfectly in his paths, that we may learn righteousness, and come to a knowledge of the the mind and the will of our Father who is in heaven. God has decreed that he will redeem the earth from sin and wickedness, and establish his own rule and dominion thereon. And it is necessary in order to build up the kingdom of God on the earth that the Lord should have a people prepared with whom he can work, and who will be submissive and ready to do his will. We pray to our Father, saying, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven." Now, how can this come to pass until the Lord has a people who shall be willing to do his will, and who shall be desirous to walk in the path that he marks out for them. Do we realize how very far we are from the Lord's ways; how we have been instructed in the ways of the world through the traditions and false teachings of generations that are passed, and which we have inherited. We had been taught the precepts of men instead of the commandments of God. Now, however, it is plain that the Lord is endeavoring to work a reformation in the midst of his children; and for this purpose he has made known his laws again, laws which are calculated to redeem the people from the thraldom of sin and iniquity so prevalent in the world; and he has made them applicable to this generation, hence they are in force upon the human family. He has brought them home to our senses, and it is with delight that we behold them in contrast with the erroneous teachings we have received from men who have professed to be the teachers of religion, who have professed to be the servants of God, who have professed to stand in holy places and to lead the people in the way of life and salvation I say, they have proposed to do all these things, whereas they have neither the authority nor the knowledge to do so, because they have not been called of the Lord for that purpose, nor have they the revealed will of heaven to direct them. They have sought to teach their own will; they themselves are blind, and they lead the blind, and they must sooner or later fall into the pit together. Our minds, however, have been touched with the Spirit of the living God, made manifest unto us. And this is what inspired us to come out from the midst of the world to these valleys of the mountains, where the Lord has appointed to build a Zion unto his holy name, where he has condescended to establish his authority, and also to build temples in which to attend to the ordinances of his house. We have been gathered from the midst of the nations with this object in view under the inspiration of the Almighty, to do his will and to bring to pass his purposes and establish his purposes upon the earth. Is not this what has actuated us and brought us together to these valleys? If there was any other motive or design I do not know what it was. There are places more desirable to men than these sterile valleys; there are places where the land is richer and where better seasons prevail, and where more profitable results can be obtained in many respects; for this is not so very desirable a country, in fact a great portion of it is very undesirable and unprofitable to man for settlements. But it is not for the sake of wealth that we have come here; it is to be taught in the ways of the Lord, and to walk in his paths; it is to keep is commandments, to do his will that it may be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

            Reference has been made this afternoon to the words, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that he receive not of her plagues." Now, we have gathered bodily, but if we have brought with us the evils that are so prevalent in the world, have we gathered in the spirit as the people of God should gather? No. We might just as well have stayed in the world, and it would have been better indeed to have done so, than to drag the evils of the world into the midst of Zion. Any people who will corrupt their ways before the Lord are bound for destruction, according to the words of the Lord through the prophets. The principles of truth and virtue, and of temperance and honesty are the foundation of exaltation, and just as certain as people will practise them they will be exalted; and just as sure as they indulge in iniquity, it will lead them down to death and destruction, and that, too, upon natural principles. There is the way of life, and there is the way of death set before us, and it is for us to choose the course we will take; it is through obedience to the principles of life we shall obtain an exaltation in the celestial kingdom and upon no other. If a person ever inherits a celestial glory can he inherit it upon any other principle than that of obeying the laws of that kingdom? No; because all kingdoms have laws, and a person can only attain to the glory and benefit of that kingdom, the laws of which he observes to keep. This is the way I read and understand the revelations of the Lord.

            Now, would it not be better to endeavor to find out the will of God our Heavenly Father concerning ourselves, and live so as to enjoy the light of his spirit to guide us in the duties of life? I think it certainly would. The best investment a man can make is to give his all into the kingdom of God, to hold himself on the altar ready for the Master's use, to place his ability, his time and means at his command to further the purposes of his Father in Heaven, and thus accomplish his design and purpose in bringing him into this state of existence. It is no haphazard matter that we have been born in this day and generation, a day in which God has revealed his mind and will to the children of men. He has withheld these spirits to come forth when he should again reveal the laws, that peradventure there might be those upon the earth who would receive his laws and assist to bring to pass his purposes and designs, because it is through the instrumentality of his children that he will bring forth his kingdom and prepare the way for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule. For he will rule, even from the rivers to the ends of the earth, for the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; it belongs to him; it is his right to rule, dictate, and lead forth; and it is only a question of time when he will do so.

            I feel well in this work. I cannot express the gratitude that I feel to the Lord that he has made manifest unto us his law, his will, the principles of the holy gospel, and that he has brought them home to our understanding. We have the privilege of learning to know God, whom to know, the Apostle says, is life eternal. Now, if to know him is life eternal, we cannot attain to eternal life without a knowledge of him. And how can we become acquainted with God unless he reveals himself? He has, however, revealed himself to man in this our day. We have partially become acquainted with him; we know who he is, and who we are, and we know his purpose and design in bringing us into this state of existence. It is for us to learn the will and design of God our Father concerning us as his children in this probation, that we may fulfil the full measure thereof, and be worthy to return into his presence from whence we have come. No second or third rate glory will satisfy the Saints of God. Nothing short of a full and complete salvation in the celestial kingdom of God, can answer their desires and aspirations. But how do we expect to attain to that glory? As I have already observed, there is no other way save that of keeping a celestial law. This is plainly set forth here in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, it having been revealed to the servant of the Lord in the day and age in which we live. We do not go back to the mysterious ages in order to attain this knowledge. God has revealed it to us in this our day; and although we do believe in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, nevertheless we have also the living oracles here day by day to teach us in the ways of truth and righteousness. Can we govern and control ourselves? We can partly, but I can conceive that in a great many instances we could do much better. Many of us, no doubt, are doing as well as we can, and yet we are not doing as well as we know how. We, perhaps, know a great many things which may be utterly impossible for us to bring into actual practice owing to surrounding circumstances; but yet many are doing the best they can, and we should all the time try to do as well as we know how. Our struggle should be to progress in the knowledge of God and the things pertaining to eternal life, that our course may be onward and upward until we "all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." It is true we are imperfect; the traditions of our fathers are upon us, and I know of and could point out a great many things that are erroneous which our fathers in their ignorance taught and practised. But there is one thing that people who live in this day will have to account for, and that is, their presuming to administer in sacred places the precepts of men instead of the ordinances which pertain to the house of God, thereby leading people away from the truth.
We live in a peculiar age of the world. We live in a day when the God of heaven is establishing his kingdom to bring to pass his purposes, preparatory to the millennial reign. We live in a day when we are building temples in which a work may be performed for those who have died in ignorance of the gospel, that they may also be saved. The gospel plan reaches out to and includes all the children of men; it is ample to save all who will bow and live in obedience to its teachings. If a person has not had an opportunity of receiving the gospel in this world, he will have an opportunity of doing so in the next, in the place of departed spirits. And the labor of the Elders of Israel who die and pass into the Spirit world, clothed upon with the authority of the holy priesthood is to preach to them the principles of the holy gospel, that they may live according to God in the spirit and be judged according to men in the flesh. But there are ordinances which have to be performed for them on the earth. It is for this purpose we are building temples.

            Well, I pray God to help us to live our religion, because in it there is life and salvation I was going to say, in this world, as well as in the world to come. And so there is. The principles of the gospel are calculated in their nature to elevate mankind in the scale of human existence, and are fraught with salvation to men in this time as well as in the time to come. I pray God to bless all those who seek to work righteousness in all the earth, and especially to remember the household of faith, I pray that he may preserve us from stepping into bye and forbidden paths; that we may be instruments in his hands in bringing to pass his purposes and in upholding the principles of truth, because there are but few who are disposed to do this. The great tendency of the age is to wickedness and corruption, and there are but few comparatively who will receive the truth. Let us sustain these principles like an unbroken phalanx, standing shoulder to shoulder, that the enemy may not make an inroad in our midst. In union there is strength. If therefore we can carry out these things unitedly, we will be able to exert a greater power not only in the world but before the Lord.

            May God bless us to this end is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            The choir sang an anthem, and Elder Erastus Snow dismissed by prayer till 2 p.m.

_____

[5 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 29:174, 4/14/80, p 14]

TWO DAYS' MEETINGS IN THE SALT LAKE ASSEMBLY HALL.

_____

            On Monday afternoon the Assembly Hall was again completely filled. After singing, and prayer by Elder Joseph E. Taylor the congregation was addressed by

[Prest. Joseph Young]

            PREST. JOSEPH YOUNG. He recollected the day when the Church consisted of a mere handful of people scattered over two or three States of the Union. In traveling to visit them an Elder was greeted with the sound, "There goes a Mormon!" Now, from Idaho to Arizona, through hundreds of miles, the settlements of the Saints extend and the people greet an Elder with joy and friendship. It was the work of the Lord and caused astonishment. He was the Author of it and His hand was over all, guiding the destiny of the greatest, and caring even for the sparrow. By His spirit we were guided, and it was to carry the tidings of His work that we traveled or sent our brethren to the ends of the earth. The speaker described the condition of the world in regard to religion, referring to the ignorance and fallacies that prevailed. He portrayed the spirit of Christ and its effects upon the human heart, and expressed his full confidence in the Lord and the triumph of this work. Exhorted both young and old to plant within their hearts a reservoir of truth and to live so as to know that God lives and that they were accepted of Him. Whenever Christian sects had enjoyed a portion of the spirit of truth and rejected this gospel when it came to them, they had lost the measure of the spirit previously bestowed. Those who had accepted this work received the power of God and a testimony of the truth and lost the fear of death. He bore testimony that the time was near when God would shake the earth and all things would tremble, and none but the righteous could stand. He wanted to know that his brethren and sisters were taking a course that was pleasing in the sight of God, staying themselves on the promises of God, training their children -- the hope of Israel -- in the fear of the Lord, so that when the terrible things predicted by the Savior and the prophets take place before their eyes they may be on the watch tower and prepared for every emergency.

[Elder A. O. Smoot]

            Elder A. O. SMOOT expressed his pleasure at the instructions that had been imparted during these meetings. Referring to the sharp reproofs administered in the forenoon to some of the Latter-day "Mormons," it occurred to him that there were others at fault besides the drinkers and swearers. He asked himself where were the priests and teachers when these evils were taking place. If the teachers were aware of these things had they discharged their duty towards the transgressors? If they had done this, and failing to work a reformation, had they reported those cases to the Bishop? If so they had done well, and the fault would lay with the Bishop unless he attended to these evil-doers. He would ask, why not apply the remedy? Let the erring brother who would not reform go in peace and no longer be held in fellowship to spread the evil example. He thought perhaps some of the officers slept upon their rights and duties, and neglected the injunctions of the revelations concerning these matters. If we allowed these evils to exist, their influence would be demoralizing. All are subject to weaknesses, but when we are once overcome thereby, it should prove a warning, and we should take care not to be ever again overtaken in a similar way. In the course of forty years' experience he had seen men holding official position in the priesthood committing the evils spoken of, and their faults had been let slip. Why were these cases not alluded to? Why was not the inside of the platter cleaned? There was a fault somewhere; he would leave others to say where it was. God had commenced to establish His Kingdom on the earth and had so organized His priesthood that these irregularities could be checked and wickedness purged out. The speaker bore testimony that this was the Kingdom that Daniel saw in spite of their imperfections, this was the people whom the Lord cherished; this was the priesthood that would regulate all things according to the heavenly pattern; and many before him in the congregation were destined to be priests and kings unto the Most High God. He had nought but blessings in His heart for the faithful, and he besought the Lord to preserve them from the evils that predominate in the world, enable them to magnify their calling that Israel might triumph and the enemy be placed beneath their feet.

[Elder John Van Cott]

            Elder JOHN VAN COTT referred to the prophesies concerning the redemption of the remnants of Jacob, and rejoiced to hear of the work which was being accomplished among them. While Elder Orson Pratt was speaking, he remembered that he (the speaker) when a boy of 16, had the privilege of witnessing the baptism of Elder Pratt, and was the only member of the Church now living who witnessed it. It was 49 years ago last September. It was some years after, that he himself was baptized, but at that time he received a witness of the truth and it never left him wherever he went. If it were not for that testimony he would not be here this day. It was a similar witness that had induced the Saints from every part of the earth to gather to these mountains. It was time that we should become united and prepared for those important events predicted which were near at hand. We should refrain from evil, obtain the power to discern the signs of the times and of the coming of the Son of Man, cultivate the spirit of meekness, forbearance and long suffering, and seek to God for wisdom that e might be prepared for the great change that is to come on the earth.

            The choir sang an anthem and the benediction was pronounced by Elder Orson Pratt.

_____

6-8 Apr 1880, 50th Annual General Conference, SLC Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly 29:168, 4/14/80, p 8; Millennial Star 42:273, 289, 305]

[6 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 29:168, 4/14/80, p 8]

YEAR OF JUBILEE.

_____

FIFTIETH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

_____

            The fiftieth Annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convened in the Large Tabernacle at 10 a.m. An immense audience assembled, nearly filling the huge building, galleries included.

            On the stand were:

            President John Taylor, and Elders Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Charles C. Rich, Erastus Snow, Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, Albert Carrington and Moses Thatcher of the council of the Twelve Apostles.

            Counselor to the Twelve, Daniel H. Wells.

            Patriarch John Smith.

            Of the seven presidents of Seventies, Joseph Young, Horace Eldredge; Levi W. Hancock, and John Van Cott.

            Of the Presiding Bishops, Edward Hunter, Leonard W. Hardy, and Robert T. Burton;.

            The Presidency of Salt Lake and other Stakes, with members of High Councils, Bishops and leading Elders from various parts of the Territory.

            Conference was called to order by President John Taylor.

            Choir sang:

"Great God attend while Zion sings
The joy that from thy presence springs."

            Prayer was offered as follows by Elder Orson Pratt:

            O God, the Eternal Father of Heaven and of earth, we thy children, thy sons and daughters, have assembled ourselves together on this the 5th day of April -- the day appointed and set apart for the general conference of thy Saints from year to year -- we have assembled in this large and commodious tabernacle, for the purpose of commemorating this day, and of hearing the words that may be spoken from this stand, and also of giving in our votes and our voices unitedly in relation to all business matters that pertain to the Church of God here on the earth that may be transacted on this occasion.

            We thank thee, holy Father, that we have been permitted to receive the fulness of the everlasting Gospel revealed anew in this great last dispensation of the fulness of times. We thank thee that thou hast organized thy Church an established the kingdom that was spoke of by Daniel the prophet, and other holy men that lived in ancient times, in fulfillment of their words, and that it has been organized to stand for ever, never more to be destroyed or given into the hands of other people.

            And we thank thee, Holy Gather, that in the midst of all the persecutions and difficulties we have encountered during the fifty years now being brought to a close, that thou hast sustained us, that thou hast not utterly cast us off, that thou hast not suffered us to become victims to our enemies and to those that have persecuted us; but that thou hast sustained thy Saints and brought them into these mountain valleys and planted them in the midst of the fastnesses of these everlasting hills, and spread them forth upon the right and upon the left, until we have become a great and a numerous people.

            We thank Thee for the treat gathering which thou hast commanded and inaugurated in this dispensation -- the gathering of thine elect, the gathering of the Saints of the Most High -- that we have been permitted to come from all the various nations wherever the gospel has been preached and churches raised up, and establish ourselves in these mountain vales.

            We thank Thee, O Lord, for all thy peculiar care and thy great mercies that have been extended to this people. Notwithstanding our many imperfections, our many follies and sins, thine eyes have been upon us for good. Thou hast raised us up; thou hast strengthened our hands; thou hast encouraged us in our work; thou hast visited us by the manifestations of thy Spirit; thou hast given revelations from time to time to strengthen thy servants and encourage thy Saints. And we thank thee for all these blessings in the name of thy beloved Son. And as the 50th year since the organization of thy Church is now about drawing to a close, we pray that thy peculiar blessings may continue to rest upon thy people, and that we may be able to esteem the past year since our general conference as a year of jubilee to the Latter-day Saints. And we pray that as the close of this year of jubilee will come to an end this day, notwithstanding the close thereof, that we may in all our future years humble ourselves before the Lord our God and keep thy commandments blameless, and walk in all thy ordinances and the institutions of thy kingdom, and serve the Lord our God and be united more perfectly according to the law which thou hast given concerning the union of thy people.

            Bless we humbly pray thy servant Brother Taylor. Thou hast raised him up by thy power and placed him in a high and important position in thy church to preside, in connection with his brethren the Apostles, over the affairs of this great latter-day Kingdom. We pray that thou wilt inspire him with great and important knowledge and information for the welfare and happiness and benefit of the Saints over whom he presides. Bless him abundantly with the spirit of revelation; bless him with the visions of eternity; bless him with knowledge that comes down from heaven; bless him with the discernment of thy spirit; bless him in all things, and qualify him for the important and high position in this thy church and thy kingdom, in this thine earth.

            Bless his brethren the Apostles, fill them with the Holy Ghost, inspire their harts from on high, and give unto them the spirit of counsel and wisdom, that they may impart unto these thy people that which shall benefit them and build them up in their most holy faith. Bless all the presidents of the "Stakes of Zion and their counselors, and also the Bishops and also the various Wards in every Stake. Bless them with inspiration, with the knowledge of God, with an understanding of their several duties and callings; and may thy servants from the highest to the least, in all of the various councils of the priesthood, be inspired from on high, and thus be able to carry out the great purposes which thou hast intended concerning the everlasting priesthood again sent down from heaven and conferred upon man.

            We pray, O Lord, that the work of the gathering of thy Saints may continue, that thine Israel may be gathered from all nations and peoples under the whole heavens, to dwell in these mountain valleys, and become a great people, that the borders of Zion may be stretched out, and the cords of Zion by strengthened and thy people be prepared with one heart and one mind for that great redemption which thou has promised to them in the latter days.

            Let thy blessing, O Lord, be upon this congregation, upon every man, every woman, every child and every person that attends whose heart is desirous of serving the Lord his God. May the spirit of inspiration rest upon them all. May the spirit of the Most High impart peace and consolation to all who may be sick and afflicted, that are not permitted to meet with us this day -- may they find favor in the sight of God, may thine angels be sent forth to minister unto them that they may be comforted, raised up and healed, and that the destroyer may be rebuked from the midst of this people in every settlement.

            O Lord, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ that during the convention of our Conference from day to day until the close thereof, that the Lord our God may be in the midst of this people, that thine angels may be round about us, that the heavenly hosts may rejoice over us, that the vision of our minds may be opened to contemplate the things of God; and that all who speak may speak by the inspiration of thy spirit and all be edified together. We ask thee, O Lord, to let thy blessing be upon all the missionaries that are sent forth into the nations of the earth, that they may go in power, go in strength, filled with the spirit and power of God, filled with courage and holy boldness to carry forth among the children of men the glorious gospel of the Son of Man, revealed in these latter days for the benefit of the human family.

            Hear us, O Lord, in these our supplications. Be with us in our deliberations. Assist us in this Conference, and smile upon us from thy holy habitation. And when we have fully accomplished the work thou hast given us to do in this probation, may we be prepared to go into thy kingdom, behold thy face, and receive that welcome plaudit, "Come ye blessed of my Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from before the foundation of the world." These together with all other blessings which we should pray for, we seek for at this time, not in our own name, but in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

            Choir sang:

"When earth in bondage long had lain
And darkness o'er the nations reigned."

            President TAYLOR announced that important business would be transacted to-morrow, in which the Salt Lake, Utah, Davis and Weber Stakes were particularly interested, and he wished the presidents of these Stakes and as many others as possible to be present.

[Elder Franklin D. Richards]

            Elder FRANKLIN D. RICHARDS congratulated the Saints on reaching the fiftieth anniversary of the Church, and upon the wonderful work that had been accomplished by the Almighty. He reviewed the jubilee as celebrated by ancient Israel, and exhorted the Saints to seek for the spirit of jubilee. Reflecting on the progress of this work during the past fifty years, he asked what would be its progress during the next fifty years, if we were in the position we ought to occupy considering our experience. Elder Richards sketched several important scenes of the early history of the Church; among them the incident of the friendship to the Prophet Joseph Smith of Stephen A. Douglass, and of the rise of that statesman until he turned against the Saints and uttered the well known saying about "cutting out the ulcer of Mormonism from the body politic," when in fulfilment of the prediction of the Prophet Joseph, he lost his power and failed to attain the object of his ambition. He referred next to the effort of Benton, by obtaining the call for the "Mormon Battalion," to leave the Saints to perish in an Indian country, and who shortly afterward was smitten with an internal ulcer which led to his death. He then touched upon the providence of God in bringing us into the mountains, where we rested in peace while civil war desolated the land. He next drew attention to the coming of the army to exterminate the "Mormons" and the way in which the Lord turned the event to our material advantage. He came to the time when government officers arrived here, seeking our injury, but in vain. Schaffer, who issued the proclamation forbidding our militia to muster, soon passed away and his dry bones were carried out of the Territory. A certain Judge who had sought to destroy this people had also perished and gone down to the grave, and peradventure that man to whom he had said derisively, "Thomas, I am sorry for you, very sorry," would have to carry a drop of water to him to cool his parched tongue. In all these things were recognized the hand of the Lord, and we should reflect on His providences and be stirred up to individual righteousness, and to battle against the drunkenness and whoredoms and various forms of evil no being introduced by our enemies for our overthrow. What better could we do this year of jubilee, than turn our minds towards helping each other, to relieve the poor and gather the Saints? Our rich brethren who hold debts against the worthy poor, might send them a receipt in full, and God would bless them. Let those who hold mortgages against the worthy but unsuccessful and struggling brother, release his home from bondage and thus "make friends with the mammon of unrighteousness." Let the poor saints abroad be remembered and be delivered, and then blessings of this year of jubilee should be extended to every part of the earth, that all hearts might be made glad and God our Father crown us with His favor.

[Franklin D. Richards]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 47-51]

      It is very pleasing to find that we have so peaceful and favorable an opportunity, in every general respect, of meeting together on this the fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints upon the earth in this the last dispensation. Let us endeavor to calm our minds, call in the wandering thoughts and exercise our faith, that we may receive an abundant measure of the Holy Spirit to rest upon us; for if we seek it I am sure the Lord will be greatly pleased to bestow it upon us during this Conference. When we contemplate, in the light of history, what fifty years have done towards bringing forward the work of the Lord in the earth, and of disseminating a knowledge of the principles of the Gospel which he has revealed, and observe the results that these labors and efforts have accomplished toward building up the Kingdom of God, we have reason, if we can only sense it, to feel that he has done great things for his people, whereof we ought to be very glad. Indeed, to contemplate it in its various bearings, and the relationship which this work sustains to the whole human family and to the spirits departed, it is indeed so wonderful that we might exclaim, like one of old, " what hath God wrought!"

      As this is our jubilee year, let us, as Israel did in ancient times, look back and recount our doings, review our condition and surroundings. On every fiftieth year they redeemed their brethren that were in bondage, the homestead that had been pledged for the necessaries of life; and they reviewed their business transactions of previous years, that they might place everything right between themselves and before the Lord. Even the strangers that were among them were remembered, for, saith the Lord, "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." Let us seek for the spirit of jubilee as designed of God, and as shall be best, most happily and profitably entertained by man. For, indeed, if fifty years have brought to pass the creation and existence of a Territory with over a hundred thousand of our people in it, what shall the next fifty years produce by the blessing of the Most High upon the exertions yet to be made, if we shall but abide in his favor, and thus inherit his multiplied blessings! We are not apt to realize the achievements of the past, when we but consider the period of a day, a week, or even a year. If we watch the hands on a clock we scarcely discern that they move; but if we look once in an hour, we note the lapse of time and observe the events that have occurred during that hour. So let us contemplate upon the dial of time a few of the events that have transpired with us as a community, and recount with thanksgiving and praise some of those things which God has done for the deliverance of his people.

      History informs us that when the Church in Missouri was in straitened circumstances being sorely distressed, and the enemies of God's people camped round about; at the time appointed for the onset, the Lord sent thunders, lightnings, rain, hail and tempests, with such a destructive flood, that the mob found enough to do to save their own lives and attend to the safety of their families; several of them did perish. This was in the vicinity of Fishing River in 1834.

      It will be remembered by those who knew the Prophet Joseph, that he was worried as a lamb is worried by the wolves; that he scarcely knew rest or peace because of the wicked, who sought him continually for their prey. The Lord raised up a man who was a judge in the land, whose name was Stephen A. Douglas. He favored this people in that he gave to them even and fair-handed justice in his court, so that they might enjoy, in some small degree, the rights, privileges, liberties and powers guaranteed to them by the Constitution and laws of their country. This fair and honorable administration of justice in behalf of the Prophet and some of his friends, won for him the respect of the Saints and the favor of the Lord, insomuch that Joseph told him if he would continue to protect the fights of this people, he should go on to greatness and power and attain to his utmost ambition in righteousness before the Lord. He became a Senator in Congress, and finally a candidate for the Presidency; and with the goal of his hopes fairly in view, like the dog in the fable, who, while crossing the stream with a piece of meat in his mouth, saw the shadow of it in the water, and grasping at it, dropped the substance, so did he; in the political crusades against us he declared himself in favor of putting the knife into the loathsome ulcer of "Mormonism," and cutting it out of the side of the body politic. And what became of him? He went to the Convention in Carolina, and there his party split and he failed to get the nomination. Under this disappointment his light grew dim, and a short period of Senatorial labor ended his mortal career. Whereas, if he had persevered in maintaining the right, he might have gone on to the fulfilment of Joseph's prophesy, reaching the acme of his ambition, and made for himself in that position a name that would have graced and honored the pages of history for all time to come.

      Let us look a little farther, and see what God has done for us in some other instances. About the time when we were considered no longer fit to have place among mankind in the States, when the people around had determined that we must go hence, and when we had laid our course for the mountains, who should rise up and, acting in the interest of Government, impose upon us a most extraordinary and destructive measure, seeking to encompass our destruction in the wilderness, but the celebrated Senator, Thomas H. Benton, who had acquired the cognomen of "Old Bullion." This was accomplished by a requisition on our President, Brigham Young, demanding that five hundred of our young men should be called out of our camps to go to war to help to make the conquest of Mexico. Did we refuse compliance? Not at all; but, on the contrary, in the midst of the most adverse, destitute and trying circumstances, it was submitted to; and the full complement of our young men went forth and did honor to the arms of the nation, and God blessed them and preserved them, that not one of them fell by the hands of a deadly foe. But what became of the Senator who, in the wickedness of his heart, did this? I will not say that God took him away because of his injustice to us, but he was soon after afflicted with a cancer in his inner parts, which caused his death.

      You remember what was called the Buchanan War the speculators' war, or war on the Treasury when a detail of picked troops, comprising the flower of the United States army, came out to fight the "Mormons." But the Prophet told them to stop at Fort Bridger, and they stopped there until their ardor cooled, being blockaded in the snow, and having to consume some of their mules for food, while we herded their cattle for them. Nor did they move the following season until the President of the United States sent out his commissioners to negotiate with President Young, when they were allowed to pass quietly through our city and go to Camp Floyd. Do we forget these things? Or do we remember that the forest of polished bayonets which glistened in the sunlight, looking terrible indeed, became as harmless as the trees that grow, and afterwards, when they broke camp, helped to furnish us with steel and iron and other articles which we then greatly needed. These are some of the Lord's doings. We should not and cannot overlook nor forget them.

      Who does not remember the deadly strife that ensued in the United States, when father and son went to war against each other, when the armies of the North and South met each other in mortal combat? Through this terrible ordeal we were here in these mountains safe and secure; we did not have to take part in the terrible conflict, nor to bleed upon the battlefield. Has not the Lord been very kind to us, even while he has permitted the wicked to afflict and chastise us? There are other things I wish to call your attention to, which loom up before me.

      After we came here and had, by the wisdom and counsel of God, established ourselves not by roaming the hills hunting for minerals and will-o'-the-wisps, but by making homes, gardens and orchards, beautifying and tilling the land, and by making families comfortable and our homes desirable, officers were sent here by the Government to rule over us; and they, in the evil spirit of their hearts, began to persecute and afflict us. You remember that a governor was sent here by the name of Shaeffer, and that the great distinguishing act of his official career was the issuing of a proclamation forbidding this people to bear arms and commanding them to refrain from making any military display in their celebration of the Fourth of July, and that, too, when the Constitution of our country distinctly says that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," and we, in an Indian country! But what became of this unrighteous man? He had hardly seen the order carried into execution, when his bones were carried away to be buried with those of his kindred somewhere in the States.

      Who does not remember Judge McKean, who came here with power from Government and with the authority of the Methodist Church, as a missionary jurist, to oppress and humble us before the nation and before the world? Who of us can forget the morning when he ignominiously dragged President Young to his Court over a stable, to answer certain illegal indictments and false charges? During about a year and a half of official career, this man, by perverting and misapplying the laws, and by utterly disregarding the well established principles of jurisprudence, procured convictions of some of our citizens through illegal juries. But a single case carried up to the Supreme Court at Washington reversed his decisions, invalidated the greater part of his official acts, and made President Young a free man, after having been confined a prisoner in his own house for several months. Where is this judicial luminary now? "This day thy soul shall be required of thee," was written upon the wall of his habitation, and he has gone to his account; but his words to President Young are still fresh in our minds" While the case at bar is called 'The People versus Brigham Young,' its other and real title is, 'Federal Authority versus Polygamic Theocracy." Also his tantalization of Thomas Hawkins, when he had him by maladministration in his power: "I am sorry for you, very sorry; you may not think so now, but I shall try to make you think so by the mercy which I shall show you"which mercy consisted of a sentence of five hundred dollars fine and three years imprisonment.

      When we look back upon these things, which give us, however, but a faint glimmer of the wisdom of God in delivering and preserving his people; without arrogating anything to ourselves, we may truly say, "God has glorified himself and exalted his people." Have we not reason for thankfulness, and can we help feeling that he has acknowledged, at least, in the dispensations of his providence to us, that this is his work and that we are the children of his covenant? We are to-day in the hands of God, our Father, whose mercies are abundant, and whose blessings are multiplied upon us. Let us then take into consideration, the goodness of our God, his preservation of us in hours of trial and danger, and in every circumstance and condition of life; for we have individually as well as collectively the greatest reason to praise his holy name for the grace we have received at his hands, in sustaining us and helping us to thus far overcome. The Lord is having a people which is a tried people. Let us rejoice that we are in the crucible and counted worthy to be tried. But, my brethren, let us rise up in holy boldness against, and put away far from us, the accursed things which the wicked have brought among us, and which to-day are fostered and encouraged by them in our midst; even as drunkenness, whoredom, stealing, and kindred vices, that are fast becoming popular among many of our youth, whose hearts are sought thereby to be drawn away from the Lord by corruption and wickedness. It is time the Elders of Israel were putting on the sword of the Spirit, to do battle against these things.

      The Lord has said that Zion shall be redeemed by judgment, but her converts by righteousness. He has strictly enjoined upon us that we shall not go to war with our enemies. "Judgment is mine," saith the Lord, "and I will repay." Then we have not time nor occasion to go to war, nor to study the means of destruction and death; on the contrary, we are called upon, and it is our pleasing duty, to study and develop the elements of life the spirit of faith in the everlasting Gospel. What better can we do, in this our year of jubilee, in token of our gratitude to God for the abundance of his favors bestowed upon us, than to do good to each other, and to make glad the hearts of the poor in Israel? The authorities of the Church are thinking of doing something by way of aiding such as are needy. The officers of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company calculate to relieve in part the worthy poor, who are owing for their emigration; and as President Taylor suggested in public on Sunday, let us all do something to aid the poor and make the hearts of the Saints rejoice, and see that no one is allowed to suffer. This same charitable feeling should extend through all our Co-operative Institutions; our rich brethren merchants who have got debts owing to them by the worthy poor, who are struggling with adversity in the world for a subsistence, let them get out their accounts and send them receipted, either in full or in part, to their debtors, as the case may be, with a note of forgiveness, telling them to lift up their heads and rejoice, and the Lord will bless them for it. Let the rich men in our Territory, who have been blessed to accumulate means, and who hold notes drawing interest against their poor brethren, look over their papers, and where they find a note given by their poor but worthy brother, who has perhaps mortgaged his home and is in danger of being sold out, let them forgive the debt, and thus our rich brethren may help fulfil the prophecy that the poor shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. There are those who have borrowed money, and whose homes stand pledged for the payment thereof, who have incurred debt through misfortune, or hard times, or perhaps through sickness, and who deserve relief, would say to all the brethren who may be the creditors of such persons, go to and make yourselves their benefactors, and establish the principle in the hearts of God's people" Make to yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." For your riches may take the wings of the morning, when you least expect it, and fly away; or they may burn up and you be left destitute.

      And if the people of the Territory everywhere, who have means, and who have poor relations or friends in the old country for there are families scattered throughout those lands who perhaps never have a chance to attend a meeting of the Saints would wake up and send for a ship-load or two of them, not those who are able to bring themselves, but the poor, whose hearts beat low and whose hopes have become forlorn, and who despair of ever getting out on their own account. This too would be a fitting and proper thing to do on this rare occasion, and one that would bring blessing and joy to all concerned; and thus the glad tidings of our jubilee would reach to those afar off, and they would be made to know that there is a people on the earth who remember their God, their covenants and their poor afflicted brethren.

      There is a great deal that might be said on this subject, but I will leave it to be said by my brethren who are yet to speak. I perhaps ought to say that the object of granting relief to those indebted to the P. E. Fund Company, is not to benefit those who are able to pay, but those who are poor, unfortunate or suffering, having no prospect of being able to pay, that such of our brethren may be stimulated to fresh courage and to go on in the progress of the Gospel of life and salvation.

      Will not efforts like these awaken a sense of duty in those who are in need of and receive our mercy, and thus make all hearts glad? And will not our Father in Heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the angels, and the spirits of the just awaiting us, will they not all join with us in thanksgiving and praise to Jehovah for even the little good we are trying to do on the earth?

      That the Lord may pour out the spirit of jubilee upon us, and help us to continue with gratifying results the labors of the cause of truth on the earth, is my earnest prayer and desire, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            Elder L. John Nuttall read the statistical report of the Various Stakes.

            President Taylor said as the house was rather cold the meeting would not be prolonged.

            The choir sang the anthem,

Who is like unto thee, O Lord.

            Adjourned till 2 p. m.

            Dismissed with prayer by Elder Lorenzo Snow.

_____

[6 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 29:149, 4/14/80, p 8]

TUESDAY, 2 p. m.

            Choir sang:

From Greenland's icy mountains
From India's coral strand.

            Prayer by Elder ALBERT CARRINGTON.

            Choir sang.

Ye Gentile nations cease your strife
And listen to the words of life.

            Elder L. J. Nuttall read the financial report of the Trustee in Trust containing a detailed statement of the receipts and disbursements during the year 1879.

            Prest. TAYLOR stated that vouchers were on hand for all the accounts read, and thought that the Auditing Committee should examine them.

            Elder LORENZO SNOW moved that we accept the report and that it be referred with the accompanying documents to the Auditing Committee. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

            The financial report of the Logan Temple was then read, also of the Manti Temple.

            An exhibit of the receipts and expenditures of the Perpetual Emigration Fund for the past six months was presented.

[Elder Erastus Snow]

            Elder ERASTUS SNOW addressed the congregation. He congratulated the Saints on this auspicious occasion; on the general outlook; on the prosperity that had attended our efforts; he peace that prevailed; the good degree of unanimity exhibited; and the good spirit and general interest manifested by the people. The financial reports coupled with those of school superintendents and other public functionaries, showed that the people were progressing in all things that make a nation great. The number of meeting-houses and school-houses and the improvement in education, coupled with other things mentioned, all caused a feeling of gratitude to God. He endorsed the views expressed by Elder F. d. Richards in the morning, and hoped that the spirit of kindness and charity and forgiveness and union would be more than ever manifested among the people of God. When would they have a more suitable time than the present, the commencement of the second half of the first century of our history, to make a renewed effort for improvement? He alluded to the operations of the P. E. Fund Company, and urged the necessity of those who owed the Fund to settle, that the means might be used for the deliverance of the poor in foreign lands; for as it was in the days of the Savior and John the Baptist, one of the signs of this ministry was, "The poor have the gospel preached unto them." It was in contemplation that this should be a year of jubilee and release from debt to the Fund of those who had striven but were unable to pay what they owed. The duty of all was, to cease their hard-speaking, their covetousness and their undue desire to get rich. His experience of many years among the people as well as that of the Bishops was, that, as once declared by President Young, there was not more than half an honest tithing paid in the midst of Israel. If an honest tithing were paid, there would be no need for any extra donations for temple building or other Church purposes. The amounts of tithing received might seem to aggregate a large sum. But it would be seen that in consequence of most of it being in produce and labor and little of it in cash, and the numerous purposes for which it was disbursed, that the whole amount was necessarily expended. He spoke in praise of the general thrift of the Saints, and showed that this provoked the jealousy of our enemies, as it had done in Missouri in the early days of the Church. Our Sabbath School statistics showed 30,000 children, and a better educational showing than any of the other Territories and several of the States into the bargain. Our social relations were an object of hatred, not because our wives and mothers and sisters were not virtuous and good, or that their purity was not guarded, but because our system gave an opportunity for woman to fill the position designed for her, and accomplish the object of her creation. This was contrary to the way of the world. He considered that if the State forbade a large-souled honorable man from caring for the neglected portion of womankind, the State should compel bachelors to marry. He portrayed the terrible social condition of the world and the injustice towards woman, of modern Christendom and the deep hypocrisy of the priests and leading men in opposing plural marriage in the face of the evils which they themselves supported. The law in Israel made the whole people the executioners of the adulterer, who was to be stoned to death outside the gates of the city. This was a consistent law, accompanying that liberty which prevented a surplus of marriageable women. The customs of the semi-civilized Indian tribes who followed the same law were a rebuke to the "Christian" civilization of the age. He showed that we were an aggressive people; not by war or force, but by industry, growth, spreading abroad and possessing "the gate of the enemy" by purchase, by gathering the poor, multiplying and replenishing the earth; and while the native American families are dwindling, we were rearing large numbers of robust and vigorous children. If God and angels were to show themselves they would blush at the devilish arts invented by science and adopted in this nation to produce abortion and secret murder of "Christian" offsprings. These iniquities cried aloud to heaven; and the cities which protected them while they cried out for destruction upon the Saints, would be judged of heaven. He asked, should the Latter-day Saints pattern after these infamies, restrict honorable marriage and leave a surplus of women for a prey to the ungodly lusts of brutal men? God forbid! The speaker contrasted the crime of bigamy contemplated in the Roman monogamic law and the laws of England, with the social institution of plural marriage, which were totally opposite to each other, and argued that the religious liberty contemplated by the fathers of the country would extend constitutional protection to the Mohammedan and his families as well as the Christian, as expressed in one of our hymns composed by the apostle Parley P. Pratt.

"Come ye Christian sect and Pagan,c
 Indian, Moslem, Greek or Jew,
Worshipers of God or Dagon,
 Freedom's banner waves for you."

            Elder Snow closed with a powerful arraignments of the authors and enforcers of the anti-polygamy bill.

[Erastus Snow]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 52-60]

      I am somewhat weary from journeying, but I will try, if the congregation will be as quiet as possible, to make myself heard the short time I may speak.
I congratulate myself, my brethren and the people generally on this auspicious occasion the end of our fiftieth year in our organized capacity, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and on the general outlook, the prosperity that is attending our efforts, the general peace that prevails throughout our land, the goodly degree of unanimity and fellowship and brotherly love existing among the people as shown in the general good feeling that is manifest in all the quarterly conferences and Stakes of Zion, as well as in the interest shown by the people at large on this occasion. The financial reports which we have heard, coupled with the general reports of school superintendents and other public functionaries to the Legislative Assembly during the last winter, tend to show the general advancement and progress of the people in all that is calculated to elevate and exalt a nation. The great number of meetinghouses and schoolhouses, and pupils in attendance in our district schools, and also in the more advanced schools of the Territory, are very gratifying; and the general health of the people at large, and all sources of gratitude and thanksgiving, calling forth our devotion to our Father, the Creator.

      The discourse this morning by Elder F. D. Richards foreshadows what was anciently figured by the year of jubilee, and as understood and practised by ancient Israel, namely, the severing of the bonds with which the people were bound the breaking of the yoke from off their necks, and setting the captive free, and the proclaiming of liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. The general recommendation to exercise mercy and forgiveness of sins, and release the poor of indebtedness, extending relief to the needy, and making the hearts of all the people glad; it is to be hoped that in this good work of liberality, of kindness, of charity, of love, love unto God and unto all his children may make itself manifest more abundantly among all Israel than it has in times past notwithstanding the Latter-day Saints have been proverbial for their self-abnegation, for their devotion to each other's interest, for their brotherly kindness and charity, for their ministering unto the poor, and gathering their poor brethren, and uniting and co-operating together and in promoting each others general interest and welfare we hope to see a renewal of our efforts in this direction; and that from this time we may date more rapid progress, renewed efforts, more earnest devotion to the sacred principles of our holy religion, to this spirit of oneness and unity which we look for and pray for, and which has been prophesied of by all the holy prophets, that is necessary to prepare a people for the coming of the Son of Man to reign in the midst of his people. And we might offer a few words by way of reminder and exhortation unto those that have been delinquent in their duty in times past, and in their efforts to live up to their privileges and to exemplify the principles of the Gospel in their lives and conduct. When will they have a better time than the present, and what period of the history of the Church of Christ so suitable as the present the commencement of the second half century of our existence as the period to date their reformation of life and the allaying of all that lethargy and apathy which has prevailed?

      Touching our P. E. Fund indebtedness, the books of the company show a vast amount due from those who have been emigrated during the last thirty years in which we have been laboring to gather the poor from distant lands and countries. I am informed by those better acquainted with this matter than I am, that the amount of indebtedness amounts to sixteen hundred thousand dollars. With all this vast amount due from the people all over the land, we find their operation during the last six months limited to about ten thousand dollars; when in reality the operations of this company in the gathering of the poor ought and might, if all did their duty, reach a hundred thousand dollars every year, extending relief to many thousands of those who are praying for deliverance in the downtrodden countries of Europe and elsewhere where the poor have the Gospel preached unto them. For as it was in the days of the Savior, so it is now the poor have the Gospel preached unto them. This fact Jesus announced to the disciples of John who were sent by John while he was in prison, to the Savior to inquire about the rumors which he had heard of him. The Savior was preaching and baptizing, performing miracles, etc., and as John was in prison he could hear nothing but general rumor, and therefore he sent his disciples to seek this Jesus of Nazareth, who was making such a stir in the land, and to ascertain who he was and what his message to the people was. And in answer to their inquiry"Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Jesus answered and said unto them, "Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, etc., and the poor have the Gospel preached unto them." By this John was to know who he was and what his message was. The same answer is before the world to-day in the message of the Latter-day Saints and their labors throughout the earth, wherever this Gospel has been sent and preached by the Elders of this Church. The sick have been healed by the prayer of faith and the laying on of hands, and devils have been cast out, and the poor have the Gospel preached unto them, and many of the poor have been gathered. And very many of these have shown themselves worthy they have paid their indebtedness as fast as they could; others have been willing and desirous of doing so, but adverse circumstances have prevented them; while another class have been ungrateful, and have not sufficiently realized the rock from whence they were hewn, nor the pit from which they were digged, allowing years to pass without an effort, or even a righteous desire, to pay this just debt, thereby preventing the means thus due to go on its errand of mercy to bring other poor.

      Now, it is contemplated that this year of jubilee shall be made a year of release and comfort to those who are indebted to the Fund, who have striven to do their duty and discharged it as far as able to do so, but whose circumstances have been adverse, preventing them from doing as their hearts listed. It is proposed that such be set flee; and while we feel it is a privilege the Lord has given us of speaking comforting words to such, and of loosing the bands from their feet and set them free, we feel, on the other hand, it to be equally our duty to remind those who have been negligent, that if they also would enjoy the riches of Christ and the forgiveness of their sins, they must bestir themselves and come up to every duty, and cease from all hard speeches and from worldly-mindedness and pride, and from a desire to get rich before they are just, and to accumulate wealth before they have signified their gratitude for past favors.

      We might also refer to the reports of tithing, but from the observations of the Bishops and others, perhaps I might be permitted to repeat their observations, founded on the experience of years, in receiving and disbursing the tithes of the people, and the general accounts from the various wards and stakes and settlements throughout the land; and in repeating their observations I might add my own testimony and experience and observation, formed by the experience of many years in ministering among the people, examining reports and accounts, and receipts and disbursements, and lists of those who do tithe themselves and those who do not; and the general expression of the presiding Bishop and his Counselors and men of observation and experience; bears out a declaration once made by President Young in his lifetime, in effect, that there was not more than half an honest tithing paid in the midst of Israel; and that if an honest tithing were paid by the people generally, we should have an abundance to build our temples, our meetinghouses, to provide for the poor and relieve the needy, to gather the Saints, and accomplish what may be necessary for the benefit of all the people, without calling on them for extra donations. But from the Logan and Manti Temple reports we learn that about $170,000 has been expended upon these temples within the last year; while about twenty-eight to thirty thousand of this sum has been appropriated out of the tithing, the balance being the free-will offering of the people. We have no report of what has been done in the way of donations in this temple district, but the presumption is that while $140,000 of the tithing has been expended upon the Salt Lake Temple, that perhaps an equal sum has been donated; but of this we are not informed, and not being myself in a position to be able to speak of it, of course I will leave it to my brethren residing here in this temple district to speak on this matter; as it might be gratifying to the people of the Salt Lake Temple district to be represented in our General Conference, and that it might also be known what they are doing in the way of free-will offerings in the building of this temple, as well as their brethren in other temple districts. But I repeat what President Young said, and which I believe to be true, that if an honest tithing were paid by all the people, according to their professions, these extra offerings and donations would be unnecessary. You perceive from the financial reports that the aggregated sum of the tithes and offerings seem somewhat huge, yet considering the various sources of disbursement, as well as the character of the property received being all kinds of produce and labor, and comparatively but little money that the disbursements in the various directions have been sufficient to exceed and consume the income together with the offerings. And with some it would seem as though they were not making progress as fast as the people could desire or wish; but if we are not in our public improvements moving as fast as the people could wish, you will perceive it is not the fault of the Bishops and others who have the direction of these financial affairs. Nor does there appear to be a wastefulness or unreasonable expenditure in the receiving and disbursing, as a rule; though there may be in isolated cases, which do not come, perhaps, sufficiently manifest to be noticed in order to be corrected; but as fast as any thing of the kind does appear it receives proper attention. And the people have reason to feel a measure of satisfaction and congratulation in the great amount of good that is being accomplished from these small revenues gathered from this vast people in all parts of the land, and extending as we are new settlements on the east and north and south and southeast, and in various directions, occupying new regions of country and bringing into use fertile fields, preparing homes for the Saints, and thus fulfilling the words of the Prophet Isaiah"Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited." That our nation should be somewhat jealous of us is not to be wondered at from the very nature and character of our institutions and thrift of our people. The same jealousy manifested itself in Missouri in early days, when the Saints were broken up and driven from that place because of their thrift, their provoking industry, the extent of their mechanism, the skill of their artisans, and the thrift that was manifested in turning the desert into a fruitful field, making a great contrast in northwest Missouri between the settlements of the Latter-day Saints and other regions of Missouri at those early times. Not that the Latter-day Saints in these mountains by anything they or their institutions are doing are menacing the general interests of the country, only they are provoking many people upon this American Continent who seem rather inclined to dwindle and live in voluptuousness and ease, and spend their vast incomes in gratifying the pride of life and lusts of the flesh, ostentation and show; while the Latter-day Saints seek more enduring wealthand fill the land with an enterprising population; and are content to provide the common necessaries of life essential elements to the growth and development of a people and the training and education of their spirits. By our statistical reports we find that nearly one-third of the population are under eight years of age; while another third are between eight and twenty years children who have been born and grown up in these mountains, and are being educated in our common schools. While the reports of our Sabbath Schools show in the neighborhood of 40,000 children belonging to our people who are enrolled in the Sabbath Schools more than twice the number of all the other Territories combined, with some of the minor States thrown into the bargain.

      Our nation is inclined to find fault with us because of our marriage relations not that they have reason to believe that the people of Utah are not virtuousnot that licentiousness or looseness of morals prevail, or that there is a disregard of sexual puritynot that wives and mothers are not honored as they deserve to be not that children are not beloved and cared for and trained and educated; but that there is a disposition under the teachings and sanction of our holy religion to amplify the doctrine (which was also sanctioned by the fathers and practised in ancient Israel, and nowhere disallowed in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ) that every healthful, virtuous woman desiring to fulfil the law of God, ought to have the opportunity of becoming an honored wife and mother, and to partake of those conjugal blessings and enjoyments that are interwoven with our nature and our being, and thus fill the object and purposes of our creation. We believe that where this opportunity is not afforded, where the institutions of the State, or the tenets of religion, or the morals of the sterner sex forbid or interfere with this privilege, there is something wrong. It is a state of Society that is unnatural, and ought not to exist; that a remedy ought to be sought for and found. Some ancient nations recognized the correctness of this principle and attempted to compel the male population to marry, while some of the ancient Gentile nations, under the leadership of Rome, sought to establish monogamy; they also sought to remedy the evils to which I have referred, by compelling the males to marry. If they could enforce such a law, I should think it imperative upon any State that forbids polygamy. A large-souled man who cherishes a proper respect for his mother and sister, and for every other man's mother and sister, and is disposed to marry and deal justly with more than one woman, he ought to have the privilege so to do; but if the State forbids him so to do, then the State ought to compel delinquent bachelors to wake up and do their duty. President Young in his lifetime often made this banter to the United States; if you will not remove your narrow-contracted laws, be consistent, and compel the bachelors to do their duty, and compel every man to confine himself to his own wife and let other men's wives and daughters alone, then we will wait and see the result, and shall be satisfied if the women shall have no longer cause to complain. But while the tens of thousands of the daughters of Eve are left in our large mercantile towns and elsewhere to fall a prey to the brutish lusts of wicked men, and afterwards to be cast off to die, rotten with disease, in gutters and in dens and hovels, and in this state to be swept away from earth we say while tens of thousands of the fair daughters of Eve are thus victimized and made to suffer from this unnatural state of things in modern Christendom, it seems to us the sheerest hypocrisy for the solons of our nationbacked by the clergy of the land to decry the honorable marriage of the Latter-day Saints, with the example before them of 40,000 children attending our Sabbath Schools which I repeat is more than those of all the other Territories of the United States and half a dozen of the minor States thrown in.

      There is an ancient doctrine which God established in ancient Israel and commanded, namely, that the adulterer should be put to death. We ask ourselves the question, if it became necessary for God to command by Moses that Israel should not suffer the adulterer to live, but that whosoever should be caught in the act should first be tried before the elders, and if found guilty the elders should declare their sentence and bring them to the gates of the city and call upon all the people to pick up stones and join in his execution, that by all throwing at the same time no one would have it to say that "Your stone killed him," or that no relative could charge his death to any one person, neither could the ignominy be fastened upon an executioner, as it is in our day, but the whole people signifying their contempt for the transgressor, joined in administering the penalty until he died the death of the dog. But the natural sequence of the law is liberty for honorable men of the earth to absorb the surplus female element in honorable marriage, though it should be under the plural system practised by the patriarchs and prophets of old. And while this privilege was extendedso long as there was a surplus of female element to be absorbed the man who tampered with his neighbor's wife or daughter suffered death. Brother Woodruff related in my hearing a short time since, an account of his visit among the village Indians of New Mexico, on the Rio Grade, and of a conversation between him and the governor of one of the chief villages, numbering some 3,000 souls, who were partially civilized maintaining schools and also maintaining purity in their social relations. The governor assured him that they had for many generations kept themselves free from mixing with the Castilian blood, and that the death penalty was scrupulously enforced upon the man guilty of adultery among them. He said the railroad was approaching their town, that the whites were crawling upon them, and it would be but a short time before they would be overrun with them; and that though they boasted of far greater intelligence, greater wealth, and were a powerful people, they were given to many crimes, to drunkenness and whoredom, and, he said, they feared the result of their approach and their "civilization" in their midst; for, he said, if any of them were to take liberties with our women, and our men should execute the penalty of the law of our fathers, which has been in force among us for centuries, and put to death the guilty adventurer, what would be the result, said the old gray-haired patriarch of the village? I suppose, said he, they would send their troops upon us and slay us. Such are the reflections and such are the rebukes of the chieftain, who is called a savage, upon the civilization of the age.

      As a people, we are exceedingly anxious to acquit ourselves as good citizens in every department of life, with honor and credit before our nation and the world. We look forward to the time when the great tree that has sprung up and spread abroad, over-shadowing the land in this rocky mountain region, this great people the Latter-day Saints, when their influence will be felt in all the land. We are striving, in our weak way, to conduct ourselves and the rising generation under our care for the great work in the earth. The bigotry and the superstition, and the self-righteousness that to-day reign in the breasts of the ignorant, will, by and by, begin to break and give way as the Latter-day Saints become better known, or when the time comes spoken of by the ancient prophet, when Zion shall break forth on the right and the left, and she shall possess the gates of her enemies. How will that be done? We are doing it by purchases we approach the gates of our enemies we buy them out, buy out their ranches, their little settlements and towers, and in this way will that prophecy be accomplished. And as we spread abroad, the cry will be, "Give us room, that we may dwell;" and it is in this sense that we are an aggressive people not aggressive by war, not aggressive by abridging the rights of our fellows, but in the sense that we are growing in the same sense as the potato is aggressive when planted in a fruitful field. And this reminds me of a remark made by the late Dr. Willard Richards, when, in 1847, we came to the top of the Big Mountain and began to descend through the quaken-asps in the black soil, says he, "Brethren, methinks I hear the Irish potato crying out, lie over, give me room." Such, indeed, are the Latter-day Saints; the cry will be, "Lie over, give me room." We are extending and spreading abroad, and we continue to gather our brethren and sisters from distant nations and provide for them homes and means of employment; and we are marrying and multiplying and endeavoring to encourage the fulfillment of the commandment given to our first parents multiply and replenish the earth. And when I look back to New England the cradle of American liberty and see the majority of the New England families dwindlingfor go where you will among the wealthy, the banker, the merchant, the wealthy farmer or the well-to-do mechanic in the more well-to-do portions of the New England States, if you find any children at all, as a rule it is not more than a son and daughter, or an only son or only daughter two or three children at the most in the majority of cases, and they, generally sickly and short-lived. During my last visit to that country I often spoke of it and referred to it among my kindred and acquaintances, of whom I have many, that being the land of my nativity, and therefore I may be permitted to speak of the land and home that gave me birth, and refer to what I regard its degeneracy. In referring to this state of affairs the answer of my old aunt who ranks herself among the aristocracy of the land, "Oh," said she, "it has become unpopular to have large families." And in looking over the newspapers of New England and those of other Eastern States, I was not a little shocked to see the advertisements of abortionist doctors, male and female, unblushingly put forth before high heaven and in the face of civilized humanity pardon the expression, shall I say non-civilized humanity? I should offend the pride of the world; but if the Gods and the angels were to speak, they would blush at the term "civilization." And these papers containing such advertisements, are scattered throughout the land broadcast, read by families, and before the gaze of every woman and every girl, as well as every profligate of the land; and these point out the ways and means developed by "Christianity" to prevent the fulfilment of the first great command of God to our first parents. The way to destroy the foetus in the womb, to produce premature birth and abortion, and lastly, when this fails to secretly smother the offspring or cast them into sewers anything to be relieved from being burdened, burdened-God save the mark!burdened with the offspring, the spirit that came from heaven, as if it were a burden. What false education is this? What false religion is this that has poisoned the human heart, that has turned their brain, that has turned all common sense out of the Christian world into beastly lust, and that patronizes and sustains these vampires of society, and makes them palatial residences on Broadway and on the Fifth Avenue of New York? The price of blood.

      These iniquities cry unto heaven, and God will visit them in his own due time with judgment upon those who uphold them, and those States that defend and protect this wickedness, and at the same time cry out against the institutions of the Latter-day Saints, and say, crucify! crucify and imprison them, and put them to death if necessary. Will the Lord not lend an ear? Will he not take cognizance of such doings? And will he not judge between his people in the mountains and their accusers and those who rail against them and who at the same time are connected either directly or indirectly with the many sinks of iniquity that flourish on this so-called Christian land? Shall the Latter-day Saints assimilate themselves with these abominations? Shall they too give themselves up to whoredoms and lust? Shall they encourage infanticide, foeticide and all their kindred evils? Shall we forbid honorable marriage and leave the surplus female element a prey to libertines and reap the consequences, in the foul and loathsome diseases that taint society and ruin future generations? No, God forbid! the heart of every Latter-day Saint, man and woman in the land says no. We will pray for our people; we will pray for our nation, we will pray God to soften their hearts and stay their hand and hold their arm, and not permit them to execute their narrow contracted laws which they have framed in the days of their bigotry and ignorance, under the traditions of their father, and in violation of the great principles on which American liberty is founded. We know full well that the old Puritan States of New England and the other commonwealths of America grew up under the monogamic system, and that their hearts have not become sufficiently enlarged to comprehend the final result of this tree of liberty which they planted in the land, they consequently retained in their new colonies and the States formed out of them, the old Roman system of monogamy that made laws against bigamy. But the bigamy which their laws contemplated and which the laws of England contemplated, after which they patterned, was not the plural marriage of the Latter-day Saints, regulated as it is under the sanction of religion, its duties and obligations, and religiously observed by the people. But their laws against bigamy were based upon the principle of fraud, fraud practised by a man or woman, who, believing in monogamy, enter into that relationship and then secretly violate the sacred covenants entered into with each other, and unbeknown to each other, contract a marriage with another and clandestinely carry it on. The crime in this instance was not in the religious doctrine of plural marriage, but in the fraudulent manner in which it is contracted and carried on and the violation of their covenants and the law of the land. But the Constitution of the United States is a broad instrument, framed to suit the growth of the country and the expansion of liberal ideas in the land, containing no provision looking to the establishing of monogamy as an institution of the common country; there are no provisions in the Constitution requiring or empowering Congress to enforce such order of society; on the contrary, the principles of social, civil and religious liberty are engrafted upon it and made institutions of our country by that charter of our liberties I say all these provisions are so ample in their character that they will admit and protect the Mohammedan, the Jew, the patriarch Abraham himself if he were here with his wives and concubines, and Jacob and Joseph, and all the ancient patriarchs as well as the Khedive, if he were to come here with his wives and people, and form colonies in our midst. The true spirit of that glorious Constitution of our country as understood by us, is illustrated in the hymn which we so frequently hear sung, composed by Elder Parley P. Pratt on the occasion of the first celebration of the entry of the pioneers into this valley, held on the 24th of July, 1848. The first great feast was celebrated, called the harvest feast, commemorating the first anniversary of the arrival of the pioneers in this land and the following is part of the hymn sung on that occasion:

"Come, ye Christian sects and pagans.
Indian, Moslem. Greek and Jew,
Worshipers of God or Dagon,
Freedom's banner waves for you."

      These are the sentiments of the Latter-day Saints as to the nature of the liberty our fathers fought for, and which we desire to maintain in the land, namely, freedom for all people of every land and clime. Nor does it require them to leave behind their wives and children and adopt the narrow-contracted, bigoted laws of monogamy. It was a New England bigot, Mr. Morrill, of Vermontmy native State, disgraced on account of it who introduced that bill known as the anti-polygamy bill of 1862, which was adopted by the solons of our nation, under the last priestly influence and sectarian bigotry of the land, of which the noble Mr. Lincoln was ashamed. And when the bill was enrolled and sent to him, knowing the pressure under which it had passed; and with a war upon his hands, he lacked the moral courage to express his real sentiments of disapproval of the bill, but quietly pocketed it, refusing to sign it, but allowed it to become law by limitation. If there was any one act in the life of Mr. Lincoln in which he will be found faulty and for which he will be found wanting when he shall be weighed in the balance, it was for declining to express his honest sentiments to the Congress of the United States in disapproval of that bill. And if there is anything in which Presidents and Senators, Congressmen and judges will be found wanting before the heavens when weighed in the balance, it will be in their future endorsements of that bill and their efforts to enforce it.

      May God have mercy on them and spare them the consequences; and may grace abound in Israel, that we may abide in the truth and honor God our Father, and at last be found worthy of an exaltation in his kingdom, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            Choir sang the anthem:

"Glory to God."

            Adjourned till 10 a.m. to-morrow.

            Dismissed with prayer by Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF.

 

_____

[7 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 29:149-150, 4/14/80, p 8-9]

SECOND DAY.

Wednesday 10 a. m.

            Choir sang:

The morning sun has chased the night
And brought again the cheering light.

            Prayer by Counselor D. H. Wells.

            Choir sang:

Let those who would be Saints indeed
Fear no what others do.

[Elder Levi W. Hancock]

            Elder LEVI W. HANCOCK said he was 77 years old to-day, and nearly 50 years ago he was baptized, after receiving the testimony of the Prophet Joseph, who received the word of the Lord and was slain by the professed followers of Him who died for his fellow man. He was familiarly acquainted with the Prophet, lived with him for three years, worked under his direction; and he was one of the most pleasing spirits that he had ever been associated with. He then bore testimony that this gospel was true; the Book of Mormon was true; the Twelve were true; he heard Joseph say that this work could not be built up without Twelve Apostles and Seventy to follow in their wake. Their decisions if made in righteousness and unity were as valid as the decision of the first presidency in the days of the Prophet, as was declared in the Doctrine and Covenants, and if there were no divisions among them their voice would be the voice of the Lord and all Israel should say Amen to it. He exhorted all the Saints to works of righteousness and invoked the blessings of God upon them.

[President John Taylor]

            President JOHN TAYLOR said that Bro. Hancock was one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies, an old veteran in the Church whom we were glad to hear from, but his voice was not strong enough to speak long in this large building. President taylor then made some remarks on the Perpetual Emigration fund, stating that he thought in this year of jubilee, we ought to do like the ancients and take off the yoke from those who were in debt to the fund and unable to pay, and release them from their bondage. His brethren of the Twelve joined with him in a desire to do this and cause a feeling of joy and liberty to abound among the poor. It was desirable for the officers of the church and those who had contributed to the Fund to have a voice in the matter, as they should have on all leading questions of the Church. Elder A. Carrington, President of the Fund, endorsed the proposition mentioned. He would say that no one had been oppressed in being required to pay their indebtedness to this Fund, which was established by President Brigham Young for the gathering of the poor. The principal owed to the Fund was $704,000, and the whole sum, with the interest due included was $1,604,000. It was proposed to remit one half of the amount. This was for the benefit of the poor, not of those who were able to pay. The rich could help themselves -- that is in this world, he did not know so much about the next. He moved that $802,000 of this indebtedness be remitted. The congregation voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

            President Taylor said the manner of remitting this would be arranged and explained. He referred to the indebtedness to the tithing -- the amounts which some of the Saints had charged themselves with but had failed to pay. Through carelessness, poverty and other causes some had neglected this duty and it was desired to release the poor from this obligation. The amount against those who were willing but felt unable to pay was $151,798.02. He moved that we remit half this amount - $75,899.01 in favor of the deserving poor. Those who were better off should pay up and keep their record right before the Lord. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion. He hoped that the people would be kind and helpful to those whose land suffered for irrigating water and to any who were in distress. Many persons had lost the last cow in consequence of the hard winter. He proposed that a thousand good cows -- not one-teated animals -- be gathered up and distributed among such persons, 300 to be given by the Church and the balance to be donated by the different Stakes. This was also sustained by unanimous vote. He further moved that 5,000 sheep be distributed also; 2,000 to be given by the Church and the balance donated by the several Stakes. Carried unanimously. He then referred to the Relief Societies which were organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith and reorganized by President Brigham Young, and said the ladies of creation had shown that they could do something as well as the "lords." The had saved up a considerable quantity of wheat against a time of scarcity. It amounted to 34,761 bushels. How much had the brethren saved? He proposed that they loan this to those who needed it, the bishops to be responsible for it to be paid back after harvest. Some one asked whether it was to be without interest. Of course it was; this was the year of jubilee. The vote to sustain it was unanimous.

            President Taylor counseled the rich Saints to relieve their oppressed brethren, act on a kind, brotherly, generous principle, and carry out the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would not be amiss for Z. C. M. I. to cancel the debts of some of the poor against whom accounts were held. These operations were part of the United Order. When the Lord is blessing us let us bless one another. He will not let us suffer if we take care not to let one another suffer. Prospects were good for a bountiful harvest, and if we cared for each other God would care for us; we would be His people and He would be our God.

[John Taylor]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 61-65]

      As I stated on the opening of the Conference, there were some things of considerable importance that we wished to lay before the Saints, and especially before the authorities of the Church to-day. We have had in operation for quite a length of time, what is known as the "Perpetual Emigration Fund Company," and a great many of you that are present have contributed to that Fund. And as it is a jubilee year to you although I suppose the forty-ninth year would be the proper jubilee it is really the fiftieth anniversary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It occurred to me that we ought to do something, as they did in former times, to relieve those that are oppressed with debt, to assist those that are needy, to break the yoke off those that may feel themselves crowded upon, and to make it a time of general rejoicing. And as it is a matter in which you are all interested, it is thought proper to lay the matter before you, because we have contemplated to release one-half of the indebtedness of those who are indebted to the P. E. Fund Company. That is one subject.

      There is a variety of other things, which I mentioned to my brethren of the Twelve, and they all join in the feeling with a hearty co-operation, all being desirous of seeing something of this kind done which will tend to produce happiness, joy and comfort, and a feeling of relief among many of our brethren.
We wish the brethren who have contributed to this fund, and all the officers of this Church, to have a voice in it, because it is our act; and we want to make it the act of the whole people, that all may have a voice, which we consider they ought to have in all these leading prominent actions wherein they are concerned.
The proposition is to release one-half of the people's indebtedness to the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company. I may say, I have also spoken to Brother Carrington on this matter, who is the president of this company, and learn that it meets his views. I would further state that to the best of my knowledge nobody has hitherto been oppressed or crowded on account of this indebtedness at all; they have been called upon and requested to meet their engagements, which is certainly just; because others were interested in these matters besides ourselves, who had a right to expect a return of means appropriated, that they also might be relieved, and partake of the benefits of this fund, which was properly named perpetual; that is, many of the poor for which the means were subscribed formerly, under the direction of President Young, who was the originator of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company.

      I have some figures which I will read to you; they will show what has not been returned again by those who have been benefited by it. The amount of the original indebtedness is $704,000. The interest, extending along for many years at 10 per cent per annum, is some $900,000, which interest, in many instances, has had to be paid by us. The whole of the amount is $1,604,000. That is the amount of the whole indebtedness, principal and interest.

      Now, we propose to forgive those who are poor and that are struggling with difficulties in life, who have not been able to meet their engagements in this matter; not half the amount that they are due, but the whole; and to those who are forgiven the debt it will be blotted out; not partly, but entirely; and the remainder will be left to those to pay who are able to and have not done it. And we shall expect that those who have not met their engagements to meet them ;that is, when half has been forgiven to the poor. For in former times they did not release the rich, it was the poor. The rich can always take care of themselves that is, so far as this world is concerned, I do not know how it will be about the next. [Laughter.] I wish it distinctly understood that it is one-half of the whole amount, which we wish to relieve the poor from. It will be a little start on the year of jubilee. This is one item. All of you who are in favor of this release signify it by holding up your right hand. [The congregation voted unanimously in favor of the motion.] I will state that, as to the manner in which this will be done; it will be provided for hereafter; and a circular will be issued by the Twelve to the authorities, instructing them how to act in relation to this matter.

      There is another thing we want to do at the same time; that is, there is a large amount of indebtedness on tithing account. You heard something about that yesterday; it was then averred that all the indebtedness was not reported; that is, if we had it all down it would be a great deal more than is here stated. [p.63]We as a people believe in paying our tithes and offerings to the Lord and when I get through I want Brother Hardy to get up and talk on tithing; he is quite a hand to talk on this subject. We believe it is proper for us to pay one-tenth of our increase, or one-tenth of our time, as the case may be, to the Lord regularly. And a great many men do this, and do it very promptly; but a great many more do not do it, only a very little about that much sometimes [measuring the end of the finger. Laughter.] I think it will be a tight squeeze for some of them to dig through. I am not talking about this because I care anything about it personally; but because of the interest of those who ought to do it, but do not. There are a great many who have neglected the payment of these things partly through carelessness, partly through poverty and a variety of circumstances, and it begins to feel oppressive to them. Now, we want to break off this yoke too, that is, off those who are worthy; the others we do not care much about that is unless they turn about and reform and take another course, live their religion and act as Latter-day Saints. But we wish that there shall be a release of the poor and those who are unable to meet it. The amount that is behind, according to the bishops' records which many of the people owing it signify their willingness to pay but are not able tois $151,798. We propose releasing half of the amount to the deserving poor, and that will be $75,899. This of course will have to be managed by the proper authorities, the same as the others; that is, first on the recommendation of the bishop of the ward, approved by the president of the stake; and then to receive the sanction of the Presiding Bishop. The P. E. Fund matter will be subject to the recommendation of the bishops, the sanction of the presidents of stakes and also the President of the P.E.F. Company, sanctioned by the Council of the Twelve; so that those that are really worthy may be released, and those that are not, ought to pay it. And then, we who have got a little behind in our tithing, will try and pay it up and thus keep the record right between us and the Lord; and then we may look for blessings from his hands.
I will call a vote on this subject that I have mentioned. All who are in favor of releasing the obligations amounting to $75,899, on tithing, signify it by holding up the right hand. [Unanimous vote in favor.] All right, we knew that would be the feeling of the brethren.

      Another thing. We have had a great scarcity of water the last year, and consequently short crops. It is proposed that inasmuch as there may be suffering more or less in some places we hope, however, that our brethren will not allow our poor unfortunate brethren to suffer, I have not heard of anything of the kind; but still a little help will not do any harm. And where people have been in straitened circumstances through the loss of crops and of stock and some people have lost, perhaps, their last cow, and some have lost many of their stock, and yet have a good many left; but there has been quite a general loss. Now, we propose to raise 1000 head of cows not old cows that do not give any milk; nor any one-teated cows, but good milk cows, and have them distributed among those that may be destitute in the different stakes, under the direction of the authorities thereof. And the Church will put in 300 of this 1000. I spoke to Brother Sheets and told him that we did not want any one-teated cows. The balance of this number, namely, 700, we would like the Stakes to make up. We have been informed by the presidents that this can be easily done. It would have been quite hard a while ago, before we lost so many of our animals; but now it seems we can do it quite easy. [Laughter.] It is much better to give them to the poor than to have them die, and they have not all died yet, so we may as well begin to dispose of them.

      I want to call upon the presidents of stakes and the bishops to know if you are prepared to furnish the balanceyou that are in favor of doing it, signify by holding up the right hand. [The presidents and bishops voted unanimously in the affirmative.] To the congregation all you Saints who approve of this motion, signify it by holding up the right hand. [The vote was unanimous in the affirmative.]

      Now, we are going to come to our sisters. Some people think that the sisters cannot do anything; I will show you what they can do. President Young reorganized the Relief Society it having been organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo and inasmuch as the brethren had been careless and slow to heed the counsel of President Young in relation to storing away wheat, he requested the sisters to do it, and some of we "lords of creation" thought it was a very little thing for our sisters to be engaged in. But we find now they are of some use, and that the "ladies of creation" can do something as well as the "lords." I spoke to Sister Eliza R. Snow, who is the president of the Relief Society, and asked what her feelings would be, and that of her sisters, in relation to the distribution of their wheat, for those who are in need of seed, letting the people have it as a loan, for which the bishops should become responsible and see that it is returned after harvest. She replied that it would meet her entire approbation. The sisters have not had the opportunity to meet yet to get an expression of their minds in relation to it; but I will guarantee that they will do what they are requested to do, for they have already been doing something in that line, as I understand it. Is not that so Brother Hunter? [Bishop Hunter: "Yes, sir."] Now, we want to show you, what the sisters can do. I will guarantee that they will do it, and that we will have a report from them before we get through. They have 34,761 bushels of wheat. Who of you men can raise that much? Where's your wheat? [Laughter.] Now, those 34,761 bushels of wheat will be of considerable importance judiciously managed, and loaned out to some of our poor brethren. It will furnish seed wheat, and after harvest they can return it again. We do not want any more harsh talk about the woman question after this. [A voice: "May they vote now? "] O yes, they may vote now if they choose to; everybody is willing that they should vote now. [Laughter.] That is, they are willing the sisters shall vote on the wheat question. [Renewed laughter.] We may as well call a vote on this question now, our sisters are present whom we will ask to vote. All you sisters who are in favor of carrying out this request, hold up your right hand. [A forest of hands went up.] There they go, you see. [Laughter.] I think that is the most hearty vote yet. I knew they would do it. [A voice: "Is it to be loaned without interest?"] Somebody asks if it is to be loaned without interest. Why, of course it is; we do not want any nonsense of that kind; it is the time of jubilee.

      There is another thing. We have got through with many public matters, I will say something else. It is no more harm for private people to forgive [p.65]one another than for public ones. If you find people owing you who are distressed, if you will go to work and try to relieve them as much as you can, under the circumstances, God will relieve you when you get into difficulties. I will tell you that in the name of the Lord. Let us act on a kind, generous, brotherly principle, doing good one to another and carrying out the principles of the everlasting gospel in our lives.

      We talk sometimes about the United Order. There is a little of that spirit manifested in our operations to-day, is there not? Operating together for the welfare of all; that is what we ought to do; that is what the gospel teaches us.

      I speak of these things for your reflection, and they are matters we will leave in your own bosom. And I would like to see Z. C. M. I. and our bankers, merchants and other creditors scratch off a few names of their debtors; and I think they feel disposed to do it; I have spoken to some of the directors of Z. C. M. I., and find that they feel about as we do. We expect to hear a report from them before long. While God is blessing us, let us bless one another; although we are not suffering, neither do we intend to suffer; God will not let us if we will not let one another suffer. We will go along as if we had no drouth or dead cattle, or any other stop, and everything will be prosperous. There is now every prospect of a good harvest; the grain is not all in yet, but we have snow in the mountains, and things look quite prosperous. And if we take good care of one another, God will take care of us; and he will deliver us and stretch out his hand in our behalf, and we will be his people, and he shall be our God; and we will treat one another as we wish to be treated by one another, and then we are prepared to receive blessings from his hands. Amen.

 

[Bishop L. W. Hardy]

            Bishop L. W. HARDY being requested to say a few words on Tithing, said he believed in it because it was instituted by the Almighty. It was not a new doctrine. Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec. At one time we had no tithing to pay but labor, so every tenth day was required for public work, and the people were prompt to respond when called on. Then the people became so numerous and engaged in various callings that they paid the tenth of what they raised. Now we found that men doing a very good business were paying about five dollars a year, who ought to pay five hundred dollars. This was a mockery. If an honest tithing were paid there would be sufficient to do all the public work, build temples, pay all the expenses of the Church, feed the poor, and there would be scarcely room to receive it, without any need of donations. Hundreds of so-called Latter-day Saints did not pay a dollar of tithing. It was hypocrisy to preach tithing and not pay it. The Lord could see the acts of men and He knew of these things, and would not justify them. It took an honest man to be a servant of God. We should pay our honest debts, and a debt to the Lord was as much a debt as one to man. He exhorted the Saints to sustain home manufactures, sustain one another, and God would bless us. He argued that if a poor widow received one of these cows that were to be donated, feed must be provided and a place of shelter or else it would not be much of a benefit. The widow should pay her tithing butter from that cow, just as well as the rich man of his abundance. Let us all pay our tithing and be blest."

[L. W. Hardy]

[Apr 1880 CR, pp 65-66]

            The principle of tithing I heartily believe in, for the reason that the Lord instituted it himself, and, therefore, it is not a new thing on the earth. It is an old doctrine. Even Abraham paid his tithes to Melchisedec when he met him, because he held the higher priesthood of God. We have had many lessons on this subject, so many that it is almost useless to talk about it now. The time was, since we came to the valleys of the mountains, when the Saints had nothing to pay tithing in but labor, hence they devoted every tenth day to beautifying and building up this city and other cities. Every tenth day the Bishops called upon those that lived in their wards to go to work on the public works and streets, and the call was generally very promptly responded to. Thus when the tithing came to be made up at the end of the year, the tithing paid in this way amounted to about $48.00 each man. As time wore on, however, the people became more numerous, and as they had so much to do for themselves, they began to pay a tenth of what they raised, whatever that might besay butter, cheese, eggs, or anything else they might have about their farms, and this amounted to a large sum when it was all brought in. Now, we find, in looking over the schedules for 1879, men that we know are doing a pretty good business we find that they have paid from $3 to $5, whereas it ought to be from $300 to $500. It is a mockery to attempt to pay tithing to the Lord in this way. Had we the honest tithing of this people to-day, we would not require to ask for any donations to the temple; we would have sufficient to maintain the poor and pay the salaries of the different officers of the Church, and in addition to this, we would have so much that we would scarcely have room to contain it. This is a principle that the Lord demands of this people, and there is a blessing attached to it, for the Lord has promised that inasmuch as we will pay our tithes he will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.

 

            Elder L. John Nuttall then read the names of Elders called to go on missions. They were sustained by vote of the Conference as follows:

GREAT BRITAIN

Charles W. Stayner, Salt Lake City.
Jesse West, 6th Ward, Salt Lake City.
John Donaldson, Mendon.
Samuel Roskelly, Smithfield.
William Henry Shepherd, Beaver.
Joseph Orton, St. George.
Joseph Orton, St. George.
William C. Parkinson, Franklin.
Thomas X. Smith, Logan.
David Rees Davis, Marsh Valley Idaho.
Robert Kewley, Benson.
Thomas Jackson, Glenwood.
William D. Williams, Ogden.
Edward Kay, Mona.
J. W. Gardiner, Pleasant Grove.
Thomas C. Griggs, 15th Ward, Salt Lake City
Edward King. 15th Ward, Salt Lake City.
John Evans, Brigham City.
Robert L. Fishburn, Brigham City.
Thomas Maycock, 3d Ward, Salt Lake City.
Lorenzo Farr, Ogden.
Newton Farr, Ogden.
James Finlayson, Payson.
Wm. C. McGregor, Parowan.
James Lowe, Beaver.

EUROPE.

C. H. Lundberg, Logan.
Charles P. Warnick, Pleasant Grove.
Hans J. Christiansen, Logan.
Niels O. Anderson, Ephraim.
Christian Hogansen, Montpelier, Idaho.
Simon Christensen, Richfield.
Anders Gustave Johnson, Grantsville.
John Christensen, Brigham.
Hans Madsen, Marriott.
Peter Anders Lofgreen, Huntsville.
Jens Iver Jensen, Elsinore.
O. C. Tellefsen, Hyrum.
John Dahle, Logan.
Lars K. Larsen, Hyrum.

UNITED STATES.

John W. Jackson, Glenwood.
William M. Palmer, Glenwood.
Hyrum Jensen, Salina.
Abraham R. Wright, 20th Ward, City.
Jens Frederick Mortensen, Salina.
Mads Anderson, Mount Pleasant.
Joseph W. Burt, 21st Ward, City.
B. H. Roberts, Centreville.
Thomas Davies, East Portage.
Benjamin Isaacs, Spanish Fork.
David Spillsbury, Toquerville.
Alma P. Spillsbury, Toquerville.

SOUTHERN STATES

Henry G. Boyle, Payson. *
George. O. Pitkin, Millville.
George. T. Bean, Richfield.
William. J. Bean, "
Albert D. Thurber, Richfield.
Peter A. Nebeker, Willard.
Joseph B. Keeler, Provo.
Walter Scott, "
William Clark, Lehi.
Nicholas H. Groesbeck, Springville.

GERMANY

Carl C. Schramm, Payson.|
John Alder, Manti.
Ulrich Stauffer, Willard.
Morris D. Rosenbaum, Brigham.

FRENCH SWITZERLAND.

Geo. L. Graehl, Jr., Brigham.

NETHERLANDS.

S. Van Dyke, Ogden.

SANDWICH ISLANDS.

Sidney Coray, Provo.

SAN JUAN.

Wm. Hyde, Salt Lake City.

* Names of those now in their fields of labor

            The following report was read:

Statistical Report of the Deseret Sunday School Union, far the year ending December 31st, 1879:

No. of Stakes from which reports have been received    21
 " Sunday Schools reported            265
 " Officers and Teachers 4,998
Average Attendance of Officers and Teachers                3,405
No of Pupils    30,768
Average Attendance of Pupils         21,922
Total number of Officers, Teachers and Pupils               55,759
No of Theological Classes              133
 " Bible and Testament do.              961
 " Book of Mormon do.  361
 " Doctrine and Covenant do.         159
 " Juvenile Instructor do.                203
 " Jaques Catechism do.  187
 " Miscellaneous do.       1,316
Total number of Classes  3,350
Number of Books in Sunday School Libraries               17,908
Am't of Funds on Hand, end of previous year                $962.84
 " Collected in 1879        $5,742.75
 " Disbursed in 1879      $5,513.93
 " In Treasury end of year               $1,198.26
Number of Schools not Reported, and therefore not included in the above figures         19

            The above report shows an increase of about 2,000 children more than were reported for the last year; and also a proportionate increase in the number of classes and the average attendance of both teachers and scholars, number of books in libraries, etc. The rapid growth and prosperous condition of the Sunday School cause generally, throughout the different Stakes of Zion is very gratifying and gives us abundant cause for thankfulness to God our Heavenly Father for his blessings on his faithful servants and handmaidens engaged in this good and great work.

GEO. Q. CANNON, Gen'l Supt. Deseret S.S. Union,
GEO. GODDARD, Ass't.
LEVI W. RICHARDS, Secretary,
JOHN C. CUTLER, Treasurer pro tem.

[President Taylor]

            President TAYLOR said in holding up our hands to sustain our missionaries he understood it to mean that we sustain them as upright and honorable men. He did not want any to go on missions unless they felt the spirit of their calling, and their wives should be sustained as honorable women; they should be maintained with their children and taken good care of by the Bishops and Presidents of Stakes and those who had voted to sustain the missionaries. Prayers were very good, but food, clothing and other necessaries were more helpful sometimes than prayers, and we should take care that no missionaries families were allowed to suffer.

[John Taylor]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 67-68]

      I do not know whether we fully understand what is meant by holding up our hands to testify that we will sustain these missionaries. I will tell you how I understand it. In the first place we select the very best men we can find, and we do not want anybody to go but those who have the spirit of their mission upon them, and who feel a desire to magnify their calling and priesthood. And when they go, we wish them to go as honorable men, and we also want their wives to be treated as honorable women while their husbands are gone, and inasmuch as they or their families need assistance or looking after—although it is not all who do—we expect the Presidents of Stakes and the Bishops will attend to such matters; that the wives of our missionaries may not feel as though they were outcasts; but as honorable women, the wives of honorable men, and more so than those who are not doing their duty. We want the missionaries' wives and children made comfortable and taken care of. The sisters have voted to let us have some of their wheat for the relief of the poor. Then on the other hand, let us do something for them. It does not matter how much we pray for them, for this is in accordance with our covenants or voting. Some people would rather pray for them than relieve them. Prayers are all well enough; but a little flour, a little pork, a little beef, sugar, store goods, and temporal comforts are a great deal better than all our prayers without this material assistance. Let us look after their welfare as we do after our own families, while their husbands are making a sacrifice in leaving their families and homes, and God will bless us. "Every one," says the Lord, "that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." Let us make the words of the Lord true. Amen.

 

            Choir sang the anthem:

"Resound His Praise."

            Adjourned till 2 p.m.

            Dismissed with prayer by Elder Moses Thatcher.

_____

[7 Apr, 2 pm*]

[DNW 29:150, 4/14/80, p 9]

WEDNESDAY, 2 p. m.

            Choir sang --

Let every mortal ear attend
And ever heart rejoice.

            Prayer by Elder JOS. F. SMITH.

            Choir sang --

Hark the song of jubilee,
Loud as mighty thunders roar.

            Elder L. JOHN NUTTALL presented the authorities of the Church, who were unanimously sustained by the Conference, as follows:

            John Taylor, as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as one of the Twelve Apostles, and of the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            As members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles -- Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, Albert Carrington and Moses Thatcher.

            Counselors to the Twelve Apostles -- John W. Young and D. H. Wells.

            The Twelve Apostles as the presiding quorum and authority of the Church, and, with their counselors, as Prophets, Seers and Revelators.

            Patriarch of the Church -- John Smith.

            As the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies -- Joseph Young, Levi W. Hancock, Henry Herriman, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates and John Van Cott.

            President Joseph Young moved that Wm. W. Taylor be elected one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Elder A. P. Rockwood. Carried unanimously.

            The Presiding Bishop of the Church -- Edward Hunter, with Leonard W. Hardy and Robert T. Burton as his Counselors.
                John Taylor as Trustee-in-Trust for the body of religious worshipers known and recognized as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to hold the legal title to its property and contract for it.

            The Twelve Apostles, their two counselors and Bishop Edward Hunter as counselors to the Trustee-in-Trust.

            Albert Carrington as President of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund for the Gathering of the Poor, and F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. S. Eldredge, Joseph F. Smith, John W. Young, Angus M. Cannon, Moses Thatcher, Wm. Jennings, John R. Winder, Henry Dinwoodey, Robert T. Burton, A. O. Smoot and H. B. Clawson as his assistants.

            Orson Pratt as Historian and General Church Recorder, and Wilford Woodruff as his assistant.

            Truman O. Angel as General Architect of the Church, and T. O. Angel, Junr., and W. H. Folsom as his assistants.

As Auditing Committee -- W. Woodruff, E. Snow, F. D. Richards, J. F. Smith.

George Goddard as Clerk of the General Conference.

[Elder Albert Carrington]

            Elder ALBERT CARRINGTON quoted ii Nephi, 26 Chap., 31 par., "But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish," and said it behooved us to comprehend that the we should labor for Zion, for the upbuilding and establishment of God's kingdom and of righteousness upon this the footstool of our father in the heavens. He would ask if during the past fifty years we had given diligent heed to this requirement? The Lord had decreed that those who dwelt on this land and gave heed at all times to his commandments in all things, should be prospered, and if not they should be cut off from His presence. We were required to love the Lord with all our hearts, and our neighbors as ourselves. Did any one think that these commandments would be set aside to suit our whims and notions and private views and feelings? If so they would find themselves much mistaken. He wished to speak more particularly of the Perpetual Emigration Fund. Organized in 1850, it had relieved thousands of our oppressed brethren and sisters from their bondage in foreign lands, and given them the opportunity of the privileges enjoyed in these mountains by modern Israel. When he reflected upon the way dome who had been assisted had treated that Fund and those who were in a worse condition than that from which they had been relieved, he almost felt that he might become discouraged. But in view of all things connected with this work he could not become discouraged, though he was annoyed at the neglect and indifference of many in regard to this Fund for the gathering of the poor. It was desirable that as many should be assisted by means of the Fund this season as possible. In 1860 about $60,000 0or $70,000 was used from it to assist the poor to gather, and having taken out those who were in the depths of poverty, it was designed the next season to aid those who could save up a portion of their passage money. But it seemed that this point had not been reached, the very poor still receiving assistance. It might be complained that many had been gathered who had proven themselves unworthy. but how, without a special revelation in each case, could it be discovered who would act in a manner becoming Saints? The gospel net was to gather of all kinds. He complained of the conduct of those who owed the Fund and claimed exemption because their notes, having expired in law by the statute of limitations, could not be collected by law. A debt was never outlawed in justice and equity. He endorsed the movement to forgive the debts of persons unable to pay, but thought the others ought to settle their obligations. None had been oppressed. Those who had been assisted were advised when they obtained work first to pay their tithing, provide themselves with necessary comforts, and then as fast as possible pay up the means advanced. But some refused to pay the interest, while others declined to pay part or all of the principal, while those who enjoyed the life and light of the gospel fulfilled their agreements as fast as they were able. With all the efforts of the P. E. Fund Company, they had only been able to send to Liverpool since the close of the last season's emigration the "magnificent sum" of £112. He felt ashamed of it, but it was all that the company could do. He deemed that the gathering of scattered Israel was as much a part of the work of building up the kingdom as anything else, and except we were a little more diligent in this matter he thought we should not be carrying out the commandment he had quoted from the Book of Mormon.

[Albert Carrington]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 69-74]

      At any time at your pleasure, by turning to the Second Book of Nephi, 11th chapter, 15th paragraph, in the last sentence of that paragraph, you can read these words: "But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish." I presume all of you have read, or have heard read, the decree of Jehovah; but have we fully realized that inasmuch as we, his covenant people, are not always careful to observe his requirements with due strictness, but unduly labor for that which perisheth, and spend too much of our time, means and influence for that which only pertains to this time, we also run great risk of disappointment? If we do not realize this, I really think it behooves us to comprehend that our father in the heavens has decreed that we shall labor for Zion for the upbuilding and establishment of his kingdom upon this the earth of our Father in heaven. Some of us were aware of this plain declaration nearly fifty years ago, but have we diligently striven, to the utmost of our powers, to carry out that requirement? Have we observed it with all care and singleness of purpose, in connection with many other like texts?

      Our Father has also taught us, through his revealed will, that inasmuch as the inhabitants of this land of Zion will seek unto him and learn to do his will, they shall prosper spiritually and temporally in their persons, in their habitations, in their families, and in all that pertains to them: but inasmuch as they will not do his will, they shall be cut off from his presence. Are there any exceptions to that decree and that wise purpose of our Father? Will he for our sakes, when he has not for the sake of our forefathers, change his unalterable purpose and his fixed times and decrees? I think not. Is it not then obligatory upon us to diligently comply with all these plain requirements, and to more faithfully bring ourselves in accord with other requirements like unto them, wherein we are required to love one another, to do unto others as we would they should do unto us, to love the Lord our God with all our might, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves? Are we careful on these points? Or do we flatter ourselves that these plain, righteous requirements will be changed to suit our views, our convenience, our carelessness, our indifference, and at times our niggardly, selfish, covetous feelings?

      As I do not deem it proper to occupy much time, to the exclusion of others, I will confine my remarks more particularly to a matter that I have been much interested in from the day of a vote in the Temple in Nauvoo the gathering of the Lord's poor. In 1849 President Young initiated the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, and in 1850 if I correctly remember, that Company was organized on a plan to be perpetual so long as it may be needed by the poor of scattered Israel. From that date it has aided thousands upon thousands from the bondage of oppression and poverty in far off lands to peaceful and prosperous homes in these valleys of the mountains, and above all to the blessings of the ordinances of the Gospel. Has not that been one of the greatest blessings and privileges to all who have thus been relieved?
When I reflect upon these facts, and bear in mind that much care has been taken for a right application of the funds, even all possible care, so far as I know, and then turn to the treatment that so many have meted, not only to the Fund, but also to their brethren and sisters yet ungathered, many of whom are in more adverse circumstances than were some who have been aided, at times I should almost become discouraged. But I know of no such feeling as discouragement in the operations of the Fund, for it will accomplish its work as the Lord may will, however much individuals may fail in complying, when able, with their agreements. But how those who have been and are able to repay are so slack, careless and indifferent in regard to their obligations so thankfully undertaken, I am at a loss to comprehend. Should they not, for their own sakes and the sakes of the ungathered poor, be more diligent in repaying?

      So far as I am aware, there has not been the least oppression exercised in trying to collect indebtedness to the P. E. Fund. Do we now wish to crowd, or oppress, or infringe upon the comfort of any one indebted to the Fund? No; but we are very anxious that the Fund shall be able this season to aid many from the adverse circumstances in which they are. Many have no expectation of deliverance except under the blessings of the Lord through this Fund. And can we help them unless those pay who are indebted? Some may say, "Solicit donations," and may wonder why donations to the P. E. Fund have not been solicited for some time past.

      In 1869 the P. E. Fund expended some $60,000 to $70,000 for the emigration of the poor. The next season it was hoped that, having used so large a sum to aid those who had but little, and frequently no means, the Fund would be able to assist those who had the nearest enough for their emigration. This would have been a stimulus for all to save as much as possible, and would have gathered a much larger number with a like disbursement. But from that day to this, with our utmost striving, we have not been able to get beyond the suffering poor, for that class increase beyond our means. This I have regretted. This regret may arise from a lack of understanding on my part, for our Father in heaven orders all things wisely, and his hand is in all these matters.

      He rules and controls, not only in the armies of heaven, but in the midst of the affairs of the children of men, disposing the results of their acts according to his own good will and pleasure. Realizing this, I have not felt to worry, but I have felt somewhat grieved that we have not been able to more effectually encourage those who are doing so much for their own deliverance. In the meantime, the poor, the worthy, faithful, deserving poor, have been accumulating, in spite of all the Fund can do. We endeavor, all in our power, to collect the means due the Fund, and then to expend the payments and donations in the best manner possible.

      It may be asked, "Have you not aided some who have not proved faithful Latter-day Saints since they arrived here?" Yes; and how can you foretell who will apostatize, unless you have direct revelation in each case? We have all been anxious, and have taken all possible care, not to aid any who would not prove worthy. But have we not been mistaken in some instances, after exercising all the care in our power? Yes; Some whom we thought to be good, faithful Latter-day Saints, and who, so far as we could learn, were so there, and had been all the while, have, since their arrival here, made shipwreck of their faith; and at the same time have not had enough manhood, or principle, to pay back the means advanced to help them out of bondage to a land of liberty. Can we help that? Not that I am aware of; and it seems impossible for us to do so, try we ever so hard, from the fact that this kingdom is likened to a net which is to gather fish of every kind. If we could keep out the garfish, catfish, suckers, and every other kind of coarse fish, it would not be the Gospel net. Aside from this, I think there are some who, if they had remained in their native lands, would never have apostatized; but gather them here and they apostatize! That also seems to be in the economy of this great latter-day work, so I have not felt to critically question the wisdom or good judgment of those who have recommended this, that, or the other one for assistance, even when those assisted have apostatized.

      President Taylor, the Trustee-in-Trust, has presented to our votes the question of releasing a large amount of back tithing indebtedness, due from those who are aged and infirm, and others who have no prospect for paying. The Bishops, upon due examination, will recommend for relief, stating a few chief reasons therefor; then the Presidents of Stakes will examine the recommends made by the Bishops, and add such comments as they may please, and forward the lists to the P. E. F. Office in this city, where they can be carefully considered and then submitted to President Taylor, under whose direction the Fund operates. I rejoice that the worthy poor, struggling with adversity, are to be so kindly treated, and are to be left free and untrammeled, when they cannot possibly free themselves in any other way. I know of no just way of becoming clear of a fair indebtedness, except by payment or forgiveness.

      That reminds me of another class of Fund debtors. When I speak to them they say: "Oh, yes, we are abundantly able to pay, but you cannot collect the debt by law, because it is outlawed." I am well aware that I cannot compel you by law to pay that indebtedness, neither would I had I it in my power; that is not the way the Fund does its business. All its business is conducted on the broad principle of fairness and liberality, wronging no one, benefitting every one as far as possible. But consider, inasmuch as you are able to pay the indebtedness which you incurred in being delivered from bondage and placed where you can provide yourselves with the necessaries and comforts of life, whether you are even worldly wise in being unwilling to repay that amount and thus prevent others enjoying the privileges you once esteemed so highly. And what has been said to the Saints abroad when they have importuned and plead, and promised to repay soon after arriving here they know how they plead, they know how they promised many professing to be willing to bind themselves for a lifetime if they could only be gathered to these mountains. What has been said to them? You do not understand what you are talking about. You may not find things altogether as you anticipate. You may meet with disappointment and misfortune. We will help you, we will send you through as comfortably and as cheaply as we can; and when you arrive there and find employment, just pay your tithing faithfully and promptly, provide yourselves with shelter, comfortable clothing, food and fuel, all of which things you will need; then, please, when you have done all this, begin to pay your indebtedness to the Fund; pay one dollar, two dollars, ten dollars, as you are able, without depriving yourselves of the necessaries of life, and in that way you will all the while keep the spirit of the work which you now measurably enjoy, and it will grow and increase, because you will be complying with the requirements of the Gospel. And others in like, or worse, circumstances can be helped through your paying the obligations you are so strongly pleading to be allowed, and so energetically promising you will pay as fast as possible. Ought not these fair requirements to be complied with by those who have been aided, as soon and as far as may be in their power, through their faithfulness?

      After all indebtedness to the Fund has been remitted, that ought to be, there will still be a large sum due. Will we be able to collect all of that? I am afraid not; for some Fund debtors who had property have apostatized, and others have accumulated property since they apostatized, without sufficient manhood to repay the means that enabled them to be here. They worship the world, have apostatized and gone with the world. I pity them, because they are traveling on a road of exceeding darkness; and they cannot see things as they are, or they would pay their Fund indebtedness.

      As to interest on sums advanced, has any one been crowded in the least in regard to payment of interest? Not to my knowledge. Have some paid their indebtedness with interest, without grumbling, and preferring so to do? Yes. Who are they? Those who rejoice in the light, life and intelligence of a goodly measure of the Holy Spirit, which is beyond all comparison as to value. Others, when making payment, have said: "With regard to the interest, I do not like that." Has not the interest been put at the lowest rate? Could you borrow a like amount from any one, during all these years, for less? You cannot borrow money in small amounts to-day for so low an interest, and scarcely large amounts at so low a rate, except with the very best security. The Fund has never asked more than ten per cent., and it was placed at that rate under the instruction of President Young. How long it will so remain I do not know. Some will say, "I am willing to pay a little interest." Very well, how much are you willing to pay, and feel well about it? "I am willing to pay five per cent." Very well; Bro. Anderson, cast the interest at five per cent, and give up the note, though the other five per cent. belongs to the Fund by his own gladly undertaken agreement. Another says: "I am willing to pay the principal, but I will not pay any interest." That is not very polite, though it certainly is plain. Pay us the principal and you can have your note. And lately some have gone so far as to ask us to forego a portion of the principal, which we have not felt at liberty to do; but now all such persons can apply to their Bishops, and they will report. Can any one discern any crowding or oppression in these cases? Now, in all kindness, in all sincerity, I earnestly solicit the debtors to the Fund, for their own sakes, for the sake of the work they profess to uphold and sustain, and for the sake of the ungathered poor in their poverty and bondage, to wake up and help this season, so far as they may be able, that more of the Lord's poor may also rejoice in their deliverance.

      As to the application of the funds in assisting, it has been the custom, as a general practice, to use the very best information to be had as to the disposal of any given amount. On that plan, last season and the season before, most of the means were directed from the P. E. Fund office. This season they have the best information at the office in Liverpool, or can obtain it, with regard to the condition and circumstances of the Saints, for which reason all the means we receive, except small amounts loaned to those who have nearly enough, and to be returned in time for this year's emigration, are forwarded to Liverpool, to be distributed as the authorities there may deem best. But with all our efforts since the close of last season, after paying off an indebtedness incurred in helping a number of Saints from the East who had been mobbed, we had only £112, or $543, to send to Liverpool for the April company. That would not emigrate one large destitute family; it is a mere drop in the bucket. But it was all we had; and we were obliged to instruct that the amount must not be exceeded, because we have no right to fall back upon the Trustee, and ask him to pay indebtedness incurred by the operations of the Fund. Will we be able to forward any money for the May company? Only a very small amount, so far as I know, though this rests with those who are due the Fund.

      Some may wish to know why the making of donations has not been urged more than it has. In 1869 there were so many assisted that it interfered with other arrangements, not known at the time; and before there were means for overcoming that difficulty, the financial crash of 1873 occurred. When I spoke to President Young about donations, he said: "Wait a while; the people are poor just now. Try and collect the indebtedness, as far as you can" And since then, among other reasons, I have not felt to solicit donations, because it is well known that there is a very large sum due to the Fund, so large that, if we could only receive one-half of it, we could gather all that any one would say ought to be gathered, and then have much money left to go on with; and were I to solicit aid under such circumstances, I am of the opinion that I might be advised to collect what is due to the Fund. And what could I say? I have yet to learn what I would be able to say.

      I deem the gathering of scattered Israel to be a part of the work that belongs to us as Latter-day Saints, in building up the Church and Kingdom of our God upon the earth. I think it is part of our labor, the same as building temples, sustaining the poor, sending missionaries abroad and sustaining their families when necessary, and all that tends to spread the principles of truth and righteousness the wide world over. But do I wish to give the gathering of the poor an undue share of the means, of the labor, and of the time that pertains to this great latter-day work? I do not know that I do. But I feel anxious for the debtors to the Fund to so far honor our God and themselves as to free themselves from this indebtedness as speedily as they may be able, and thus free the scattered poor from bondage, and bring them here to enjoy the blessings we enjoy; and I can not see how we are going to entirely escape a measure of the condemnation made known in the paragraph I have quoted, except we are a little more diligent in attending to these matters. And I trust you will not blame us when we entreat those who are able to pay their indebtedness to the Fund as soon as possible.

      God bless you. Amen.

 

[President Taylor]

            President TAYLOR stated that Z.C.M.I. felt disposed to do their part in the matter of release of poor debtors, so far as prudence would permit, and he thought that if other firms and persons did the same it would be a good thing. He had heard that it was stated by some that Z. C. M. I. was not a Church institution; that it was a monopoly, and so forth. This he denounced as infamous. The Church owned $360,000 stock in the concern, and 560 members of the Church were also stockholders. He thought those who talked like this should be tried by their Bishops for slander. It was quite possible that mistakes had been made, but to-day the Institution was in excellent condition, paying fair dividends, and he hoped its stockholders would not allow themselves to become a prey to speculators.

            This work required us to attend to things temporal as well as spiritual, pertaining to time as well eternity; but these affairs of money were of small moment compared with the great things of the kingdom. Still, they had to be handled with care and prudence. As for the P. E. Fund it was not calculated to relieve from their obligations those who could meet them, but the poor; but if the others would not pay up and be just, let them go and be counted with the unjust. This was the work of God and we were required to labor to save the world, to save ourselves and our ancestors, and build up the kingdom of God. No matter how much we labored in this direction it was only our duty. God required it at our hands. He repeated his remarks of the morning enjoining it upon the authorities and the people to make comfortable and happy the families of those sent on missions. It was a great privilege to be able to do good. While we sent the gospel abroad we ought to live it at home. While we paid deference to proper authority, we ought not to join in or fellowship corruption. We wanted to bring up our youth in the ways of the lord, and the young people's Associations were doing a good work in this direction. No people under the heavens received greater blessings than we. Notwithstanding the course pursued by our enemies, we enjoyed greater liberty than millions in the world; we should feel thankful for this, be honest, true to our word, avoid litigation, and do right, and God would protect us in our rights. We ought to be ladies and gentlemen; and true politeness consisted in making others as happy and comfortable as possible. Men should treat women with kindness and courtesy, and not be afraid lest they would run away with the men's rights. Husbands should cherish their wives, and wives their husbands, and parents their children, and we should extend peace everywhere. He denounced the sins of civilizations ought to be introduced among us as infernal, and declared in the name of the Lord that if Bishops and Presidents did not root out iniquity from among the Saints, and if they sheltered the evil-doer they would have to bear the sins which they covered up. If we would work righteousness God would bless and sustain us and bring us off victorious.

            In response to the question whether we should hold conference another day, the congregation responded "Aye."

[John Taylor]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 74-79]

      In relation to the subject that I referred to this morning pertaining to the Co-op, I am informed that they are very busy with their affairs and have not had time to make any specific statement pertaining to this matter; but they feel disposed to unite with us in relieving the necessitous and worthy, as far as they would be justified in the premises, and in accordance with correct principles, to do their part. I would here remark that the same kind of feeling would be very commendable on the part of other store-keepers, bankers, or any one of us to relieve each other.

      I would make a statement in relation to the Co-op. I have had reports from the north, that some parties who ought to know better, had said that the Co-op. was no longer a Church institution, and that it was managed, directed and controlled by a few monopolists, and that we were asking the people to sustain them in their operations, which I consider very infamous talk, and especially coming from men who profess to be men of honor. The Church, I will here say, holds an Interest in that establishment to the amount of $360,000, and then there are 580 stockholders, who are Latter-day Saints, in it, besides the interest which the Church holds. And when men make such statements I consider it infamous and contrary to correct principles; and I should recommend their bishops and the authorities of the Church where they live to bring them up for slander and treat them accordingly. That enterprise was started as is properly implied by the initials of its name. What is it? "Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution." They had for sometime difficulties to cope with; perhaps things might not have been managed as well as they could have been. There may have been errors in judgment. For sometime they did not pay dividends; but latterly they have paid what might be considered a fair dividend, and the Institution never was in a better condition than it is today. I speak of this that you who are stockholders in that institution may not be imposed upon by speculators who would seek by false representations to get from you your stock at less figures than it is really worth, I think it is our duty, as Latter-day Saints, to sustain that institution; and then, on the other hand, I think it is the duty of that institution to sustain the Saints, and let us get closer together in our relationship, and act honorably and uprightly in everything we engage in, then we can secure the blessing of the Almighty. I thought I would say so much in relation to this matter.

      In regard to the work we are engaged in, it is one of very great importance; it is one on which God and angels, apostles, prophets, patriarchs and men of God who have lived in the different ages of the world, have felt interested about; and do to-day. And about these little matters of dollars and cents we do not care so much about them or ought not to; although we have to attend to all these matters, matters temporal, matters spiritual, things pertaining to time and things pertaining to eternity. It is expected of us that we act wisely, prudently and understandingly in all of our doings. And in speaking of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company's operations, we expect that all decent men will meet their obligations, and those, who are not of that class will not. We will forgive the poor and let them go, and the others may go if they want to. But we will not release them from their indebtedness if they are able to pay it. Is not that just? I think it is. We will relieve the poor and needy; but as to those people who have called upon you and you have sent out your teams and have loaded those teams with provisions of all kinds, and you have either gone yourselves or sent your sons to drive them, to help them in, if those men do not feel like acting just and right, let them be considered among the unjust who have used your means which was appropriated by you to relieve the necessitous and have not had the honesty to return it, but as to the poor, the needy and distressed, we will come to their relief and help them, the same as we are obliged to go to God our Heavenly Father and ask him to help us, for we are all dependent upon the mercy of God, we live in him, we move in him, and to him we are indebted for our existence as well as for every blessing that we enjoy pertaining to time or eternity. He has revealed unto us the fullness of the blessings of the gospel of peace, he has taken our feet from the mire and clay and has planted us upon the rock of eternal truth, he has imparted unto us the light, intelligence and revelation of heaven, he has made us to sit together in heavenly places in Jesus Christ, he has taught us how to save ourselves and our families, how to save our progenitors and how to save our posterity. And we have this labor to perform. And if we have gone forth and assisted our brethren we have only done our duty, and what was there so much after all? Not much, we have simply performed a duty, a duty we owed to God and our brethren. If we had not had the means we could not have given it, and having given it, we will continue to do the best we can and we will keep on doing, helping all, comforting all, relieving all, teaching all and seeking to promote the well being of the human family and to carry out the designs of God in the best manner that we can.

      One duty we owe to the world is to preach to them the gospel, and for that the priesthood is organized in part. The Elders are sent forth from time to time many that are around me on my right and left and also before me have gone forth "weeping, bearing precious seed," they have gone in the midst of persecution and affliction, to an unthankful world, to proclaim to the people the glad tidings of salvation, and they have "returned again rejoicing bringing their sheaves with them." And we are still doing the same, the Lord has laid it upon us and it must be done. And when we send out missionaries I was told that some did not hear what I said this morning upon this subject, I will try to make you all hear now when we send out missionaries we want you to see that their families are provided for in their absence, if they have not the means to do it themselves, stand by them and treat them kindly and provide them with the necessaries of life that they require, that they may be comfortable and made happy and be one with us, and while our brethren are engaged laboring abroad, notable to provide for their families, let us provide for them. And we call upon the presidents of Stakes, and upon the bishops and upon the people where they reside to see that these things are attended too, that the families of our missionary brethren are made comfortable and happy. Our brethren under these circumstances can feel contented and can go forth with satisfaction and joy. "Why," they will say, "we are going forth in the name of the Lord trusting in the God of Israel, and while we are gone we have left our families among our friends who will take care of them, and all is well and all will be well." When you do that they will bless you and you will be blessed in time and in eternity. It is a great privilege to be able to do good. Did you ever think of it? Jesus said, "Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail they may receive you into everlasting habitations." Then let us feel after the welfare of our brethren, and we will not dwell much upon one another's weaknesses, for God knows that all of us have enough of them, at least, I feel I have, and I think my brethren feel that they have, and I do not think that many of you are very much better than we are. But I tell you what we desire to do and to see carried out. We wish correct principles to be carried out, and while we are sending the gospel to the nations afar off, we want to see the pure principles of the gospel lived up to at home. We do not want to be influenced by the corruptions that float upon us here. While we respect proper authority and pay proper deference to all honorable men in all positions in our country, we do not want to copy after the devices of this corrupt generation, we want them to keep them to themselves if they admire them. We neither want drunkenness nor whoredom nor infanticide nor foeticide nor any of the corruptions that abound throughout the world, or of this nation, of which every honorable man ought to and does feel ashamed. We want to train up our youth in the fear of God, and hence we have our Young Men's and Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations, which are doing a great deal of good throughout the land in teaching and being taught correct principles. It is our youth that are growing up that we shall have to look to, by and by, to bear off this kingdom, and we wish the fathers and mothers to set their children a good and proper example, to be patterns of purity, of honesty, truth, integrity and uprightness, that they may be able to meet and look every man in the face with a clear conscience and open countenance, and not be obliged to dodge around corners for fear of some one seeing them and finding them out. There are no people under the heavens that make greater pretensions than we, there are no people under the heavens that have been more favored of God than we have been. We feel inclined sometimes to murmur and complain about the nation to which we belong. It is true they have not treated us very generously or very kindly in many respects, but the Lord seems to take care of us, and we do not suffer much do we? We enjoy more liberty to-day than millions of the inhabitants of the world do. And I do not know of any nation under the heavens where we would be better protected than we are here, thanks to many honorable men and thanks to the God of Israel who has delivered us and who has told us that he would watch over us and take care of us and provide for us, which he has done, and I feel grateful to him. For this, however, we are not under any obligations to our enemies, but no matter, if they can stand it we can. When I see men violating the sacred principles of liberty and trampling under foot the institutions of our nation, I feel to realize that they are the enemies of mankind and of the nation. I do not care what position they occupy. God will hold them to an account, as breakers of their own covenants. We will try, however, to maintain our own, and treat everybody right, and pray for all honorable men, and let the devil take care of the balance. (Laughter). This is how I feel in relation to these matters. We want among ourselves to learn strictly the principles of honesty, to have and maintain honest dealing one with another and be true to our word, and to let our word be our bond. And never mind so much about litigation. I do not know that I ever sued a man in my life, and I do not think that I ever shall. I am not fond enough of law, or money either, to do it. And God will help us and protect us in our rights, if we will only do right. And then we Latter-day Saints, we elders of Israel and we sisters of Israel, we ought to be ladies and gentlemen, we ought to treat one another with courtesy and kindness, and true politeness. Lord Chesterfield and others have written long treatises on politeness. I will tell you, in a few words, what it is to be polite: try to make everybody as comfortable and happy as you can, in all your words and in all your acts, and then you will be polite. Study the feelings of those with whom you are associated and those with whom you come in contact. And when a man meets an elder, why, says he, that is an honorable man, that man is anointed of the Lord, I will respect him, I expect to be associated with him in time and in eternity, and shall I degrade myself by speaking harshly or acting harshly towards him? No, but we will treat one another with kindness and courtesy-And we will treat our sisters in the same way, and act the part of gentlemen towards them, and protect them in all their rights and in all their privileges, and never be afraid that they are going to run away with some of our rights. When I hear people talk that way I think they are a little in doubt of themselves. Why, we expect our sisters our wives to be with us not only in time, but in eternity; and let us treat them accordingly, with kindness, with affection, with love and with esteem. And then let the sisters turn round and treat their husbands and brothers and fathers in the same way; and let us all cultivate those principles that are calculated to promote one another's happiness and peace, that it may reign in our own bosoms, and dwell in our habitations, and prevail throughout the land, that the peace of God and the blessing of God may rest upon us. And while we feel a disposition to do right and to keep the commandments of God, God will bless us and sustain us in all of our operations; and every plot and every contrivance devised against us will fall to the ground, for God will be our deliverer and our protector. Let us train up our children in the fear of God too, and watch over their morals, and especially the morals of our daughters, and see that they do not get led astray in the paths of iniquity; but watch over them and pray with them and for them; and pray for one another, and sustain one another, and help one another, and bless one another, and God will bless us.

      We are sending out persons to go and extend the borders of Zion, to make new settlements. I was very much pleased to hear some remarks made by Brother Woodruff in relation to these things, and the acts and doings of the brethren in Arizona, and of some of the new settlements south and southeast. There is a number of those settlements referred to by Brother Woodruff, the members of which we advised when they went, to come as near to the United Order as they could that is, to be united. Brother Woodruff says that in those new settlements he did not see a man drunk, he did not hear a man swear, neither did he see any person use tea or coffee. In this respect they are setting an example that it would be well for us to follow. And, then, do not pursue that licentious course exhibited around us here. It is this d___d infernal "civilization" that has introduced these infamies into our midst. Let us purge ourselves from them, and not mix up with their ungodly doings. Excuse me for the remarks, but they are true before God; they are both damned and infernal, for those who practice them will be damned, and they are infernal, because they proceed from the infernal regions. I do not care who sustains them, whether governors, judges, priests, or whatever they may be; they are of their father, the devil, who sustains those things and maintains them. Those crimes are not original with us; they are brought here to try to corrupt and enslave and debase and pollute us. Keep yourselves pure from these corruptions, and walk worthily of the high vocation whereunto you are called.

      I heard the other day from one of our speakers that there were Elders, High Priests and Seventies who got drunk. What are the Bishops doing? What are the Presidents of Stakes doing? Why do you not bring them up and cut them off from the Church any such Elder, any such High Priest, or any such Seventy, or any of the Saints who may be found guilty of such thing? For they are hypocrites, and want dealing with and severing from the Church. Furthermore, I have heard of some Bishops who have been seeking to cover up the iniquities of men; I tell them, in the name of God, they will have to bear them themselves, and meet that judgment; and I tell you that any man who tampers with iniquity, he will have to bear that iniquity, and if any of you want to partake of the sins of men, or uphold them, you will have to bear them. Do you hear it, you Bishops and you Presidents? God will require it at your hands. You are not placed in position to tamper with the principles of righteousness, nor to cover up the infamies and corruptions of men. Now, do not say you did not know anything about it; I have given you fair warning, and I clear my skirts of your blood; and their infamies will cleave to you unless you attend to it.

      God expects us to do right; he has given unto us the priesthood for that purpose, and he requires us to magnify it and honor it and carry it out. And it is the place of those men, and the place of the teachers to see that there is no iniquity in the Church; and if they do not do their duty, it then becomes the duty of the Bishops to see to it; and if the Bishops do not see to it, it is the place of the Presidents of Stakes to see to it; and if they do not see to it, and it comes to our ears, it will then become our duty to see to it, and also to see to them who do not magnify their calling. God will not be mocked. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; if he sows to the flesh, [p.79]he shall of the flesh reap corruption; if he sows to the spirit, he shall of the spirit reap life everlasting."

      We are gathered here to serve God; we are gathered here to be taught in the ways of the Lord; we are gathered here to build up temples, and then to administer in them; we are gathered here to send the Gospel to the nations of the earth, and to fulfil those various requirements which God has placed upon us to attend to; and if we are faithful in all our duties, God will bless us.

      I find that the time has expired. Shall we continue the Conference another day? All who desire to do so say aye. (The vast congregation responded "aye.")

 

            Choir sang the anthem,

Sing to the Lord a joyful strain.

            Adjourned till Thursday, at 10 a.m.

            Dismissed with prayer by Elder BRIGHAM YOUNG.

_____

[8 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 29:168, 172, 4/14/80, p 9, 12]

THIRD DAY.

THURSDAY, 10 a.m.

            Choir sang --

Praise ye the Lord, my heart shall join
In work so pleasant, so divine.

            Prayer by Elder ORSON PRATT.

            Choir sang --

Joy to the world! The Lord will come,
And earth receive her king.

[Elder Lorenzo Snow]

            Elder LORENZO SNOW said we as Latter-day Saints professed to believe in the fulness of the everlasting gospel restored from heaven with the priesthood, ordinances, gifts, blessings and spirit, which revealed things past, present and to come, connected with that gospel. In receiving it we promised to be obedient to the spirit of life and light and truth. During the past fifty years that spirit had led us in the light of the intelligence of heaven just so far as we had been faithful to the covenants we had made at the waters of baptism. And just so far as we had failed to do this e were the losers. So far as we had been led by this spirit we had enjoyed peace and temporal union, overcome the enemy, and forwarded ourselves in the path to the celestial kingdom. Our failures arose either from our own ignorance, or negligence or wilfulness; the fault was not in the Lord nor His work. At this juncture it would be well for us to renew our covenants before the Lord, to be more faithful in the ensuing years than in the past, and make our motto to be truly, "The Kingdom of God or nothing," that we might establish in our midst the laws of the celestial kingdom; that all our possessions might become sanctified, that we might show to the heavens our worthiness to hold that priesthood which God had conferred upon us. He closed by bearing testimony that by the physical administration of the power of God, he received a testimony of the truth in his baptism of water and of the Holy Ghost. He knew also that in his gospel ministrations the heavens had honored them and those who received the ordinances obtained a similar testimony. Joseph received his authority from angels, he conferred it upon others, and the power of God had accompanied it everywhere.

[Lorenzo Snow]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 79-82]

      We, as Latter-day Saints, profess to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, in the restoration of the fulness of the everlasting Gospel, in the restoration of the Holy Priesthood, with its privileges and powers, and in the restoration of the authority to administer to the sick, and to receive, through the medium of this Gospel which we have espoused, supernatural gifts and blessings, the Holy Spirit, which communicates a knowledge of things past, of things present and of things to come. And when we received this Gospel, we covenanted before God that we would be led, that we would be governed, and would follow the suggestions of the Holy Spirit, that we would follow the suggestions of the principle that gives life, that gives knowledge, that gives understanding of the things of God, that communicates the mind of God; and that we would labor for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the salvation of the human family, adopting as a motto of life, "The Kingdom of God, or nothing." How far we have kept these covenants during the past fifty years, and followed the dictates of the Holy Spirit, we ourselves must be the judges. So far as we have done this, so far have the blessings of the Almighty descended upon us, and our minds have been enlightened, our understandings enlarged, and we have moved forward in the path of holiness, in the path of perfection, and which enables us this day to stand in the knowledge and power of God, and in the intelligence of heaven, just in proportion as we have observed the spirit of those covenants which we made at the waters of baptism; and just so far as we have failed in our faithfulness, in our adherence to our engagements, just so far have we been losers in this enterprise in which we have engaged to obtain eternal life, to obtain wisdom and knowledge and divine intelligence sufficiently to stem the tide of evils and temptations that surround us. And just so far as we have followed the suggestions of this divine spirit, have we experienced peace and joy to our souls, we have discomfited the enemy, we have laid up unto ourselves treasures that moth and rust cannot destroy, so far have we forwarded ourselves in the path of the celestial kingdom; just so far have we secured ourselves the blessings and privileges that pertain to the celestial law. When these things were opened up to our view the principles of the Gospel and the glory of the celestial world sit was then our privilege to enjoy its blessings to a certain extent, just as though we had been translated into the celestial worlds; it was our privilege to enjoy a certain amount of the blessings that pertain to those laws. And just so far as we have conformed to these laws that pertain to our temporal salvation, just so far as we have obeyed the instructions given to us in regard to our temporal union, just so far we stand in prosperity before God and before the world; just so far as we have been induced to open our hearts to display the principles of philanthropy in the exercise of our religion, just so far do we stand this day approved of the Almighty God; just so far have we secured the implements or the means to defend ourselves against the approaching evils; just so far in all our settlements, cities, towns or villages, as we have observed these laws that pertain to our temporal obligations, just so far has prosperity attended our exertions, and just so far as the spirit of union prevailed in our midst, and we have advanced ourselves in these principles. And just so far as we have ignored these things, just so far do we stand weak to-day before God and before the world.

      A sufficiency of information has been placed before us in the revelations of former days, in the revelations to us at the present time to guide us in all of our affairs, both spiritual and temporal, to guide us even to the celestial kingdom to receive of the fulness of the Father. If, after the expiration of fifty years, we as a community do not stand in that high relationship to God that we could wish, the fault is not in the Lord, it is not for the lack of information placed before us, but that lack is in ourselves; it arises from our ignorance or neglect, or from a desire, peradventure, to serve the spirit of the world instead of the Spirit of God.

      It is true, when we look upon the temporal position that thousands and tens of thousands occupied at the time we received this Gospel, and when we take into consideration the spiritual fetters by which we were bound, and the ignorance that attended us in our spiritual affairs at that time, we certainly may feel very thankful to the Lord for the progress we have made when comparing our present position with that we sustained when we received the Gospel; there must arise in our hearts the deepest gratitude to the Almighty for so far redeeming us spiritually and temporally as we find ourselves this day. For the progress we have made we are indebted to the blessings of God attending our diligence and faithfulness. And we should renew our covenants before God and the holy angels, that we will, God being our helper, serve him more faithfully during the ensuing year than we have in the past, that our public and private life, our actions and the spirit and influence we wield may be in keeping with the motto, "The Kingdom of God or nothing" I trust, my brethren, that we may devote ourselves entirely to the service of our God in the establishing of his Zion on the earth, zealously laboring in the interest of truth and righteousness on the earth, until it shall become a joy to us to be so engaged, that it may become second nature to us to serve God and keep his commandments, and to observe the celestial law, and that we may so enjoy the Holy Spirit in our hearts that we may overcome the world and establish the celestial law in our minds and establish it in our practice; that we may so understand ourselves and our privileges that we may in this life secure a considerable portion of the blessings that pertain to the celestial law, and which are to be enjoyed in the celestial glory. That so far as God gives us power in the earth, so far as he gives us possessions, houses and lands, flocks and herds, that these possessions shall become sanctified by our doings and actions and the manner in which we exercise ourselves in relation to them, that they may become sanctified, and that we may show ourselves worthy of the priesthood we possess, in establishing God's work, in establishing his laws and everything that pertains to the celestial glory, just so far as God gives us this power, that we may show to the heavens that we are worthy of this Gospel and this confidence that God has placed in us, in restoring to us the fulness of the holy priesthood.

      And now I will close my remarks by bearing my testimony to the knowledge of God that I have received in relation to this work. It is true. I received a knowledge of the truth of this work by a physical administration of the blessings of God. And when receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost I knew I was immersed in a divine principle that filled my whole system with inexpressible joy; and from that day to the present has blessing crowned my labors. And when baptizing people and administering the ordinances of this holy priesthood, God has confirmed those administrations by imparting the Holy Ghost, giving a knowledge to the individuals to whom I administered, convincing them that the authority was delegated from heaven. And every Elder who has gone forth to preach this everlasting Gospel, and acted in the spirit of his calling, can bear the same testimony, that through their administrations in these holy ordinances the glory and power of God has been made manifest in a convincing manner upon the heads of those to whom they have administered. This is our testimony; this was the testimony fifty years ago of a certain individual who stood forth and claimed that God had authorized him to baptize people for the remission of sins, and lay hands upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost, which should impart unto them a knowledge from the eternal worlds that he had this authority. This person was Joseph Smith; and he conferred this authority, which was given unto him by holy angels, upon others who were sent forth to bear testimony to the world that [p.82]those who would receive those holy ordinances, should receive the testimony from the Almighty that they were thus authorized to so administer. And this is our testimony; and this is my testimony before this people and before the world.

      And may God bless us; may he pour out his Spirit upon the Latter-day Saints. And may we be faithful in all of our labors, having the motto indelibly stamped upon our hearts, "The Kingdom of God or nothing." Amen.

 

[Elder Wilford Woodruff]

            Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF quoted the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, "A little one shall become a thousand and a small one a strong nation, I the Lord will hasten it in His time." In the course of fifty years a little church had become many more than a thousand, and it would take less than fifty years more to make us a strong nation. If it were not for offending the "Christian" world, who did not like some parts of the Bible, he would quote the words of Daniel concerning the destiny of this kingdom. But he would ask the Gentile world, if the Lord intended to accomplish this, how they were going to help it? The speaker quoted from the word of the Lord to Joseph the Prophet in Liberty Jail, that "a man might as well seek to stop the Missouri River and turn it back in its course, as to try to stop the purposes of Jehovah or prevent his blessings from flowing unto his Saints." Elder Woodruff viewed the world as ripe in iniquity, like a field of wheat, that must be cut down or it would fall to the earth and rot. The harvest of the earth was near. Great changes were at the door. The coming of the son of Man was nigh. The judgments of God were at hand. The Lord told Ezekiel that he was placed as a watchman, and when he saw the enemy coming, if he did not warn the people, their blood should be on his head. so were the Apostles placed in this Church. They could not afford to sit still and see iniquity abound, nor to use their priesthood for private benefit; if they did their power would be taken from them. So with all who held the priesthood. It was time for all who had indulged in drunkenness or any kind of evil to repent and set it aside. No man who swears, uses whisky or tobacco habitually, should be permitted to go into the Temple of the Lord to receive blessings. He considered no man was fit to administer the sacrament or other ordinances unless he in some good degree kept the Word of Wisdom. This was the Zion of God, and every prophet since the world began had spoken concerning it. We had been ordained; before the world was made, to labor for this kingdom, and we had it to do or be damned. Our destiny was to prepare the way for the coming of the son of Man and build up the Kingdom of God; "Therefore prepare, O ye inhabitants of Zion for the change that is to come." The speaker bore testimony to the divine mission of Joseph Smith and the truth of this work, and concluded by asking God to bless and qualify us for the duties enjoined upon us, that we might be prepared for the glory that awaits the righteous.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 82-85]

      "A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time." This is the word of the Lord through the Prophet Isaiah. Fifty years has made this little one not only a thousand, but more than one hundred thousand, and I do not think it will take half of fifty years more to make a strong nation: and if it were not for offending the ears of the Christian world, I would quote a word or two from the Prophet Daniel, where he says: "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out of the mountains without hands, which smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron and clay, and break them to pieces. * * * And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. * * * And it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." I know it becomes offensive sometimes to the Christian world to quote the Bible, therefore I think I will not quote much more of it. But I wish to say this is the destiny of the kingdom of God which is planted here in the mountains of Israel. But I will take the Liberty of asking a question; I would ask it of the Gentile world; I would ask it of the whole Christian world if I had a chance and an opportunity, and that is this: If this is the work of the Lord, and if the God of Israel has set up a kingdom, undertaken to establish a Church and a Zion, I wish to ask can the inhabitants of the earth help it? Can they hinder it? Can they stay the hand of the Lord? I wish the world to reflect upon these things. Or will the unbelief of the world make the truth of God without effect? Judge ye. Joseph Smith, while in Liberty Jail, while in chains and imprisoned, prayed to the Lord you will find it in the latter part of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 383 he prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered his prayer. He told him a great many things, among the rest that all things should be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fulness of times, according to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other Gods, before the world was all these things should be revealed in the latter days. Now, says the Lord, "How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri River in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints." The powers of earth cannot stay the progress of his Church and kingdom, for God has decreed it. And I wish again to say a word or two that is upon my mind with regard to my present condition. I have read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants a good many times, and they have brought me to a condition that I love to trace these revelations like the pyramidal histories that have written to the world that comes to an end pretty [p.83]soon. And I am about in the same position as the farmer that sees his harvest ripe for the sickle. What must he do? He must go to work and cut it, or else it will go back into the ground; and that is the way I view the world to-day. It is fifty years since these revelations of God were revealed to man. Is not the world ripe? Is not the whole earth covered with whoredom, murder, blasphemy and abominations of every kind, until it rises up in the face of high heaven and before the Lord? What will be the result? The crop must be reaped; the harvest is at the door, it is ripe. The Lord said fifty years ago to Orson Pratt and others, "The field is ready for the harvest. Now, thrust in your sickle and reap, and any man who will may thrust in his sickle and reap." If we are not approaching a change, if the judgments of God are not to be poured out upon Babylon, and if there is not a change awaiting Zion, then I am at a loss concerning the fulfilment of the revelations of God; I have got about as far as I can go unless these changes are at the door. The coming of the Son of Man is near. The signs of heaven and earth have indicated this for many years; that is about where I am to-day; as an Elder of Israel, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I can see no road before me unless I am looking for the judgment of God to be poured out upon the wicked, and the judgments will begin at the House of God, and it will go forth from them to the world.

      Now, a few words with regard to what Brother Taylor said. In the first place, these Apostles here are in the same position that Ezekiel was. The Lord said unto him, "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the House of Israel; therefore, hear the word of my mouth and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou gavest them not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." So I say with regard to the Apostles here, as well as the Seventies and High Priests and Elders and Priests they are set here in these latter days upon the walls of Mount Zion as watchmen. I tell you we are under a mighty responsibility to God, and I tell you we cannot afford, as Apostles, as Seventies, as Elders, and as High Priests, to sit still and know that sin reigns in our midst, and not rebuke it; we can not do it, and be justified before the Lord. Another thing, if we as Apostles, bearing the holy priesthood, use that priesthood for any other purpose under heaven but to build up the Kingdom of God, if we do our power will fall like lightning from heaven. A good many men have undertaken this men high in the priesthood, even the Apostleship to build themselves up upon the authority of the priesthood. And where have they gone? You may say amen to their power and authority. They have lost their Bishopric and Apostleship. Let us reflect on these things. I say the same to myself. I say the same to the Apostles, Seventies and High Priests. You cannot use the priesthood for any other purpose under heaven but to build up the kingdom and do the will of God; and when you attempt to do otherwise your power will be taken from you.

      I wanted to say so much, and now I desire to say another thing. It is our jubilee year. I want to give an exhortation. I have heard things during this Conference that have had an effect upon my mind. I want to say to old and young who have been in the habit of doing anything that is not pleasing in the sight of God, it is time for us to lay aside these things. It is time for us to lay aside our whiskey, our tobacco, our drunkenness, and everything that lies in our path to hinder us in our duty, or we shall be under condemnation. High Priests, and Elders, and Apostles, or any other man, cannot bear this priesthood on the earth and revel and drink with the drunken. You cannot do it, it is too late in the day; if you do, your power will fall from you. I felt yesterday, while Brother Taylor was rebuking these things, to say, Amen. I know that Brother Taylor, as leader of this Church and Kingdom, can no more sit and hold his peace while these things are going on in Israel, than he can live without breathing. It is time for us to repent and turn away from all our evils. The responsibility of carrying forward this Kingdom is upon the shoulders of the Latter-day Saints.

      Now I will say a few words more, and then I will close. I have often been asked the question, what condition should a man be in in order to receive a recommend to go through the Temple of the Lord? I will tell my feelings in regard to this matter, and if they are not correct, President Taylor and others of the Twelve can correct me. I believe it is too late in the day to send men to the Temple who make a daily use of whiskey, or other strong drinks, tobacco, &c., and there perform the ordinances for their dead; it is not acceptable in the sight of the Lord God of Israel. If we are going to be saved, let us build up the Kingdom of God, let us be reasonable and live according to what we preach; let us live our religion. I do not believe that a man is fit to go into the temples of the Lord to administer these ordinances for the living and the dead, who will make a practice of drinking strong drinks. What do you drink? Whiskey? No; you drink strychnine; you drink tobacco and a great deal of absinthe, "blue ruin" and death; you drink anything under heaven but pure liquor. It can scarcely be said to exist in the land. The stuff that is sold deprives you of your agency, and gives the devil power over you; it does so with anybody who makes a practice of using this liquor and other intoxicants. No one who uses them is fit to administer in the ordinances of the House of the Lord. My own faith is that no one is fit to administer the sacrament, baptize the children of men, or administer in the House of God, unless he in a measure keeps the Word of Wisdom. The Spirit of God will not dwell in unholy temples.

      If we are going to build up the Kingdom of God, it is time we commenced to keep the commandments of God and live by every word that proceedeth from his mouth. Our responsibility is great. It is the Kingdom of God, it is no more nor less. It is the Church of Christ; it is the Zion of God that every prophet who has ever lived since the world began has seen in vision and declared our future history. The revelations of God in the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants are being fulfilled. We are fulfilling them. And while we are here let us be faithful to God, the Great Elohim, the God of the Jews as well as the Gentiles. He looks to us and to nobody else. He looks to the Latter-day Saints. Why? Because nobody else has received the fulness of the everlasting Gospel; nobody else has taken hold to build up this kingdom. My faith and feeling about this matter is that we were appointed before the world was, as much as the ancient apostles were, to come forth in the flesh and take hold of this Kingdom, and we have it to do, or be damned. That is our position today. The eyes of the heavenly hosts are over us; the eyes of God himself and his son Jesus Christ and all those apostles and prophets who have sealed their testimony with their blood are watching this people. They visit you, they observe your works, for they know very well that your destiny is to build up this Kingdom, to build up Zion, sanctify it, sanctify the earth and prepare the world for the coming of the Son of Man. The judgments of God are at the door of the wicked; they cannot hinder them. The Lord will hold all men and all nations to an account for the deeds done in the body, and as Isaiah says in speaking of Zion, "The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted." These are tremendous sayings. There are hundreds of the revelations of God, all of which are going to be fulfilled upon the heads of the inhabitants of the earth in the generation in which we are living. Be prepared, therefore, for that which is to come. There is a change at your door. There is a change at the door of this generation. The Lord is watching over you, and he will sustain his work.

      May God bless you. May he bless the Apostles, and clothe them with his power and with the revelations of Jesus Christ, for I will say as Brother Snow has said I know this is the Kingdom of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and he sealed his testimony with his blood. That testimony is in force upon all the world, and it will cost this generation just as much to shed the blood of the Lord's anointed to-day as it has cost the Jews for shedding the blood of Jesus Christ eighteen hundred years ago. The Jews have been scattered, they have been under the bondage of the Gentiles for all these years, and they have until recently been denied all political rights. But the Lord is about to restore them. This is the Kingdom of God. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The heavenly hosts are preparing themselves to help the fulfilment of the revelations that are recorded in these records.

      The Lord raised up President Young to lead this Church, which he led for a generation. He has now passed behind the vail, where he labors with other Apostles who have furnished their testimony on the earth. The Lord has raised up President Taylor. The spirit of wisdom is with him. The Lord is blessing him and blessing his brethren. The Lord will stand by us and sustain us if we keep his commandments.

      I pray God to bless you and to bless Zion, that we may have power to bring these principles home to our hearts, to comprehend in a measure the responsibilities resting upon us, for I will say there never was a generation since the creation in which the responsibility of the Apostles and Elders was greater than that in which we live.

      I am thankful that I have lived to see this day. I have sometimes said I have felt lonesome. I look around me and find Joseph and Hyrum and a great share of the Twelve have been taken away. They are now in the spirit world. We soon shall go there too myself, Brother Taylor, Brother Pratt and many of us are getting grey-headed we shall soon pass to the other side of the vail; but let us do our duty while we are here, and all the rest, old and young, that we may inherit eternal life through Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

[Elder Orson Pratt]

            Elder ORSON PRATT felt with all his heart to thank the Lord our God for His blessings upon this people. We were now living in the 51st year of this kingdom upon the earth. The Lord had put it into the hearts of His servants to deal liberally with the poor. It was to be hoped that this example would be followed by the rich in Israel. It had been his duty and that of others, not only to preach the gospel but to declare things of the future,also to proclaim the times of the Gentiles and gather out from their midst those who would hearken to the truth. The great events at hand had been sounded so many times that some seemed to think they were like an old song. These things would come to pass shortly. God would pour out his judgments; and who hat had any human feeling would not mourn over the calamities that would befall the wicked! the speaker knew that these things would take place. In connection with prophecy he pointed out the disclosures of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, among the symbols of which was the organization of this Church on the 6th day of April, 1830, plainly, clearly, unmistakably portrayed in the measurement of the Grand gallery, and the step at the end thereof. Elder Pratt proceeded to give the figures of prophetic measurement by cubic inches, showing this fact. He alluded to the impending wall at the end of the Grand Gallery, which might signify "the end." But whether the speaker knew anything of the Pyramid or not, he knew that the end of wickedness was nigh. He knew that God had spoken from the heavens, and that this work was from Him. God had revealed this to him in his youth, and that this kingdom would prevail. Every nation would be warned and then would come the awful downfall of Great Babylon. "Therefore let the people of Zion awake, work righteousness and put away evil, that they may escape the judgments to come and inherit the rich blessings promised!"The time of our redemption and re-inheritance of Zion was nigh at hand. He called for the blessings and spirit of the living God upon all that desired to serve the Lord, that the destroyer might be rebuked from our midst, and the glory of God be revealed in Israel.

[Orson Pratt]

[Apr 1880 CR, pp 86-89]

      I do feel with all my heart to thank the Lord our God for the blessings conferred upon this people. Our year of Jubilee, if we may so term it, is past. We entered upon it the sixth day of April, 1879last Tuesday was the end of it. We are now living in the fifty-first year of the organization of this Kingdom. At the close, or near the close of this first half century, the Lord has been very kind and merciful in behalf of the poor; he has put it into the hearts of his servants to administer liberally and bountifully for their good. It is to be hoped that the fiftieth year will not close up those great and good acts, on the part of the Church, as well as on the part of individuals in the Stakes of Zion, for and in behalf of the poor: but that the good work may continue, and that all the poor and the needy may be supplied, so far as circumstances will permit, with the necessaries of life. So much upon that subject.

      In regard to the future, it has been a duty devolving upon me, in connection with hundreds of others, to declare not only the Gospel, but to portray before the people future events. There are great things in the future, and we are sometimes apt to forget them. We have been looking, for some time past, for the Lord to accomplish and fulfill the times of the Gentiles; or the times allotted to them, during which the testimonies of his servants should go forth among them; or in other words, the times of the warning of the Gentile nations, the gathering out of their midst, a few here and there, of the believing Gentiles, away from the corruptions of Great Babylon, preparatory to the destructions that are to be poured out without measure upon the Gentile nations. These things have been sounded so long in the ears of the Latter-day Saints, that I have sometimes thought they have become like a pleasing song, or like a dream, and that they scarcely realize that these great events are at hand, even at the doors. But if we can depend upon the word of the Lord, if we can depend upon the predictions recorded in the Scriptures of truth if we can depend upon modern revelation which God has given there is a time of tribulation, of sorrow, of great judgment, of great wrath and indignation, to come upon the nations of the earth, such as has not been since the foundation of the world. And these things are not far off, but are near at hand, and who, in that day, that has any sympathy in their hearts, any feelings of humanity, but will mourn and sorrow over the calamities that will fall upon the nations. I know that these things are true. I have known these things ever since the autumn of 1830; and I know that God will fulfil his word, and that the day is almost at our doors, when God will pour out his indignation, without measure, upon the nations of the earth; and they will be swallowed up with judgments and calamities of all kinds and descriptions.

      I have sometimes reflected upon a new witness that the Lord seems to have brought to light, by the opening of the Great Pyramid of Egypt. There are many things revealed by the opening of that Pyramid, nearly 3000 years after it was built, that are great and marvelous, so far as I can understand them. There seems to be a prophetic spirit running through the construction of all that vast superstructure, pointing forward to the very end. Among the great events clearly portrayed by that Pyramid, was the organization of this Church on the sixth of April, 1830. This is expressed in the construction of the "GREAT STEP," in the Grand Gallery of that Pyramid. Time was measured in that ascending gallery by sacred cubit inches. The measurement from the birth of Christ to the upper edge of the "Step," which terminates the ascending passage, was exactly 1829 cubit inches, and the fraction of another inch; that is, a little over the twenty-sixth hundredth part of an inch. Allowing one year to a cubit inch, it gives the sixth of April, 1830, as the exact time, corresponding to the upper edge of the "Grand Step." At this point the Gallery ceases to ascend, and the passage becomes horizontal. This points out the very period of time when the Church was organized, and the very day and month and year. Sixty-one cubit inches are measured off, from that point in a horizontal direction, until you come to the great impending wall, the end of the Gallery. What that means, I do not pretend to know. It may mean the closing up of the times of the Gentiles. Sixty-one years from the organization of the Church brings us, according to pyramidal testimony, to the end of something. Whether these pyramidal symbols are divine or not, there is one thing that I do know is true, namely, that the generation in which the fulness of the Gospel the Book of Mormon was brought forth, is the generation that will close up the times of the Gentiles. That I know, if I do not know much about the Pyramid. I know the former by revelation. I know that the days of the Gentiles are but very few; the end of the dispensation to them is now drawing very near to a close. God has revealed this work. His arm was made bare in the restoration of this Church. His arm was made bare in sending his angels from heaven to restore the everlasting priesthood and authority to the children of men. His power was made manifest in the organization of the Kingdom that must stand forever. These things are not a matter of opinion with me. I know them to be true. God revealed them to me in my youth. I have known them from that day to this. And the work of God will prosper, will prevail, will accomplish that whereunto it is sent, until every nation under heaven shall receive sufficient warning, and then will come the terrible, the dreadful downfall of Great Babylon. Awake, therefore, O ye inhabitants of Zion! Awake to the importance of your duties! Awake to the duties of the everlasting priesthood which has been conferred upon you by the servants of the living God. Seek after God with all your hears, with all your souls, and with all your might, mind and strength, that you may be prepared for the events that are in the future, not only to be preserved when the great desolations of Babylon shall take place, but also to be partakers in all the blessings ordained to be bestowed upon Zion in the latter days. Awake for the redemption of Zion is very near, when this people shall possess again their inheritances upon the promised land; when this people shall erect unto the Lord a house and build up that city called Zion, wherein the glory of our God shall be made manifest upon all the inhabitants that are counted worthy to dwell in the midst thereof.

      May God bless this Conference and the Latter-day Saints everywhere upon the mountains, in the valleys, and throughout the Territories where they dwell; that the Spirit of the living God may be with us, with our wives, with our children, and with all who desire to serve the living God; that the destroyer may be rebuked from our midst, and that we may rise up as the children of Zion, and do the work which the Lord our God requires at our hands. Amen.

 

[Elder C. C. Rich]

            Elder C. C. RICH said we could not go away from this Conference and say we had not received the instructions we stood in need of. It was our duty to put aside our difficulties with one another and become one, seeking to build up the Kingdom of God in the way He had appointed, and not attempt to do it in our own way. All the blessings of God were predicated upon certain requirements. Some of them could only be obtained in Temples built for the purpose. This we ought to comprehend and act upon. Inasmuch as we are willing to receive, God was willing to bestow, but on His own terms, not ours, unless they were the same as His. The speaker bore testimony to the words of the previous speakers and to having received a manifestation from God of the truth of this work when he first received the Gospel. He closed by exhorting those present to carry home with them the spirit of this conference, determined to carry out the instructions received, that they might carry the good influence to others and help to establish righteousness.

[Charles C. Rich]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 88-89]

      I am thankful for the opportunity of making a few remarks before the close of the Conference. The Lord has certainly poured out upon us a goodly degree of his Holy Spirit, and we have received instructions which, if observed and carried out in our lives, will be of everlasting benefit and salvation to us as Saints of the Most High God.

      There are certain things that we are in duty bound at all times, to bear in mind and never lose sight of, and one of those things is, the requirement of the Lord that his Saints should become one. This lesson has been taught to us from the very beginning until now, and in it is involved the strength of this people. It is a lesson that should first be taught and acted upon in the family of every Latter-day Saint; and whenever difficulties arise between neighbors, families, or settlements, the first step to be taken by all the parties concerned should be to amicably settle the same, and from that time seek to do better, to be more respectful to another's feelings, and to really become united as Saints of the Most High in the bonds and the covenants of peace. Therefore, my beloved brethren and sisters, let us take this matter in hand and see to it; see to it that we labor, every man in his individual capacity, to become united, and this, too, by laying aside our faults, our follies and our imperfections; and as far as possible seek to build up the Kingdom of God on the principles revealed unto us from heaven. For most assuredly he will not accept of us or our labors on any other terms than those which he himself has dictated.

      And, again, among other things of importance required of us, as a community, and which is the work of to-day, is the building of temples in which to receive certain blessings essential to our salvation and exaltation in his celestial kingdom. He has ordained from before the foundation of our world, and has revealed this fact to us in our day, that his people can only receive from him certain blessings in certain places having a special reference to those sacred buildings we call temples; and for this reason are we required to perform this work. We have been reminded that the time of the end draws near, so near, indeed, that there is no time to spare; and this labor is required of us and will have to be performed in a proper time. The Lord said to this people at an early day, that if the Saints did not perform a certain work by a certain time referring to to the building of the Nauvoo Temple that they should be rejected, and also their dead. Inasmuch as we were not rejected, and now have time and opportunity, let us use the time and improve the opportunity to the best advantage and of our ability to perform the work which he requires of us, and labor while it is called to-day. I feel that we are a blessed people, that the Lord has poured out upon us choice blessings in rich abundance, and inasmuch as we prove ourselves worthy to receive them on the terms which he has proposed, we will find that our Heavenly Father is abundantly willing and able to bestow, for surely there is no good thing that will then be withheld from us. But I have sometimes thought, judging from the actions of some, that they expect to realize the much desired blessing of the future on their own terms, as it suits them; it would seem that this was the case with some of our brethren, who seemingly want to do nothing unless it suits their individual feelings, overlooking partially, if not entirely, the great fact, that we have enlisted to do nothing but the will of our Father as it is and shall be made known to us through the proper authority. Nor does it matter to us, as his faithful servants, what that will may be, whether to build temples or anything else, we should engage with our whole heart in the work required of us.

      The results of the labors of this people for half a century are before the world, which, although wrought in much weakness, and ofttimes in poverty and distress, have been, under the blessing of a merciful, a just and all wise God; crowned with success; and on this, the occasion of our jubilee year just closed, I, in common with my brethren, raise my heart and voice in praise to him who lives and rules in the heavens above, and in testimony to this being his work, even the work to be developed in the latter days, so often spoken of in holy writ. And I repeat what has been said that the judgments are nigh, even at the door, and this work is going to be fulfilled. Let us open our eyes and ears, that we may see and hear as the wise virgins, that we may rightly comprehend the nature of the work to be performed, not in some other generation, but in the generation in which we live.

      I bear my testimony to the the truth of what we have heard in relation to the judgments of God that are to come upon the earth, as well as in relation to the truthfulness of this latter-day work. This testimony was given to me many years ago, having embraced the Gospel as early as the year 1832, when the Lord opened the vision of my mind and manifested to me that it was of him, and that it was the commencement of that work which should eventually "fill the whole earth." I know this to be true to-day, and have known it and testified, whenever opportunity afforded, to its truthfulness ever since that early day; and I bear testimony of it this day before you, my brethren and sisters, and to all the world, that this is verily the work of God, and that he will fulfil the words that have been spoken to us his Saints concerning all things coming on the earth. And to the Latter-day Saints I would say, inasmuch as we treasure up in good and honest hearts the principles and words of life which God has revealed, and live in consonance with them, we have nothing to fear; on the contrary, the faithful will rejoice, not in the downfall of the disobedient and wicked, but in the realization of the promised blessings in which they will rejoice, both in time and eternity.

      Then, my beloved brethren and sisters, let us awaken to the warnings we hear from time to time, and especially cherish the Spirit, and ponder over and improve upon the instructions of this Conference, for they are true and faithful, and to this you, as well as I, can testify. And when we go to our homes let us carry with us and impart the spirit of this Conference to our brethren and sisters of the several Stakes who have not been present, that they also may take warning and square their lives according to the principles of the everlasting Gospel, laying aside everything that is wrong, and doing that which is right in all things pertaining to our religion, as Saints of the Most High God. And that we may pursue that course which will guarantee unto us all the blessings of the new and everlasting Covenant, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[Elder Erastus Snow]

            Elder ERASTUS SNOW quoted Paul's saying, "If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men the most miserable." This was said in view of the hatred and persecution endured by the Saints in Paul's day. The speaker thought, considering the vituperation, misrepresentation and obloquy that we had endured, we might almost despair of it were not for the assurance of the future and the sustaining hand of the Almighty. One of old had said, "Better are the strokes of a friend than the kisses of an enemy." By the sharp rebukes of the servants of the Lord, we were brought to see and lay aside our evils and obtain favor with God. The speaker pointed out the necessity of putting away sin and hypocrisy, resisting temptation, not covering up our uncleanness or thinking to wash it away by the ordinances of the Lord's House when the inner man was corrupt. The priesthood we had received with the keys and the ordinances thereof, could only be handled in connection with the powers of heaven and in truth and righteousness. Joseph the prophet received those keys from holy men who held them anciently, with the promise that they should not again be taken away from the earth. Notwithstanding men might sin and lose their blessings, the priesthood and the power of God would remain and the purposes of God would be accomplished. The speaker referred to the promises concerning the salvation of Israel, when "the fulness of the Gentiles" comes in, and testified that this was the work of redemption the Lord had commenced. He exhorted the people to works of righteousness, and invoked the blessings of God upon all officers, municipal and ecclesiastical, and every man, woman and child who sought to serve the Lord without hypocrisy.

[Erastus Snow]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 89-91]

      St. Paul once said, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." He said this to the ancient Saints in reference to the spirit of hatred and persecution raging in the world against the Apostles and their followers. I have sometimes thought, when we hear and read of the vituperation and lies abroad in the earth concerning this people, when we see how they are misrepresented and slandered, it would seem as if the flood gates of hell were opened to swallow them up, and we might at times almost despair were it not for the assurance that we feel that God is with us, that the Lord of Hosts is our God, and he has led us until the present time, and we are encouraged to continue our efforts and labors with the feeling and assurance that he has not departed from us, that he has not cast us off, notwithstanding our follies and the many evils in our midst, and notwithstanding that the servants of God are called upon to speak by way of reproof and ofttimes to rebuke with sharpness. God has spoken by one of the ancient prophets in this wise: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." The word of the Lord, though it be sharp like a two-edged sword, has salvation in it. It is the power of God unto salvation to all them that believe, and by the sharpness of the word of God are we brought to comprehend ourselves, to see ourselves as God sees us, and to purge evil from our midst. And it becomes us to lay to heart the word spoken, and it should begin with the Apostles, Presidents of Stakes, Bishops, the Presidents of Quorums, and heads of families and run through all the organizations of society, and the spirit of repentance, of reformation and of purification should flow in our midst, flow through the people in all our organizations until every man, woman and child shall feel that the Spirit of God rests upon them; we should put away evil, and endeavor to overcome the world, to withstand the influences of the hosts of hell, to resist the example of evil minded persons, to resist temptations of pride and vanity, and cease to be hypocritical; in other words, to be honest before God and one another, for his eye is upon us. Our ways are openly known unto him. It becomes not his people to seek to hide their ways from the Lord. Hypocrites do this. Many of the Gentile Christians do this, as did many of the ancient Jewish Pharisees, for which they were rebuked with severity by the teachings of the Savior. None of us need think that we shall be benefitted by covering up our uncleanness and expect that we shall be sanctified by the outer ordinances of the temple of our God, when the inner man is corrupt. There is power in all the ordinances of God's house to all those whose hearts are clean, who accept the ordinances of God in faith and with purity of purpose. The Gospel of Christ is a savor of life unto life to all those that receive it in honest hearts, while it is a savor of death unto death to all those that reject and handle the truth in unrighteousness. So with all the ordinances pertaining to the priesthood. They bring condemnation to the hypocrite and evil doer, while they bring sanctification to those who are clean in spirit. And the priesthood which we have received with the keys and ordinances thereof can only be received and handled in connection with the powers of heaven, and on principles of truth and righteousness. The Lord has restored all the keys of this priesthood unto Israel in the last days through his servant Joseph by the hands of the ancients who held the priesthood before him; who bore the keys of the kingdom when they were upon the earth in ancient times; the Apostles Peter, James and John, and John the Baptist, from whom he received the priesthood pertaining to the gospel of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins and the promise that this priesthood should not again be taken from the earth until the sons of Levi should be purified and all that was promised Israel should be fulfilled; and however much individuals may fall away from Zion and forfeit their blessings, however much men may apostatize from the truth, and iniquity abound, and the love of many wax cold, yet the Lord will work in the midst of his people, turning and overturning, rebuking and cleansing, until he has performed all he has promised. And when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, the power of God will be made manifest in the redemption of the House of Israel. As it is written, "And so all Israel shall be saved. There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." Knowing this, the Apostle Paul says to the Romans, who were Gentiles, "Be not high-minded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God; on them which fell severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." This is the work which God has commenced on the earth, to fulfil the promises made to Abraham concerning his seed, and the promises made to Joseph concerning his seed, the degenerate sons of America, among whom God is working in his own marvelous and wonderful manner, preparing their hearts for the changes that await them in accordance with his promises, when the cup of iniquity shall be filled up in the midst of the Gentiles, and his judgment shall be poured out upon them to break them in pieces as a potter's vessel is broken.

      We are witnesses of these things and know the things whereof we speak, and we rejoice in the manifestation of the spirit bearing witness of these things among the people of God, and though there are many who are negligent in duty, dark in their understanding, covetous in their hearts, worldly minded and cling to this world and are more or less beset therewith, yet the Lord is working in the midst of his people; for poor, frail, feeble, faulty, sinful as we are, taken as a whole, we are the best the Lord has been able to find, and therefore he is not disposed to cast us off, but to reprove, admonish and instruct, that he may make us what he has called us to be in deed and in truth, saints of the last days.

      May God help us to keep our covenants, cleanse ourselves from sin, our hearts from all hypocrisy, our persons, our habitations, our towns and our cities; and may our municipal officers as well as our ecclesiastical officers have wisdom, strength, power, nerve, and energy to stem the current of crime, to check the progress of drunkenness, whoredom, profanity, and all manner of abomination, and execute judgment and justice in the land with firmness, vigor, and strength; and may God bless every officer of the law who magnifies his calling with soberness, diligence, and honesty, and every Apostle, President, Bishop, Elder, Priest, Teacher and Deacon who labors to put away evil from himself, his household and the community, and every mother in Israel who teaches her children righteousness and faith, and every organization for the improvement of the rising generation. May grace and peace be multiplied upon them through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

[Elder F. D. Richards]

            Elder F. D. RICHARDS said, forty-two years ago next June he had become convinced of the truth of this gospel, having at the age of 17 received the word of truth from the aged veteran President Joseph Young. He related his experience in obeying and receiving by revelation a testimony of this gospel, which he had never doubted from that day to the present. I required a certain amount of heroism to be a Saint. He testified that the prayers of the Saints for the Apostles as revelators were not in vain. The Twelve were increasing in that love and union which made them strong and brought them near to the Lord. He predicted the speedy gathering of Israel and of Judah, also of the tribes from the north and the redemption of the Lamanites. In contrast with the forty millions of this nation who through their Executive opposed the ordinances and institutions of our religion he pointed to the more than a hundred times forty millions of the heavenly hosts who were looking for our obedience to the laws of God. He exhorted the poor to rejoice in the deliverance that had come to many of them, and all to serve the Lord and strengthen themselves in His name, and by virtue of his Apostleship prayed for the richest blessings of heaven to rest upon them.

[Franklin D. Richards]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 92-95]

      Forty-two years next June I had become convinced of the truth of the principles of the Gospel that had been taught to me, at the age of seventeen years; having received the word from the testimony of our aged veteran Joseph Young, sen., president of the Seventies, in my native State, Massachusetts. I found the principles of the Gospel very harmonious to my feelings, although very much opposed to the views of my friends and neighbors. It offered to me the ancient blessings restored, if I would but receive them. I considered the matter carefully and prayerfully, and ascertained that there was but one way of finding out positively whether the Gospel was true or not, or whether what was taught to me as the gospel was indeed such; and that the whole subject was made to turn upon the saying of the Savior, "If any man will do His (the Father's) will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself." And finding that there was only one way to come to a demonstration of the matter fairly and honestly, I concluded that if those gifts and blessings were restored to the human family, which were anciently given God's people to enjoy, I wanted to obtain them even at the risk of expatriation from my family, my friends and associates upon rendering a penitent obedience to the ordinance of baptism for the remission of my sins. The Lord answered my prayers, blessed me with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and gave me a certain revelation therewith, which made me to know that he took cognizance of me personally, and that this was none other than the great work of God. From that time I have never seen the moment that I doubted or felt uncertain or fearful concerning the progress of the work, or the ultimate triumph of its outcome. I have not only received such testimony, but also many of the various manifestations of the Spirit recorded in the Bible and promised in the revelations which mankind have a right, through obedience and faithfulness in this mortal life, to enjoy.

      The gifts of prophecy, of tongues and the interpretation of tongues, of healing and being healed, and a great variety that we will not take time to enumerate, even to the casting out of devils. These gifts and blessings, signs and mercies, have been bestowed upon not only myself, but upon my brethren of the Council, the faithful Elders, and the Saints generally. It is no strange thing among us that any one enjoys these blessings, all of them having been promised unto those who believe and obey the Gospel message. It is only to be wondered at that more of us do not get nearer to God and realize more of them than we do; it is the only or greatest regret that I have to-day that any unfaithfulness on my part in the performance of my duties should hinder me from participating more fully in the enjoyment of God's favors, and advancing more rapidly in the knowledge of himself and of his ways.

      A man in this Church, who is an Elder in Israel, must have a degree of heroism if he is determined to be a servant of God, he must know what it is to be able to stand up in the spirit and power of his calling under all circumstances. God requires him to live and serve him with all his heart, with all his mind, might and strength; and to give himself wholly unto the work to which he has been called, and to have no other business on hand except those things which are subservient to the interests of his Church and Kingdom. I want to say to the brethren, that we as Elders in Israel have come not only to prophecy but to revelation; I testify to you that while you are sustaining the Twelve Apostles as such as the presiding quorum, and as prophets, seers and revelators in the Church of Christ, that your faith and prayers are not in vain, that God is answering them, that he is fulfilling them in your brethren of that quorum, and you will see from time to time more abundantly the fruits, blessings and powers resulting therefrom in a greatly increased degree. Therefore, continue your union, your faith, and prayers, and God will multiply his blessings still more abundantly upon us all. There is more union among the brethren of the Council, there is more love and fellowship existing among them, they are increasing in those graces and qualities which made the bonds of brotherhood strong and powerful to resist successfully the encroaching powers of darkness, and to become strong in the name of our God to accomplish all the work required at our hands. Those graces we see most abundantly shining forth in the ministration and counsel of President John Taylor who is our leader.

      I want to say, for the benefit of strangers present, that this work in which we are engaged, is the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, in which God has promised to gather together in one all things in Christ, be they things of heaven or things of earth, or, he might have said all persons and things, for that is the fact. All Christendom has become permeated with the belief that the second advent of the Savior is approaching and not very far off, so, also, the spirit of gathering has commenced, and if you will have your eyes open and watch the signs of the times, you will see that the spirit of the gathering is becoming more and more widespread, and is reaching Israel in all their abidings; they are becoming interested in and waked up to the importance of their gathering together. It is not only an item of news that the Israelites have got hold of the land of Canaan, but it is a commencement of the work that will gather the house of Judah and restore their land to fruitfulness a land which will become glorious; and the House of the Lord which is to be built there is to be far more glorious than the former one.

      Not only that, but the heavenly tocsin is sounding to the Ten Tribes, and they are preparing themselves to come forth and make manifest the power of God and be established with his people upon the land of Zion promised. And if any of you doubt it, enquire among the Indians of our land and you will find that they are having dreams and visions from above, and are beginning to enquire after the word of God, and to wonder whether they are cast off and forsaken, and to be crowded quite into the sea, or whether the promises made to their race by their ancient prophets and patriarchs shall be fulfilled as recorded in the Book of Mormon.

      The Lord has commenced his work and it has taken a firm footing in the earth, and he has assured us that he will carry it on; and although we are frowned upon by forty millions of people who tell us that we cannot live and exercise ourselves in all the ordinances and institutions of Christ's Church in this land; let me tell you there are a hundred times forty millions in yonder heavens who are watching over and urging us to perform the heavenly requirements made to us from on high. Which do you think we shall give heed to? One of ancient times, when he thought that appearances were rather threatening, began to manifest considerable concern. And the prophet Elisha, seeing the timidity of the young man, prayed unto the Lord to open his eyes. Whereupon, we are told, that he saw the mountain on which he stood was filled with horses and chariots of fire encircling the prophet round about, demonstrating to his entire satisfaction the words of his master which were uttered just previously, namely, that "they that be with us are more than they that be with them," the forty millions to the contrary notwithstanding. Hence then, whom shall we obey? My brethren and sisters, let us obey and serve the Most High God, hearken to his counsels and keep the commandments which he has given unto us, even every word that proceeds from his mouth, including the "word of wisdom" which he in his goodness has made known to us, for anything that is worthy for him to give unto us is worthy for us to keep in the most sacred manner.

      Now let me say to the poor for this conference has been fraught with blessing unto them you who shall be forgiven your back indebtedness upon tithing, commence anew to tithe yourselves; be men of God, take hold of that duty and henceforth live determined to honor it with other requirements in the Church. The Savior anciently said, in speaking to the Jews, "If ye were the children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham." One of the most prominent features of father Abraham's life was to leave his native land, and go to a land which he knew not of, but which the Lord should show him. And having done this, there was a time when he was met by the minister of God, Melchisedek, when he was on his return from a triumphant victory over certain kings, on which occasion Melchisedek congratulated him on his success, when he, as if to reciprocate this minister's kindness, "gave him tithes of all," which law of tithing, if you please, he handed down to his generations after him. Let us regard it in like manner, for it is a standing law unto us upon this land. And if we do not live it and carry it out, with all other requirements, this, we are told, shall not be a land of Zion unto us.

      And unto the brethren who shall be released from their P. E. Fund indebtedness, I would say, lift up your hearts and be glad, take fresh courage when you are released from that obligation, and endeavor to make yourselves more useful. Strengthen yourselves in the the name of the Lord; let the weak say, I am strong; and let all the people know that the Lord Most High is our God, and let us give ourselves wholly to his service.

      Let the poor rejoice in the kindness and liberality of God and their brethren to them. Let the rich be glad that God has given unto them the means whereby they can bestow blessings upon the poor.

      God requires in his mercy that they who have an abundance shall impart with a kindly regard for the destitute, or his blessing will not rest upon them and their substance.

      My brethren and sisters, by the authority of the apostleship God has bestowed upon me, I feel to bless you in all your interests, your wives and children and all that pertain to you, your fields, your orchards and gardens, your flocks and herds; hoping and praying that we may become more abundantly devoted to him, and that he may accept of us and lead us forth from faith to faith, and from grace to grace until the little stone rolls down from the mountains and fills the whole earth.

      May God preserve us in the faith as he has hitherto done, and help us to do his biddings so long as we dwell in the flesh, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

[Elder Brigham Young]

            Elder BRIGHAM YOUNG testified that God had been with us during this conference. He trusted that the blessings extended to the poor would be received with thankfulness and the spirit of humility. He pointed to the efforts that had been vainly made to destroy us and the record of our increase, progress and union as plain evidence that God had guided, preserved and blessed us; and closed with a strong testimony of the truth of the work.

[Elder Joseph F. Smith]

            Elder JOSEPH F. SMITH bore testimony to the discourses delivered. Referred to the impending judgments spoken of, he said they had been predicted by angels and prophets, not only in ancient times but in this present age, and tis gospel was a direct declaration from heaven in this day of the world. The angel Moroni had spoken of these judgments in his visit to Joseph Smith and told him that though they were written in the scriptures they had not been fulfilled but would shortly come to pass. The power of the wicked would be broken. Babylon would fall. The speaker had received a testimony from God for himself that these things would take place. And unless the Saints preserved themselves from the sins of Babylon, when these judgments commenced at the house of the Lord they would be the first to fall. This was the word of the Lord and not of man, and he prayed that we might be able to overcome and stand when the Lord should come.

[Joseph F. Smith]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 95-96]

      I can bear testimony to the discourses we have had this morning. And I can also bear testimony to the great latter-day work in which we are engaged, for I know it to be the work of God.

      In regard to the remarks of Brother Pratt, respecting the judgments of God that are about to be poured out upon the nations, if the people will take the trouble to read the predictions of the prophets concerning them, especially those referred to by the angel Moroni, when conversing with the Prophet Joseph Smith, at the opening up of this dispensation, I think they will be thoroughly satisfied and convinced, if they have any faith at all, that these coming judgments are not matters of mere speculation or supposition, nor of tradition handed down from remote ages, but that they are matters of fact, or will be ere long, when God shall consummate his designs against the wicked and ungodly of the world. For not only have prophets and inspired men declared these things, but they have been declared by the voice of the Lord, and by holy messengers sent from the presence of God, as well in modern as in ancient times.

      The Angel Moroni, who visited Joseph Smith on the 21st of September, 1823, quoted the Scriptures concerning these judgments, and declared that the predictions of the prophets had not yet been fulfilled, but that they would be in this dispensation, and that the beginning was now at hand, even at the door. Among these quotations I would like to call your attention to Malachi, second chapter: "Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me," etc. "But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap, and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver," &c. "And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false sweaters, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from the right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of Hosts.'

      And again, Malachi, 4th chapter all of which was quoted by Moroni "For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be 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." Again, Moroni quoted the 11th chapter of Isaiah, in which are these words on this subject: "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." Again, Acts, 3d chapter, 22d and 23d verses quoted by Moroni just as they read in the New Testament" A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you. * * Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you, and it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people." Now this is strong language, and to the point. Moroni declared that this prophet was Christ at his second coming; that this scripture was not fulfilled, but was about to be fulfilled in the literal coming of the Son of Man to reign upon the earth and to execute judgment upon the world. Moroni also quoted Joel, 2d chapter, 28th to the 32d verses, declaring that this scripture was also shortly to be fulfilled: "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke, &c. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."

      Now, it seems to me that none of the interest or importance of this vital subject are lost in the fact that we are not left to the traditions of the fathers nor to the written word solely, nor to any uncertain means for the verification of these predictions, but rather our interest should be awakened from the fact that an angel from heaven, an actual messenger from the presence of God, has reiterated these very predictions to man on the earth in this generation.

      Some of these passages of scripture quoted by the angel were presumed to have been fulfilled in the days of the ancient apostles. Thus the world was in ignorance respecting them. All uncertainty upon this subject is now, however, dispelled, and the truth is made plain to all. For Moroni declared to Joseph Smith that these scriptures had not been fulfilled, but that the set time had come when they would be fulfilled, every whit, and the coming of Christ, the execution of the judgements, and the ushering in of the final reign of peace therein referred to, should be consummated in this dispensation. The power of the wicked nations of the earth will be broken. Thrones shall totter, and kingdoms fall, while Zion shall arise and shine, and put on her beautiful garments, and be clothed with power, wisdom, majesty and dominion upon the earth. Babylon must fall to rise no more. As a servant of the Lord I have received a testimony in relation to these things, and in connection with my brethren I am thankful to have the privilege of bearing that testimony, which I do in all solemnity before God and man, and am willing and ready to meet the consequences, if I continue faithful, at the bar of final judgment. And I further testify, that unless the Latter-day Saints will live their religion, keep their covenants with God and their brethren, honor the priesthood which they bear, and try faithfully to bring themselves into subjection to the laws of God, they will be the first to fall beneath the judgments of the Almighty, for his judgments will begin at his own house. Therefore, those who have made a covenant with the Lord by baptism, and have broken that covenant, who profess to be saints and are not, but are sinners, and covenant-breakers, and partakers of the sins of Babylon, most assuredly will "receive of her plagues," for it is written that the righteous will barely escape. This is my testimony in relation to these matters. We rely upon the word of the Lord in these things, and not upon the word of man, for not only has angels, but God Almighty has spoken from the heavens in this our own age of the world, and we know his word is true.

      That we as a people may be prepared not only for the judgments, but for the glory and coming of our Lord, that we may escape the calamities to be poured out upon the wicked, and receive the welcome plaudit of the faithful servant, and be counted worthy to stand in the presence of the Lord in his glorious kingdom, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[Elder Albert Carrington]

            Elder ALBERT CARRINGTON quoted from the Book of Mormon the word of the Lord, that if those who dwelt on this land should serve God they should prosper, but if not they should perish. Preferred to the fate of former nations on this continent and showed that it would be repeated on the wicked of the present. Added his testimony that this work was not of man but of God, and that it would withstand every kind, number and nature of all opposition. He mourned over the calamities to come on the world, and trusted that the Saints would serve God and be saved.

[Albert Carrington]

[Apr 1880 CR p 97]

      IN several places in the Book of Mormon you have read, or can read, that our Father in the heavens, in revealing his will concerning the inhabitants of North and South America, made known that inasmuch as they would keep His commandments they should prosper; but inasmuch as they did not keep his commandments, they should be cut off from his presence. Do we flatter ourselves that we are naturally better than our brethren and sisters, of the numerous family of Adam, who lived in the days of the Jaredites, or in the days of the Nephites? They were wealthy and powerful nations, and when they worked righteousness, observing the will of our kind, wise Father in the heavens, they prospered exceedingly; but as they transgressed the requirements designated for their welfare, they dwindled to destruction.
 We, as Latter-day Saints, are under the same requirements as have been all previous occupants of this continent, to whom the everlasting Gospel has been preached, to seek unto, love and serve the Lord our God, if we would be kindly regarded by Him. Do we flatter ourselves that we will be so regarded in any other course? If so, we are unwisely deceiving ourselves.

      I rejoice in the great blessings we have enjoyed during this Conference. I rejoice in the strength, power and truthfulness of the testimonies we have been blessed with. I rejoice in observing the increase of that spirit of union that we must attain to, to be indeed Saints of the Most High God. And I feel to add my testimony to the testimonies of my brethren, that this great latter-day work is verily the work of the true and living God, and He will carry it on to victory over all the opposition of the powers of earth and evil. This every faithful Latter-day Saint knows, whatever the world may think or imagine to the contrary; however much they may oppose in their blindness, through waywardness, stupidity and ignorance in the midst of their fancied intelligence and power. The Lord our God is infinitely more powerful than the numbers and powers of earth and darkness combined, and we have only to be careful to be His Saints, and all will be well with us. We know this, and I would that our brethren and sisters of the world would wisely realize these

      When I look forward to the near future, that has been so much spoken of in this our day, and so plainly prophesied of from the beginning, and contemplate the terrible calamities that are to befall those who reject the Gospel and oppose the work of God, do I feel in the least to exult over their downfall? I feel that it will be a day of sorrow and mourning; that it will be painful even to hear the report of the going forth of the wise and just judgments of our Father upon the heads of the wicked those of our fellow-beings who have preferred to do evil.

      I take great pleasure in being able to add my testimony to the testimonies of my brethren to the fact, which all the world cannot truthfully gainsay, that Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet of the true and living God; that he died, as he had lived, honoring and glorifying our Father in Heaven; that he laid the foundation of this great work, in which we are

      That we may be and continue faithful, and be saved with a complete salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[Elder Moses Thatcher]

            Elder MOSES THATCHER asked if it would not be well, after the close of this conference, to ask ourselves whether we would be prepared to receive that measure which we had meted out to others; whether we had been humble, prayerful, faithful and true; and wherein we had failed to live up to our privileges, to reform, make restitution for wrong as far as possible, and in future serve the Lord with all our hearts? He testified to his knowledge that Joseph smith was a prophet of God, that he received the Aaronic and Melchisedek priesthoods, and sealed is testimony with his blood, with which the blood of President John Taylor was mingled at his martyrdom. He testified that the spirit of revelation rested upon President taylor; that sorrow and lamentation would come upon the wicked; that the sun of Righteousness was rising for the remnants of Israel, and that God would fulfil every promise made to His people.

[Moses Thatcher]

[Apr 1880 CR p 98]

      Would it not be well, my brethren and sisters, to reflect, after the close of this Conference, in reference to our individual acts during our past experience in the Church? Would it not be well to ask ourselves the question whether we shall be prepared in the future to receive that measure which we have meted out to others; whether we shall be satisfied with that judgment with which we have judged others; whether we have followed the whisperings of the Spirit of God; whether we have been humble, prayerful, faithful and true? It would be well for us, I think, to reflect upon these points, and wherein we are satisfied we have not lived up to our privileges, let us as far as possible make amends and start again, rejoicing before the Almighty.

      I am pleased to be able to add my humble testimony to those to which you have listened this morning. I know that this is the Church of Christ. I know that we have Prophets, Seers and Revelators. I know that every blessing which the Lord Jesus Christ has promised is within the reach of this people, if they will live so that they can claim them. I can bear my testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God; that he with his natural eyes saw the face of angels; that he heard the voice of God; that he heard the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that he received the Aaronic and Melchisedec priesthood. I can bear my testimony that he sealed his testimony with his blood, and that therefore it is in force upon the whole world. His brother Hyrum died by his side, and the blood of our venerated and respected President, who presides to-day over the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was mingled with their blood, and stands also as a testimony before this nation and before this people. I know that he is led to-day by the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I can bear my testimony that when you raise your hands to sustain him as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator, that God hears and answers your prayers. There is this spirit of revelation in the midst of the people. I know it in every fibre of my nature, I know it in every sense of my being, and I thank God that He has given me this testimony. I know also in reference to the judgments that are to be poured out upon the earth. Enough has been revealed to make me feel sorrowful and frequently like shedding bitter tears. I have no feeling of enmity against our government. I have no feeling of bitterness against a living human being, wicked though many may be, because their sorrows will be more than they can bear, and the judgments of the Almighty, when they come to be poured out, will touch the hearts of the Latter-day Saints and cause them to retire to their closets and secret places and weep because of the desolation and ruin that will be brought upon this and other nations. I can also bear my testimony that the preaching of righteousness is accomplishing a great work among the remnants of Israel, and that the poor Indians, who have been despised and hated through the ignorance, bigotry, and folly of the wicked, will yet arise and stand forth in their manhood; the Lord Jesus Christ will bring them out of their bondage and fulfil all the words of the prophets concerning them, that are recorded in the Book of Mormon.

      May God bless the Latter-day Saints. May we march on to perfection, to liberty, and to the power of God unto salvation, is my earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[Counselor D. H. Wells]

            Counselor D. H. WELLS had often thought that the same question might be asked now as was asked of old, "What came ye out for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?" Or had the people come out to learn the ways of God and walk therein? Who was there that could not see the hand of the Lord in this work; that it was closing in on the earth, and that after the testimony of His servants He was about to plead with the nations by His judgments? We must understand that unless our righteousness was greater than that of the world, we could not escape the plagues that would come upon the ungodly. The speaker alluded to the poverty and oppression out of which many of the Saints had been gathered, and the opportunity afforded them here to become measurably independent; for these things they should be thankful. He closed by testifying to the evidences he had received form the Lord during the thirty-four years of his experience in the Church.

[President John Taylor]

            President JOHN TAYLOR said he had felt a desire to hear from his brethren of the Twelve, all of whom were here but one [Elder George Q. Canon], who was at his post laboring for the welfare of Zion. He alluded to the subject of co-operation. Our institutions of this kind should be sustained honestly, truthfully, without hypocrisy. co-operation should extend to home manufactures. We had about 200 hands employed by Z. C. M. I. -- in the co-operative shoe factory in this city, etc., and 60 or 70 making clothes, and he wished to see all the shoes and clothing and hats needed here, made at home instead of being imported. He blessed those in the South who were trying to live in the United Order; desired all belonging to Boards of Trade to work together in union; exhorted all holding prominent places in the priesthood to avoid favoritism and tyranny, and act in righteousness, or they would be moved out of their place; required the Saints to adjust their differences before the courts of the Church, and promised that those who went into the courts of the ungodly would be destroyed by the ungodly, and should not enter into the Temple of the Lord; spoke in praise and support of the Sunday Schools, and of those who taught in them, also of the Young Men's and Young Ladies' Improvement Associations, and the Relief Societies; referred to the building of Temples and considered the Salt Lake Temple had progressed favorably; it would be continued; said about $100,000 had been expended on the Assembly Hall, and that great credit was due to the people building the Temples at Logan and Manti; alluded to the missionary work and the opposition of the world, showed that those who composed the Government of this nation were the children of God as well as we, that we should tell them of their evils, but would not fight them, and when they trampled the Constitution under foot we would take it up and bear it aloft; wished those who owed the P. E. Fund and were able, to pay up their indebtedness, and those who could do so to donate for the gathering of the poor; and exhorted all to remember that God was the author of life, the owner of all things, in whose hands were the destinies of men and nations. He blessed the various quorums of the priesthood and all the people, bore testimony of the truth, and predicted the growth, increase and triumph of the Kingdom of God until He should reign and rule and triumph.

[John Taylor]

[Apr 1880 CR pp 99-103]

      Shall we keep on a little longer, or shall we quit? I think we have a little time. We adjourned the first day of our meeting because it was rather cold, and now it is not quite so cold, and we will stay a little longer. I have felt a desire to hear the testimony of my brethren of the Twelve, and that of our Counselor who is here. All of the Twelve are present except one; he is at his post, attending to the interests of Zion. And we will pray for him, that God may be with him and sustain and preserve him, and through him preserve this people.

      There are a few things I want to speak upon, and I realize that while I and my brethren are speaking, we are not only speaking to this congregation, but to others to the Saints throughout this and adjoining Territories; to the inhabitants of the United States and to the world; because our testimony will go forth to them.

      There are many things which I wish to draw the attention of the brethren to, that they may not lose sight of them. One is Co-operation. We have a number of Co-operative institutions; we have one here, which may properly be denominated the parent institution; we have also many others, and we wish to sustain them, and to do it not nominally, but really in our hearts, and with honesty of purpose; and do everything we do on that principle, without hypocrisy of any kind, in truthfulness before God, and operating together for the welfare of Israel. But Co-operation is not a system only for importing goods and selling them; we want to co-operate in home manufactures. We have done considerable of that, and we desire to do more of it. The Co-operative Store here has, I presume, as much as two hundred men at work in all about 140 to 150 making shoes, and about 50 or 60 making certain kinds of clothing; and we want to see these things increased, until we can make all our own clothing right here at home; and instead of having to employ tailors abroad to make it for us, we want, as quickly as practicable and I think it is practicable now,to make it ourselves. I mean the clothing which is imported here; and then, instead of employing comparatively only a few men, use all of our own labor; let our factories be run on double time and use our own wool at home, instead of exporting it, and thus increase the means of employment and be self sustaining. And then if we could get some of the best machinery for the manufacture of hats, that would be another commendable enterprise, because we use a large number. I see there are a great many heads here, and there are a great many more in the Territory, all needing hats and if we should supply them ourselves it would be much better than to take the other course.
Then there are some that are trying to engage in the United Order, up and down in different parts, especially far off in the South. They have our blessing and our prayers. I say God bless them in all their attempts to approach that order which is instituted of God. We have not got at it yet, by and by we will come to it; but in the meantime we will approach it as near as we can. God is pleased with the action of this people in their liberality towards the poor. Now be liberal one towards another, and help and relieve one another, and God will relieve and bless you.

      Speaking again of Co-operation we have what are called Boards of Trade, and it is expected that they will operate and co-operate with our central institution. A meeting of that kind will be held this afternoon, therefore I do not wish at this time to say much upon that subject.

      There is a subject I wish to speak a little upon to High Councils, to Bishops, to Bishops' Counselors and to the Presidents of Stakes particularly; but as we shall hold a priesthood meeting, what I am about to refer to can be more fully talked of then; but I will allude to it briefly here. Reference was made by one of the speakers to a revelation contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, in which we are given to understand that the priesthood is given unto us, not for our own aggrandizement, nor to advance our own interests, but to build up the Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth, acting upon the principles of justice, equity and righteousness, as you are yourselves willing to be judged and will be judged, before the Great I AM, when the time comes that we shall have to give an account of our stewardship. We want no favoritism shown to any man, or to any woman, or to any set of men, but in the administration of justice to do it as in the sight of God, with integrity of heart and uprightness; anything different from this cannot receive the approbation of God. And furthermore, this priesthood is not conferred upon men to exercise any degree of unrighteousness or tyranny, or to in any way oppress or injure anybody; but if any man use his priesthood to subserve any such purpose, God will take hold of him, as the Priesthood above him will take hold of him, and he will be removed out of his place except he repent.

      Another thing. The Lord has given unto us our various Courts, Bishops' Courts, High Councils, etc., and it is expected that the Saints will adjust any matters of difficulty or dispute that may arise among them, before those courts, and that they do not go to law before the ungodly; and if any do so, I will promise them, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, that they will be destroyed by the ungodly. Hear it, you Elders of Israel, and you Saints of Latter days! Let us seek in the first place among ourselves to execute judgment in righteousness, and then let every man and every woman submit to them. That is God's law, and any man that acts contrary to this law cannot go into the temples of the Lord to receive the ordinances of God's house. For if we cannot submit to the law of God on the one hand, we cannot receive the blessings through his ordinances, on the other hand. Is that right? [The congregation answered, Yes.]

      Again. I have been very much interested in our Sabbath School operations, and should have been pleased to have been present at the general meeting of the Sunday School Union, last evening, but having so much labor on hand, I thought it better to rest. But I am interested in the cause of our Sunday Schools, and so are my brethren of the Twelve. God has given unto us the most precious of gifts children, and has placed us over them as the fathers and mothers of lives. They are eternal beings, and it should be our constant care to train them up in the fear of God. And we want the Bishops and the Presidents to sustain them, which I believe they do, and all good brethren and all good sisters should take an interest in the welfare of the rising generation, and do all they can to train the children in the fear of God. And God will bless you in your labors and desires, and the youth of Zion will rise up and call you blessed. And let no man or woman shirk the responsibility of teaching the children when it is put upon him or her.

      And then, our Young Men's and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations are very good institutions, and the Lord is blessing them, and he will continue to bless them; and we desire to see them encouraged in their operations throughout the land, that the principles of righteousness, truth and purity may be promulgated and sustained; and that vice, evil, corruption, and infamy may be frowned upon, and the right honored and maintained; and that our youth may grow up as plants of renown and become mighty men and women in Israel, filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost and the power of God.

      Again, in regard to the Relief Societies. They are doing a great deal of good, and I say, God bless the sisters, and let all the congregation say Amen. [The vast congregation said, Amen.] Sisters, continue your labors of love, and continue to propagate good, virtuous and holy principles; teach your daughters, and also your sons, principles of holiness and purity; and seek out the poor and distressed and minister to them, and God will bless you in your labors. We thank you, and I thank you in behalf of the Twelve, and in behalf of the people, for the liberal vote you gave us yesterday in regard to supplying the poor and the necessitous with the grain that you have stored something which we, who profess to be so much more intelligent, have not been able to do. God bless you; continue your good works and adhere to the principles of right and truth, and God will bless you, and he will bless your sons and daughters, and your names will be honored in Israel, and you will be honored by God and the holy angels.

      Again, in regard to the building of temples, we are engaged in doing a good work. Our Salt Lake Temple is progressing very nicely, and we expect it will go forward as usual, only a little more so, next season. I would say in regard to this temple there were some remarks made about no reports having been made. This is true; the people here have been careless and indifferent, at the same time a large amount of means has been used on it, and why the report has been omitted, I do not know. And the building known as the Salt Lake Assembly Hall has been erected within a short time, at a cost, I suppose, of not less than $100,000; besides attending to other things. I have no complaint to make, only we will try and do a little better; and when you are called upon to furnish quarry hands, be a little more prompt about it, and do not be backward; and when you are called upon to furnish men to assist us here, do not be backward about it. And we will try and improve, one and all, upon our past labors in relation to these things. In Logan and Manti we have two temples under construction, and when finished they will be a credit to the people. We are trying at least to carry out the word and will of God in this direction, and he is helping us to do it. We will build our temples and administer in them, and stand forth as the priests of the Most High God, administering salvation to the living and for the dead. And then, we will continue to send forth, as we are doing, our missionaries to the nations of the earth. Although they do not, very frequently, receive us very kindly, but no matter; they did not receive Jesus, nor the prophets in ancient times, very kindly. The laws of God, nor the servants of God, never were received very kindly upon the earth, except for about two hundred years upon this continent; but the time is coming when the Saints of the Most High God will take the kingdom and possess it, and reign for ever and ever; and he whose right it is will come and take the possession.

      I will speak a little in regard to our government. We complain a good deal about the way we have been treated. Well, we have been treated very scurvily, it is true everybody will admit that but we must consider the circumstances: they are not of our faith, they do not believe as we do, they have their ideas, and theories, and notions, and so have other nations as well as this. Well, what shall we do? We will do the very best we can. Do you think you could improve your condition in any other nation or under any other government, or receive any better treatment than you do in this? I tell you no, you could not. We here, at least, have the form and I was going to say, the guarantee of liberty; that is, the promise of the guarantee. We have the form, but it is like a religion without the power. What shall we do? Consign everybody to damnation and destruction? No. Who are they? They are God's children. Would he like to see them reform? He would; and he has told us to try to do it. If we had children that had gone astray, would we not like to see them reform? Yes, we would, and if our children do anything wrong we tell them of it, and we try to reform them. We will therefore continue to go to this nation as we have done, as saviors, with the message of life and salvation, and we will pray for the honest, the upright and virtuous, and those who love righteousness, and those who are willing to accord to men equal rights, and a great many who are not; and we will do them all the good we can. We will sustain the government in its administration, and be true to it, and maintain this position right along. And when division, strife, trouble and contention arise, we will try to still the troubled waters, and act in all honesty as true friends to the government; and when war shall exist among them, and there is no one found to sustain the remnants of liberty that may be left, the Elders of Israel will rally round the standard of freedom and proclaim liberty to all the world. These things will assuredly take place, and when they do our motto will be as it now is, "Peace on earth and good will to men." These are our sentiments and feelings in relation to these matters. But while we feel liberal, generous and kind to all men of all nations, classes and creeds, we have no fellowship with unrighteousness; we do not believe in the actions of many men, nor in their corruptions and evils; we want to purge ourselves from them and stand forth aloof as servants of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, and try in all fidelity, in the interests of our common humanity, to bear off the government of God triumphantly.

      I would also say a little about the P. E. Fund. While we have relieved a great many, to the amount of $800,000, of their indebtedness, which is right before God and all honorable men; there are a great many poor Saints among the nations yet. And we want those who are not forgiven for we shall not forgive those that are able to pay and do not do it to come forward and meet their obligations. And then, if there are those that are desirous of assisting any in this direction, who have it in their hearts to do so, and to impart a blessing to their friends in foreign lands, let them come forward and present their means to Brother Carrington, who is President of the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company, and he will see that the means are properly applied. We do not want to close up this avenue of relief to the scattered poor, but we will continue our efforts to gather Israel. And further; we will continue to build temples, and to administer in them, and we will also continue to preach the Gospel, until the word of the Lord be fulfilled pertaining to this and other nations, and then he will say, Turn to the Jews, go to the House of Israel, the cup of the Gentiles is full. This time has not come yet.

      Now, in regard to these matters, God is our God in whom we put our trust; we have nothing ourselves to boast of. Have we wealth? Who gave it to us? The Lord. Have we property? Who put us in possession of it? The Lord. Our horses, cattle and sheep, our flocks, herds and possessions, are his gifts. The gold and the silver and the precious things of earth, and also the cattle upon a thousand hills, are his, and we are his, and in his hands, and all nations are in his hands, and he will do with us and with them as seemeth him good. And as a kind, wise Father, he will watch over their interests; and when the time of judgment comes, it will not be withheld. We ought always to remember that our strength is in God; we have nothing to boast of ourselves, we have no intelligence that God has not given unto us; we have nothing in life, or property, but what has been given unto us of the Lord. Everything we possess pertaining to time and eternity has been imparted to us by him. Let us then act as Saints of God in all humility, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. I say God bless you, and God bless my brethren of the Twelve, and God bless my brethren of the Seventies, and God bless my brethren of the High Priesthood, and God bless the Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, and God bless the Bishops and their Counselors, and the Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, our missionaries laboring in foreign lands, and all the Holy Priesthood, and God bless all the Saints. And let us all seek to do our duty and honor and magnify our calling. Fear God and keep His commandments, and the peace and blessing of God will abide with us from this time henceforth and forever. And I now testify, as my brethren have done, that this is the work of God that has been revealed by the Almighty, and I know it. And God will sustain Israel, and no power can injure us if we will do what is right; and this kingdom will roll on, and the purposes of God will progress, and Zion will arise and shine, and the glory of God will rest upon her. And we will continue to grow and increase until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever. Amen.

 

            Elder L. JOHN NUTTALL read the following names of missionaries,who were sustained by unanimous vote:

GREAT BRITAIN.

Robert Irvine, 4t Ward, Salt Lake City.
Mark Beazer, Kaysville.
John Cooper, Fillmore.
William Webb, American Fork.
Edward Stevens, Payson.
John Kynaston, East Bountiful.
William Clark, Lehi.
Nicholas H. Groesbeck, Springville.
Called yesterday to the United States.

SANDWICH ISLANDS.

Orrin D. Allen, Huntsville.

UNITES STATES.

*Peter Lauritzen, Moroni.
*Erik Bastel Ericksen, Mt. Pleasant.
*Samuel G. Bunnell, Spring City.
*James Sanderson, Fairview.
Frank Warner of Willard City, place to be designated hereafter.
 *Already in their fields of labor.

            Choir and congregation standing sang:

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow"

            Benediction by Elder WILFORD WOODRUFF.

GEORGE GODDARD, Clerk.

_____

[8 Apr, 7 pm]

[DNW 29:165, 4/14/80, p 5, 1880 CR p 104]

PRIESTHOOD MEETING.

_____

            A meeting of the priesthood was held according to appointment in the Assembly Hall Thursday evening at 7 o'clock. It was opened by singing, and prayer by President Angus M. Cannon. After which the meeting was by Elder George Teasdale, who was followed by Elder Erastus Snow, in an exhaustive discourse on the authority of the priesthood in its several classes and callings. President Taylor made some closing remarks, full of instruction and inspiration.

            Charles Snyder, of the First Ward, was called on a mission to Switzerland and Germany, Jens Hanson, of Mill Creek, to Scandinavia, James Myler, of Clarkston, to the United States.

            The doxology was sung, and meeting dismissed with prayer by Elder Wilford Woodruff.

_____

6-10 Oct 1880, 50th Semi-Annual General Conference, SLC Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly 29:584, 10/13/80, p 8; 29:588, 10/13/80, p 12; Millennial Star, 42:689, 705, 721]

[6 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 29:584, 10/13/80, p 8]

FIFTIETH SEMI-ANNUAL CONFERENCE

_____

            The Fiftieth semi annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, convened in the Large Tabernacle at 10 a.m. the 6th day of October, 1880.

            Present on the stand were President John Taylor, and Elders Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, C. C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Albert Carrington and Moses Thatcher of the Council of the Twelve Apostles. Elders Erastus Snow and Brigham Young were absent having not yet returned from a mission through Arizona, New Mexico, etc.

            Counselor to the Twelve -- D. H. Wells.

            Patriarch -- John Smith.

            Of the Seven Presidents of Seventies -- Joseph Young, Horace S. Eldredge, John Van Cott and W. W. Taylor.

            Of the Presiding Bishops -- Edward Hunter, and Leonard W. Hardy.

            The Presidency of Salt Lake and other Stakes, besides leading Elders from all parts of the Territory.

            Conference was called to order by President John Taylor.

            The choir sang:

Mortals awake, with angels join,
 And chant the solemn lay.

            Prayer by Counselor D. H. Wells.

            The choir sang:

Sweet is the work, my God my King,
To praise thy name, give thanks and sing.

[Elder Charles C. Rich]

            Elder CHARLES C. RICH expressed thankfulness for the opportunity afforded us of meeting together at this conference. It afforded an opportunity of reflecting on the great and glorious principles of eternal life. We should not permit ourselves to become careless and indifferent to the things of the kingdom of God, by being absorbed with the vain and trifling things of this world. We should lay ourselves out for the performance of those duties and responsibilities that rest upon us as Elders in Israel, and to accomplish these things we must enjoy the spirit of God, which alone can qualify us to perform them. We should attend to present duties, such as the building of Temples, and seek to become united in our temporal as well as our spiritual labors. We are far from being perfect, but our efforts should not be slackened on that account; God requires much labor at our hands, and by the aid and assistance of his Holy spirit, we should ever be willing to continue to live before him in a way and manner that will be acceptable unto him. For there is no blessing that we can possibly enjoy, either temporal or spiritual, but what comes from His bountiful hand. That we may show our gratitude to him by our increased devotion to his cause, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.

[Elder Lorenzo Snow]

            ELDER LORENZO SNOW spoke of the relationship we sustain to our God, and the obligations that rest upon us in obtaining the light of the everlasting gospel to guide us through the journey of life. There is no necessity for us to become darkened in our minds, for we have the holy priesthood, and should ever be guided by the Spirit of God, which would fit and qualify us for serving him in an acceptable manner, and show us just what to do and how to act through all the relationships of life, in all things pertaining to temporal as well as spiritual duties. He referred to the experience of Moses and the children of Israel, showing the power and authority of the holy priesthood, in guiding and directing the people in every duty that pertained to their happiness in this life, and preparing them for the glory and enjoyments of the world to come. For this very purpose the Holy Priesthood has been bestowed in this our day, to guide and perfect the saints of God here and just in proportion as we attain to intelligence in this world and to integrity and faithfulness in that, so will be the exalted condition in which we shall appear behind the vail. The Holy Priesthood given in our day, is precisely the same with which holy men of God in all ages have been endowed, to guide the people in all matters pertaining to their safety, whether individually or nationally, and just in proportion as the people are willing to act in accordance with the counsels and instructions of those inspired to instruct them, they will become perfected in those laws that we have received, and be prepared to hereafter enjoy the fulness of the glory of God. Elder Snow dwelt upon the necessity of practical holiness, being imbued with the love of God to-day, and walking in the light of the Lord in this world, not leaving these things for the world to come.

[President John Taylor]

            PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR said we had met here in Conference, to talk over and reflect upon those principles and doctrines that are interesting not only to us as a people, but to the people of the whole world. These meetings, in which are congregated together the leading men from all parts of the Territory, are convened for no private or covetous motives, but to correct whatever in doctrine or in practice is not in strict conformity with the mind and will of God, and that we may endeavor to instruct and strengthen each other in every principle and practice of virtues and integrity that will be approved before high heaven. They are pure and exalted principles that God has intrusted to us, even those that pertain to eternal life. We are responsible to God for the dissemination of those principles throughout the nations of the earth. How necessary it is then that we should be under the direction of the Almighty in all of our ways and that we practise in our lives the truths which we are commanded to impart to others.

            At this point, President Taylor feeling somewhat indisposed, took his seat.

[Elder Geo. Q. Cannon]

            ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON said we profess to have revelations from God and should be guided always by his holy spirit to enable us to perform those duties that are placed upon us, so that our labors may be acceptable before God. He spoke of the delightful experience of those who had yielded obedience to the ordinances and requirements of the gospel, and lived continually under the influence of that divine spirit, which they received at confirmation, which constantly pointed out to them the way they should go and which was pleasing to their heavenly father. Thus the humble seekers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, after being perplexed by the conflicting theories and churches of men, realized to their unutterable joy that they at length had found out a truth that was free from all uncertainty. This was the experience that gladdens the hearts of the Latter-day Saints in these valleys, and where ever they may be found on the face of the earth. He was glad that so many had met together this morning to receive the word of God, and those instructions that are calculated to benefit and unite the Saints.

            He said in no place that he had visited could he find a people so united and happy, and opposed to strife, litigation and quarreling, and so obedient to good laws and wholesome principles, as those who dwell in these valleys. He knew this to be the Church and Kingdom of God. He also knew that God had raised up the men who now lead us, and that God would increase this people in power and numbers until their influence would be felt throughout the nations of the earth, not for themselves, but for the good of all. This is a phenomenal people. Where is there anything like them? Here we have a people, drawn together by one common impulse from all nations and creeds, speaking almost every language known on the earth and having various national peculiarities and customs, now dwelling together in comparative peace and union, and influenced by one spirit. What a spectacle to behold! There is nothing like it on the face of the earth. Only a few years ago God revealed his mind and will to an unlettered youth and organized a Church with only six members, and now look at its proportions! No human being alive could accomplish such grand and glorious results. God is the author of it, and he will consummate his plans and purpose, in connection with the Saints of latter days. Everything we now behold was predicted fifty years ago by the leaders of this Church. What they had declared which was not yet fulfilled would surely be fulfilled. God will attract by the power of truth men from every nation, who will come trooping by thousands to Zion. In spite of all the opposition that may be brought to bear against this work by men and governments, it will prevail. Prophets may be slain and an humble people persecuted, but the work is imperishable and indestructible. Rejoice then, ye Latter-day Saints, for great and glorious things await you. There are many in our midst who have grown grey in the service of God, but when they pass away others will come up in their places, and everything predicted concerning the latter-day glory will be accomplished to the very letter.

[President John Taylor]

            PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR said, as the Conference would be likely to continue till next Sunday, the Conference would be adjourned till tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., and this afternoon would give an opportunity for the brethren to attend to their business matters. He desired the seats on the south side of the stand to be reserved for the presidents of stakes, with their counselors and the members of High Councils, and the north for bishops and their counselors. President Taylor said that he had been attending closely to business and had exerted himself considerably and as a consequence felt a little faint while he was speaking this morning. Otherwise there nothing the matter with him.

            ELDER W. WOODRUFF gave notice that a meeting of the Young Men's and Ladies' Mutual improvement Associations would be held this evening in the Assembly hall at 7 o'clock p.m.

            The Choir sang the anthem,

I will extol thee.

            Conference adjourned till 10 o'clock a. m. to-morrow, (Thursday).

            Benediction by Elder L. John Nuttall.

_____

[7 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 29:584, 10/13/80, p 8]

SECOND DAY.

_____

Thursday, Oct. 7, 1880, 10 o'clock a. m.

            Choir sang

Come we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known.

            Prayer by Elder F. D. Richards.

            Choir sang,

Behold the mountain of the Lord
In latter days shall rise.

[Elder A. Carrington]

            ELDER A. CARRINGTON felt grateful for the privilege of enjoying the inestimable blessings of our heavenly Father, which he continues to grant unto us from time to time. He requires of us the keeping of his commandments, and inasmuch as we observe them there is no blessing, either of a temporal or spiritual nature, which will be denied us. Such were the conditions made to those who first came to inhabit this choice land. So long as they kept and observed his requirements they were blessed and prospered in the land but when they became wayward and disobedient, they were chastened and afflicted, until they were finally swept from the face of the earth. The pure principles of the Gospel have been revealed for our government in this our day, and the preaching of the Gospel throughout the nations of the earth has been the means of gathering a great and numerous people from almost every quarter of the globe, and no one need suppose that they have been gathered here to gratify their own whims or to gain any supposed popularity it might bring them, but in the midst of the suffering and strife that their acceptance of the principles of the Gospel had brought upon them, to serve the Lord with all their hearts, seeking first of all to know his will and then to carry it into practical effect in their every day lives. We have been led by revelation from the time that Joseph first received a knowledge of God's will in his early youth. And from the earliest period of man's existence on the earth, and through all the intermediate periods spoken of by all the prophets since the world bean, the grand principle of revelation stands out as a bold and conspicuous principle. The Lord gives line upon line and precept upon precept, to his children, and the speaker knew of no other way that God could expect submission to his will by his children, except by revealing that will to his servants, and they to make known to the people that which he reveals. God does not look upon the world as we do. We would naturally choose the wise and worldly mighty to usher in such a work as God has commenced, but he chose as his servants, the meek, humble and unlearned, and with them he has said he will thresh the nations by the power of his spirit. Those who do not understand the principles we have embraced will readily concede that the revelation given to the Prophet Joseph in the beginning, that God would employ the weak and unlearned ones to carry out his purposes, is correct, for they do not fail to charge us with being a weak and ignorant people, thus admitting the truth of that which God himself made known, but such being our character in the estimation of the world, it should not prevent us from seeking after a knowledge of the great work that God our Father has commenced, and be preparing ourselves for the blessings that await us in the redemption of Zion. We must labor to eradicate from ourselves all that is degrading and live according to the decrees of our kind wise Father in the heavens. But there are some who seem to prefer their own secret will and their own wayward way marking their own course according to their own skill in very great blindness and foolishness. But it is the duty of the Latter-day Saints to be guided by the revelations of God that they may overcome and inherit the glory of the righteous.

[Elder W. Woodruff]

            ELDER W. WOODRUFF said every one who attempts to preach to and instruct the Saints of God must have the spirit of God in order to be successful as a teacher. Ever since the foundation of the world the servants of God have been sustained by the Almighty in fulfilling the words which they uttered, no matter what the day or age of the world in which they lived, they were responsible to God in delivering the message they were sent to make known, and although in many instances it cost them their lives, yet having received the priesthood they were under the strongest obligation to God and the people, and had to perform their duty and leave the result in the hands of God. He then spoke of Joseph Smith the Prophet, whom God had raised up, called, and ordained to lay the foundation of this great latter-day work, and who ordained apostles, and organized every branch of the holy priesthood. He then addressed himself to those present as being a generation of apostles and elders, no other generation ever enjoyed such privileges or were under such obligations. We will be held responsible for our exercise of all the authority and power conferred upon us, and if we could only see ourselves as God sees us, if the vail could only be lifted to show us our true position, how different many of us would act to what we do in reference to the things of Go. Their hearts would not be set upon the things of this life, but upon the things of the kingdom. He spoke of the fifty thousand millions of the human family behind the vail who have so many years been shut up in prison, and Joseph Smith, who holds the keys of this dispensation, was the first one to open the doors of that prison house for ages, and to preach the gospel of salvation to them. We must build our temples and attend to the ordinances of the gospel in behalf of our dead who have died without a knowledge of the Gospel. This is one f the most important of our responsibilities. Let us go to, and build temples, pay our tithing, attend to our prayers and not give so much heed in accumulating the wealth of the world. "How hardly shall a rich man enter the kingdom of God." The poor can work for their bread and live their religion, while the rich become engrossed with the cares of the world. He did not wish to reflect on those who are wealthy, either in the Church or out of it, for the Lord intended us to become a wealthy people, but we must make a wise and good use of what he places in our hands. We shall be held responsible not only for the use we put our wealth to, but every other gift God has blessed us with. No other people in our day can go forth to the nations and call upon them to believe, repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins, and promise them the gift of the Holy Ghost for so doing, but by this means the 150,000 of this people have been gathered to these mountains. God has inspired his servants and sent them forth with this message, and has backed them up by the power of his spirit, and by this power alone can we build up his kingdom, which he prayed we might be able to do, in name of Jesus.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 29:786, 1/12/81, p 2]

DISCOURSE

DELIVERED BY ELDER WILFORD WOODRUFF,

At the General Conference, Thursday Morning, Oct. 7th, 1880.

_____

REPORTED BY JOHN IRVINE.

_____

I AM pleased to have the opportunity of again meeting with my brethren and sisters in General Conference. There is one thing that is very clear to my mind with regard to myself and everybody else who attempts to teach the Latter-day Saints, and that is we all need the spirit of the Lord, and without it we cannot edify anybody, neither can we build up Zion or do the work of God without the Holy Spirit. The prophets, the apostles, and all men who have been called in every age of the world to labor for the kingdom of God have had to be actuated by this principle, and that is one reason, as Brother Carrington has said, why the weak things of this world, whom the Lord has chosen, have confidence in God to go forth to lift up their voices and preach the gospel of Christ and do the work which is required at their hands.

      It is certainly interesting to any reflecting mind to contemplate the dealings of God with the inhabitants of the earth in the various ages and dispensations almost from the creation of the world as far as we have any knowledge. I have often been struck, in reading ancient history, with the dealings of God with some of the ancient cities of which we have some account in the Bible and other histories aside from that book. For instance there is Tyre and Sodom, Nineveh and Babylon the great -- these mighty cities that were built as it were to defy all time and all power but God himself. Just as quick as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, or any other prophet whom God raise up to lift up his voice and declare the word of the Lord concerning the destiny of any of these cities, all the power of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, or any other king or priest who dwelt in these cities, ruled them, governed and controlled them, had no power to stay the fulfilment of the words of the servants of the Lord; these cities have been overturned, have been laid in the dust in fulfillment of the word of God whenever they were ripened in iniquity. The Lord sent a poor weak man named Jonah to Nineveh, a great and mighty city, to go and warn the inhabitants thereof to repent, or in forty days Nineveh should be overthrown. Jonah thought it was a little too much for him, an obscure man, to go unto a great city like Nineveh and tell the inhabitants that in a few days the city would be overturned, hence he fled into Tarshish. For this he had a peculiar kind of experience for three days and three nights; you are all acquainted with the history that I allude to. When Jonah, however, got on dry land again he went and fulfilled his mission to the inhabitants of Nineveh. And I have many times thought that if this generation was like unto the Ninevites the world would be different to what it is today. When the people heard the word of God they believed it. They went to work and repented and called upon the Lord, and we are told "that God withheld the evil that he had said he would do unto them; and he did it." But I want to say that in all these things, when the Lord has called upon men to labor in the building up of his kingdom, he has chosen the weak things of the world. And so it has been throughout the whole generations of men. In the days of Jesus Christ, the apostles chosen were illiterate men, fishermen a good many of them; but the Lord gave them the apostleship, he gave them the priesthood, and they were commanded to go forth and preach the gospel. But they had to suffer death for their testimony.

      I desire now to refer to ourselves. In reflecting upon ancient days, let us look at our own position. The Lord raised up Joseph Smith. His history his life, his works, his death -- is before the world to-day. Joseph Smith was an illiterate man, as far as worldly learning was concerned, but he was an instrument raised up by the Lord to lay the foundation of this great and last dispensation. The Lord held Joseph Smith responsible for the key of the kingdom of God, for the revelations of heaven, for every principle which the Lord had revealed to him. Joseph Smith was a great man -- that is before the Lord, before the heavens, and before this generation. He was ordained of God to lay the foundation of this Church and Kingdom; he was true and faithful unto death, and when we look at what has followed the laying of the foundation of this Church fifty years ago, with six members, it is a marvel, it is a mystery in the eyes of the world, and it is even to us as Latter-day Saints, to note the progress of this church and kingdom from that day until the present. The revelations which have been given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, as recorded in the Book of doctrine and Covenants, have all had their fulfilment as far as time would admit. Joseph Smith lived until he laid the foundation of this church and kingdom; he lived until he received every key and principle and priesthood which belongs to this dispensation, and he lived until he sealed the same upon the heads of other men. Every man that ever knew him, every elder or every saint of God that ever traveled with him, or have heard him converse, can form some little idea of the spirit that filled his bosom. I have seen him from time to time, in my early acquaintance with him in Kirtland, smite his breast and say, "I would to God I could unbosom my feelings to my friends." But he could not do it. It seems it was impossible for him to reveal to the elders what God had revealed to him. Nevertheless he accomplished the work to which he had been ordained and set apart by the power of God. He lived, as I have already said, until he organized the church in all its various organizations. He chose the apostles, seventies, high council, high priests, and all the various officers in the church and kingdom of God, by revelation, and when he had finished this work, the Lord called him home. He sealed his testimony with his blood, and went to the other side of the vail. He holds the keys of the kingdom of God on both sides of the vail, and will hold them to the endless ages of eternity. Apostles were called and set apart to carry on the work which he commenced. Many of them who were associated with him have passed away, others remain here in the flesh.

      If I could tell you the feelings of my own heart I would say to the apostle, seventies, high priests, and all the officers of this church and kingdom, the God of heaven has raised you up, according to my faith and my view, and placed you here on the earth and watched over you until you have received the ordinances of the gospel. You are raised up as a kingdom of priests. You hold the power of the priesthood in your hands, and I say you are held responsible before high heaven, before the gods of eternity, before the heavenly hosts, and will be held accountable to the judgment day for the manner you make use of this priesthood and power which is put into your hands. This is the condition of all of us from the apostleship down through every department of this church and kingdom. There never was a generation since God made the world that have had greater power, greater responsibilities, greater blessings, or that have ever had the kingdom of God placed upon their shoulders to remain on the earth until the coming of the Son of Man. Therefore, how great the responsibility resting upon us as apostles, as elders, and in every capacity in which we are called to act. This is the way I view our position, and when I have enjoyed a portion of the spirit of God, when the vision of my mind has been open to comprehend in any measure our relationship to God and the heavenly hosts, and the responsibility we are under here to the Lord and to this generation, I have felt that I would to God that the vail might be lifted to the vision of the Latter-day Saints, that we might see ourselves as God sees us, and as the heavenly hosts see us. If we could only comprehend this we would feel in many respects different to what we do at present. We would be diligent. We would not have our hearts set on the things of this life as they many times are. Our labors are very great, very extensive. The Lord requires of us that which he has hardly ever required of any other generation. We have the kingdom. We have got to establish it and maintain it by faith and good works with the help of God wile we dwell here in the flesh. We have these temples to build here in these valleys of the mountains. This is one of the most important branches of the responsibility resting upon Latter-day Saints -- the redemption of our dead. I have often referred to this subject, because my mind has been opened to it, my desires have been exercised upon this principle. Nearly 1899 years have passed away and over 50 generations of men who have never seen a Prophet or an Apostle, who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, have gone into the spirit world. They have gone there without the gospel, they are under no responsibility to that law because they never came under it. There are therefore some fifty thousand million people to-day in the spirit world that have to be preached to by the Elders of Israel. There was nobody to preach to them until Joseph Smith went into the spirit world with the keys of the kingdom of God and unlocked the prison door. The Prophet Joseph had this subject of the redemption of the dead in his heart until the day of his death. He labored most diligently to this end. These millions will be preached to, and many will receive the truth, while those who dwell in the flesh have this duty to perform as their descendants on the earth to go and build these temples that we may attend to ordinances for the dead which the dead cannot attend to themselves. God requires this at our hands. It is our duty to enter into these temples and redeem our dead as far as we can, that we may be justified when we go into the spirit world. We have all the branches, temporal and spiritual, of this Church and kingdom to carry out. We have got to build these cities, towns and villages. We have got to cultivate the earth, educate our children, train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and it is our duty as a people to unite ourselves together according to the law of God. We should not set our hearts too much upon the things of this world. The earth and the riches thereof is the Lord's. He will give them to the Latter-day Saints as fast as they are prepared to receive them. But I tell you I have thought many times that it is a calamity for a man to become rich in the midst of this people. It is a hard matter for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Men when they are poor can labor for their bread and feel thankful to the God who gives it; but when we become millionaires our hearts begin to set upon the things of this world. Not but what such men may keep the commandments of God, do what is right, and be justified. I do not make these remarks because I wish to speak against the wealth of the Latter-day Saints, or anybody else, but I speak of this that we should not permit our hearts to be set upon riches to deprive us of magnifying our calling before the Lord. We have got to become rich, some time or other; the Saints of God will yet possess the earth. But the Lord holds us responsible as a people for the building up of his kingdom. We have got to build these temples and redeem our dead. We have got to pay our tithing. This is a law which has been given unto us. We should obey the law of tithing as a people, so that we may be qualified to inherit eternal life.

      When I come to realize that my destiny on the other side of the vail depends upon the little time I have to spend here, I feel that I have no time to throw away. We should seek for the Holy Spirit. We should magnify our calling. This kingdom given unto you Latter-day Saints, is the kingdom of God. It is the kingdom that Daniel saw, it is the everlasting kingdom which has been spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world was made. The little stone cut out of the mountains without hands, will roll until it fills the whole earth. The heavenly hosts are looking to nobody else upon the footstool of God but the Latter-day Saints to accomplish this work. No other people have got the kingdom. No other people have received the priesthood but the Latter-day Saints, and we will be held responsible for the use we make of it. Therefore, I think we should be diligent, we should look to the position which we occupy before the Lord. Our blessings are great. The revelations of heaven have been given unto us. We possess the Holy Ghost, it has been given to this people. We have been gathered by it from among the nations of the earth through the instrumentality of weak and humble men who have been called upon to preach the gospel. We regard this as being one of the strongest evidences of this being the work of God. The world, however, hate us. This we regard as another evidence of the divinity of this work. Said the Savior in his day, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." The world hate this people, the priests of the day especially, and if they had the power they would waste them away from off the face of the earth; but the Lord has said that he would break in pieces every weapon that is formed against Zion. When the wicked stretch out their hands to destroy this kingdom of God, will they prevail? I think not. We have got the kingdom of God. The Lord is looking to us, the heavenly hosts are looking to us, Joseph Smith and the whole of the spirit world, who are righteous, are watching this people with intense interest. They expect us to build Zion. They expect us to build temples and redeem our dead. They expect us to unites ourselves together and to keep the faith and overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. They expect these things at our hands, and I do hope that they may not be disappointed.

      We have every encouragement, my brethren and sisters, to be faithful. I thank God I have heard this gospel. I thank God I have lived to see this people. I thank God that I have been associated with prophets and apostles. All the happiness, all the joy and all the consolation I have ever had has been since I embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have a testimony for myself, as you have for yourselves, that this is the work of God. I know it is the work of God. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord. The Lord raised him up to lay the foundation of this Church and Kingdom. No man could do it of himself. The voice of God, the voice of the Holy Ghost, the voice of inspiration has declared these things from day to day and from year to year. It is by this power that we have been gathered together. Who could have gathered this people by any other principle only by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where is there a minister on the face of the earth -- a minister of the gospel or one who professes to be such -- who dare go to the nations of the earth and tell the people that if they receive his testimony and will go forth and be baptized, they shall receive the Holy Ghost? Is there any man on the earth dare do this? No one. No people ever has done it excepting the Latter-day Saints. Why dare they not do this? Because God would not back up their testimony, and if we had not been called of God, if this gospel had not been of God, we should have been found out a great many years ago. When we go and declare these things we promise the sons and daughters of Adam that if they will receive the gospel of Christ they shall receive the Holy Ghost. We offer this in the name of Israel's God. We baptize men and women, we lay hands upon them, and they do receive the Holy Ghost, and it bears record to them and they rise up and bear testimony of the truth of these things. It is by this power we shall build up Zion. We shall continue this work until the Son of Man comes in the clouds of heaven to reward every man according to the deeds done in the body. Then let us as Elders of Israel round up your shoulders for the kingdom of God Let us strive to retain the Holy Spirit that we may realize our responsibility and be ready to magnify our calling and do our duty before the Lord.

      I pray God my Heavenly Father to let his blessing rest upon us during this conference -- upon Brother Taylor, the Apostles, the Elders of Israel, and those who teach us and instruct us, for Christ's sake, Amen.

 

            The Choir sang an anthem:

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness.

            Conference was adjourned till 2 o'clock p. m.

            Benediction by Elder Orson Pratt.

_____

[7 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 29:584-565, 10/13/80, p 8-9]

Thursday, 2 p. m.

            Choir sang

Softly beams the sacred dawning,
Of the great Millennial morn.

            Prayer by Elder Joseph F. Smith.

            Choir sang

Hark, listen to the trumpeters,
They sound for volunteers.

            Elder Geo. Q. Cannon then read the statistical reports from all the Stakes of Zion, for the half year ending Sept. 15th.

[Elder J. D. T. McAllister]

            ELDER J. D. T. MCALLISTER said it was two years since he had attended conference in this city. Most of the people present are Latter-day Saints and have made covenants with God and each other. We are apt to watch with a scrutinizing eye those men who are placed over us to lead us. We expect to see perfection in them. What should we think if the Apostles were to stop at our saloons to take a drink of beer or liquor, should we not be surprised? And yet how many are there in our midst who do so, and men too who hold the holy priesthood, and whose example should be worthy of imitation. Time was when the name of God was scarcely ever heard taken in vain in this city, and those who did blaspheme were soon in the hands of a peace officer. The Sabbath day should be kept holy, and we should teach our children to keep it holy. The amusement provided for our young people, especially dancing, should be controlled by the servants of God, according to instructions issued in circular by President John Taylor. Tithing should be observed by all Saints in the time and season thereof, and they should not leave it until the 31st of December; it is a daily, weekly or monthly affair as the case may be. Offerings for the poor and other worthy objects also should be attended to, this being another requirement of the gospel, and we cannot afford to trifle with or neglect it. It is our duty to pray for and sustain the servants of God, who have for so many years borne the heat and burden of the day. We should also read and study the Scriptures, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other good books. We should strive to live a happy life, and if each member of a family would live as the children of God should live, what a beautiful home such a family would present! There is a great work before us, not only for ourselves but for our dead also, we can turn the key of their salvation by attending to the ordinances of the gospel in their behalf. We are making a record of our lives in the way of tithing, and other things connected with our duties and responsibilities. The books kept in heaven will agree with those kept on the earth. Our religion is one that happifies us in every relation of life; every child that we have and train aright is a star in that crown that we expect to wear by and bye. We should try to educate ourselves in keeping the commandments of God. We should observe the word of wisdom in the spirit and meaning thereof. It takes in a very wide scope connected with all the acts of our lives and we should be guided thereby.

            He spoke of the great work that has been done in the Temple at St. George. Many appreciated the blessings to be obtained there, while others appeared to think but little about them. Over 182,000 had been officiated for in that Temple since it was first opened. He also made a few encouraging remarks on the subject of baptism for the dead, and gave the following statistics of ordinance work in the Temple at St. George up to June, 1880: Baptisms for the dead, 99,523; endowments for the dead, 41,791; ordinations for the dead, 14,255; children dead sealed to parents, 1,314.

            He said that quite a number of Saints in the south were living in the United Order, on the principle laid down in the Doctrine and Covenants, each one living in the Order as God would have them do, the principle of stewardship strictly adhered to, and everything kept clean and orderly. He eulogized the people living in Orderville and described their united and prosperous condition, and prayed the blessing of God upon all the Saints.

            The choir sang an anthem --

The Lord will comfort Zion.

            Conference adjourned till to-morrow (Friday) at 10 o'clock a.m.

            Benediction by Elder Moses Thatcher.

_____

[8 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 29:585, 10/13/80, p 9]

THIRD DAY.

FRIDAY, October 8th.

            Choir sang --

Come, follow me, the Savior said,
Then let us in his footsteps tread.

            Prayer by Elder Wm. H. Folsom. Choir sang --

My God, the spring of all my joys,
 The life of my delights.

[Elder Franklin D. Richards]

            Elder FRANKLIN D. RICHARDS spoke of the general interest that is felt by the Latter-day Saints, not only by the old but the middle aged, and even the young, in what is going on among the nations abroad, and also in what is being transacted in our own Territory. He referred with pleasure to the increased interest being taken throughout the European mission, made manifest by the many calls for more help by the President of the mission. He also spoke of the difference in feeling that exists among the people of the Southern States since their affliction brought about by the civil war, and their willingness to receive the testimonies of our young men and boys whom we have sent among them as missionaries. The Twelve, of late, had made many calls, not only from the Elders' quorums, to fill the urgent solicitations made upon them to carry the gospel to those who have never yet had it preached to them;he felt satisfied there are many thousands throughout the Southern States, who have never heard the testimony of any of our Elders. And we must continue our efforts until all the people have been faithfully warned. A great many names of our young brethren, who have never had any experience in preaching the gospel, have been handed in to the Twelve and as necessity requires they will be duly called upon, some of them during the Conference and others from time to time as occasion requires. The work of the ministry must go on, it is the leading work now on our hands to perform. It is no great thing to require from those who have been made partakers of the great blessings the gospel has imparted, to go forth and communicate the same good things and glad tidings to others, who have not yet tasted of them. We must keep the spirit and love of this work continually in our hearts, and ever be ready to go forth and disseminate to others what we ourselves have experienced. The nations of the earth are rushing on to discord and distraction, and we should constantly be preparing ourselves to offer them that aid and succor both temporal and spiritual, which will be needed.

            Those of our youth who have not yet received a testimony of the truth of this work should be kindly labored with by those who have had experience in the ministry, who should endeavor to instruct and encourage them in feeling after the Lord until their feet are firmly set in the ways of God, and they are filled with a determination to serve him. He particularly urged this labor upon the leading Elders of the Church at home, for such a labor is equally important with any foreign missionary work to the nations.

            He thought there was too much distance between the Bishops and the people of their wards, also between the Presidents of Stakes and their members. Whenever difficulties arise, the Bishops and leading men should endeavor to settle them by their kindly influence in helping the brethren to overcome their weaknesses. The various tribunals of the church are intended to promote peace, and administer justice. The home missionary labor is great in our midst, and we should continue to exert our influence until the fellowship of the holy spirit is more universally enjoyed by the Saints, and every feeling of bitterness is subdued.

            Elder GEO. Q. CANNON, then read a report of Manti temple district up to Oct. 1st, of this year, also a report from the Cache Temple district. The Total receipts of donations for the Manti Temple to oct. 1, 1880, were $207977.35; and for the Logan Cache Valley Temple $252,147.78.

            He read an exhibit from the Perpetual Emigration Company.

            He then spoke of the vote taken at our last Conference, to remit a portion of back unpaid tithing, and for the Church to distribute cows and sheep to the worthy poor. He referred also to the vote that was taken, for each Stake of Zion to contribute what they could by private donations for the same purpose. The Council of the Apostles to whom was committed the labor of examining the reports from the various Stakes found them incomplete, while several reports had not yet been sent in. Under these circumstances it had been deemed wisdom by the Apostles to make an apportionment of the cows and sheep promised by the Church among the several Stakes, leaving each Stake to make collection and disbursement of its own portion of the individual donations agreed upon. Following is the list of the Church apportionment based upon the population of the various Stakes with this exception, that those Stakes which have declared their ability to take care of their own poor have not been apportioned any cows or sheep, but their proportion has been divided among other stakes.

            Salt Lake Stake, 60 cows, 424 sheep; Bear Lake Stake, 10 cows, 66 sheep; Beaver Stake, 3 cows, 20 sheep; Box Elder Stake, 16 cows, 108 sheep; Cache Stake, 18 cows, 120 sheep; Davis Stake, 6 cows, 44 sheep; Juab Stake, 6 cows, 37 sheep; Kanab Stake, 8 cows 50 sheep; Millard Stake, 7 cows, 44 sheep; Morgan Stake, 6 cows, 40 sheep; Panguitch Stake, 5 cows; 30 sheep; Parowan Stake, 8 cows, 50 sheep; Sevier Stake, 14 cows, 100 sheep; St. George Stake, 18 cows, 125 sheep; Summit Stake, 12 cows, 75 sheep; Sanpete Stake, 25 cows, 150 sheep; Tooele Stake, 9 cows, 60 sheep; Utah Stake, 40 cows, 264 sheep; Wasatch Stake, 6 cows, 46 sheep; Weber Stake, 23 cows, 147 sheep. Total number of cows 300; total number of sheep 2,000.

            Those Presidents of Stakes who have not attended to their covenants made at the last conference, should at once go to and gather up the donations for the poor, and forward with it a full report of all the back unpaid tithing on their books, that every item of that covenant taken at our last conference may be fully complied with. The Council of the Twelve have decided that one-half of the unpaid back tithing shall be remitted in every Stake of Zion -- and that the remission be left to the discretion of the authorities of each Stake, with the understanding that the worthy poor will be those who receive this consideration, not apostates nor those who had left for other places without letters of recommendation from their Bishops.

            From a careful examination of the reports submitted to the council the following conclusions were realized: That those Stakes which had paid the most tithing and Temple donations, and had contributed most towards the poor, required less aid from the Church than other Stakes, verifying the truth of Bishop Hunter's oft repeated saying -- "Pay your tithing and be blessed." He particularly spoke in praise of St. George, Salt Lake and Cache Stakes.

            He then submitted to the Conference the reports and decision of the Council in the remission of the back tithing and the distribution of the cows and the sheep, which was universally responded to by a unanimous show of uplifted hands. He then read a note from Superintendent John Sharp, that the time of the Union Pacific Railroad Conference tickets would be extended until Monday the 11th inst. He hoped, therefore, that the brethren and sisters who had come from a distance to attend Conference, would remain contented till it closed, for some very important matters had yet to be introduced, not only at these meetings, but at the priesthood meetings. Let every one be willing, therefore, to stay and be fed with the bread of life.

            The Twelve, and especially President Taylor, had been heavily taxed in preparing for this Conference, and he sincerely hoped the people would remain until all the business and instructions were concluded.

            The choir sang an anthem --

Jerusalem, my glorious home.

            Conference adjourned till 2'clock p.m. Benediction by President A. M. Cannon.

_____

[8 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 29:585, 10/13/80, p 9]

Friday, 2 p.m.

            Choir sang:

Awake ye Saints of God awake,
 Call on the Lord in mighty prayer.

            Prayer by President JOSEPH YOUNG.

            Choir sang:

Though nations rise and men conspire,
 Their efforts will be vain.

[Elder Orson Pratt]

            Elder ORSON PRATT read a promise that was given by our Lord in May, 1833, to every person in the Church both male and female, found in Doctrine and Covenants on page 300. This, he said, was one of the great promises to the Saints of the last days. It was given on certain conditions. Those who keep my commandments saith the Lord shall see my face and know that I am, and that I am the true light that lighteth every one that cometh into the world. Another revelation given in September 1832 (Doc. & Cov. 266) speaking of the priesthood shows that in the priesthood and the ordinances thereof the power of godliness is manifest to men in the flesh and without it no man can see the face of God and live.

            Moses held the Melchisedek priesthood, but the children of Israel not abiding the law of that priesthood, it was taken away from them, and they were only permitted to have among them the priesthood of Aaron. In every dispensation where the Melchisedek priesthood was given the same blessings were enjoyed as contained in the revelation just now read. Adam was taught by the spirit the plan of salvation, after the fall, and was shown that he and his children should be born of water and of the Spirit, and thus become adopted as citizens in the kingdom of God. Adam received the word of the Lord and was obedient, and the Spirit of God caught up Adam and took him where there was water, and baptized him, after which he received the high priesthood, after the order of him who is eternal. After he had received much instruction pertaining to the everlasting priesthood and patriarchal power and laws and ordinances which he taught to his posterity, books were written among them containing the genealogies of the ancient fathers. Abel received the priesthood and offered a sacrifice that was acceptable before the Lord, but Cain's sacrifice was not accepted, not being offered in faith, he would not repent, but indulged in all manner of wickedness, and built up a secret combination that practiced every species of evil, in which he was the chief or Master Mahan, and finally he murdered his brother Abel. In the course of time Seth was born, and he also received the priesthood. After this Enos was born, who took a course of righteousness, and was also ordained to the priesthood. Elder Pratt continued to dwell upon the early history of the priesthood in relation to the dealings of God with the children of men, and how that a portion of the human family became very wicked, and the righteous,m including Seth and Enos, were commanded to go to a country called Canaan. He also introduced Enoch and other prominent servants of God living in those far off days, and showed that in all their wanderings, they were led by the spirit of revelation under the guidance of the holy priesthood. Enoch succeeded in building up many churches unto the Lord God, in various cities and countries, and finally gathered them all together to the land of Zion, the place of which has not been revealed, so as to be placed on record. He was engaged in preaching to and gathering the people to the place where the City of Zion was built. The speaker dilated upon the great work performed by Enoch and the length of time that he was engaged in it under the power of that same high and holy priesthood.

            He then spoke of Father Adam meeting with and standing up in the midst of his righteous posterity, in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, which is in the State of Missouri, and predicting many important prophecies of events that should occur through future generations down to the latest period of time.

            He then spoke of the glorious visions that were shown to Enoch, including the sufferings of the ungodly and the glories of the righteous, awaiting those behind the vail, and the ushering in of the gospel in the latter days as righteousness coming down out of heaven. After Enoch and his city had been translated, Methuselah still held the priesthood, and it was bestowed upon succeeding ones until it reached Moses. He continued to trace the subject of the priesthood, which is without beginning of days or end of years, from one channel of lineage to another, throughout the generations of men, not only on the eastern but also on the western continent. He then dwelt on the inestimable blessings that were conferred upon the saints in our day, and the responsibilities consequently resting upon all those who have received the holy priesthood, and showed that the promise of God to unveil his face to the faithful extended to the sisters as well as the brethren.

[Orson Pratt]

[DNW 31:130-131, 3/22/82, p 2-3]

DISCOURSE

DELIVERED BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,

At the General conference, Friday Afternoon, Oct. 8, 1880.

_____

REPORTED BY JOHN IRVINE.

_____

It is to be hoped that in this large assembly every one will studiously seek to be as still as possible, that there may be an opportunity of hearing. I do not suppose there will be much business presented before the Conference this afternoon, and I have been requested to speak, which I am willing to do, and desire to do in a manner that shall be acceptable to the Lord and also instructive and edifying to the Latter-day Saints.

      I will commence by reading a promise that was given by our Lord in the month of May, 1833 -- a promise made to all of the Latter-day Saints, not to a few individuals, not to the members of the Church alone, but to every person in all the world. This promise will be found in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants (page 328 new edition) as follows: -- "Verily, thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh their 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." This is a great promise which the Lord has made to all of his people, male and female. I esteem it to be one of the great characteristics of the Latter-day dispensation, one of the great and important promises made to the children of mortality, one that deeply concerns us all. This promise, however, is made on certain conditions, some of which are here specified. One of the conditions in regard to this matter will be found in a revelation given on the 22nd day of September, 1832, which reads: "And this greater Priesthood" -- speaking of the order of the Son of God -- "administereth the Gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom even the key of the knowledge of God; therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is made manifest; and without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the Priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; for without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live." his Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness and sought diligently to sanctify them, that they might behold the face of God. But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence, therefore the holy Priesthood was taken out of their midst and also Moses holding that Priesthood, and the lesser Priesthood continued, even the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys in regard to outward ordinances and the keys of the ministration of angels and the law of carnal commandments which the Lord in His wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John. I may not have repeated word for word in the language of the revelation, but I have given you at least the substance. Before that time -- the time when the higher Priesthood was taken from amongst the children of Israel -- they enjoyed all the privileges of the gospel in various dispensations from the days of Adam down until the days of Moses, namely, the privilege I have just read in your hearing of seeing he face of God. In every dispensation? Yes, Standing in the presence of God in every dispensation in this temporal life? Yes. When was there ever a generation or a people from Adam to the days of Moses when this principle was not exhibited provided that a dispensation of God was among them? I do not know of any. Were there any dispensations in which the higher Priesthood did not exist? I do not know of any. It is true the Lord in calling His servants in these early ages of the world had a particular order, but He did not always confine Himself to that particular order in regard to lineage. The order that God ordained and established on the earth in the days of Adam was that the first born was entitled by right to the grand order of patriarchal government, including the High Priesthood after the order of the Son of God. Adam was the first man in mortality in this probation that had this great and glorious and high and heavenly calling conferred upon him. There is no dubiety in our minds in regard to this matter. It is revealed, it is declared in the revelations that are printed to which you all have access, that Adam himself as the first man in mortality received not only the Gospel, but the Priesthood. I do not know that I can repeat this revelation word for word, but I will state the substance of it. The Spirit of the Lord was upon our father Adam, and conversed with him, made known unto him in great plainness the plan of salvation, taught him concerning baptism in water, told him the reason why he should be baptized in water, that it was a similitude, or in other words, something that was similar to our natural birth into the world; and after having explained to him the gospel, saying that he and his children must be baptized in water and should receive the Holy Ghost which should bear record of the Father and the Son and should make manifest unto him the things of the kingdom of God, and the things necessary for him to understand in his probationary state in order to get back again into the kingdom of his Father in the heavens. While the spirit of God was still upon him, Adam believing, he called upon the name of the Lord. What was the effect of this? The Spirit of the Lord took him -- now I don' want you to spiritualize this as the sectarians do -- to a place where there was water, that Spirit placed him beneath the water, brought him forth out of the water, and thus Adam was baptized, the first baptism that pertains to mortal man here on the earth. What next? The everlasting Priesthood was given to him on that occasion, for the Spirit said unto him, "Thou art after the order of Him that is without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity." What a great blessing to be permitted to enjoy that Priesthood that had no beginning, a Priesthood that was without father, without mother, a Priesthood that was from all eternity to all eternity. Adam received this entered into the order of it, and became a High Priest forever after the order of Him who is eternal, namely the Son of God. Then after this the Lord gave many revelations, and he gave a pattern, as you can read here in this book, after which the people should write, and they commenced writing the things of God, they commenced writing their genealogies, they commenced writing concerning the Gospel and concerning the Priesthood. They named their book which they wrote in those days the Book of Numbers -- that is to number that which God had spoken, to number the genealogies, to number the Gospel as it was revealed, to number the prophecies as they were delivered, and this Book of Numbers was written by the inspiration of the Most High God. In this Book of Numbers kept by the forefathers it was recorded that the first born among the descendants of Adam should have conferred upon them the everlasting Priesthood, the patriarchal power to govern over their seed. Here, then, is what might be termed a temporal order, a political government combined with a spiritual order revealed from heaven. It was all one in those days. The management and government of the children of God were dictated by revelation, by the Priesthood, by the patriarchal power, by the laws that were communicated from the heavens unto the children of men.

      The next one that received this Priesthood of which we have any account was Abel. Adam had a numerous family, how many this book does not tell us, but they were scattered over the face of the land two and two. Adam and Eve begat sons and daughters, and they united in marriage, two and two, and scattered abroad on the face of the land. You all have the history in this book as to what took place in regard to two of these sons, Cain and Abel.

      It seems that some of the others, according to the record given, were rebels. A great many of them did not hearken unto the Lord, did not keep His commandments, and became quite wicked before the heavens. The Lord, it would seem, conferred the Priesthood upon Abel, and he offered a sacrifice that was acceptable before the Lord. Cain undertook to imitate it in some measure by offering the fruits of the ground; but his heart being corrupt, not having faith, it was not accepted of the Lord. Cain felt angry about it, and his countenance fell, yet the Lord condescended to talk with him on the subject. "Why art thou wroth." said the Lord, "and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto My commandments I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." etc., according to the new translation. Well, Cain did not repent, but hardened his heart and finally built up a secret combination -- that is, he gathered the posterity of Adam who were rebellious, and organized quite a large combination. The object of the combination was to plunder, to steal, to obtain political power outside of the order that God had established, and Satan was the founder of it. He gave them all the various plans pertaining to it and built up a combination that was wicked in the extreme. Cain being one of the most wicked of all that combination, he was appointed the chief captain, the great Grand Master. Do you want to know his name? Grand Master Mahan.

      After Abel was murdered Adam still had the High Priesthood. It was the great governing power appointed by the Almighty. The Priesthood was not taken from the earth. It was still held by the first man of all, and when 130 years had passed away, a person by the name of Seth came on the stage of action; and he hearkened to the voice of the Lord, gave heed to the instructions of his father, Adam, and the Priesthood was conferred upon him. By and bye, a little over one hundred years after Seth obtained the Priesthood, Enos was born, and Enos hearkened to the words of God, and the Priesthood was conferred upon him, and after a few years he begat a son whom he called Cainan, the fourth generation from Adam. At that time the people of God had become quite numerous. They were scattered over the face of the land, and the wicked were among them, and so great was the wickedness that prevailed among the descendants of Adam, that it was counseled by Enos that he and all the residue of the righteous should flee out of the land. They fled out about 325 years after Adam was placed on the earth. The land which they had occupied prior to that time was called the land of Shulon. Where it was I do not know, it is not revealed. I suppose Adam went with them, although it does not say so, it only says that "Enos and the residue of the people of God came out from the land, which was called Shulon, and dwelt in a land of promise. I mentioned some of these circumstances to show you the early history of the Priesthood, the early history of the dealings of God with the children of men, as revealed to us in this generation. They seemed to maintain a foothold in this land to which they fled. It might have been north of Jackson County for aught I know. There seem to be some old ruins in Davis County in the State of Missouri, and no doubt there were altars built there. We know from verbal revelation, not written, that Adam offered sacrifices thereon. They maintained a foothold from 325 years after Adam came upon the stage of being down from generation to generation to the days of Enoch; for Cainan begat Mahalaleel; Mahalaleel begat Jared; and Jared begat Enoch, who was the seventh from Adam. Enoch being wrought upon by the spirit of God, left the land of Cainan, where all the righteous were living, and went forth on a foreign mission, the same as many of our Elders now go forth. He traveled eastward from the land of Cainan till he came to the borders of the sea. What sea it was I do not know. The Atlantic ocean flows between the great eastern continent and the western, but whether that ocean was there in the days of Adam I do not know. There is one thing certain, however, that from the days of Adam down to the days of Peleg, the earth was not divided. At any rate Enoch traveled eastward and he came to the sea shore, and the Lord appeared to him. The Lord doe not appear to people that do not have the Priesthood according to the revelation that I have already repeated. I mean -- do not misunderstand me -- he does not appear to those who have not been administered through the order of the Priesthood, male and female, Enoch having been in the land of Cainan was administered unto and taught in the ways of God. He had the privilege of seeing the face of God, and God revealed himself to him even after he started on his mission. What did the Lord say to him? "Anoint thine eyes with clay, and wash them, and thou shalt see." Enoch did as he was commanded, and his spiritual eyes were opened so that he could see those things which were not visible to the natural eyes of men. One of the first visions given to him was to show him what God had created before the foundation of the world. He saw the spirits of men that God had made before the world was made. What a wonderful power was bestowed upon this man through that simple ordinance that he was commanded to attend to! He saw the spirits of men as they existed before this world was formed; and it says he saw things that could not be seen by the natural eye. And the Lord commanded him to lift up his voice in the east country near the sea shore to the nations who had forgotten God, and he did so. It was quite a marvel to the people, for he spake with great power and fear came upon them and the durst not lay hands on him to destroy him. "And they came forth to hear him, upon the high places, saying unto the tent keepers, Tarry ye here and keep the tents, while we go yonder to behold the Seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us." Enoch declared the things of God not in a temple or in a tabernacle, or in any public building, but in the "high places" and "upon the hills" wherever he could get the people congregated together. And they begged to ask him some questions. They asked him "Tell us plainly who thou art, and from whence thou comest?" And Enoch in answer to the questions put to him said, "I came out from the land of Cainan, the land of my fathers, a land of righteousness unto this day," and commenced to deliver unto them great discourse. Enoch succeeded by following the direction of the Almighty in building up unto the Lord many churches in the land of Shem, in the land of Heni, and in various parts of the land, the names of which are given, being commanded of the Lord to preach to all these nations that were shown to him in vision, excepting certain people that were under the curse. He was forbidden to preach to them. A skin of blackness had come upon them. They were cursed of the Lord. They were the descendants of the murderer Cain;. Enoch was not permitted to preach to them, but he gathered out from the land of Heni, Shem, and various other parts, many who received the Gospel, unto a place where he built up a city that was called Zion. No, where was that city? It is not revealed. Where was the garden of Eden? It is not revealed l-- that is, there is no written revelation. It may have been verbally revealed where the city of Zion stood and where the garden was, if so it has been handed down verbally without ever having been written. They were gathered together; a city was built. This was some 40 years after Enoch was called. He was called quite young, too, being only 25 years of age when he was commanded to go on this mission. After gathering together this people, it seems that the city was built, and it stood on the earth 365 years, making Enoch 430 years old when he and his city were taken from the earth. Now, I doubt about Adam's dwelling in that city. I think Adam had a dwelling place to the north of the city. What makes you think so? I think so from what is revealed in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. In that book we read that three years before Adam died, he gathered together Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared and the various heads of his posterity, and all the righteous unto a certain valley that will be found in Davis County, Missouri. There is a little hill on one side of that valley, perhaps they may have numbered many scores of thousands. It seems to have been a prominent conference in those days, and it must have been very encouraging indeed for Adam to see his descendants for some seven or eight generations gathered round about him. They did not hold this conference in the city of Zion, for Zion probably had already fled. We do not know whether it was on the earth at that time or not. At any rate this conference was not held in the city of Zion. The Lord appeared to the people assembled a this conference. What a great blessing! I think if they expected any such [manaifestation ?] as this they would not feel at all anxious to go home, they would be willing to stay until the conference was closed. Well, along toward the close of this gathering Adam predicted what should come to pass down until the end of the earth among all the generations of his people, and it was considered of such great importance that they wrote it in a book which was called the Book of Enoch. In that book they recorded this prophecy in the language of Adam, a pure language, according to the pattern shown them by the Lord. What has become of that book? I have not enquired, and I do not know that any of my brethren have. It is no doubt preserved. Whether it was hid up by Methuselah, Lamech, or Noah, I do not know. Noah lived on the earth some 600 years before the flood came, and he understood all about his forefathers. The records having come into his hands. I presume that he would see that they were not destroyed in the flood. He would be very apt to secure them somewhere, and as Noah lived upon this western hemisphere I presume there is a place of deposit somewhere on this land where Enoch's records are hid and where the records of Seth, Adam and all those High Priests I have been speaking of, who all wrote according to the spirit of inspiration. I presume these prophecies and records are all kept. Well, says one, have you any idea that they will ever come forth? Why, certainly. The Lord tells us -- you can read it in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants -- that the things that were written in the Book of Enoch concerning that great and last council are to come forth and be testified of in due time. The Lord while he was dwelling in the city of Enoch -- for the Lord dwelt there, it was one of his holy places; I do not say he was there every moment, for he had many other mansions and kingdoms besides that -- revealed unto the people a great many things. Enoch saw what should become of his seed, and in his enquiries he found out that his seed at some future period would be translated and taken up into heaven and he would be with them. He also found out that there was a long period of time to intervene between the translation of his city and the coming of the Messiah in the flesh and the redemption that was to be wrought out by the shedding of the blood of "the Righteous," even the Son of God. He saw the spirits of men that were shut up some of them in prison. But says one, I thought they were all shut up in prison. No; if you take this book and read it you will find that the Lord made a distinction; He did not send them all to prison. There were certain ones that were not worthy of going to that prison; they were too wicked, too corrupt, too abominable while in the flesh; they were reserved in chains of darkness. How long? For a long period after those in prison should be redeemed. Enoch saw this, and he saw that when the Lamb of God was lifted up and the blood of the Righteous was shed he saw the prison doors open and as many of the spirits as were in prison -- not all the spirits -- but as many of them as were in prison came forth and stood on the right hand of God. What became of the other spirits that were not in prison? The others were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day. This was shown to the Prophet Enoch. By and bye he saw this same personage that was crucified arising from the dead. He saw the heavens veiled in darkness at the time of the crucifixion and the earth quaked and trembled, and after the resurrection of Christ the Saints of the Most High God came forth from the dead. All the righteous from the days of Adam down until the time of the resurrection of Jesus had the privilege of coming forth in what was then termed the first resurrection. By and Bye Enoch saw that Jesus being resurrected from the dead ascended up unto his Father and God, and he felt very anxious. Says he: "Wilt thou not come again upon the earth?" And he saw in vision that the earth itself was pained and groaned under the load of sin and corruption which was upon the face thereof, and made use of the words, "When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?" And when Enoch heard these things, he felt inexpressible sorrow for old mother earth. He looked upon the earth as a being of intelligence, a being that was capable of uttering forth words, a being that was capable of being afflicted because of the wickedness upon her face. It was more than he could endure without offering a supplication on behalf of the earth. He said: "O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth," etc. And the Lord, we are told, could not withhold, and he sent forth an unalterable decree that he would again stand on the earth in the latter days and the earth should rest. This he unfolded unto Enoch, that when that period of time should be about to be ushered in, that he would send down out of heaven righteousness, that he would sent truth out of the earth, and righteousness and truth should again be sent forth among the children of men to sweep the earth as it were with a flood to gather out the righteous from all the nations unto a place that should be called Zion, or the New Jerusalem. Then says the Lord to Enoch, "thou and all thy city shall meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; an we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; and there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years shall the earth rest."

      Now, in regard to the Priesthood, let us not lose sight of this. In this book there is a promise made in the days of old Father Adam, that this Priesthood that he gave unto Adam and Seth and Enos, and all those holy men should be on the earth again in the latter-days; the same Priesthood, not another one. but after Enoch and his city were taken up into heaven, the Priesthood was not destroyed out of the earth. Who held it, says one? A man by the name of Methuselah, one of Enoch's own children. Why did not he receive a translation with the city? How came Enoch's son to be left behind? Because of the promise which God had made to Enoch. He told Enoch that through his son Methuselah his seed should be preserved on the earth, when all flesh should be swept away by the flood. It was for this reason that Methuselah was left behind. Was he a good Man? I have no doubt but what he was a very good man in many respects, but he had this failings and his faults like many other good men. He took glory unto himself. About what? He understood by the promise of God that his seed should remain on the earth until the end should come, and it was a little too much for him, it overcame him, and he boasted in his own strength, took glory unto himself; nevertheless not enough to destroy the promise made to him in regard to the eternal order of the Priesthood.

      Methuselah begat Lamech, and Lamech begat Noah, who was ordained to the same Priesthood. Noah brought down the Priesthood through the flood, and he conferred it upon Shem. Now the order was to confer it upon the oldest, but was that order without conditions? No. Japheth was older than Shem, and yet Shem obtained the Priesthood. How is that, inquires one? Why vary from the order? Because Japheth was not faithful, and could not lay claim to the Priesthood that was appointed to be bestowed upon the first born. Shem received it, and no doubt conferred it upon a succession of men whose names are mentioned in Genesis down to the days of Abraham. Now, was that the only channel? No. The Lord, notwithstanding what was said about the first born, had other channels for the Priesthood besides the one that is named in the Book of Genesis from Noah to Abraham. For instance there was a certain channel or chain of Priesthood, of which Melchisedec was one link. Was Melchisedec the father of Abraham? No. Was he the grandfather? No. Was he either one of those personages that are named from the days of Noah down to the days of Abraham? No, unless they had two names. Melchisedec may have been a second name; but it seems the Priesthood after the order of the Son of God had been transferred to Melchisedec through his father as well as the fathers of Abraham. Now, says one, have we any account of this? Yes. It says, in the revelation given the 22d day of September, 1832, that Abraham received the Priesthood from Melchisedec, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, back to the days of Noah. Melchisedec, then, had a channel through which the Priesthood reached back to the days of Noah; Abraham had another channel in all probability through which the Priesthood was continued back to the days of Noah. That was two channels. Any other one? Yes. Here is the Book of Mormon. It is a history of a certain righteous branch that lived on the earth in the days of the Tower of Babel after the days of Noah, and rather before the time of Abraham. Then somebody had the priesthood in this tower? Yes. Who was it? A man whose name is not given in the Book of Mormon. He is designated as the brother of a person whose name is Jared. How do you know but what he may have been a righteous man and yet not have had the Priesthood? I answer that without the Priesthood and the ordinances thereof the powers of godliness cannot be made manifest to man in the flesh. did the power of godliness accompany those that were led forth from the tower? I think so. In what way? By a cloud in which the Lord came down and talked with the brother of Jared in various ways until the Lord condescended to take the vail from the eyes of the brother f Jared and he saw the finger of the Lord. He prayed still further, and he saw the personage of the Lord, the spirit of Jesus, not his flesh and bones, but Jesus appeared unto him in his bodily organization and said, "I am he that was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people." This personage showed not only his finger and all the details of his spiritual person, but also his face. Did the brother of Jared behold the face of this personage without being administered unto by that everlasting Priesthood and the ordinances thereof? I think not. This then shows another channel through which the Priesthood is handed down between the days of the flood and the days of the Patriarch Abraham; three different channels are here named. How long the Priesthood that was conferred upon the brother of Jared and perhaps upon other male members of the Jaredites is not revealed any further than we read that among the various generations of the Jaredites there were certain men to whom the Son of Righteousness did appear. If He did, those to whom He appeared had the Priesthood, otherwise no man could see the face of God and live.

      But now let us leave the Jaredites and come down to the days before Christ, say 600 years. We find a man by the name of Lehi who was filled with the power of God. Was the Priesthood given to him? Why, he saw God upon his throne surrounded by an innumerable concourse of angels. Is not this an indication that Lehi by the ordination of the higher Priesthood had been prepared to behold the face of God? I think so. Did he appear to have conferred that Priesthood upon any others? Yes. Nephi came upon the stage of action, and we read of his beholding the Son of God. He saw Jesus. He saw that He was born of a virgin, saw Him when He was a child, saw Him in His manhood going forth in his ministry among the inhabitants of Palestine, ministering in power and great glory in the land of His fathers. He beheld the Redeemer, therefore he must have had the Priesthood or the ordinances thereof administered unto him. By and bye Lehi passed away. Then two of the brothers of Nephi, namely Joseph and Jacob, also saw the Redeemer's face as Nephi had seen Him and as Lehi also had seen Him, shewing clearly that the power of the Priesthood had been administered unto them, or else they never could have attained to this blessing. By and bye we read further on in the Book of Mormon that a Temple was built and Nephi was authorized to consecrate Jacob and Joseph, two of his own brothers, to the Priesthood, not to the Aaronic but to the higher Priesthood that led men into the presence of God. Read still further to the days of Alma and see what is there said about this Priesthood, this eternal Priesthood, the same as was conferred upon our father Adam. The same Priesthood was continued down upon the Prophets Lehi and Nephi that lived a little while before the coming of Christ, by which persons were made to shake and the power of God was clearly made manifest. The Priesthood was also conferred upon the twelve disciples, not the Aaronic, but the higher Priesthood, who conferred it upon others from generation to generation, until the days of Mormon and Moroni. That traces the Priesthood on this western continent.

      But now let us go back to the channels of the Priesthood from the days of Abraham down to the days of Moses. The Lord ordained Abraham after His holy order by the hands of Melchisedec. Did it stop there in his lineage? No. If you were any of you as great a man as Abraham, who could stand in the presence of God and plead for promises in behalf of your children, would you not plead for the Priesthood to be given to them? I think so. The Priesthood then was continued down among the tribes of Israel from generation to generation during the time they were in Egypt, and before they went in to Egypt, and while they tarried in Egypt some three or four centuries. Why was not Moses ordained by that lineage? Because the Lord had another method;he had another channel besides the Israelites. Jethro, the priest of Midian, ordained Moses. Moses might have obtained it under the hands of some of his fathers, but he did not do it. Who were the Midianites? They did not belong to the descendants of Isaac, they were not the lineage of Jacob, but they were the children of Abraham through his wife Keturah. What! The Priesthood in another seed, in another channel beside that of the chosen seed! Yes. Jethro belonging to the Midianites enjoyed that Priesthood and it had been handed down through a legal succession -- not through Abraham, Jethro never received the Priesthood through Abraham, that we have any account of -- but he received the Priesthood from Caleb, Caleb from Elihu, Elihu from Jeremy, Jeremy from Gad. Gad received it under the hand of Esaias, Esaias lived in the days of Abraham and received the Priesthood under the hands of God, and conferred it upon a succession! of individuals and it finally went down into the Midianite nation, and Jethro enjoying this privilege conferred it upon Moses. I presume Moses if he had been in Egypt might have got through the other channel, but he had been a long time separated from his brethren and having a great mission to perform the Lord saw proper to give it through another lineage. Thus we see that the Lord though he has made promises to the chosen seed, though He has stated that it is the right of the first born among that chosen seed to claim the Priesthood,yet if they did not do it others might come and through their righteousness obtain it. Amen.

 

            Elder W. Woodruff announced a Priesthood meeting to be held this evening at 7 p. m., in the Assembly Hall.

            Choir sang:

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah,
 Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.

            Conference adjourned until tomorrow, Saturday, at 10 a. m.

            Benediction by Elder Geo. Q. Cannon.

_____

[8 Oct, 7 pm]

[Pamphlet]

            [There are apparently no published minutes for this meeting. Wilford Woodruff's Journal for this date contains the following: "I met with the priesthood meeting. An article on the Aaronic Priesthood was read dictated by President Taylor, And remarks made by John Taylor W. Woodruff and O Pratt. The spirit of God was with us." The following two items were published by the Church in pamphlet form.]

            [The following is from DNW 4/20/1881, p 3:

ITEMS ON PRIESTHOOD.

_____

[President John Taylor]

PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR has prepared and published a pamphlet with the above title, for the benefit of the Latter-day Saints. It is a work of forty-eight pages and is devoted to the subject of the Priesthood, its branches and offices and their relation to each other. The Melchisedec Priesthood is described, its history related and its power and authority defined. but the Aaronic Priesthood, including the Levitical, is more particulary dwelt upon, and many items, which will be valuable to all who are engaged in the latter-day work, are set forth in great plainness, so that he who reads may understand.

            This pamphlet should be studied by every one holding the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that all may fully comprehend the position which they are called to occupy, and be able to fill their own spheres without encroaching upon those of other men, and that order, which brings peace and strength, may prevail in the Church and no occasion be left for a jar or a discord.

            We commend this work to our brethren and sisters as a standard authority on the subject treated of, which we feel assured it will be regarded in the future as well as today, and be referred to as an end of controversy on these matters.]

 

[John Taylor]

THE FOLLOWING
ITEMS ON PRIESTHOOD

ARE PRESENTED TO THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS BY
PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,

_____

      AS THERE is more or less uncertainty existing in the minds of many of the Bishops and others in regard to the proper status and authority of the Bishopric and what is denominated the "Aaronic or Levitical" Priesthood, I thought it best to lay before the brethren a general statement of the subject, as contained in the Bible and Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

      With this view, I have made copious extracts from both of the above sacred records, and so arranged them that they can be readily comprehended by those who hold the Priesthood and are conversant with the holy order of God; adding only such remarks, for explanation, as the plain statements warranted; preferring to give generally the simple quotations, and to let them speak for themselves.

      In the elucidation of this subject I have necessarily had to refer, more or less, to the Melchizedek Priesthood, as the two Priesthoods are inseparable united, the one with the other. I have also given a brief Scriptural synopsis of the Levitical Priesthood, as recorded in the Old Testament.

      The following views have been submitted to the Council of the Twelve and have received their sanction; they were also laid [2] before the Priesthood Meeting at the Semi-Annual Conference, held in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City, October 9th [8th], A. D. 1880, and were unanimously accepted by the large body of Priesthood present on that occasion.

THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD.
AS CONTAINED IN THE BIBLE.

      First. — The Aaronic, or Levitical Priesthood, spoken of in the revelations as being "lesser" than the Melchizedek; Aaron was made the mouthpiece of Moses, while Moses was as a God to Aaron. The Lord having called Moses to deliver Israel, the Prophet realized his weakness and plead to be excused. We quote from the Scriptures:

      "And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth and thou shalt be to him instead of God." — Ex. iv, 14-16.

      It would seem from the foregoing that the Lord was angry with Moses, because he doubted the ability of God to sustain him and to enable him to speak: "And the Lord said unto him. Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O, my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send." — Ex. iv, 11-13.

      The Lord further says: "And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs." — Ex. iv, 17.

      "And the Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the Mount of God, [3] and kissed him. And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him." — Ex. iv, 27-28.

      "These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the Lord said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies. These are they which spake to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron." — Ex. vi, 26, 27. "And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt." — Ex. xii, I.

      It may be noticed that Aaron was with Moses, that God called him and spake to him and Moses, and that he assisted in bringing the message to Pharaoh, and was a prophet to Moses before he held the Aaronic Priesthood, or before that Priesthood known to us as the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood was given. But it would seem also that the Lord spake to Aaron himself; — how and on what principle? The Lord also said to Moses, "I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do." And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. The Lord had before spoken to Moses on this subject; he now spake to Aaron. Hence Paul says, "No man taketh this honor unto himself: but he that is called of God as was Aaron." What did the Lord say to him? "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." And then Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord, who had sent him. Moses was thus his instructor and guide, or in other words, acted as a God to him. Thus, Aaron being selected to assist Moses and to be his mouthpiece, went with him to Egypt, and was with him in his intercourse with Pharaoh, and in the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. But Moses always took the lead, and when Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, met him, "Moses sat to judge the people [not Aaron]: and the people stood by Moses, from the morning unto the evening." And when Jethro saw the excessive labors of Moses, he counseled him. If God should command him to choose able men to be rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens; to judge the smaller cases, while Moses should have charge of the most important. Thus Moses, and not Aaron, was the most prominent personage in these matters.

      We further find that Aaron was permitted to go up to Mount [4] Sinai. "And the Lord said unto him [Moses], Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the Priests and the people break through to come up. unto the Lord, lest he break forth upon them." — Ex. xix, 24. It may be here asked. Who were these Priests? for the Aaronic Priesthood, as we know it, was not then introduced. But Moses was his leader, and it was he who obtained the word of the Lord, and it was he with whom the Lord conversed. For we find, "And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel. * * * And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish." — Ex. xix, 3, 20, 21. Moses always took the lead: "And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him." — Ex. xxiv, I, 2. They saw God and did eat and drink: "And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink." (v. 11.) And afterwards Moses was with the Lord forty days. "And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights." (v. 18.) By what power did Aaron see God? May we not suppose it was by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood? for without that no man can see the face of God and live. It, the Melchizedek, holds the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. (Doc. and Cov., sec. 84, p. 290.) Moses had these keys; but Aaron also saw God, as well as the seventy Elders of Israel, and the people saw his glory and heard his voice. — Ex. xx, 22; Deut. iv, 36.

      It would seem that Aaron and the seventy Elders of Israel then had the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the Aaronic was about being combined with it, as we have them now. Moses held the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and presided over the whole. Aaron was then in possession of the Melchizedek Priesthood; but [5] another or lesser Priesthood was about to be conferred upon him, which was done soon after. We quote, "And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the Priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, for glory and for beauty." — Ex. xxviii, I, 2.

      Does it not seem probable that Aaron, when he received this lesser Priesthood, was in the same position (as to Priesthood) that our Presiding Bishop is, holding the Melchizedek and lesser Priesthoods, but presiding over the latter, and Moses presiding over all — the Melchizedek as well as the Aaronic or Levitical, the latter being an appendage to the former? For we read that the law was added because of transgression; added to what? Was there anything but the Gospel to add it to? The children of Israel, at this time, had the Gospel and the pattern of the ark, and the commandments were given under its auspices. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, "And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount." — Ex. xxv, 40. (See also the whole chapter.) And further, the words of the Lord, the book of the covenant or law of the Lord were given under the Gospel. (See Ex. xxiv, 1-8.) And the sacrifices and burnt offerings were also performed under the Gospel; and as the great Presiding High Priest, Moses, gave directions concerning the sacrifices, and himself sprinkled half of the blood upon the altar, and put half into basins, hence we have the following:

      "And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said. All the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said. Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words." — Ex. xxiv, 6-8. Moses was with the Lord forty days in the mount receiving these things, viz., the laws and covenants, the pattern of the ark and tabernacle, and the tables. (See Ex. xxiv to xxxii.)

      We here have a statement of the manner in which Aaron and his sons were set apart to administer in the Aaronic Priest's office, while yet under the Gospel; for we read, "And Aaron and his sons thou [6] shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water. And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod: and thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre. Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him. And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them. And thou shalt gird them with the girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the Priests office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and THOU shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons." Ex. xxix, 4-9.

      Further, "And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the Priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting Priesthood throughout their generations." — Ex. xl, 15. We find that in all this Moses was the chief actor. Sometime after, for certain reasons specified, Aaron was to be gathered to his people, and not be permitted to enter the land, as stated. "Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah. Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto Mount Hor: and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there. And Moses did as the Lord commanded: and they went up into Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount." — Num. xx, 24-28.

      What the sin was that Moses and Aaron committed does not distinctly appear, except it was in taking glory to themselves instead of giving God the glory. For God had commanded Moses to take the rod, he and Aaron, and smite the rock, which he did. In doing this, however, Moses said: "Hear now, ye rebels: must we fetch you water out of this rock? * * * And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given [7] them." — Num. xx, 10-12. This is the water of Meribah (or strife) because the children of Israel strove with the Lord and he was sanctified in them. David, in referring to this, says: "They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips." — Psalm cvi, 32, 33.

      The same judgment afterwards overtook Moses, and also for the same reason. For, "The Lord said unto Moses, get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes, that is the water of Meribah, in Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin." — Num. xxvii, 12-14. Deut. xxxii, 48-52.

      Moses plead with the Lord to have this sentence reversed, but the Lord would not grant his prayer. He said "I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me. Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eye; for thou shalt not go over this Jordan." — Deut. iii, 25- 27. And when Moses found that the Lord would not permit him to go to the goodly land, he still felt interested about the welfare of the people. For we read: "And Moses spake unto the Lord, saying, Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; and set him before Eleazer the Priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honor upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the Priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his word shall they [8] go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he, took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the Priest, and before all the congregation: and he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses." — Num. xxvii, 15-23.

      In his day Moses was the law-giver and leader of the children of Israel. When he died some of Moses' honor was conferred upon Joshua, not all; Joshua then was to be under the priestly direction of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, who was to ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim. Thus the lesser Priesthood began to bear rule in the person of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, although in operation it did not bear rule in Aaron's time. And while the keys and powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood were withdrawn in the person of Moses, the Aaronic Priesthood was maintained in all its powers in the person of Eleazar. Joshua indeed led the people, but had not the gifts and powers of the Priesthood which Moses had, holding indeed the Melchizedek Priesthood, but possessing only some of Moses' honor,
        Moses died, according to the chronological record of the Bible, in the year B. C. 1451. Upwards of three hundred years afterwards we find Eli officiating as Priest; and although he was a good man, he did not control his sons, nor stop their iniquitous practices; for which he and his sons were reproved by the Lord. And Samuel took his place, and he selected and anointed Saul, who had, as Joshua, part of Moses' honor. And the Aaronic Priesthood continued to exercise its priestly power, more or less, until Christ; of which as appears John was the last legitimate High Priest.

      In the new translation the removal of the Melchizedek Priesthood is clearly defined as follows: "And the Lord said unto Moses: Hew thee two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at first on the tables which thou brakest: but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order [or the Melchizedek], and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them. But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not [9] enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage." — Ex. xxxiv, 1, 2.

      The Lord said unto Moses: "Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger is kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time and live; for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time; neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live." — N. T. Ex. xxxiii, 20. He did, however, place him in the cleft of a rock, and covered him with His hand, and permitted him to see His back parts; but not His face. A little while before this, Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel saw God, and did eat and drink. — Ex. xxiv, 9-1 1. But now Moses even, could not see his face, nor any of the people go near him, and when Moses had been a second time on the mount and his face shone so that they could not look upon him, Moses had to put a vail on his face. — Ex. xxxiv, 29-35.

      Paul in referring to this says: "And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: but their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away." — II. Cor. iii, 13-16.
        From the foregoing and from the whole history of the Aaronic Priesthood until the coming of Christ, it appears that, with the exception of some prominent prophets who held the Melchizedek Priesthood, as the direct gift of God, without, it would seem, the power to confer it upon others — not having an organization — there was very little of the manifestation of the gift and power of God among the people of the Jews, so that it might truly be said, "There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land; and in all that mighty hand, and in all that great terror, which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel." — Deut. xxxiv, 10-12.

      From the foregoing it is evident: [10]

      First. — That the Melchizedek Priesthood was greater than the Aaronic, and that while it ruled, it controlled all matters pertaining to the government and instruction of the people, and that it organized and directed the Aaronic Priesthood, which was in reality an appendage to the greater.
        Second. — That when the Melchizedek Priesthood was in a great measure withdrawn, as there was no regular organization of that Priesthood, it was left to a great extent to the guidance and direction of the Lord, who, from time to time, inspired different men as Prophets, who came to the people with the word of the Lord, receiving their inspiration and calling directly from him, as Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and others. But that a portion of Moses' spirit rested upon Joshua, upon the seventy Elders of Israel, upon the Prophets in the days of Elijah, Elisha and others.

      Third. — That the Aaronic Priesthood continued in its full force, having a complete organization, which it received under the hands of Moses, or through the Melchizedek Priesthood.

      Fourth. — That the Aaronic Priesthood, being continued, it held the Urim and Thummim, and gave direction to Joshua, who was set apart by Moses, and to Saul, David, Solomon and others, who were anointed and set apart to their kingly power, and to rule over and to lead and direct Israel, and that this state of things continued until Christ. The High Priests of the Aaronic Priesthood being the acknowledged representatives of God, holding the priestly power: whilst the kings were anointed by them, or by their priestly authority, and the kings and rulers had to get the word of the Lord from the Aaronic Priesthood, or through the Urim and Thummim.

      Fifth. — It is further evident that this Priesthood became, in many instances, very corrupt, and incurred the displeasure of God, and that many of the kings also, though anointed, perverted their office and calling, and instead of being the protectors and saviors of Israel, helped to lead them astray.

      Sixth. — It is evident that all the Aaronic Priesthood did not have the Urim and Thummim, nor did they call, anoint and direct kings, or bear rule in the nation. But only the High Priest — one man — and that one man presided over and directed the action of the kings, telling them when to go out to war, and when not to go, and giving unto them the word of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim. [11] Seventh. — That they only had one tabernacle, one ark of the covenant, or one temple at one time; and not as we, many stakes, many temples, and many services. But then they, when Moses left, were under the Aaronic, and we are under the Melchizedek Priesthood; they were under the law and the Mosaic dispensation; we are under the Gospel, and in the dispensation of the fullness of time, and have consequently labors and duties to perform which did not belong to them.

      It may be proper here to remark that there was a council, called a "senate of the children of Israel." — Acts v, 21. The High Priest called this council together. The council, it is said, was composed of seventy men or judges, and to have taken its rise from the installment of the seventy Elders spoken of in Num. xi, 16, 17. They were to be known by Moses to be Elders of the people and officers over them — "Able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness" — a portion of Moses' spirit was to be given unto them, and they were to help him to bear the burdens of the people. As Saul was anointed by Samuel to be captain over the Lord's inheritance, and the Spirit of the Lord was to come upon him, and he was to prophesy and be turned into another man. (See I. Samuel x, 6.) And God gave him another heart, and all the signs came to pass that day, and he prophesied.

      This senate or council was known by the name of the Sanhedrim, and it is said, sat in the form of a half moon. This council is spoken of in John xi, 47-52. "Then gathered the Chief Priests and Pharisees a council. * * And one of them named Caiaphas, the High Priest, said * * it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people. * * And this spake he not of himself; but being High Priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation, and not for that nation only; but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." "Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people." — John xviii, 14. This council had not the power of death, (ver. 31.) (See also Acts iv, v and vi.) About this Sanhedrim there is little or nothing said in the Old Testament nor of the organization of this court. It is thought by some it existed after the captivity, or in the days of the Maccabees only.

      There is another remarkable thing about the Aaronic Priest[12]hood, or at least about the early action of Aaron, as an associate of Moses. When Moses was first called upon to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage, he told the Lord that they would not believe him, nor hearken unto his voice, and Moses was told to cast his rod upon the ground, and it became a serpent, and he fled from before it; but when the Lord told Moses to take it by the tail, and he caught it, it became a rod again. Then the Lord told him to put his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out it was leprous. He was told to put it into his bosom again, and it was restored and like his other flesh. Still, Moses was unconvinced and said, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant ; but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him. Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." — Ex. iv, 10-12. Yet Moses was not satisfied and shrank from his mission, and said: "O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said. Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know, that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs." (See the whole of chap, iv, Ex.)

      From the above it would seem that if Moses would have done as the Lord requested him, Aaron would not have been called. Moses shrank from the responsibility; and though the Lord was angry with him yet he gave unto him a helper in Aaron. A revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith, says: "Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence, therefore the Lord in his wrath (for his anger was kindled against them) swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of his glory. Therefore [13] he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; and the lesser Priesthood continued, which Priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory Gospel, which Gospel is the Gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath, caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb; for he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord, before the face of his people to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power." — Doc. and Cov. Sec. 84, pars. 23-88. pp. 290-1. Again, Paul says, "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical Priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another Priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." — Heb. vii, 11, 12. (See also chapters viii, ix and x.) John the Baptist came as the forerunner of Christ, and baptized him as stated. "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him. Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo, a voice from heaven, saying. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." — Matt, iii, 13-17. On inquiry being made, Jesus said of John the Baptist, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." — Matt, xi, 11. Again Jesus said, "And if ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (vers. 14, 15.) But they would not receive it: they beheaded John and crucified Jesus; hence the restoration, the mission of Elias was postponed until he appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirt[14]land Temple. (Doc. and Cov. Sec. cx, p. 405.) At which time Elijah came, as Malachi says: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." — Mal. iv, 5, 6.

      It seems from the foregoing that Moses had the greater or Melchizedek Priesthood; that when he was taken, the keys went with him; that the Aaronic Priesthood ruled until Christ, and the people were under the law; that when Christ came he introduced a better covenant and restored the Gospel; and that the Bishopric was, and the Aaronic Priesthood is, under the Melchizedek, and an appendage thereto, as are also all Elders appendages to the Melchizedek Priesthood; and it is also evident that the Presidency of that Priesthood presides over all, as did Melchizedek, Moses, Joseph Smith, etc., with Jesus at the head, as the great Presiding High Priest.

      But if, as Paul says, the Priesthood being changed, then is made of necessity a change also of the law; or in other words, a change from the law of carnal commandments and ordinances to the law of the Gospel. Yet the Aaronic Priesthood, as the Melchizedek, is an everlasting Priesthood, as before exhibited, and continueth forever as an appendage to the Melchizedek Priesthood; and hence in the old apostolic days, when under an organization of the Melchizedek, the latter is the most prominent, and very little is said about the Levitical or Aaronic: probably on account of the peculiar traditions and superstitions of the Jews, which made it almost impossible for them to comprehend the greater or Melchizedek. Yet the Aaronic cannot be ignored, and in the dispensation of the fullness of times it again comes forth, as one of the grand aids or appendages to the Melchizedek Priesthood; and hence in the ushering in of this dispensation, John the Baptist appears on the stage and confers the Aaronic Priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

      Having therefore traced out these two Priesthoods, principally from the old Scriptures, we how turn to the revelations given by Joseph Smith in the introduction of the Priesthood, as revealed by the Latter-day Prophet in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fullness of times. [15]

 

PRINCIPALLY ON

THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD OR
BISHOPRIC.

THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD CONFERRED.

      "Words of the Angel, John, (the Baptist,) spoken to Joseph Smith, Jr., and Oliver Cowdery, as he (the angel) laid his hands upon their heads and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood, in Harmony, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, May 15th, 1829:

      "Upon you, my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." — Doc. and Cov., Sec 13, p. 108.

      We quote from some of the first revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith upon this subject. "Every President of the High Priesthood (or Presiding Elder,) Bishop, High Councilor, and High Priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a High Council or General Conference. Presiding Elders, Traveling Bishops, High Councilors, High Priests, and Elders, may have the privilege of ordaining where there is no branch of the Church." — Doc. and Cov., Sec. 20, pars. 67, 66, p. 127. At this time Presidents of the High Priesthood, Presiding Elders, Bishops, High Councilors, and High Priests were placed on the same footing. It may be observed that Traveling Bishops are here referred to. These were given for the regulation of the newly organized branches or churches.

      From the above we learn: That before the appointment of Bishops there were revelations given and arrangements made for this office. Whilst the following teaches us:

      That certain men among the Saints should be appointed by the [16] voice of the Church, to look after the poor and needy, and to govern the affairs of the property of the Church. "And now I give unto the Church in these parts, a commandment that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the Church; and they shall look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief, that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which 1 have commanded them." — Sec. 38, pars. 34, 35, p. 163. The place referred to at that time was Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. (par. 32.)

      Edward Partridge was ordained a Bishop — the first Bishop in the Church — and was called Feb. 4, 1831. He was to spend all his time in the labors of the Church. We quote: "And again, I have called my servant Edward Partridge, and give a commandment, that he should be appointed by the voice of the Church, and ordained a Bishop unto the Church, to leave his merchandise and to spend all his time in the labors of the Church: to see to all things as it shall be appointed unto him, in my laws in the day that I shall give them." — Sec. 41, pars. 9, 10, p. 168. He was to "see to all things, as it shall be appointed unto him, in my laws" [Who was to give these laws?] "in the day that I shall give them."

      Newel K. Whitney was the second Bishop — called to be a Bishop, Dec. 4, 183 1. "And now, verily I say unto you, my servant Newel K. Whitney is the man who shall be appointed and ordained unto this power. Even so. Amen." — Sec. 72, par. 8, p. 257. "And again, I say unto you, that my servant Edward Partridge shall stand in the office wherewith I have appointed him. And it shall come to pass, that if he transgresses, another shall be appointed in his stead. Even so. Amen." — Sec. 42, par. 10, p. 169; Feb. 9, 1831.

      Property was to be consecrated for the poor, and laid before the Bishop and his counselors, who are to be two Elders or High Priests. (See sec. 42. pars. 30, 31, p. 171) The residue was to be kept in a storehouse for the poor and needy, as shall be appointed by the High Council and the Bishop and his Council and for purchasing Church lands, building houses of worship, building up the New Jerusalem; of course he was to act as a general Bishop of the Church, (he was not confined to a ward,) to receive and distribute property, appoint stewardships, etc. It will be perceived that the High Council then had a voice in these matters. It is written: [17]

      "And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor ye will do it unto me, and they shall be laid before the Bishop of my Church and his Counselors, two of the Elders, or High Priests, such as he shall or has set apart for that purpose. And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the Bishop of my Church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my Church, that they cannot be taken from the Church agreeable to my commandments; every man shall be made accountable unto me, a Stewart over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, inasmuch as is sufficient for himself and family. And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the Church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support, after this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the Bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied, and receive according to his wants. Therefore the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the High Council of the Church, and the Bishop and his Council. And for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the Church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed." — Sec. 42, pars. 31-35, pp. 171-2.

      The Bishop was to receive his support, and also his Counselors, or a remuneration for services. We read: "And the Elders, or High Priests who are appointed to assist the Bishop, as Counselors in all things, are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated to the Bishop, for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned; or they are to receive a just remuneration for all their services, either a stewardship or otherwise, as may be thought best or decided by the Counselors and Bishop, and the Bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the Church." — Sec. 42, pars. 71-73, p. 175. (See also p. 257.)

      "And unto the Bishop of the Church, and unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the Church, and to be Elders unto the Church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts." — Sec. 46, par. 27, p. 193. Certain gifts were here referred to. Not only Bishops but Elders were to have this power. We [18] further find that Edward Partridge was to appoint unto this people their portion — every man equal, giving him a writing — and every man was to deal honestly, and be and receive alike; one Church must not use the money of another Church without making arrangements to pay it. A storehouse was to be appointed. The Bishop was to receive unto himself and family what was needed for his wants, and for those of his family. This was to be an example unto Edward. Partridge, and to all Churches.

      "And let my servant, Edward Partridge, when he shall appoint a man his portion, give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his portion. * * And let that which belongeth to this people not be taken and given unto that of another Church; wherefore, if another Church would receive money of this Church let them pay unto this Church again according as they shall agree; and this shall be done through the Bishop or the agent, which shall be appointed by the voice of the Church. And again, let the Bishop appoint a storehouse unto this Church, and let all things, both in money and in meat, which is more than is needful for the want of this people, be kept in the hands of the Bishop. And let him also reserve unto himself for his own wants, and for the wants of his family, as he shall be employed in doing this business. And thus I grant unto this people a privilege of organizing themselves according to my laws; and I consecrate unto them this land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide for them otherwise, and command them to go hence; and the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall turn unto them for their good. Behold this shall be an example unto my servant Edward Partridge, in other places, in all Churches." — Sec. 51, pars. 4, 10-18, pp. 203, 204.

      First. — From the above we find that bishops were first spoken of as early as April, 1830. (See sec. 20, p. 121.)

      Second. — Certain men were to be appointed to look after the poor and administer to their relief and govern the affairs of the property of the Church. (See sec. 38, pars. 34-36, p. 163, January 2, 1831.)

      Third. — Edward Partridge was called to be the first Bishop, (See sec. 41, par. 9, p. 168, February 1831,) "and to spend all his time in the labors of the Church." [19]

      Fourth. — That Newel K. Whitney was called and appointed to this office as the second Bishop of this Church.

      Fifth. — After this, besides Bishops' agents, there were other Bishops appointed. George Miller was appointed to the Bishopric, and had it sealed upon his head.

      "I therefore say unto you, I seal upon his head the office of a Bishopric, like unto my servant Edward Partridge, that he may receive the consecrations of mine house, that he may administer blessings upon the heads of the poor of my people, saith the Lord. Let no man despise my servant George, for he shall honor me." — Sec. 124, par. 21, p. 431.

      Also, "He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things." — Sec. 70, par. 12, p. 254.

      There seems to be a difference in the duties of Bishops; Brother Miller's was to be like Edward Partridge's whose duties are distinctly marked out as follows: "And again, verily I say unto you, my servant George Miller is without guile; he may be trusted because of the integrity of his heart; and for the love which he has to my testimony I, the Lord, love him." — Sec. 124, par. 20 (see also par. 21), p. 431.

      At the same time and in the same manner Vinson Knight, Samuel H. Smith, and Shadrach Roundy were appointed to preside over the Bishopric.

      "And again, I say unto you, I give unto you Vinson Knight, Samuel H. Smith, and Shadrach Roundy, if he will receive it, to preside over the Bishopric; a knowledge of said Bishopric is given unto you in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants." — Sec. 124, par. 141, p. 446. Vinson Knight was a Bishop, the two others were of course his Counselors.

      We find from the foregoing and from what follows that there were several kinds of Bishops, as well as Bishops' agents. Bishop Edward Partridge was appointed to preside over the Saints in Zion, to purchase lands, divide inheritances, and sit as a judge in Israel, as a general Bishop to that district of country, and he had a special agent to assist him, viz., Sidney Gilbert.

      Bishop Whitney was appointed Bishop in Kirtland, Ohio, yet he had charge of all the Churches in the eastern country, as a gen[20]eral Bishop. Neither of these, at that time, were presiding Bishops over the Bishopric. George Miller was appointed to fill the place of Edward Partridge and officiate in the same order of Bishopric. Vinson Knight was appointed to preside over the Bishopric with Samuel H. Smith and Shadrach Roundy for counselors, and at the same time that George Miller was appointed to take the place of Edward Partridge. Then there were Alanson Ripley and others. Sidney Gilbert was to be an agent unto this Church in the place that shall be appointed by the Bishop. (Sec 53, par. 4, p. 209.)

      "And let my servant Sidney Gilbert stand in the office which I have appointed him, to receive moneys, to be an agent unto the Church, to buy land in all the regions round about, inasmuch as can be in righteousness, and as wisdom shall direct. * * And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant Sidney Gilbert plant himself in this place, and establish a store, that he may sell goods without fraud, that he may obtain money to buy lands for the good of the Saints, and that he may obtain whatsoever things the disciples may need to plant them in their inheritances." — Sec. 57, pars. 6, 8, pp. 215-16.

      The Lord says Edward Partridge was also to "stand in the office which I have appointed him, to divide the Saints their inheritance, even as I have commanded; and also those whom he has appointed to assist him." — Sec. 57, par. 7, p. 215 * * "Let the Bishop and the agent make preparations for those families which have been commanded to come to this land, as soon as possible, and plant them in their inheritance." — Sec. 57, par, 15, p. 216. "I have selected my servant Edward Partridge, and have appointed unto him his mission in this land; but if he repent not of his sins, which are unbelief and blindness of heart, let him take heed lest he fall. Behold his mission is given unto him, and it shall not be given again. And whoso standeth in his mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children, and to judge his people by the testimony of the just, and by the assistance of his counselors, according to the laws of the kingdom which are given by the Prophets of God; for verily I say unto you, my law shall be kept on this land. Let no man think he is ruler, but let God rule him that judgeth, according to the counsel of his own will; or, in other words him that counseleth or sitteth upon the judgment seat." — Sec. 58 [21] pars. 14-20, p. 218. "Let the residue of the Elders * * hold a conference;" and Edward Partridge was empowered to direct the conference which should be held by certain Elders. (Sec. 58, pars. 61, 62, p. 222.)

      "And let my servant Edward Partridge impart of the money which I have given him, a portion unto mine Elders who are commanded to return." — Sec. 60, pars. 10, 11, p. 226. If not able, they were not required to return it.

      "Let my servant Newel K. Whitney retain his store, or in other words, the store yet for a little season. Nevertheless let him impart all the money which he can impart, to be sent up unto the land of Zion. Behold these things are in his own hands, let him do according to wisdom. Verily I say, let him be ordained as an agent unto the disciples that shall tarry, and let him be ordained unto this power." — Sec. 43, pars. 42-45, pp. 236-7. It would seem from the above that Bishop Whitney was not yet a Bishop when he was ordained to be an agent.

      "And even the Bishop, who is a judge, and his Counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships, shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead." Sec. 64, par. 40, p. 243.

      We find from the following that Bishops must be selected from the High Priests and be set apart to the Bishopric.

      "There remaineth hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other Bishops to be set apart unto the Church, to minister even according to the first; wherefore they shall be High Priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron. And if they be literal descendants of Aaron, they have a legal right to the Bishopric, if they are the first born among the sons of Aaron; for the firstborn hold the right of the Presidency over this Priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same. No man has a legal right to this office to hold the keys of this Priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron; but as a High Priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of Bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called, and set apart and ordained unto this power under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood. And a literal descendant of Aaron, also, must be designated by this [22] Presidency, and found worthy, and anointed, and ordained under the hands of this Presidency, otherwise they are not legally authorized to officiate in their Priesthood; but by virtue of the decree concerning their right of the Priesthood descending from father to son, they may claim their anointing, if at any time they can prove their lineage, or do ascertain it by revelation from the Lord under the hands of the above named Presidency. And again, no Bishop or High Priest who shall be set apart for this ministry, shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it be before the First Presidency of the Church ; and inasmuch as he is found guilty before this Presidency, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned." — Sec. 68, pars. 14-23, pp. 249-250.

      We may here notice, as elsewhere referred to, that it is the Presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood that is above spoken of, that must be set apart by the First Presidency, and also tried by them, whether of lineal descent or High Priests. Newel K. Whitney was appointed and ordained a Bishop. (See sec. 72, par. 8, p. 257) "Let my servant Newel K. Whitney, and my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., and my servant Sidney Rigdon, sit in council with the Saints which are in Zion." — Sec. 78, par. 9, p. 281. Thus it seems that though Bishop Whitney was Bishop of Kirtland, he sat in council with the Saints which were in Zion, associated with Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, thus showing that he was not a ward but a general Church Bishop.

      "Therefore, verily I say unto you, that it is expedient for my servant Alam, and Ahashdah, (Newel K. Whitney,) Mahalaleel, and Pelagoram, (Sidney Rigdon,) and my servant Gazelam, (Joseph Smith,) and Horah, Olihah, (Oliver Cowdery,) and Shalemanasseh, and Mehemson, (Martin Harris,) to be bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression, (except judgment shall immediately follow,) in your several stewardships, to manage the affairs of the poor, and all things pertaining to the Bishopric, both in the land of Zion and in the land of Shinehah (Kirtland.)" — Sec. 82, pars. 11, 12, p. 286.

      This proves that President Joseph Smith and his Counselor Sidney Rigdon were authorized to supervise temporal matters in the Church as well as the Bishop or with him. Here the Melchizedek Priesthood is united with the Aaronic to manage the Bishopric in both lands. We continue our quotations: "Every [23] man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God." — Sec. 82, par. 19, p. 287.

      "Which Abraham received the Priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah; and from Noah till Enoch, through the lineage of their fathers; and from Enoch to Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the Priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first man — which Priesthood continueth in the Church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years. And the Lord confirmed a Priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations — which Priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the Priesthood, which is after the holiest order of God. And this greater Priesthood administereth the Gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the Kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God; therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of Godliness is manifest, and without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the Priesthood, the power of Godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; for without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence, therefore the Lord in his wrath (for his anger was kindled against them) swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness; which rest is the fullness of his glory. Therefore he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also." — Sec. 84, pars. 14- 25, pp. 290-1.

      We have already shown that there was a Priesthood conferred upon Aaron and his seed throughout all their generations. It becomes a question what Priesthood Aaron had before he had bestowed upon him what is termed the Aaronic Priesthood, when he administered with Moses? "The greater Priesthood administereth the Gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the Kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God."

      Frederick G. Williams was called and appointed a High Priest and Counselor to Joseph Smith. His call reads as follows:

      "Verily, verily I say unto you, my servant Frederick G. Williams, listen to the voice of him who speaketh, to the word of the [24] Lord your God, and hearken to the calling wherewith you are called, even to be a High Priest in my Church and a Counselor unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., unto whom I have given the keys of the Kingdom, which belongeth always unto the Presidency of the High Priesthood: therefore, verily, I acknowledge him and will bless him and also thee, inasmuch as thou art faithful in counsel, in the office which I have appointed unto you in prayer always vocally and in thy heart, in public and in private, also in thy ministry in proclaiming the Gospel in the land of the living, and among thy brethren." — Sec. 81, pars. 1-3, p. 284.

      From the following we find that God took Moses from the midst of the children of Israel and also the Holy or Melchizedek Priesthood, leaving the lesser, or the Aaronic Priesthood. "Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; and the lesser Priesthood continued, which Priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory Gospel, which Gospel is the Gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath, caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb; for he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power. And again, the offices of Elder and Bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the High Priesthood." Sec. 84, pars. 25- 29, p. 291. From this, it would seem that the law of carnal commandments was a curse. Paul said the law was added because of transgression. ("It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." Gal. iii, 19.) And that it was a yoke which neither they nor their fathers were able to bear; and that Christ came to fulfill the law and introduce the Gospel which was greater — a higher law and a greater Priesthood, viz: the Melchizedek.

      Both Elders and Bishops are appendages to the High Priesthood. "And again, the offices of Teacher and Deacon are necessary appendages belonging to the lesser Priesthood." (Sec. 84, [25] par. 30, p. 291); thus Elders and Bishops are appendages to the High Priesthood, while Teachers and Deacons are appendages to the lesser, which lesser is an appendage to the higher or Melchizedek. "Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses — for the sons of Moses, and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed." — Sec. 84, par. 31, p. 291. When both of these Priesthoods are carried out and united in their purity, the glory of the Lord will be manifested upon Mount Zion, in the Lord's house, both operating according to their callings, position and authority. For it is written, "And the sons of Moses and Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, 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 whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two Priesthoods, of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies; they become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the Church and Kingdom, and the elect of God; and also all they who receive this Priesthood receiveth me, saith the Lord; for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's Kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him; and this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the Priesthood. Therefore, all those who receive the Priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father which he cannot break, neither can it be moved; but whoso breaketh this covenant, after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. And all those who come not unto this Priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens, and even 1 have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you." — Sec. 84, pars. 32-42, p. 292.

      "And let all those who have not families, who receive moneys, send it up unto the Bishop in Zion, or unto the Bishop in Ohio, that it may be consecrated for the bringing forth of the revelations and [26] the printing thereof, and for establishing Zion." — Sec. 84, par. 104, p. 298.

      In the same revelation "unto Joseph Smith, Jun., and six Elders," it is written: "Therefore, take with you those who are ordained unto the lesser Priesthood, and send them before you to make appointments, and prepare the way, and to fill appointments that you yourselves are not able to fill. Behold, this is the way that mine Apostles, in ancient days, built up my Church unto me.*
        [*Why should not this be the way now?]

Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect." — Sec. 84, pars. 107, 108, no, p. 299.
        We further quote: "For the body is not one member, but many. * * And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." — I Cor. xii, 14, 21.

      "And the Bishop, Newel K. Whitney, also, should travel round about and among all the Churches, searching after the poor to administer to their wants by humbling the rich and the proud; he should also employ an agent to take charge and to do his secular business as he shall direct." — Sec. 84, pars. 112, 113, p. 299. Thus High Priests, Seventies, Elders, Bishops, and all men holding the Priesthood were to be actively engaged in magnifying their Priesthood.

      "It is the duty of the Lord's clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a General Church Record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the Bishop; and also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of all the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances. It is contrary to the will and commandment of God, that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeably to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God; neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or history of the Church; their name shall not be found, neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the children written in the book of the [27] law of God, saith the Lord of Hosts. Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying: And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints, whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God: while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning; and all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance, shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfill. And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the Church ; as well as the lesser Priesthood, or the members, in that day, shall not find an inheritance among the Saints of the Most High; therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the Priest, as will be found in the second chapter and sixty-first and second verses of Ezra." — Sec. 85, pp. 300-2.

      "And let the Bishop search diligently to obtain an agent, and let it be a man who has got riches in store, a man of God, and of strong faith, that thereby he may be enabled to discharge every debt; that the storehouse of the Lord may not be brought into disrepute before the eyes of the people." — Sec. 90, pars. 22, 23, p. 325.

      "Nevertheless, I am not well pleased with many things, and I

      am not well pleased with my servant William E. McLellin, neither with my servant Sidney Gilbert, and the Bishop also, and others have many things to repent of; but verily I say unto you, that I, the Lord, will contend with Zion, and plead with her strong ones, and chasten her until she overcomes and is clean before me; for [28] she shall not be removed out of her place. I, the Lord, have spoken it. Amen." — Sec. 90, pars, 35-37, p. 326.

      "My servant Newel K. Whitney, also a Bishop of my Church, hath need to be chastened and set in order his family, and see that they are more diligent and concerned at home, and pray always, or they shall be removed out of their place." — Sec. 93, par. 50, p. 332.

      "Therefore let my servant Newel K. Whitney take charge of the place which is named among you, upon which I design to build mine holy house; and again, let it be divided in lots according to wisdom, for the benefit of those who seek inheritances, as it shall be determined in council among you." — Sec. 96, pars. 2, 3, p. 337.

      "And again, I say unto you, it is contrary to my commandment and my will, that my servant Sidney Gilbert* should sell my storehouse which I have appointed unto my people, into the hand of mine enemies. Let not that which I have appointed be polluted by mine enemies, by the consent of those who call themselves after my name; for this is a very sore and grievous sin against me, and against my people, in consequence of those things which I have decreed and are soon to befall the nations. Therefore, it is my will that my people should claim, and hold claim upon that which I have appointed unto them, though they should not be permitted to dwell thereon." — Sec. 101, pars. 96-99, pp. 358-9.
        [*This was the Bishop's agent.]

      "There are, in the Church, two Priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek, and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood. Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great High Priest. Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood after the order of the Son of God; but out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the Church, in ancient days, called that Priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood. All other authorities or offices in the Church are appendages to this Priesthood: but there are two divisions or grand heads — one is the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the other is the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood. The office of an Elder comes under the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of Presidency, and has power and authority [29] over all the offices in the Church, in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things. The Presidency of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to officiate in all the offices in the Church." — Sec. 107, pars. 1-9, pp. 383-4.

      Thus the Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of Presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices in the Church, to administer in spiritual things, while the Presidency of the High Priesthood has a right to officiate in all the offices in the Church.

      "This is the duty of a Bishop who is not a literal descendant of Aaron, but has been ordained to the High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Thus shall he be a judge, even a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion, or in a Stake of Zion, or in any branch of the Church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry, until the borders of Zion , are enlarged, and it becomes necessary to have other Bishops or judges in Zion, or elsewhere." — Sec. 107, pars. 73-75, p. 391. (See all of this section.)

      He was to be a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion, or in a Stake of Zion, or in a branch of the Church, when he shall be set apart unto his ministry. His Bishopric is sufficient for any of these places when set apart: and he can only fill those offices for which he is set apart. But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the Presidency of this Priesthood, to the keys of this ministry, to act in the office of Bishop, without Counselors, except in a case when a President of the High Priesthood is tried.

      We have the following on tithing: "Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the Bishop of my Church of Zion, for the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of Zion, and for the Priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church; and this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people: and after that, those who have been thus tithed, shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them for ever, for my Holy Priesthood, saith the Lord. Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass, that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you. And I say unto you, if my people observe not this [30] law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you; and this shall be an ensample unto all the Stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen." — Sec. 119, pp. 418-19.

      "A revelation making known the disposition of property tithing:

      "Verily, thus saith the Lord, the time is now come, that it shall be disposed of by a Council, composed of the First Presidency of my Church, and of the Bishop and his Council, and by my High Council; and by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord. Even so. Amen." — Sec. 120, pp. 419-20.

      "That when he shall finish his work, I may receive him unto myself, even as I did my servant David Patten, who is with me at this time, and also my servant Edward Partridge, and also my aged servant Joseph Smith, Sen., who sitteth with Abraham at his right hand, and blessed and holy is he, for he is mine." — Sec. 124, par. 19, p. 431.

      First. — We find from the above that there are two distinctive general Priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.

      Second. — That they are both conferred by the Lord; that both are everlasting, and administer in time and eternity.

      Third. — That the Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of Presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices in the Church, in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things.

      Fourth. — That the second Priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron; because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed throughout all their generations.

      Fifth. — That the lesser Priesthood is a part of, or an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power in administering outward ordinances. The lesser or Aaronic Priesthood can make appointments for the greater, in preaching, can baptize, administer the sacrament, attend to the tithing, buy lands, settle people on possessions, divide inheritances, look after the poor, take care of the properties of the Church, attend generally to temporal affairs; act as common judges in Israel, and assist in ordinances of the Temple, under the direction of the greater or Melchizedek Priesthood. They hold the keys of the ministering [31] of angels and administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the Gospel, and the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

      Sixth. — That there is a Presidency over each of these Priesthoods, both over the Melchizedek and the Aaronic.

      Seventh. — That while the power of the higher, or Melchizedek is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the Church; to have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened to them, to commune with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to preside over all the spiritual officers of the Church, yet the Presidency of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to officiate in all the offices in the Church, both spiritual and temporal.

      "Then comes the High Priesthood, which is the greatest of all; wherefore it must needs be that one be appointed of the High Priesthood to preside over the Priesthood, and he shall be called President of the High Priesthood of the Church; or, in other words, the Presiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church." — Sec. 107, pars. 64-66, p. 390.

      It is thus evident that this Priesthood presides over all Presidents, all Bishops, including the Presiding Bishop, over all Councils, organizations and authorities in the whole Church, in all the world.

      That the Bishopric is the Presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood, which is "an appendage to the greater or Melchizedek Priesthood," and that no man has a legal right to hold the KEYS of the Aaronic Priesthood, which presides over all Bishops and all the lesser Priesthood, except he be a literal descendant of Aaron. But, that "as a High Priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of Bishop" * * * if called, set apart and ordained unto this power by the hands of the Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood."

      We may here notice that John the Baptist conferred this Priesthood upon Joseph Smith, and that therefore, as he held it, he had the power to confer it upon others.

      Eighth. — That there are Bishops holding different positions: Bishop Partridge was a general Bishop over the land of Zion; [32] while Bishop Whitney was a general Bishop over the Church in Kirtland, Ohio, and also over all the eastern Churches until afterwards appointed as Presiding Bishop. That there are also ward Bishops, whose duties are confined to their several wards. That there are also Bishops' agents, such as Sidney Gilbert and others.

      That the position which a Bishop holds, depends upon his calling and appointment, and that, although a man holding the Bishopric is eligible to any office in the Bishopric, yet he cannot officiate legally in any, except by selection, calling and appointment.

      Ninth. — That the power and right of selecting and calling of the Presiding Bishop and general Bishops is vested in the First Presidency, who also must try those appointed by them in case of transgression, except in the case of a literal descendant of Aaron ; who, if the firstborn, possesses a legal right to the keys of this Priesthood; but even he must be sanctioned and appointed by the First Presidency. This arises from the fact that the Aaronic is an appendage to the Melchizedek Priesthood.
        That the Presiding Bishop, who presides over all Bishops, and all of the lesser Priesthood, should consult the First Presidency in all important matters pertaining to the Bishopric.

      Tenth. — That in regard to the appointment and trial of ward Bishops, it appears that they stand in the same relationship to the Presidents of Stakes as the early Bishops did to the First Presidency, who presided over the Stake at Kirtland; but that those Presidents should consult with the First Presidency on these and other important matters, and officiate under their direction in their several Stakes.
        That in regard to the office and calling of Bishops it is very much like the office and calling of High Priests. All High Priests are eligible to any office in the Church, when called, ordained and appointed to fill such office. The First Presidency are High Priests. The Twelve are High Priests, High Councilors are High Priests, Presidents of Stakes are High Priests, and all their Counselors; Bishops and their Counselors are High Priests: but it does not follow that all High Priests are First Presidents, members of the Twelve Apostles, Presidents of Stakes, High Councilors, Bishops or Bishops' Counselors, they only obtain these offices by selection and appointment from the proper source, and when not [33] appointed to any specific calling, they are organized in a Stake quorum, under a President and Council. So although the Bishopric is eligible to fulfill any office to which they may be appointed, all are not presiding Bishops, all are not general Bishops, or special Bishops, or ward Bishops, or even Bishops' agents; they occupy their several offices, as do the High Priests, by selection, appointment, as well as ordination, and that the Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood presides over, calls, directs, appoints and counsels all. It is further evident that as the Melchizedek Priesthood holds the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the Church, and that the Presidency thereof has a right to officiate in all the offices of the Church, therefore that Presidency has a perfect right to direct or call, set apart and ordain Bishops, to fill any place or position in the Church that may be required for that ministry to perform in all the Stakes of Zion, or throughout the world. Thus, after going through the whole matter, we come back to a term frequently used among us: Obey counsel.

_____

THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD.

      As the Levitical Priesthood is referred to in the Old Testament scriptures, as well as in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, the following quotations and remarks may throw some light upon the subject:

LEVITES AND LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD.

      "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the Priest, that they may minister unto him. And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation, before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle. And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and lo his [34] sons, they are wholly given unto them out of the children of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their Priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death." — Num. iii: 5, 10.

      Aaron and his sons held the Aaronic Priesthood, and the Levites were given unto them to minister unto them to keep his charge, the charge of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle, keep the instruments of the tabernacle, and the charge of the children of Israel.

      "And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel; therefore the Levites shall be mine; because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine they shall be: I am the Lord." — Num. iii, 12, 13.

      All the firstborn the Lord claimed as belonging to him, because when he destroyed the firstborn of the Egyptians, he spared the firstborn of the Israelites. But the Levites were appointed to fill the place of the firstborn of all Israel, and they were commanded to be numbered, viz., all the males from a month old and upward, to assist Aaron and his sons in the service of the tabernacle; at that time there were twenty-two thousand of them. (Ibid, ver. 39.)

      "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Take the Levites instead of all the first born among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle ; and the Levites shall be mine: I am the Lord." (ver. 44, 45.)

      The remainder of the Israelites had to redeem their firstborn, and the money for the redemption was given by Moses to Aaron and his sons according to the word of the Lord. (ver. 50, 51.)

      They seemed to have been an appendage to the Aaronic Priesthood to assist in the service of the tabernacle and other duties. Aaron and his male descendants were selected for the Priesthood, and the other Levites as assistants, or an appendage.

      The Levites had forty-eight cities and their suburbs provided for them from among the possessions of the other tribes: First came by lot the children of Aaron: "And the children of Aaron the Priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe [35] of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities." — Josh, xxi, 4. (See the whole of the chapter for a division of cities to the remainder of the Levites, or the tribe of Levi, who were thus provided for as distinct from the other tribes.) "All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs." — Josh, xxi, 41.

      It may here be observed that both Moses and Aaron belonged to the tribe of Levi, and that the Levites had a tithing given to them. "And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation." — Num. xviii, 20, 21. (See also the chapter.)

      There is a peculiarity about this tithing, for while one-tenth was given to the Levites, they, the Levites, were commanded to give one-tenth of the tithe to Aaron.

      "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying. Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them. When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it * * * for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe * * and ye shall give thereof the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the Priest." Num. xviii, 25-28.

      It would seem that while the Levites were called "to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation" (ver. 6), that the Priest's office belonged especially to Aaron and his family. The Lord, in speaking to Aaron, says, "And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the Lord, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation." — Num. xviii, 6.

      It furthermore appears that while the Levites were given to Aaron, that Aaron and his sons were to hold the Priest's office. "Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your Priest's office for everything of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your Priest's office unto you as a service of [36]gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death." — Num. xviii, 7.

      In the case of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, whom the earth opened and swallowed up for assuming the Priest's office, "Moses said unto Korah, hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the Priesthood also?" — Num. xvi, 8-10. And also the whole chapter, in which is depicted the terrible judgment of God upon them for assuming the Priest's office.

      From the above it would seem —

      First. — That the Levites were selected in the place of the firstborn whom the Lord called his own.

      Second. — That they were given to Aaron to assist him in the minor or lesser duties of the Priesthood; but that Aaron and his sons officiated in the leading offices of the Priesthood, and not the Levites.

      Third. — That there was a tithing paid to them by the whole house of Israel for their sustenance.

      Fourth. — That they paid a tithe of this to Aaron.

      Fifth. — That on assuming the higher duties of the Priesthood of Aaron, the judgments of God overtook them.

      Sixth. — That their Priesthood was only an appendage to the Aaronic Priesthood, and not that Priesthood itself as held by Aaron and his sons.

 

 

 

[9 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 29:585, 10/13/80, p 9]

FOURTH DAY.

SATURDAY, Oct. 9th. 10 o'clock a. m.

            Choir sang:

O God, our Father, let thy grace
Shed its glad beams on Jacob's race.

            Prayer by Elder David O. Calder.

            Choir sang:

With joy we own thy servants, Lord --
 Thy ministers below.

[Elder Moses Thatcher]

            Elder MOSES THATCHER spoke of the fallibility of human nature, and his own feeling of timidity in standing before the Latter-day Saints, lest in anything he might have said or done he might have rendered himself unworthy of that aid and succor of the Holy Spirit so essential to have as a public teacher. He therefore asked for the combined faith and prayers of the Saints in his behalf. He then read from page 423 Doctrine and Covenants, "Behold, many are called, but few are chosen," etc.

            There is no prophecy or prayer found in all the pages of Holy Writ, more beautiful and pure than the sentiments contained in the portion he had just read. If we would enjoy all the blessings connected with the Holy Priesthood, we must learn to wield its powers in strict conformity with the dictations of the Holy Ghost. without the guidance of that spirit, we are constantly exposed to error and wrong doing. On what condition can we secure the guidance of the Spirit of God? Only by faithfully keeping God's commandments and living humbly before him. He illustrated the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the strictness with which the Lord held those who wielded it accountable, by reference to the history of Moses, in his connection with the children of Israel. Alluded to the smiting of the rock when water gushed out to satisfy the thirst of the people, showing that the spirit in which Moses performed that act, caused the displeasure of the Almighty. What a lesson this should teach us! It should influence us to be humble, and become as little children, as the Savior taught to his disciples when he said, "He that will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven, must become as this little child."

            Any one who seeks the honor and good name of his fellow men instead of the glory of God, will certainly be destitute of the power and influence of the Holy Ghost.

            Whatever views e may entertain in regard to co-operation and the United Order, we may rest assured that God never intended to establish a class distinction, or monied aristocracy among this people.

            He denounced in most emphatic terms the folly of covetous ambition, which produces hardness of heart, and an unwillingness to be guided by the counsels of the servants of God. There is no sacrifice too great to make, to secure the guidance of the holy spirit and the love of the Lord. God is a jealous God, we should therefore worship him in all humility, give to him the glory of our success, and learn lessons from the pure and guileless spirit of a little child. He then exhorted the brethren to lay aside all bickerings and backbitings, and encouraged all Latter-day Saints to do their duty, and carry out the Scripture instructions given to allay hard feelings. There is no reason why there should be jealousies and distrust, neither is there any reason why we should not enjoy all the blessings connected with the Gospel. Men who are under the influence of the Spirit of God, will always seek after the best interests of the kingdom of God. The speaker enounced hypocrisy, and the worship of money, and showed the necessity of a frank, honest, ingenious course, of personal honor, faithfulness and integrity, of prayer and strict attention to every duty and of the avoidance of evil in every form, that we may not only be the called of God but be numbered among the chosen. He testified that though some were erring, there were many thousands in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal, and though some of them may not be noted among the people, they would shine among the jewels of God, and obtain that power spoken of in the words he had read, which, "without compulsory means would flow unto them forever."

[Elder Daniel H. Wells]

            Elder DANIEL H. WELLS said we have many things to contend with especially in our efforts to secure our own legal rights and privileges, owing to the disposition in the children of men to infringe upon the rights of others God has commenced a form of government upon the earth, which is just and righteous, and has given power and authority to his servants, with a view of maintaining correct and righteous principles, and though that government is now in its incipiency, it will finally become universal over the face of the earth. He urged on all new comers to become citizens in this great republic, as soon as they possibly can, so that they may enjoy and exercise the privileges connected with citizenship, that of sitting as jurors, etc., not to forswear themselves, but to vindicate and befriend the innocent, protect the good from the malevolence of wicked and corrupt men, and act only on evidence instead of prejudice and hearsay. We are striving to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth, and have devoted our time, our means and our lives to the maintenance of those great and holy principles which God has revealed. He never has revealed a principle but which if carried out as he designed would prove a benefit and a blessing to the world. We should labor with each other to bring about a state of union and good feeling in our midst, and maintain the spirit of God in our own hearts. We are called to a high and holy calling, and we should not seek by ambitious motives to gain power and prominence. Let us maintain our integrity before high heaven, and seek to bring about he great and glorious purposes of the Lord. The day of God's power is advancing and he will soon assert his dominion and government on the earth. When we are gathered together as a body, are we not stronger than in an individual capacity? Let us then be united and exert ourselves as a unit on the side of right.

            Choir sang the anthem:

O praise the Lord in his holiness.

            Conference adjourned till 2 o'clock p.m.

            Benediction by Elder L. J. Nuttall.

_____

[9 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 29:585, 588, 10/13/80, p 9, 12]

Oct. 9th, 2 p.m.

            Conference called to order by Elder W. Woodruff.

            Choir sang:

I saw a mighty angel fly,
 To earth he bent his way.

            Prayer by Elder John Van Cott.

            Choir sang:

Jesus Mighty king in Zion
 Thou alone our guide shall be.

[President Joseph Young]

            President JOSEPH YOUNG said he had been much interested in the remarks of his brethren, and particularly in some of the quotations they had made. He had been a Bible student ever since he was six years old, but made no pretension to being a Biblical scholar. His opportunities for learning in early youth were very limited, but he had learned that to edify a congregation of Latter-day Saints, nothing short of the aid and assistance of the Holy Spirit of God was necessary. We have our fallen natures to contend with, and our weaknesses and imperfections could not be overcome all at once, it was a gradual attainment. Speaking of the Christian world he said they all professed to base their faith upon the Holy Scriptures. Man has a fleshly tabernacle and in that there is a spirit, and the revelations of God declare that the spirit and the body is the soul of man, that the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul.

            He addressed himself to the Seventies, and gave them some excellent instructions pertaining to their ministry as missionaries to the nations of the earth. Since 48 years last April he himself had been made the happy partaker of the spirit of the holy gospel, after obeying its ordinances. Thousands of the messengers of salvation have been sent to all parts of the earth, and with all the results of their labors, not one ship load of saints has ever been lost on the ocean, because God Almighty was with them, and his angels had charge of them. There was no greater mission given to mortal man than that which he owes to his wife and children. "Your light should shine before them by setting them a good example, and by your good instructions and prayers, you should throw around them a shield and protection. By founding them in the truth as well as leaving them supplied with the blessings of this life, you can leave and go to the nations to preach the gospel, and be justified." He did not think it wisdom for our missionaries to preach much of the terror of the law to the people, but dwell more fully on the sweet, soft, persuasive invitations of the gospel and the peaceable things of the kingdom. He then dwelt on the extreme torture and sufferings that were endured by our Savior when he was hung upon the cross, and the great work of salvation thus wrought out for the human family.

            He then urged a kind and generous treatment towards the poor who are out of employment, and gave some excellent advice to both brethren and sisters who have come from the old country and are seeking work. He also gave some good counsel to those who are about to leave as missionaries, warning them of the many evils that exist in the world, and exhorting them to patience and faithfulness.

            Elder L. J. Nuttall then presented the names of the following missionaries.

            Names of missionaries who have been called and set apart since the last Conference, and who are now in their fields of labor:

GREAT BRITAIN.

Albert Story Goodwin, Beaver
John Archibald McAllister, Logan.
Alexander Burt, Salt Lake City.
Joseph W. Burt, "
William Jack, Manti.
William C. Rydalch, Grantsville.
William Cooper, 7th ward, city.
John Wiser, Lewiston.
Joseph Robinson, Payson
Alfred Best, 7th ward, city.
Edwin Harman, 16th "
George Mitton Spencer, North Jordan.
Joseph Lamoni Holbrook, Bountiful.
Stephen Tucker, 2nd ward, city.
William Wood, 19th " "
David Spillsbury, Toquerville.
John Urie, Cedar City.
David Urie. "
Mosiah Booth, St. Charles.
Joseph Carlisle, Mill Creek.
Joseph James Giles, Herriman.
Gibson Condie, Jr., 6th ward, city.
William Richard Jones, 15th " "
John Morris Bowen, Herriman.
Joseph Stafford Tingey, 17th ward, city.
Edmond H. LeCheminant, Brighton.
Heber John Romney, 20th ward, city.
Charles F. Wilcox, 14th Ward, City.
John Richards Howard, 20th Ward, City.

CANADA.

John Lows Campbell, St. George.

SCANDINAVIA.

Rasmus Berntsen, Logan.
Paul Hammer, 12th Ward, City.
Lars Nielsen, Fountain Green
Martin Jacobsen, St. Charles.
Charles Samuelson, Santaquin.
Peter Olsen Hansen, Manti.
Casper Bryner, St. George.
Jacob Peter Olsen, 2nd Ward, City.
Swen Erricksen, Grantsville.

UNITED STATES.

John Leishman, Wellsville -- Returned on account of ill health.
Milford B. Shipp, Salt Lake City.
David Orson Miner, do
Jacob Weller, do

SOUTHERN STATES.

William Hulme, Bloomington.
Daniel Densley, Jr., Herriman.
Joseph Ford, Centreville.
John Nelson Price, Mill Creek.
Alexander Bickmore Kidd, South Jordan.

_____

            Names of missionaries who have not yet departed:

FOR GREAT BRITAIN.

Albert Carrington, Salt Lake City.
Benjamin Harman, Mill Creek.
George Stringfellow, 3rd Ward, City.
David Cook, East Bountiful.
James Farmer, Jr., Monrow.
John H. White. 16th Ward, City.
John Gray, 11th Ward.
Joseph G. Cutler, 14th Ward.
Thomas Laing Pringle, 18th Ward.
Moroni J. Thomas, 19th Ward.
Wm. S. Brighton, 11th Ward.
Wm. F. King, Fillmore.
Joseph A. Jennings, 16th Ward.
Isaac Duffin, Toquerville.
Wm. G. Davis, Big Cottonwood.
Wm. Probert, Jr., Holden.
Lyman Robinson, Fillmore.
David West, Pleasant Grove.
Franklin Snow, Brigham City.
Benjamin E. Rich, Ogden.
Winfred S. Harris, do.
Moroni Brown, do.
Moroni F. Brown, do.
Wm. H. Butler, Marriott.
John R. Baxter, Spring City.
Thos. D. Reese, Wales.
Robert Spence, Lake Town.
John Miller, Nephi.
Richard Henry Stringfellow, Draperville.
Geo. H. butler, Marriott.

SCANDINAVIA.

James Hansen, Ephraim.
James P. Larsen, "
Jens J. Hansen, Hyrum.
Niels Rasmussen Lindhal, Union.
John Hansen, South Jordan.
James C. Olsen, Salina.
Jens Jensen, Monroe.
Hans Enoch Nielsen, Hyrum.
Andrew Amondsen, South Jordan.
Lars N. Larsen, Moroni.

SANDWICH ISLANDS.

Samuel Gentry, jr., Coalville.

UNITED STATES.

Joseph A. Smith, Beaver.
George D. Nebeker, 19th ward, City.
James S. Jensen, Redmond.
Jacob Jacobsen, Moroni.
Daniel Zundel, Willard.
John Blackham, Moroni.
Joseph R. Murdock, Charleston.
D. E. Harris, Monroe.

SOUTHERN STATES.

Edward Stevens, Holden.
Anthony Paxton, Kanosh.
Lashbrook Laker, St. Charles.
George Passey, Paris.
James H. Wells, Joseph.
John Houston, Panguitch.
Riley G Clark, "
Samuel Porter, Manti
Peter H. Anderson, Manti.
George M. Bartholomew, Fayette.
Wm. H. Adams, fountain Green.
John Carter, Mount Pleasant.
James K. McClenahan, Mount Pleasant.
Samuel Bills, Fairview.
Elmer W. Johnson, Kanab.
James W. Eardley, 3d ward, city.
James Mott Barlow, 15th ward, city
Charles B. Felt, 17th ward, city.
Matthias F. Cowley, 14th ward, city.
Daniel R. Bateman, West Jordan.
H. B. M. Jolley, Mt. Carmel.
Isaac Riddle, Beaver.
John Robertson, Spanish Fork.
Wm. H. Bakes, Beaver.
Wm. Hanks, Charleston.
Horace Eldredge, Sugar House Ward.
Francis M. Jolley, Manti.
Wm. Thompson, Granite.
Richard C. Camp, Wallsburg.

[Elder Joseph F. Smith]

            Elder JOSEPH F. SMITH said from his youth up he had rejoiced in the principles of the gospel, and knew that it was the power of God unto salvation, not only unto himself, but unto all those who believe and obey the truth. He thought that God would have to exercise much charity and mercy towards us, or we should certainly come far short of the blessings we were anticipating. He felt anxious himself to do the best he could according to his knowledge and comprehension of this duty towards God, and wherein he fell short he should have to appeal to God his Heavenly Father for that forgiveness which he could exercise according to his mercy. The principle of forgiveness is too plain to be misunderstood, and we are required to forgive each other and not hold enmity in our hearts towards one another. Unless we learn and practise this principle, it will be folly to expect forgiveness from God our Heavenly Father, for he hath said, If you forgive not your brother, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you your trespasses. He then read from the revelation in the doctrine and Covenants wherein we are required to forgive the trespasses of our enemies, the first, second, third and fourth times, even though they do not repent and ask forgiveness, and until seventy times seven when they do repent and seek forgiveness. He thought it was high time for us to study the word of God, and try to live it in our daily lives, that we may be indeed the Saints of the Most High God.

            Conference adjourned till Sunday at 10 a. m.

            Choir sang:

Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.

            Benediction by Elder Lorenzo Snow.

_____

[9 Oct, 6 pm]

[WWJ 7:595]

[The following entry from Wilford Woodruff's journal for October 9th 1880 is included in order to properly date the subsequent discourse by John Taylor.]

            "The Apostles then met in Council at 6 o'clock and decided to organize the First Presidency of the Church. Wilford Woodruff nominated John Taylor to be the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it was carried unanimously. President John Taylor then chose George Q. Cannon as his first councillor and Joseph F. Smith as his second councillor. It was then moved, seconded and carried unanimously that Wilford Woodruff should be the President of the Twelve Apostles.

            "We then met in the Assembly Hall with the Priesthood Meeting and at the meeting after documents were read upon the priesthood, President John Taylor was then presented before the Priesthood Meeting as the President of the Church and his two Councillors and Wilford Woodruff as the President of the Twelve Apostles and received the unanimous vote of all the Priesthood Assembled upon the occasion."

[On pages 6-7 of the following discourse this statement occurs, "I presume my counsellors agree with me in that. [Presidents George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith both answered, 'Yes, sir.']" Since these counsellors were selected and sustained in the 6 o'clock pm meeting of October 9th, the discourse must be dated at the priesthood meeting held at the Assembly Hall later that evening, and not on October 7th as indicated in the title of the published document.]

[John Taylor]

Succession in the Priesthood.

A DISCOURSE BY
PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,

DELIVERED AT THE

Priesthood Meeting, held in the Salt Lake Assembly
Hall, Friday Evening, October 7th [9th], 1881.

REPORTED BY GEO. F. GIBBS.

      THERE are two or three things that I wish to speak about for the information of the Elders of Israel. Since the death of President Joseph Young, of the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies, the question has been asked who shall occupy his place. There are a number of men pretty well up in years who are associated with the First Seven Presidents over the Seventies. Some have been of the opinion, as these men are aged, that it would be perhaps better to have some younger person appointed to fill the vacancy as Presiding President over the Seven Presidents of Seventies; occasioned by Brother Joseph Young's death. However, there seems to be an order in the Priesthood pertaining [2] to these matters that we cannot well ignore. It has been usual heretofore, in cases of this kind; both in regard to the Quorum of the Twelve and also in regard to High Councils– not always, perhaps, carried out in regard to High Councils, but acted upon in numerous instances– that is, that the members preside according to priority of ordination and seniority of age, and the two, I think, would probably go together. The Twelve when they were first organized, were directed to have the oldest man selected for their President, who was Thomas B. Marsh. There were similar arrangements made in many instances in regard to High Councilors, and in such cases they are regulated, if my memory serves me aright, in the same way. This is my understanding of the order in the early history of the Church. This has been the case in regard to the Twelve, and there may be other circumstances that I may refer to connected with this order; but I wish to speak of this subject before I come to the other, in order that we may have a just and clear conception of the position we occupy in relation to these matters.

      Joseph Young, Sen., who was known as President Joseph Young, occupied the position of President over the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies from the time of their organization until his death. I wish to remark that a peculiar connection exists between the Seventies and the Twelve. The Twelve are a traveling High Council, whose business it is to preach the Gospel, or to see it preached, in all the world; that is their special calling and appointment by revelation. The Seventies also possess a mission of a similar nature. This mission is to preach the Gospel to all the world. They are placed under the direction of the Twelve, who are authorized to call upon them to go forth to the nations of the earth; thus their mission in this respect is similar to the mission of the Twelve. The same responsibilities rest upon them in regard to these duties as those which rest upon the Twelve, so far as their Priesthood and calling go. The High Priesthood, as you are aware, [3] differs from the Priesthood of the Seventies in this respect– the High Priests are expected to preside; it is a part of their office and calling to do that. Their organization in a quorum capacity is, as stated, an ordinance "instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing Presidents or servants over different Stakes scattered abroad." (Doc. and Cov., page 445, sec. 124, verse 134.) It is not the special business of the Seventies to preside, but to preach the Gospel, and we understand that it is their duty, whenever called upon, to go forth and fulfil missions under the direction of the Twelve. And it is so far imperative upon them that the Twelve are told first to call upon the Seventies,1 and, in the event of their not being prepared to perform this labor, then they may call upon others; but the Seventies seem to be the especial helps, assistants and fellow-laborers of the Twelve. This being the case, if a rule of the kind that has been referred to in regard to age and priority of ordination exists among the Twelve, the question would naturally arise: Would it not be quite as proper that the same principle should exist among tile Seventies, who possess a mission and calling so similar in its duties and responsibilities to that of the Twelve? This seems to be reasonable, proper and correct. There is a fitness about many of these things that it is well for us to comprehend. Joseph Young died awhile ago, that is, what we call death; but he lives; and where is he? He has gone behind the vail. Are there any other Seventies gone behind the vail before him? I think there are a great many. Do they expect to hold their Priesthood and position behind the vail? Yes, if they understand themselves they do, just as much as here; for if the Priesthood is everlasting and administers in time and in eternity, then what has been sealed upon the earth by the proper authorities upon the heads of men, is also sealed in the heavens. I so read it. And if it is sealed in the heavens, then Joseph Young would [4] take his place in the heavens and operate in his calling and Priesthood there, as he did here, and preside over the Seventies who have been ordained in this dispensation in their administrations in the other world. If we look at some statements made in the Doctrine and Covenants, we find these things very plainly set forth– that is, the same ideas; and they are principles that are understood by all intelligent Elders of Israel. However, there is no harm to speak about them, that we may all see eye to eye and comprehend alike. The Doctrine and Covenants, in referring to the Twelve, mentions their names and that of their President. It then mentions the name of the presiding officers in the Seventies. It mentions the names of the members of the High Council that was then organized. And in speaking about David Patten, one of the Twelve, it is written: "Behold, his Priesthood no man taketh from him; but verily I say unto you, another may be appointed unto the same calling." (Doc. and Cov., sec. 124, verse 130.) But his being dead made no difference in regard to his Priesthood; he held it just the same in the heavens as on the earth. There is another man mentioned; referring to the High Council, it is stated "Seymour Brunson I have taken unto myself, no man taketh his Priesthood, but another may be appointed unto the same priesthood in his stead." (Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 124, verse 132.) Then there is something said concerning Joseph Smith, Sen., the father of the Prophet Joseph Smith; of whom it is said that he sitteth with Abraham, at his right hand. (Doc. and Cov., sec. 124, verse 19.) Who was Abraham? A Patriarch. Who was Father Joseph Smith? A Patriarch. It is quite fitting, therefore, that he should associate with Abraham, who was and is also a Patriarch; and, perhaps, if we had the full details given, we should have an account of other Patriarchs as well. But here is a place alluded to, where he went when he left this world.

      I have now referred to men holding three different [5] callings in the Priesthood on the earth, who are indicated as being provided for in their proper positions in the heavens. If the Priesthood administers in time and in eternity; and if quorums of this kind are organized upon the earth, and this Priesthood is not taken away, but continued with them in the heavens, we do not wish, I think, to break up the order of the Priesthood upon the earth; and it would seem to be necessary that these principles of perpetuity or continuity should be held sacred among us. There is nothing new in this; we are told that Moses and Elias, who held the Priesthood on the earth, come from the heavens, where they still officiated, to administer to Jesus, Peter, James and John on the Mount. We are elsewhere told that a mighty Angel was seen by John on the Isle of Patmos, who communicated to him many great and important things. John was about to fall down and worship this holy messenger, but he forbade him, saying: "See that thou do it not; I am thy, fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." This mighty angel held the priesthood on the earth; he now held it in the heavens and came to administer to John. The same may be said of personages who came to administer to the Prophet Joseph Smith, such as Moroni, Nephi, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Elijah, Elias, Moses; and such ministrations have been made by Michael or Adam, Gabriel or Noah, and others; as instanced in the case of Gabriel, who came to earth to announce the approaching birth of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ. This principle is confirmed by the Prophet Joseph Smith in an address to the Saints, embodied in the Doctrine and Covenants: He writes: "And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the Prophets– the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca County, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book. The voice of Michael on the banks of the [6] Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light. The voice of Peter, James and John in the wilderness, between Harmony, Susquehanna County, and Colesville, Broome County, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fullness of times.

      "And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca County, and at sundry times, and in divers places through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the Voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam, down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their Priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope." (See. 128, ver. 20, 21, p. 157.)

       Now, because some of these brethren of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies are feeble, aged, or infirm, it is not for us to deprive them of their rights and privileges, and put some others in their places, while they remain true and faithful, and good members in the Church. And therefore, the proper way, as I understand it, would be to take the senior member of that quorum, that is, the senior President of the Seven Presidents of Seventies, and allow him to preside. The senior President is Levi W. Hancock. Let these brethren then act together and consult over these things, the senior President taking his place among them, and whatever business they may have to transact associated with the Seventies, they can all operate together, each performing his own duties as directed by counsel, as when President Joseph Young was here, each retaining his proper standing, office, calling and Priesthood. I presume my Counsellors agree with me in that. [Pres[7]dents George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith both answered, "Yes, sir."] The First Presidency are agreed; and I presume the Twelve would be? This seems to be the proper way, that all may be respected and honored in their office.

      Another subject that I wished to speak about is in regard to the Twelve, and the changes that have taken place, from time to time, in the Church, since the organization of that Quorum. I desire to show the reason for these changes, that we may understand things properly and intelligently.

      As I stated, the Twelve, when they were called, were placed on the same footing that I have referred to, and Thomas B. Marsh was the senior in that quorum, hence he was appointed; and he is spoken of, in the revelations, as their President. At the time of his apostasy, there was another change made. David W. Patten would have been the next, had he lived, but he was killed in Missouri before Thomas B. Marsh apostatized. Had he lived, he would have been President of the Twelve, instead of Brigham Young. But he died, and consequently Brigham Young, being the senior member of the Twelve, was appointed in his place.

      Now, in regard to the apostasy of Thomas B. Marsh, I will get Brother Reynolds to read in what his apostasy consisted. It was a horrible affair, as I look at it.

      The affidavit of Thomas B. Marsh was then read, as follows:

 

Affidavit of Thomas B. Marsh.

      "They have among them a company, considered true Mormons, called the Danites, who have taken an oath to support the heads of the Church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong. Many, however, of this band are much dissatisfied with this oath, as being against moral and religious principles. On Saturday last, I am informed by the Mormons, that they had a meeting at Far West, at which they appointed a [8] company of twelve, by the name of the Destruction Company, for the purpose of burning and destroying, and that if the people of Buncombe came to do mischief upon the people of Caldwell, and committed depredations upon the Mormons, they were to burn Buncombe; and if the people of Clay and Ray made any movement against them, this destroying company were to burn Liberty and Richmond.

      "The plan of said Smith, the Prophet, is to take this State; and he professes to his people to intend taking the United States, and ultimately the whole world. This is the belief of the Church, and my own opinion of the Prophet's plans and intentions. The Prophet inculcates the notion, and it is believed by every true Mormon that Smith's prophecies are superior to the laws of the land. I have heard the Prophet say that he would yet tread down his enemies, and walk over their dead bodies; that if he was not let alone, he would be a second Mohammed to this generation, and that he would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean; that like Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was 'the Aleoran or the Sword,' so should it be eventually with us, 'Joseph Smith or the Sword.' These last statements were made during the last Summer. The number of armed men at Adam-Ondi-Ahman was between three and four hundred.

"THOMAS B. MARSH.
"Sworn to and subscribed before me, the day herein written.
"HENRY JACOBS,
"J. P., Ray County, Missouri.
"Richmond, Missouri, October 24, 1838."

 

"Affidavit of Orson Hyde.

      "The most of the statements in the foregoing disclosure I know to be true; the remainder I believe to be true.

"ORSON HYDE.

"Richmond, October 24, 1838. [9]
"Sworn to and subscribed before me, on the day above written.
"HENRY JACOBS, J.P."

 

      Testimonies from these sources are not always reliable, and it is to be hoped, for the sake of the two brethren, that some things were added by our enemies that they did not assert, but enough was said to make this default and apostasy very terrible.

      I will here state that I was in Far West at the time these affidavits were made, and was mixed up with all prominent Church affairs. I was there when Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde left there; and there are others present who were there at the same time. And I know that these things, referred to in the affidavits, are not true. I have heard a good deal about Danites, but I never heard of them among the Latter-day Saints. If there was such an organization, I never was made acquainted with it. The fact of a President of the Twelve, who ought to be true to his trust, Apostleship and calling, and the guardian and protector of the people, making such statements, is truly infamous, and is to be deplored by all correct feeling people. It is not unusual for lawyers to say, when speaking of any crime, that such a man, instigated by the devil, did so and so. In this case the lawyers' statement would be correct. Thomas B. Marsh was unquestionably "instigated by the devil" when he made this statement which has been read in your hearing. The consequence was, he was cut off from the Church. When he was cut off, he seemed to have lost all the spirit and power and manhood that he once enjoyed. I was acquainted with him before this; I was acquainted with him soon after I came into the Church. With the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Sidney Rigdon, he visited Upper Canada at the time I was presiding there, in the year 1837. I was with them for some time. I procured from a sister, a carriage, which was a very good one, and Brother Joseph Horne, who may be present, supplied the team and, I think, [10] acted as teamster. In it we visited the Churches. I rode with them in the same carriage. They were with us for some time, visiting the various churches and holding meetings and conferences. Thomas B. Marsh many of you knew, as he was here in the valleys, and some of you perhaps knew him at that time. At that earlier period, he was a pretty fair average man in regard to intelligence, speech, good, sound reasons, etc. I have heard some people say he was a fool, but I did not so understand it. [Brother Woodruff said: "I did not, either."] Until the time of his apostasy, he was a fair average man in regard to intelligence; but when he took the steps he did, it was a shocking course for a man to pursue, occupying the position that he did. I remember a circumstance that occurred. A number of us had been out to a place called Di-Ahman. Its proper name was Adam-Ondi-Ahman. In coming into Far West, I heard about him and Orson Hyde having left. It would be here proper to state, however, that Orson Hyde had been sick with a violent fever for some time, and had not yet fully recovered therefrom, which, with the circumstances with which we were surrounded and the influence of Thomas B. Marsh, may be offered as a slight palliation for his default. Brother Heber C. Kimball and I were together, and I said to him: "I have a notion to take a team and follow after these brethren, and see if I cannot persuade them to come back," speaking more particularly of Brother Marsh. "Well," said he, "if you knew him as well as I do, you would know that if he had made up his mind to go, you could not turn him." With that I gave up the idea, knowing that Brother Kimball was better acquainted with him than I was, and I did not go. The result was that he did this deed. I am here reminded of the words of Joseph in exhorting the Twelve. He said:

      "O ye Twelve and all Saints, profit by this important key, that in all your trials, troubles, and temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonment and death, see to it [11] that you do not betray heaven, that you do not betray Jesus Christ, that you do not betray Your brethren, and that you do not betray the revelations of God, whether in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any of the word of God. Yea, in all your kicking and floundering see to it that you do not this thing, lest innocent blood be found on your skirts, and you go down to hell. We may ever know by this sign that there is danger of our being led to a fall and apostasy, when we give way to the devil so as to neglect the first known duty. But, whatever you do, do not betray your friends." (History of Joseph Smith, June 2d, 1839.)

      Thomas B. Marsh, of course, was cut off from the Church for this, as he ought to be, and so was Orson Hyde. I will give you a little further history of Thomas B. Marsh. On my way, I think, from a mission in Europe I do not now remember the time I met him in Florence, Nebraska. He hunted me up, and he looked a broken down man. He spoke to me and told me about affairs in the mountains, and told me what a wretched position he was in, in consequence of the course he had taken, and said he: "I want to go out there, and I would like to have your opinion as to how the people will receive me." I replied: "In regard to that, I do not think the people will entertain any hard or harsh feelings about you; they realize your position as you realize it; they would feel disposed to treat you properly and kindly, but as regards your ever occupying the position you once held, that to me would be impossible." He answered: "I do not look for anything of that kind," and I do not know but what he said that he did not deserve anything of the kind. I don't remember, however. But he did say: "I want to have a place among the brethren there; I want to stand in the position of a private member, or anywhere that shall be allotted to me; I want to die there." His circumstances were poor, and I relieved, in part, his present necessities. After his arrival here, I remember [12] hearing him talk in the Fourteenth Ward Meeting House. It seemed to me about the most foolish and ridiculous talk, devoid of common sense, common intelligence and common manhood, that I had heard for a long time. Said I to my self: "There is a specimen of apostasy." I remember I was once driving north out of the city. I think it was rather cold. I saw a man tottering, along, I thought he was hardly fit to be out in such weather, and when I drew near to him, I found it was Brother Marsh. I asked him to get into my carriage. He had started for Bountiful, but I do not think he could have reached there alone; he appeared to be so weak and feeble. Perhaps you remember, in the Old Tabernacle, he got up when something was said in regard to apostasy, and said: "If any of you want to see the effects of apostasy, look upon me." You will perhaps remember that. [a number of voices in the congregation, "Yes, sir."] He lived in that way, and died in that way. He might have been at the head of the Church, but he died in that miserable condition. I refer to this, because all of these things, when you reflect upon them, have a bearing upon our history, and on the propriety of the course that has been taken in these matters. Did the Twelve feel bad towards him? No. I remember that on learning that he was in poor circumstances, they proposed to give him a new suit of clothes, and assist in relieving his wants. But President Young, hearing of it, desired to do it himself, and he supplied his necessities. Those are some little reminiscences associated with him. It was real apostasy, and I wanted his affidavit read to show that it was apostasy, that there was nothing wrong or unjust in regard to the treatment that he received. After his apostasy, President Young, by reason of his seniority, necessarily took the position of President of the Twelve.

      When the Twelve arrived in England, a meeting of the Quorum was held in Preston. Brother Woodruff has an account of the whole concern. [Brother Woodruff– "Yes, sir."] and there was a vote taken by the [13] Twelve at that meeting, and the vote was unanimous, that Brigham Young should be accepted as the President of the Twelve Apostles. Afterwards, you will find, in a Revelation given concerning the Twelve, that President Young's name is mentioned as being President of the Twelve. It is in that revelation given Concerning the Nauvoo House, January 19th, 1841. His name is mentioned as being President of the Twelve, and then follow the names of the other members then belonging to that quorum.

      I will now go a little back and trace up some other things associated with this subject.

      There was a time when there was a large amount of apostasy in Kirtland; it was in 1837, I think. There was a very bitter feeling gotten up by a number of men who had apostatized. Parley P. Pratt was one who was affected. He, however, did not go to the length that some did; and Orson Pratt had partaken more or less of that spirit. I speak of these things as facts. Parley mentions it himself in his own autobiography, which he published, or at least prepared for publication. And then he speaks about his bitter repentance and his reconciliation with Joseph Smith, when the thing was made right. He says:

      "About this time, after I had returned from Canada, there were jarrings and discords in the Church at Kirtland, and many fell away and became enemies and apostates. There were also envyings, lyings, strifes and divisions, which caused much trouble and sorrow. By such spirits I was also accused, misrepresented and abused. And at one time, I also was overcome by the same spirit in a great measure, and it seemed as if the very powers of darkness which war against the Saints were let loose upon me. But the Lord knew my faith, my zeal, my integrity of purpose, and he gave me the victory.

      "I went to Brother Joseph Smith in tears, and, with a broken heart and contrite spirit, confessed wherein I had erred in spirit, murmured, or done or said amiss. [14] He frankly forgave me, prayed for me and blessed me. Thus by experience I learned more fully to discern and to contrast the two spirits, and to resist the one and cleave to the other. And being tempted in all points even as others, I learned how to bear with and excuse and succor those who are tempted." (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, page 183.)

      But there were four of the Twelve who did apostatize– Wm. E. McLellin, Luke Johnson, John F. Boynton and Lyman Johnson. When they apostatized, the following revelation was given:

      "Revelation given through Joseph, the Seer, at Far West, Missouri, July 8th, 1838, in answer to the question, "Show us thy will, O Lord, concerning the Twelve?'"

      "Verily, thus saith the Lord, let a Conference be held immediately, let the Twelve be organized, and let men be appointed to supply the place of those who are fallen.

      "Let my servant Thomas remain for a season in the land of Zion, to publish my word.

      "Let the residue continue to preach from that hour and if they will do this in all lowliness of heart, in meekness and humility, and longsuffering, I, the Lord, give unto them a promise that I will provide for their families, and an effectual door shall be opened for them, from henceforth;

      "And next Spring, let them depart to go over the great waters, and there promulgate my Gospel, the fullness thereof, and bear record of my name.

      "Let them take leave of my Saints in the city Far West, on the 26th day of April next, on the building spot of my house, saith the Lord.

      "Let my servant John Taylor, and also my servant John E. Page, and also my servant Wilford Woodruff: and also my servant Willard Richards, be appointed to fill the places of those who have fallen, and be officially notified of their appointment."

      I will state that I was living in Canada at the [15] time, some three hundred miles distant from Kirtland. I was presiding over a number of Churches in that region, in fact, over all of the Churches in Upper Canada. I knew about this calling and appointment before it came, it having been revealed to me. But not knowing but that the devil had a finger in the matter, I did not say anything about it to anybody. [Brother Woodruff here spoke up and said that be was on the Fox Islands, which were farther away still; and also knew, by the Spirit, that he would be called to the Apostleship. A messenger came to me with a letter from the First Presidency, informing me of my appointment, and requesting me to repair forthwith to Kirtland, and from there to go to Far West. I went according to the command. When I reached Far West, John E. Page, another one mentioned in the revelation just read to you, was there also. John E. Page and I were ordained into the Quorum of the Twelve at the same meeting. Brother Woodruff was ordained, after the scenes of the war at Far West; but I think it was right in the midst of the war when Brother Page and I were ordained. Brother Woodruff was ordained on the corner stone of the foundation of the Temple in Far West, on the 26th of April, 1839, when we went to fulfil this same revelation that you have heard read, and I helped to ordain him. Brother George A. Smith was ordained at the same time, and I am informed that he took the place of Thomas B. Marsh, who apostatized. I had not retained this fact in my memory, but I think it is correct. There were other two men ordained at the same time, One by the name Of Darwin Chase, the other Norman Shearer. The former joined Conner's company and was in the fight on Bear River, where he was shot and shortly afterwards died at Camp Douglas. These are some reminiscences associated with this affair. Now we come to some other events. When the Twelve were reorganized, there were some changes made. For instance, in the case of John E. Page, it was not long before he apostatized. Willard Richards [16] was ordained into the Twelve at Preston in Landshire, England, at the same time and place as President Young was voted for and accepted as President of the Twelve. Through some inadvertence, or perhaps mixed up with the idea of seniority of age taking the precedence, Wilford Woodruff's name was placed on the records of the time, and for many years after, before that of John Taylor. This matter was investigated some time afterwards by President Young and his council, sanctioned also by the Twelve, whether John Taylor held the precedency and stood in gradation prior to Brother Wilford Woodruff, and it was voted on and decided that his name be placed before Wilford Woodruff's, although Wilford Woodruff was the older man. The reason assigned for this change was that although both were called at the same time, John Taylor was ordained into the Twelve prior to Wilford Woodruff; and another prominent reason would be that as John Taylor assisted in the ordination of Elder Wilford Woodruff, he therefore must precede him in the Council. Another question arose afterwards on this same subject: Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt had both of them been disfellowshipped and dropped from their Quorum, and when they returned, without any particular investigation or arrangement, took the position in the Quorum which they had formerly occupied, and as there was no objection raised, or investigation had on this subject, things continued in this position for a number of years. Some ten or twelve years ago, Brother George A. Smith drew my attention to this matter. I think it was soon after he was appointed as Counselor to the First Presidency, and he asked me if I had noticed the impropriety of the arrangement. He stated at the same time that these brethren having been dropped from the Quorum could not assume the position that they before had in the Quorum; but that all those who remained in the Quorum when they had left it must necessarily take the precedence of them in the Quorum. He stated, at the same time, that these questions might become very seri[17]ous ones, in case of change of circumstances arising from death or otherwise; remarking also, that I stood before them in the Quorum. I told him that I was aware of that, and of the correctness of the position assumed by him, and had been for years, but that I did not choose to agitate or bring up a question of that kind. Furthermore, I stated that, personally, I cared nothing about the matter, and, moreover, I entertained a very high esteem for both the parties named; while, at the same time, I could not help but see, with him, that complications might hereafter arise, unless the matters were adjusted. Some time after, in Sanpete, in June, 1875, President Young brought up the subject of seniority, and stated that John Taylor was the man that stood next to him; and that where he was not, John Taylor presided. He also made the statement, that Brother Hyde and Brother Pratt were not in their right positions in the Quorum. Upon this statement, I assumed the position indicated.

      Thus our positions at that time seemed to be fully defined; and what had been spoken of by Elder George A. Smith, without any action of mine, was carried out by President Young; and from that time to the death of President Young, I occupied the senior position in the Quorum, and occupying that position, which was thoroughly understood by the Quorum of the Twelve, on the death of President Young, as the Twelve assumed the Presidency, and I was their President, it placed me in the position of President of the Church, or, as expressed in our Conference meeting: "As President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; as one of the Twelve Apostles, and of the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." In this manner, also, was President Brigham Young sustained, at the General Conference held in Nauvoo, in the October following the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We find the following recorded in the minutes of that Conference "Elder W. W. Phelps moved that we uphold Brigham Young, the President of the Quorum of [18] Twelve, as one of the Twelve, and First Presidency of the Church." Thus I stood in the same position that President Young did when called to occupy the same place at the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

      It may be proper here to again say a few words with regard to Brother Orson Hyde, whose endorsement of the terrible charges made by Thomas B. Marsh, in his affidavit, has already been read. Suffice it to say, in addition to what has previously been stated, he was cut off from the Church, and of course lost his Apostleship; and when he subsequently returned, and made all the satisfaction that was within his power, he was forgiven by the authorities and the people, and was again re-instated in the Quorum. But having been cut off from the Quorum, and having remained in that condition for some time, he of course lost his former position as to seniority and that necessarily placed me in advance of him.

      Orson Pratt also had some difficulties while we were in Nauvoo, arising out of the introduction of the Celestial Order of Marriage. It seems, from records made in a conversation that I had with him afterwards, that he did not fully realize or comprehend the situation; but, at the time of the occurrence, when I saw that he was very severely tried, as I had always held pleasant relations with him, I took every pains that I possibly could to explain the situation of things, to remove his doubts, and to satisfy his feelings, but without avail. At one time I talked with him for nearly two hours, to prevent, if possible, his apostasy or departure from the Church. But he was very sorely tried, and was very self-willed and stubborn in his feelings, and would not yield. His feelings were bitter towards the Prophet Joseph Smith and others, and the result was that he was dropped from his position in the Quorum. But I am not aware of his ever having written or published anything against the Church; On the contrary, when Dr. John C. Bennett, who had apostatized, sent a letter to Sidney Rigdon, wherein he denounced President Smith, [19] and stated that he was a villain and a scoundrel, and that a requisition would be made for him by the State of Missouri, and requested him to show this letter to Orson Pratt; although Sidney Rigdon, who was the First Counselor to Joseph, did not show this statement unfolding this conspiracy to him, yet as soon as Sidney Rigdon handed the letter to Orson Pratt, he immediately took it to the Prophet Joseph; and thus, while Sidney Rigdon withheld this information from one to whom he was in honor and duty bound, as his First Counselor, to make it known, yet Orson Pratt, although at the time disfellowshipped, immediately made Joseph acquainted with the conspiracy that was being plotted against him, and thus exhibited a manhood and integrity that were so woefully deficient in Sidney Rigdon. In reference to Brother Pratt's severance from the Council of the Twelve, the following items from the life of President Young are interesting:

      "August 8, 1842.– Assisted by Elders H. C. Kimball and George A. Smith, I spent several days laboring with Elder Orson Pratt, whose mind became so darkened by the influence and statements of his wife, that he came out in rebellion against Joseph, refusing to believe his testimony or obey his counsel. He said he would believe his wife in preference to the Prophet. Joseph told him if he did believe his wife and follow her suggestions, he would go to hell.

      "We reported to the Prophet that we had labored with Brother Orson diligently, in a spirit of meekness, forbearance and long suffering. He requested us to ordain Brother Amasa Lyman in Brother Orson's stead. After receiving these instructions, we met Brother Orson near my house, and continued to labor with him. He said to us: 'There is Brother Amasa Lyman in your house, Brother Young; he has been long in the ministry: go in and ordain him in my stead.'

      "August 20.– Brother Orson Pratt was cut off from the Church, and, according to the Prophet's direction, Brothers H. C. Kimball, George A. Smith and I ordained [20] Brother Amasa Lyman in his stead." (History of Brigham Young)

      Of Brother Pratt's integrity, indefatigable labors, purity of life, zeal for the cause of God, and untiring devotion in proclaiming the word of the Lord, I cannot speak in terms of too high praise or affectionate regard; and these other matters, painful though they be, are only mentioned now because they are necessary to make plain to your minds an important principle, and without these details you would not so readily nor fully understand my position, and the position of the Twelve, at the present time.

      Having said so much on these matters, I will talk a little on some other things.

      We are told in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that when the people are united, or the Priesthood are united, and are moved upon by the Holy Ghost, their teachings "shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation." (Sec. 68, page 248.) That is the case, and I have not seen greater unanimity than we have had, both in the selection of the of the Twelve and in that of the First Presidency afterwards. And if the united voice of a few Elders is the will of God, and the word of God, and the law of God, the question is, Is not the voice of the whole Church the law of God and the will of God? I speak of this for your information, that you may comprehend the ground upon which you stand, speaking not of persons but of the principle. Speaking of myself, who am I? Just like you? Who are you? Just like me– poor, feeble, weak, erring humanity. Can I do anything without the aid of the Almighty? No; I could not leave this stand without His assistance, nor could any of you leave this house if God was to say No, and was to withdraw the breath which you breathe, which you received from Him. But God has called all of us to a high calling; and there is a regular organization in the Church and Kingdom of God which ought to be respected.

      There are some things which I have disliked to mention; I do not like to mention anything unpleasant about Brother Marsh, or Brother Pratt, or Brother Orson Hyde. Brother Hyde, as I stated, had his weaknesses, as we all have; but he was received back again, after making a humble acknowledgment; and so was Brother Marsh; but then Brother Marsh could never again occupy the position of an Apostle; and it was a hard struggle at times for Brother Hyde, but he got along, and I am thankful for it. Did other men have their weaknesses? I think they had, and I think, too, that they themselves did not consider it improper to speak of them. I think that Peter, on a certain occasion, when Jesus was telling what poor, weak creatures they were, said, "Though all men forsake thee, yet will not I." Why you would if God did not sustain you. Said the Savior, "Peter, before the cock crows twice, thou shalt deny me thrice." And so he did. But afterwards Peter went out and wept bitterly. And so did Brother Hyde weep bitterly. He came to me on a certain occasion, after Mr. Colfax came out here and quoted this affidavit which Marsh had made, told me he would give his life over and over again, if it were possible, to wipe out the recollection of that act; but I think, as I said before, that Brother Hyde was scarcely in his right mind: he was laboring under a fever and was hardly himself. I would gladly hope it was so. And I mentioned, in my reply to Colfax, that Peter had his weaknesses, and afterward went out and wept bitterly; and that so did Brother Hyde. But that Peter, after this, stood up manfully for the cause of truth, sustaining the Gospel and all the principles thereto; and so did Brother Hyde. He went on a mission to Jerusalem and to other places, and proved himself as faithful as he knew how to be. But he was not, I think, the man that he was before. Such things affect men. And I say, brethren, never, under any circumstances whatever, betray your honor nor the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whenever you do that, you will find it hard to retrace your steps.

      We all hold important positions before God. We are called to build up the Church Of God; we are called to build up the Kingdom of God; We are called to introduce and maintain the government of God; and God expects it at our hands and He expects that we shall be true to him and to our Priesthood, and true to our calling; and if we are, there arc thrones and principalities and powers and dominions, exaltations and increase, worlds without end; and if we are not, there will be sorrow and mourning and lamentation and woe. It behooves us, therefore, to consider and ponder well the path of our feet. As Elders in Israel, the Kingdom of God ought to be the first and the last, the beginning, the middle and the end, of all our acts. We are not called upon to seek for our own glory, our own emolument, our own honor, our Own family, our own wealth; but God has committed to us eternal treasures, treasures of intelligence, treasures that the Gods inherit in the eternal worlds; treasures that will exalt us in time, and bring us to associate with the Gods in eternity. And if we are faithful and true to our trust, everything that God has promised will be fulfilled to us, and to our generations after us, if they are faithfully just as sure as God lives. But we have to learn to do the will of God. We have to follow the counsel and advice of those whom God has given for our guidance. Every one of us has to walk in the line that God has marked out. If we are Teachers, Priests, or Deacons, we must be subject to the counsel of our Bishops, and we must seek their counsel, and then be governed by it. If we are Bishops, we must ask the counsel of our Presidents and the counsel of the presiding Bishopric. And then, in peculiar cases, the counsel of the First Presidency or Twelve, as the case may be. If we are High Councilors, We must act in righteousness and in honor, and administer justice in righteousness and with integrity of heart, dealing out justice and clarity to all men, and must seek for the Holy Spirit to help us to do these [23] things. If we are Bishops, we want the spirit of righteousness within us, not to hold any man's person in admiration, but to do justly and equitably to all men, according to the circumstances in which they may be placed, and act as judges in Israel, judging in all righteousness. If we are Presidents of Stakes, we ought to feel a fatherly care over the Stakes, even as a Bishop should watch over his Ward, and know the positions of every man in it. If there be any danger of defalcations in anything, try to meet these difficulties in the right way and act as saviors to men; and then, in cases of difficulty, applying to the First Presidency or the Twelve, as the case may be; if it be the Twelve, they have to be in subjection to their file leaders in the same way. If it be the Presidency, it is for them to seek to God for help. And I call upon you, my Brethren, for help also, for your faith and prayers; for we need it; that the whispering of His Spirit may descend upon the proper authorities, and that that Spirit may permeate the hearts of all the Elders of Israel; all of whom have rights, as individuals, to approach God in the name of Jesus Christ, to have their prayers heard. But God has organized His Church and Kingdom for the accomplishment of His purposes upon the earth.

      Well, let every man act in his place, and honor his calling. Let no man set the world before his Maker, for if he does, I tell you, in the name of God, he will have his reward; and if it is the world he wants, he will have it; but when he does he will be without the other and greater reward. Take which you like. We shall have both if we do right and magnify our Priesthood and calling and honor our God, and we shall have riches in this world and riches in the worlds to come. But love not the world nor the things that are in the world, for any man loving the world, the love of the Father is not in him. I say, O God, pour upon thy Elders thy Holy Spirit, that they may appreciate the principles of truth and honor, and that they may be prepared to receive the riches of [24] this world, and be able to build up thy Kingdom and establish righteousness, and raise up Zion and establish it upon the earth, and prepare the earth and the people thereof for the time when the bursting heavens shall reveal the Son of God, and all creation shall feel His power, and every creature in the heavens and on the earth and under the earth be heard to say, Blessing and glory and honor and power, might, majesty and dominion be ascribed unto Him that sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever. Amen.

 

[10 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 29:588, 10/13/80, p 12]

FIFTH DAY.

SUNDAY, October 10th, 1880. 10 a. m.

            Conference called to order by President John Taylor.

            Choir sang:

The morning breaks, the shadows flee,
 Lo, Zion's standard is unfurled.

            Prayer by Elder Edward Partridge.

            Choir sang:

Arise O glorious Zion,
 Thou joy of latter days.

[Elder Orson Pratt]

            Elder ORSON PRATT said there are thousands of male members of this Church, who hold, as we all testify, divine authority, to act in their several callings in the holy priesthood. If we are destitute of that authority as the world say we are, then we are in the same position as they and there is no authority from God vested in man upon the earth. But we affirm that God bestowed divine authority upon Joseph Smith and that by divine commandment he bestowed it upon others. Joseph Smith received power to translate the Book of Mormon from the plates before he was ordained to the holy priesthood in the flesh. but he did hold the priesthood in eternity, being ordained before the foundations of the world, in common with others who were reserved to come forth in the last days, to hold the priesthood with authority and power to administer the plan of salvation to the children of men in the flesh. There is no beginning to the priesthood. It always existed, being from all eternity to all eternity, but there is a beginning to the time when each individual receives that everlasting priesthood.

            He then referred to the first vision of Joseph Smith when but a boy. He saw two personages, the Father and the Son, and yet the sight did not consume him, although it is written that without the priesthood no man can see the face of God and live. The reason why he was enabled to look upon the face of God and live was because he was chosen and ordained in the spirit world to the holy priesthood, and was selected to come forth in this age to usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times. In due time however, on the 15th of May, 1829, John the Baptist came and conferred upon him the priesthood of Aaron, which gave him authority to preach the gospel and baptize for the remission of sins. subsequently, Peter, James and John ordained him to the Melchisedec priesthood, which gave him authority to still further carry on the work of God, and administer in the higher ordinances of the plan of redemption. In a short time God revealed to him the necessity of a quorum of Twelve Apostles, after which the quorum of Seventies was pointed out to him, and as the number of converts increased, God gradually made known to him one principle and authority after another as the necessity of the Church required. God dealt with his servant Joseph just the same as a wise earthly parent does with his children, adapting his instructions according to their growth and capacity.

            In the course of time men were appointed to take charge of and attend to the temporal properties of the Church; this was done before there was any Bishop appointed. This circumstance clearly proves that God adapts his course with his children according to their condition and requirements. And what is essential under one set of circumstances, may not be suitable under other circumstances, hence we find hat God reveals his mind and will to his children, according to their needs and his own good pleasure, and because something is done in one age of the world, that is no reason why it should be repeated in another.

            He traced the history of the church in its various organizations, especially illustrating the difference in the duties of Bishops Edward Partridge and Newel K. Whitney, who were general Bishops over large districts, and the Bishops over wards whose duties are entirely local. The first presiding Bishop of the Church was Vinson Knight, who with his Counselors had presidency over all the other Bishops. In process of time, as the number of Saints multiplied, and cities and settlements increased, it became necessary to have local or ward Bishops, as at the present time, whose authority is strictly confined to their own particular ward. He then defined the several duties of a Traveling Bishop and Bishop's Agent, both of whom should hold the Bishopric, because their duties are connected with temporal things. The time will come when the prophecy of Isaiah will be fulfilled concerning every one that dwells on this continent, who will not believe the book of Mormon, who will not repent and obey the word of the Lord and hearken to the voice of his priesthood -- God will cut them off from among the people, and the remnants that are left will bow to the laws of Zion.

            He dwelt at some length on the future glory and advancement of the kingdom of God. He also spoke of the several duties and responsibilities that attach to the First Presidency of the Church and to the Twelve, who are a traveling High Council, authorized to set in order the quorums and authorities of the Church throughout the world. He spoke of the occasions when the quorum of the First Presidency was lacking in consequence of the death of the First President and showed that the duties of guiding the Church then necessarily rested upon the Twelve. It was deemed wisdom to again fill up that important quorum, viz. the First Presidency, at this conference, which had been acted upon by the Twelve and also by a great body of the priesthood at their meeting last evening. This change will take three from the quorum of the Twelve and their vacancies have to be filled, all of which will be presented before the Conference this afternoon and both male and female members will be called upon to vote thereon.

[Orson Pratt]

[DNW 30:194, 4/27/81, p 2, JD 22:27]

DISCOURSE

BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,

At the General Conference, Sunday Morning, October 10, 1880.

_____

REPORTED BY GEO. F. GIBBS.

_____

      I have been asked by President Taylor to address the congregation this morning on a particular subject, in which we are all interested, namely, the divine authority of the Priesthood, divine callings, ordinances, etc.

      We have in this Church several thousand male members who hold authority and power which they say is from heaven. If it be from heaven, as we testify, and have testified ever since the rise of the Church, then the Lord our God has manifested His power, and in His mercy has once more bestowed authority upon the children of men to administer His holy ordinances, and to occupy the positions to which we have severally been called. On the other hand, if the views of the world are correct—they do not consider us to have any authority—we are then on the same ground and platform with the rest of the religious world, there is no authority upon the earth. One or the other is true.

      There never was a principle more clearly proven than that the inhabitants of the earth are destitute of all divine authority, among all religious denominations, whether Pagan, Mahometan or so-called Christian; the authority cannot be found throughout all the various denominations that have existed through the long period of time called the dark ages, until the Lord, in His mercy, has organized His Church again on the earth and bestowed that authority, and if He has not done it, as the world say He has not, there are no persons upon this whole earth that have any authority from the heavens; and therefore we are just as well off as the balance of them.

      We are not indebted to man for the various authorities in this Church; this is our testimony. Man did not commence this work, man is not the originator of this work, neither is he the origin of the authority by which we administer. The Lord did not see proper to organize the authority of this Church all at once in all the various councils and authorities that, from time to time, have been ordained among this people; it was a gradual work. Authority was bestowed before there was any Church. First (not the authority of the Priesthood) but the authority to bring forth the plates of the Book of Mormon, and to translate them by the Urim and Thummim, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. This was the first authority conferred upon the one whom the Lord chose to commence this great work. The authority of the Priesthood was not conferred upon him at that time, but He revealed unto him concerning the everlasting Gospel contained in the ancient records kept by the Nephites, or Israelites, upon this great Western Continent.

      Joseph Smith, when he translated these records by the aid of the Urim and Thummim, had not yet received any Priesthood, so far as his temporal existence was concerned. But now, do not misunderstand me in regard to this position. He did hold the Priesthood before he came here upon the earth. I remarked that Joseph, so far as any ordination here in the flesh was concerned, held no Priesthood at the time that he brought forth the plates of the Book of Mormon and translated them; but he did hold the Priesthood, which was conferred upon him in the councils of eternity, before this world was formed. You will find this recorded in, a sermon delivered by the Prophet Joseph, showing that not only he, but also all of the faithful that have received the Priesthood here in this life, were ordained before the foundation of the world. Consequently, they had the ordination; that ordination was after the order of Him who is from all eternity to all eternity, an everlasting Priesthood, without father, without mother, without beginning, without end; having been handed down from all eternity. That Priesthood was conferred upon Joseph Smith before he came here; he was among those that are spoken of in "The Pearl of Great Price," whom the ancient Prophets saw in heaven. Moses saw them, and Abraham saw them, namely, the spirits that existed before the world was made; and they saw that among that vast number of spirits there were some choice ones, some that were noble in the sight of God, probably because of their integrity and steadfastness in upholding truth; among those noble ones were those whom the Lord chose before the foundation of the world to come forth upon the earth in their second estate, and to hold authority and power in the various dispensations, and to administer the plan of salvation to the human family. Abraham was among that number. The High Priests that lived from the days of Adam down to the flood were among that number, who were then chosen and then ordained, according to the fore-knowledge of God. It is recorded in the Book of Alma regarding the Priesthood, that the ordinances of the Priesthood and the calling to the Priesthood were without beginning or end. There may be a beginning to the person who is called, but that Priesthood existed before that person was called, and there was no beginning to the calling, no beginning to the ordinances of the Priesthood, no beginning to the Priesthood itself, being handed down from all eternity, being in existence in all of the worlds that were worthy of having the Priesthood and authority from God. The reason for my making this observation is to clear up one point which may perhaps trouble the minds of some of the Latter-day Saints.

      You have read in the revelation' given on the 22d day of September, 1832, that without the Priesthood and the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is not manifested unto men in the flesh. You have also read in that same revelation, that without the ordinances of that Priesthood and the power thereof to administer to the children of men no man could see the face of God the Father and live. When you read this plain saying your minds may have reverted back to the days when there was no Priesthood so far as ordination was concerned, on this earth, I mean the ordination that took place here. You find a little boy, Joseph Smith, calling upon the name of the Lord, in the spring of the year 1820, before he was not yet fifteen years of age; and the result of his calling upon the name of the Lord was that a pillar of fire appeared in the heavens above him, and it continued to descend and grow brighter and brighter, until it reached the top of the trees that were growing around about where he was praying; and so great was the glory of this light that this lad, this youth, this boy, seemed to feel almost fearful lest the trees themselves would be consumed by it. But it continued to descend until it rested upon this lad and immediately his mind was caught away from the surrounding objects, was swallowed up in a heavenly vision, in which he saw two glorious personages, one was the Father, the other was the Son.

      "No man without the Priesthood, can behold the face of the Father and live."

      Now, this has troubled the minds of some of the Latter-day Saints. "How is it, (say they) that Joseph lived, after having seen the face of the Father, after having heard the words of His mouth, after the Father had said unto him, 'He is my beloved Son, hear ye him.'"

      If you had thought upon this other subject, namely, that Joseph had been already ordained before this world was made,—to what Priesthood? To the Priesthood after the Order of an Endless Life, a Priesthood that is everlasting, a Priesthood handed down, that had no beginning, a Priesthood after the holiest Order of God, a Priesthood that was after the Order of His Only Begotten Son. If you had only reflected that that same Priesthood had been conferred upon him in the councils of the holy ones before the world was made, and that he was ordained to come forth in this dispensation of the fulness of times to hold the keys of authority and power of that high and holy Priesthood,—that he was ordained to come forth and perform the work that God intended to accomplish in the latter times, then the mystery would have been cleared up to your minds. He was not without the Priesthood in reality; but was a man chosen, a man ordained, a man appointed from before the foundation of this world, to come forth in the fulness of times to introduce the last dispensation among the children of men; to come in order to organize that kingdom, that was predicted by the ancient Prophets, that should stand for ever; to come to fulfil the great and glorious work of preparation for the coming of the Son of God to reign in righteousness upon the earth; he could see the face of God the Father and live. But after having received this heavenly vision, after having brought forth the Book of Mormon, and translated it, (the Lord having prepared a way by which the book could be printed,) and having received the command of the Almighty to organize the Church, and having received the Priesthood reconfirmed upon him by Peter, James and John, and prior to that having received the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, on the 15th day of May, 1829,—having all these preparations here in the flesh as well as having been preordained to this mission, he was prepared to begin the work that should be everlasting, or in other words, the establishment of the kingdom of God that should never again be taken away from the earth.

      The Apostleship being conferred—the Aaronic Priesthood having been previously conferred—all the powers of the Priesthood rested upon this man, and he had the right to the authority to administer, not only in the introductory principles of the Gospel of the Son of God, by which people might be born into the kingdom, but also had the authority and the power from the heavens to administer in all the sacred ordinances of this kingdom, at least so far as the building up of the Church was concerned, and of officiating in the various offices of the Priesthood. After having conferred this authority and power, the Lord was prepared to give little by little, one portion or degree of Priesthood after another, until by and by, in accordance with the revelation given in June, 1829, He called twelve men to be Apostles, some three or four years after the revelation was given, when it was predicted that such should be the case. What did we know about the callings and duties of this council of the Twelve? Nothing, only as God revealed it through His servant Joseph.

      After this Apostleship was given, some were faithful therein, others were not; some lost the authority of the Priesthood, others retained it, and the blessings of God were upon those that were faithful in their calling, while the curse of an offended God followed those who abused this sacred trust, and their Priesthood was taken from them and conferred upon others that were worthy of it. The Lord also, about the same time that He called the Twelve Apostles, was prepared to call Seventies to minister under the direction of the Twelve; and many were ordained to this Apostleship, and they were men who had proven themselves faithful before the Lord: and others were perhaps ordained who had not been fully proven, and therefore the opportunity was afforded them, acting upon the agency they had in common with all men, of proving themselves before God. Some of them were faithful, others were unfaithful; those that were unfaithful apostatized eventually and left the Church, while those that were faithful continued in their office and calling until many of them passed down to the tomb; and having magnified the good office and calling that had been conferred upon them, they will claim, in the eternal worlds the blessings appertaining to their several offices.

      And what did we know about these Seventies and their particular calling? Were there specified duties assigned to that body of men anciently, whose call by the Savior is recorded in the New Testament? No, we were ignorant. The Prophet himself, the Twelve and all that had been called, knew nothing in relation to the duties of these Seventies until the Lord revealed what they were, and at the same time He pointed out the duties of the Presidency of the Seventies, both the duties of the seven men constituting the Presidency of all the Seventies, and also those of the seven men that were to preside over each Council of the Seventies. The Lord made manifest these things not all at once, but from time to time, as the people progressed and were counted worthy in His sight to receive further knowledge upon these things. You may ask, why it was that the Lord did not give the whole pattern at once, why He did not unfold everything all in a moment? It was because we were as little children then, and indeed I am of the opinion that many of us are little children still—and we could not bear all things at once; therefore He revealed unto us enough from time to time to set our minds reflecting; He revealed sufficient to cause us to be stirred up in our minds to pray unto Him; and when we prayed unto Him about any of the duties of the Priesthood, then He would reveal it. But He would be sought unto by His people before He would reveal a fulness of knowledge upon these important subjects. This seeking unto the Lord to obtain little by little, and precept by precept in the knowledge of the things of God, is just the way a wise parent would instruct his own sons. Our parents would not tell us all about the various branches of education when we were two or three, or four years old; but they taught us as children, giving us line upon line until we could understand more fully those things that pertained to a good education. So the Lord dealt with His people, as a wise, judicious, kind-hearted parent, imparting just according to the faith of the Latter-day Saints, and according to His own mind and will, and good pleasure.

      By and by, after the Church was organized and there being no Bishops the Lord saw that it was necessary to introduce some kind of a plan in relation to the property of His people in the State of New York. What did the Lord say to us under those circumstances, when we were not fully organized? Said He to the Church in the State of New York, in the General Conference, through the mouth of His servant Joseph, in a revelation given on the 2d day January, 1831, He said, Let my Church in this land flee out from the State of New York; let them go westward to the land of Kirtland, and join my people in the State of Ohio; let them do this immediately, lest their enemies come upon them, etc. The Lord understood what was in the hearts of the enemies of His people; He understood what they were doing in their secret councils, in their secret chambers to bring to pass the destruction of the Latter-day Saints that were in the States of New York and Pennsylvania. How shall this work be done? No Bishop to take charge of the properties. The Lord said, Let certain men among you in the State of New York be appointed to take charge of the properties of my people, that which you cannot dispose of or sell in time to flee out; let them have charge of it to sell it in after times for the benefit of the Church. Here, then, was a revelation appointing certain men without ordination, without the Bishopric, to handle properties, to do that which Bishops were afterwards required to perform. Now, here is a lesson for us. Because the Lord does one thing in the year 1831, and points out certain men according to the circumstances in which people are placed, that is no evidence that He will always continue the same order. The Lore deals with the children of men according to circumstances, and afterwards varies from that plan according to His own good will and pleasure. When these men had fulfilled their duties in relation to the properties of the Saints, and the Saints had gathered out from New York and Pennsylvania to the land of Kirtland, then it became necessary for a regular Bishop to be called and ordained, also his Counselors. Did the Lord point out that these Bishops should be taken from the High Priesthood? No.

      "And again, I have called my servant Edward Partridge, and give a commandment, that he should be appointed by the voice of the Church, and ordained a Bishop unto the Church." And with regard to choosing his Counselors, the Lord said they should be selected from the Elders of his Church. Why did He say the Elders? Because the High Priests at that time had not been ordained; that is, they had not been ordained under that name. Although the Apostleship had been conferred upon Joseph and Oliver, even they were called Elders; the word High Priest was not known among them to be understood and comprehended until a long time after Bishops were called; and that is the reason why the Lord said to Bishop Partridge, "select from the Elders of my Church." "But," says one who has read the Doctrine and Covenants, "you will find in the revelation given on the 6th of April, 1830, something about Bishops, High Priests, etc.

      [The speaker was here stopped that an important notice might be given out.]

      I was saying that at the time that Bishop Partridge was called and ordained a Bishop, on the 4th of February, 1831, that at that time there were no High Priests, they were not known under that name, but were known under the name of the Apostleship, etc., and hence Elders were specified to be called as Counselors. I was also saying that in the revelation given on the 6th day of April, 1830, there was nothing said about High Priests at the time the revelation was given; neither about Bishops. But you will find two paragraphs in that revelation which mention them, which paragraphs were placed there several years after the revelation was given, which the Lord had a perfect right to do; and if it were necessary we might quote examples from Scripture to show that the Lord adds to any revelation when He sees proper, in order to make it more fully understood. For instance, you recollect that Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah a lengthy revelation regarding the king of Israel and the house of Israel. And that when the revelation was given to the king of Israel and after he "had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed;" Did the Lord give it over again? Yes, "and," says the Scripture, "there were added besides unto them nanny like words," not in the former revelation. If the Lord took that method in the days of Jeremiah, was there anything inconsistent in the Prophet Joseph, in years afterwards, adding the words, "Bishops and High Priests," in order that the people might more fully understand? My motive in mentioning these things is that the people may understand the ways of the Lord. His ways are not as the ways of man, neither are His thoughts limited by our limited thoughts or conceptions. But He does as He pleases.

      By and by the time came when the Lord saw proper to make manifest something in relation to the name and the authority and the power of this High Priesthood; showing us that it was after the order of His Only Begotten Son, that it holds the keys to power, etc., on the earth.

      Well, after the first Bishop had been chosen, and two Elders selected by him to operate with him, his duties began to be more fully made manifest. I shall not have time on this occasion to point out the various duties that were assigned to Bishop Edward Partridge, in the land of Zion, in Jackson County, Missouri, and other duties devolving upon him while he yet remained at Kirtland. Perhaps it might be well enough, however, to just briefly touch upon his duties, that were more fully, made manifest when he was required to go out from Kirtland about a day's journey to the southeast, and organize the Colesville branch in the town of Thompson. The Lord told him how to organize the people, and that there was a man in the Church whose name, was Leman Copley, who had a large tract of land, and he covenanted before God that if the Colesville Branch would go upon his land, they might have their inheritances, etc., and that they might enter into the Order of God, as should be pointed out by the voice of the Prophet. And when the Prophet Joseph went out to Thompson and undertook to organize the Branch according to this promise and covenant that was made, Bishop Partridge was there, and he had it pointed out to him how he should deal with that particular organization, that they should all be made equal, and should receive their stewardships, and should consecrate all of their property into the hands of the Bishop; and that was made a sample for all other churches throughout the Lord's vineyard, You may judge whether we have kept it or not. And his duties were also made manifest in the latter part of the summer of 1831. And many of the first Elders were commanded to go west of Kirtland about one thousand miles; and the promise was that the land which the Lord intended to give to His people should be made known, and it should be told them where the city should be built. In the months of July and August of that year, the Lord pointed out more fully the duties of Bishop Partridge in regard to dividing the land, that is, the land that, had been purchased by the Church, dividing it out among the various families of the Saints. The first families, with the exception of some that had been baptized in that land, were faithful ones among the Colesville branch, one of the earliest. organizations of the Church. They were commanded to flee from the town of Thompson, because this rich man had broken his covenant. They went up to Jackson County, and Bishop Partridge was commanded to divide off to them inheritances by the law of consecration.

      Here then was a Bishop whose duties were made known and specified, and which were very different in their nature in many respects from our Ward Bishops. Can you not see the difference between these duties assigned to Edward Partridge, and the duties assigned to the several Ward Bishops of our Church? So far as the Ward Bishops' duties go, they coincide perfectly with the duties that were assigned to this general Bishop. But there were a great many things required of him that are not required of Ward Bishops; quite different in their duties and in their callings.

      In December, 1831, the Lord saw proper again to give another Bishop, his name was Newel K. Whitney. Was he merely a Bishop of a Ward, whose jurisdiction was limited to a little spot of ground that might be termed a place for the residence of a Ward Bishop? No; he was another general Bishop. Bishop Partridge having general jurisdiction in Jackson County, and in the regions round about; while the duties of Newel K. Whitney extended to the State of Ohio and the States of Pennsylvania and New York, and throughout all the Eastern countries, wherever the Church of God was organized.

      Here were two Bishops, then, one having jurisdiction in the West, a thousand miles from the other; the other having jurisdiction in the East. Their duties were pointed out, but neither of them was a Presiding Bishop. But what were they? As was clearly shown by President Taylor at the Priesthood meeting on last evening, they were general Bishops. By and by, after the Church of God was driven from the State of Missouri, it became necessary to have a Presiding Bishop; and the Lord gave a revelation, saying:

      "Let my servant Vinson Knight, and my servant Shadrick Roundy, and my servant Samuel H. Smith, be appointed as Presidents over the Bishopric of my Church."

      Here, then, is the first intimation that we have of a Presiding Bishop. Neither Bishop Partridge nor Newel K. Whitney at that time was a presiding Bishop, but each one held distinct jurisdiction, presiding in a distinct locality, neither presiding over the other. But when Vinson Knight, in years afterwards, was called, it was his duty to preside over all of the Bishops that were then appointed. Was there any general Bishop after the death of Bishop Partridge? Yes:

      "Let my servant, George Miller, receive the Bishopric which was conferred upon Edward Partridge, to receive the consecrations of my people," etc.

      He was ordained to the same calling, and called to the same Bishopric; not to the Presiding Bishopric. but to the same Bishopric conferred Upon Edward Partridge, to receive the consecrations of the Lord's Church, to administer to the poor and needy, etc, Here, then, were two distinct orders of Bishops, so far as their duties, jurisdiction and responsibilities were concerned, but as Bishops they held the same calling as others. By and by, in the process of time, as the Church increased and multiplied upon the earth, it became necessary that there should be local Bishops; hence arose Bishops over this town and over that town, not general Bishops, but Ward Bishops, the same as you have throughout your respective Stakes.

      Now the duties of these three distinct callings of those that are termed Bishops are very different, so far as their duties are concerned. The jurisdiction of a Ward Bishop does not go beyond his Ward, unless he be particularly called to do so. He must be selected, must be appointed, and must be sent to some other place in order to have jurisdiction outside of his Ward in the capacity of a Bishop. The office of the Presiding Bishop still continues, but for some reason we have not at the present time, so far as I am aware, any traveling or general Bishop like Bishop Ed. Partridge, and like Bishop Newel K. Whitney, who afterwards did become a Presiding Bishop. A traveling Bishop in his jurisdiction would not be limited to a Ward; it would be his duty if so called and appointed to travel through the various Stakes of Zion to exhort the people to do their duty, to look after the temporal interests of the Church, to humble the rich and the proud and lift up the low and the meek of the earth.

      There is another class of Bishops. We find in every Stake of Zion what is termed a Bishop's Agent. Does he hold the Bishopric? He should have that office conferred upon him. Why? Because it is duty to administer in temporal things. Does his jurisdiction extend beyond that of a Ward Bishop? It does. Why? By appointment, by selection, by being sent by the Presidency of the High Priesthood after the order of Melchisedek to administer in the special duties of his office in any or in all the Stakes of Zion, as the case may be according to the nature of his appointment, and by the authority of the Presiding Bishop. There are a great many things to be taken into consideration when we strive to understand the Book of Covenants according to the revelations that are therein given. Because God confined His servants to certain duties in the early rise of this Church, that is no proof or evidence that lie will always work in the same channel. He will enlarge the borders of this kingdom; He will stretch forth the curtains of Zion; He will lengthen her cords and strengthen her Stakes and will multiply them not only throughout this mountain Territory, but throughout the United States, this land of Joseph and they will be called the Stakes of the great City of Zion.

      Let me here take the liberty to say to this congregation that the City of Zion when it is built in Jackson County, will not be called a Stake. We can find no mention in all the revelations that God has given, that the City of Zion is to be the Centre Stake of Zion; the Lord never called it a Stake in any revelation that has been given. It is to be the head quarters, it is to be the place where the Son of Man will come and dwell, where He will have a Temple, in which Temple there will be a throne prepared where Jesus will dwell in the midst of His people; it will be the great central city, and the outward branches will be called Stakes wherever they shall be organized as such.

      We cannot suppose, as I was saying, that when the Lord shall thus enlarge the borders of Zion and multiply her Stakes, that He will be obliged to confine Himself to those circumstances and that condition of things that existed when we were a little handful of people. We are swelling out, we are becoming numerous upon the face of the land; and the day will come when Isaiah's prophecy, as contained in the 60th chapter, will be literally fulfilled, that is, a little one shall not only become a thousand, but the small one a strong nation. Are we then to be governed in all respects by those limited things that we were governed by in our childhood? Will there be no change of circumstances? Yes, as there is in the growth of grain, we have first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear, but these will all be in accordance with the development made by the progress of the kingdom as is explained in the blade, the ear and the full corn in the ear, and let me here prophecy on the strength of the revelations that were given through the Prophet Joseph, and through all the ancient Prophets, that the time will come when the Lord our God will so manifest His power that every soul upon the face of this great Western Continent that will not believe the Book of Mormon, that will not repent of his sins, that will not turn away from his iniquities, and that will not hearken to the voice of His Son, that it will be with such a one as Moses said, he shall be cut off from among the people. Do you believe it? It will be the case. And when that day comes that the Lord shall cut off such people, when the day comes that he will fulfil the revelations of Isaiah, as well as many other revelations that have been given, Zion will have to go forth in her strength and power, and the inhabitants of the nations that are afar off will say, "Surely, Zion is the city of our God, for the Lord is there, and His glory is there, and the power and the might of His terror is there,"—terror to the wicked, terror to those who commit sin: and many people will say "Come, let us be subject to her laws." That will be after the Lord has broken up the nations, after He has destroyed and wasted them away, so far as the wicked portions are concerned. Those who are left will gladly acknowledge Zion, will acknowledge God and His people, and will acknowledge the laws that will be literally sent forth from Zion to the nations of the earth. Must we then be limited in all respects as we were limited in the early rise of the Church? No. New circumstances require new power, new knowledge, new additions, new strength and new Quorums; not to do away with the old, but additional in their nature. Men will hold authority and power to carry forth the laws of Zion to the remnants of this nation, and to foreign nations—ministers, or plenipotentiaries, if you please, to use a political term, will go forth to the nations of the earth with the laws of God. Now, this is a prophecy of my own, but it is a prophecy according to that which is written, according to that which God gave to His ancient and His modern Prophets.

      I find that I shall not be able to continue my remarks as they present themselves to my mind, for there are numerous branches pertaining to this subject of the Priesthood, besides that of the Bishopric, and blessings pertaining to the two Priesthoods, upon which it would be very pleasing to my mind to dwell, that is, if I had the time and the strength of body to do so.

      I would say, however, that in regard to the organization of the First Presidency, it was done soon after the rise of the Church. The Lord exhibited to us, by revelation, the order of things as it existed in former days, away back in the dispensation before the flood—the dispensation of the antediluvian Patriarchs and their order of government; and also the dispensation of the Patriarchs after the flood and their order of government, and which I dwelt upon. some two or three days since. I say that in relation to these matters. much might be said, and much might be said in regard to our privileges, the privileges of those holding these two Priesthoods. And much might be said of the First Presidency, which quorum presides over all the Church of God; and much might be said in relation to the duties of the Twelve, not only as a traveling High Council, but in regard to the setting in order of the various offices in Zion. We might talk a great deal about that. We, as the Twelve, have been fulfilling both of these duties, traveling abroad and sending abroad, and also setting in order the councils of the Priesthood in the midst of Zion, as the revelation required of us. In so doing, we have acted for a short time as a Presiding Council in the midst of the Church of God. We did so upon the death of the Prophet Joseph. The Spirit of God wrought upon his servants, that during our administration for some three or four years after the death of Brother Joseph, the First Presidency was not organized. Did the Council of the Twelve forget it? No. Did they ignore it? No; they all the time had their minds fixed upon the revelation which God had given showing that the Council of the First Presidency was the supreme Council and authority in the Church, and that the Twelve could not act in that supreme authority and power only as the First Presidency was made vacant. This Quorum was re organized some three or four years after the death of the Prophet, and it continued organized until the year 1877, and upon the death of President Young, who was the President in the First Presidency, it then fell again upon the Twelve as formerly, and they have continued some three years and up wards occupying that position. Have they done right? Yes; they have done as they were required to do during the time being. And now, after having performed their duties, they still keep in mind the necessity of this First Quorum of all Quorums of the Church again being filled up, so that the revelations of God may be honored and we fulfil their requirements. Hence, the Council of the Apostles has taken into consideration this subject, and the question in our minds was, Have we sufficiently, as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, magnified our office and calling, in setting in order the Church of the living God, in organizing the various Councils, or is there something lacking? Every time we thought upon the subject we saw that one Council, the most important of all, was still vacant. Could we ignore it? No. We therefore considered the propriety of organizing it at the present Conference; and Brother John Taylor, by the voice of his brethren, the Twelve, being the person holding the legal right to that office, as the President of the Twelve Apostles, was selected to occupy the position of the President of the whole Church. And he, according to the right and authority given to him, suggested his own Counselors. They were sanctioned by the Twelve Apostles; hence, the First Presidency again, so far as the Council of the Twelve is concerned, has been re-organized. We have fulfilled our duties, then, in relation to that revelation which says, it is given unto the Twelve Apostles to set in order all those offices that are named in that revelation, we, I say, have done it. And we have laid the subject before the Priesthood of all the various Quorums, as they were assembled in general council on last evening, and they with us have had the privilege of sanctioning this action, that that quorum be filled up and be complete. it now remains with the body of the people to give their sanction, males and females, as well as the Priesthood. And in order that this may be done according to the pattern which God has given through His servant Joseph, the Priesthood will be organized this afternoon in their respective Quorums, and this subject will be brought before them to be voted upon by each Quorum separately; and then the whole congregation will be called upon to sanction the same.

      I would state that this change made a vacancy of three in the Quorum of the Apostles, and persons have been selected to fill this vacancy thus made; or, rather, two persons have been selected from among the High Priesthood to partially fill that vacancy in the Council of the ApostLes. The third one has not yet been chosen to completely fill the vacancy in the Apostles' Quorum; we, however, may be prepared to act on that to-day, and we may not.

      Having said so much, in a very scattered manner, in regard to the Priesthood, and the dealings of God with us from time to time, I would state to my brethren and sisters, to the Latter-day Saints, I rejoice that the time has again come when our Quorums in the Church of God will be completed as given in the Doctrine and Covenants. I feel to rejoice in seeing this order carried out. There never has been a time, from the commencement of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the organization has been so complete as during the last two or three years. I trust that His great purposes will be carried out and fulfilled, until Zion shall become, as it is written in the Book of Mormon, in the parable of the vineyard, shall become one body and its branches shall be equal. Amen.

 

            Elder JOHN TAYLOR said it was very necessary for every matter of importance to come before the body of the Church, for their approval or otherwise, that unity of action and feeling may be promoted, and therefore the measures alluded to by Elder Pratt would be presented to the whole conference.

            Elder L. John Nuttall presented the following names of missionaries to the

UNITED STATES,

James McGhie, Sen., Sugar House Ward.
Mons Anderson, Lehi.

SOUTHERN STATES.

Adam Wilcox, Cottonwood, Bear Lake Stake.

            They were unanimously sustained by the Conference.

            Elder GEO. Q. CANNON then designated the seats in the tabernacle which the several quorums of the priesthood should occupy in the afternoon.

            Choir sang an anthem:

Worship God.

            Conference adjourned till 2 p. m. Benediction by Elder W. Woodruff.

_____

[10 Oct, 2 pm*]

[DNW 29:588-589, 10/13/80, p 12-13]

2 p. m.

            The several quorums of the priesthood in Solemn Assembly were seated in the following order, according to previous announcement:

            The Twelve Apostles in their usual seats.

            On the south part of the stand the Patriarchs, the Presidents of Stakes with their Counselors and the High Councils.

            On the north part of the stand the Bishops and their Counselors, Presiding Bishop Hunter and his counselors in front of them.

            The High Priests in the north centre of the body of the house, the quorum presidents in front.

            The seventies in the south centre of the body of the house, the First Seven Presidents in front.

            The Elders immediately behind the High Priests.

            The Lesser Priesthood in the north side of the house.

            Conference called to order by Pest. John Taylor.

            Choir sang,

O God our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come.

            Prayer by elder Albert Carrington.

            Choir sang,

O God the eternal Father,
Who dwells amid the sky.

            Elder Orson Pratt then presented the following authorities of the Church to the Conference, all of whom were unanimously sustained by each quorum of the priesthood, rising in their order, with uplifted hands to heaven:

            First, the Twelve Apostles and their Counselors; second the Patriarchs, Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors and the High Councils; third, the High Priests; fourth, the Seventies; fifth, the Elders; sixth, the Bishops and their Counselors; seventh, the Lesser Priesthood -- Priests, Teachers and Deacons; eighty, the Presidents of the various Quorums. Last, the whole congregation, male and female, in the galleries, on the stand and in the body of the house:

            John Taylor, as Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in all the world.

            George Q. Cannon, as First counselor in the First Presidency.

            Joseph F. Smith, as Second Counselor in the First Presidency.

            Wilford Woodruff, as President of the Twelve Apostles.

            As members of the Council of the Apostles -- Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Albert Carrington and Moses Thatcher.

            As counselors to the Twelve -- John W. Young and Daniel H. Wells.

            Francis Marion Lyman as an Apostle in the Council of the Twelve.

            John Henry Smith as an Apostle in the Council of the Twelve.

            After the sustaining of the First Presidency the votes were first acted upon by that Quorum and then by each Quorum in its order as named above.

            Elder George Q. Cannon announced that the changes having been voted upon severally by the Quorums, and as it would take too long and was unnecessary to follow the same order in relation to the rest of the Church authorities, they would be submitted to the Conference as usual. They were then unanimously and severally sustained as follows:

            The counselors to President John Taylor, the Twelve Apostles and their Counselors as Prophets, Seers and Revelators.

            Patriarch of the Church -- John Smith.

            As the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies -- Joseph Young, Levi W. Hancock, Henry Herriman, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates, John Van Cott and W. W. Taylor.

            The Presiding Bishop of the Church, Edward Hunter, with Leonard W. Hardy and Robert T. Burton as His Counselors.

            John Taylor, as Trustee-in-Trust for the body of religious worshipers known and recognized as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to hold the legal title to its property and contract for it.

            The Twelve Apostles, their two Counselors and Bishop Edward Hunter,c as counselors to the Trustee-in-Trust.

            Albert Carrington, as President of the Perpetual Emigrating fund for the Gathering of the Poor, and F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. S. Eldredge, Joseph F. Smith, John W. Young, Angus M. Cannon, Moses Thatcher, Wm. Jennings, John R. Winder, Henry Dinwoodey, Robert T. Burton, A. O. Smoot and H. B. Clawson as his assistants.

            Orson Pratt as Historian and General Church Recorder, and Wilford Woodruff as his assistant.

            Truman O. Angel, as General Architect of the Church, and T. O. Angel, Jun., and Wm. H. Folsom as his assistants.

            As Auditing Committee -- W. Woodruff, E. Snow, F. D. Richards and J. F. Smith.

            George Goddard as Clerk of the General Conference.

            George F. Gibbs as Church Reporter.

            President GEO. Q. CANNON said: I hold in my hand the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and also the book The Pearl of Great Price, which books contain revelations of God. In Kirtland, the Doctrine and Covenants in its original form, as first printed, was submitted to the officers of the Church and the members of the Church to vote upon. As there have been additions made to it by the publishing of revelations which were not contained in the original edition, it has been deemed wise to submit these books with their contents to the conference, to see whether the conference will vote to accept the books and their contents as from God, and binding upon us as a people and as a Church.

            President JOSEPH F. SMITH said, I move that we receive and accept the revelations contained in these books, as revelations from God to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to all the world.

            The motion was seconded and sustained by unanimous vote of the whole Conference.

            President George Q. Cannon read a list of amounts of P. E. Fund indebtedness recommended for remittance by the Presidency of the various Stakes of Zion, and passed upon by the President of the P. E. Fund Company, as follows:

            Bear Lake Stake, principal and interest together, $12,328.67; Beaver Stake, 8,147.32; Box Elder Stake, 9,608.94; Cache Stake, 22,896.55; Davis Stake 20,477.70; Juab Stake, 3,571.53. Kanab Stake, 1,092.35; Millard Stake, 5,391.85; Morgan Stake, 10,559.86; Panguitch Stake, 981.53; Parowan Stake, 6,919.74; Sanpete Stake, 27,291.96; Salt Lake stake, 103,615.19; Sevier Stake, 5,824.84; Summit Stake, 6,532.34; St George Stake, 7,950.55; Tooele Stake, 21,002.85; Utah Stake, 53,560.60; Wasatch Stake, 9,261.27; total, $337,015.64. Weber, Little Colorado and Eastern Arizona, no reports.

            The Conference voted to sustain the action of the P. E. Fund Company in remitting the amounts names in the list.

            The Sacrament was then administered.

[President John Taylor]

            President JOHN TAYLOR said it was gratifying to him to know that the organizations of the Church were now provided for. The mind of the Twelve had been exercised on the question of the First Presidency, and what has been done to-day he believed was approbated by the Lord, as well as the people. So far as his own feelings were concerned he could have wished to continue his connection with the Twelve, but as was clearly portrayed to us by brother Pratt, God has an order in his kingdom, and it is our duty to observe it. He therefore acquiesced in the change. When everything was adjusted, it was nothing but right and proper for the Quorum of the first Presidency to be filled. He did not aspire to that position, but he did deem it a high honor to be a member of the Church and Kingdom of God. He had examined very carefully those principles in relation to the priesthood that were brought before the priesthood meeting, and every man should seek to become acquainted with those principles, that they may become more thoroughly conversant with the duties and responsibilities of their several callings. The Lord revealed all these things, or we should never have been in possession of them; we are not indebted to the world for them. He spoke with much pleasure at the prompt and energetic manner in which the Twelve had discharged their duties as the First Presidency, and their readiness to retire from that position, and introduce the order that God had instituted in his kingdom, when the proper time arrived. After receiving the sanction of the Twelve it was deemed wisdom to have the voting done by quorums, then by the whole congregation, which was emphatically the voice of God and the voice of the people. Vox populi and vox dei united. Where the spirit of God is there is peace and union. Let us seek to know the mind and will of God and then do it. He then blessed the various quorums of the priesthood and the different organizations of the Church, including the singers, and all that feel well towards Zion.

[John Taylor]

[DNW 30:195, 4/27/81, p 3; JD 22:38]

REMARKS

BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR

At the General conference, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, Oct. 10th 1880.

_____

REPORTED BY GEO. F. GIBBS.

_____

      I will make a few remarks while the Sacrament is being administered. It is gratifying to me to be able to state that now all the various organizations of the Church are provided for. For some time the Twelve have been operating in the capacity of a First Presidency, and it was very proper that they should have acted in that capacity. As you heard Brother Pratt state this morning, in referring to this subject, this was the course adopted at the time when the Prophet Joseph Smith left us. The Twelve then stepped forward into the position of the First Presidency, and operated for about three years in that capacity. And when President Young left us it was thought proper that the same course should be pursued. The Twelve, I believe, have in this respect magnified their calling and taken a course that is approved by the Lord, and I think also by the brethren, judging from the vote given here to-day.

      Had it not been our duty to have the Church organized fully and completely in all its departments, I should have much preferred to have continued with the brethren of the Twelve, speaking of it merely as a matter of personal feeling. But there are questions arising in regard to these matters that are not for us to say how they shall be, or what course shall be pursued. When God has given us an order and has appointed an organization in his Church, with the various quorums of Priesthood as presented to us by revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith, I do not think that either the First Presidency, the Twelve, the High Priests, the Seventies, the Bishops, or anybody else, have a right to change or alter that plan which the Lord has introduced and established. And as you heard Brother Pratt state this morning, one duty devolving upon the Twelve is to see that the churches are organized correctly. And I think they are now thus organized throughout the land of Zion. The Churches generally are organized with Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, with High Councils, with Bishops and their Counselors, and with the Lesser Priesthood, according to the order that is given us.

      Then we have the High Priests, Seventies and Elders occupying their places according to their Priesthood, position and standing in the Church. And the First Presidency seemed to be the only quorum that was deficient. And it is impossible for men acquainted with the order of the Holy Priesthood to ignore this quorum, as it is one of the principal councils of the Church. While the Twelve stand as a bulwark ready to protect, defend and maintain, to step forward and carry out the order of God's Kingdom in times of necessity, such as above referred to, yet when everything is adjusted and matters assume their normal condition, then it is proper that the Quorum of the First Presidency, as well as all other quorums, should occupy the place assigned it by the Almighty.

      These were the suggestions of the Spirit of the Lord to me. I expressed my feelings to the Twelve, who coincided with me, and, indeed, several of them had had the same feelings as those with which I was actuated. It is not with us, or ought not to be, a matter of place, position, or honor, although it is a great honor to be a servant of God; it is a great honor to hold the Priesthood of God; but while it is an honor to be God's servants, holding His Priesthood, it is not honorable tot any man or any set of men to seek for position in the Holy Priesthood. Jesus said, Ye have not called me, but I have called you. And as I said before, had I consulted my own personal feelings, I would have said, things are going on very pleasantly, smoothly and agreeably; and I have a number of good associates whom I respect and esteem, as my brethren, and I rejoice in their counsels. Let things remain as they are. But it is not for me to say, it is not for you to say, what we would individually prefer, but it is for us holding the Holy Priesthood; to see that all the organizations of that Priesthood are preserved intact, and that everything in the Church and kingdom of God is organized according to the plan which He has revealed; therefore we have taken the course which you have been called upon to sanction by your votes to:day.

      I would further remark that I have examined very carefully for some time past some of those principles you heard read over in the Priesthood meeting, and which were referred to in part, by Brother Pratt, this morning. And there are other principles associated with the Priesthood that we wish and hope to have thoroughly defined; so that, every man will know his true position and the nature of the calling and responsibility and Priesthood with which he is endowed. It is very proper and very important that we should comprehend these things; every man in his place, and every woman in her place; but I more particularly refer to the Holy Priesthood, that every man may feel and realize the duties and responsibilities which rest upon him.

      It is gratifying to me, and it is no doubt satisfactory to you, to see the unanimity and oneness of feeling and the united sentiment which have been manifested in our votes. Those votes being taken first in their quorum capacity, each quorum having voted affirmatively, then by the vote of the Presidents of the several quorums united, and afterwards by the vote of the quorums and people combined, men and women, among the many thousands assembled who have participated in this vote, having a full and free opportunity, uncontrolled by any influence other than the Spirit of God, to express their wishes and desires, there has not been, from all that we could discover, one dissenting vote.

      You could not find the same unanimity anywhere upon the earth. Union is a principle that exists in the heavens, and so far as we manifest this feeling in all sincerity, so far do we exhibit our faith in God, in His Priesthood, and in His law as revealed to us. For our religion, our Priesthood and all the blessings and ordinances that we possess were not given us by any man or any combination of men; it was the Lord who revealed all of these things or we could not have been in possession of them. We have had an example here to-day of the unanimity which characterizes those possessed of the Spirit of the Gospel, and it ought to be a pattern for us in all of our affairs.

      And now let me refer with pride to my brethren of the Twelve here, which I do by saying that while they as a quorum held the right by the vote of the people to act in the capacity of the First Presidency, yet when they found, as Brother Pratt expressed it this morning, that they had performed their work, they were willing to withdraw from that Presidency, and put it in the position that God had directed, and fall back into the place that they have always held, as the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I say it is with pride that I refer to this action and the feeling that prompted it. I very much question whether you could find the same personal exhibition of disinterested motives and self-abnegation, and the like readiness to renounce place and position in deference to principle, among the same number of men in any other place. They saw the necessity of this action; a motion was made in that Council; and the vote was unanimously adopted that the First Presidency be reorganized, and afterwards the brethren to fill this quorum, were selected. The next step was to present the matter to the Church, and it was laid before the Priesthood at a meeting, when there were present a representation of all the important authorities of the Church in the different Stakes in Zion. After having done that, lest some difficulty might exist some where, it was thought proper to pursue the course taken to-day—that each organization of the Priesthood, embracing all the quorums, should be seated in a quorum capacity by themselves, and separately have the opportunity of voting freely and fully without control of any kind, and of expressing their feelings, and finally, that the whole congregation should have the same opportunity. This is emphatically the voice of God, and the voice of the people; and this is the order that the Lord has instituted in Zion, as it was in former times among Israel. God gave his commandments; they were delivered by His Prophet to the people and submitted to them, and all Israel said, Amen. You have all done this by your votes; which vote, so far as we can learn, has been without a dissenting voice either among the separate quorums, or in the vote of the combined quorums and people. Now, continue to be united in everything as you are in this thing, and God will stand by you from this time henceforth and for ever. And any man who opposes principles of this kind is an enemy of God, an enemy of the Church and kingdom of God upon the earth, an enemy to the people of God, and an enemy to the freedom and rights of man. The Lord has selected a Priesthood that He might among all Israel make known His mind and will through them, and that they might be His representatives upon the earth. And while He does this He does not wish men to be coerced or forced to do things contrary to their will. But where the Spirit of God is, there is union, harmony and liberty, and where it is not there is strife, confusion and bondage. Let us then seek to be one, honor our God, honor our religion, and keep the commandments of God, and seek to know His will, and then to do it.

      I do not, know but that I have spoken as long as I ought to. God bless you; God bless the Twelve; and God bless the Presidents of Stakes and their associates, and the Seventies and the High Priests, and the Elders, and the Bishops, and the Lesser Priesthood. And God bless the Relief Societies, and the Young People's Mutual Improvement Associations, and all who love and fear God and keep his commandments. And may God bless the Sunday Schools and the Primary Associations and the educational interests, and all interested in the welfare of Zion, as well as all the good and virtuous, the honorable and high-minded everywhere, who are seeking to promote purity, holiness, and virtue on the earth. And God bless our singers and all who make music for us; and may the peace and blessing of God rest upon all Israel. And when you go to your homes, carry out the principles you have voted for, and God will bless you and your generations after you; and you shall be blessed in time, and through all eternity. And I bless you by virtue of the holy Priesthood, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

[Elder W. Woodruff]

            Elder W. WOODRUFF felt thankful for what he had seen and heard this day. It was a solemn scene to witness the thousands of men holding the priesthood rising on their feet with one consent, and with uplifted hands sustaining the servants of God in their position. It will have its effect not only on the earth but in the heavens. He spoke of the responsibilities that rested upon those who hold the priesthood. He believed they were ordained in the spirit world before they came here. If anything should tend to humble us before the Lord it is that we have been called to this holy calling. He said he had had quite a number of interviews until within the last 10 or 12 years, with the Prophet Joseph Smith;, and recently with Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Jedediah M. Grant, and others, and received some valuable instructions from them. He prayed God that we might magnify our calling in this probation, that when we get through we may meet with those ancient and modern worthies who have gone before us. It does not pay to apostatize. but it does and will pay to continue faithful to the end.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 29:754, 12/29/80, p 2; JD 21:316]

REMARKS

BY ELDER WILFORD WOODRUFF,

At the General Conference, Sunday Afternoon, Oct. 10th, 1880.

_____

REPORTED BY GEO. F. GIBBS.

_____

      There are many times when I feel a great desire to speak to the people because I have things in my heart that I would like to say. I cannot say at the present time however, that I have any great desire to speak, still I will bear my testimony and express a few thoughts in my reflections that are upon me to-day.

      I am happy and greatly pleased in what I have witnessed, and I feel that the heavens are pleased with our proceedings this day. I feel that they are right. The kingdom of God is onward; it is not backward. It is wisdom that we perform what we have done to-day.

      The act of organizing the council of the first presidency of the church and kingdom of God, I have regarded as a most solemn scene, to See this mighty host of priesthood who are assembled in this house vote in such unanimity, and to see this vast congregation rise in a body with uplifted hands to heaven, it is like the rushing of many waters—there is power in it; there is power with this people; there is power with the priesthood and in the ordinances of the house of God, And what we have done to day will have its effect, it will have its effect in the heavens and on the earth. The responsibility that we bear as elders of Israel, before the heavens and before the earth and before each other, is very great. We are called of God; we have been chosen, we have been ordained as men who have been called to bear the priesthood and to attend to the ordinances of the house of God, to preach the Gospel, to warn this generation, to build up Zion, to redeem the earth, to erect temples unto the name of the Most High God, to redeem the living and the dead, and to carry out those great purposes which have been fore-ordained before the world was. It is a great calling, it is a great responsibility: and I feel that we, as servants of God and as elders of Israel, that we should try in our minds to comprehend these things.

      I reflect a good deal with regard to our position, as was described to us to-day by Brother Pratt. It has been my faith and belief from the time that I was made acquainted with the Gospel that no greater prophet than Joseph Smith ever lived on the face of the earth save Jesus Christ. He was raised up to stand at the head of this great dispensation—the greatest of all dispensations God has ever given to man. He remarked on several occasions when conversing with his brethren: "brethren you do not know me, you do not know who I am." As I remarked at our priesthood meeting on Friday evening, I have heard him in my early days while conversing with the brethren, say, (at the same time smiting himself upon the breast) "I would to God that I could unbosom my feelings in the house of my friends." Joseph Smith was ordained before he came here, the same as Jeremiah was. Said the Lord unto him, "Before you were begotten I knew you" etc.

      So do I believe with regard to this people, so do I believe with regard to the apostles, the high priests, seventies and the elders of Israel bearing the holy priesthood, I believe they were ordained before they came here; and I believe the God of Israel has raised them up, and has watched over them from their youth, and has carried them through all the scenes of life both seen and unseen, and has prepared them as instruments in his hands to take this kingdom and bear it off. If this be so, what manner of men ought we to be? If anything under the heavens should humble men before the Lord and before one another, it should be the fact that we have been called of God.

      I believe the eyes of the heavenly hosts are over this people; I believe they are watching the elders of Israel, the prophets and apostles and men who are called to bear off this kingdom. I believe they watch over us all with great interest.

      I will here make a remark concerning my own feelings. After the death of Joseph Smith I saw and conversed with him many times in my dreams in the night season. On one occasion he and his brother Hyrum met me when on the sea going on a mission to England. I had Dan Jones With me. He received his mission from Joseph Smith before his death; and the prophet talked freely to me about the mission I was then going to perform. And he also talked to me with regard to the mission of the Twelve Apostles in the flesh, and he laid before me the work they had to perform; and he also spoke of the reward they would receive after death. And there were many other things he laid before me in his interview on that occasion. And when I awoke many of the things he had told me were taken from me, I could not comprehend them. I have had many interviews with Brother Joseph until the last 15 or 20 years of my life; I have not seen him for that length of time. But during my travels in the southern country last winter I had many interviews with President Young, and with Heber C. Kimball, and Geo. A. Smith, and Jedediah M. Grant, and many others who are dead. They attended our conference, they attended our meetings. And on one occasion, I saw Brother Brigham and Brother Heber ride in carriage ahead of the carriage in which I rode when I was on my way to attend conference; and they were dressed in the most priestly robes. When we arrived at our destination I asked Prest. Young if he would preach to us. He said, "No, I have finished my testimony in the flesh I shall not talk to this people any more. But (said he) I have come to see you; I have come to watch over you, and to see what the people are doing. Then (said he) I want you to teach the people—and I want you to follow this counsel yourself—that they must labor and so live as to obtain the Holy Spirit, for without this you cannot build up the kingdom; without the spirit of God you are in danger of walking in the dark, and in danger of failing to accomplish your calling as apostles and as elders in the church and kingdom of God. And, said he, Brother Joseph taught me this principle: "And I will here say, I have heard him refer to that while he was living. But what I was going to say in this: the thought came to me that Brother Joseph had left the Work of watching over this church and kingdom to others, and that he had gone ahead, and that he had left this work to men who have lived and labored with us since he left us. This idea manifested itself to me, that such men advance in the spirit world. And I believe myself that these men who have died and gone into the spirit world had this mission left with them, that is, a certain portion of them, to watch over the Latter-day Saints.

      I feel myself as though we are blessed of the Lord, and that we ought to be satisfied. I feel that we should humble ourselves before God, that we should labor to magnify our callings, and honor this priesthood which we received before we came here while we live out the few days appointed to man in the flesh. And I do hope and pray God that we may magnify our priesthood and calling while we tarry here, so that when we get through our earthly mission and go into the spirit world, we may meet with Brothers Joseph and Brigham and Heber and the rest of the faithful men whom we knew and labored with while in the flesh, as well as Father Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets and apostles who have had their day and their time and their generation, and who have finished their work here below and gone home to glory. Do you not think they are interested about us I tell you they are. And I desire when I die, and my spirit goes into the spirit world, to meet these men and to go where they are; and I wish to live in that way and manner so as to be worthy of this blessing. And when I say this of myself I wish it to apply to all Israel. It will not pay us apostatize; neither will it pay us to sin, it costs ten thousand times more than it is worth from beginning to end. Therefore, let us be true and faithful to God. And inasmuch as we have voted today to sustain the presidency of this church and kingdom, let our prayers ascend night and morning into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, in behalf of the men who now stand at our head, and also in behalf of the apostles and in behalf of all the priesthood of God in their place and station. And inasmuch as we do this we will grow, we will advance, the Spirit of God will be poured out upon us which will reveal unto us the mind and the will of God concerning us. And Zion will continue to increase in power on the earth, and eventually accomplish all for which it is designed, which is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            The choir sang:

The Spirit of God like a fire is burning,
The latter-day glory begins to come forth.

The whole congregation rose to their feet and joined in the singing by request of President Taylor.

            Conference adjourned till April 5th, 1881, at 10 am.

            Benediction by President Joseph F. Smith.

GEORGE GODDARD,
Clerk of Conference.

_____

1881

3-6 Apr 1881, 51st Annual General Conference, SLC Tabernacle.

[Deseret News Weekly, 30:152, 4/6/81, p 8; 30:168, 4/13/81, p8; Millennial Star 43:273, 289, 305, 321.]

[3 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 30:152, 4/6/81, p 8]

FIFTY-FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE.

_____

            The Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -day Saints, convened in the tabernacle, Salt Lake City, on Sunday, April 3rd, 1881, at 10 o'clock a.m., as per call of the First Presidency:

            Present on the stand: Of the First Presidency. -- John Taylor, George Q. Cannon and Jos. F. Smith.

            Of the Twelve. -- Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman and John H. Smith; Counselor D. H. Wells.

            Patriarch. -- John Smith.

            Presidents of Seventies. -- Joseph Young, Horace S. Eldredge, John Van Cott and W. W. Taylor.

            Of the Bishopric. -- Edward Hunter, Leonard W. Hardy and Robert T. Burton.

            Besides Presidents of Stakes, Bishops and other leading men from nearly all the Stakes of Zion.

            Conference called to order by President John Taylor.

            Choir sang,

All praise to our redeeming Lord,
Who joins us by his grace.

            Prayer by President Joseph F. Smith.

            The choir sang:

Oh, my Father, thou that dwellest
 In the high and holy place.

PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR.

            We are met this morning to attend to the duties and the responsibilities which devolve upon us at our annual conference. We thought that we would change the programme a little as it regards time; and as it is the spring season of the year, when men are generally engaged with their labor, we thought by commencing our Conference today, it would give men an opportunity of being present without losing a day's labor in their fields. We have this morning a delightful time, very pleasant weather and everything favorable for our assembling together. And whilst we are thus assembled, it is proper that we, as Saints of the Most High God, ought to have our hearts and feelings under the direction and inspiration of the almighty, that we may seek for the good Spirit of the Lord to be with us, to guide us and to direct us in all of our teachings, in all of our business transactions, in all of our counselling and in the various duties and responsibilities which devolve upon us to attend to on this occasion.

            This is the 51st Anniversary of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - or it will be next Wednesday morning -- and when we reflect upon the circumstances with which we have been surrounded from that time until the present, we certainly must feel that we have cause to rejoice and to be grateful to the God of Israel for the many mercies and blessings which He has manifested toward us, and for His protecting care which has been over us in the midst of opposition and in the midst of calumny, and in the midst of reproach, having ben assailed all the time by enemies to God and to His truth, the Lord has preserved us, and we will give to God the glory. And irrespective of the feelings and ideas and theories of men, we feel to rejoice and praise God our heavenly Father from the bottom of our hearts for the kindness and mercy which He has vouchsafed unto us; and whatever may be the feelings of man toward us, our feelings are glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will to men, even to all who love the truth everywhere, among all peoples in all the world. And whatever may be the feelings of others toward us, our feelings of others toward us, our feelings are nothing but kindness and mercy and salvation to the human family.

            We are here to carry out the word and will and designs of God. We are here to help to build up His kingdom; to ;;combat error; to advance principles of truth; to establish Zion, and to bring to pass things that have been spoken of by all the holy Prophets since the world was. And in our teachings, in our administrations, in our selecting missionaries to go forth to the nations of the earth to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ, and in all the relations that we may have to do with, in our assembling together, we ask for the guidance of the good Spirit of God to be with us. And I say to Israel, God bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

APOSTLE WILFORD WOODRUFF

            Reiterated the previous speaker's sentiment of gratitude to God for the privilege of meeting with so many of the Saints and those bearing the Holy Priesthood in this the last dispensation. He could not but marvel when he meditated over the way in which the Saints had been protected and blessed from the beginning. Alluded to the example of the three Hebrews thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down before Nebuchadnezzar's image, and of heir passing through the fiery ordeal unscathed, also to Daniel's cruel treatment and subsequent preservation. He never knew a man who gained anything by trying to shirk the duties which God expected of him. Instanced Jonah's experience. Although the Savior and His apostles were called upon to seal their testimony with their blood, they could not afford to turn away from the truth or shirk its responsibilities. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were also faithful unto death, and they could afford to die for, but not to desert the truth. It is for all the Latter-day Saints to cherish the memory of such noble examples, and to remember that they can afford to carry out the purposes of God even though death should ensue. But no man can afford to compromise with error or forsake the Gospel of God. If we are faithful we will see the fulfilment of all the promises that God has made in respect to this age and dispensation. The revelations we have received in this day are from God, just as much as any that were ever given to man from the heavens, and just as truly as ancient revelations have been fulfilled to the letter, so true is it that not one jot or tittle of modern revelation will fall unfulfilled. God is over us and we need not fear. He will break every weapon formed against us, and though we have met with persecution in a measure, and even now the hands of the wicked are stretched out against us, God will deliver us from all our enemies. Why are we persecuted? It is said we believe in the principle of plural marriage. This [is] merely a pretext. If e compromised that principle we should have to renounce all -- prophets, apostles, bishops, laws and ordinances, and even our God. This we cannot afford to do. God will sustain us. He controls man, and he will watch over us henceforth and for ever. We need not fear man, nor renounce one principle of our religion for his sake. but fear God and keep his commandments, and we shall inherit eternal life in his celestial kingdom.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 30:418, 8/3/81, p 2; JD 22:144]

DISCOURSE

BY ELDER WILFORD WOODRUFF,

At the General Conference, Sunday Morning, April 3, 1881.

_____

REPORTED BY GEORGE F. GIBBS.

_____

      I think that all of us as Latter-day Saints should have our hearts filled with gratitude and thanksgiving to God our Heavenly Father for his mercies and blessings which we enjoy this day. It is certainly a source of much pleasure to me to have the privilege of meeting with so many of the Latter-day Saints, and with so many bearing the Holy Priesthood in this dispensation of God to man. I cannot but rejoice when I reflect upon the history of this people, and contemplate the dealings of God with us, how that He has protected us and sustained us and delivered us and made us community in the land, and that too under adversity and opposition.

      In tracing the history of the Prophets and Apostles of old, as well as those of our day, we find that there have been some very peculiar manifestations of the trust and confidence in God which they have exercised. Consider, for instance, the position of the Three Hebrews. They could afford to trust themselves in the hands of God; they could afford to meet whatever punishment or affliction or persecution which might be heaped upon them in consequence of their obeying the law of God. But they could not afford to bow down and worship the image which Nebuchadnezzar had caused to be set up, because it was contrary to the commandments of God. The history of the result of their refusing to obey the royal edict, commanding all Babylon to fall down and worship it, we are familiar with; also with the similar circumstance in which the Prophet Daniel figured. In any and every age of the world when God has called or commanded a man or a people to perform a certain work, they through determination and perseverance, and faith in him, have been enabled to accomplish it; and I do not know of a single instance wherein anything ennobling or exalting has been gained when his command has been shunned or wilfully disobeyed. I will here mention the case of Jonah, which presents itself to my mind, when the Lord sent him to deliver a message to Ninevah. The requirement was a little too much for Jonah, and he thought he would try to avoid it; but after he had spent three days and nights in the belly of a whale, he thought, no doubt, that if ever he got to land he would unhesitatingly obey the commandments of the Lord. The result we know. We take our Savior, and also the Apostles who followed him; we read the history of what they suffered and passed through. All of the Apostles suffered death (excepting one, whom they could not destroy), including the Son of God himself, in order to seal their testimony with their blood; while the Savior had to suffer upon the cross, to fill the mission which he had been preordained to perform; which, by the way, is a very strange ensample to man, to see the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father on the earth, the First Born in the spirit world, a person of His high exaltation and glory, condescending to come forth to be born in a stable and cradled in a manger; and after he grew up, how he traveled about in adversity and suffering, never shrinking from any duty imposed upon him—it should certainly be a good ensample to all of his followers. And the Apostles themselves, because of their integrity to the truths of the Gospel which they had received through their Master, the Savior, they like him, suffered death, and thus sealed their testimony with their blood. They could perform no more than he could towards turning the hearts of the people to the truth; but they determined to risk whatever suffering, trouble or tribulation they were called to pass through for the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus, that they might receive eternal life.

      I bring this home to ourselves. I bring it home to the Latter-day Saints; I bring it home to our day and generation. Many of us have been acquainted with our Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith. We know their lives; we know the suffering and trouble they passed through. These men are true and faithful unto death. They could afford to do it; but they could not afford to deny the faith; they could not afford to shrink from the important message which God had given unto them, of establishing this Church and kingdom upon the earth, but they could afford to be true and faithful to the last moments of their lives, in advocating and defending the principles of the Gospel of the Son of God. I wish to say to our leading men, the Presidency of this Church, the Twelve Apostles, the Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, the Bishops, the Seventies, the High Priests and Elders, and to all men bearing the Holy Priesthood, as well as to all who have entered into covenant with God, that we can, as individuals and as a people, afford to maintain our integrity in this our day and generation, regardless of consequences. We can afford to be true and faithful to God; we can afford to carry out every principle and commandment which God has given unto us; we can afford to do this, as much so as Prophets and Apostles and people of God of other dispensations and generations. And I would say to all Israel, there is not one soul of us who can afford to compromise one of the revelations or one of the commandments which God has committed to our charge. No man can afford to do this who is called of God to build up this Kingdom. We can afford, however, to meet the consequences, whatever they may be. And I would say to all present this day, that we should have, and that we have as much comfort, as much hope and as much cause to trust in God, and have received as much encouragement, by the over-ruling hand of Almighty God in our behalf, to go on magnifying our calling and to be true and faithful to every commandment which God has given unto us, as the people of any other generation had in their day; and for one I can say, "It is the kingdom of God or nothing for me and I am willing to risk the consequences. I know that I cannot afford to disobey any commandment which God has given to me, because there is no man who holds the Priesthood, and possessing the inspiration and the gifts of God and the light of truth, but would be ashamed both in the flesh and in the spirit-world to meet his God, and to be obliged to acknowledge that he did not obey His commandments. And I will here say that whenever we do our duty, whenever we keep the commandments which have been made known to us, we will see the fulfilment of the promises which God has made to us with regard to this day, age and dispensation. There is no promise which God has made to us but what will be fulfilled to the very letter. I read these—the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and I regard them as eternal truths. I cannot find any revelations given from the days of Moses down to the days of Joseph Smith, nor from the days of Joseph to our day, by men who have spoken as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, but what has been fulfilled to the very letter, as far as time would admit of. Though the heavens and the earth pass away, not one jot or tittle which will fall unfulfilled. When I read these solemn, these eternal declarations made through the mouth of Joseph Smith, my heart swells with gratitude and praise to God, my heavenly Father. I consider that the Doctrine and Covenants, our Testament, contains a code of the most solemn, the most Godlike proclamations ever made to the human family. I will refer to the "Vision" alone, as a revelation which gives more light, more truth, and more principle than any revelation contained in any other book we ever read. It makes plain to our understanding our present condition, where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going to. Any man may know through that revelation what his part and condition will be. For all men know what laws they keep, and the laws which men keep here will determine their position hereafter; they will be preserved by those laws and receive the blessings which belong to them.

      I say again, the Latter-day Saints have every encouragement; their pathway is plain and inviting before them. And the nearer we adhere to the commandments of God, the more confident we shall become that God is our friend and that He is watching over us, and that his Son Jesus is our advocate, with the Father, that he is in the midst of this people, and that he will contend for the rights of his Saints, and will ward off every weapon which is formed against Zion. So far at least we have been sustained; the arm of Jehovah has been made bare in our behalf ever since we have been in these valleys, and all Israel whose eyes are open to see, and whose minds can comprehend the dealings of God with his people, know it. We have been sustained by the power of God from the beginning to this day, and nothing short of the power of God could have saved us and brought us through; and nothing but the power of God can preserve us, and nothing but his wisdom can pilot us safe to the high destiny which awaits us. Perhaps I may be permitted to say, we met with a good deal of persecution and oppression and suffering before we came to these valleys, and still the hand of oppression is stretched out against us, and the public mind everywhere within the pale of Christendom is more or less set on our destruction, and that because a certain Biblical principle—the patriarchal order of marriage is practised by us. When Earl Rosborough was visiting this city, he inquired of President Taylor what excuse the State of Missouri had in driving ten thousand of this people beyond their borders into the State of Illinois; and what excuse the people of this nation had who took part in, and those who countenanced the persecution which we have endured, for persecuting us before the principle of patriarchal marriage was practised by the Latter-day Saints. President Taylor replied, it was because we believed in revelation, because we believed in Prophets and Apostles, and because we believed in the ancient, the apostolic, the everlasting Gospel, with all its gilts and blessings. Then, said Earl Rosborough, "it would make no difference, as far as your being at variance with the Christian world is concerned. whether you practice plural marriage or not, unless you renounce all other principles you hold to that caused your persecution heretofore; you would be persecuted still." I say the same to-day. The nation cares no more about our practising the order of plural marriage than any other principle of the Gospel; it would make no difference with us to day. Were we to compromise this principle by saying, we will renounce it, we would then have to renounce our belief in revelation from God, and our belief in the necessity of Prophets and Apostles, and the principle of the gathering, and then to do away with the idea and practice of building Temples in which to administer ordinances for the exaltation of the living and the redemption of the dead; and at last we would have to renounce our Church organization, and mix up and mingle with the world, and become part of them. Can we afford to do this? I tell you no, we can not; but we can afford to keep the commandments of God. And I will here say, that we have been sustained by the hand of Jehovah in a marvelous and miraculous manner ever since we came to these valleys and proclaimed to the world our belief in the revelation of celestial or plural marriage; and I will say further, and in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior and Elder Brother, we shall be sustained from this time until he comes in the clouds of heaven, inasmuch as we shrink not from the performance of our duties. We have somebody to deal with besides man. The God of heaven holds our destiny; he holds the destiny of our nation and of all the nations, and he controls them. Therefore, I say to the Latter-day Saints, let us be faithful; let us keep the commandments; let us not renounce a single principle or command which God has given to us. Let us keep the word of wisdom. Let us pay our tithes and offerings. Let us obey the celestial law of God, that we may have our wives and children with us in the morning of the first resurrection; that we may come forth clothed with glory, immortality and eternal lives, with our wives and children bound to us in the family organization in the celestial world, to dwell with us throughout the endless ages of eternity, together with all the sons and daughters of Adam who shall have kept the commandments of God.

      I pray that we may be able to do our duty in this world. I pray that we may not fear man who can only kill the body, but fear God who hath power to cast both body and soul into hell. I feel to say that there is no people under heaven who have so much cause to rejoice and to be grateful as the Latter-day Saints. There is no other people since the foundation of the world called to perform the work which you, Latter-day Saints, are called to perform. The God of heaven has given you the kingdom, the great and last kingdom, the only kingdom which has ever been set up on this earth to remain until the coming of the Son of Man. Although in its infancy, this work has a great and a mighty future; and as I have often said, the eyes of all the hosts of heaven are over us; the eyes of God Himself, and the eyes of all the Prophets and Apostles who have ever lived in the flesh are watching this people. They know that they are not neither can they be made perfect without you; and they fully understand that we cannot be made perfect without them. They understand the greatness, the extent, the power and the glory of this dispensation.

      When I contemplate the fact that the few men and women dwelling in these mountain valleys have had committed to them this great and mighty work, I feel that of all people under heaven we ought to be the most grateful to our God; and that we ought to remember to keep our covenants, and humble ourselves before him, and labor with all our hearts to discharge faithfully the responsibilities which devolve upon us, and the duties which are required at our hands. For we can afford to do anything which God requires of us; but none of us can afford to do wrong. It would cost far more than this world with all its wealth is worth for the Latter-day Saints to do wrong and come under the disfavor of Almighty God. Our prayers, one and all, should be that of David's—"Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me; then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression."

      I pray God to bless this assembly of His people; and to bless the Presidency of the Church, the Apostles and all bearing the holy Priesthood, together with all who have entered into covenant with him. My earnest prayer is that the blessings of our God may be over us in time, that when we get through and shall pass behind the vail, we shall have done all that was required of us, and be prepared to dwell with the sanctified and the just made perfect through the blood of the Lamb. Amen.

 

APOSTLE LORENZO SNOW

Said we could well afford to entertain good will and peace toward all mankind. It is for this that we have been called to the position we hold, and this is our mission upon the earth. Jesus came to earth to carry out his Father's will and to do the work of his Father. He, in turn, gave the same mission to His apostles. He glorified his Father and he told His disciples they must do likewise. He told them they should be hated of all men for His sake. All that we receive of good comes from God, and no man can understand the ways of God but by the Spirit of God. Before the foundation of the world, a system of communication between God and men was established, and in no other way can communication be received from Him. The Jews could not, with all their understanding, know that Jesus, the Son of God, was in their midst. Jesus said then, "This is eternal life to know the true and living God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent." On one occasion, when Peter had answered Him that He was "Christ the Son of the living God," Jesus said: "Blessed art thou Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven;" and he also said, "Upon this rock (of revelation) I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." It is to be hoped all the Saints to-day are built upon this Rock. It was the principle in ancient days and it is the principle to-day upon which the Church is founded -- the principle of revelation from God. Through this came all our knowledge and intelligence concerning the things of God, and we receive through it the comforts of the Spirit which enable us to suffer persecution gladly, looking forward to our eternal exaltation, and ready to suffer and sacrifice all things for the sake of the Kingdom of God. by doing the works of God, we glorify God, even as Jesus did, and we know that if we do these works, we shall be rewarded by being raised to His presence and made sharers of His glory. We must be united and act as a unit in building up God's kingdom. If we refuse to do the works which will make us one, God will find some means to compel us to become one, for except we are one we are not His. In Missouri the Saints failed to consecrate all their property to the building up of God's kingdom and they afterwards had to give it all up to the mob. Let us hope this will not be the case again. But let us keep God's commandments and seek to glorify Him in all our acts.

APOSTLE F. D. RICHARDS

Felt thankful for the peace in which we had been permitted to meet together; that the gospel had been revealed to man in this day, and tat so many had believed it. We have good reason to be grateful, while pestilence, war and famine accompany the human family in other nations, here we have health, peace and plenty. Yet we are sometimes prone to think we are hardly deal with, and often we borrow trouble. Now God has promised to help us in real trouble, but He has never said He would help us to bear up under "borrowed trouble." We should trust in God. He will be ever near to guide, console and advise His faithful people. It belongs to us to keep the covenants we have made with the Lord and with each other, and the Lord has said it is His business to take care of His Saints. The hand of God has been over us from the beginning, and ever since our glorious retreat into these mountains, we have prevailed. God has said, "I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but it is for you (the Saints) to forgive all men." We must remember this and put it into practice in thought and action. Do we realize that we once lived in the spirit world and had the picture of this world placed before us, and that we have been permitted to come here because we were faithful in a pre-existent state? We cane here first as our Savior did, to descend below all things, and by adopting the principles of righteousness to gradually ascend to our eternal exaltation. This is the only way by which man can be exalted. And although we are persecuted for preaching these principles, we cannot afford to relinquish them. but no member of the church who has the spirit of his calling upon him, wishes anything but good to the human race. It is our constant prayer that the world may receive the Gospel and partake with us in its blessings.

            The choir sang the anthem,

"Sing to the Lord in joyful strains."

            Benediction by President George Q. Cannon.

_____

[3 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 30:152, 4/6/81, p 8]

Sunday, 2 p. m.

            The choir sang:

"Mortals awake, let angels join,
And chant the solemn lay."

            Prayer by Elder Erastus Snow.

            The choir sang:

"O Lord of Hosts, we now invoke
Thy Spirit most divine."

            Elder Orson Pratt who has been prostrated by sickness for many weeks past, had so far recovered and gained sufficient strength as to be brought to the Conference, and took his seat with the Apostles.

PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR

Said owing to the magnitude of this immense audience, it was very desirable for as much silence to be maintained as possible, he therefore called on the Deacons to keep children from walking about, and to preserve as good order as could be maintained that the congregation might be able to her the remarks of the speakers.

PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON

Addressed the assembly. Expressed his pleasure at meeting with the Saints in Conference, and invoked the spirit of the Lord to his aid while speaking. He had been absent in Washington for 15 or 16 weeks, enjoyed excellent health and had never felt better under similar circumstances. There had been considerable said about the Saints of late in the Capital, but he had not been disturbed in his feelings for a second. There is an excitement in the warfare we are engaged in; the consciousness that we are on the winning side and that victory will eventually perch on our banners, renders the experience pleasurable. With the activity which prevails at home among the Saints, with the labors of the Home Missionaries, Improvement Associations, Relief Societies, Sunday schools, etc., and the sending of missionaries abroad to disseminate the principles of truth together with the building of Temples and other works, it is no wonder that opposition should be fierce and that there should be a great deal of talk and agitation about the "Mormons." We have been taught from the beginning that these things were to be. Year after year, as this work develops and the purposes of God unfold, do we see the striking fulfilment of the prophecies concerning us. Joseph Smith, a prophet of the living God, heralded as good and as evil throughout the world, is gradually being lifted up, and through this the name of God is being glorified. Many of the Prophet's predictions of 50 years ago, and up to the time of his death, have been fulfilled, and he has been proven to be a prophet. Not by the Saints alone, but by the inhabitants of the earth at large; they are doing all in their power to establish his claim as an inspired servant of God. How marvelous are the purposes and works of God! Using men, nations, governments, as seemeth Him good to effect His wonderful purposes! Those who have been brought up in this Church who can remember the dark and bitter past, know how little they once could see the accomplishment of these prophecies. They could only see them with the eye of faith. But the years that have ensued have brought to pass the things that seemed so unlikely to be fulfilled. When the work was in embryo, it excited hatred and called forth attention. A young and illiterate man testified that he had seen an angel from heaven, and that the old gospel, its gifts and the everlasting priesthood were to be restored, and the Church of God established upon the earth. It aroused a fever of excitement. Men were stirred up to persecute him, began to tell lies about him, and to blast his reputation. His family and himself were calumniated. Every word or act of his life was tortured into evil, and charges were spread abroad respecting him, which had not the least color or semblance of truth. Fifty years ago the church was organized with but six members. it would seem that so insignificant a number of men might be permitted to pass unnoticed. But not so. It was heralded far and near that Joseph Smith had organized a Church, and everything was done to crush him. False charges were heralded by the press and pulpit, and every effort made to slander and destroy this youth and his associates. At the same time it was said that "Mormonism" was a delusion and would soon burst and disappear. But it did not. The Elders went forth without purse or scrip, preaching by the spirit and power of God, in the face of all the slanders circulated concerning them and the work continued to grow and spread. They went into Canada, crossed the ocean and sowed the seed of truth on foreign shores. It went from land to land until almost every nation heard the gospel sound. The Elders were persecuted, but they cared not, but continued to preach, for they knew they had it to do. At home persecutions continued, even as the work increased. The Saints were charged with every crime, but especially with the crime of professing to receive revelations from God and to enjoy the Spirit of God and the gifts of Christ's ancient gospel. In Missouri, Gov. Boggs issued an exterminating order, and the Saints were driven out of the State, for death and apostasy were the only alternatives. In the midst of all this, Joseph Smith predicted that the Saints would become a great and mighty people, and throughout their persecutions they clung to these promises. They knew they were to be hated by all men for the sake of their religion, even as the ancient Saints were, but they had faith to endure through all and to-day they can see the fulfilment of their Prophet's predictions. Hated and despised as he has been, the only result is that his persecutors have actually established his claim as a Prophet of God. The Latter-day Saints know this to-day and they know many other things yet remaining in the womb of time that are to be fulfilled. Our destiny is written in heaven, enrolled in the archives of eternity. God has spoken it and not one jot or tittle shall pass unfulfilled. While we are wanting for it on earth, myriads of angels and spirits of the just unembodied and disembodied, are waiting and watching it with eagerness from the heavens. It is the work which has been predicted by the prophets of ancient days, the golden age foretold by the poets in the gorgeous picturings of futurity. But the people who are doing it, are accused of every crime and misdemeanor, and every effort is being made to blacken their reputation. Why is this? The Saints know why. The same agencies that were at work anciently -- that ruined the reputation of Christ, that crucified Him, that murdered His Apostles and the Prophets, and did not stop until the Church of God had been taken from the earth, is at work now against the Latter-day Saints. It is marvelous that the world cannot see this. Here is a small handful of people, driven from their homes into an untrodden wilderness, yet still carrying in their hearts a love of liberty, of their country, its laws, and the principles of freedom; and instead of seeking alliance with Mexico, whose territory they occupied, or with Great Britain, their neighbor on the north, or with any other power, they asked to be admitted as a State into the Union. Did they not show by this their patriotism and their love of liberty? And by their virtue, truth, temperance, kindness and hospitality which they have shown from the beginning, have they not manifested a desire to serve God and love their fellowmen? Why is all this outcry and spirit of persecution raised against us. Because it is to be. The warfare must go on -- God on one side and Satan on the other. Satan has been at work since the beginning to gain the victory, and it would almost seem sometimes that he has been successful. But eventually the victory is with God and His people. It is the destiny of the Saints to uphold the principles of liberty, of right, and to sustain the constitutional government. We are the nucleus of a nation upon which this duty will yet devolve. We are continually battling for the principles of liberty. We are not pleading for them, while efforts are being made to rob us of our rights. We want the liberty to serve God, and we wish all people to have the same liberty. Liberty of conscience, liberty of thought, speech and action, so long as it dows not infringe upon anyone's rights, is our motto and our perpetual desire. This is gospel; the gospel of humanity; and it is as good a gospel as could be preached. The speaker closed with a fervent prayer for the good of Israel.

[George Q. Cannon]

[DNW 31:322, 6/14/82, p 2; JD 23:114]

DISCOURSE

BY PREST. GEORGE Q. CANNON, DELIVERED

At the General Conference, Sunday afternoon, april 3d, 1881.

_____

REPORTED BY G. F. GIBBS.

_____

      It is with great pleasure that I meet with you, my brethren and sisters, in Conference to-day. And though in some respects I am not feeling very eager to address so large a congregation as has assembled this afternoon, still we all know that if we can get the influence and assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, there is no difficulty in speaking or advancing such thoughts and suggestions as are suitable.

      It seems to me that of all men I ought to be most thankful. I certainly feel exceedingly happy in being in your midst, in beholding your faces, in sharing in your meetings, in partaking of your spirit; I am thankful I have this privilege, for such I esteem it.

      I have been absent, as you all know, for some sixteen weeks. During my absence I have enjoyed myself very much, that is, considering the circumstances. I have had excellent health, and I do not know that I ever felt better in my life, under the circumstances, than I have during the past winter. Of course there has been considerable discussion upon our cause and question, and considerable has been said about us; but so far as my individual feelings have been concerned, I have not been disabled, not for a single second. There is an excitement about this warfare, and the consciousness that victory will eventually perch upon our banners and that we are on the winning side, that makes such a contest pleasurable. I know this, that when everything is still—when the stream is quietly flowing along without a ripple—I begin to be uneasy. I expect you do. We have been accustomed now for so many years—in fact it may be said from the beginning—to contending with the turbulence of the elements; to battling with angry waves, that it seems to be the natural condition for us to be in. At any rate, we know when this is the case that somebody is a little disturbed about us, and that some think it necessary to be stirring up opposition against us. With the activity which prevails at home in the curious departments of the work, the zeal that is being manifested among the Saints by the leading men in the various Stakes of Zion: with the labors of the home missionaries, the Young Men's and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations, the Relief Societies, the Sunday Schools, and the various organizations which have taken shape in our midst, together with the union of the people, and the sending of missionaries abroad in such numbers with all these things at work, tending to consolidate the people, to make them of one heart and one mind, to preach the principles of truth, to declare to the inhabitants of the earth the salvation of our God, and to leave them without excuse for rejecting the truth; I say, with all these activities at home and abroad, together with the building of Temples—a great work which devolves upon us as a people; with all these things, it is no wonder to me that opposition should be fierce, and that there should be a great deal of talk about the "Mormons." We have been taught from the beginning that this would be the case; the earliest teachings that I can remember were to this effect, leading me forward, as you were led forward, to anticipate just such things, just such a warfare as that in which we are involved. Year by year, as this work develops, as the purposes of God unfold, do we see the literal, the definite fulfillment of the predictions that were uttered years and years ago concerning the work of God.

      The Prophet Joseph Smith's name has been known for good and evil among all the inhabitants of the earth, being regarded by some as a man divinely inspired, a prophet of the living God, his words treasured up as the words of a prophet should be; and by others, he is looked upon as an impostor, an ignoramus, a man in fact too bad to live. This Joseph Smith, who is thus known and has this repute among various people, is gradually being lifted up and made prominent, and through his being lifted up and made prominent the name of our God, whose servant he was, is being glorified. Thus Joseph Smith, whose predictions were uttered fifty years ago, and from that time down until he sealed his testimony with his blood nearly 37 years ago—this Joseph Smith is being proved to be a prophet, not by the Latter-day Saints alone—for we are doing comparatively little towards the vindication of his prophetic views, of this divine calling; for we are a feeble people; we are a people few in number, but the inhabitants of the earth, numerous as they are, by their words and acts, are establishing the divinity of his mission and proving that he is the man that we have testified he was from the beginning.

      To me the ways of the Lord are very wonderful when I thus contemplate them. How wonderful are the Lord's works! How wondrous are His doings in the midst of the inhabitants of the earth! How strangely, and by what singular means he brings to pass his great and glorious purposes, using men, using nations, using governments, as seems good to him, to effect his divine purposes! Those of us who have been brought up in this Church who can remember the days that are past, the days of our weakness, the days of our oppression, the days when we were a broken and a peeled people, can call to mind how unlikely it was that the teachings we have received concerning this work would ever be fulfilled. We had faith that they would be. But it required the eye of faith and a heart of faith to see or to comprehend that they would be, as they have been, developed through the years that have intervened until the present time. The fulfillment of these teachings and predictions has brought to us confirmation of our faith; brought to us more and more with the greatest impressiveness the truth of that which we were told, and which, as I have said, was so unlikely to be fulfilled.

      In the beginning, this work, before it was an organized body, that is when it was in its embryo, when but a few men had any knowledge concerning the purposes of God connected with it, excited hatred and brought forth contention. An obscure young man, without worldly influence, without advantageous surroundings, declared that God had again spoken from the heavens and that angels had again descended to the earth; testified that the Church of Christ was about to be re-established with its old powers, and that the everlasting Gospel, the old plan of salvation was to be again restored in its original purity, and with it the old authority, the everlasting Priesthood, by means of which men and women could be inducted into the Church of God by the administration of the old ordinances, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, with its attendant powers and blessings. The mere declaration of these things by a young man who was thus obscure, without influence, without the prestige of education or birth, immediately excited a fever in the neighborhood; an excitement was aroused, and men began to persecute him; they began to tell lies about him; they began to bring false charges against him. There was a restlessness begotten that could not he accounted for upon natural principles, or upon anything they could see with their natural eyes; it was entirely unaccountable. His family was calumniated; he was calumniated and slandered; every act of his life was turned over and made evil of, and charges of wrongdoing were hurled against him of which he was entirely innocent, and for which there was not even the color or semblance of truth.

      On next Wednesday, fifty-one years will have elapsed since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. It then consisted of six members. Not very numerous; you can count them on your fingers. It might be thought that so insignificant a body of people would escape attention. Not so, however. The whole countryside was aroused. A terrible thing had taken place. This Joseph Smith had dared to organize a Church. He had found some gold plates, had a "golden Bible." He had been a money digger; and he had done a great many things, and at last his audacity had culminated in the organization of a church. As I have said the whole countryside was in a flame.

      "We cannot endure this; it is a disgrace to our city, our country, our township, to let such a vile fellow as he palm his impositions on the public. We must put a stop to it."

      The result was, accusations, criminal accusations. Joseph Smith was brought before officers of the law upon every conceivable complaint. The papers heralded his disgrace throughout all the neighborhood, as far as they had circulation, determined to lie him flown. There are certain fabulous attributes incorrectly ascribed to the creature called the octopus—or devil-fish. It is said that when it wants to devour its victims, it ejects an inky substance that fills the whole water around so that it can the more easily capture its prey. It was something in this manner that the press and pulpit endeavored to stifle the truth and to destroy those who testified that they had received it. The whole country was filled with every kind of slander. Human imagination was racked to invent stories. They said that Joseph Smith had tried to establish his divine calling by attempting to walk upon the water, with cunningly arranged planks placed a short distance beneath the surface of the water, but that, fortunately, he had been detected in his imposition. They said he had tried to raise the dead, and that the man whom he tried to raise nearly died, because the apparatus which he had arranged for him to get air became accidently deranged. There was no end of stories told by ignorant people, vile people, deluded people, wicked people, and even by men who called themselves ministers of the Gospel. You cannot think of anything that was not told, that was not sworn to—any number of witnesses could be obtained to testify to the truth of these falsehoods. At the same time it was said it would only be a little while until the system of which he was the head would burst up. "We have only to wait a while and it will disappear." But it did not disappear.

      The Elders went forth regardless of the slanders, regardless of the falsehoods, regardless of the calumnies, preaching the word of God, preaching it in the spirit and power of God. Regardless of all these things they went—persecuted, derided, their names cast out as evil. Men considered it almost a disgrace to talk to them; if they received them into their houses their neighbors looked upon them as though they were entertaining lepers. "What, have you got a 'Mormon' in your house? Do you know what these people are?"

      Traveling without purse or scrip, as their predecessors had done in primitive days of Gospel purity, from town to town. from village to village, from hamlet to hamlet, bearing all kinds of insults and persecutions and hardships, they traveled the land, lifting up their voices everywhere where they had the opportunity, testifying in all humility that God had again spoken from the heavens; that God had again restored the truth in its ancient purity and power; that God had restored the ordinances of the Gospel as they once existed upon the earth; and declaring unto the inhabitants of the earth that God is a hearer of prayers and that he will answer their petitions when they call upon him in faith. Thus they went, traveling through the United States and Canada, and afterwards crossing the ocean to the Old World, proclaiming there the same truths. A strange thing to be heard in Great Britain—Great Britain! who had been sending out her missionaries by thousands to the remotest parts of the earth; who considered herself as dwelling in the blaze of Gospel truth, and occupying the foremost rank among civilized and enlightened nations! A strange tiring for men from the wilds of America to come and preach to them the truth of heaven, to tell them the contents of their Bible. Presumptuous as it seemed, the Elders, nevertheless, did this. They had received the dispensation of the Gospel, and, like Paul, they felt it would be woe unto them if they did not preach it. And they went from land to land until every continent, almost every land, has been visited by them.

      While the missionaries were .thus engaged, the work at home did not cease. Persecution at home was not arrested. Mobs continued to gather together as they had done before the Elders crossed the ocean; and it was not then the cry that "these Mormons were introducing patriarchal marriage, which we think hurtful to our civilization;" that was not the charge. In the early days the charges urged against the Saints when they went out West to the limits of the Republic, were, that they believed in anointing and in laying hands upon the sick; that they believed in revelation; that they believed in prophets; that they listened to the counsels and teachings of those prophets. Was not this very dangerous? But this was not all. It sounds very queer in these days to think that one of the gravest charges made against the Latter-day Saints by the mob that drove them from their homes in Jackson County was that they were Yankees and abolitionists! Designing men, seeking for pretexts that would answer the purpose of inflaming the minds of ignorant people, seized and used this as a good ground upon which to base designs for expulsion. Missouri was a slave State, and the Latter-day Saints were in the main New England people; they who were not were from New York, Pennsylvania and other middle States. But they were known as Yankees, and, as their enemies asserted, abolitionists—a suitable people to be pounced upon and driven out. They were driven out from Jackson County, and finally, to get rid of them, Lilburn W. Boggs, governor and commander-in-chief of the militia of the State of Missouri, issued an exterminating order, threatening the Latter-day Saints with extermination unless they left the State. There was one alternative left to them if they remained in the State—apostacy. But Missouri's favor was not so desirable to the Latter-day Saints as the favor of their God, and they chose to abandon their homes and they marched out of the State as best they could. Now, during all these years, and subsequently, when we were being mobbed, plundered, and driven, the Latter-day Saints had an abiding faith, based upon the revelations that God had given through brother Joseph Smith, that the day would come when we should be a great people, when our virtues would be recognized, when our patriotism would be vindicated, when our loyalty to truth and to the principles of virtue and of good government, of pure republicanism would be established and the work of God with which we are connected become universal. Brother Joseph had predicted this. The Elders, the Saints, the people old and young believed it with all their hearts. The hatred of mobs, the burning of houses, the destruction of property, the expulsion from homes never weakened their confidence in the truth of these predictions, and their eventual fulfillment. That feeling had been implanted there by the Almighty; the Spirit of God had borne testimony to it in their hearts, and they never doubted it. Hated by a township, they foresaw the time when they would be hated by a county; hated by a county, they foresaw the time when they would be hated by a State; hated by a State, they foresaw the time when they would be hated by men who constituted a party who, it might be said, were the representatives of the nation; hated by a nation, they foresaw the time when they would be hated by other nations, until, as I have said, their loyalty to truth, to virtue, to good government, to good order and everything that is pure, holy and God-like, would be vindicated and established in the eves of all men—by the nations at large, as well as their fellow-citizens.

      How unlikely a thing to have been when there were but six persons composing this church! Yet the revelations given previous to that organization, the word of God as it has come down to us embalmed in that sacred book which contains the revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, foretells in plainness just such results as these that I have alluded to. The spirit of this work, its character, the results which should follow it were plainly mapped out beforehand as though all the events connected with it had already taken place and were written by the pen of the historian, instead of that of the prophet. The historian can delineate with no greater accuracy (though he may give more details) when he writes the history of this people and the results of the labors of the elders of this Church, than it has been written for half a century.

      The inhabitants of the earth, contrary to their will, and despite their wishes, are contributing to establish the prophetic calling of Brother Joseph Smith, and to fulfill the revelations of God given through him. Hated as he has been; despised as he has been; derided as he has been, this is the result of their actions. The destiny of this people has been clearly foretold. Here are men whom I see around me, whose heads are whitened with years, whose bodies are frail and trembling, and women, too, who have been connected with this Church from its earliest days, who know of the truth of what I am stating, who know that there is nothing that they behold to-day that they did not behold by the spirit of prophecy and with the eye of faith years and years ago. And many things that are yet unfulfilled, that yet remain in the womb of time, to be yet brought, forth. The destiny, as I have said, of the people, is written in heaven, it is enrolled in the archives of eternity. God has spoken it; the eternal fiat has gone forth, and it will never be revoked. We play our part; we figure as actors in these scenes. By and by others will come; the column of humanity will march on; the column from the eternal worlds will continue to descend. Myriads of the just are watching with, I might say, eagerness, the development of this work [p.120] and they are doing their part, and unborn myriads are looking forward to the future of this work, small as it is to-day, insignificant as it is to-day. It is no enthusiasm or fanaticism that inspires these words; but it is the plain truth not half told; it is merely to hint of that which will be. For this is the work of the eternal Jehovah, the work spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began; the great work that is to prepare the earth and its inhabitants for the coming of the Son of God. Who that reads this sacred book, the Bible, does not know that Prophets and Apostles, Seers and Revelators—all looked forward to the time when a great work should be done in the earth? They predicted it, they dwelt upon it, in inspired strains. Poets, too, who never laid claim to inspiration, have looked forward to the "golden age," have dwelt with delightful language and, it may be said, with inspired pen, upon that great time that should come in the history of our race.

      It is true as I have said, that from the beginning calumny and slander of every conceivable kind have been circulated concerning this work. It is so to-day. It goes the rounds of the country, and is believed in by the great masses of the people. The Latter-day Saints are looked upon by many as guilty of every conceivable crime. Their true characters are so befogged by misrepresentation, that strangers almost come into our borders as though they were about to enter a den of thieves —that is, strangers who do not know better. Murder, outrage, robbery, perjury, villany of every kind is attributed to this people. Why should such a world-wide notoriety be given to a people who number no more than we? Why should such lengths be gone to in falsifying an innocent people? It might be thought that we, being so insignificant numerically, might escape notice; or at least such prominent notice; it might have been thought in the beginning that Brother Joseph Smith and his compeers would have escaped notice. It might be thought that when they were few in numbers and their influence did not extend beyond a township, that they might have escaped notice. But no, the world has seemed determined in a way that to the natural eye seems unaccountable, to uplift this people to importance, to give them a world-wide reputation, to advertise them throughout the earth. And why is this? The Latter-day Saints ought to understand it, and many of them do understand it. You know the powers that are at work—the same powers that blackened the Son of God, that made him appear so hideous that men in crucifying him thought they were doing God service—and were perfectly willing to have all the consequences fall upon them and their children; the same influence that caused an Isaiah to be sawn asunder, that caused a Daniel to be thrust into the lion's den, and that caused the death of nearly all of the prophets, and that produced the martyrdom of eleven of the Twelve Apostles, according to tradition; it is that same influence that never rested until every inspired man was destroyed from the face of the earth, that is still busy. This Satanic power has kept at work slaying the servants of the Almighty, including the holiest being that ever trod the earth—the Son of God.

      Is it not astonishing that the world cannot see these things? Think of the long list of martyrs, coming down through the ages from Abel; the best and the holiest men killed by their fellows, not because they thought them virtuous, not because they thought them holy, not because they looked upon them as pure; but because they were considered too dangerous to be suffered to live.

      I wonder when I know that this has been the case that the world cannot see to-day, that the same spirit is abroad in the earth. It is not usual for wicked people to kill wicked people, that is, in the way the prophets and apostles were killed.

      Here is a feeble people in these mountains who have come here fleeing from persecution, carrying with them when they left their native States and launched forth into an untrodden and unknown wilderness, a love for the principles of liberty for which their fathers, many of them, had fought. Notwithstanding their persecutions and the vile treatment they had received at the hands of their fellow-citizens, they did not allow that feeling to dominate in their hearts; but loving the flag, the stars and stripes; loving the republic; loving the institutions of freedom, loving the Constitution, loving the laws, and carrying with them that love into the heart of the wilderness, and there laying the foundation of a great commonwealth they sought for admission as a State, and to have in that State every human right fully guarded and civil and religious liberty secured for people of every creed, and of no creeds, not seeking for alliance with Mexico, whose land they occupied, not seeking alliance with Great Britain, who was their neighbor on the north; not seeking alliance with the wild races, or endeavoring, or seeking to set up an independent republic, but their hearts going back fondly to the home of their fathers, to the land which their fathers had helped to redeem and make free, to the Constitution upon which the government of the land was founded, to the flag for which their fathers had fought and bled, they showed to the world that persecuted as they might be, hated as they might be, despised as they might be, and driven as they might be, they could not extinguish within them the love of liberty, the love of true republicanism. This was the testimony which this people bore to the inhabitants of the earth: and it might be thought, as I have said, that the people who had done this, working with unceasing toil to reclaim the waste places and make them habitable and beautiful and a fit abode for themselves and their children; sending out missionaries at untold sacrifice to the nations of the earth to proclaim the Gospel and gather in the honest from their own land and from the remotest nations of the earth; doing this for years, until gradually, as we see, the stately structure of a great commonwealth rises up around us; law executed; liberty preserved; the utmost freedom extended to every human being throughout the length and breadth of these mountain valleys; life and property as secure here as they ever were in any of the States of the Union; strangers coming in here before the railroad was built, weary and foot-sore, received with hospitable kindness. This tabernacle, after it was erected, and before this was erected, the old tabernacle, and before that was erected, the bowery, opened to preachers of every denomination, men of every creed united to proclaim their tenets, to give us their views; women protected throughout this land with such sacredness that they, old or young, beautiful or homely, could traverse every valley and pass through every town north and south, night or day, without hearing a word that would be improper, without ever witnessing a gesture that would annoy them; emigrants with their wagons coming in and leaving them in town unguarded, and not a thing harmed or taken;—I say, it might be thought, viewing and witnessing these results —the virtue, the temperance, the good order, the frugality, the industry, the enterprise, the liberality, the honesty of the people, that somebody would think and say:

      "What do all these attacks mean? Why is this crusade being waged against a people of this kind. Surely fifty millions of people with all the advantages of the age—the press, telegraph wires, pulpit, day and Sabbath schools, the wonderful improvements that are being brought out,—everything in fact, in their power, including the wealth of the world at their command, surely these fifty millions of people should suffer a few thousands of people in Utah, to dwell in some degree of peace without constantly urging on the dogs of war against them; without hounding on every vile fellow in the nation to rob them and to engage in crusades against them, with the assurance that they will be justified in doing so."

      But no, this is not to be; it is not thus written; it is not the destiny of this people. We would never he the people God intends and designs us to be if we were to be let alone. The warfare must go on; it, is an unceasing one; the powers are arrayed one against another, with God on one side and the Adversary on the other. The devil is not going to relinquish his ground. He has tried falsehood from the beginning, and tried it successfully in many instances. It has been said of him that he was a liar from the beginning; and it is certain he has not lost his old characteristics. He has succeeded by means of murder many times in the history of our race. He has contrived by this agency to maintain his foothold in the earth for a long time. He thinks, like men think who steal things and keep them for a long time, that he is the owner of the stolen property. The man who jumps another man's land or claim, the longer he possesses it, the more assured he becomes that he ought to have it. Satan is imbued with this same idea; and he has recourse to the old method of warfare—lying; and lies are being circulated until the ear is tired listening to them. Every conceivable falsehood! Then he supplements lies with violence, and even murder has been resorted to. He thinks, if he can kill a man that puts an end to him; if he can kill a people that destroys them and their influence. But this time it is another sort of a work. God has spoken concerning this work; this is the last work that the Prophets or the Apostles have called the dispensation of the fullness of times. There was to be a time when Satan should have to recede inch by inch, step by step. That time has come. The column of the righteous, of the true is pressing onward; there is an irresistible power behind it. It will go forward gathering into its ranks the honest and virtuous from every nation; just as sure as we live this will be the case. It will gather people from every nation. It seems like a very strange thing to say, but on all proper occasions I say it with a great deal of pleasure, at home and from home, that I have been taught from early life that the day would come when republican institutions would be in danger in this nation and upon this continent, when, in fact, the republic would be so rent asunder by factions that there would be no stable government outside of the Latter-day Saints; and that it is their destiny as a people, to uphold constitutional government upon this land. Now, a great many people think this is a chimera of the brain; they think it folly to indulge in such an idea; but the day will some nevertheless. There are those in this congregation who will witness the time that the maintenance of true constitutional government upon this continent will be dependent upon this people, when it will have to be upheld by us.

      We are battling all the time for human rights. We did so in the States before we were driven out; we have done so throughout these mountains, and are doing so to-day, contending for our rights. Even before the great tribunal of our nation, Congress, the contest is going on; for attempts are constantly being made to wrest from us our liberties, as citizens; and we are standing our ground as best we can, pleading for our rights, pleading for liberty of conscience, pleading for that freedom which belongs to the country, which God has guaranteed through the Constitution; not for ourselves alone, but for every creed, for every member of the human family. We do not want liberty for ourselves alone; we desire every man to have it: liberty for Ingersoll, and all who believe as he does; liberty for the followers of Mohammed and all who believe in the Koran; liberty for Beecher and for those of his way of thinking; and even Talmage who has talked so badly about us, we would have him enjoy liberty; yes, and permit him to say what he pleases about us, to take what view he pleases of our belief and practices, and to tell everybody what he thinks about them. We would give him the utmost liberty to do this, and every other man, to say what they please about us or about anybody else, as long as they do not interfere with the rights and the liberties of the people against whom they are opposed, protesting always, however, that men in criticising others, should confine themselves strictly to the truth, or he held responsible to the laws for slanders and falsehood. All sects and all people should have this liberty, that is, liberty of conscience, liberty of speech and liberty of the press, as long as it does not degenerate into license, and interfere with the rights of others. We claim this for ourselves; we contend for it, and we shall contend for it, until it is gained.

      Now, my brethren and sisters, I forgot that it is Sunday; I do not know, however, but what this is as good Gospel as I can declare; it is the Gospel of humanity; it is the Gospel of truth. And I hope that you will ever be true to these principles. It makes no difference really whether you will or not, so far as this great work is concerned; but it is a glorious reflection to know that we, are striving to accomplish these ends.

      When I look at the wonderful deliverance that has been wrought out for us, it is a subject of amazement to me. Still our enemies continue to plot and get up machinations. It is all right, let them have their agency, let them do as they please; it ought not to disturb us or cause us a moment's uneasiness. Let them do as they please as long as they keep hands off.

      I pray God to bless you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, and to bless His servants who may address us during this Conference, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

            The choir sang the anthem,

How beautiful upon the mountains.

            Benediction by Apostle Brigham Young.

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[4 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 30:152-153, 4/6/81, p 8-9]

SECOND DAY.

_____

Monday, 10 a. m.

            Conference convened as per adjournment.

            The choir sang,

Praise ye the Lord, 'tis good to raise,
Your hearts and voices in his praise.

            Prayer by Prest. Wilford Woodruff.

            The choir sang ,

May we who know the joyful sound,
Still practice what we know.

PRESIDENT JOSEPH F. SMITH

Spoke of the multitude of the youth of Zion that are growing up in our midst; said it was nothing but reasonable to expect that they would be better qualified to carry on the great work of God and accomplish a more staunch and vigorous labor than their fathers have done, on account of their being free from the many false traditions that have been handed down from generations past. It is astonishing to think of the great number from the beginning to the present, who have embraced the gospel and then have fallen away. Even of the first Twelve Apostles who had been ordained to that high and holy calling nearly one-half had apostatized from the faith within two or three years of their ordination. The trials and temptations to which they were exposed were more than they were able to endure, and therefore they fell by the way and turned from the truth. So with many of the members of the Church, who embraced the faith, and were then overcome by the allurements of the world and the influence of the evil one. After speaking at length on the apostasy that had taken place from the ranks of the priesthood and from the members of the Church, he said he believed that in the future there would be far less apostasy than in the past. it had grown less as the ranks of the Quorum of the Twelve had been filled up from time to time. And as the Church progressed the Saints would become more and more firm and faithful. Notwithstanding the numbers that have apostatized from this Church, there are a greater number of good, faithful Saints at the present time than there ever was before. The facilities now in our midst for the instruction of our youth, and the good influence of their faithful parents by example and precepts would tend to preserve them in the path of righteousness and truth. He strongly denounced the practice of some parents who send their children to be taught by those whose mission here was to draw away our youth from the faith of the Gospel, and set them in direct opposition to the work of God. It was not the principle of polygamy that those who are fighting against this work were so much opposed to that was only used as a pretext for their hatred and enmity to the work of God. Those who make he loudest clamor against us on account of polygamy are the more deeply steeped in the vilest practices of the age, and against which the curse and displeasure of God are arrayed. He repeated it was not polygamy that the world re opposed to, but simply the organization of the Priesthood as was recently remarked by a visitor to President Taylor. It is the power of God that they are opposed to. It is the grand principle of revelation that God has established in these days. If they could break the link between the heavens and the earth that had been severed so long, and which the Lord had restored, they would care nothing for our polygamy. The speaker showed the iniquity of modern Christendom with its secret sins and the purity of celestial marriage as revealed from heaven, and cited the former as evidence that the pretense that the reason for opposition to the latter was because it was licentious, was the rankest hypocrisy. He then made a powerful appeal to parents not to place their children under the care of those whose object was to lead them away from the faith of their fathers and mothers, and denounced the sin of such a course, the result of which would be seen in time and eternity, and sink the guilty to shame and punishment, which they would receive instead of the exaltation they expected, for God had made us responsible for our children until they reached the years of accountability.

PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR.

            With regard to the principles that have been advanced here this morning, they are things that demand our most serious consideration. We, as Latter-day Saints, profess to have come out of the world, gathered together to the land of Zion for the purpose of fulfilling the word, the will, and the law of God. We are living in an eventful age, at a time when God has decreed to have a controversy with the nations, wherein He has determined to gather His people together, and wherein He has made manifest to them His will, His law, His gospel, as it existed in other ages when God revealed Himself to the human family. And living as we are in this day and age of the world, having been gathered into the fold of God, having received the holy Priesthood, and being placed in communication with the Lord, it behooves us as Saints to study and ponder well the path of our feet, to comprehend the position we occupy and our relationship to God, to each other, to our families, to the Church and the Kingdom of God and to the world, that we may act wisely, intelligently, and understanding.y, and that in all of our doings we may be under the guidance and influence of the Spirit of the living God, that we may walk in the paths of life and under the guidance and direction of the almighty, carrying out the great and sacred principles He has committed to our care. When men do this they will not apostatize as has been referred to; when men fear God and humble themselves before Him and place themselves under His influence and control, and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, they will not apostatize; but when men, under the cloak of the Gospel, introduce pernicious practices and permit themselves to be governed by wrong influences, then they place themselves in a position to be led captive by the devil at his own will. Hence the necessity of the Saints being humble and prayerful and diligent in the performance of their duties, and in seeking to magnify their callings and to honor their God. Especially are those duties more incumbent upon men in authority than upon others, and so far from men being puffed up in pride or with any ostentatious feelings because of any position they may occupy in the Church and kingdom of God, all that a good man will seek to do will be to know the mind of his Heavenly Father and to do it, and to seek to magnify his calling, that he may prove himself worthy to be accepted of God and the holy angels, and be esteemed by all good, and honorable and upright men. We have a reason given us here [Book of Doctrine and Covenants] why men apostatize. I will read it:

      "Behold there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?" -- [here is the reason] -- "Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson -- That the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control, or dominion, or compulsion, upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold the heavens will withdraw themselves; the spirit of the Lord s grieved; and when it is withdrawn, amen to the Priesthood, or the authority of that man. Behold! ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks; to persecute the "Saints and to fight against God. We have learned by sad experience, that it is the nature and disposition of nearly all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, the will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion"

            Hear it you Elders of Israel, you Presidents of Stakes, you Bishops and you men in authority, and you Elders everywhere! This is the reason why men have departed from the truth and have apostatized.

      "Hence many are called but few are chosen. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood, only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile."

            This is the reason why so many have stumbled, and I will say still further that unless the elders of Israel realize their position, whether they be Presidents of Stakes, or whether they be the Twelve, or the counselors of the Twelve or the First Presidency, or whether they be Bishops, or whether they hold any office of authority in the Church and kingdom of God -- no matter what position they may occupy, of they go to work to seek to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the Church and Kingdom of God, the Spirit of God will be withdrawn from them and they will be left as others have been left to "kick against the pricks" and to fight against God, and they will find their way to perdition instead of to the Celestial Kingdom of God. When we have great rights, great intelligence and great blessings conferred upon us, the more need we have of being watchful and prayerful and diligent in the observance of our duties, and to feel that we are the representatives of God on the earth, the mouthpieces of Jehovah, to proclaim the will of God to men and to act as shepherds in Israel and feel interested in the welfare of the people and the building up of the Zion of our God. When we entertain feelings of another nature our minds become beclouded, we get led astray, as others have been led astray in former ages and under other circumstances. This is no new thing. We can trace it back to eternity, and we can follow it also with the times to come. The Scriptures tell us that the angels who kept not their first estate, but rebelled against God and violated His law were cast out. How many of them? One-third of them we are told. Who were they? The children of our Father as we are. Were they cast out? Yes, we are told they were, and we believe it. Why were they cast out? Well, I will go a little further on this point and show the reason:

            When the plans of God in relation to this earth on which we live were presented before the intelligences of heaven, there were many there who thought, as some men frequently think now, that they knew the proper course to pursue better than God our Heavenly Father knew; and hence we read of Satan presenting himself before the Lord and saying, "Father, I will be thy Son." And what will you do" "I will redeem every soul of man, that there shall not one be lost" -- just as people are trying to do now-a-days, as Brother Joseph F. has been telling us, and they would like to redeem your children, and redeem you, yes, and corrupt you and lead you astray -- for we are told the Devil is a liar from the beginning; and he keeps it up pretty well yet. The Lord then turned to His well beloved Son and said, "What would you do?" He understood things better than Satan and said, "Father, thy will be done. You have presented before us your plans, your ideas and views which are calculated to exalt and ennoble mankind; and believing in your intelligence and in your good motives, and in the instruction that comes from you, I shall be subject to you and your law. Father, thy will be done," while Satan said that he would go and save every soul, and then asked the Father to give him His honor. That is, in effect, "O Lord, thou art all powerful and great and magnanimous, bestow upon me thy power that I then, in thy name, may bring about the destruction of thy people." Just as people now want to get in many instances, the honor of the people and of the Priesthood to bring about their own purposes and to lead us down into the path that leads to death. What did the Lord do? He knew the designs of the enemy and the course which he would pursue. He wanted to do away with the free agency of men -- like men do to-day in this broad republic, to deprive men of their liberty and their rights, which, God being our helper, we will try to sustain from this time henceforth. [Amen, by the congregation.] And because he sought to take away their liberty, their free agency, going contrary to the law of God, he was cast out, and those also who clung to him, even one-third of the angels of heaven, before they had their bodies.

            What followed after? There is a big field before me and I have not time to enter into the question; but I will briefly touch upon a few principles.

            Man came to the earth, and when man came, Satan came also. You know the history in regard to this. God gave man a law, and Satan began to try to pervert that law; this was one of the first things he did. In the process of time there were two men born -- Cain and Abel, and many others besides; but these were two representative of men. One placed himself under the influences of God; the other under the influences of the devil, and he became the father of liars and deceivers, and was instructed by the enemy of all righteousness to introduce murder and bloodshed and confusion, which we read of as having descended from Cain, passing through the different ages, and to many people of this age and continent; and it is now spreading among the nations of the earth in every form of terrorism and secret organizations; and murder, bloodshed and destruction are in their hearts. They hatch cocatrice eggs, and weave the spider's web; and those that eat of the eggs die; and the eggs that are hatched break forth into vipers. We see this spirit in the earth; and that spirit would like to find a footing among us; and nothing but our adherence to God and His laws, our fidelity to truth and our integrity to correct principles, will preserve us from these infamies that are spreading themselves abroad in the world. And if we would secure to ourselves eternal lives an d possess thrones and principalities and powers in the eternal worlds, it is for us to obey the Lord our God to keep His commandments and square our lives according to the principles that God has revealed, to be in communion with each other and with the Holy Priesthood on the earth, with God and the Holy Priesthood in the heavens, that we may be one with the Saints of God, one with the Apostles and Prophets and Presidency, one with the ancient Apostles and Prophets and men of God, one with God our Heavenly Father and with Jesus the Mediator.

            I would like to talk an hour or two on this subject if I had the time and strength to do it, but the time has expired.

            Brethren, let us be for God, for truth, for righteousness, and watch over ourselves and our families that God has placed within our power and under our direction, and do not let us throw them into the hands of the destroyer as has been referred to k but let us cleave to the truth and honor our God and God will bless us and sustain us and exalt us in time and throughout all the eternities to come. And about the plans and contrivances of men, they may rage and imagine vain things, yet God has them and us in His charge and He will say to all as He did to the waters of the mighty ocean, "Hitherto shalt thou come and no further, and her shall thy proud waves be stayed." And the principles of eternal truth shall roll forward and continue to progress, until loud anthems will be proclaimed upon the earth, and glory and honor and might and majesty and dominion be ascribed to God that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever. Amen.

            The choir sang an anthem:

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

            Conference adjourned till 2 p.m.

            Benediction by Elder E. Snow.

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[4 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 30:168, 4/13/81, p 8]

FIFTY-FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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SECOND DAY.

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Monday, 2 p. m.

            Choir sang

"Praise to God, immortal praise,
For the love that crowns our days."

            Prayer by President Angus M. Cannon.

            Choir sang

"The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd's care."

            President George Q. Cannon then read the statistical reports of the various Stakes of Zion.

APOSTLE ERASTUS SNOW

Said the gospel as expounded by the Savior and His Apostles was a perfect law of liberty. All the revelations that God ever gave to man in ancient or modern times tended to true freedom. Nothing connected with the Gospel of Christ has the tendency to restrain men of their liberty. These doctrines have attempted to draw a line between liberty and licentiousness; between liberty and oppression. Oppression and slavery are the result of sin, and violations of the principles of the everlasting gospel, either by the ruled, by the rulers, or both -- and generally by both. True freedom of mind and body and the enjoyment of human liberty, rest upon human integrity and virtue, and the observance of those principles of truth upon which all liberty is founded. There are some people who think they are always in bondage unless they are all the time trying to get into trouble; some seem never to be happy unless perfectly miserable. Oppression and slavery are in no way connected with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Nihilists of Russia, the Socialists of France, and the "Liberals" of Utah are "panting for liberty," but to obtain their ends (which would certainly be anarchy and destruction) they would assassinate the representatives of Government, kill the king, dethrone Jehovah. The same restless spirit that agitates such people has existed in former ages of the world, and their course is related in bible history, and also their sad fate is made manifest by the displeasure of the Almighty against their rebellious course. "The powers that be are ordained of God," and a monarchial or republican, or other form of government, is far better than no government, or the rule of those who must clamor for freedom with their mouths, but are tyrants in their hearts and are destroyers of good regulations and wholesome restraints. The oppression of a king is preferable to the oppression of a mob, where every man's will is his own law. The speaker made a wise and discriminating contrast between the government of God and the condition of anarchy that is being aimed at by freedom-shouters in different nations of the earth. He then spoke of the power and efficacy of the Priesthood in the settlement of difficulties by pacific measures, on the principle of amicable adjustment. There are no officials on the face of the earth, who are so easily approached, for the purpose of listening to and affording counsel and aid to those needing it, as the various authorities and officials in the Church and Kingdom of God, an there are no people who understand liberty better than the Latter-day Saints, for they have learned it in the Gospel. He could bear testimony to the fact that there are no better social and family regulations anywhere, nor any more true liberty, than can be found in many of our polygamous households and that they were far superior to those that existed in many places in so-called Christendom. In a political sense we are complained of because we will vote for our friends, and give our sanction to those whom we know will make a wise and proper use of the power and means placed in their hands, and will not vote for our enemies who seek place and power for their own aggrandizement and personal ends. some people's ideas of liberty seem to be independence of law, hostility to union, order and peace. Our regenerators would make it appear that unless we go to the polls and vote their ticket we are oppressed and priest-ridden. Yes, we do vote with the priesthood; we would indeed be foolish to vote for our enemies; then let us vote for our friends. Everybody acquainted with the Territory knows that the municipal, county and territorial offices of Utah are more justly and equitably managed, the taxes re less, and the wants of the people are more judiciously cared for than in any other State or Territory in the United States. We have not one defaulter in office here for ten in any other State. There are some who have heard so much of this twaddle about being priest-ridden that they think unless they vote with their enemies they will be put down as Mormon slaves; but reflecting men see through these things. There are people who instead of beginning to better the world by purifying their own hearts and homes, try to serve God like the devil by turning their attention abroad, and thus create anarchy. It is like the idiot, who, because he is himself houseless, and is compelled to sleep on the steps of the nabob, will put the torch to the nabob's palace and destroy it. Fools can destroy, but it takes wise men to build up. When the time comes that the extremists of the land sweep through the country, with the violence of a tornado God will interpose His arm and the Saints of God will rally around the constitution, and for a nucleus around which men and women of virtue, intelligence and love of order will gather and carry out the purposes of God in promoting peace and true liberty. He directed some plain and pointed remarks against those who are opposed to order and good government and showed that all law, human and divine, should tend to the maintenance of human rights and the welfare of all mankind.

[Erastus Snow]

[DNW 30:434, 8/10/81, p 2; JD 22:149]

DISCOURSE

BY ELDER ERASTUS SNOW,

At the General Conference on Monday Afternoon, april 4th, 1881.

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REPORTED BY GEO. F. GIBBS.

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      I desire to be heard, not that I am ambitious of speaking, but if I speak I desire that my strength shall not be unnecessarily taxed.

      One of the ancient expounders of the Christian religion said, that the Gospel was the perfect law of liberty. I believe it; and if I taken text at all, that is my text.

      The Gospel as understood and expounded by the Savior and his ancient Apostles, is a perfect law of liberty. Everything pertaining to the spirit of the Gospel, as taught and expounded and practised by the Savior and His disciples, tended to liberty. All the revelations which God ever gave to man from the beginning of the world tended to liberty. The government which our heavenly Father has exercised, or attempted to exercise over His children on the earth or in the heavens, has not in the least tended to restrain or abridge them in their liberty, but rather to enlarge it, to extend it, to insure, to preserve and maintain it. The Gospel of Christ, and all of the revelations of God to man have sought to mark the line of distinction between liberty and license, between correct principles of government and anarchy or oppression and slavery. Oppression and slavery are the result of sin and wickedness, violations of the principles of the everlasting Gospel either by the rulers or ruled or both, and generally both. True freedom of mind and body and true liberty, even the enjoyment of human rights is founded and maintained, and rests upon human integrity and virtue and the observance of those principles of truth on which all true happiness and true freedom is founded. Sin was never righteousness, nor can be; license was never liberty nor can be; misery was never happiness, nor can be; and yet because of the blindness and ignorance of some people, they never appear to be happy only when they are perfectly miserable. And there are some people too who think they are always in slavery and bondage unless they are trying to get themselves into trouble; and they think there is no true liberty only in acting like the devil. The Nihilists of Russia, the Socialists of France and their sympathizers in America, including the "Liberals" of Utah, are panting for liberty; they are restive under the restraint of order and law; they are opposed to government, and like the French Socialists and Communists, they would destroy Jehovah himself and behead the king and burn up Parliament and assassinate every representative of power and government; and when they had reduced the country and themselves to anarchy, they would look upon their condition as the acme of freedom and human liberty. The world to-day is drifting in this direction, including our own liberal America.

      If we take a retrospective view of the dealings of God with his people whom he recognized, and who acknowledged his laws, and among whom he raised up Prophets, and with whom he established his covenants, we will find that they have been the freest of all peoples which have existed on the earth. The students of the Bible and the Book of Mormon know this to be the case. They know that the first king who ruled over ancient Israel, was chosen at their own earnest solicitations, when they began to apostatize from God, and to despise His counsels. They know that Samuel the Seer, who judged them in righteousness, and who taught them faithfully the ways of the Lord, earnestly remonstrated with them when they clamored for a king to go out and in before them and lead them to battle, that they might be as other nations who were around them. Samuel foretold the results—that such a course tended to bondage; that they were but forging the links of the chain that would bind them and deprive them of freedom. He labored long and arduously to dissuade them from it; but they would not listen to him. And yet they were not willing to consent for anybody else to make them a king but that same Samuel; and when he had prayed to the Lord, the Lord told him to "hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." Samuel did as the Lord commanded him, and Israel was ruled over by a king of their own choosing. But the heavens were displeased with them for so doing, and you who are conversant with Bible history are familiar with the troubles and sorrows which befell Israel in consequence of this departure from the ways of God. And those who read the Book of Mormon find the same spirit breathed throughout that book. The people, in the days when they were willing to listen to the voice of Prophets and inspired men, were the freest and best of all people; but when they began to apostatize and harden their hearts against the words of the Lord and the counsel imparted to them by His servants, they began to drift with sin and oppression and bondage. Anarchy—shall I say, is the worst of all governments? No: Anarchy is the absence of all government; it is the antipodes of order; it is the acme of confusion; it is the result of unbridled license, the antipodes of true liberty. The Apostle Paul says truly: "For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." At first this is a startling statement. Even the monopoly of the one-man-power as in Russia, or the monopoly of the aristocracy as in other parts of Europe, or the imbecility and sometimes stupidity of a republic like our own, is far better than no government at all. And for this reason, says the Apostle Paul, "The powers are ordained of God," not that riley are always the best forms of government for the people, or that they afford liberty and freedom to mankind, but that any and all forms of government are better than none at all, having a tendency as they do to restrain the passions of human nature and to curb them, and to establish and maintain order to a greater or less degree. One monopoly is better than many; and the oppression of a king is tolerable, but the oppression of a mob, where every man is a law to himself and his own right arm, is his power to enforce his own will, is the worst form of government. The efforts of extremists clamoring for human freedom are all tending in this direction; and those who clamor for human rights are, as a general thing, the first to trample them under foot—I mean those who are the most loud-mouthed; their ideas of freedom are all on their tongue; they conceive of no freedom only when they wield the sword, or dictate terms to others. The Gospel of the Son of God extends to the world that perfect law of liberty. Founded on truth, and a proper appreciation of those principles which tend to the largest possible happiness to humanity, it restrains mankind, not in the enjoyment of freedom and liberty, but from efforts to deprive their fellows of it. In other words, the power which God has sought to exercise, and which he has recommended and sanctioned, is only to seize the arm which is raised to fell his fellow, and to stop the loud tongue of the raging maniac, which would destroy the peace of his fellow-man, and who would seek to build himself up on the ruin of others. There is no system of government ever instituted among men which is so well calculated to give and maintain human freedom, and at the same time to restrain the vices and excesses of fallen humanity, as the government of the Gospel sought to be established by the Savior and His Apostles. We heard quoted this forenoon the words of God spoken through the Prophet Joseph, and which are and always will be in force among this people, to the effect that the powers of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and cannot be exercised in any degree of unrighteousness; that the power of that man departs from him when he attempts in the least degree to exercise an unrighteous dominion over his fellow-man—or any power or dominion except that power of truth and of persuasion founded upon it.

      The teachings of the Savior in relation to the settling of difficulties arising among brethren in the Church of Christ, through visiting them and talking frankly one with another, explaining and expounding to each other until they come to an understanding of all troubles which may arise among members of the Church; and in cases of disagreement invoking the aid and council of visiting priests and teacher