1890

4-6 Apr 1890, 60th Annual General Conference, SLC Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly 40:525, 4/12/90, p 13; Millennial Star 52:257, 273, 289, 305, 321, 337]

[4 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 40:525-527, 4/12/90, p 13-15]

GENERAL CONFERENCE.

_____

            The Sixtieth General Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convened at 10 a.m., Friday, April 4th, 1890, in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, President Wilford Woodruff presiding.

            There were on the stand: Of the First Presidency, Wilford Woodruff and George Q. Cannon; of the council of the Twelve Apostles: Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mariner W. Merrill, Anton H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon; of Counselors to the Twelve: John W. Young and Daniel H. Wells; Patriarch, John smith; of the Presiding council of the Seventies, Henry Herriman, Jacob Gates, Seymour B. Young, John Morgan and B. H. Roberts; of the Presiding Bishopric: William B. Preston, R. T. Burton and John R. Winder.

            There were also present a large number of prominent brethren from various parts of Utah and surrounding States and Territories.

            The choir sang:

I saw a mighty angel fly, To earth he bent his way;
A message bearing from on high, To cheer the sons of day.

            The opening prayer was offered by Apostle Franklin D. Richards.

            Singing:

Come listen to a Prophet's voice, And hear the word of God;
And in the way of truth rejoice, And sing for joy aloud.

President Wilford Woodruff

said: Sixty years ago next Sabbath this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in Fayette, Seneca County, New York. It was organized by the Prophet of God, Joseph Smith. It was organized by the commandments of God, by the revelations of Jesus Christ. Its history is before the world, the heavens and the earth; and I feel myself that our hearts should be filled this morning with gratitude and thanksgiving that we have the privilege again of meeting in an Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I hope and trust that the hearts of the Saints will be lifted up in prayer to God that during the time we shall spend together in this capacity the spirit and power of God may rest upon the Apostles and Elders who will address us, and upon the Saints themselves who may hear.

            I feel very thankful myself that I still have the privilege of meeting in general Conference with the Saints of God. I realize that we are weak instruments in the hand of God who are called to perform this work. The Lord has chosen the weak things of the world from the foundation of the earth, to perform His work in every age and generation of men. I pray that the Apostles and Elders of Israel may be clothed upon with the spirit and power of God while they address the Latter-day Saints. We want to bear in mind that our strength, our hope and our power is in the hands of God and not in men. The Lord Himself has stretched forth his hand to establish this Church, His Kingdom, His Work, His Zion, the gathering together of His people in fulfilment of the revelations of God which have been given to the inhabitants of the earth since the foundation of the world, since the day of the old Patriarch, Father Adam, was brought forth and placed in the garden of Eden. From that day until now His work has been performed by the inspiration of the Almighty, and not by the power of man. The very things in our history that we have been called to pass through, the scenes which have been enacted and shown and they show today to all heaven and earth, in the warfare, in the opposition, in the labor that are manifested among the sons of men -- from the creation of the world till today -- that this is the work of the Lord. The various persecutions, the efforts which have been manifested against the organization of this Church and kingdom for its overthrow and destruction should show -- and have shown to heaven and earth -- that there is a power on earth outside the power of man.

            We have no power in ourselves. We never have had in the guidance and direction of this kingdom only through the interposition of Almighty God. Joseph Smith himself was administered with in a way and manner that I have found no record of. I have never read anywhere, that I know of, of the same power manifested in any dispensation to the children of men which was manifested to the Prophet in the organization of this Church when the Father and the Son both appeared to the Prophet Joseph in answer to his prayer, and when the Father said, "This is My Beloved Son; behold Him; hear ye Him." This was an important revelation which has never been manifested in the same manner in any dispensation of the world, that God has given concerning His work. So in its organization the Prophet was administered to by the angels of heaven. They were his teachers, they were his instructors, and all that he did, all that he performed from the commencement, from that day to the day of his martyrdom, was by the revelation of Jesus Christ. We ought to understand this, and as a people have faith in God, in His revelations, in His promises. We should look forth for the fulfilment of these promises unto us in the day and generation in which we live;. They will be fulfilled. The lord is at work. He has set his hand to accomplish the great dispensation of which all the patriarchs and Prophets have spoken since the world began. Therefore let not your hearts be troubled; believe in the Father, believe in Jesus Christ, believe in the gospel which has been preached unto us, and keep and fulfil the commandments of God; then all will be right. The Lord will not fail the Latter-day Saints; He will not fail in His work, in the gathering of His people. He will not fail the seed of Abraham; He will not fail the seed of Judah. They will be gathered home to Jerusalem, their holy place. They will receive their city and Temple, and be prepared for the coming of their King.

            Zion will arise and prosper. If the Latter-day Saints will but do their duty, there is nothing in the way of our accomplishing all that has been promised unto us. I have no fears myself with regard to the outcome and final triumph of the Kingdom of God, of the Zion of God, of the Church of God, of the Saints of God. The Lord has already gathered many thousands to these valleys of the mountains, in fulfilment of His promises.

            Now, brethren and sisters, let us be thoughtful while in the flesh, and seek to magnify our calling. Let our hearts be set on the building up of the Kingdom of God, and none shall fail. With regard to those who may address us during this Conference I hope that they may all have our prayers, that they may be inspired by the Spirit of the Father, and preach only those things which are true and faithful.

            May God bless us and pour out His Spirit upon us, that we may have a good time at this Conference. May we enjoy that Spirit, may our hearts be united together, and may we rejoice in those principles which have been revealed for the comfort, salvation and eternal life of the children of men.

Elder John Morgan

was the next speaker. His remarks were substantially as follows: I am gratified at the privilege of meeting with the Saints in General Conference, of hearing the voice of President Woodruff, and for the fulness of the Gospel, revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is a cause for gratitude that, notwithstanding the opposition arrayed against the truth, its cause still prospers. That which to the natural eye would seem to break down this work established by the Almighty, has the opposite effect. There never was a time in our history when the Saints attracted wider attention than now. This is not from personal causes, but on account of the principles which the Saints have been taught. Because of those principles they are regarded as a peculiar people. According to the Scriptures, when the Saints are regarded with aversion they should rejoice. I have traveled throughout this country a good deal of late, and met with many people and heard numerous ideas expressed regarding what is called "Mormonism." One journalist said, with regard to that system, that its merits did not enter into the question; the nation had had enough of it. They would not tolerate it. This said he, is a settled fact. This seems to be a peculiar sentiment. It is also common to assert that the religion accepted by the Saints would finally go to the wall. O course I could not agree with this view, being convinced that truth will assert its true position in the hearts of the children of men and will ultimately prevail. The people of God have been enabled to triumph over opposition in the past, so will they be able to do in the future.

            I testify that God is pleased with His people, also with those who preside over the Church, and is guiding it with His all-powerful hand, by the spirit of revelation through His servants.

Elder Jacob Gates

said in substance: I am always willing to bear testimony to the truth, with considerable of which I have been made conversant, through the Gospel, for the last half century. I have never seen anything that tended to weaken my faith regarding the fulfilment of the predictions of the Prophets relating to events of this dispensation.

            A peculiarity of this dispensation is that we have been commanded to be clean and come out from the world, with which we cannot fuze. We have to take a sure and direct course and take what the world has to give us. We are now experiencing what was promised the Saints fifty years ago. I heard Hyrum Smith predict the situation when he was on trial before Judge King. He said that at that time it was a State persecution. In time it would become national. I look for the time when Jehovah shall remove every barrier that stands in the way of the Saints' enjoying every right and privilege the Lord designs they should possess. I say to the Latter-day Saints, move on to victory. There is no need to be discouraged. The destruction of "Mormonism" has been predicted from its organization, but every effort in that direction has failed. and history will in that respect be repeated.

Elder B. H. Roberts

said in substance: I feel grateful for the privileges we now possess and the favorable auspices under which we are enabled to engage in the exercises of this Conference. There is enough to inspire gratitude in the hearts of the latter-day Saints if they but pause to consider what they enjoy. Besides spiritual blessings we have those of a temporal character, which alone are exceedingly precious. The winter has been severe and some losses have occurred in consequence, yet there is abundance of food and clothing for all. Copious snows have been stored up in the mountains, presaging a plenteous coming harvest. There are not the want, misery and perplexity here that are in other communities. The Saints have been preserved from many evils that exist in other communities and have measurably kept themselves free from the entanglements resulting from the credit system. This freedom from the cause that makes the many become the servants of the few is a result of listening to the counsel of the servants of God.

            We have other blessings to be grateful for. It is not long since the stand at gatherings of this kind was almost vacant, causing a spirit of loneliness to prevail. Now nearly all of the presiding brethren are in their accustomed places. For this I thank God.

            The experience of the last few years, like that of the past sixty years, gives us confidence that this work will not be destroyed by the cunning of its assailants. Mob force cannot destroy it, as that process failed when the numbers of the church were but few. Of late we have seen the combined wisdom of wise men applied for its destruction, yet the Church remains unmoved, not as a quorum displaced, and not an indentation on the armor which encases the good ship Zion. I have often thought how gloomy was the prospect before the Former-day Saints to whom the spirit of prophesy manifested that there would be a falling away. In our day we have been given the assurance that the Kingdom shall not be destroyed nor given to another people. The Lord will chasten us, if needful, and repeat the experience until the desired effect is produced, but the Kingdom is indestructible. It cannot be removed from the face of the earth. If there is danger to the work of God, it does not proceed from outside enemies. It arises from individuals who compose it. While it shall remain intact, many who are identified with it may fall. Having escaped from those who formerly threatened our destruction and come to these valleys, a flood comes upon us, that our disintegration may be encompassed. This flood is one of wickedness, from which, until late years, we have been measurably free. In the past, extremes of wealth and poverty have been rare. This condition is changing and the situation is becoming similar to that which exists in other communities. There is danger of this change, to say the least. Wealth and luxury are pouring into the laps of the Saints. These are more dangerous, because more insinuating, than the opposition and poverty. All should be on their guard against the allurements of wealth. The temptations to the young to break the Sabbath and indulge in other practices that are in conflict with the Gospel of the Son of God are increasing. They lead to spiritual death. It is well for the saints to contemplate the reason for their gathering to these valleys. It was not that they might surround themselves with wealth and luxury, but to be free from the evils of the world and to be taught in the ways of the Lord.

Elder Joseph E. Taylor.

            I have a testimony concerning the work which God has planted upon the earth. I have faith in it. It is credited to President Brigham Young that he said, when the people first entered this valley he hoped they should be left in peace for at least ten years to enable them to gather strength. The Prophet Joseph Smith not only himself received the fulness of the keys of the Priesthood, but he conveyed them to others, that the work of redemption for the living and the dead might be conducted uninterruptedly. That labor cannot be stopped, as it is progressive and continuous. While inclined to chafe under the effects of opposition, we should remember that we are gaining experience which we could not obtain by any other process. We should never forget that no matter how bitterly we are assailed, it is not justifiable for the Saints to cherish enmity toward those who persecute them. Elder Taylor continued to show the necessity for the servants of God who preside to possess the unbounded confidence of the people. The labors and devotion of those men were of a nature to entitle them to this support. They were imbued with, and directed the affairs of the Church by the spirit and power of God.

            The choir sung the anthem:

O be joyful.

            Adjourned till 2 p. m.

            Benediction by Counselor Daniel H. Wells.

_____

[4 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 40:527-529, 4/12/90, p 15-17]

AFTERNOON SESSION.

            Re-assembled at 2 p.m..

            The choir sang:

O Jesus! The Giver Of all we enjoy,
Our lives to Thy honor We wish to employ.

            Prayer by President A. O. Smoot, of Utah Stake.

            Singing:

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, Uttered or unexpressed
The motion of a hidden fire That trembles in the breast.

Counselor John W. Young.

            It has always been a question with me whether a person called unawares or by previous arrangement to address a public congregation feels the more at ease. However that may be, it is always a duty to respond when the call comes.

            Many of those present have come from distant places to engage in a common worship and listen to instructions from God's servants. We are a peculiar people, especially on the ground that we are sincere. By this statement I do not wish to cast a reflection upon any other classes of religionists. There are among other communities many who use their religion as a mere convenience, but they have no depth nor sincerity of belief. There are some, of course, who are honest in their professions but they are in the minority. Brother Morgan stated this morning that persons had stated to him that the world had had enough of "Mormonism." It would be more proper to state that the world contend that they had had enough religion of any kind. The people abroad know but little of the principles of "Mormonism." So far as they have had information regarding it, they have repudiated it.

            This should not slacken our efforts as propagandists. We have been so constantly and necessarily engaged in temporal affairs that our spirituality has been curtailed. This condition causes some of us to imagine that the work of proselyting has been almost completed. On the contrary there are many strangers who come among us who do not understand anything about the real doctrines of the Gospel. Means should be devised and used for this labor of spreading the truth. We are no longer isolated, and the increase of wealth seems to cause us to lose sight of the missionary work, so necessary to spread a knowledge of the Gospel. There should be a more liberal use of means to supply the Elders with printed matter to be scattered abroad, instead of the missionaries, in many instances, being under the necessity of purchasing their own pamphlets. The same liberal disposition should be exhibited in the matter of sustaining the families of those who are engaged in the work of the ministry.

            There are temporal considerations that would insure work to all who desire to labor. If there was an organization commensurate for the attainment of that end, there appears no reason why all workmen, skilled and unskilled, should not be employed at proper prices. We have not had many products which could be exported, and in that regard we have largely depended upon the opening and development of mines. Any labor organization that might exist here should be independent of associations of that nature at a distance. Those who are in Pennsylvania are not in a position to know what steps would be best for workmen in Utah. The circumstances surrounding the people here are different to those existing elsewhere. To allow, the skill and ability acquired by the people in the countries from whence they came to go to waste, not being exercised, is against the principles of genuine economy. We are gathered in a conference capacity to receive instruction on temporal as well as spiritual considerations.

            The gathering together of this people for a common interest is one of the miracles of the age. It is such a phenomenon as does not exist anywhere else. although coming from the different parts of the earth, we have no nationality, being fraternized by a great common object. We are, because of the principles we have espoused, not only a homogeneous people, but a loyal people. We believe in the intuitions of the American government and uphold the principles upon which they were founded. Our loyalty goes deeper and spreads wider than that of any other people. We understand that this country was discovered and settled for the attainment of a divine purpose. We believe that the framers of the Constitution were inspired when they formulated it, causing them to produce an instrument which, if lived up to, would preserve the liberties of all citizens equally.

            I pray that the spirit of God may be poured out upon us, that we may understand the instructions imparted. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

Apostle Abraham H. Cannon

addressed the Conference. Following is the substance of his remarks: I have felt very much to rejoice in the testimonies which have been borne to the Gospel by our brethren. My heart is full of gratitude to God in that I have been permitted to live in this day and to hear and accept the Gospel. I trust that I may be among those who will be able to stand with this work in its final triumph. If there is one lesson more than another which the Lord has sought to impress on His people and upon the world, it is that He alone will have the glory for the triumph of Zion, that He in the carrying out of His purposes is not under the necessity of asking the counsel of men, but is fully able to perform all that is predicted concerning Zion and the work of the latter days. There is no greater truth than that which was announced by President Woodruff this morning, that our strength, our power our hope, is in God and not in men. If we, as individuals, succeed in obtaining celestial glory, it will be through the mercy which He shows unto us, His weak and erring children.

            The Prophet Joseph Smith was untaught in religious matters and in the things of the world; he was unskilled in the arts of man; but he had within him an honest heart, a clear conscience, and possessed that great attribute which is necessary to the success of any man who engages in God's work -- willing obedience to that which was commanded of him. When he sought to know the will of God concerning his future action and course in life, the Lord had mercy upon him and revealed to him His mind and will with respect to the people of the earth, and through him established this Gospel in which we, as Latter-day Saints rejoice. He chose one of the weak instruments of the earth to bring to naught the wisdom of men and to confound the mighty in their plans and judgments. He empowered Joseph smith to commence a work which is to extend throughout the countless ages of eternity, and which is to bring salvation or condemnation to every human being. The Lord sustained the Prophet Joseph through all the trials of his life, and raised up friends to assist him in this work.

            Let us cultivate the Spirit of God and not set up our own wisdom against that of the Almighty or the counsels of His servants. Apostacies may occur in the Church as they have before, men in high places may fall; but the fact remains that the Church of Christ will stand, and this great work will go on despite all the obstacles and difficulties which may beset it. Let us be true and faithful to our covenants and the blessing of God will assuredly rest upon us and our labors in His cause.

Apostle Anton H. Lund

said in substance: I have enjoyed listening to the testimonies borne and teachings given by the brethren. The prediction to the effect that this work should be a marvel and a wonder has been fulfilled. This can be comprehended when the nature of this work, then in its inception, sixty years ago is compared to its present status. Those who were connected with the Church when it was organized looked forward to this day and were glad. The prophecies of Joseph have been partly fulfilled and the remainder will also be verified. He was told that his name should be known for good and evil throughout the earth, and that the Book of Mormon, the record of the ancient inhabitants of this continent should be revealed and published abroad and be a means of manifesting the Gospel in greater plainness. There has been no necessity to change any of the principles inculcated in the plan of salvation, because, being true, they are eternal. Joseph was shown by the power of God that those who embraced the Gospel should gather from the nations of the earth, and he predicted that the Church should remove to the Rocky Mountains. These things have all been fulfilled, and it is a marvelous work.

            It is true that men have apostatized, that men high in authority have fallen, but that is no proof that this work is not of God. Some of those men who followed the Prophet Joseph Smith were called to assist him did not remain faithful; but one thing is evident to all those who study the matter, that those witnesses to the Book of Mormon, those who published their names to the world, all adhered to their testimony; they never recanted or took it back. They did not dare to deny; and although cut off from the Church, we find that they would still give their testimony to the world that they had seen the plates from which this work was translated. Some persons may ask, "How is it possible that men who had seen angels and had such a testimony could fall away from the Church, as these men did?" Men may see angels and have revelations, and as long as they obey the whisperings of the Holy Spirit they will not apostatize, but when they begin to feel that they have strength enough in themselves, and fail to acknowledge God as their Helper, then they cannot stand.

            My testimony is that God as established His work upon the earth and will carry it to a successful issue; that this is the kingdom as was predicted, and that we will see the Lord fulfil His promises to His Saints. We have nothing to fear, and as President Woodruff told us this morning, we need not be troubled. God is at the helm and will steer the good ship Zion into a safe harbor.

Apostle Mariner W. Merrill

spoke in substance as follows:

            I have had many reflections today in looking back over our history. I was not personally connected with the history of the Church before coming to this country, but I have been somewhat familiar with that of our people since 1853, that being the year I came to America. I have attended many Conferences in this city -- in the old tabernacle here, in the old Bowery, and more recently in this building. I have been led to ask myself the question, Where are our brethren whom we saw upon the stand in years gone by? Where is President Young, Jedediah M. Grant, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, Orson Pratt and other Apostles? Many of those present have perhaps heard these men bear faithful testimony to this work, they having been identified with it from the beginning. But they have gone on the other side of the veil, where they are actively engaged in promulgating the Gospel of the Son of God.

            It has been said by some people in recent years -- by those who know not our people, our methods and designs -- that those men whom I have just named were not loyal to the government of our country, that they encouraged bloodshed, anarchy and opposition to law. I, for one, having had personal acquaintance with our deceased brethren, know that these statements are untrue. They were not only loyal to the government, but faithful and true to their Church and people. They sought the welfare and salvation of the Saints and of the whole world. During the settlement of the north by the Saints, where we were surrounded by the Indians, people hostile to us, when some of our brethren were actually slain, President Young's advice to the Saints was this: "Do not shed their blood; it is not our mission , it is not our calling to shed the blood of our fellows. Feed them rather than to fight them." This has been the policy of our leaders all the time, both in the north and in the south, and among all the people scattered throughout this land -- to save, not to destroy, the lives of men.

            We are called upon to build Temples; but we learn in the sacred book that David was not permitted to build a Temple because he was a man of war and bloodshed. The Lord does not require his people to shed the blood of their fellow-men, but He requires them to have a crown of light set upon a hill, to the God-fearing, honest, straight-forward and upright in all the affairs of life -- an example to all the world.

            We are assembled here today from various States and Territories, to hear the word of the Lord through His servants. If we want a good conference and to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord we must come in to this building humbly and peacefully, seeking to know the Lord and to hear His voice through his servants. The Lord has been very merciful to us ever since we first came into this place, when it was an unfruitful desert. He has blessed this land of Zion to us, and will preserve it until He sees fit that we should go somewhere else. We must not, however, set our hearts upon the things of the world to the neglect of those duties required of us as the servants of God.

            I exhort you all to seek the Lord earnestly, that you may know that God lives, that this work is true, that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, that Brigham Young and John Taylor were Prophets of God, great and good men and filled with the power of God, as also are these who live after them. God revealed this work to me when I was but a child and I bear record of it today. Do not depend upon parents or those around you, but know the Lord for yourselves, so that you may be able to give the reason for the hope that is within you of eternal life.

President Wilford Woodruff

            Said: Before the close of the meeting I have a request I want to make of these Apostles, these High Priests, Seventies and Elders, and the Lesser Priesthood and all the Latter-day Saints who have any communion with God or with the Holy Ghost. Brother Merrill has been talking of revelation. If there was ever a time since God made the world that the inhabitants of the earth needed revelation, it is today. Now, the Lord has given us the stick of Judah -- the law of God to the Jews -- which reaches down to our day and generation, and which shows us their history and has told us what would come to pass with them and what will come to pass in the future. So has the Lord given us the stick of Ephraim -- the stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim -- giving the history of the inhabitants of this continent and what shall take place in the last days. I hold in my hands a code of revelation (the Book of Doctrine and Covenants) given to Joseph Smith, the Prophet. There are some of the most sublime revelations in that book God ever gave to any generation, or to any prophet or people under heaven. This book of revelations, like other records, will go down to the end of time and into eternity. These revelations give you the whole history of the celestial kingdom, of the terrestrial kingdom and of the telestial Kingdom of our God. But we want revelation every day. Well, you say, the President of the Church should give revelation. Yes, it is true, the President holds the keys of giving revelation to the Latter-day Saints. But is he alone to give revelation? No, verily, not. There is not an Apostle in this Church, there is not an Elder in this Church that stands up in this congregation to teach this people, but should be full of revelation. Here is where your revelation should come -- from those who teach you day by day.

            How many revelations did Brigham Young give that were written to the people? Very few. How many has John Taylor given that were written to the people? Very few. How many has Wilford Woodruff given? Very few. We have had some, though not revealed to the people, perhaps, or published.

            But we want revelation every day. And I want these Apostles and these Saints to go before the Lord in your secret places and ask Him to pour out revelations upon this people, that we may give you the word of the Lord while we are with you, and that these Apostles, when they speak, may speak by the power of God, by the Holy Ghost. Then that will be the word of the Lord, it will be scriptures, it will be the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believes. God bless you. Amen.

Gently lead us, Lord, O gently lead us,

was sung by Sister Maud E. Pratt and the choir.

            Adjourned till tomorrow at 10 a.m.

            Benediction by Patriarch John Smith.

_____

[5 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 40:529-530, 4/12/90, p 17-18]

SECOND DAY.

_____

Saturday, April 5th, 10 a.m.

            Singing by the choir:

Softly beams the sacred dawning Of the great Millennial morn,
And to Saints gives welcome warning That the day is hastening on.

            Prayer by Elder David H. Cannon.

            The choir sang:

How are Thy servants blessed, O Lord! How sure is their defense!
Eternal wisdom is their guide, Their help Omnipotence.

Apostle John W. Taylor

addressed the conference, the following being the substance of what he said: I desire the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that all may be edified by what is uttered. I have been thinking about the remarks made yesterday by President Woodruff in relation to the operations of the Spirit of God. It is a spirit of revelation, imparting that knowledge necessary to the individual according to the sphere in which he moves. I am reminded of an incident that occurred yesterday. I telephoned for an individual with whom I wished to communicate. The answer was that he was "engaged." This response was repeated several times. Finally I concluded to abandon the telephone and pay my friend a personal visit. Is it not so that we are sometimes so much engaged in the pursuit of mammon that the Spirit leaves us? A sister who died appeared in a vision to a young Lamanite in Nephi, as she had something to tell. She stated that her own children were so engrossed in business that she could not communicate with them. The more I am engaged in temporal things the darker is my mind, but when employed in spiritual matters I am correspondingly brighter. One peculiarity about the speaking of the Elders is that they generally bear testimony that this Church was organized by Divine authority. I have the same witness, and testify to it. I pray that I may have strength to endure to the end. I expect to witness much opposition against this people, but I expect to see the Kingdom of God pass safely through it all. I testify to strangers that if they will accept of Christ as the Redeemer, repent of their sins, be baptized for the remission of the same that they will receive the Holy Ghost. The speaker, in conclusion, made some remarks about people disposing of their property by a process of proxy. He expressed himself to the effect that those who imagined they could hide themselves under the cloak of some one else would find the garment was not large enough for two.

Apostle Heber J. Grant

was the next speaker. I am pleased to have the opportunity of once more meeting with the Latter-day Saints in a general Conference. I rejoice in the testimony of the Gospel, and it is a constant and earnest prayer of mine that I may at all times have the inspiration, light and spirit of our Heavenly Father dwelling within me to the extent that I may never depart from the principles of truth or plan of life and salvation which we have espoused.

            We, as Latter-day Saints, have very great cause to be thankful for the many manifestations of the goodness and mercy of our God. Let us strive with all the ability that we possess to obtain sufficient intelligence, light and knowledge from our Heavenly Father to enable us to keep in the path of duty. Many of us feel that we are firm in the knowledge of the Gospel, and that there is very little fear of the trials of life turning us from the truth. At the same time, we should thoroughly understand that in no single day or hour of our lives would we be able to stand alone and maintain the testimony of the Gospel without the light and inspiration of the Spirit of God. It is not the visitation of angels, association with the Prophet Joseph Smith, or any of the open manifestations of the Spirit of God which causes men to be faithful; it is their own diligence and faithfulness in keeping the commandments of God.

            There is but one straight path before us, that of duty. If we conscientiously fulfil the obligations and duties resting upon us there is little danger of our stumbling. I pray God to bless you and inspire you all with His Holy Spirit. I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know for myself that we are engaged in the work of God. I pray that this testimony may ever remain with me and each and all who possess it, and that those who have it not may strive their utmost to gain it.

Apostle John Henry Smith

addressed the congregation; I regard these conferences as being a source of comfort and strength to the Saints. The people come from every part of the land occupied by members of the Church and hear the instructions imparted. They are thus enabled to carry the influence and effect of the instructions to the people whom they represent. The Church is growing so large that it is becoming impractical for the leading authorities to mingle a great deal with the people. The labors of the Apostles are largely confined to visiting the Stakes and attending their conferences. The multifarious duties of the First Presidency greatly engross their attention and prevent them going about to any extent among the Saints.

            As has been said there need be no fears regarding the fate and destiny of the work. With regard to individuals it is different. Men are liable to step aside from the path of duty. The mission of the work of God, however, cannot be prevented in its accomplishment. We are called to be laborers in it. We are on the good ship Zion. It will reach a safe harbor, but before its arrival in the haven many may be washed overboard. We have been inclined to lose sight of the necessity of complying with the laws in reference to tithes and offerings. So with regard to many other duties which are classed as lesser requirements, but which are all essential. Many seem to be willing and anxious to receive their blessings in the House of the Lord, who fail to take a course that justly entitles them to those great privileges. There should be a reformation in many respects. There are men in high station who use things that the Lord has said are not good for man, and should be refrained from -- such as strong drink and tobacco. Some neglect their prayers and in other ways wound the Spirit of God, causing that holy influence to leave them. I anticipate that when the brethren, as a whole, shall be ready to discard the use of tobacco alone, our Father will more abundantly bless us. The question with us is whether we will, by our works, cause our names to be written in the Lamb's book of life; There are many allurements to lead us from the course that will make our calling and election sure. I pray that we may completely fill the measure of the mission entrusted to us.

Apostle Francis M. Lyman

followed. He said in substance: I feel it is one of the greatest privileges to meet with the Latter-day Saints in General Conference, to listen to the words of exhortation and the testimony given to us by the servants of the Lord.

            In the history of this people it has been thought at different times that if the successful leaders of the Church, commencing with the Prophet Joseph Smith, should pass away there would be an end to "Mormonism." Our former leaders did pass away, but other men were selected to fill their places, to be the standard bearers for the time, and the work of the Lord has progressed and increased. It has been thought, also, that if the Church could be separated from the State there would be an end to the former. But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not depend upon the power of any man or any certain number of men; nor does it depend upon any political power for its strength; for if every vestige of political power were to be taken from the people in this Territory or in any other part of the United States, it would not effect this Church in the least, because its organization is as independent of the State as any other Church. Though there may have been a feeling lurking in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints that if their political power were removed from them the Church would be broken to pieces and destroyed, such would not be the case. Although as a people we have been deprived of this power to quite an extent in Idaho, in Ogden, in Summit, and elsewhere, it will be found that the present is one of the largest, if not the largest, Conference ever held here, and that the Saints will continue to increase in numbers and faith.

            The work of the Lord in the establishment of His Church stands firmer today than ever it has stood before. Its chances are better and the faith of the people is stronger. The Brethren who bear the Priesthood, from the first to the last, are better established today in the gospel, all the experiences, changes and vicissitudes through which they have passed having tended to purify and stimulate them in the Gospel faith. Though sometimes there may be lethargy and carelessness on the part of the Saints, yet when we travel among them from place to place we find that, with all their weaknesses and failings, there is a love for the truth abiding in them; and if the occasion should arise, they would be ready to sacrifice anything in the world in order to sustain the Church and the principles of eternal truth. It is a rare thing to find among the Latter-day Saints one person who will stand out against the truth, who is obstinate and will not yield when shown to be in the wrong.

            Apostle Lyman, in conclusion, earnestly exhorted the Saints to be temperate, and to relinquish the use of tobacco and intoxicants, in obedience to the Word of Wisdom. He pointed out the value of example in these respects, and urged the necessity of a strict observance of the Sabbath day.

Apostle Moses Thatcher

spoke briefly, in substance as follows: I desire to express my gratitude for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. What has been said is in harmony with my views. I bear testimony to their truth. May the Spirit of God continue to be imparted to us. These conference gatherings are refreshing to the spirit and a delight to the soul. The people have not come together in vain. They will not go away empty. Many thoughts have passed through my mind. Some are of a conflicting nature. I have wondered what would be a proper course for our leaders under the present circumstances surrounding us. If we will follow our file leaders as they follow Christ, our path will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. We must not expect the people to listen to us unless we listen to those who lead us. I am reminded that after his tribulation, Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, obtained wealth and power. While Abraham was comparatively poor and a humble servant of God and obeyed Him in all things, the Lord afterwards made him wealthy. There is no harm in wealth, but there is in the love of it. When the heart is hardened and the conscience seared, the danger is great. I have thought of the course of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and John Taylor. They did not devote all their time to temporalities, but part of it to spiritualities and a part to temporal things. It is only when we depart from equity and justice that the Holy Spirit leaves us. The danger is not in the possession of wealth, but in oppressing our fellow beings. Z.C.M.I. was not organized by President Young to enable him to accumulate wealth, but for the substantial benefit of the people. So with other enterprises in which he engaged. When I have thought of the financial enterprises with which our leading brethren are associated and the heavy burdens thus placed upon them, I have concluded that we who have been called to be ministers of salvation should not [be] so extensively connected with financial matters. The leading authorities are employed from fifteen to eighteen hours a day, and in giving counsel in ninety-nine out of a hundred instances it is on temporal matters rather than those that are spiritual. I did not come to these mountains to accumulate wealth, and, for one, I would rejoice to be relieved, from this time on, form temporalities, and labor, in future, exclusively in preaching the Gospel of salvation. The spirit of speculation is abroad among us and the people make the excuse for their course that their leaders are operating in the same direction. I am willing to be guided in these matters by those who preside, and trust that I shall endure.

            The choir sang:

Come, Spirit, Come.

            Adjourned till 2 p.m.

            Benediction by Elder G. Reynolds.

_____

[5 Apr, 2 pm*]

[DNW 40:530-532, 4/12/90, p 18-20]

AFTERNOON SESSION.

            Re-assembled at 2 p. m.

Great God, attend while Zion sings The joy that from Thy presence springs;
To spend one day with Thee on earth Exceeds a thousand days of mirth.

was sung by the choir.

            Prayer was offered by Elder Rudger Clawson.

            Singing by the choir:

Joy to the world! The Lord will come And earth receive her King:
Let every heart prepare him room And Saints and angels sing.

President Lorenzo Snow

said, in substance: We have been greatly blessed during this conference. The Spirit of the Lord has been poured out upon the speakers and hearers. I feel my inability to say anything particularly instructive unless by the dictations of the Holy Spirit. I feel also that you cannot anticipate any teachings that will do you good unless you have the same Spirit, which it is your privilege to possess. So far as the past is concerned, since our assembling together, the Lord has been as favorable to us as on any similar occasion. It is wonderful to contemplate the progress of the Church since it organization, sixty years ago tomorrow. Have the Saints made progress as rapidly as that exhibited by those similarly called of God in past ages, during the same length of time? It is interesting to contemplate and estimate the abilities we have received from the Lord to continue prosperous notwithstanding the opposing forces that have been brought to bear upon us. No external power can prevent us from attaining to the high destiny marked out for us on the condition of faithfulness. We did not lay out the path to salvation for ourselves. It was delineated by God before the earth was organized. The Lord has seen fit to make known the path. It depends upon ourselves as to whether we continue to travel on that road which leads to celestial glory.

            We need not trouble about the future. Some people express the opinion that the Saints shall go into captivity, by the process of disfranchisement. I do not know whether this will be the case or not. If the Lord had manifested that this would be so, I would not say anything about it, as it would not be wisdom. If we had been made acquainted with the trials through which we have already passed we would have been discouraged. As it is our experience has increased our faith. So in regard to our future. It is wisely obscured from our view. I know what my trials have been; I know not what they will be. On every emergency the Lord has given me needed succor. For this I feel thankful. I have never seen the day when I was discouraged, as I could always see glorious blessings ahead. When we speak of future troubles of this Church, we may be sure it will never be placed in a condition when the members cannot receive the highest blessings of the Almighty according to the demands of circumstances.

            Six hundred years before Christ the Jews became wicked. Their kings, princes and people were given to idolatry. This offended God, being contrary to his mind and law. They even went so far as to burn their children as offerings. The Lord told them that their city should be destroyed and they be led into captivity to remain in that condition 70 years. But God did not desert them. -- He said he would not make an end of them but they should be punished and an end would be made of those who afflicted them. In their captivity they progressed. They built houses and cultivated the soil. Indeed there never was a time when the Israelites had greater prophets than during their captivity. Note, for instance, the works of the Prophet Daniel and those of the three Hebrew children, whose marvelous deliverance has been handed down to us. As it has been so it shall be. In every situation the Latter-day Saints can approach God and receive blessings until they reach a fulness of glory. One singular feature about the captivity was that King Nebuchadnezzar was converted. He was convinced that there was no God but the God of Israel. After Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego had been delivered the King sent forth an edict to the effect that the God of these men should be respected. Those who refused to obey this command should be punished by having their houses destroyed.

            History frequently repeats itself. The Latter-day Saints are accused of many things of which they are innocent. They will yet be understood and their labors appreciated throughout this land. Should the rulers take it into their heads that the Saints have been badly used by being deprived of their liberties without reason or just cause, and should they take a different course than that now pursued, it would be a remarkable thing. What God has done He will do again. He has promised to soften the hearts of the people from time to time, as may answer the consummation of His great purposes. The Lord will not make an end of the people He has called and chosen, but will make an end of the nations of the wicked.

            The testimonies that have been borne that the kingdom of God shall not pass from the hands of the Saints or be given to another people are true. They are borne of the Spirit of God. This work is built on a sure foundation, being founded on the rock of ages. How can such testimonies be overcome, seeing that they are fact? Can they be confuted? Can any people say that it has been revealed to them from the eternal worlds that these testimonies are not true? They cannot. They do not profess to be in possession of such information. No matter who are lost by the way and make shipwreck of their faith, the Church will go on.

            God bless the Latter-day Saints, that His Spirit may be poured out upon us, that we may obtain crowns of glory and dwell in the presence of God.

President George Q. Cannon

addressed the conference. Following is a synopsis of his discourse:

            The remarks which have been made during this conference by the various speakers have been accompanied, as I have no doubt all present feel, by the testimony of the Spirit of God. The Lord is with His people and He gives unto them, when they are living aright, the testimony of His Holy Spirit, by means of which they can know the voice of the true Shepherd, and are able to distinguish the servants of God by their teachings and by the spirit that accompanies their words. We have been told that it is not the privilege of a few to have this testimony alone, but of all who enter into covenant with God, to receive for themselves a knowledge concerning the principles which are taught them.

            In our conferences as well as at all our meetings there should be the plainest talk to the people, inspired by the Spirit of God. Not only should a spirit of counsel and instruction rest upon those who address us, but, if needs be, the spirit of warning and reproof. We have had reproofs administered to us at this conference concerning our methods of life and our habits; and shall the Latter-day Saints take offense at the plainness of these exhortations? No. Whenever the Saints are in the position that they cannot submit to reproof and warning, they are indeed in need of chastisement at the hands of God Himself. Blessed are those who have men in their midst who dare to tell them the truth, however unpleasant that truth may be; There never has been a day within my knowledge when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been without men who had the courage to do this. Brother Joseph Smith was terrible in his rebukes to the people; so was President Brigham Young and other servants of God; and it is necessary that this should be the case. It is not man's wisdom that has governed or directed the affairs of this Church, but the wisdom of Almighty God manifested through his chosen servants.

            Some remarks were made here yesterday in the nature of a warning concerning the increase of wealth in our midst, and the speaker quoted poetry in order to illustrate his views. I myself also thought of two lines which were somewhat applicable:

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay.

            The speaker referred to the dangers attending the increase of wealth and luxury among us; and it is well in this solemn conference for us to take this important subject into careful consideration. We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that a stream of wealth is flowing into the midst of the Latter-day Saints. There are probably widows in this congregation who have hitherto been accustomed to go out gaining their livelihood who are now worth thousands of dollars; and working men, in like manner, find the property of which they are possessed valued at thousands of dollar, approaching in some instances a hundred thousand dollars. What a wonderful change is this! Now the question presents itself to us at this particular time: "What shall we do with this superabundance of wealth which has so quickly come into our possession:" In the Book of Doctrine and Covenants there are more revelations given in the early history of this Church upon this point than upon any other that now suggests itself to my mind. I think a careful examination of the early revelations given to the Prophet Joseph will reveal this fact -- that the Lord operated upon his mind, giving him instructions for the members of His Church respecting temporal matters more than anything else.

            The Church had been organized only a few months when the Prophet's mind was exercised on this subject. Scarcely had the Saints left New York and gone to Ohio than the Lord inspired him and gave him revelations concerning the Church's temporal affairs. We have heard that wealth is a good thing under certain circumstances -- that there is no impropriety in a people being rich, because in ancient days the men of God were rich, and yet were His faithful servants. This is true, but I would like to draw the earnest attention of my brethren to the consideration of this subject. Wealth will never be dangerous to the Latter-day Saints if equally distributed. But if it shall create class distinctions among us -- if it shall lift one class above the other, and give one portion of our community advantages which are not enjoyed by the rest, then instead of its being a blessing to us there will be great danger of its becoming a snare.

            This Gospel was revealed to bless the poor, to save the honest in heart among all nations. One of our brethren spoke yesterday about certain classes of society not having been reached by us, and being heretofore unacquainted with our principles. If, however, they have not known about us, it is because they have closed their eyes and shut their ears. We have pleaded in vain with the rich, while the poor, the humble, the meek and the lowly have been gathered together. I made it a practice during my missions not to pass the house of a rich or prominent man, without going in and telling him the message of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            The revelations of which I have spoken, contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, have for their object among other things the elevation of the poor. A law given to this Church concerning surplus property was that it should be consecrated to the Lord, -- that it should be placed in the hands of the proper authorities to be distributed among those in need belonging to the Church. That law was called the United Order, but the Saints failed to comprehend it; they failed to carry it out practically. Some of them broke their covenants and God pronounced judgment upon them. The result was that the United Order was broken up and the property assigned to those who were members, as a stewardship. After awhile the servants of Go asked a question concerning tithing. The reply came that the people should first give a tenth of their property and one-tenth of their increase from that time forward. That was the last law written, upon this subject.

            I often hear the remark while traveling among the Latter-day Saints, "I wish we could have a United Order among us; it would be so delightful if we could live in that Order." In many instances this has been prompted by the best of feeling; but those who ask it do not comprehend the sacrifices which it would entail. We cannot enter into such an order suddenly. There must be a preparation for it.

            What shall be the course for us to pursue in the present circumstances? Is there faith enough among us to put our surplus means into a treasury fund? We have many great and important duties to perform connected with the work of God. There is a constant cry for means in every direction today. If the Church held under its control a million of dollars this sum could be easily expended in works which would be of the greatest benefit. For instance we have established Church schools in almost every county in this Territory, and attempts are being made to educate all our children at Church schools, academies, or seminaries. There is also some talk of establishing a Stake of Zion in Palestine. Means are required for that also. Besides this, manufactories are needed in our midst to give employment to this people, to sustain the men, women and children who belong to this Church. I feel that this is an opportune time to consider all these things. I should fear, indeed, the accumulation of wealth among us if it were to be kept in the hands of a few.

            We have been threatened as a people with disfranchisement in Utah Territory, and some even say that this is likely to occur. Already there are bills introduced into Congress proposing to take the right of franchise form the Latter-day Saints, regardless of their practices. But I have contemplated this with a good deal of complacency. It has had no terror for me, although I think it would be a terrible outrage; one of the worst things that could be done by a government like ours, because it would stand unparalleled, at least in modern times. I have, however, never liked the distinction of one class of our people having the franchise while another has been deprived of it. I have thought that it would lead to serious results sooner or later unless carefully guarded against, and this gospel will never accomplish its mission until the inequalities have disappeared from among us.

President Woodruff

Stated that it had been customary for some time past to read reports and present the authorities of the Church to the general assembly on the last day of Conference. There would be a departure from that rule this time so as to reserve tomorrow exclusively for preaching, and the presentations would be made this afternoon.

            President George Q. Cannon stated that as some of the Presidents of Stakes had failed to forward their reports, although they had been requested to send them, only an incomplete, general report could be made up, and the reading of it would be dispensed with.

THE RELIEF SOCIETY

report was in every respect complete, as it embodied statements from every Stake in the Church. It exhibited the following totals, which were read by Brother Cannon: It showed 334 branches, with a membership of 16,825. There had been disbursed for charitable purposes, $10,382.90; for buildings, etc., $2,667.18. There is now on hand, cash, $11,997.55; property of various kinds, $18,901.02; real estate, $56,248.15; wheat, 43,081 bushels; cash for wheat, $1,474.6.

            The report was signed by Zina D. H. Young, President; Jane S. Richards, First counselor; Bathsheba W. Smith, Second counselor; Sarah M Kimball, Secretary; Romania B. Pratt, Assistant Secretary and M. Isabella Horne, Treasurer.

            The following summary, showing the number, general condition etc., of

CHURCH SCHOOLS,

was read:

Totals of institutions of Learning:

Colleges          3
Academies       21
Seminaries       5
       
29

            Of these there are in

Utah                23
Idaho               4
Arizona           2
       
29

Students.

Male               2,248
Female             1,689
       
3,937

Teachers.

Principals        29
Regular Teachers             38
Lady Teachers 13
Music Teachers               5
Specialist         1
       
86

Total engaged in this school work 4,823
(Normal students, 136)

Branches of education taught:

Theology,                                Geometry,
Rhetoric,                                  Trigonometry,
Grammar,                                Calculus,
Elocution                                 Book-keeping
Reading                                   Astronomy.
Orthography,                           Geology,
Arithmetic,                              Physical Geography,
Algebra,                                  Geography
Physics,                                   General History,
Chemistry,                               U. S. History,
Physiology,                             Latin,
Hygiene,                                  French,
Natural History                       German,
Biology,                                  Spanish,
Civil Government
Vocal Music,                           Penmanship
Instrumental Music                 Calisthenics,
Drawing,                                 Phonography.

To normals -- Theory and Practice of Teaching

THE AUTHORITIES

were then presented for the votes of the assembly as follows:

            Wilford Woodruff, 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.

            Lorenzo Snow as President of the Twelve apostles.

            As members of the Council of the Twelve Apostles -- Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John H. Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mariner W. Merrill, Anton H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon.

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

            The Counselors in the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles, with their Counselors, as Prophets, Seers and Revelators.

            Patriarch to the Church: John Smith.

            First Seven Presidents of the Seventies: Henry Herriman, Jacob Gates, Seymour B. Young, C. D. Fjeldsted, John Morgan and B. H. Roberts.

            At this point President Cannon stated that there was a vacancy in the Presiding Council of the Seventies. George Reynolds was nominated and elected to fill it.

            Wm. B. Preston as Presiding Bishop, with Robert T. Burton as his First and John R. Winder as his Second Counselor.

            Franklin D. Richards as Church Historian and General Church Recorder.

            John Jaques as Assistant Church Historian and General church Recorder.

            Joseph Don Carlos Young, as General Church architect.

            John Nicholson as Clerk of the Conference.

            Arthur Winter as Church reporter.

            As the Church Board of Education: Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Karl G. Maeser, Willard Young, George W. Thatcher, Amos Howe, Anton H. Lund, James Sharp.

            The vote to sustain the brethren named in their several offices and callings was unanimous throughout.

            The choir sang:

An Angel from on high, The long, long silence broke.

            Adjourned till Sunday, April 6th.

            Benediction by Elder John Nicholson.

_____

[5 Apr, 7 pm]

[WWJ 9:89]

            The Priesthood Meeting was held Saturday Evening April 5. K G Maeser spoke 35 Minutes on Education. G. Q. Cannon spoke 35 Minutes. W. Woodruff spoke 15 Minutes.

[George Q. Cannon]

[DNW 40:655, 5/10/90, p 15; CD 2:38-44]

REMARKS

_____

By President George Q. Cannon at a General Priesthood meeting
held in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Saturday evening, april 5th, 1890.

_____

      From Brothers Karl G. Maeser and James E. Talmage we have heard good reports and excellent talk concerning our Church schools. Certainly, their remarks are very encouraging, and the success which has attended the effort to establish these schools is of the most gratifying character to the General Board of Education. We have felt that God was with us in this effort, and that the Latter-day Saints have had the spirit of it and have met the expression of feeling concerning the movement with hearty responses. I do not know any theme upon which we can grow more enthusiastic, if we would allow our minds to contemplate the future, than this subject that has been mentioned this evening-the education of our children.

      The Latter-day Saints have suffered as no other people, at least in our generation, have for their religion. We have forsaken all things, it may be said, in order to obey the mandates of God as revealed in the principles of the Gospel. We have taken joyfully the spoiling of our goods, the driving from our homes, and everything of this character, for the sake of the Gospel which the Lord has revealed. Today, Elders go out for two and three years at a time, and they spend these years away from home preaching the Gospel, without remuneration of a pecuniary character, and think themselves exceedingly fortunate if they are the means of bringing a few score of souls to the knowledge of the truth. This has been the case for many many years. I have heard in this Tabernacle, many times, as you all have doubtless, discourses delivered by our most accomplished Elders, full of the Spirit of the Lord, incontrovertible in argument, founded upon the scriptures in such a manner that no one could dispute them. Hundreds of strangers have been present and heard them; yet how many of them have embraced the Gospel? If there have been a dozen, I do not know them. Of late years, our efforts in preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles have not been very fruitful of results. Our Elders have gone abroad and preached diligently. They have encountered great opposition and have many times submitted to great hardships. It is reported to us that some have had to sleep out of doors, because they could find no place in which to lodge. Now, right around us are thousands upon thousands of spirits which have come pure from the eternal throne of our God. They have come here free from tradition and ready to receive instructions such as shall be imparted unto them. I suppose that it is not overstating the matter to say that there are within the circle of our influence and operations somewhere in the vicinity of seventy-five thousand children of school age. I have not consulted the reports lately, but in the Sunday schools we consider that there are between fifty and sixty thousand children enrolled. Think of the immense influence which sixty thousand children, properly educated, will have in the earth, if we will furnish them with the facilities that are within our reach. Why, it is stupendous, the mere thought of so many children being trained and indoctrinated in our principles, as they are in our schools, and a foundation laid of faith in God; then upon that great foundation a superstructure reared of an understanding of the principles of the Gospel, and combined with that, a knowledge of science as well as of the ordinary branches of education. Just think of it, you Elders who have gone out in former days, having been called from the plow, from the anvil, from the carpenter's bench and from other laborious occupations. Think how you felt when you realized how ignorant you were of those things that the world considered necessary. Now we have these facilities within our reach. We have the opportunity of giving to our children this instruction, and it is more valuable than all the money that can be given to a child. I have asked some of my children (I have some ten or twelve of them going to the academy here) which branch of the study they like best. Every time I have asked the question the reply has been, Theology. This is very delightful to me, to think that children can have theology taught them so that they will take more interest in that than in any other branch of study; for as theology is in the world it is the most dry, and repulsive, I might say, study to which application can be made. Of course there are exceptions.

      Every five years, a new generation of children is launched, so to speak, into the field. Take a child from thirteen to eighteen years of age and during that period the character is formed, and you can give direction to the mind in such a manner that it will influence all future life. It is not necessary to dwell upon the strictness with which Catholics cling to education. They comprehend this better, probably, than any other sect. They recognize the importance of indoctrinating their children while they are young in the principles of their religion; for experience has taught them that when they do this the children will not depart from those principles. You scarcely ever find a Catholic who becomes an atheist or an infidel. It is Protestantism that is breeding infidels-Protestantism which denies the Priesthood and other true principles, in its anxiety to destroy Catholicism and its influence over the minds of its adherents. The result is, among the Protestants atheism flourishes, while among Catholics it can scarcely be found. It is true, in Catholic countries there is great carelessness in many instances, and they practice many things which we think are very irreligious and contrary to the principles of righteousness. Nevertheless, their religion never loses its hold upon them; they cling to it, and before they die they generally try to make peace with the church. This is the consequence of early training.

      We should profit by this. There is no direction, according to my view, (and I speak my own views about this) in which we can expend means more judiciously and with greater results to us, as a people, than in the building of school houses and the furnishing of them with everything necessary to provide good education. Today, in this city, rich as we are, there is not money enough derived from our college to pay our teachers. The Salt Lake Stake Board applied to us a few days ago and said that they were so embarrassed that they could not carry on the school unless some assistance was rendered them. Not only that, the rooms that are used are inconvenient, they are inappropriate, they cannot be used to the best advantage, and a great many children have to be turned away because of the lack of accommodation. This is a sad thing in a city like Salt Lake, with the wealth that we have.

      I suppose more would have been done in this direction had it not been for waiting to hear what the decision of the Supreme Court would be in regard to our property. Our attorneys are unsettled themselves as to the best method of securing property that may be given for educational purposes. On this account a number who have promised funds have withheld them until something of a reliable character can be reached concerning the best method of holding them. But, brethren, we can at least give the interest of that which we intend to donate, that it may go towards supporting this school. Our schools should not languish in this city, nor in any of our counties. There should be a liberal response, a willingness to endow these schools, and put them in a position where they can grow and furnish the education that is so desirable to our children. I desire to see such colleges established in our land, and such proficient teachers obtained by these colleges, that there will be no necessity for any of our young men or young women to go elsewhere to gain a knowledge of any branch of learning, no matter what it may be. And I think the time is not far distant when this consummation can be reached if we will foster these institutions of learning and encourage our teachers. At the present time there is a great lack of competent teachers. But we have a large number of young men who are very bright, and under the influences that prevail here, with our temperate habits, with the strength of intellect which God gives unto those who pursue lives of righteousness, I think it will not be long, with the stimulus there is at the present, before we shall have a corps of teachers that will not be excelled anywhere in this land, because we have the element here out of which to create them, under the blessings of God. But we need school rooms. We need good buildings that are adapted to the wants of the children. We need means with which to erect these and to endow them.

      This brings me to another subject. The General Board of Education have appealed twice, I think, to the Council of the First Presidency and Twelve for funds, that the board might have means with which to aid the struggling institutions that exist throughout the country. It has been with some degree of reluctance, considering the great desire on the part of every member of the Council to see education promoted, that what has been needed has been supplied, for the reason that the calls upon the Church are so numerous and of so varied a character that there has been a fear that we might be embarrassed and not be able to meet the obligations that we are taking upon ourselves. Those of you who have kept abreast of the news of the day know pretty well concerning our situation as a Church. Some have said-and it flew in my face while I was talking this afternoon, what I had heard that other folks had said about our property-"Why didn't we devote this property that has been confiscated in this direction and the other direction, instead of letting it be seized?" I know there is room, under all circumstances, for people to find fault. But I can say for President Taylor that while he lived he was determined that if this nation wished to put itself on record by taking our property, he was going to give them the opportunity to do so; and I do not know but it is just as good a test as anything; it makes history, and I do not think we shall be any poorer for it. I feel, however, that one lesson of this kind is sufficient. I think that hereafter, instead of allowing any property to accumulate that is going to be in danger of being seized, we had better spend it in schools, in charitable institutions, in works of benevolence, or in any direction that may be necessary, either in putting means into factories and other operations that will give employment to the poor or in rearing other institutions that shall be a benefit to the whole people. I would rather see our means go in this direction than to have it appropriated again by our enemies. One mobbing is enough. If the Lord is satisfied with it, I think it is sufficient for the rest of us.

      The fact is, no matter if all that we give as tithing were to be taken, the obligation to pay our tithing still remains upon us. When we were driven out of Missouri into Illinois and the people were stripped of their property, the obligation still rested upon the people, though they knew they might be driven again, to go and build Nauvoo and rear a temple there. Many people might have said, "What folly it is for you to build that temple when you know that your enemies are going to drive you out." In fact, every one that was well advised knew that the time was near at hand when we should abandon that city and that temple. Yet the Latter-day Saints worked as they never had before on any public building, to build the temple sufficient to fulfill the commandments of God. In like manner, if we knew (though I do not think we do know; I do not) that our tithing was going to be taken again, I do not think it would release us from the obligation to pay our tithing, and to pay it honestly and truthfully; and not only to pay our tithing, but to pay a surplus if we can. A man should not be content to pay his tithing alone. That is but a small thing. He should do more than this, if he is able, and if he wants to prepare himself for those things that await us, and for that law the carrying out of which is in the future, but which God has revealed unto us in plainness. I know those of us who have large families, it makes our heads ache sometimes to know how we are going to provide for them and what we shall do in this direction and in the other. I know that these are great and serious burdens that rest upon us all, to a greater or less extent. But if we have our hearts set upon doing what is right, the Lord is able to multiply our increase and our basket and store. I can testify to you this night that He is able to do this. I know it by personal experience. He will increase us if we are liberal. The liberal man, as the prophet has said, deviseth liberal things, and by his liberality he shall stand. So it shall be in earthly things. If we are liberal, if we are wise stewards in the management of earthly things, and are liberal with the Lord, how easy it is for Him to turn things into our way and to increase our substance in a manner that is unexpected to us. I know that He can do this, and you all know it just as well as I do. Many times when we have been out in the world we did not know how to get a little something, probably a garment, or a pair of shoes, or some other article of dress that we needed; we were among poor people, and I suppose some of us have felt like that lord of whom we read in the scriptures, who, when the Prophet Elisha declared that on the morrow a measure of fine flour should be sold for a shekel, said, "Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?" He did not know how such a thing could be unless God did open the windows of heaven. But it was fulfilled, though he did not live to partake of it, because he was trampled upon and died. God is able in marvelous ways to turn things in our way. If we look after the good of our fellows, if we have our hearts as broad as we can make them for the work of God, and think about it instead of aggrandizing ourselves and letting our thoughts dwell upon our own interests, God will, just as sure as we live, pour out blessings upon us and increase our substance and give us means; for He can do so with safety when we are in that condition; but He loves us too well to do this under our present circumstances. I heard the Prophet Joseph say that he knew where there was any amount of gold, and he said the time would come when the Latter-day Saints would have all the gold they wanted, whenever they got in that condition that they would not set their affections upon it.

      Now we are likely to be tempted, and some are, with an abundance of means. I suppose some of the Latter-day Saints would say, I would like to be tried a little in that direction. But there is danger in this feeling; there is danger of luxury and of pride. God has revealed a plan, however, that will save us from this danger if we will adopt it. If we will follow His counsel, we will be saved from the evils that have damned the world and that would damn this Church if they should be allowed to exist in it. I cannot look forward to the triumph of Zion under the present system that prevails in the financial world, with the methods which abound of making money and of living. Such system has been the ruin of every people who have lived under it. There is no nation can stand it; no church can stand it. We cannot stand the increase of wealth among us while we remain in our present condition, making money for ourselves and our families only, as is the custom in the world from which we are gathered. We would become proud and the power of God would leave us. This Church is founded to make a people that shall be equal before the Lord-equal in temporal things. Not that we shall all have the same number of horses and cattle, etc.; not at all. One man cannot do as much as another man. One man wants more to eat and more to drink than another man, and he wants a longer bedstead, a longer coat, and a larger hat. We are not alike; our wants are not alike. But the Lord has explained how we can be equal. He says if we are not equal in earthly things, how can we be equal in heavenly things? Shall we each have a house of the same size, or families of the same size, or the same number of horses and cows, or the same quantity of land? No; we shall have according to our wants and our needs, and every man will have an equal claim. The Lord says that this is equality, every man having an equal claim on the bounties of God and on that which He has to give to us; no one having in excess of another beyond his ability to use it to advantage. There will be some who will have the faculty of managing. You give some men a hundred thousand dollars and they will manage that as easily as other men will a hundred dollars; and shall a man who can manage so large an amount be deprived of doing it? No; God does not design to lariat us; but every man that has talent shall have the opportunity of using his talent-not, however, for his individual aggrandizement, but for the benefit of God's Kingdom and for the salvation of his fellowmen.

      It was for this purpose that the Gospel was revealed in our day-to save us from these dreadful evils that are now threatening our Republic. Our nation is menaced with evils that, unless they are checked, will overthrow it. The increase of enormous wealth among the few and the corresponding degradation of the poor-the rich and the poor growing wider and wider apart-these are things which lead to anarchy and destruction. Now, God will save us from this. He has revealed the plan if we will adopt it. We cannot do it all at once; but let us do it by degrees. Let us have our hearts upon the Kingdom of God, and not think about building up ourselves and our families and accumulating great wealth in our hands. But let us distribute this wealth in such ways as shall benefit the people; not to give it away and make paupers of people. That would be wrong. We do not want to pauperize any man or any family, or make them feel that they get means without earning it. Everyone should have the opportunity to work and to earn that which he needs for his sustenance.

      I did not expect to talk in this strain when I got up. But I want to say before I close, let us pay our tithing. We have been looking at some of the tithing lists, and I confess I am a little ashamed at the tithing paid by some of the Stakes. It is too small. It shows that there is a falling off, and it is not a good indication. When men neglect their tithing, they neglect other things. When you see men liberal in their tithing, they want to tie themselves to the work of God. Where a man's treasure is there will his heart be. When a man neglects to obey this law of the Lord-I do not care who he is or what his standing may be in the Church-his faith is not as it should be in the work of God. And as with an individual, so with a Stake. Let us be liberal with this, and God will increase us in our basket and store. Look throughout the Stakes at the men who pay their tithing and you will see men whom God has prospered and whom He blesses with His Holy Spirit. Besides these Church schools, there are many other ways in which funds are required. You cannot imagine how many calls there are. I have been somewhat familiar with the office of the President of the Church for many years; but I never saw anything like that which is now coming in. Claims are multiplying upon every hand, and proper claims, too. The work is extending, and it requires us, as a people, to keep abreast of the times and to live so that we shall have the satisfaction of doing our part. I met a man on the street one day; he was a wealthy man among us, and I had found accidentally-for it is a thing I pay no attention to, so far as individuals are concerned-that he had paid no tithing for some time, and I felt very much impressed to speak to him on the subject. I said to him: I find that you have not paid any tithing. Now let me say to you, you are not going to be here long, and when you go somebody else will have your wealth, and what will be your feeling when you get to the other side of the veil, to think that you had this property at your control, God having made you a steward of it, and you had not paid your tithing to the Lord? Says he, Brother Geo. Q. Cannon, I will pay my tithing. But he died without doing it, very shortly afterwards. Now, we are alive today. Let us leave none of these things undone. Let us do our duty today, and when tomorrow comes, let us do it again, or we will have sorrow when we get where we will have no money to pay. But, my brethren, we shall never regret being liberal for the cause of God. We shall never regret spending our time and our talent and using all our energies to establish truth and righteousness in the earth. We can look at our fellows without blushing and feeling condemned, if this is our condition, and if we have been liberal to the extent of our ability in everything connected with the work of God; and we shall sit down with pleasure alongside the faithful of all ages. God bless you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

[6 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 40:532-534, 4/12/90, p 20-22]

THIRD DAY.

_____

Sunday, April 6th, 10 a. m.

            Singing by the choir:

Come we that love the Lord, And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord And worship at His throne.

            Prayer by Elder Charles W. Penrose.

            The choir sang:

Inspirer of the ancient seers, Who wrote from thee the sacred page,
The same through all succeeding years, To us in our degen'rate age.

President Wilford Woodruff

was the first speaker. Following is a brief synopsis of his discourse: I feel that every heart in this congregation should be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for the blessings which we enjoy this morning, that so many of us have the privilege of meeting in this Tabernacle in Peace and quietude to worship Him. Neither the President of this Church, nor his Counselors, nor the Twelve Apostles, nor any man who dwells in the flesh has any power of himself to instruct or edify the Saints; he can only do so by the power and blessing of the Almighty. We are all dependent upon the Lord. The Prophet Joseph was a humble man; he was chosen as one of the weak instruments in the hands of the Lord, raised up in this last dispensation to lay the foundation of this great Church and kingdom of God upon the earth. He was taught by the administration of angels. He knew full well that his strength lay in God and not in himself; and that is our condition at the present time. Whenever the President of this Church or any of those in authority feel in their hearts that the Lord cannot do without them in the carrying on of His work they stand on slippery ground. What did Joseph Smith say when Oliver Cowdery told him that he was the second apostle in this Church and kingdom and that if he left the Church it would fall? His reply was, "Oliver, you try it." Oliver Cowdery did try it, and he fell, but the kingdom did not. The Lord is not dependent upon any one man or any set of men for the carrying on of His work.

            We have been called in this day a generation to go forth and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to the Gentiles first and then to the house of Israel. This has been my lot. It has been the lot of the Apostles, and of thousands of our Elders. We have been called to warn the inhabitants of the earth of the judgments which are to come, to teach them the law for the salvation of the human family. Strong testimonies have been borne by the various speakers during this conference concerning the revelations of Jesus Christ to the inhabitants of the earth. Moses gave unto us the revelations of Israel. We have the Bible, the stick of Judah, the law of God through Moses through the ancient prophets and patriarchs, which has been handed down to us. While thousands of years have passed and gone, the Bible and other revelations of God have been preserved unto this generation. The Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants contain some of the most glorious and sublime revelations that have ever [been] given to man. They show what lies before us, what awaits our nation and the nations of the earth. These things are clearly pointed out and will be fulfilled, whether men believe them or not. The question of revelation sometimes arises in our day. President Young led us for a good many years; he led us to these valleys; he was a man of God and filled with revelation. He laid the foundation for the building up of this Territory, and in all that he did the Lord was with him. The same may be said of President Taylor. If men do not have the Holy Ghost they have no business to teach others.

            I would say to the President of the United States, to his Cabinet, to all the inhabitants of this land -- sixty or seventy millions of people -- to all the nations of the earth, to kings, emperors, and princes, "Do not worry about these Latter-day Saints. If they are not the people of God, if this work has not been established by the Almighty, they will fall of themselves; they will be swept away as with a besom of destruction from off the face of the earth by His judgments." Have the nations forgotten that there is a God in Israel, who created the heavens and the earth, who governs and controls all these things? Jehovah holds this work in His hands; He rules the destinies of all men; but here has been the great difficulty with all the world in every age that the people have failed to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all things. The work of the Lord has been an uphill business throughout the entire history of the world. No person who believes in the Bible, in the revelations of God, can deny that the Lord has proclaimed that in the latter days He would set His hand to build up a Church and to gather together His people. The hour of His judgments has come, and we are called upon to warn the nations, to preach the Gospel unto them. Whether we are popular or unpopular, if we had not obeyed that command we would have been condemned; the Lord would have cut us off and raised up a people who would do the work. No king, emperor, prince or president has any power over the souls of men, and their subjects should have the privilege of worshiping God according to the dictates of their own consciences. Our rulers are not the creators of those subjects over whom they preside. Our Creator has placed us here, and we are responsible to Him alone for our religion, for our faith and work. God will bless no ruler who will not guarantee his subjects their rights and privileges in their relationship and communion with Him.

            We are here on a mission and can we afford to reject the gospel of Christ or turn away from His commandments because it does not suit the world? I cannot. There is a power above all men and governments, and when men shed the blood of the righteous because they follow the word of the Lord they will have to pay for it by and bye. The blood of Joseph and Hyrum Smith was shed; but the bill is not paid yet.

            Let not your hearts be troubled. If we do our duty, if we unite together and keep the commandments of the Lord, all will be well in Zion. The world is looking for the destruction of this Church and kingdom, striving for our overthrow, but in vain. There has never been but one gospel on earth, and there never will be. A great responsibility rests upon us; let us not be afraid with regard to our work. Serve and trust in God, for you cannot put your trust in man. I thank Him for the privilege of bearing my testimony to this great work. If we were not God's people there would not be the combination which exists now for our destruction. Watch the signs of the times, watch for what is approaching -- thunder, lightnings, earthquakes, storms, cyclones, pestilence and famine. When the judgments of the Almighty are gathered together in the heavens, when the testimony of the Elders of Israel is closed, God's awful messengers will visit the earth. Therefore prepare yourselves for these things which await us, for they are assuredly coming, and no power can stay the hand of the Almighty.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 40:559, 4/19/90, p 15; CD 2:44-53]

DISCOURSE

Delivered by President Wilford Woodruff, at the General Conference,
held in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday morning, April 6, 1890.

_____

[REPORTED BY ARTHUR WINTER.]

_____

      I feel that every heart in this congregation should be filled with gratitude to God for the blessings we enjoy this morning, that so many of us have the privilege of meeting in this Tabernacle in peace and quietude to worship God.

      I want to say to this large assembly that the President of the Church, or his Counselors, or the Twelve Apostles, or any other man who dwells in the flesh, has no power in and of himself to instruct or edify the Latter-day Saints; he can only do so by the power and blessings of Almighty God. In this respect I am as weak as the least member of this Church and Kingdom. We are all dependent upon the Lord; and I feel this morning that I stand in need, not only of the faith and prayers of the Latter-day Saints, but of the blessings of God and the Holy Spirit to assist me to declare unto the Latter-day Saints the word of the Lord.

      I will say another thing. The Saints of God in every age of the world-prophets, apostles and revelators-have been in such a position that they have had no chance to be lifted up in the pride of their hearts, or to boast of their power and strength to do the work of God among the children of men. Every man who was acquainted with Joseph Smith and those who followed him, knows full well that this was their condition while they dwelt among us. Joseph Smith was a humble man. He was one of the weak instruments in the hands of God. He was raised up in this last dispensation and fulness of times to lay the foundation of this great Church on the earth. He was taught by the administration of angels from heaven. He knew full well that his strength lay in God and not in himself. That is our condition at the present time. We have no chance to be lifted up in the pride of our hearts with regard to the position we occupy. If the President of the Church or either of his Counselors or of the Apostles, or any other man, feels in his heart that God cannot do without him, and that he is especially important in order to carry on the work of the Lord, he stands upon slippery ground. I heard Joseph Smith say that Oliver Cowdery, who was the second Apostle in this Church, said to him, "If I leave this Church it will fall." Said he, "Oliver, you try it." Oliver tried it. He fell; but the Kingdom of God did not. I have been acquainted with other Apostles in my day and time who felt that the Lord could not do without them; but the Lord got along with His work without them. I say to all men-Jew and Gentile, great and small, rich and poor-that the Lord Almighty has power within Himself, and is not dependent upon any man, to carry on His work; but when He does call men to do His work they have to trust in Him.

      I marvel today, in my own mind, why I stand before you as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been associated with some forty Apostles in my day and time. Twenty-four of them-two quorums-are today in the spirit world. There is a quorum of young men, many of them the sons of Apostles who have passed away, with us today. Well, when I look at this and see that I am still in the midst of Israel, and realize that I have been called to this position, I marvel at it. But it is the business of the Lord and not of man. It is not a position that I have sought. On the other hand, the eternal truth of this responsibility stares me in the face. I know that I am responsible, for the position that I hold today, to the God of heaven, who has chosen me, as are these apostles before me and these tens of thousands of Elders of Israel who now dwell in the flesh on the earth. I attended a Priesthood meeting here last evening with quite a number of those bearing the Priesthood. I look upon the responsibility of these people as being very great. We have been called upon in this day to receive the Priesthood and to go forth and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this generation-to the Gentiles first, and then to the House of Israel. This has been my lot. It has been the lot of these Apostles, and many, yea thousands, of the leaders of the Latter-day Saints. We have been called upon to preach the Gospel of Christ to this generation and to warn them of the judgments which are to come.

      There has been a great deal said at this conference. We have had strong testimonies borne by the Elders of Israel who have addressed us. I remarked at the commencement of this conference (there were comparatively few people here then) concerning our position and revelation. I remarked that Moses gave revelations to Israel. We have the Bible-the stick of Judah-containing the law of God through Moses and through the ancient prophets and patriarchs. It has been handed down to us through the thousands of years that are past and gone. While libraries, like the library of Alexandria (which was destroyed by an Arab chief and took days and days to burn, it being one of the largest ever gathered together in the world) have perished, the Bible has been preserved unto us, and we have it to read. It gives unto us the law of God given to the ancients. But there has been no change in that law, so far as the gospel is concerned, from that day until this. The Bible-the Old and the New Testament-gives unto us the law whereby we may be exalted and go back again into the presence of God and dwell with Him for ever and ever. It gives unto us the course we should pursue in order to receive a part in the first resurrection, that we may come forth clothed with glory, immortality and eternal life. It also gives us the history, not only of what is passed with the Jews, but of what is to come to pass. Then we have a Book of Mormon-the stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim-that was written upon this continent by apostles and prophets. It contains, among other things, the teachings of Jesus Christ when he appeared, after his resurrection, in his immortal and glorious body, and taught the gospel here. Those revelations contain a great many principles. They show unto us the final winding-up scene, the situation of great Babylon and the judgments that were to come to pass in the last days before the coming of the Son of Man. We have also the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which you have in your houses and which you can read. This code of revelation was given through the mouth of the Prophet Joseph Smith, by the Urim and Thummim and otherwise. That book contains some of the most glorious and most sublime revelations God ever gave to man. It shows unto us what lies before us, what awaits this nation and the nations of the earth, and what is at the door of the inhabitants of the earth. These things are clear, they are pointed, they are strong, and they are the revelations of God, and they will be fulfilled, whether men believe it or not.

      Now, with regard to present revelation. President Young led us a great many years. He led us to these valleys. He was a man of God, filled with revelation. His teachings were attended by the inspirations of Almighty God. He laid the foundation of the building of this whole Territory. He governed and controlled this Tabernacle we are in, the Temple we are building, and other Temples that we have built in this Territory; and in all his counsels the word of the Lord was with him. He had but few revelations that were written and published to the world. But we had the word of the Lord through him day by day. The same with President Taylor. We have already got, as I said before, this code of revelation, which we can read every day, and which is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction, to guide us in the way of life from day to day and from year to year while we dwell in the flesh. When the Apostles and Elders of Israel are called to teach you, when they are called to go abroad and to teach the inhabitants of the earth, they are commanded of the Lord to speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and when a man speaks as he is moved upon by the Holy Ghost, it is the word of the Lord, it is the mind of the Lord, it is the will of the Lord, it is Scripture, it is the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believes. If we do not have the Holy Ghost we have no business to teach. But when the Elders of Israel do teach you by the Holy Ghost, you have the revelations of God to you. We have these revelations lying before us for our guidance day by day, as well as the living oracles.

      I would say to the President of the United States, to the Congress of the United States, to the Cabinet, and to all the inhabitants of this land, as well as to all the nations of the earth-kings, emperors, princes and people-do not worry about these Latter-day Saints. I would say to all nations under heaven, if these people are not the people of God, if this work has not been established by God Almighty, they will fall of themselves, they will be swept from the face of the earth by the judgments of God, when Great Babylon falls. But if they are of God, what can you do about it? What can the nations of the earth do about it? Have the nations forgotten that there is a God in Israel? Have they forgotten that there is a God who created the heavens and the earth, and that He governs and controls all these things? If He has set His hand to perform this work, there is no power on the face of the earth, or in hell, that can destroy it, because Jehovah holds it in His own hands. He holds our destiny and the destiny of all the world in His hands. But the great difficulty with this nation and with all nations is, as it has been in every age, they do not acknowledge the hand of God in any of these things. You see it in the history of the whole world and in the dealings of God with men and cities and nations, from the creation of the world. I have referred to these things before in my remarks. Whenever a nation is ripened in iniquity, the Lord raises up prophets and inspired men and they are sent forth to warn that nation, and when they have warned the people and given unto them the word of the Lord, that word will not fall unfulfilled. We have before us a great many instances of the dealings of God with men. We have a fair example in Babylon the Great. King Nebuchadnezzar, surrounded with the city walls a hundred feet high and wide enough for several chariots to ride abreast upon the top thereof, with brazen gates and with a power to defy all but God himself, what did he say: "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?" The prophet might have told Nebuchadnezzar that the God of heaven had proclaimed a man before he was born that would come and take that great city and destroy its ruler. Cyrus was named by the Lord before he was born, through the mouth of the prophet; and when the time came, as King Belshazzar and his princes were feasting and drinking wine out of the cups that had been brought from the temple at Jerusalem, he took possession of the city and carried off the treasures. The army of Cyrus turned the river out of its course and walked in under the walls of the city. Belshazzar was taken prisoner and slain, and the city went into the hands of people they were not looking for. What did Cyrus do when he took the city of Babylon? He took the riches-cattle, horses and property-there was in that city and offered them as a sacrifice to the great God. This is the course that a heathen king took; and we understand, from history, that Cyrus pursued this course all his life. Whenever he took a city he went and offered sacrifice to the great God, the God of heaven. You may trace this through the whole history of the world until the present hour and you will find that that God who sits enthroned on high has governed and controlled all these things. He will do the same today. That same God has set His hand to fulfill the volume of revelations contained in these records of divine truth, which portray the winding-up scene of the work and Kingdom of God in the last dispensation and fulness of times. Our Heavenly Father called His servant Joseph Smith. He laid the foundation of this Church and Kingdom, and he organized the Church with prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers, gifts and graces, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, until we all come to the perfect stature of a man in Christ Jesus, in fulfillment of the revelations of God. Our numbers are few, it is true; but the people of God always were few in every age of the world. Noah, after preaching 120 years, while building the ark, only succeeded in saving eight souls out of all the inhabitants of the earth. The rest were destroyed by the flood, and they were shut up in prison and there visited by Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. While his body lay in the tomb three days His spirit went to preach to those spirits that were in prison, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh. The work of the Lord always has been an uphill business, so far as laboring among the children of men is concerned. But there is no person who believes in the Bible can deny that the Lord has proclaimed that in the latter days He would set His hand to build up His Church and Kingdom, He would gather together His people, and He would send an angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto every nation, kindred, tongue and people under the whole heavens, crying with a loud voice: "Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." This was the proclamation of the angel of God who delivered the Gospel of Christ to Joseph Smith. "The hour of His judgment is come." So say we. We have been called upon to warn the nations. We have been called to go forth without purse or scrip. We have had to travel abroad, swim rivers, wade swamps, travel on foot, and visit the nations of the earth in various ways, to preach the Gospel unto them. We have been obliged to do this, for we have been called to do it, whether we were popular or unpopular. If we had not done this, we would have been condemned; the Lord would have cut us off and raised up a people that would perform His work. These thousands of Elders, gathered out from the nations of the earth, upon whose shoulders rests this Priesthood, are the instruments in the hands of Almighty God, and are called to go forth to warn this generation; and their testimony will rise up in judgment against this generation and condemn them, and I declare it in the name of Jesus Christ, as an Apostle of the Lamb of God in this day and age of the world. I say there is not a nation under heaven, there is not a king, a prince or a president, or any other man who has power over the sons of men, but should give unto their subjects the privilege of worshiping God according to the dictates of their own consciences. These subjects are the creatures of God, they are the children of God. They are placed here on the earth and are responsible to God Himself for their religion, for their faith and for their worship. They are not responsible to the emperors, or kings, or presidents, or governors who rule over them. Every man is responsible for the course he pursues before the Lord. And God will bless no king, no emperor and no president who will not give unto his subjects the rights and privileges in their relationship to God which the Father Himself has given unto them. Whenever these subjects are deprived of their rights, those who preside over them are held responsible.

      We are here upon a mission. This is not our home. This is not the place where we expect to dwell forever. We are going into the spirit world. I have been associated with the Church for 57 years. I was intimate with the Prophet Joseph Smith and those that laid the foundation of this Church, who were martyred for the word of God and testimony of Jesus. They today are in the spirit world, mingling with the Gods, where they can plead for their brethren. So too shall we go in our day and time. In view of this can I afford to reject the Gospel, or to turn away from that which the Lord has required at my hands, because it does not suit the world? I cannot. I have got to meet my acts before the throne of God, and so have this nation and all the inhabitants of the earth. They will understand then that there is a power above them, and that is the God of heaven. All men have got to appear at the judgment seat of Christ. And when men shed the blood of the righteous because they follow the words of the Lord, they have to pay for it. No man can shed the blood of the righteous without it costing him something. It was so in the days of Jesus Christ. No man was more unpopular on the face of the earth then Jesus Christ was from the day He was born until He ascended into heaven. All Jerusalem was against Him. The Jews were against Him. The Gentiles were against Him, in a great measure. They cried out against Him and accused Him of everything that was wrong, and labored very hard to find some accusation against Him whereby they might put Him to death. It is true that the Gentile judge who heard the testimony against Jesus told the Jews: "I find no fault in this man," and he washed his hands, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see you to it." All right, said they, "his blood be on us, and on our children." How little did those Jews know what it would cost them to shed the blood of Jesus Christ. Well might the Son of God, while on the cross, cry out, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Strange language for a man that was expiring on the cross! Why did He say this? He knew what would be the result to the Jewish nation for the next two thousand years. Whenever the nations of the earth have taken a stand against the Gospel of Christ or the people of God, they have had to pay the bill. It has cost something to shed the blood of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, and the price is not fully paid yet.

      While the world look upon us as a strange people, while they have no faith in us or in our teachings, and while they have no faith in the Bible which they profess to believe in, still their unbelief will not make the truths of God without effect. The inhabitants of the earth know not what awaits them. The Lord is going to cut short His work in righteousness. If He did not no flesh would be saved. As I have said before, we have been called upon to warn this generation. How was it when we first went to New York, to Philadelphia, to Boston, and to the various states of the Union? We went there and found hundreds of people who were ready to receive the Gospel of Christ. We organized churches throughout the United States, north and south, more especially in the northern and middle states. At that time there was not the feeling that there is today. There were a great many who were willing to open their eyes to see, their ears to hear, and their hearts to understand. The Lord told Joseph Smith that He had set His hand to prune His vineyard once more for the last time, and He commanded him and others to go forth and warn this generation to gather out the honest and meek of the earth, and to prepare for the day of His judgment. And in one place in this book of Doctrine and Covenants, in explaining the parable of the wheat and the tares, the Lord says: "Behold, verily I say, that the field was the world, and the Apostles were the sowers of the seed; and after they have fallen asleep, the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign, behold he soweth the tares, wherefore the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness. But behold, in the last days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender. Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields; but the Lord said unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak) lest you destroy the wheat also."

      Do the inhabitants of the earth realize the judgments that hang over their heads? They do not, no more than the people did in the days of Noah, in the days of Lot, and in the days of the Jews when they put to death the Messiah.

      You have embraced the Gospel. How came you to be gathered here in these valleys of the mountains, in this once barren desert? Where did you come from? You came from England, from Norway, from Sweden, from the various nations of the earth and from the isles of the sea. How was it that you came here? You reply: An Elder of Israel called. I heard him preach. He told me if I would repent of my sins, I should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I believed him. I went forth and was baptized. I had hands laid upon me for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and I did receive the Holy Ghost. There was no deception about this. I was moved upon to gather with the Saints of God to the mountains of Israel, that I might stand with them and be taught in the things of the Kingdom of God, that I might stand in holy places while the judgments of God were poured forth in the earth.

      That is why you are here. We might have preached to you till we had been as old as Methuselah, and if the Almighty had not backed up the testimony of these Elders of Israel, Utah today would be as barren a desert as we found it as far as the Latter-day Saints are concerned.

      This is the work of God, and we are called upon to labor, no matter what may appear around us, or what persecutions we may be called upon to pass through. This is the great last Kingdom of our God that Daniel saw. It is the Zion of God that Isaiah saw. It is the Church of Jesus Christ that the Revelator John saw. The angel of God has come and delivered his message, in fulfillment of the commandments of God, and the cry has been, Prepare ye for the coming of the Son of man; behold the day of God's judgment is come. This is the proclamation to the whole world today-Jew and Gentile. And this is why we are here. We have been led here by the inspiration and power of God, and we have come here to fulfill the volume of the book of the revelations of God to the inhabitants of the earth. Therefore, I say, let not your hearts be troubled. It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. These Latter-day Saints are where they should be-where the Lord has called them; and if we do our duty, if we unite together and keep the commandments of God, all will be well in Zion. The Lord has said: "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 she shall not be removed out of her place. I, the Lord, have spoken it." We have got to do right and keep the commandments of God. If we don't, we shall be chastened, there is no doubt about that. But while the world are looking for the destruction of this Church, they will look in vain. They do not realize that the judgments of God are being proclaimed by sword and by fire, and that the Lord is pleading with all flesh. The sword is bathed in heaven; it will fall upon Idumea and the world, and who is able to stand the judgments of the Almighty? Those who are striving for our overthrow, if they have not faith today in this and in God, they will have faith whenever they come to judgment; for the whole of them have got to go to judgment, and they will be judged according to their deeds done in the body.

      Brethren and sisters, let us look at these things as they are. We are under great responsibility. In every dispensation God has called men and placed them as watchmen on the walls of Zion. He told Ezekiel: "I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn away from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul." We have been called upon to warn this generation. We have tried to do it in our weak way. I have for the last fifty-seven years of my life. So have these brethren here. We have traveled thousands of miles without purse or scrip. We have lifted up our voices and preached the Gospel of Christ to this dispensation.

      We are also called, brethren and sisters, to perform some work in our day and time that no other dispensation of men have been called to do. We have been called to rear temples and to go into those temples and redeem our dead. It takes as much to save a dead man as it does a living one. If the dead have not heard the Gospel, the Lord is not going to send them to hell because they have not received it. The Lord is the Father of all. He is merciful to all, and He will save all, except the sons of perdition. Every man will have a glory. Our "Liberal" friends here will have a glory. A man will have a celestial glory if he abides the law of the celestial kingdom; he will have a terrestrial glory if he abides the law of the terrestrial kingdom; he will have a telestial glory if he abides the law of the telestial kingdom. That is the law of God unto us.

      Brethren and sisters, I have desired to know the truth from the day I was a child. I read the Bible in my boyhood. I attended Sabbath school under old Dr. Porter and Dr. Haws. I read in this New Testament about Jesus Christ. I read of what kind of a Gospel He preached and what kind of a man He was. I read about the Apostles and of the power they had; how they laid hands upon the sick and they recovered; they could cast out devils, and, in some instances, raised the dead. In my boyhood I longed that I may live on the earth till I could find a servant of God, an inspired man, who would teach me these principles that I read of in the New Testament. The Lord promised me, in fulfillment of my prayers, that I should live to see that day. I have lived to see it. The Lord has called a people from the nations of the earth, from every sect, party and denomination, to receive the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. There is but one Gospel. There never was but one Gospel; there never will be but one. Millions of people have been born in the flesh, have lived and have gone to the grave, who never saw the face of a prophet in their lives; never saw a man that was called of God and had power to administer in one of the ordinances of the House of God. Will God condemn them because they did not receive the Gospel? Not at all. They are in the spirit world-our fathers. We are called upon, as saviors on Mount Zion, while the Kingdom is the Lord's, in the latter-days, to go forth and redeem our dead. We hold in our hands the keys and power of their redemption, by attending to the ordinances of God for them. It is a work that the Lord has blessed us with. I thank God for this privilege. It is one of the blessings that the Latter-day Saints enjoy. When I go into the spirit world I expect to meet my fathers, my mothers, my relatives. I have been in the Temple of the Lord. I have received endowments for over three thousand of them on my father's and my mother's side, all that I could get access to. I do not want to go into the spirit world to meet these people and have them say to me, "You had power to enter into these Temples to get redemption for me, but you have not done it."

      Lay these things to heart. Be not afraid with regard to the work; only serve God and trust in Him. You cannot serve man, nor make flesh your arm, for your salvation. If we are saved, if we are delivered, if we have redemption, it will be by the power of the God of Israel. He sent His Son into the world to lay down His life for the redemption of the children of men.

      I feel to thank God that I have this privilege of bearing my testimony to the work. I know it is true. I know Joseph Smith was one of the greatest prophets that God ever raised up in the earth, save Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith holds the keys of this great and last dispensation and fulness of times; he will hold those keys to the endless ages of eternity. He sealed his testimony with his blood. And if we have to do the same, what of it? Thousands and thousands of the children of men laid down their lives in going to war, for the sake of worldly honor. Is it any more for a man to lay down his life for the gospel's sake than it is for him to lay it down for some other cause? I say no. It makes no difference what we are called to pass through, if we are united and do our duty all will be well. I want salvation when I get through. I want to go where my Heavenly Father and the Savior are, if I can. I want to go where the Apostles and Prophets are who have borne the heat and burden of the day in their generations-Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and all the Prophets and Patriarchs whose testimonies we have in the Bible, as well as those who dwelt in this land.

      I bear my testimony that this is the Kingdom of God. As to persecution, all men who live godly in Christ Jesus suffer persecution. Why this combination by priest and people against Joseph Smith, an illiterate boy, as soon as he was administered to by the angels of God? Why did he wade in deep waters up to the day of his death? Why did he pass through forty or fifty vexatious lawsuits? Because he was a servant of God and warned the inhabitants of the earth of the judgments that were to come. So it has been with all who have followed him. If this people were not the people of God, you would not see a combination of the inhabitants of the earth for our destruction. Are these Latter-day Saints all the sinners there are in the world? If they are, I tell you the inhabitants of the earth are in a good condition. But it is not so. We sin enough, it is true; perhaps too much; we are guilty of a good many things, probably, that we ought to repent of; I have no doubt there should be a reformation among us in some things; we do not pray as much as we ought to; but we are not so bad as the world call us by any means. The Presidency, the Apostles and these Elders of Israel, our hearts should be united together. We should labor with each other, and for each other, and for the benefit of the children of God. We have tried to do that, in a measure, I believe; but we are weak. If, however, we will do our duty, all will be well.

      I pray God to bless these Latter-day Saints. I know He will bless us if we walk uprightly before Him. We will conquer, we will overcome, Zion will arise and flourish, it will stand as appointed of the Lord, the saints of God will be gathered, they will stand in holy places while the judgments of God are manifest in the earth. I say to the Latter-day Saints and to the world, watch the signs of the times, watch the changes that are going to take place. I tell you that thunders, that lightnings, that earthquakes, that storms, that cyclones, that pestilence and that famine are gathered together in the heaven of heavens, and the angels of God are ready to go forth when the testimony of the Elders of Israel is closed. Messengers will visit the earth that they cannot mob, that they cannot destroy, because they are the angels of God. These are eternal truths, written like pages of living fire upon these records of Almighty God, and they will have their fulfillment. Prepare yourselves for the things that await us. They are sure to come. No power can stay the hand of the Almighty. God bless us and give us inspiration, light and truth, that we may be prepared for that which is to come, for Christ's sake. Amen.

 

Apostle Franklin D. Richards

next addressed the conference. Following is the substance of his remarks: I esteem it a great blessing to be at this conference and to be permitted to be with you and to hear such precious testimony from our venerable President. What has been said are the eternal truths of heaven. They are the eternal truths by which the people of this generation will be judged. Brother Woodruff has lived and labored in this work fifty seven years. I have lived in it fifty-two years. It is not the work of man but of God. It has confounded the wisdom of the worldly wise. God has taken the young and the inexperienced, and through them brought His decrees to pass.

            There is a philosophy in the gospel, and those who are ripened in experience understand the necessity of some things which exist. Those who have come into the work later are not practically familiar with the past and probably, in consequence, cannot so clearly see the future as can those who have been longer identified with the Church. Those who were scattered and peeled and were driven here have felt grateful for the season of rest we enjoyed for a time. When we came here, we were united and happy. We had no drunkenness nor profanity. Since the avenues of communication have opened, however, all manner of allurement has come among us, and every Saint should be on his guard. If the Elders all had the spirit of revelation, there would be no difficulties among the people. The Church courts would have but little to do. The people being taught correct principle, would govern themselves. All should cultivate the spirit of prayer and humility. Prosperity is causing many to forget their prayers. If you cease to keep up communication with God, you will dry up and go away, unless you repent. It is important that we keep up a connection between us and the heavens. When we send a telegraph message and get no reply, we understand there has been a storm and the wires are out of order. When connection is unbroken we know all is well. We have had a precious season during this conference. Every soul must have been comforted and fed.

            I wish to say I have been blest of the Lord to know of these things. I obtained a testimony of them on the so-called Grand Prairie, while crossing it in November, 1838. It was there that I learned that the Prophet, some Apostles and Elders, to the number of about thirty or forty had just been taken to prison. We were told we need never expect to see them alive again. The enemies of the Saints were determined to destroy their lives. I was made to feel as only a boy of seventeen years old would naturally feel under such circumstances, when about 2000 miles from my native home, in search of the Gospel, the servants, and the Kingdom of God. It was there, in that lonely place, where the blessing and glory of God shone around me, and it was manifested to me that we would have them among us again; that the Church would not be destroyed -- that it could not be broken up. And it was shown to me just how it looked to Peter and his brethren when Christ was crucified.

            When I saw these manifestations, I rejoiced exceedingly and I traveled over that dreary prairie with great delight, and afterwards associated with the people. This was the first testimony from God that I received. And during the last fifty years I have been traveling throughout the nations of the earth preaching the Gospel in this and European countries. I have been permitted to witness from time to time many blessings such as the gift of tongues, the interpretation thereof, the gift of healing, prophecy, revelation, the still small voice in divers ways and I know this to be the Kingdom of God. I know this is the work of the Lord just as truly as I know any earthly thing, and knowing this I feel that the short time I have to remain here is sacred, and with what little I have I am trying to help build up this Church and labor in defense of its interests, in any humble capacity in which I may be situated.

            You will recollect that some few years ago one amongst the Apostles took the ground that our Savior was as any other ordinary man; that he lived, was tried and convinced, sentenced, and executed the same as any other person accused of crime would be. And when these things were brought to light, you will recollect that he was removed out of his place. This thing struck deep into my heart. This circumstance struck into me like molten lead and it went down into my soul. I thought what do I know about the Lord, our great Captain? What do I now about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our great Redeemer? And yet I am called to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ to represent Him on the earth. It came to me with such force that I prayed and fasted. I searched the Scripture, prayed unto God, until He, in His pleasure showed it unto me. And I can say, I know that my Redeemer lives and that He will come and stand again upon the earth in the latter days. He came upon the earth in the meridian of time, but the inhabitants of the earth did not want to listen to His instructions. He came and went through His ministry, until the earth and the inhabitants thereof did not want to listen to or associate with Him. He triumphed over death, hell and the grave and ascended up on High, and there will remain until his enemies shall be made his footstool. You and I are called upon to prepare ourselves in body and in spirit, for his coming -- for His glorious return, when He shall come and bring His ransomed throngs with Him.

            No earthly potentate, be he emperor, king, noble, czar, lord or judge, has ever held any title, nor has ever had any such prestige and demanded such wide-spread attention from the human family as has thus our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the Captain of our salvation.

            The revelations to which President Woodruff has referred us this morning contain testimonies which have come down to us through the ages. We know they are true. We know He passed through that fiery ordeal and wrought out the salvation and resurrection for all mankind, and we are now looking for the time when these things shall come to pass which are therein contained.

            We are living in times when men's minds are darkened. This nation and people have turned a deaf ear. Their hearts are hard and they seem to be benighted and have no desire to know the truth. They will not listen to us. They have turned their hearts away and they do not care to know anything about the kingdom of God.

            We understand through the revelations that the great father of lies is the author of this condition of things. He was a liar from the beginning. He is the master of these lies and slanderous reports and ideas circulated against us, and he is keeping the people under that cloud of falsehood that they might not come to a knowledge of the truth. The blood of the prophets is upon them, and while this is the condition of things, and while we cannot be heard by the people of the world in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, let us go to our dead, get the records of our ancestry and work in the Temples for them and we will find that when we have gone as far as we can we will have the ministration of those we are working for. This has been the case with many already. Manifestations from the dead have been made to people working in the Temples.

            Brother Richards concluded with an exhortation to the Saints to remain faithful to their covenants.

[Franklin D. Richards]

[DNW 40:592, 4/26/90, p 16; CD 2:53-59]

REMARKS

By Elder Franklin D. Richards, at the General Conference,
held in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday morning, April 8th [6th], 1890.

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[REPORTED BY ARTHUR WINTER.]

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      Beloved hearers: I esteem it indeed an inestimable blessing to be permitted, with you, to listen to the precious testimony that we have just been listening to from our venerable President. I know that the things which he has declared unto us are the eternal truths of heaven that have been revealed to us in the day in which we live. They are no more true from my knowing they are true, or from you knowing they are true, than if we did not know it; or if the wicked do not know it, they are no less true. They are the truths by which the people of this generation will have to be judged. President Woodruff has lived in this Church and in the knowledge of this Church almost sixty years. I have lived in it about fifty-two years. And I wish to say that I also know that this is the work of the living God. It has not been devised by man, nor by any combination of men. But it has been sent forth by the condescension of our Heavenly Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the ministry of holy angels. The wisdom of men has been brought to naught wherein they have thought that they were of necessary importance in the work of God. He has taken those who were young in years, ignorant of the learning of the world, and has taught them in the knowledge of Himself and of His purposes. This is the highest degree of knowledge that is conferred upon men in the earth, and the human family are going to find it so.

      The present is a time when those who are doubtful and who are less established entertain feelings of trepidation in their hearts, not knowing what has been, as some of the older ones do know; therefore they are not prepared to understand, without the revelations of Jesus Christ, what is to come. But there is a philosophy in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which aids people so that they come to understand the necessity of some things that have to exist. Our children, the rising generation who have been born in these valleys, and the many who have emigrated to this country from foreign nations during the period of our existence here, are ignorant of the persecutions that occurred to the people of God in the States. They have not had a knowledge, and a sense, an understanding, and a conscious comprehension of those things; and they also must be made, by the blessings and providences of God, to come with us to a knowledge of His dispensations, to an understanding of His appointments and of the great truths that have been revealed. True, many of our children have come up in the Sabbath schools and in the various associations, and have obtained a knowledge by the testimonies of the Holy Ghost for themselves. But there are many who have not; and it is pitiable to remember that some are associated with such parentage that they do not have the examples before them which are calculated to bring them to the knowledge of God in their earliest days.

      We have had a period of almost unexampled prosperity. While our children and they of little experience have not had a full knowledge of these things, what have been the feelings of those who came from the States here, scattered and peeled, a little over forty years ago, when it was not known that man could subsist in these valleys? The feelings of those men and women are sentiments of the utmost gratitude to God that they were permitted to get away safely from their professed Christian friends and lawless mobbers and have a little rest in these mountains, where we could serve God according to the dictates of our consciences. The Lord graciously brought us out through great difficulties, a thousand miles from settlements, where we were hidden, as it were, from the people of the nation around us. And for quite a season (it is within the memory of some, and precious it is yet) the Lord blessed us to appoint the rulers from among our number, even the political rulers. We were blessed with the best of guidance and wisdom, by men who were inspired with the revelations of Jehovah to teach us. We were united, we were happy, and we knew nothing of drunkenness, and scarcely knew profanity; and blessed as we were in this excellent latitude of superlative health, it was a saying among the people for many years that we were not going to die here of disease. We did not, but died of old age. Presently the avenues of communication were opened up, and all manner of people came to dwell among us, and all manner of spirits and diseases dwell among us. It becomes now a necessity for every saint to have on the whole armor that he may be able to stand for himself before his God, and contend successfully against the powers of darkness.

      This is our condition today. These things are calculated to put us, in common parlance, upon our metal, to find out whether we are right with God, having fellowship and influence with Him. Oh! if all those who are before me today would have and keep the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of revelation that our President has been telling us of, what would be the consequences? Would there be any difficulties among this people? No indeed! Every family would be living in the light and spirit of that revelation. Each family would govern itself. The Presidency of the Church, the Presidencies of Stakes and the Bishops of Wards, as well as the High Councils, would have little to do in settling difficulties. Why? Because, as the Prophet Joseph said, the people being taught correct principles they would govern themselves. This is what the Lord is trying to bring His people up to, and fortunate for us if we so live as to acquire those abilities of self-government and self-control. I would admonish all that they cultivate diligently the spirit of prayer and supplication. With this vast tide of prosperity, with this influx of wealth and inflation of prices, many men are forgetting their prayers-old and young-and they are having so much business in so much hurry, they cannot stop to pray, neither at morning nor at night. I warn you, my brethren, if you cease your prayers and do not keep that connection between you and your God, you will dry up and be blown away. These influences will contaminate you. They will hunger your soul after the things of the world, and the cares of the world will choke the word, and the Spirit of the Lord will withdraw from you, unless you find speedy repentance and turn to find the favor and presence of the Lord again. It is of the utmost importance that we should keep the connection complete between us and the heavens. We know when there is a storm, and we put in a telegram to send abroad and we do not get an answer, that there is something the matter-the poles are down, the wire is down, for there has been some storm. But when the wires are in order, the message goes through and we get the answer. Just so it is about our prayers. If we live as we ought to do, the spirit of prayer and supplication is with us, and we are increasing in strength, in faith, and in fellowship with God, with the angels and the spirits of the just made perfect. And these things will be hastened on; according to our diligence and faithfulness, will the purposes of God be brought about unto us.

      We have had, to my understanding, a most precious season during this Conference. It has seemed as if the gamut of the gospel has been traced towards us, in every keynote of it, from personal confession up to the highest principles of the gospel. It seems to me that every soul must have been fed; every afflicted, sorrowful one must have been comforted; every tried and tempted one must have felt the benefit of these instructions to refresh his soul and renew his strength before the Lord. I wish to testify that I have been greatly blessed of the Lord.

      I obtained the first testimony of the Holy Spirit to the truth of this great work in the midst of what is called the grand prairie in Missouri. I was crossing it on foot one day in November, 1838. I had just heard that the Prophet, the Apostles and the Elders, to the number of thirty or forty, had been taken off to Richmond, Liberty and other places, to prison, and that we need never hope to have them with us any more; for the wicked had determined that they should not dwell with us nor we with them. I felt as a boy seventeen years old would naturally feel under those circumstances-about two thousand miles from his native home, in search of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the servants of God. Right there in that lonely place it was that the blessings and glory of God shone around me, and it was shown to me that we would have them again; it was the work of God, it could not be destroyed, it could not be broken up, it could not be impaired. It was shown to me how it looked to Peter and the brethren anciently when Jesus Christ was crucified, and the Apostle has written for us that his hopes were well nigh gone. When the Lord made this manifest to me, I rejoiced exceedingly, and traveled over that prairie with great lightness and testimony, and got up to associate with the people of God.

      That was the first testimony I received from God concerning the work. And during the last fifty years that I have been traveling with you and throughout the nations in preaching the Gospel to this and European countries, I have been blessed with testimonies repeatedly, such as healings, tongues, interpretations, prophesies, revelations, and the still small voice and in divers other ways. I know this to be the Church and Kingdom of God, I know it to be the work of the Lord, just as truly as I know any earthly thing I have to do with; and, knowing this, I feel, and have all the time, to consecrate myself with what little I am and have, to help build up this Church and to advance its interests in any humble capacity in which I may be situated.

      You will recollect that some few years ago one among the Apostles had the senseless inconsideration to feel and to say that our Savior was only as another man; that he was tried and convicted, sentenced and executed as any other culprit should be; and you will remember that he was moved out of his place. This thing struck deep into my heart. I was ordained, as you know, here in these valleys, in 1849, being then the youngest member in the Council of the Apostles. But this circumstance struck me all through like melted lead. It went down into my soul, and I thought, what do I know about our Great Captain, our Lord Jesus Christ, our Great Redeemer, and called to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. It came home to me with an earnestness that set me at work with prayer and with fasting, and with searching the scriptures, until God in His pleasure showed it to me; and I can say that I know that my Redeemer lives, and He will come and stand upon the earth in the latter day. He came and went through His ministry, until the earth and the inhabitants thereof did what they listed with Him, and when they had done the last thing they could do with Him, He triumphed over death and hell and went on high. He lives there and will remain there until His enemies shall be made his footstool. You and I are called upon to prepare ourselves in body and in spirit, in all that we are, with all that we have, with all that we can control, and prepare our surroundings, for His coming, His glorious return, when He shall bring His ransomed throngs with Him.

      No earthly potentates, be he czar, emperor, king, lord or noble, or of any title, has had the prestige and the attention of the human family as has this our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The most ancient time we hear of-in the Garden of Eden-it was said of Him that He should come in the meridian of time, and sacrifices were given and required to perpetuate this knowledge, that He was to come as the great living sacrifice, and by the wisdom of the Eternal and man on the earth it was so perpetuated; and every great man that had any knowledge of God offered sacrifices and perpetuated that knowledge till Jesus came and dwelt in the flesh. These records that President Woodruff referred us to this morning contain testimonies that have come down through the ages of time unto us, and we know that He has come, that He has passed through this ordeal, that He has wrought out salvation and the resurrection for all mankind.

      We live in a period of time when people's hearts are hard. The nation seems to be beclouded. Terrible thought! our nation is filled with lies concerning us. They do not know us. We have not the power to make ourselves known to them. They are unwilling to know. They seem as if they are afraid we are right. We cannot get them even to that first birth, by which they might see the Kingdom of God, much less enter into it. Oh, what a terrible condition they are in! Parts of the United States will not listen to an Elder; other parts are now receiving the Gospel a little. But what has the Lord to say about this matter? We understand, by the revelations, that the great father of lies is the author of this condition of things. He was a liar from the beginning, and he has imposed these lies and false ideas upon the human family, and he is keeping them under that cloud lest they should come unto a knowledge of the truth. What did the Apostles say anciently? That "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Oh, terrible fate, terrible judgment, terrible consequences; right here in the flesh, without waiting to get out of it, to find the torments of hell as promised by some! For God has decreed that he will sweep away this refuge of lies with the besom of His destruction as promised by his ancient prophets.

      This is the condition of the world. And now while it is so that we cannot be heard by the preaching of the Gospel, we say, as our President has said, let us go to the dead. Let us get the records of our ancestry and go to work for them; and very soon we will find that they will be at work for us, as those who are laboring in the holy places do find. This is a work that has to do with the generations of the dead for ages that are past.

      The testimony of John is true concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, who was in the beginning, in the creation, and without Him there was not anything made that was made. He had control, as He was the character known as Jehovah. When He was in the burning bush he said to Moses, I am Jehovah; and He told His name along occasionally to the ancient prophets and worthies, by which we know that He was the Jehovah. When He came and entered into the flesh, then He was the Christ, and has been known by that name ever since. He is our great Redeemer. And we are commencing the great work of the last dispensation, in which the consummation is to be; when there will come people from all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and they will praise and glorify His holy name, who hath redeemed us out of every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people, and hath made us kings and priests unto our God, and we shall reign on the earth. There is a glorious prospect of triumph ahead, and we have no need to fear, no need to be anxious about the outcome. The thing is to conduct ourselves properly every day under the circumstances and conditions in which we are placed, and abide by every law which God has given us, that we may be sanctified by them unto immortality and eternal life; and if we can attain this, we are safe, we are certain and are founded upon the rock of ages, and it matters little whether we live or die. We shall all go in our time and turn; it will only be a question according to the providence of God, when.

      Well, brethren and sisters, I rejoice exceedingly in this work. There is no other thing like it on the earth. Why, the gold and the silver bear no comparison of joy and satisfaction to what does the understanding and knowledge of the truth of these principles and that these blessings that are offered us in the Gospel are certain to come to us, and that we get a foretaste and commencement of them here by testimony after testimony, line upon line, here a little and there a little.

      Now, some people think it is terrible the way we are getting on and the way it is being lorded over God's heritage. It is but a few days ago that there were men eating and drinking with us at the table of the Lord right here in this Tabernacle; let me ask you where are they now? Is there the wisdom in man, or in any syndicate of men that could be got up among us, that could have drawn the line between God's people and they who are not His people as has been done right here in the streets of this city? Is it not a presumptuous thought to think that God would give unqualifiedly His blessings unto all, promiscuous as we were? And He has made those that have been selling their brethren for ten, twenty or thirty dollars apiece into the hands of their enemies, to turn and train with those that were like them. This is the commencement of the line which is being drawn between the people and those that are not the people. Is there skill of man that could have done this with as little injury of feeling, as little difficulty of any kind, as this single circumstance? The Bishops know who are their people now. They can go and labor with these people in their Wards and help settle the difficulties among their worthy brethren; they can help many among them who cannot get recommends to go to the Temple and administer for their dead-help reconcile their feelings, settle their affairs in a way that they can go well recommended, sanctify themselves, serve the Lord more perfectly, and advance in the knowledge of the truth.

      My brethren and sisters, I pray the Lord to bless all these opportunities to strengthen the weak, to encourage the sad and the heavy-hearted; for each ward has people in all conditions-in ease and comfort, sorrow and sadness, affliction and distress. But he who has the testimony of Jesus can stand the storms which shall come upon us and laugh defiance at all the powers of sin and Satan. They may make the heart sad and sorrowful and fill us with pain; but the testimony of Jesus, that makes wise the simple and fills the soul with light and knowledge and revelation, can above it all find smiling joy as they see the light shining out of that cloud behind which He hides a smiling face. May the Lord strengthen us; may we so live as to engage that strength. And let me tell you, while we have had words of consolation, of reproof and of exhortation given to us, there is no word that the Lord has ever condescended to utter in our behalf, whether it be so simple as to say that you should retire to your beds early and rise early, that your bodies and minds may be invigorated, or what you should eat and drink, even up to the higher laws that pertain to the celestial kingdom, which is too trifling for us, or that we can afford to neglect. We must say as Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that procedeth out of the mouth of God." Let us understand this, and make it our daily business to raise that kind of bread, keep it on hand and live by it continually. Then the Lord will remember His promises, He will aid us in affliction, send us succor in distress, bear us safely through and count us as His own. May this be our happy lot, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

            President Cannon announced that as the Tabernacle was not large enough to hold the people, an overflow meeting would be held in the Assembly Hall in the afternoon.

            The Choir sang:

Arise! Shine! for thy light is come.

            Adjourned till 2 p. m.

            Benediction by Bishop Orson F. Whitney.

 

[6 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 40:534-535, 4/12/90, p 22-23]

AFTERNOON SESSION.

            Singing:

Let us pray, gladly pray, In the house of Jehovah.
Till the righteous can say, "Oh, our warfare is over."

            Prayer was offered by Apostle Abraham H. Cannon.

            The choir sang:

Jesus, once of humble birth, Now in glory comes to earth;
Once He suffered grief and pain, Now He comes on earth to reign.

            The Priesthood of the Fifteenth Ward officiated in the administration of the sacrament.

President George Q. Cannon

addressed the conference. He read from the Book of Mormon a portion of the 27th chapter of Mosiah. He then referred to the organization of the Church with six members, sixty years ago today, and spoke of the manifestations of the power of God in behalf of the Saints in the various trying circumstances through which they had passed. These manifestations were a great testimony to the people that God had not forgotten his promises, and enabled His people to await the future with confidence and in serenity, for they knew their feet were planted on the rock of truth. In their religion God had embodied all truth. The speaker named some of the inconsistent ideas regarding future rewards and punishments which were believed in by the Christian world when the Church was organized, and called attention to the true order of the plan of salvation. He then spoke of the plainness, beauty and comprehensiveness of the Gospel which God had revealed through His Prophets, and closed with a powerful exhortation to the Saints to devote themselves to the service of the most High by living in harmony with his divine laws. The discourse was reported in full.

President Wilford Woodruff

said: Before this conference closes there is a subject I wish to say a few words upon. Brother Cannon has today laid before us the truth with regard to the ordinances of the Holy Gospel, the revelations of Jesus Christ and the principles pertaining to the salvation of this people, which are revealed to us in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and are given through the living oracles. Paul says there is but one Gospel, and "Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel than that which I have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Whenever there has been any baptism from the days of Father Adam, or Moses, when he crossed the Red Sea, down to the days of Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith, it has always been the same. There has never been any change in the Gospel ordinances, in baptism or repentance; no change in the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There has been no change in the manner of receiving them; no change in the reception of the Holy Ghost. It is so in every age and generation of the world. There is no change in the holy resurrection of the children of men from the grave. These principles have all been reserved to us. I wish to say that in my acquaintance in this Church, I have seen men, from time to time rise up and try to be servants of God. They try to explain things they know nothing about, to make themselves appear clever. There is a great deal of this kind of thing in this age. There was one of the leading Elders of the Church who went before the people and undertook to preach certain principles. Joseph heard of it and desired him to present the doctrine to him in writing. He wrote it, and when he completed it read it to the Prophet. He asked Joseph what he thought of it. "Why," said Joseph, "it is a beautiful system, I have but one fault to find with it --" "What is that, Brother Joseph?" Joseph said -- "It is not true." So I say very little while someone, thinking he is smart, tries to teach something that is not in the doctrine and Covenants, and other Church works, and which is not true.

            I, myself, sat for over two hours once in a meeting house, in St Louis, listing to a prominent Elder of this Church, who had called to people together to preach to them the doctrine of the, what was called "baby resurrection." He preached to two or three thousand people, and there was not a word of truth in the doctrine. I thought he ought to know better. In the afternoon I was called upon to speak. After meeting there were a great many people gathered around me and asked what I thought of the man's sermons. I replied, it is all nonsense. Well, that is just how I felt. It is no benefit in this world for men to preach such false doctrine. And now, every little while, I hear of some one of the Elders, who wishes to be considered smart, trying to teach something they know nothing about.

            The Elders have a world of truth to preach about. There is enough revealed to fill the whole earth as long as you live. Preach the truth as you understand it. Do not speculate on things you know nothing about, for it will benefit no one. If you listen to false doctrine you will be led away by false spirits. Remember and observe this, and you will be all right. Keep in the paths of truth, and all will be well with you.

            I pray God to bless you, my brethren and sisters. We have had a good time during this conference. We have had many testimonies, and they are true. Let us lay them to heart, and be not discouraged. Rely upon the Lord and you will be all right. salvation is here; the Kingdom of God is here, the Gospel is here; the Zion of our God is here; the work of our God is upon the earth. It is being built up and established. Let us do our duty, trusting in God and we will be brought off triumphant. And when e get through e will be satisfied with our labors in the flesh, and the lord's dealing with us. I hope we will so conduct ourselves and carry out the principles of salvation, that we may gain eternal life, which may god grant, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

            The choir sang the anthem:

The nations bow to Satan's thrall.

            Benediction by Elder Elias Morris.

            Conference was adjourned till October next.

_____

[6 Apr, 2 pm (o)]

[DNW 40:535-536, 4/12/90, p 23-24]

OVERFLOW MEETING.

_____

            At 2 p.m. an overflow meeting of the conference opened in Assembly Hall, Apostle F. M. Lyman presiding. There were present on the stand, Apostles F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, M. W. Merrill and A. H. Lund; Elder C. W. Penrose of the Presidency of Salt Lake stake, and a number of other prominent brethren.

            The choir sang:

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

            Prayer was offered By Bishop G. L. Farrell, of Smithfield.

            The choir sang:

Spirit of faith come down, Reveal the things of God

            The Priesthood of the Sixteenth Ward officiated in administering the Sacrament.

Elder C. W. Penrose.

addressed the congregation. It is a great satisfaction to me to see this large congregation, especially when I remember that the Tabernacle is full to its utmost capacity. There are also throngs of people outside who are unable to enter either building. This indicates that Zion is growing, and that the faith of the Saints is increasing.

            It was said in the days of the Prophet Joseph that if he could be removed "Mormonism" would die out. He was removed, but the Saints, instead of being broken up, become more completely united together. So in the days of Brigham Young; it was said that this Church was held together by his statesmanship but we know to the contrary.

            It is now said that if all political power can be taken from the Latter-day Saints they will go down. It may be that we will be deprived of all our political rights, but even if the Lord should permit our enemies to go to this great length, the Church will continue to go onward and upward. It was thought that to take from the church its property would cripple it and curtail its growth, but though it has for a long time been deprived of the use of its property, it has continued to grow and increase. So it will even if the Saints should be persecuted as the early Christians were, and be forced to flee to the mountains and clothe themselves in sheep skins and goat skins.

            To suppose that our Father in Heaven specially loves poverty, and has a dislike to wealth, is an error. The Lord has no objection to wealth if it be used properly, and it is His design to pour it out upon His people as fast as they fit themselves to receive and make a proper use of it. He has said that His people should inherit all things. This Church is not organized for spiritual purposes alone, but for temporal purposes also, speaking as men speak. Man is composed of spirit and element, which, being inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy. A religion which is spiritual alone would not be adapted to our condition; but we need a religion which embraces both the temporal and the spiritual. The time will come when we will have a real spiritual Zion, but it will be when the Saints are pure and sanctified.

            It would not do for us to spend all our time in spiritual pursuits, such as singing, preaching, etc. We have temporal necessities which must be provided for. We are mortals and live not in an immortal condition but in a state which renders us subject to death. We are in a school to learn how to prepare ourselves for a future life in the presence of God.

            We have been exhorted by President Woodruff to seek the spirit of revelation. What is that spirit? It is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth it understanding. The source of this inspiration is the Spirit of God, which is the light and life of all things and the power thereof by which they were made. This Spirit is in and through and round about all things, the light of God, the life of all things that have been endowed with life. But the Latter-day Saints in addition to this natural inspiration, are privileged to enjoy a higher endowment of this Spirit, the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is received through obedience to the laws of the Gospel. It is the same Spirit which was poured out upon Jesus. Men having the spirit of natural inspiration receive advanced ideas, and new truths are discovered by them, as in the case of inventors. The Spirit of God works in a similar way on the minds of men operating in a higher capacity. They receive the manifestations of the Holy Ghost and the things of heaven are shown unto them. But in order that this may be the case with a Latter-day Saint he must search for the truth and study it out diligently in his mind. We should remember these things, and not become too much engrossed in temporalities, and in the pursuit of wealth, to devote attention to spiritual matters.

Apostle M. W. Merrill.

            I realize that no Elder can edify the Saints without the aid of the Holy Ghost. Oratory and long sermons have converted very few to the Gospel. Men unlearned and unaccustomed to public speaking have converted the honest, because the Lord was with them.

            If there was ever a time when the Saints needed to seek the Lord it is now, and I feel to exhort you, my brethren and sisters, to turn to the Lord. Search your own hearts and find out how you stand before the heavens. How simple the language used by John the Baptist, when he conferred upon Joseph and Oliver the Priesthood of Aaron. Yet that authority so conferred embraced the keys of the ministering of angels and the Gospel of repentance. Most of the adult male members of the Church have received this or the higher Priesthood. Any Elder of this Church who will labor in the calling of a Teacher and who does it faithfully will enjoy the blessing of God, and the Spirit of Revelation. He will not need to ask the same questions of every family he visits but it will be manifested to him what he shall ask and what counsel he shall give to each household.

            The Saints need the labors of the Teachers. They need to be reminded by these officers of their duties. They need to be asked if they are attending to their prayers, taking proper care of their children, and attending to their other duties. We may reach into the hidden things and it will profit us nothing if we do not live according to what God has revealed. Some may think it enough if they keep the name of being a Saint. But a day of reckoning is coming when the account of each person will be examined, and when he will be judged according to his works.

            In 1882 the Lord called upon the Church through President Taylor to set itself in order. The Saints were commanded to set their houses and their families in order. How many of us have done this? How many Elders make a practice of gathering their families together and giving them proper instruction? Young people raised in the church will be found scattered far and wide in different parts of the world. Why are they not among the Saints? Have we been faithful in looking after our youth? Have we taught them diligently to keep the Sabbath day holy? We will be held responsible before the Lord to do this. We should teach our children to shun Sunday excursions. The season for these things is approaching and we should warn our children against them.

            There is another subject which has not received the attention from the Saints' that it should have had. It is the redemption of the dead. It is a great work which rests upon the Saints, and they should not be neglectful respecting it. If the members of this Church had their ancestry and kindred back for only a few hundred years, they would not be able to do the Temple work for all. Our lives are too short. There is not time enough to do this work in this life, but we should do all we can of it.

            The time will come when we shall have at our conferences, not only one overflow meeting but many of them, in different buildings. Perhaps we shall have some in the Temple.

Elder J. M. Tanner.

            No doubt the benefit we derive from these conferences depends much upon the attention we give them. If a man would make progress intellectually, he must devote attention to the effort; so if he would have his faith increased and his spiritual nature strengthened, he must give attention to the teachings he hears from the servants of the Lord. No doubt some of the Saints at this Conference will go away more benefited than others. Some will leave feeling the necessity of reforming their lives, but others will have their minds too much engrossed in temporal matters to attend to their spiritual welfare.

            The Jews of all nations have a similarity with other. They have similar purposes and aims, and have preserved their identity as a race. They have been aided to do this by the early training they received in assembling together at Jerusalem from distant regions and countries to receive religious instruction. No person who has attended this Conference in a proper spirit will fail to feel that he has been amply repaid for so doing. In the times of Solomon's Temple, there were different gatherings held in different parts of the Temple grounds to receive instruction. We see in modern Israel a similar condition.

            The speaker dwelt upon the celebration of Easter by the Roman and Greek churches, and in the Holy Land, describing the same in an interesting manner. He also described at length the ceremonies and exercises which take place at Easter, in the Church of the Holy sepulchre at Jerusalem, portraying the ignorance and fanaticism of the worshipers. He also described the babel of confusion which exists among the different Christian sects of Jerusalem, and their hatred of each other, showing how the infidel Turk was compelled to interfere to prevent Christians from slaying each other.

            How different it is with us! With what a different feeling we greet each other ! The scene we behold in this city today is vastly different from what we would see in Jerusalem on the celebration of Easter. I know that God does live in the midst of His people. I have seen many manifestations of His power among them. I pray that the Saints may take with them to their homes the spirit of this conference.

Bishop O. F. Whitney.

            I rejoice in the testimonies which have been borne at this conference. My soul has been fed, and I have been strengthened, edified and built up by what I have heard. While sitting here I have been trying to recall how long a time has passed since I received a knowledge of the truth of this work. I think it is about thirteen years. When a small boy my mother frequently took me to meeting, but I did not like to go, to sit on a hard bench, and listen to preaching that I did not understand, though at times I felt the influence of the Spirit, of the Lord. We have been told that our minds must not be too much engrossed with the things of the world if we would understand and appreciate the things of God. This is the reason, perhaps, why I did not appreciate the Gospel till I became a young man. Perhaps I had been too fond of social pleasures, theatres, balls, amusements, etc. At all events the veil was not lifted from my mind until I had been called and had gone forth on a mission.

            I well remember attending the debate between Apostle Orson Pratt and Dr. Newman, on the question: "Does the Bible Sanction Polygamy." I was then a boy of 14 or 15. I thought Dr. Newman at times was getting the best of the argument, because he was more eloquent, because he shouted louder and swung his arms more than Brother Pratt. But when alone and friendless in the missionary field, not knowing where I was next to find food and shelter, and when I had received a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, and was under the influence of the Spirit of God, I read the debate between Apostle Pratt and Dr. Newman, and was astonished at the impressions I had formed of it before. I learned then that eloquence is not argument nor noise and fury the truth and power of God.

            On returning from my mission some of my young friends predicted that I would get over my religious feelings and be as I had been before, but I had prayed fervently to the Lord that I might never lay off the Gospel harness. It has ever since been my desire to labor for the advancement of the kingdom of God, and this I have done, though well aware of my shortcomings and imperfections.

            I heard of a veteran Elder once say to a youthful convert, who was brimming over with zeal and enthusiasm in the good work: "Oh, you'll get over that. We all feel that way in the first place." I have often pondered upon those words, and when I have heard aged men, who for 30, 40 or 50 years have been engaged in preaching the Gospel, bearing testimony to its truth in burning words, I have come to the conclusion that that man was mistaken, and that there is no reason why our testimony of the truth should grow dim, or our zeal abate, if we live and labor as we should. As long as a man will live for the testimony of the spirit he will have it. It would be a good thing if we always had humility enough, when our spiritual strength wanes and our minds grow dark to confess that the fault lies with ourselves. Latter-day Saints who will lead chaste and pure, temperate, faithful lives, will never have occasion to say that the fruits of the Gospel are less sweet to them than formerly. But if we practice fraud and trickery, if we worship Mammon, if we are jealous of and conspire against each other, if we lust after forbidden things, we are very liable to say: "I once felt full of enthusiasm and zeal, but I've got over it now." There is always a good reason why a tree fails to blossom and bear fruit. The testimony of the Gospel in the bosom of a man who lives as he should live will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.

            Persecution and tribulation can be borne patiently by the faithful, and if we successfully bear the burdens placed upon us, they will make us stronger. The blasts that sweep through the branches of the forest oak, or mountain pine, the snows that descend and well nigh bury them, the cataracts that tumble upon them from the hills, only give them greater vigor and longevity. So with our souls. If trials come and are borne, they benefit us. If our pride is clipped and humbled occasionally, it does us good. God is a careful gardener. He trims our upper branches sometimes, so that we will not grow all to top, and in order that our roots may strike deeper and our characters be made stronger. There never has been and never will be too much trouble in this world. God knows best how much we need. There never was a man or a people chosen to do a great work in the earth, that did not have to endure hardships. Who were then ancient Romans? Outlaws, fleeing from justice. But they grew strong under hardships, fighting for their very existence, until they became men of iron, powerful enough to conquer the world. So with the stalwart Greeks who overran luxurious and effeminate Persia. Our mission is not war, but peace. our warfare is not against our fellow-men, but against evil principles and powers, and that warfare begins at home. We must first fight against ourselves, conquer our own lusts and passions, our own pride and self-will, and thus, as saved beings, be enabled to save others.

            Never let us have it to say that we once had a testimony that "Mormonism" was true, but that we've outgrown it. We can not outgrow "Mormonism." We may grow too small for it and drop out of it. A fire will burn as long as it is supplied with fuel. The Holy Ghost is the fire of God kindled in our hearts. The fuel that will keep it burning is good deeds, pure thoughts, noble words and kind and holy and benevolent desires.

            The choir sang an anthem.

            Benediction by Apostle J. H. Smith

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference.

_____

4-6 Oct 1890, 60th Semi-Annual General Conference, SLC Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly 41:515, 10/11/90, p 13; Millennial Star 52:673, 689, 705, 721, 737, 753]

[4 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 41:515-518, 10/11/90, p 13-16]

GENERAL CONFERENCE

____

            The sixty-first [60th] semi-annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, convened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4th, 1890, in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, President Wilford Woodruff presiding.

            There were on the stand: Of the First Presidency, Wilford Woodruff and George Q. Cannon; of the council of the Twelve Apostles: Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Mariner W. Merrill, Anton H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon; Patriarch, John Smith; of the Presiding Council of the Seventies: Seymour B. Young, John Morgan and B. H. Roberts; of the Presiding Bishopric: William B. Preston and John R. Winder.

            There were also present a large number of Presidents of Stakes and other prominent brethren from various parts of Utah and surrounding States and Territories.

            Conference was called to order by President George Q. Cannon.

            The choir sang:

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God!
He, whose word can not be broken, Chose thee for His own abode.

            The opening prayer was offered by President Lorenzo Snow.

            Singing by the choir:

How pleasant ‘tis to see Kindred and friends agree,
Each in his proper station more, And each fulfill his part,
With sympathizing heart, In all the cares of life and love.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff

Addressed the Conference. He said: I feel this morning to offer up the gratitude of my heart to God, my Heavenly Father, that my life has been preserved to again meet in a semi-annual conference with the Saints. I feel thankful that I have the privilege of meeting with so many of the Apostles, Elders and Saints who have assembled here on this occasion.

            Our Heavenly Father revealed from heaven, over sixty years ago, to the inhabitants of the earth, through the mouth of the Prophet of god, whom He raised up, that He had set His hand once more, for the last time, to prune His vineyard and to prepare the people of the earth for the coming of the Son of Man. Over sixty years have passed away since those revelations were given. The Lord called upon the children of men, to take upon themselves the name of Christ – those who were willing to enter in the vineyard of the Lord and preach the Gospel of Christ to them. He gave us to understand that we should be called to go forth and preach the message of the Son of God in this last dispensation of the fulness of times. Many of those who engaged to carry out and fulfill these promises of God to mankind are today in the spirit world. They have closed their mission, they have borne their testimony, they ave fulfilled the object of their creation, they have magnified the high and holy Priesthood which the God of heaven has sealed upon their heads, to go forth and administer in the ordinances of life and salvation. A few of us are left; some of us still remain here in the flesh, and we are still called upon to labor. We are still called to officiate in the Holy Priesthood, and to administer in the ordinances of salvation to the children of men.

            It has been a very important dispensation, a very interesting generation in which we live as Latter-day Saints. The history of this Church is before the world, and we are still passing through many interesting portions of the experience of the work of god in the last days.

            I will say to the Latter-day Saints, the Lord has fulfilled, so far, all that He has promised unto us. The Lord has called many men – hundreds of them – from the nations of the earth, who have received the Holy Priesthood, the authority by which the God of Israel has always administered in heaven and on the earth the ordinances of life and salvation. They have labored faithfully until the present day; they have warned the inhabitants of the earth. All nations under heaven have been visited by the Elders of Israel as far as the doors were open to receive them. The Lord, so far, has warned the world; He has, so far, carried out the object of the calling of the sons of men. The Gospel has been preached and the children of men have heard it in every nation, including our own. They have heard the testimony of these Elders of Israel. And what was the mission given to the Elders? To go forth and deliver the Gospel message to all the world. The people were called upon to repent of their sins, to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and when they had faith in God, in the Gospel, faith to believe and receive those testimonies given to them, they were called upon to go forth and be baptized for the remission of their sins. Then they had the privilege of receiving the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost.

            These are some of the principles that have been taught from the time of Father Adam down to that of every Patriarch, Prophet, Apostle – and even the Savior himself – in their day and generation, as the only Gospel ever revealed to the human family in any age of the world. There has never been but one Gospel; that Gospel is "the same today, yesterday and forever." That Gospel is the same that was taught by Adam to his children; which Elijah, Methuselah, and all the ancient prophets and patriarchs taught to their posterity, and the inhabitants of the earth. Jesus Christ taught the same when He came in the meridian of time; He never deviated from it in any instance. Paul the Apostle, born in due time, received the Gospel at the hands of the Lord, who said, though he or an angel from heaven preached any other Gospel, let him be accursed. That Gospel was revealed to Joseph Smith in all its fulness, power and glory, with all its graces, gifts and principles. He taught it to those around him; he organized this Church on the 6th day of April, 1830; and through all the tribulations, persecutions and troubles of the Latter-day Saints, that same Gospel has been among us.

            I feel thankful that I have lived so long, connected with this Church and Kingdom, and that I live now in the midst of the Latter-day Saints. As the Lord has set His hand to warn the world, to warn this generation, to prune the vineyard. He will leave every nation under heaven without excuse, in these days of judgments, calamities and tribulations, which are about to be poured out upon the earth.

            I feel thankful that I have been associated with this people up to the present day. How long I shall remain among the Latter-day Saints I do not know. It matters not with me; but I have the same testimony to bear today that I have had from the commencement of this Church – that it is the work of god as promised and prophesied of through the mouths of inspired men for 6000 years. I bear my testimony to these things this morning.

            I hope and trust that while we are assembled in this conference our hearts may be united in faith and prayer, that we may enjoy the Holy Spirit of god. Without the inspiration of that Spirit, Utah would be as barren a desert, as far as we are concerned, today as we found it on the 24th of July, 1847. When you heard the Gospel of Christ preached by those humble men who had been called from their various occupations, to go forth in the Lord's cause, inspired by the Holy Ghost, without purse or scrip, taking no thought what they should eat or what they should drink, you knew that what they taught was true. You heard and believed their testimony, and that same testimony is here with this entire people today. When you received the testimony you were baptized for the remission of your sins, you had hands laid upon you for the reception of the Holy ghost. Without all this you would have remained at home.

            I know that this is the work of God, and so do you; therefore let our hearts be thankful to god; let us unite together in our prayers to Him; let us do our duty faithfully while we dwell here in the flesh, and carry out those principles in which we have been taught. Let us continue to preach the Gospel, to warn the nations, to build up Zion, and establish righteousness; so that when we get through and go on the other side of the vail we will be satisfied with our labors here. We should try, therefore, to live our religion, to be true and faithful to our covenants, and to all those principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which will save all men both in time and eternity.
                I pray to God my Heavenly Father that His blessing may rest upon us - upon these Elders of Israel, upon these Apostles of the Lamb of god, that they may be inspired to declare the words of salvation during this conference to their brethren and sisters, which may God grant, for Christ's sake, Amen.

_____

Elder John Morgan,

Of the Presidency of the Seventies, was the next speaker. Following is the substance of his remarks: There is peace in the midst of the Latter-day Saints. For this blessing we should be grateful, in view of the efforts that are being made to harrass the community. I bear testimony to the truth of Brother Woodruff's remarks. These principles will remain. They are the everlasting Gospel that has always existed and will continue. They unite the children of men together. In the end all men will know that God has spoken these things. It behooves the Elders and Saints to be true and faithful and warn the inhabitants of the earth of judgments soon to come. If we do this our reward is sure. There is a great work to be performed in the nations; also among the Saints at home. The labors of a teacher are very important. They should built up the Saints. Some of the people complain that they are neglected by the teachers, because they are devoted to temporal matters of a personal nature. It will be well for the Teacher in the ward or Sunday school to attend to his duties. If he do them he shall reap joy and rejoicing. So with the missionaries to foreign lands. They have received freely, freely should they give, testifying that God has again revealed the true Gospel. This active work creates in the hearts of those who engage in it an abiding love for the souls of men. There should be no division among the Saints. They should see eye to eye, and not be narrowed down in their feelings, reaching out after the honest in heart and seeking after those who grope in the dark, that they may be brought into the light of truth. All malice and evil speaking should be eschewed. We should sustain and uphold, in their labors among the people, those who have been called of God to preside over his church. If we are faithful to our trusts all will be well with us.

_____

Elder B. H. Roberts,

Of the Presidency of the Seventies, said in substance: I have always accounted myself blessed to be associated with the work of god in this dispensation, and have greatly rejoiced that I have been brought in contact with the gospel, called by the world, "Mormonism." I can understand the feelings of gratitude that pervade the hearts of the Saints regarding this work, but it is no wonder that the world regard it with astonishment. The initial announcements connected with it were calculated to startle the religious world. In the first vision of Joseph Smith, the Prophet was informed by Christ that there were none of the sects right, but all had gone out of the way. So bold a declaration by the youthful Prophet was calculated to astonish the world. But this does not argue that there are not thousands of people in the world whom God loves. The significance of the opening announcement in this dispensation was merely that men had departed from the right way, and that they should be informed of the fact, that the way might be prepared for the re-establishment of the true Church of Christ. What Joseph declared is predicted in the scriptures, in which the Christians profess to believe. John, while on the Isle of Patmos, predicted the restoration of the Gospel in its fulness in the latter days, through the medium of an angel. This was to occur in "the hour of god's judgment." Had the inhabitants of the earth been in possession of the Gospel as it is in Christ, this predicted restoration would have been superogatory. Connected with this prophecy of John it is clearly stated that the inhabitants of the earth should be called upon to worship the true God, indicating that their worship at that time would not be directed to ward that Great Being. a portion of the fulfilment of that prediction was the bringing forth of the record called the book of Mormon, adding for Christ, the testimony of the Prophets who existed on this continent, they being thus united with that of those on the eastern hemisphere. Gradually the rich treasures of heaven have been developed, and the work of God has progressed, preparing the way for the coming of Christ, who shall establish a reign of righteousness and peace. He shall take the government into His own hands, and we have the glorious privilege of increasing faith on the earth, that a people may be ready to receive the Lord when he shall come. Before another general Conference shall be reached we shall have entered upon the year 1891. The speaker here read from Sec. 130 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which relates to the coming of the Son of Man, and referred to some remarks made by the Prophet February 14th, 1835, at a meeting wherein certain Elders were told that they were called to go forth and prune the vineyard for the time, before the coming of Christ, even 56 years should wind up the scene. continuing, Elder Roberts said, that these circumstances have called the saints to believe that some great epoch will open at that time – the year following the present. My faith in the matter is that whatever the Lord has in mind to accomplish in that year will be performed. It may be something, however, that would scarcely create a ripple. The organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was one of the greatest events of the history of the world. It was organized with six members, and but little was known concerning it even in the neighborhood where it occurred, at the time. Yet behold to what proportions the work then begun has grown. It may be that the greatness of what shall occur in 1891 will not be comprehended until succeeding years.

_____

President Woodruff

Said: I do not think anyone can tell the hour of the coming of the Son of Man. I think those things have been sufficiently revealed to us; so that we need not look for the time of that event to be made known. I will say here that in my dreams I have had a great many visits from the Prophet Joseph since his death. The last time I met him was in the spirit world. I met him at the Temple. He spoke to me. Calling me by name, he said, "I cannot stop to talk to you, for I am in a hurry." I met Father Smith. He, too, said to me, "I am in a hurry." I met a great many of the Apostles and others who are in the spirit world, and they all seemed to be in a hurry. I marveled at this, and wondered very greatly in my mind why anybody should be in a hurry in the Paradise of God.

            I had an interview with the Prophet Joseph afterwards and asked him the question, "Why are you all in such a hurry here?" I said, "I have always been in a hurry in the world since I was born, but I thought there would be no occasion for it when I died and entered the spirit world." He replied, "Well. I will tell you: The Prophets and Apostles in this dispensation have had no time nor opportunity to prepare themselves to go to the earth with the great bridegroom when He goes to meet the bride, the Lamb's wife. We in this dispensation have not had time. We have first as much work to perform, to prepare ourselves as in other dispensations." He said the time was at hand for the coming of the Son of Man, for Christ to go forth in fulfilment of revelation and prophecy, to meet the bride, the Lamb's wife, the Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth. Says He, "That is not revealed to us, nor never will be until the hour comes; but we have much work to do to prepare ourselves for the event."

            I have always believed from the revelations that we never would know the exact time of the coming of the Son of man; and I am more convinced of this from what the Prophet said to me in my dreams.

            I have had a many interviews with President Young since he died, a great many teachings from him, and from others who held important positions here in the flesh, but who have gone into the spirit world, and seem, in a measure to have an interest and watch-care over the Church and Kingdom of God though they have passed to the other side of the veil.

_____

President Lorenzo Snow

Quoted from I Samuel, 12 chap. 22 verse:

"For the Lord will not forsake His people for His great name's sake; because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people."

            Also from the 37th chapter of Matthew, beginning at the 38th verse, which relates the incidents of the crucifixion of our Lord. Brother Snow then said in substance: The Lord has called us from the world to be His people and to sustain and support us as such. In the quotation read from Samuel, the statement it embodies was made to the Jewish people. What may be said in that connection in reference to a community may be said regarding individuals whom God approves. In the history of a people of God, it is always a matter of experience that the Lord will seem at times as if He had forsaken them as a community and as individuals. I declare that God has not, and will never forsake the Latter-day Saints. Abraham was placed in peculiar circumstances. It required the utmost faith for him to believe that God was with him. So with Job, who had, until apparently left to himself, been greatly blessed. There were times in his life that were very distressing, and it seemed as if God had forsaken him. It was a dark day, but the Lord had not departed from him. After he had passed through affliction the countenance of the Almighty shone upon him, and he was delivered. Consider also the experience of the Savior in Gethsemane, when He endured incalculable mental torture. When on the cross, His sufferings and sense of loneliness were so intense that he called out "My God, my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" When we pass through ordeals as a people, His face finally beams upon us and He delivers us. The past teaches this plainly. The sun of glory will arise upon the Saints and deliverance will appear. If we have lived as we ought we know that God has accepted us.

            In such gatherings as this there are people from nearly all the nations of the earth. We came together because we received something that caused us to believe God had accepted us. We heard a testimony from the servants of the Lord that He had raised up a prophet, and had laid down an order of things by obedience to which individuals could receive intelligence from the celestial world. When the obedience was rendered, those who were baptized for the remission of sins and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands rejoiced in a living witness of divine acceptance. We received a testimony that these things were true. This is what brought the tens of thousands of people called Latter-day Saints to this region. We are the people of God; He has not and will not forsake us, although we may have to pass through experiences that will, to the natural man, make it appear as if He had. Brother Snow further continued his theme, imparting comfort, instruction and encouragement to the Saints.

_____

Apostle Anton H. Lund

Next briefly addressed the Conference. Following is the substance of his remarks: I rejoice in the blessings of the Lord. We should be grateful that we live when the gospel has been revealed and that we have received a testimony of its divine origin. In having this testimony we should not stand still, but seek to carry out what God has revealed to us. It is not only needful for us to know that we have begun to walk in the path pointed out by the finger of revelation, but we must pass on in fulfilling the duties incumbent upon us. We should not leave our first love which we received and enjoyed when we entered the church. If we have become lukewarm the fault is in us. If we have been faithful we will be full of life and love, and show our gratitude to God by our course of life. Persecution should not retard our progress, as it gives up experience and enables us to show our fidelity. Those who will live godly in Christ will suffer persecution; it gives them experience and increases their faith.

            The anthem "Sing unto the Lord," was sung by the choir.

            Adjourned till 2 p.m. Benediction by Apostle Mariner W. Merrill.

[4 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 41:518-519, 10/11/90, p 16-17]

Afternoon Session.

            Singing by the choir:

Behold, the mountain of the Lord In latter days shall rise,
On mountain tops, above the hills, And draw the wond'ring eyes.

            Prayer by Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock.

            The choir sang:

How swift the months have passed away ‘tis Conference again
And Zion's untold thousands come to swell the joyous strain.

_____

Apostle Franklin D. Richards

Addressed the assemblage. The following is the substance of what he said:

            He rejoiced in the contemplation of the work in which the Lord had called upon the Latter-day Saints to engage, and the longer he himself labored in God's cause the more intense became the pleasure of his soul. To say that he knew this to be the work of the Lord was simply to repeat that which had been so often uttered by the brethren when bearing their testimony to the truth of the gospel. He learnt it many years ago, and since then this work had gone on increasing abundantly.

            It mattered not how much the powers of darkness raged against the Latter-day Saints, this fact did not alter their line of duty, but rather strengthened their faith and spurred them on to further effort. At all times they should seek to be "diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."

            He desired most earnestly to testify to the truth of this work, which was making such rapid progress; indeed if they looked at it carefully and in the critical light of the spirit, it would be found that it was going forward about as fast as the Saints were prepared to receive it. He urged that the strong among us should help the weaker ones, while the weak should hold on to the strong, thereby sustaining them in the trials and temptations which beset the people on every hand.

            Many interesting questions were arising in the present day, among others the coming of the Son of Man, reference to which was made this morning. While this was a speculative matter, the signs of His coming were now abundantly manifest. While we could not obtain from the revelations any definite statement of the time of Christ's coming in His power and majesty, to take to Himself the Kingdom, we could learn from them a great many things which had to transpire before that great event would come to pass. It had been declared to us from on high that the hour of god's judgment had come. We had seen those judgments, more or less, poured out upon the world, manifested sometimes by terrible fatalities. But we were told that before Christ again came the sun should be darkened and the moon turned into blood, Jerusalem should be rebuilt, and many other things be performed in the land of Israel. We need not deceive ourselves, however, for God had given us a great deal of prophecy and revelation relating to the restitution of this dispensation.

            After citing several of these from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the speaker said we were blessed with many revelations, doctrines, commandments, and principles that should be a guide to us in our every day life. He counseled the Saints to think more of holy things and less of the affairs of this world. By some persons, death had been regarded as the "king of terrors," but such was not the case with those who were filled with the Holy Ghost. Many of the righteous fell asleep in death as peacefully and calmly as did some fall into a natural sleep when they laid their heads upon the pillow at night. The terror of death lay in sin, when the conscience was burdened with guilt and a knowledge of evil deeds.

            There was much to do in these last days; therefore, said Apostle Richards, in conclusion, let us be on the watch, keep diligently the commandments of God, walk before Him in all righteousness, and so train u p our children that they may fear Him and serve Him faithfully all the days of their lives.

_____

Apostle Moses Thatcher

Addressed the Conference. Following is a brief synopsis of his remarks: I hope to be able to speak under the influence of the same Spirit as that which animated those who have preceded me. These gatherings result in much good to the Saints who desire to serve the Lord. We should be grounded in the truth. Those who have the Holy Ghost need not err. They walk in the light which comes out from our Heavenly Father. We should be more concerned about being prepared for coming events than filled with a desire to hasten them. There are many seductive spirits enticing us into dark and devious ways. The seed of the gospel has been cast abroad, and there will be various yields. Where it has fallen among rocks it will be destroyed by the heat of the sun. The Book of Doctrine and Covenants tells the manner in which many have fallen – they have loved the things of the world and the honors of men. These allurements endanger our hopes of salvation? It is important that we know the spirit we are following and manifest the fruits of the Gospel. Notwithstanding the efforts of the enemies of truth. It must be apparent to every observer that the Saints are being prospered in the things of the world. In this fact there is danger. I have always considered persecution as necessary. Blessings acrue to us through sacrifice. Happiness comes through being consistent and seeking to do good to the world.

            I have never known a time when the authorities of the Church were more united than now. The Presidency are one; so are the Twelve. They have sought to lay aside any feeling of jealousy or envy that may have existed, and become united in Christ. I have never known a time when their union was more perfect than it is today.

            Reference has been made to the coming of the Son of man. Brother Franklin D. Richards has cited events that must precede that great occurrence. The Book of Doctrine and Covenants says that the Lamanites must be established before the Lord shall come in His glory. There are 12,000,000 of Lamanites in Mexico and Central America. This shows the magnitude of the work to be done among that race alone. But the Lord can appear on the mountain and in the Temple. He appeared to Joseph in the Kirtland Temple. President Woodruff testified that he had met and communed with Joseph at various times. This is not surprising. I look for a time to come when communications between the visible Church and the Church behind the vail will be common.

            Speaking of the year 1891 being eventful, has not 1890 shown many eventful features. Accidents and other catastrophes are multiplying, convulsions of nature are increasing. What causes produce the terrible accidents that are of such frequent occurrence? This is a sermon of nature. Men are becoming more and more reckless of human life, being devoid of natural affection.

            Our position as a people is peculiar. But we are seeking to pray for our enemies, and not return evil for evil upon their heads. It is remarkable to what lengths some men will go in their opposition to the Saints, and to attain their own ulterior purposes. There is for instance a man in the north who, when an executive officer, said he had obtained a jury who would convict Jesus Christ if he were placed on trial. That man now asks the suffrages of the people to enable him to obtain a seat in the national legislature. The treatment of the people of Utah is perfectly startling, being subversive of all the grand principles that underlie the institutions of this government. A few years ago a person who believed that the object of the crusade was the robbing of the Saints would have been called a fanatic, yet it is now an accomplished fact. The time will come when our brothers in this nation will understand us better than they do now. When the opportunity presents itself, as it shall in the future, for the people of Utah to show their loyalty to the government, they will, I believe, not be found to be behind any of their fellow-country men. We shall occupy to our nation the position that Joseph, who was sold into Egypt stood in toward his brethren. The Lord will not let the labors of the revolutionary fathers fall to the ground. A class of young men will arise in these mountains who will help to rescue the nation in the day of its calamity. They are good and true citizens, although their first allegiance is to God. If we are true to ourselves, our country and our god we shall arise above everything that stands in the way of our development. The day of calamity is approaching. I is at the doors. Society will soon be convulsed, and those who will not take up the sword against their neighbors will flee to these mountains for safety and we will receive them, afford them relief, and not treat them as they have treated us. The speaker closed with a testimony to the divine character of the work founded by Joseph Smith and predicting the final triumph of truth.

_____

Apostle F. M. Lyman

Next addressed the Conference. He remarked that the Lord was upon the side of this people, and would sustain and preserve them. The work in which the Latter-day Saints were engaged was the word of God and not of man. The Father cared for and sustained His faithful servants. It was not the judgment, skill, understanding, or cunning of man that had converted this people. The Lord Himself had done this; He had given them faith, repentance, and also baptism, by which they had received a remission of their sins. The good that the Saints had done God had enabled them to accomplish. The Latter-day Saints were not divided, but stood as one, and god was pleased with their labors. This people were rapidly becoming numerically stronger, and their faith increased in proportion. God had planted in their hearts a knowledge of the truth and given them His spirit, and communication had been opened between us and the heavens.

            Apostle Lyman spoke of the importance of prayer, and strongly exhorted the Saints to be more earnest in this respect than in the past. They should pray to the Lord often, and their supplications would be abundantly answered. Let them be prepared for the coming of the Savior in His power and glory, for the summons might reach us when least expected.

            Let there be more faithfulness in Israel. Let the people cease backbitings, quarrels, contentions, envyings, strife, and all vanities should be put away. Intemperance and other sins which beset their paths should likewise be carefully guarded against. In our associations and societies as well as in the family circle a spirit of unity and harmony should ever prevail, and nothing be allowed to enter in any way calculated to cause a feeling of jealousy or bitterness. Every man and woman in Zion should be as a light set upon a hill, that cannot be hid. No Latter-day Saint should be ashamed of his actions, but should live a life above the slightest suspicion.

            He prayed God to bless this people and the testimony borne by the speakers during Conference – that the instructions imported might find a place in their hearts, and that every word spoken would bring forth good fruit in due season.

[Francis M. Lyman]

[DNW 41:586-588, 10/25/90, p 18-20; CD 2:108-112]

REMARKS

By Elder Francis M. Lyman, at the Semi-Annual Conference,
Salt Lake City, Saturday afternoon, October 4, 1890

_____

      It is important, my brethren and sisters, that the Elders who stand before a conference like this should receive the support of the faith and prayers of the Latter-day Saints, because it is a very great undertaking to represent the Lord and to speak in His name and by His authority, and the brethren feel their weakness in doing it. They do not stand here as men who are learned, men who are qualified to teach after the manner of the world; but they stand before the people to speak as they shall have utterance from the Lord. They have been remarkably blessed today, and their testimonies and exhortations have been edifying to those who have listened. They have spoken to us the truth, and the Lord has been with them, and I feel to testify to the truth of their remarks, as well as to the truth of the doctrines that we have received from the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith, to the record that he translated by the gift and power of God (the Book of Mormon) and to the principles that have been laid down for the salvation of the human family. The Lord is on the side of the Latter-day Saints, and He will sustain them and preserve them. Our confidence today is not greater, though we are so much more numerous and widespread, than it was in the beginning of the work. The confidence and faith of the Prophet Joseph and his brethren in the commencement-when the Priesthood of Melchisedec was conferred, when the various quorums of the Priesthood were organized, when the Bishopric was established, when the Apostleship was conferred, and when the Twelve Apostles were chosen-was just as great as it is today. It is not because of numbers, but it is because of the testimony of Jesus. We know that the Lord has revealed to us the Gospel. He has made plain to us its truth, its power, its value. He has labored with His servants. He preserved them when they were few. When He had but one-Joseph Smith-He preserved him; and it was no more difficult to preserve the Prophet alone than it is today to preserve two hundred and fifty thousand Latter-day Saints. The work is not secure because of the great number of its devotees. It is secure because it is God's work, not the work of man. It is the founder of the work who cares for it. He sustains His servants and His people. It has not been the wisdom of man, or the judgment, skill and understanding of man that has converted you. The Lord has done it. The Lord has given you faith. The Lord has given you repentance. The Lord has given you baptism, by which you have received the remission of your sins. The good that you have done, the Lord has enabled you to do. The missions that you have performed and that which you have accomplished in these valleys, you have done by the aid of the Lord. The Lord has given fertility to the soil. The Lord has provided the earth. He has given to us the seasons, and the fruitfulness of the earth; and he has given to us the barrenness as well, and the drouth; and all the good things that we have around us the Lord has provided.

      The Lord has made His servants one. The testimony of Brother Moses Thatcher is true. The Lord is with President Woodruff. The Lord is with his Counselors. The Lord is with the Apostles. He will sustain and preserve them, if they keep His commandments. If they transgress the laws of God, they will fall, one and all; but if they are faithful and devoted to God, they will be honored, loved and respected, as they are today. Israel loves the servants of the Lord. The Latter-day Saints know the voice of the true Shepherd. They hear the Apostles, they hear the Elders, and they are my witnesses that the Lord is with these Apostles; that He sustains them, that He speaks through them, and that He gives them judgment, and counsel, and wisdom, and faith, and He preserves them from sin. The Lord is doing this. He has made them one. Unlike the disciples of olden times, they are not seeking occasion against one another. But they magnify, and love, and respect, and are lifting one another up, and trying to come nearer to our Father who dwells in heaven. That is what these Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ are doing. They are not divided. They are one. And God is pleased with them and with their labors.

      Now, this is the good word that we speak for ourselves; and the Lord speaketh through us, for it is true. Sustain the servants of the Lord. Sustain the organization of the Church. Honor the Priesthood that you have received, and that labors among you; and thus honor God. For no man can honor our Father who disregards the Priesthood that he bears.

      We live in important times. Anything very remarkable? Yes. The Saints are increasing rapidly. They are spreading abroad. They are increasing in faith, in union, and in a knowledge of the principles of eternal life. And the Lord has not wrought with us as a whole alone; He has wrought with us individually, as His servants, as His handmaidens. He has labored with us in our families. He has labored with us in our Wards, in our Stakes, in our quorums, in our associations. He has planted in the breasts of the Latter-day Saints, individually, a knowledge of the truth. He has given to us His Spirit, and communication has been opened between us and the Lord. The Prophet Joseph has conversed with President Woodruff. Others have done the same. We have all talked with these brethren, and with other brethren. The revelations of the Lord have been with us. We have known the mind and will of the Lord, and the counsels of the Almighty are dwelling in the midst of the people. And we are expecting something in the near future. We expect the Saints to triumph over sin. We expect them to become more righteous, and sin and corruption to be less among them in the future than it has been in the past, and very much less than it is among other people. If this be not the case, then are we disappointed. During 1891 we ought, individually, to seek to come just as near to the Lord as we possibly can, by extra fidelity, humility, obedience, and keeping the laws of the Lord. We should remember our prayers more faithfully than we have ever done before. A great many in Zion pray once a day. I learn, as I travel throughout the Church, that some of the brethren think once a day is enough to pray in their families. I want to advise you, if you would be prepared for what is to come in 1891, to pray twice a day, and remember the Lord at noon. We find in the Book of Mormon that the servant of the Lord urged the people in that day to pray morning, noon and night-three times a day. I say, let the Latter-day Saints offer their prayers in due season, and never neglect them. Remember the Lord, and His commandments in regard to your tithings. Pay them in their kind, and pay them fully. For a man who lacketh in his prayers, and in his tithing, and in his good conduct in his family, will not be prepared for that which is coming in 1891. It may not be anything that the world may be able to take notice of, or even all the Latter-day Saints; but what wonderful things have happened that the world knew nothing about at the time. I thought, when Elder Roberts was speaking this morning, that he was going to refer not only to the organization of the Church in 1830, as a matter that did not disturb the neighborhood for a little while, nor the county, nor the State, but also to another important event that took place before then. What disturbance was made in the world when the Father and the Son came and visited the Prophet Joseph, and the Father said to him: "This is my beloved Son; hear Him"? How numerous were those who heard of that? No other person saw the light, or the Father and the Son; no other person could bear that testimony, until Joseph had of spoken it.

      Now, to be prepared for the coming of the Savior in glory and in power, we find that a marvelous work is yet to be done. What is it? Why, the Gospel is to be preached. We are but a handful of people. We have only a few hundreds of Elders in the missionary field all the time-less than five hundred, probably. How long will it take five hundred men to preach the Gospel to the whole world, as a witness, before the end shall come? We are laboring and doing what we can, and the Lord will prompt His servants when more shall be done; and we will gain strength and power, until we are prepared to accomplish what the Lord designs should be accomplished. But it is important for us as Latter-day Saints to know individually that we stand in the favor of the Lord, and to know that our prayers are heard by the Lord and answered upon our heads. We ought to become so well acquainted with the Spirit of the Lord that we could not be deceived. We should understand it, and it should dwell with us. When we hear the words of counsel that come from those who have the right to give counsel to the Church, every Latter-day Saint ought to know it in a moment, and ought to recognize the voice and counsel of the Lord through His servants.

      I feel to exhort all Israel-those gathered here and those not here-to be more faithful in the future. Cease backbiting, cease quarreling, cease your envyings and strife, and vanity, and folly, and intemperance, and every sin that doth so easily beset the people. Let all men, everywhere, repent. Let us all try to refrain from the follies of the past, and in the future of our lives let us be able to go before the Lord and say that we love one another. Oh! what a joyful time it will be when all Israel can say, We love one another. Can it be said in all the quorums as it can be said by the First Presidency and the Twelve and the First Seven Presidents of Seventies, that we love another, that we feel to bless, encourage and strengthen one another, and that unselfishly we bow before the Lord and ask upon our brethren the same blessings that we would that the Lord should bestow upon us? Do the sisters in Zion-that important part and body of the Church of Christ-feel that way toward each other? Are families living together in that close communion and fellowship, and dwelling together without jealousy, without heart-burnings, and without suspicion? If they are not, they have need to repent. The union, the love and the confidence of the brethren in these quorums that I have mentioned ought to permeate all parts of the Church. It ought to be with every President of a Stake, with every Bishop of a Ward, and with every quorum in the Church; and it ought to be in all the societies and associations that are organized in Zion. You know that the Lord has been with these leaders of Israel when they have traveled and labored in your midst. You know that His Spirit dwells with them today. The Apostles are not numerous. You do not see them very frequently; but when you do see them, and when you do hear them, you know that the Holy Ghost dwells in them. You know they are honest men. You know they are pure men. You know that they are men that refrain from corruption and sin, and that bridle their passions, and are laboring for the salvation of men. The tens of thousands in this Territory who are personally acquainted with these men are my witnesses in this respect. Now, this same faith and confidence ought to dwell in the hearts of the people. That which we find good with us we recommend to you. I say that the High Councils in Zion ought to dwell together in fidelity and faithfulness, and they ought to be as exemplary men in the Church as the Apostles can possibly be. The quorums of the Seventies, upon whose shoulders particularly rests the labor of preaching the Gospel to the world, ought to be honest and industrious, faithful and temperate, full of faith and power; they ought to be energetic, and labor as faithfully as the Apostles can do. If they are doing so, God is pleased with them; and if not, God is not pleased with them. The Apostles are no better than Seventies ought to be. And what I say in regard to Seventies, I say concerning High Priests and Elders. There is not a High Priest or an Elder in Zion but ought to be just as good as an Apostle or as the Presidency of the Church. They have not the same care and burden resting upon them; but God has placed the requirement upon them that they should be just as faithful as men can be. They must not be corrupt. They must not be wicked. They must not be lascivious. They must not be dishonest, nor untruthful. But they must square their lives according to the truths of the Gospel. In these quorums, men who stand representing God, or who are at the head of families, they should be the mouthpieces of the Lord to those quorums and to those families, and to every organization over which they preside. The Lord requires this, and anything less than this does not give complete satisfaction to Him. He requires of us nothing that is impossible. But He does require of us all that is possible in our lives and actions, for the support of His Church and for the accomplishment of His purposes in the earth. We should be as a light set upon a hill. No Latter-day Saint ought to be required to hide his head and to be ashamed of his course. He ought to live above suspicion. If the world look upon us, they should be compelled to say, though they may consider us fanatical and deceived, that we are conscientious, and that we live according to our profession. If every Latter-day Saint were to be judged by the world, they should be compelled to say that we have been honest, truthful, virtuous, temperate and sober.

      This is the work of the Lord. You are the servants of the Lord. You bear the Priesthood. The Lord has graciously given it to almost every man in the Church; and the Priesthood that you bear is just as sacred as that which we bear. Greater responsibility rests upon us because we have been called to these certain positions; but every man who has received one particle of the Priesthood, even that of a Deacon, is required of the Lord to keep His commandments perfectly and entirely, and he is not in full favor with the Lord until he does this as he is able.

      I pray that God may bless you, my brethren and sisters, and that the testimonies which have been borne by the Elders of Israel, and the instruction that we shall yet receive during this Conference, shall find place in our hearts, and that every word shall bring forth its fruit in our lives; that God shall be pleased to honor us as His servants and His Saints, and that He will be pleased to own us as His people, and save us from the destruction that the wicked seek to bring upon us. His arm is not shortened. He has established His work in the earth to remain, and it will remain. We who are here today may pass away; but others will arise in our place; for intelligences and chosen spirits that have been preserved for this time and labor, are following us and treading right upon our heels. I pray that we may do our work well, that the Lord will be pleased with us, and maintain and sustain us in the future as He has done in the past. Amen.

 

____

Elder John D. T. McAllister.

Addressed the conference briefly. He spoke of his pleasure in meeting with the Saints, their early experiences in the settlement of this part of the country, from the time he arrived here, 39 years ago. He also dwelt for some time upon the importance of performing Gospel work for the dead, and asked God to bless the people.

            The choir sang a selected hymn

Come Spirit come.

            Benediction by President George Q. Cannon.

_____

[5 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 41:519-521, 10/11/90, p 17-19]

SECOND DAY.

SUNDAY, Oct. 5th, 10 a.m.

            The choir sang:

The morning breaks the shadows flee; Lo! Zion's standard is unfurled!
The dawning of a brighter day Majestic rises on the world.

            Prayer was offered by Elder Jos. E. Taylor.

            Singing by the choir:

Sons of Michael, He approaches!
Rise! the Eternal Father greet; Minister before His feet;
Hail the Patriarch's glad reign, ‘stablished now o'er sea and main!

_____

President George Q. Cannon

Was the speaker. After beseeching the faith and prayers of the large congregation attending conference for those who might be called upon to address them, he remarked that such an occasion as a general conference was full of interest to the officers and members of the church, who naturally expected to receive counsel and instructions concerning their duties, and information on the progress of the work in which the Latter-day Saints were engaged.

            We were living in a peculiar times. The work of God was being assailed in various directions. However, this was no new thing. It had been the lot of the saints from the beginning to contend with difficulties and overcome obstacles. They have had to pass through scenes which I tested their faith, integrity, and fidelity. The Elders, who had been faithful in preaching the Gospel, had not neglected to tell the people whom they baptized the character of the difficulties which they would have to encounter when they espoused the cause of God. They were warned to expect the same fate which attended the ancient disciples of Jesus Christ, how their names would be cast out as evil.

            The Elders had no desire to draw people into the Church merely for the sake of increasing its numbers, but were filled with the hope every time they baptized a soul, that he or she would be faithful all the rest of their life. Others might be content with a certain degree of happiness, a glory with a certain amount of salvation; but there were no people upon the face of this earth –and he doubted whether there ever had been since the creation – who possessed higher conceptions and loftier views regarding their future than the Latter-day Saints. That which would satisfy ordinary persons would not, with the views they entertained, satisfy the Saints. Others might court ease and seek for worldly profit; but not so with this people; they could not turn aside from the path which God had marked out for them in order to promote any worldly end or to gratify any worldly ambition. The promises of God to His faithful people were illimitable, as boundless as eternity itself. They were made to every one who entered into a covenant with the Lord in the way that He Himself had pointed out. Should they therefore not bear patiently with meekness and humility all the trials and difficulties which beset them? He thought he could answer yes for the Latter-day Saints.

            There was a living testimony of the truth in the hearts of this people, and it was this which constituted the great strength of their work. But for this they would be a very weak people, and could be easily broken up; for it was not the President of the Church or his Counselors, the first Presidency; it was not that Twelve Apostles, Presidents of Stakes, nor any other body in the Church upon whom the people depended or unto whom they looked solely for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. The Saints could go to God themselves, if they had doubts upon any question or point – pray to Him in their secret places and ask Him to reveal to them whether or not what was taught unto them was in accordance with His mind and will.

            Many things in this Church had come in contact with the traditions and preconceived ideas of men. There were many things today which perhaps conflicted with the previous views of the Latter-day Saints. There was scarcely a thinking man or woman in the Church of Christ who had not indulged in reflections concerning the future of this work, and some of those views had been rudely upset by subsequent events. God was the author of this work and He would conduct it to suit His purposes, and not those of man.

            Let them think of how many doctrines had been taught that were new to the world which God had revealed in our day. How would they understand these unlisted Spirit of God bore testimony to them? Who on the earth believed them? They were not sanctioned by tradition, they were not upheld by the common belief of men. They were new to this generation, and yet, though they shook the prejudices of mankind and perhaps startled to Latter-day Saints, then they sought of God for a testimony confirming them, He never failed to give unto them His Holy Spirit which gave the assurance that they were of God and not of man. And so it will be to the end. The Presidency of this Church have to walk just as the Saints walk; they have to depend upon the revelations of God as they come to them. They had their faith tested as the Saints have and so with the Twelve Apostles. All that they could do was to seek the mind and will of God.

            If there were any who had joined the Church with the expectation of enjoying the ease and worldly profit, they were laboring under a wrong impression; yet he did not believe that there was another people on the face of the earth so blessed as the Latter-day Saints, notwithstanding their trials and persecutions. He believed – and he did not say this with any disposition to exaggerate – that a happier and more prosperous people did not exist. Look at the results of the lives of those who have been faithful as compared with those who have left the Church and been unable to endure. He was sure that those who did so would be perfectly satisfied with the course they had followed. God did not forget the sacrifices of this people. When he thought of the hundreds who had gone to prison willingly to show to the world that there were conscientious, true and faithful man and not cowards, covenant-breakers and recreants, he felt thankful to God that he lived among such people. However much the world might think the Latter-day Saints had been mistaken in their views, the time would come when their conduct during the last five years would stand out as the brightest page in the history of humanity, in modern times at least. He believed that this people were capable of undergoing any sacrifices that they may be called upon to make. They could bow with submission when it was necessary and right as easily as they could stand erect and resist that which they esteemed to be wrong. They would yet show mankind more abundantly that the Latter-day Saints are a people of truth and uprightness, who were loyal to God, to the country of which they were citizens or ought to be citizens, to the institution which He had permitted in His providence to be established; while in all the relations of life; strong in their fidelity, and, above all things, pure and virtuous.

            He would lose all hope for humanity but for the Latter-day Saints. It filled him with horror when he saw the course which men and women were taking outside of this Church, and witnessed the fate which was coming upon the people of this and other nations and felt thankful to our Heavenly Father that He had est. a Church whose standard of purity was unequaled, and in which all impurity was denounced and dealt with. Virtue among the people was of a low standard outside of this Church. The Latter-day Saint who indulged in sexual sin would be damned if he did not repent. There was no greater cause of apostasy and there never had been in this Church than the want of virtue. God would have a virtuous people, for His Spirit would not dwell in unholy tabernacles. They must be pure not only in deed but in thought, in order to retain the Spirit of God.

            They Elders, then they went abroad, wondered why the people did not gather as numerous leave as was the case formerly from the various nations of the earth. It was due to the abominable wickedness which prevailed. Lecture he was indulged in to such an extent that young men found themselves unable to marry, and, consequently, some of the oldest blood in America was disappearing. Those who practiced unblushingly one of the besetting sins of the age, foeticide, would stand before the bar of God as murderers and murderesses and would be damned. Here it, all ye Latter-day Saints! This was the curse which was coming upon our race today in portions of this country. In the Southern States it did not prevail to so great an extent as in the north, but it would creep in there after a time if care be not taken. The speaker regretted to learn that that sin had made its appearance somewhat among the Latter-day Saints. The curse of God would rest upon those guilty of such abominations.

            God had chosen the Saints to institute a new condition of things on earth, to arrest the tide of evil. He had selected men and women who had the courage to carry out what he told them and they tried to do it. But the nation interposed in said stop, and they would bow in submission, leaving the consequences with God. They would do the best they could; but when their actions came in conflict with the constituted authorities, and the highest tribunal in the land cried "stop," there was no other course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue, than to be in accordance with the revelations which God had given to them, telling them to respect constituted authority and yield submissively thereto. Nevertheless they could stand as a living protest against the evils of the age, cry out against them and buy their lives proclaim that they were determined with the help of God to effect a change to affairs and redeem the world from its wickedness as far as possible.

            Brother Cannon rejoiced that God in His providence had permitted the Saints to remain in the land to which He had let them, and trusted that He would give them courage and patience to bear all trials uncomplainingly. Those who fought against this cause might be prominent for a time, but when they ceased to occupy the positions which they filled and which gave their voices some importance, they would drop out of sight as hundreds before them have done in this land. Let not the Saints disturb themselves about the utterances of those men who inflated themselves with the idea for a time that they are important personages and we're going to do some great things against them. We have seen many of those creatures pass away and sink into oblivion.

            President Cannon then took up another theme, on which he spoke as follows:

            Before I sit down there is one subject that I have felt I wanted to speak about. I think it of some importance to us as Latter-day Saints. It was referred to yesterday by two or three of the brethren. It is in relation to the events of 1891, and connected with the coming of the Lord. It was intimated by Brother Roberts that some people thought that such an event might perhaps happen, and he was anxious that the Saints should not be disappointed if nothing did occur during that year that would fulfill expectation, because a great many anticipations have been indulged in connected with that year, and I believe there has been altogether too much agitation upon this subject. I have seen a great many times in our history when sanguine men have attached a great deal of importance to certain dates. I remember when 1888 was coming in, I heard on all sides that there was something remarkable connected with that year. I fully endorse what Elder Thatcher said yesterday upon this point – that 1890 has been as important a year as we have ever witnessed. And I believe it will be so with every year. I do not think it is wise for us to fix our minds too much upon any year as bringing to pass some very wonderful things. Perhaps it will be so. I do not question that; for every year comes to us freighted with great and wonderful changes. It is not one year alone; but all the years between us and the coming of our Lord will be big with events. They will be crowded with stupendous occurrences. God has thus spoken. Judgments will be poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth, and will increase until the Lord Himself shall come.

            I took occasion to have the sermon that Brother Joseph preached hunted up, and I will read a little from it to show you what he said upon this very subject, and to show you also that we need not expect that 1891 will bring any such thing as the coming of the Lord. It was said yesterday that no man knoweth the day nor the hour. This is true. But I will tell you what men can know. They can know that such and such a time is not the time. Men can prophesy that 1891 is not the year. Although they cannot tell you that day nor the hour, they can tell you that He will not come this year or next year, according to the words of God already given. There are several revelations which peaked plainly upon this point, allusion to which was made yesterday by the brethren who spoke. There are a great many events to take place that have not yet occurred; and the Savior will not come until they do take place. Be assured of this, and be not concerned in your minds and agitated on these matters, because it is easy to understand that there are many things yet to be fulfilled before that grand and glorious event will come. Yet, as He has told us, He will, as a thief in the night. He will come when the inhabitants of the earth are unprepared for him.

            Joseph said:

"I was once praying earnestly upon this subject. [That is, concerning the coming of the Son of Man] and a voice said unto me, ‘My son, if thou livest until thou art 85 years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.'"
This was what the voice said to Joseph:
"If thou livest until thou art 85 years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man."

            He continues:

"I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this, and I took the liberty of concluding that if I did live to that time He would make His appearance. But I do not say whether He will make His appearance, or I shall go where He is. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written, the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am 85 years old."

            Now, at the time Joseph made this prophecy, Miller, of the Millerites, was making predictions about the coming of the Son of Man – about the years 1842-3-4. In these years, as you who have been kept informed will doubtless know, there was great excitement throughout the United States about the coming of the Son of Man, and Joseph prophesied that He would not come for the next forty years.
                He goes on and says:

"The coming of the Son of Man never will be, never can be, till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out, which judgments are commenced. It is not the design of the Almighty to come upon the earth and crush it and grind it to powder; but He will reveal it to His servants, the Prophets. Judah must return. Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the Temple, and water come out from under the Temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed. It will take some time to build the walls of the city and Temple, etc., And all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance. There will be wars and rumor of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, and the sun turned into darkness, and the moon to blood; earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving themselves beyond their bounds. Then will appear the grand design of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world say? They will say it is a planet, a comet etc. But the Son of Man will come at the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning coming out of the East."

            Now, the Prophet explains this in connection with his statement as to what the voice had said to him. He did not assert that Jesus would come in the clouds of heaven even if he lived to be eighty-five; but he was told that he should see Him, and he qualified it, so that there need be no misapprehension upon this subject.

            I might read to you many revelations in this Book of Doctrine And Covenants (having the book in his hand) upon the same subject, in which the Lord plainly says that certain things shall take place. Allusion was made yesterday to some of them.

      "And again, verily I say unto you, that the Son of Man cometh not in the form of a woman, neither of a man traveling on the earth. Wherefore be not deceive, but continue in steadfastness, looking for the for the heavens to be shaken and the earth to tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man, and for the valleys to be exalted, and for the mountains to be made low, and for the rough places to become smooth; and all this when the angel shall sound his trumpet. But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose; Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled unto the place which I have appointed.

            These are the words of God concerning the coming of the Son of Man. These revelations given unto us with great clearness the signs that shall precede His coming. Therefore, do not let us get ourselves unsettled in our minds. I feel it important that this Conference should not separate without having it clearly stated to them that you need not look for the coming of the Son of Man either this year or next. Though we cannot prophesy the day or the hour, we can prophesy some things concerning His coming, that is, that will take place before His coming. God has not left us in doubt upon these points. If you have time, read the 29th section of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the 45th section, and the 88th section. Therefore, Latter-day Saints, go ahead and perform your duties carefully, consistently, and with a determination to do that which God requires at your hands. Do not look for some great cataclysm 20 current, which will show all the world that this is the Kingdom of God. That has been one of our great thoughts. Perhaps such a thing will occur; but I will tell you what I have observed during my life that God works in natural ways. His purposes, around seemingly perfectly natural – so natural that the world cannot see the hand of God in them. It requires faith and the Spirit of God to show these things.

            I remember my thoughts and ideas when in my boyhood. Being familiar with the revelation which God had given concerning the Civil War, I thought to myself, now when that occurs, this nation will be convinced that Joseph is a prophet, because the revelation was so plain. It stated where the war should commence and other particulars concerning it, and at the time the whole nation was congratulating itself upon its peace and the probability of war was entertained by no one. The idea that there would be a war was ridiculed. How wonderfully that revelation was fulfilled! But how many persons have been converted by the strict fulfillment of that prophecy? I do not know of one. My conclusion is that God works in this way among the children of men, and they will continue to hard their hearts against all the evidence of the divinity of this work, notwithstanding the continued fulfillment of the prophecies of the Elders of this Church.

[George Q. Cannon]

[DNW 41:648-652, 11/8/90, p 16-20; CD 2:112-123]

DISCOURSE

By President George Q. Cannon, at the Semi-Annual Conference,
Salt Lake City, sunday Morning, October 5th, 1890.

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      I trust that all who arise here to speak to this large congregation will have the faith and the prayers of those who are assembled; for it is awe-inspiring to see such a vast body of people listening to the words that are spoken; and I would not attempt to speak unless I was sure that I would be assisted by the Spirit of God.
These gatherings of ours in General Conference are filled with interest to the officers and members of the Church, who naturally expect to receive counsel and instruction concerning their duties, and to obtain information respecting the progress of the work. We come together and we receive renewed strength by meeting our friends and our brethren and being inspired with the hopes that the Spirit of God gives. On these accounts these conferences are looked forward to with great interest by all the people, and I am sure that this conference is as full of interest as any that has preceded it, in many respects.

      We are living in peculiar times. The work of God is being assailed in various directions. This, however, is not a new thing. It has been our lot from the beginning to have difficulties to contend with, to have obstacles to overcome, and to have scenes to pass through which have tested the faith, the integrity and the fidelity of the Latter-day Saints. The Elders, in preaching the Gospel, have not neglected to tell the people unto whom they preached, and whom they baptized, the character of the difficulties that they would have to meet when they espoused the work of God. They warned them that they might expect the fate of the ancient disciples of Jesus Christ. They quoted to them the scriptures, which told them how they would be opposed, how their names would be cast out as evil, and that men would think they were doing God's service in killing them; that if they embraced the Gospel they should be prepared to encounter all these things, and perhaps it might be necessary, in the providence of God, for them to lay down their lives for the truth. I do not think there is a faithful Elder that has ever gone forth to preach the Gospel who has not told this to those who manifested an interest in the truth and a desire to espouse it. Many of them knew by experience how much the people would have to contend with, and they felt it to be their duty to prepare them for these things, so that their baptisms, their confirmations and their entrance into the Church would not be useless. The Elders have not desired to draw people into the Church for the sake of numbers; but every time they have baptized a soul they have hoped that he or she would be faithful while life should last; and they wanted all persons, in entering into the Church, to enter into it understandingly, and with as full a realization of all that they would have to meet with as it would be possible for persons in their condition to comprehend. Those warnings have not been in vain. They have not been unnecessary. For notwithstanding the years that have passed since the organization of the Church the trials of the faith of the people have not lessened. There are as many causes to test their faith today as there ever were; not exactly in the same form, perhaps, as those which the Saints had to meet in earlier days; but still they have been of a sufficiently trying character to test the faith of the people. The words of God will be fulfilled concerning us, that everything that can be shaken will be shaken. We shall have to pass through the furnace of affliction and be tried as gold that is seven times purified, until all the dross of our natures is cleansed, and nothing but pure gold remains. Why should it not be so? Other people may be content with a certain degree of happiness and glory, and with a certain amount of salvation. But there is no people upon the face of the earth who have higher conceptions and loftier views concerning their future than the Latter-day Saints entertain; in fact, our conceptions and our anticipations are incomparably greater than those of any other people who now live, of whom we know anything. That which would satisfy ordinary people would not, with our views, satisfy us. Indeed, our aspirations, to the ordinary mind, seem almost to be sacrilegious. Our views of the equality of man, our belief concerning his relationship to Deity and respecting our future, are so immeasurably beyond the views of mankind generally that when they attempt to follow us they become lost, they cannot conceive of that which we picture to ourselves, and that which the revelations of God sustain us in entertaining and believing. Therefore, it is quite proper and consistent, having such anticipations as we indulge in, that we should have all these things to contend with that are necessary to test us and to prove us to the very uttermost. We would not possess the qualifications necessary for the career of glory that we have entered upon, if we were not tried to the very uttermost, if our integrity were not completely proved, or if there was anything left in us like doubt or unbelief or a want of courage to meet with and overcome all the persecutions that could be brought to bear upon us. Other men may court ease; other men may seek for worldly profit; other men may constantly be looking out for self-interest. But not so with us. We cannot turn aside from the path that God has marked out for us to pursue, to promote any worldly interest or to gratify any worldly ambition. We must pursue that path undeviatingly, following the example of our Lord and Master. He has pointed out the path that we should walk in; and in asking us to tread in His footsteps, to do as He did, He has given unto us the same promises that He Himself has received. He has promised us that we shall be co-heirs with Him, and joint heirs in whatever glory He receives. Whatever exaltation He attains unto we shall in like manner receive, if we follow His precepts and His example. Can any people on the earth desire more than this? Is there anything that is left out? It comprehends all; it embraces all glory, all exaltation, all power, all dominion. The promises are illimitable-as boundless as eternity itself. And these are made to you who are here today. They are made to everyone who has entered into covenant with the Lord in the way that He has appointed. Shall we not then bear patiently all that we have to contend with? Shall we grow tired and weary, and after going so far, give up and say we cannot proceed any farther? Or shall we, by putting our trust in God and relying upon Him who has always been at our right hand and at our left, pursue uncomplainingly the path that our Savior has trod, bearing with meekness, with humility and with patience all the trials, the persecutions and the evils that we have to meet? I think I can answer for this congregation this morning. We do not walk in the dark. We do not rely upon that which men tell us. I thank God this morning, as I do all the time, that He has not left His servants without a witness. All who have joined this Church and been sincere in their espousal of the truth have a living testimony in their hearts concerning all that the Elders say to them and all the counsel that is given. It is this that constitutes the great strength of the work of God. Every faithful member of the Church is a witness to the truth of the work. If it were not for this, we should be a very weak people and could easily be broken up. It is not the President of the Church, or his Counselors; it is not the Twelve Apostles; it is not the Presidents of Stakes, nor any other officer in the Church, upon whom the people depend, or unto whom they look solely for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. They have the privilege given unto them by the Lord to know for themselves concerning all these matters; and there is no counsel given by the Presidency of the Church, no step taken, nor no policy pursued that they have to depend upon their personal influence to have the people believe, because the people can go to God themselves, if they have doubts upon any point, and call upon Him, in the name of Jesus, to reveal to them whether that which is done or taught is from Him or not. They need not be in doubt. They need not run around asking questions about matters which may appear mysterious to them; but they can go to the Lord in their secret places, and He will remove their doubts and answer their questions, and He will throw light upon their minds respecting the matters about which they may be disturbed.

      There have been many things in this Church which have come in contact with the traditions and the pre-conceived ideas of men. There are many things today which, perhaps, come in contact with views which we have entertained. There is scarcely any thinking man or woman in the Church who has not indulged in views and ideas concerning the future of this work-the manner in which it would go forth, etc., and some of these views have been rudely opposed by events. We have been shown that God's ways are not our ways, and that our thoughts are not God's thoughts. We have been made to see that He is the author of this work, and that He will conduct it to suit His purposes, and not the purposes of man. I have no doubt that all of us who have had any experience in the Church have seen this. We have seen many of our anticipations disappointed in the manner in which the work has gone forth. It has required the Spirit of God poured out upon us to reconcile us to many things, perhaps, that have been taught and done in this Church from the beginning. But this is our refuge, this is our tower of strength, that we can go unto the Lord, without the mediumship or intercession of man, and in secret we can ask Him for, and obtain from Him, the light, the intelligence and the knowledge necessary to enable us to pursue our course as Latter-day Saints. Think of how many doctrines have been taught that have been new to the world, but that God has revealed in our day! How could we understand them unless the Spirit of God bore testimony to them? Who on the earth believed them? They were not sanctioned by tradition. They were not upheld by the common belief of man. They were new to this generation. Yet, though they shocked the prejudices of mankind, and perhaps startled us as Latter-day Saints, when we sought God for a testimony concerning them, He never failed to give unto us His Holy Spirit, which witnessed unto our spirits that they were from God, and not of man. So it will be to the end. The Presidency of the Church have to walk just as you walk. They have to take steps just as you take steps. They have to depend upon the revelations of God as they come to them. They cannot see the end from the beginning, as the Lord does. They have their faith tested as you have your faith tested. So with the Twelve Apostles. All that we can do is to seek the mind and will of God, and when that comes to us, though it may come in contact with every feeling that we have previously entertained, we have no option but to take the step that God points out, and to trust to Him, as we were often told by President Young, for the results. That is the way this Church is led. There is no being, save the Lord himself, who knows the end from the beginning. Who of us would be tested if we were in that condition? It is just as necessary that the Presidency and the Apostles should be tried as it is that you should be tried. It is as necessary that our faith should be called into exercise as that your faith should be called into exercise. We can see a certain distance in the light of the Spirit of God as it reveals to us His mind and His will, and we can take these steps with perfect security, knowing that they are the right steps to be taken. But as to what the result will be, that is for the God of Israel to control. That is the way in which the Church of God has always been led, and it will always be led in that way until He comes who is our King, our Lawgiver and our President, even Jesus Christ.

      It is your privilege, my brethren and sisters, in all these matters, to know also whether the steps that you take are acceptable unto God; and when you receive this testimony you will know for yourselves; you will know it all over. Though your mortal eyes and your mortal ears may neither have seen nor heard, you will know it by the testimony that comes from God. The convincing power of the Spirit of God is greater than the evidence of the outer senses.

      God is with His people, and He will continue to be with them; and if we will do that which He tells us, He will never desert us, nor turn His face from us; He will never close His ears to our cries, but He will be quick to hear our supplications and to respond to them in blessings upon us.

      If there are any who have joined this Church with the expectation of having ease, worldly profit and advantage from their espousal of the Gospel, probably they will learn, if they have not already, that this is a wrong motive, and that they have been mistaken in their ideas. Yet I want to say to the Latter-day Saints that I do not believe there is another people upon the face of the earth who are blessed as we are, notwithstanding our trials. I believe-and I do not say this with any disposition to exaggerate-that a happier or a more prosperous people does not live upon the earth than the Latter-day Saints. For God has blessed us in the midst of our trials and has given us prosperity. You look at those who have been faithful and compare the results of their lives with the results of the lives of those who have left the Church, and I am sure that in making the comparison you will be perfectly satisfied that the course of the former class has been the most profitable in every sense of the word. So it will be to the end, notwithstanding our afflictions, our imprisonments, and everything of this character. I said on one occasion, and probably more than once, to the brethren who were in the penitentiary, that I was willing to prophesy that they would be more blessed and prospered in that which they put their hands to do than if they had not gone there; and I am sure it will be so. God does not forget the sacrifices of His people, and I am thankful this day for the integrity of the Latter-day Saints. When I think of the hundreds who have gone to prison willingly, so that the world might know that they were conscientious and not cowards or covenant-breakers, I thank God that I live among a people who can do such things as these without shaking of the knees or of the arms, and without being afraid to face all the consequences of that which they have done. I am thankful for it, not only because we are Latter-day Saints, but because we belong to humanity. It is a glorious thing, however mistaken men may be in the estimation of others, to see them valorous and courageous and not afraid to meet all the consequences of their conduct. When my children do wrong, I say to them, "Tell me of it; show me that you have courage, and that you are not afraid to meet the consequences of what you have done." When they do this and are ready to receive whatever the punishment may be, should I be disposed to inflict any, I feel like embracing them. There is that in us which makes us admire courage, even if it be in a mistaken cause. So it is with the Latter-day Saints. However much the world may think we have been mistaken in our views, the time will come when the conduct of the Latter-day Saints during the last five years will stand out as the brightest page in the history of humanity,-in modern times, at least,-and men will dwell upon it and say that such exhibitions of courage and integrity are a credit to our race. I am looking for that-I believe most firmly it will come. We have given the best evidence of our sincerity that it is possible for men and women to give, and whether the world accepts these testimonies and evidences or not, we are sure that God and angels will accept them, and that they will be recorded in our favor.

      It may be necessary for us to do other things that come in contact with our feelings. But I believe that this people are capable of any sacrifice that they shall be called upon to make; and they can bow in submission, when it is necessary and right, as easily as they can stand erect and resist that which they esteem to be wrong. We will show mankind-we have shown them, and we will show them more abundantly-that the Latter-day Saints are a people of truth, a people of integrity, a people who are loyal to God, loyal to the country of which they are citizens or of which they ought to be citizens, loyal to the institutions which God has permitted, in His providence, to be established, and loyal in all the relations of life; a people strong in fidelity, and, above all things, pure and virtuous. I tell you I would lose all hope myself for humanity if it were not for our people. It has been my lot to travel and mingle with men, and, without prying into affairs, things have come to my knowledge that have filled me with-well, I cannot describe the feelings that I have had. When I see the course that men and women are taking outside of this Church, and witness the fate that is coming upon the people, I feel thankful to God that He has established this Church, and that the standard of purity is raised among the Latter-day Saints, and that all impurity is denounced and dealt with; that there is a people upon the face of the earth who say that the virtue of men and the virtue of women ought to be equal to the angels'. If you were to see the faces of men as I have seen them when they have been told that we look upon the sin of adultery as the greatest crime next to the shedding of blood, it would be a picture to you; for I tell you that virtue among men is almost unknown outside of this Church; and, of course, when men's virtue has fallen so low, you can depend upon it the virtue of the other sex is not beyond question. The testimony that we bear is that the Latter-day Saint who indulges in sexual sin will be damned, if he do not repent. There has been no greater cause of apostasy in this Church than the want of virtue. You can predict the future of a man who is guilty of sins of this kind, unless he repents, as sure as you can predict that darkness will follow the setting of the sun. God will have a virtuous people, and those of you who are not virtuous will go the way that others have gone, unless you repent; you will lose the faith; for the Spirit of God will not dwell in an unholy tabernacle. The man or the woman that is unvirtuous cannot retain the Spirit of God. They may be members of the Church today, in full fellowship, unsuspected by their fellows; but if they do not repent, their wickedness will produce its fruits and the result which God has said would attend it. think of what the word of God is. In two revelations that He has given to the Church, He has said that "he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith . . . unless he repents." He that "looketh" upon a woman, remember-not lay his hands upon her-but "he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith." Therefore, we must not only be pure in deed, but be pure in thought, in order to retain the Spirit of God and to have it dwell in our tabernacles. It will not dwell in those who are lustful.

      This is the standard that God has raised for His people. He wants us to come up to this standard-to be pure as angels are pure. And why should not we be? If we are going to dwell with God and Christ and with the holy angels, why should not we emulate on the earth the purity that they possess, which makes heaven the blest abode that it is? I am thankful that this standard has been raised among us. It gives hope for the future of humanity. Otherwise, the fate of this generation is sure. They are going the downward road, and nothing can save them except thorough repentance. The Elders wonder why it is that they do not gather out more from the nations of the earth than they did formerly. The reason is obvious. The people are corrupt. They are full of lust and abominable evils. Abortion and feoticide and kindred sins are practiced almost universally. An intelligent man with whom I was traveling a few weeks ago told me that when he re-visited his home in Massachusetts about twelve years ago, to see his mother, he went to the school houses where he had gone to school in his boyhood. In the first school that he visited, out of all the scholars that were there he found only four who were of native American families, and two of them were colored boys. The rest of the children were all of foreign extraction. In the other school that he visited there were ten out of the entire school that were of native American families. He went back to his mother's house, and there was a lot of old maids there. He said to them: "The Yankees are dying out. You women are not having children; you are old maids; and those who are married do not have children. What is to become of us?" That was his comment. And you can mingle among the better class of this nation-I mean those who are in good circumstances, and of old American families-and you will find that very few of the young men marry. Luxury prevails to such an extent that they think they cannot marry. They do not want to marry and take their wives into a lower condition than they have occupied in their parents' houses; and as young men they have the entree to society, and they go wherever they please and are welcome; therefore, they do not marry. The result is, the best blood in America is not being perpetuated. The old families are not being kept up, and their places are being filled with foreigners. When they do marry, they do not have children; or, if they do, they have only one or two. What will God do with a people of this kind? He will let them be blotted out, if they do not repent. They will bring upon themselves, but their sins, the very condemnation that God has said would follow, because they destroy the life that God gives to them, and they do not perpetuate their race. The result is, an inferior class of people is growing up, because the foreigners, when they come here, are not contaminated with that dreadful sin-the murder of the innocents, the murder of unborn children, as well as those that are born-and they are not likely to be for one generation, at least. These are sad truths, but they are true nevertheless.

      I have been told, though it seems incredible to me, that among those who call themselves Latter-day Saints the same evils are growing up. I tell you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that any woman who commits this horrible sin will be damned, just as sure as God lives; and any husband who will suffer his wife to take means to prevent the natural increase of the race as God has designed it, that man will be cursed of God. I want to lift my voice against these dreadful evils that exist in the world; and if they are coming into our midst, I say to you, Woe unto those who practice them; for they will stand before the bar of God as murderers, and they will be damned. Hear it, all ye people! This is the curse that is coming upon our race today upon this continent, especially through the Northern States. It is not so in the South. It will creep in there, however, after awhile, if care be not taken. But the Southern people have not yielded to this crime to the extent that those have in the North.
God has chosen us to institute a new condition of things on the earth, to arrest the tide of evil. He has selected men and women from the world who have the courage to carry out whatever He tells them. And we have tried to do it. But the nation has interposed and said, "Stop," and we shall bow in submission, leaving the consequences with God. We shall do the best we can; but when it comes in contact with constituted authorities, and the highest tribunals in the land say "Stop," there is no other course for Latter-day Saints, in accordance with the revelations that God has given to us telling us to respect constituted authority, than to bow in submission thereto and leave the consequences with the Lord. Nevertheless, we can stand as a living protest against the evils of the age, and cry out against them, and by our lives proclaim that we are determined, with the help of God, to do all in our power to redeem the race, if it be possible to do so. God has chosen us expressly for this mission. It required people of courage, of integrity and of virtue, and I believe the great bulk of the Latter-day Saints are a people of this character. Because of this virtue they were prepared to receive the truth when it was proclaimed to them. They were not corrupted, and the spirit of God had an abiding place in them. It is a remarkable fact that those who are unvirtuous very rarely join the Church. They seem to have become corrupted so that the Spirit of God has left them, and they have lost the strength necessary to enable them to endure.

      Brethren and sisters, let us remember the mission that God has given unto us, and let us put our trust in Him. He has been our savior and our deliverer out of the many trials that we have had to pass through. Notwithstanding we have gone through considerable during the past six years, when I look at the condition of the people as I travel through the settlements, I feel to thank God for the prosperity that he has given to us. I go into the houses of the brethren in our settlements, and I see great comfort. I contrast it with the times of old, when we had scarcely any food, no habitations and very little clothing, and I thank God that the trials we now have to contend with have assumed a new form, and that God, in his providence, has permitted us to dwell in the land to which He has led us. I trust he will continue to do so. I hope He will give us patience to bear all things uncomplainingly, and to go to with our faith undisturbed, knowing that He comprehends all things, and that after the trials there cometh the blessing. We have never yet passed through severe afflictions without there being compensation in the shape of great blessings bestowed upon us. And so it will be. Trial will follow trial; but blessing will follow trial also. Blessing will follow blessing; and the cause of truth will spread, the honest in heart will be gathered out, and the great work of God will go forth, notwithstanding every effort to oppose it and to thwart it. And you may notice this: Those who fight against this cause may be prominent for awhile. Sometimes prominence is given them because of their opposition to this work, and their names being linked with ours is all that gives them prominence frequently. But after a while, when they have ceased to fill the positions occupied by them, and which gave their voices some weight, they will drop out of sight and be forgotten, as hundreds have been who have figured more or less conspicuously in their opposition against us. We need not be disturbed, therefore, at the utterance of this man or the other who occupies official position, and who for a while inflates himself with the idea that he is an important personage and that he is going to do some great thing against the Latter-day Saints. I have seen so many of these men pass away and sink into oblivion. They step on the stage and figure for a while, but soon they pass away. Therefore, do not let us be worried over them; but let us pursue the course that God has pointed out, and putting our trust in Him, know that all things will be overruled for our good.

      Before I sit down there is one subject that I have felt I wanted to speak about. I think it of some importance to us as Latter-day Saints. It was referred to yesterday by two or three of the brethren. It is in relation to the events of 1891, and connected with the coming of the Lord. It was intimated by Brother Roberts that some people thought that such an event might perhaps happen, and he was anxious that the Saints should not be disappointed if nothing did occur during that year that would fulfil expectation, because a great many anticipations have been indulged in connected with that year, and I believe there has been altogether too much agitation upon this subject. I have seen a great many times in our history when sanguine men have attached a great deal of importance to certain dates. I remember when 1888 was coming in, I heard on all sides that there was something remarkable connected with that year. I fully endorse what Elder Thatcher said yesterday upon this point-that 1890 has been as important a year as we have ever witnessed. And I believe it will be so with every year. I do not think it is wise for us to fix our minds too much upon any year as bringing to pass some very wonderful things. Perhaps it will be so. I do not question that; for every year comes to us freighted with great and wonderful changes. It is not one year alone; but all the years between us and the coming of our Lord will be big with events. They will be crowded with stupendous occurrences. God has thus spoken. Judgments will be poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth, and will increase until the Lord Himself shall come.

      I took occasion to have the sermon that Brother Joseph preached hunted up, and I will read a little from it to show you what he said upon this very subject, and to show you also that we need not expect that 1891 will bring any such thing as the coming of the Lord. It was said yesterday that no man knoweth the day nor the hour. This is true. But I will tell you what men can know. They can know that such and such a time is not the time. Men can prophesy that 1891 is not the year. Although they cannot tell you the day nor the hour, they can tell you that He will not come this year or next year, according to the words of God already given. There are several revelations which speak plainly upon this point, allusion to some of which was made yesterday by the brethren who spoke. There are a great many events to take place that have not yet occurred; and the Savior will not come until they do take place. Be assured of this, and be not concerned in your minds and agitated on these matters, because it is easy to understand that there are many things yet to be fulfilled before that grand and glorious event will come. Yet, as he has told us, He will come as a thief in the night. He will come when the inhabitants of the earth are unprepared for him.

      Joseph said:

"I was once praying earnestly upon this subject [that is, concerning the coming of the Son of Man] and a voice said unto me, `My son, if thou livest until thou are 85 years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.'"
This was what the voice said to Joseph:
"If thou livest until thou are 85 years of age thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man."

      He continues:

"I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this, and I took the liberty of concluding that if I did live to that time He would make His appearance. But I do not say whether He will make His appearance, or I shall go where He is. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written, the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am 85 years old."

      Now, at the time Joseph made this prophecy, Miller, of the Millerites, was making predictions about the coming of the Son of Man-about the years 1842-3-4. In these years, as you who have been kept informed will doubtless know, there was great excitement throughout the United States about the coming of the Son of Man, and Joseph prophesied that He would not come for the next forty years.

      He goes on and says:

"The coming of the [Son][of] Man never will be, never can be, till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out, which judgments are commenced. It is not the design of the Almighty to come upon the earth and crush it and grind it to powder; but He will reveal it to His servants, the Prophets. Judah must return. Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the Temple, and water come out from under the Temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed. It will take some time to build the walls of the city and Temple, etc., and all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance. There will be wars and rumor of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, and the sun turned into darkness, and the moon to blood; earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving themselves beyond their bounds. Then will appear the grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world say? They will say it is a planet, a comet, etc. But the Son of Man will come at the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning coming out of the east."

      Now, the Prophet explains this in connection with his statement as to what the voice had said to him. He did not assert that Jesus would come in the clouds of heaven even if he lived to be eighty-five; but he was told that he should see Him, and he qualified it, so that there need be no misapprehension upon this subject.

      I might read to you many revelations in this Book of Doctrine and Covenants (having the book in his hand) upon the same subject, in which the Lord plainly says that certain things shall take place. Allusion was made yesterday to some of them.

"And again, verily I say unto you that the Son of Man cometh not in the form of a woman, neither of a man traveling on the earth. Wherefore be not deceived, but continue in steadfastness, looking forth for the heavens to be shaken and the earth to tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man, and for the valleys to be exalted, and for the mountains to be made low, and for the rough places to become smooth; and all this when the angel shall sound his trumpet. But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose; Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled unto the place which I have appointed."

      These are the words of God concerning the coming of the Son of Man. These revelations give unto us with great clearness the signs that shall precede His coming. Therefore, do not let us get unsettled in our minds. I feel it important that this Conference should not separate without having it clearly stated to you that you need not look for the coming of the Son of Man either this year or next. Though we cannot prophesy the day or the hour, we can prophesy some things concerning His coming, that is, that will take place before His coming. God has not left us in doubt upon these points. If you have time, read the 29th section of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the 45th section, and the 88th section. Therefore, Latter-day Saints, go ahead and perform your duties carefully, consistently, and with a determination to do that which God requires at your hands. Do not look for some great cataclysm to occur, which will show all the world that this is the Kingdom of God. Perhaps such a thing will occur; but I will tell you what I have observed during my life-that God works in natural ways. His purposes come around seemingly perfectly natural-so natural that the world cannot see the hand of God in them. It requires faith and the Spirit of God to show these things.

      I remember my thoughts and ideas when in my boyhood. Being familiar with the revelation which God had given concerning the Civil War, I thought to myself, now when that occurs this nation will be convinced that Joseph is a prophet, because the revelation was so plain. It stated where the war should commence and other particulars concerning it, and at the time the whole nation was congratulating itself upon its peace, and the probability of war was entertained by no one. The idea that there would be a war was ridiculed. How wonderfully that revelation was fulfilled! But how many persons have been converted by the strict fulfilment of that prophecy? I do not know of one. My conclusion is that God works in this way among the children of men, and they will continue to harden their hearts against all the evidences of the divinity of this work, notwithstanding the continued fulfilment of the prophecies of the Elders of this Church. The inhabitants of the earth are not converted by the fulfilment of the prophecies, because they come along so naturally. Here we have cyclones, and all these things that are evidences of the last days, and who trouble themselves about it? Why they tell us that it is by means of the telegraph and the facility with which news travels that we learn more of these things. They always were and always will be, they say, and this is no evidence that these are the last days; for when was there a time when there were no wars, or accidents, or when we did not have whirlwinds, and tempests, and earthquakes? This is the way in which the Elders are met when they speak about these things. Therefore, Latter-day Saints, let us put our trust in God and, waiting the fulfilment of His promises, look forward with the eye of faith to their fulfilment, that we may rejoice in them when they are fulfilled. Amen.

 

            The choir sang an anthem:

I will lift up mine eyes.

            Benediction by Apostle Abraham H. Cannon.

_____

[5 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 41:521-523, 10/11/90, p 21-23]

Afternoon Session

            Singing by the choir:

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah, Jesus anointed "that Prophet and Seer,"
Blessed to open the last dispensation, Kings shall extol him and nations revere.

            Prayer by Bishop O. F. Whitney.

            The choir sang:

Ye children of our God, Ye Saints of latter days
Surround the table of our Lord And join to sing His praise.

            The Sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered, they Priesthood of the Twentieth Ward officiating.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff

Addressed the Conference. Following is a synopsis of his remarks:

            I know not how long I may be able to talk, but while I do I want the attention of the congregation. They Saints have often heard me testify concerning the power by which this Church has been established. I have no power nor have these Apostles, to preach the Gospel and build up the Kingdom of God, except by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Whatever testimony we bear to be productive of good, must be by the spirit of God. We live in the greatest of all dispensations, and there are many things which the Lord has withheld from the foundation of the world, and which have never before been revealed to man, which will be revealed to the Saints of this dispensation. Things will be revealed to us which our forefathers looked anxiously forward to.

            Every dispensation of the Gospel has had its work, and at no time has God ever set His hand to do a work among men, without having an element prepared to work with. This is true of this dispensation. God has raised up a Prophet in this age, and to him sent messengers who had once lived in the flesh. The Lord understands if man does not, that all His works must be performed according to the laws of salvation, the laws of the Holy Priesthood. The Lord raised up Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and who did the work appointed to him. So the Lord raised up Joseph Smith, at the time set for him to appear and perform His work, and to him He revealed the same Gospel which was revealed to Abraham and Moses and to the prophets. It is the only Gospel God ever revealed to man. In fulfillment of the revelations of St. John, and other Scriptures, this Gospel was revealed to Joseph Smith.

            Many here in this congregation have seen and heard Joseph Smith, and knew him and his teachings. It cost him his life to proclaim those teachings. It cost Jesus and the Apostles their lives also. Jesus was a Jew, through the loins of Judah, yet he incurred the hatred of the Jewish nation. Is it not strange that a righteous man cannot stand up among the people and not incur their hatred? Yet it is true that he cannot.

            There was a war in heaven. Lucifer and one-third of the hosts of heaven rebelled and were cast out. That war for your has never ceased, but has been manifested in every dispensation of the Gospel committed to man. Did Jesus undertake to please the Jews? No. He was faithful to the mission He had received from his Father, without regard to whether the Jews were pleased with Him or not. The Lord revealed to Moses and all the prophets of every age that a Savior would be born to redeem mankind. In the meridian of time He appeared and organized His Church. The Apostles whom He chose, faithfully labored to spread the work which He introduced. But it cost a great sacrifice to belong to the church of Christ in those days. The persecution of the saints was so great that at length the last man bearing the priesthood disappeared from the earth and the Church went into the wilderness. This opposition to the truth will continue until He comes to reign whose right it is to reign and cast Satan into the place prepared for him, where he can no more deceive the nations. Jesus is with His father and His apostles are mingling with just and holy beings in the heavens where they can plead for their brethren. There are different degrees of glory to which men will attain. The number of men who will reach the highest is few, for there are not many who are willing to make in the flesh to sacrifice necessary to end title them to it.

            The Prophet Joseph Smith lived some fourteen years after he organized this Church and then he laid down his life for it. But did his death this organized the Church? No. It continued to grow and flourish. Need we think we can please the world? No. We cannot please the wicked. In order to do so, every Latter-day Saint would have to deny every principle God has revealed to us. I have been with this Church more than fifty years. I can testify that whatever the world may say, Joseph Smith was one of the greatest prophets that God ever raised up, save Jesus only.

            The Savior said on the cross, of those who were the cause of His death, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." They did not know what they did. They did not comprehend what they would have to pass through inconsequence of having shed the blood of the Son of God any more than did the mob who slew Joseph Smith. The yoke remains on the neck of the Jewish nation today. Our business is to honor God and serve Him. Our aim is eternal life. It will pay any man that ever breathed to keep the commandments of God and to be virtuous and upright. We have labored faithfully in warning the nations because the day on God's judgment has come. We have now been doing this work for sixty years, and have suffered much affliction, and God has preserved His work. I say to the Saints, "fear not, little children; it is your Father's good will and pleasure to give you the kingdom."

            Brother Cannon this morning delivered one of the most solemn discourses ever uttered by any man. What he said was true. I am pained to see the increase of crime in all its various and most hideous shapes in my own and other nations. These things are noticed by heaven. If you want to know what is going to come to pass read the Revelations of St. John. They will be fulfilled. Who will believe them? After two-thirds of the inhabitants are destroyed the other third will continue in wickedness and unbelief. There is no power on earth can govern the Almighty. No nation committing sin can escape the judgment of God. It is mournful to think of the wickedness of this and other nations. I want to say to the Saints as a servant of God, attend to your prayers and perform every duty and all will be well.

            If you are curtailed in any of your privileges you may know that God will hold responsible those who caused the curtailment. Joseph Smith said if he had power he would sustain every man and woman on earth in their religious liberty. All are responsible to God alone for the exercise of their religious rights. God is in earnest in His labors and work. I know this is the Gospel of Christ, the Zion spoken of by the prophets, and God will sustain it to the end of time. The world will find before the Lord gets through with them that He has all power in heaven and on earth. I have never seen any reason since I became identified with the work of God to desert it. I bear my testimony to the Latter-day Saints concerning these things. I made that you all may be faithful. If you are you will be satisfied when you get behind the vail. There are many today would lay down their lives for the work of God, if it were necessary.

            All classes of men will have to go into the spirit world, and will finally learn whether or not "Mormonism" is true. I testify that it is.

 _____

Apostle John Henry Smith

Was the next speaker. The substance of his discourse was as follows:

            The Spirit of the Lord has rested in great power upon the brethren who have spoken to us yesterday and today. Each of them has given to us words of counsel and testimony, or of reproof. The remarks of our President to us this afternoon our words of life unto us. If we, having received the Gospel and started in the way of life, can receive in our hearts the admonitions and testimonies that have been borne this day, we will not be far from the line of our duty.

            It is probable that if three-fourths of those here today were asked: "Have you received a witness of the Son of God to the truth of this work?" The answer would be: "Yes; hundreds of evidences of its truth have been given to me."

            And yet with this testimony from God, we discover that the weaknesses of the flesh, and the false traditions under which we were reared, frequently bore us are living up to the obligations and requirements that we feel resting upon our shoulders. It is not to be wondered at that we make many failures when we sense the conditions that exist; the immorality, and lack of faith that prevailed so widely among men, many of whom profess belief in Christ. Skepticism on the right hand and on the left exists, because men have departed from the truth, and have violated the law of God. I have discovered that when a man schooled himself in a disbelief in a Supreme Being, or in the truths of revealed religion, such a course is often due to the wrong acts of the individual himself, in violating some law of virtue or right. One of the prophets, speaking of the time when the world should be in an apostate condition, pointed out those states that would exist among men in regard to those relations that concern the perpetuation of life. The prediction that men would be adulterous and ceased to multiply is being fulfilled, as well as that prediction which foretold a restoration of the Gospel of repentance that would tend to lead man back to the presence of his Maker.

            The world is in the condition foretold by the prophets in respect to chastity. Men seek to gratify their animal passions, and are drifting further and further away from the true plan of life. Our mode of dress and living tend to increase in men and women animal desires. Their natures are perverted and they destroy themselves, walking in the path of crime and evil. I have seen in New England hundreds of women who are invalid because of their sins in this regard. They claim that childbearing deprives them of social and other pleasures, and hence seek to avoid the cares of maternity. As certain as the sun shines the curse of God will follow the people who will commit these crimes, for their hands are stained in blood.

            It has been intimated that these sins are making their way to some extent among the people of Utah. I had hoped that the influence of the Gospel would prevent the spread of such practices, for they lead down to hell. The warning cry should go forth. We should not mince the matter in speaking to the people. The Saints should be taught to avoid such violation of sacred laws, and a love of chastity and purity should be instilled in our sons and daughters. They should be taught to turn away from companionship which is evil. More care and prudence is necessary in the homes of the Saints now than ever before. Upon every hand are met the courtesan and that the debauche, we must keep our eyes upon our sons and daughters or the wicked and corrupt will poison their lives and we will find them wanderers from the fold.

            A young man should hold that his honor and the virtue of a woman are above all price, and are to be held sacred in the eyes of every man. By remembering the promises that have been made us, and understanding what we lose by breaking the laws of chastity which have been revealed to us, our children will love them. Look upon the debauche! The finger of God has marked him for the damnation of hell. Conformity with the laws of life assures us of a reunion in heaven, as parents and children, while violation of them lead to every evil, to skepticism and utter spiritual darkness.

            The responsibility rests upon us to relieve the needy, and live lives of purity. We should remember that a day of reckoning awaits us, in which every man will be judged according to the deeds done in the flesh.

            My testimony is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been committed to this people, and that our mission is to warn the world of the consequences of violating the laws of God, and to preach the truth to every land warning them of the judgments that will stalk abroad; for death, misery and woe will be the consequences of the crimes men are committing. My testimony is that this work will spread, and that there will be found in Zion thousands who are innocent, and who will not commit the crimes that are the condemnation of the world.

            The choir sang the anthem:

How beautiful upon the mountains.

            Benediction by Elder John Nicholson, who by request, offered a special petition to the Lord in behalf of the sick among the Saints.

_____

[5 Oct, 2 pm (o)]

[DNW 41:523-524, 10/11/90, p 21-22]

OVERFLOW MEETING,

Held in the Assembly Hall, Sunday, October 5, 1890, commencing at 2 o'clock p.m., President Lorenzo Snow presiding.

            The choir sang:

Praise ye the Lord, etc.

            Prayer was offered by Bishop R. T. Burton.

            The choir sang:

Behold the great Redeemer dies, etc.

            the Sacrament was administered by the Bishopric and Teachers of the Twenty-first Ward.

_____

Elder Jacob Gates

Said he rejoiced in the fact that the Lord had restored the fullness of the Gospel in this the nineteenth century, and in contemplating its prosperity at the present time. Though the world calls Joseph Smith an imposture, every honest man and woman must acknowledge that there is something extraordinary connected with the work he established. The speaker had been personally acquainted with the Prophet, and for the benefit of the young and middle-aged people present he would bear testimony to the goodness and worth of that man, to whom he was first introduced in the year 1834, in Ohio; and immediately afterwards he traveled with him to Missouri, in Zion's Camp. On this long and eventful journey he had a good opportunity of studying the general character and prophetic endowment of the young Seer. When starting from Ohio, Joseph promised the brethren of the camp that if they would keep the counsel and commandments of God they should return in safety; but if they rebelled against the leaders of the camp a scourge would come upon them. The speaker then related how cholera broke out among the brethren in consequence of disobeying counsel and murmuring. Since that time he had associated with the Prophet during the mobbings and persecutions in Missouri and Illinois, and saw him lying cold in death's embrace after the cruel tragedy in Carthage. He knew he was a Prophet of the living God and that the revelations given through him were true, and if the Saints will live according to these revelations, they will be saved in the Kingdom of God.

_____

Elder Charles W. Penrose

Said he felt pleased to see the interest manifested by the Saints in attending conference. This afternoon both the Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall are crowded with Saints anxious to hear the word of the Lord, and thousands cannot gain admission. As the Saints get experience they learn also to be wise and understand the prophecies uttered by the Servants of God in the various dispensations. The Saints belonging to the early Christian Church expected that Christ would return to the earth again almost immediately after His ascension, and it became necessary for Paul and others of the Apostles to explain to the people that the great apostasy and other events must first take place, and that the second coming off the Savior belonged to a future period. So also in these last days. When the Church of Christ was first established some of the Saints believed that the great work of the dispensation of the fullness of times would be accomplished in a few years, and that the Savior would make His appearance very shortly. But Joseph the Prophet, in speaking concerning this, told the Saints of certain things which must be done before that event could take place; and, as some of these events have not yet transpired, we have no reason to expect that the Lord will come to dwell on the earth in 1891, as some of the Elders seem to have anticipated. The speaker then referred to the wickedness and abominations existing in the midst of mankind, and the temptations placed upon the Saints to participate in them also. They Saints should remember their covenants and keep them, live lives of virtue and purity, and stand aloof of the follies and sins of the world. We should also keep the promises and agreements entered into with one another, pay our honest debts, return that which we borrow, and in all respects act fair and true to each other, for unless we do this we cannot expect that the Lord will prosper us, or that we will have a real Zion – which consist of the pure in heart – established in our midst. The young should respect old age and obey their parents, that they may prosper and live long in the land. Parents should be careful in training their children and plant in their young hearts, so far as it is within their power to do so, a love for the principles of the Gospel and good morals. This can only be accomplished by good examples, coupled with wise and consistent precept, on the part of the parents.

_____

Apostle Anton H. Lund

Was the next speaker. He explained that the prophecies uttered by the Lord or Has inspired servants very seldom had dates attached to them. Those that had, had all been literally fulfilled, although sometimes in such a natural and quiet way that many people have not perceived of their fulfillment. A number of the Saints have been somewhat exercised regarding the Indians. When the Lord desires to fulfill His promises regarding the Lamanites He will undoubtedly work through the legitimate channel of the priesthood and appoint His servants to visit them and organize His Church in their midst, which has been done in several instances already.
                The Saints should avoid going into debt and live within their means, for without this is no easy task for them to be true and honest to each other, nor will they be apt to enjoy that peace of mind which should characterize all who have covenanted with God to serve Him and keep His commandments.

_____

President Lorenzo Snow

Spoke of the many blessings which had followed the Latter-day Saints in past years, and their prosperity even in the midst of the greatest opposition and persecution. For all this we should feal grateful to our Heavenly Father. A number of men, who once held high positions in this Church, apostatize because of their in gratitude for the blessings and gifts with which they had been endowed; among them were several of the first Apostles in this dispensation. The Saints should feel thankful for the blessings they enjoy, instead of murmuring and complaining of things which they do not possess, for the Lord knows better than we what is good for every one of His sons and daughters, and will give to us all according to His great wisdom and pleasure.

_____

Apostle Moses Thatcher

Said that a careful reading of the predictions made in regard to the second coming of the Savior would enable the Saints to understand their meaning. Christ had already appeared – first to the Prophet boy Joseph Smith in the woods of New York and afterwards in the Kirtland Temple, but the time when He shall appear in His glory and come to reign upon the earth has not been revealed. Others of the Saints cannot be reconciled to the fact that their sons and daughters are taken away from them by death in the prime of youth, and yet those same parents will, in some instances, not hesitate to give their daughters and sons in marriage to those who are infidels and wicked at heart – an act which places them in a most deplorable condition, compared with which death is but a small calamity. The Saints should be wise and act consistently in this as well as in other matters, and not cut themselves or their children of from the blessings of the Temples by being unequally yoked with unbelievers.

            The choir sang the anthem, "Daughters of Zion."

            Benediction by Apostle Heber J. Grant.

_____

[5 Oct, 7:30 pm]

[DNW 41:524-525, 10/11/90, p 22-23]

PRIESTHOOD MEETING

            A meeting of the Priesthood was held in the Tabernacle at 7:30 o'clock, on Sunday evening. It was the largest assemblage of the kind ever held. And next is a brief synopsis of the remarks made, merely sufficient to indicate the nature of the subjects treated:

_____

Bishop William B. Preston

Spoke upon the duties of those who are called to officiate in the Lesser Priesthood. He defined the functions of the offices of Priest and Teacher, whose quorums should be fully organized. Bishops complain sometimes that it is difficult to obtain experienced men to operate in these offices, as they are called to labor in so many other directions. The young man who are active in the Sunday Schools and Mutual Improvement Associations should be C. elected and trained in the duties of the Lesser Priesthood, that they may be prepared to go forward by a process of gradation for advancement. If this is done and the time comes when they want to get married, they will be in a proper condition to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. The support of the poor was a matter of much importance. In some wards not more was donated for this object than ought to be contributed by one family. The record proves this to be the case.

_____

Apostle Heber J. Grant

            Said we have much to contend with in the opposition of the world, but this is not nearly so discouraging as the opposition which is occasionally met with within our own ranks. Our duties belong to us as individuals. Those who contribute their fast offerings to support the poor will receive the blessings associated with that act of obedience. So with every other obligation. Blessings are predicated upon obedience to law. This is the largest Priesthood meeting I ever attended in my life. I expect the one held next April will be larger than this. This is the way the predictions of those who have asserted that "Mormonism" was soon coming to an end are fulfilled. It simply keeps extending. The First Presidency and Twelve are united, and this union is increasing among the people. I have no fears of any man or set of men having power to impede the progress of this work. No such power exists.

_____

Apostle John W. Taylor.

            Brother Grant in his remarks has referred to the growth of the Latter-day Saints, and has shown that "Mormonism," instead of coming to an end, as has often in predicted, has grown and that the Saints have increased. In nearly all the older settlements, old meeting houses have been replaced by larger ones.

            It has been said that not more than one-fourth of the Latter-day Saints pay a full tithing. If this is true, it is very unfortunate. When the Saints first settled here, then made a solemn covenant that, if the Lord would bless the land and make it productive, they would pay a tenth of their increase to the Lord. The promise is that if they will pay their tithing this shall be a land of Zion unto them. I admonish you, brethren, to pay your tithing. You will be blessed according to your faithfulness in doing so. When presiding officers do not themselves pay tithing, they cannot preach tithing to the Saints, effectively – their mouths are closed on the subject.

_____

Apostle Mariner W. Merrill

            I look upon this meeting as the presiding authority of the Church; that is, it embraces the local presiding authorities of the various wards and stakes. Reference has been made to the union of feeling that exists among the Twelve and First Presidency. I testify that this is true, and it is an example that should be followed by all the organizations of the Church. Where there is not union among the local presiding authorities, the people are affected. Such a condition tends to keep them away from meeting, and has a bad influence. The speaker dwells at length upon the necessity of union and harmony among the members of Stake Presidencies, the Bishops under them, and the presiding officers of the various organizations in the Church. He spoke of the necessity of restoring good feeling where it did not exist, and of the necessity of taking such steps as might be required to secure that end, and continued:

            I have always thought, in respect to Bishops' and High Councils' courts, that it was wrong for me to have any case in them. I ought to remove the cause of trouble before it reaches either of these courts. I have thought it was in vain for us to ask the Lord for favors until we have removed hard feelings and differences from among us.

            When the presiding authorities of a Stake are united, a power can be exercised by them among the Saints.

            I never enjoyed myself in any calling better than when I was laboring as a teacher and went forth in a spirit of humility. The teachers should not be in a hurry. They should take plenty of time in visiting the people. It is often the case that they delay making their visits to the last day before report meeting, and then make hasty calls so as to be able to say they have visited all the families in their district. This is wrong. It is not performing the duties of a teacher according to the spirit of that calling.

            We should be patient with our children, and not deal too harshly with them because they are a little wayward. We should exercise a constant watch care over them, and seek to prevent them from going astray, for we cannot tell what temptations may beset them.

_____

President George Q. Cannon

Spoke upon the importance of union. Where there were differences among brethren they should get together, and fast and pray and thus bring about a reconciliation. When men possess the Holy Spirit they are softened and are tender in their feelings, and good results follow. One subject treated upon by Bishop Preston – the support of the poor – is frequently mentioned and enjoined in the revelations. One of the objects of the Gospel is the elevation of the poor. It is no matter that a man has brought destitution upon himself by his own acts, the obligation to extend help to him still exists. By extending aid it is not necessary that we should pauperize the indigent. While aiding them we should also seek to put them in the way of supporting themselves.

            It is a false idea that Latter-day Saints cannot compete in business live according to the light of the Holy Spirit that the Lord my favorites. Make all things right with each other, and make restitution to each other were you have wronged any one. There was a time in our history when we did this and when we confess our sins. When this is done, let us at our quorums and houses in order, and the peace of the Lord will be with us.

            We should fulfill our obligations and covenants with each other. Some of the people are living beyond their means and fail to meet their engagements at the proper time with others because their religious duty requires them to contribute a tenth of their increase. We should judge such things by the light of heaven, then we will see that when we are liberal in supporting the work of God we are prospered much more than when we are contracted in our feelings. Men who go on missions and perform other labors in the ministry are not distinguishable because of their poverty or it as a rule to the contrary is the case. There should not be a disposition to burden the Church, which is hampered on every hand by calls for assistance. Men can pay their tithing and donations and yet prosper. I believe that the leaders of the Church contribution is liberally to the support of the Church as any other class of the community. There is no community in the United States that has prospered to such an extent as the Latter-day Saints. This will continue if we are liberal in our ways. God has given us privileges. Let us be diligent in exercising them, and seek to preserve our rights.

            Adjourned.

_____

[6 Oct, 10 am*]

[DNW 41:525, 10/11/90, p 23]

THIRD DAY

MONDAY, Oct. 6th, ten a.m.

            Singing:

Come all ye sons of Zion, And let us praise the Lord.
His ransomed are returning, According to His word.

            Prayer was offered by President A. O. Smoot, of Utah Stake.

            The choir sang the hymn:

Though deep'ning trials throng your way, Press on, press on, ye Saints of God!
Ere long the resurrection day Will spread the light and truth abroad.

THE AUTHORITIES

of the Church were presented by President George Q. Cannon for the votes of the assembly, as follows:

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

            George Q. Canon as First Counselor in the First Presidency.

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

            Lorenzo Snow as President of the Twelve Apostles.

            As members of the Council of the Twelve Apostles – Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John H. Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mariner W. Merrill, Anton H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon.

            Counselors to the Twelve Apostles – John W. Young and Daniel H. Wells.

            The Counselors in the First Presidency and the twelve Apostles, with their Counselors, as Prophets, Seers and revelators.

            Patriarch to the Church: John Smith.

            First Seven Presidents of the Seventies: Henry Herriman, Jacob Gates, Seymour B. Young, C. D. Fjeldsted, John Morgan, B. H. Roberts and George Reynolds.

            Wm. B. Preston as Presiding Bishop, with Robert T. Burton as his First and John R. Winder as his Second Counselor.

            Franklin D. Richards as Church Historian and General Church Recorder.

            Joseph Don Carlos Young as General Church Architect.

            John Nicholson as Clerk of the Conference.

            As the Church Board of Education: Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Karl G. Maeser, Willard Young, George W. Thatcher, Amos Howe, Anton H. Lund, James Sharp.

            The voting in every instance was unanimous.

_____

President Woodruff.

Said: I will say, as the question is often asked, "What do the Latter-day Saints believe in?" We feel disposed to read the Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and should there be any strangers present, they may understand our faith in this respect. The question is often asked, "Do the Mormon people believe in the Bible?" So the principles that are red will show our faith and belief appertaining to the Gospel of Christ.

            The articles were then read by Bishop Orson F. Whitney. They are here introduced:

 ARTICLES OF FAITH

Of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression.
        3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ all men may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
        4. We believe that the ordinances are: First, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance; third, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; forth, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
        5. We believe that a man must be called of God by "prophecy, and by the laying on of hands," by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
        6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive Church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.
7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc.
        8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
        9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
        10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes. That Zion will be built upon this continent. That Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisie glory.
        11. We claim of the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.
12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.
        13. we believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men :indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul, "We believe all things, we hope all things," we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. if there is anything virtuous, lovely war of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. – JOSEPH SMITH.

_____

Apostle Franklin D. Richards.

Said: Beloved brethren and sisters, I move that we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in General Conference assembled, do accept and adopt these Articles of Faith which Bishop Whitney has now read as the rule of our faith and of our conduct during our mortal lives.

            It may be thought that it is superfluous to offer it; but it must be borne in mind that we have a rising generation since this was last presented to us, that are coming to years of judgment and understanding; and we wish to have all old and young, rich and poor, bond and free, that have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in these articles to have a chance to express it by their vote, if they wish.

            The vote to sustain Brother Richards' motion was unanimous.

_____

President George Q. Cannon

 Said: President Woodruff as doubtless the members of the Conference are all aware, has felt himself called upon to issue a manifesto concerning certain things connected with our affairs in this territory, and he is desirous to have this submitted to this conference: to have their views or their expressions concerning it, and Bishop Whitney will read this document now in your hearing .

            Following is the manifesto as read:

 OFFICIAL DECLARATION

To Whom It May Concern:
        Press dispatches having been sent for political purposes, from Salt Lake City, which have been widely published, to the effect that the Utah Commission, in their recent report to the Secretary of the Interior, a lead step plural marriages are still being solemnized and that forty or more such marriages have been contracted in Utah since last June or during the past year; also that in public discourses the leaders of the Church have talked, encouraged and urged the continuance of the practice of polygamy.
        I, therefore, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do hereby, in the most solemn manner, declare that these charges are false. We are not teaching polygamy, or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our temples or in any other place in the Territory.
        One case has been reported, in which the parties alleged that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, in the spring of 1889, but I have not been able to learn who performed the ceremony; whatever was done in this matter was without my knowledge. in consequence of this alleged occurrence the Endowment House was, by my instructions, taken down without delay.
        Inasmuch as laws have been an act that by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pro[526]nounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.
        There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy, and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. and I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.
                       WILFORD WOODRUFF,
                        President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

[President Lorenzo Snow]

            President Lorenzo Snow offered the following:

            "I move that, recognizing Wilford Woodruff as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the only man on the earth at the present time who holds the keys of the sealing ordinances, we consider him fully authorized by virtue of his position to issue the manifesto which has been read in our hearing and which is dated September 24, 1890, and that as a Church in General Conference assembled, we accept his declaration concerning plural marriages as authoritative and binding."

            The vote to sustain the foregoing motion was unanimous

_____

President George Q. Cannon

 Spoke in reference to the manifesto, giving the reasons for its having been issued by President Woodruff. A synopsis of his discourse could not give an adequate idea of it. His remarks were of such vital importance that it is deemed better to wait the full report of them, which will shortly be published.

_____

President Woodruff,

 Who had been deeply affected during the presentation off, and action upon the official declaration, also express himself on the same subject. his remarks will soon appear in full, the same reason for not giving a synopsis applying to his discourse, as well as to President Canon's.

[George Q. Cannon and Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 41:550-553, 10/18/90, p 14-17; CD 2:129-137]

REMARKS

By President George Q. Cannon and President Wilford Woodruff,
at the Sixty-first Semi-annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
Oct. 6th, 1890, immediately following the adoption by the General Assembly
of the Manifesto issued by President Wilford Woodruff in relation to Plural Marriages
.

_____

President George Q. Cannon.

      On 19th of January, 1841, the Lord gave His servant Joseph Smith a revelation, the 49th paragraph of which I will read:

      "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men, to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might, and with all the have, to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them, and hinder them from performing that work; behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings."

      The Lord says other things connected with this, which I do not think it necessary to read, but the whole revelation is profitable, and can be read by those who desire to do so.

      It is on this basis that President Woodruff has felt himself justified in issuing this manifesto.

      I suppose it would not be justice to this Conference not to say something upon the subject; and yet every one knows how delicate a subject it is, and how difficult it is to approach it without saying something that may offend somebody. So far as I am concerned, I can say that of the men in this Church who have endeavored to maintain this principle of plural marriage, I am one. In public and in private I have vowed my belief in it. I have defended it everywhere and under all circumstances, and when it was necessary have said that I considered the command was binding and imperative upon me.

      But a change has taken place. We have, in the first place, endeavored to show that the law which affected this feature of our religion was unconstitutional. We believed for years that the law of July 1, 1852, was in direct conflict with the first amendment to the Constitution, which says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." We rested upon that, and for years continued the practice of plural marriage, believing the law against it to be an unconstitutional one, and that we had the right, under the Constitution, to carry out this principle practically in our lives. So confident was I in relation to this view that in conversations with President Grant, and with his Attorney General, ex-Senator Williams, of Oregon, I said to them that if my case were not barred by the statute of limitations I would be willing to have it made a test case, in order that the law might be tested. We were sustained in this view not only by our own interpretation of the amendment to the Constitution, but also by some of the best legal minds in the country, who took exactly the same view that we did – that this law was an interference with religious rights, and that so long as our practices did not interfere with the happiness and peace of society, or of others, we have the right to carry out this principle. In fact, it is within six or eight months that, in conversation with two United States Senators, each conversation being separate from the other, both of them expressed themselves though not in the same language, to this effect: "Mr. Cannon, if this feature that you practice had not been associated with religion, it might have been tolerated; but you have associated it with religion and it has aroused the religious sentiment of the nation, and that sentiment cannot be resisted. So far as the practice itself is concerned, if you had not made it a part of your faith and an institution sanctioned by religion, it might have gone along unnoticed." I do not give the exact language; but these are the ideas that they conveyed to me. Now, we were very confident that this law was an unconstitutional one. President Daniel H. Wells would remember how he and I tried to get a case to test the constitutionality of the law during the lifetime of President Brigham Young. We wanted to get Brother Erastus Snow. It is the last thing that we should have thought of to put a man like he was in the gap if we had not been firmly convinced that the law was unconstitutional and would be declared so by the United States Supreme Court. We telegraphed to Brother Erastus in the South, thinking that his case would not be barred by the statute of limitations. He replied to us concerning it, and we found that it was barred. Brother A. M. Musser proposed himself, if I remember aright, to be a test case; but there was a defect in his case. We wanted this case, whenever it was presented, to be presented fairly, that there should be no evasion about it, but that it should be a case that could be tested fairly before the courts of the country. Finally, Brother George Reynolds was selected. I said to myself, when I learned the result, "it is the last time that I will ever have anything to do with a test case again which will involve the liberty of anybody." I was promised when he was sentenced, by one high in authority and who had the right to make the promise, that he should be released, when the circumstances were told to him; for they were laid fairly before him, and he was told that the evidence had been furnished by Brother Reynolds himself, and that everything had been done to make it a test case; the government had been aided in the securing of witnesses, and no difficulty thrown in the way. Afterwards, on the second trial, I believe Brother Reynolds' lawyers got frightened, and there was something occurred then that gave it a different appearance. But when the facts were related, as I stated, to one high in authority, he promised me that George Reynolds should be pardoned. There were those, however, in this city who were determined that he should not escape imprisonment, and the prosecuting attorney wrote a letter which changed the mind of this high official, as he afterward told me, and he declined to carry out that which I had received as a promise. But even then there were circumstances connected with this decision that made us reluctant to accept it.

      Since that time the history of proceedings is before you and before the world. We have felt as though this command of God was of such importance to us, involving so many serious consequences that we should do all in our power to have the world know the position that we occupied. There may be men among us who believed they would be damned if they did not obey this, accepting it as a direct command from God. Therefore, you can understand how tenaciously we have protested, and how vigorously we have endeavored, as far as we could, to make public our views upon the subject.

      I suppose there are two classes here today in this congregation – one class who feel to sorrow to the bottom of their hearts because of the necessity of this action that we have now taken; another class will say: "did I not tell you so?" "Did I not tell you it would come to this?" "Did I not say to you that you ought to take advantage of and comply with this years ago, instead of enduring that which you have suffered since that time?" There may be men here today who pride themselves on their foresight, and who take credit to themselves because they foresaw, as they allege, that which we have done today, and would lead others to believe that if their counsel had been adopted, if the views that they presented had been accepted by the people, it might have saved very serious consequences to us all and left us in a better position but I, for one, differ entirely with this view. I believe that it was necessary that we should witness unto God, the Eternal Father, unto the heavens and unto the earth, that this was really a principle dear to us – dearer, it might be said, in some respects than life itself. We could not have done this had we submitted at the time that those of whom I speak suggested submission. We could not have left our own nation without excuse. It might have said, "Had we known all that you tell us now concerning this, we should have had very different views about this feature of your religion than we did have." But now, after the occurrences of the past six years have been witnessed by this entire nation and by the world, and by God the Eternal Father and the heavenly hosts, no one can plead as an excuse that they have been ignorant of our belief and the dearness of this principle to us. Upwards of thirteen hundred men have been incarcerated in prison, going there for various terms from one or three months up two years. They have gone there willingly, as martyrs to this principle, making a protest that the heavens and the earth should bear record of, that they were conscientious in espousing this principle, and that it was not for sensual indulgence, because if sensual indulgence had been the object we could have obtained it without such sacrifices as were involved in obedience to this law – without going to prison, without sustaining wives and children, without the of the obloquy that has been heaped upon us because of this action of ours. If licentious motives had prompted us, we could have secured the results of a cheaper way and in a way more in consonancy with universal custom throughout our own land and all Christendom. But the sacrifices that we have made in this respect bear testimony to the heavens and to the earth that we have been sincere and conscientious in all that we have done, and that we have not been prompted by a desire to use women for lustful purposes, but to save them, to make them honorable, and to leave no margin of women in our society to become a prey to last, so that every woman in our lands should have the opportunity of becoming a virtuous wife and an honored mother, loved and respected by her offspring and by all her associates.

      If no other result has attended what may be termed our obstinacy, these results are, at least, upon record, and they never can be blotted out. The imprisonment of these men, the sufferings – the untold, unwritten, yea, the unmentionable, it may be said, sufferings –of wives and children, they are recorded in heaven and are known to man upon the earth, and they form a chapter that will never be blotted out.

      Latter-day Saints, there has been nothing lost in the five years that have just passed. We have lost no credit. There has been no honor sacrificed. We can look God in the face – that is, if we are permitted to do so, so far as this is concerned, we can; we can look the holy angels in the face; we can look man kind in the face, without a blush or without feeling that we have done anything unworthy of our manhood or of our professions and the faith that God has given to us. This all of us can do; and if no other result has followed what may be called our obstinacy, than these which I now describe they are grand enough to pay us for all that we have gone through.

      But the time has come when, in the providence of God, it seemed necessary that something should be done to meet the requirements of the country, to meet the demands that have been made upon us, and to save the people. President Woodruff and others of us have been appealed to hundreds of times, I might say; – I can say for myself, that I have been appealed to many scores of times to get out something, and to announce something. Some of our leading brethren have said: "inasmuch as we have ceased to give permission for plural marriages to be solemnized, why cannot we have the benefit of that? Why cannot we tell the world it, so as to have the benefit of it? Our enemies are alleging constantly that we still practice this in secret, and that we are dishonest and guilty of evasion. Now, if we have really put a stop to granting permissions to man to take more wives than one, why should not the world know it and we have the advantage of it?" These remarks have been made to us repeatedly. But at no time has the Spirit seemed to indicate that this should be done. We have waited for the Lord to move in the matter; and on the 24th of September, President Woodruff made up his mind that he would write something, and he had the spirit of it. He had prayed about it and had sought God repeatedly to show him what to do. At that time the Spirit came upon him, and a document that has been read in your hearing was the result. I know that it was right, much as it has gone against the grain with me in many respects, because many of you know the contest we have had upon this point. But when God speaks, and when God makes known His mind and will, I hope that I and all Latter-day Saints will bow in submission to it. When that document was prepared it was submitted. But, as is said in this motion that has been made President Woodruff is the only man upon the earth who holds the keys of the sealing power. These Apostles all around me have all the same authority that he has. We are all ordained with the same ordination. We all have had the same keys and the same powers bestowed upon us. But there is an order in the Church of God, and that order is that there is only one man at a time on the earth who holds the keys of sealing, and that man is the President of the Church, now Wilford Woodruff. Therefore, he signed that document himself. Some have wondered and said, "Why didn't his Counselors sign? Why didn't others sign?" Well, I give you the reason – because he is the only man on the earth that has this right, and he exercised it, and he did this with the approval of all of us to whom the matter was submitted, after he had made up his mind, and we sustained it; for we had made it a subject of prayer also, that God would direct us.

      There never was a time in this Church when I believe the leading men of this Church have endeavored to live nearer to God, because they have seen the path in which we walked environed with difficulties, beset with all manner of snares, and we have had the responsibility resting upon us of your salvation, to a certain extent. God has chosen us, not we ourselves, to be the shepherds of His flock. We have not sought this responsibility. You know Wilford Woodruff to well to believe that he would seek such an office as he now fills. I trust you know the rest of us sufficiently to believe the same concerning us. I have shrunk from the Apostleship. I have shrunk from being a member of the First Presidency. I felt that if I could get my salvation in any other way, I prayed God that He would give it to me, after He revealed to me that I would be an Apostle, when I was comparatively a child; and I have had that feeling ever since. These Apostles, all of them, feel the responsibility which rests upon them as leaders of the people, God having made us, in His providence, your shepherds. We feel that the flock is in our charge, and if any harm befell this flock through us, we will have to answer for it in the day of the Lord Jesus; we shall have to stand and render an account of that which has been entrusted to us; and if we are faithless, and careless, and do not live so as to have the word of God continually with us and know His mind and will, then our condemnation will be sure and certain, and we cannot escape it. But you are our witnesses as to whether God is with us or not, as well as the Holy Ghost. You have received, and it is your privilege to receive, the testimony of Jesus Christ as to whether these men who stand at your head are the servants of God, whom God has chosen, and through whom God gives instructions to His people. You know it, because the testimony of the Spirit is with you, and the Spirit of God burns in your bosoms when you hear the word of god declared by these servants, and there is a testimony living in your hearts concerning it.

      Now, realizing the full responsibility of this, this action has been taken. Will it try many of the Saints? Perhaps it will; and perhaps it will try those who have not obeyed this law as much as any others in the Church. But all that we can say to you is that which we repeatedly say to you – go unto God yourselves, if you are tried over this and cannot see its purpose; go to your secret chambers and ask God and plead with Him, in the name of Jesus, to give you a testimony as He has given it to us, and I promise you that you will not come away empty, nor dissatisfied; you will have a testimony, and light will be poured out upon you, and you will see things that perhaps you cannot see and understand at the present time.

      I pray God to bless all of you, my brethren and sisters; to fill you with His Holy Spirit; to keep you in the path of exaltation which He has marked out for us; to be with us on the right hand and on the left in our future as He has been in the past.

      Before I sit down I wish to call attention to one remarkable thing, and it may be an evidence to you that the devil is not pleased with what we have done. It is seldom I have seen many lies and such flagrant, outrageous lies told about the Latter-day Saints as I have quite recently. I have not time to read the papers, but I have happened to pick up two or three papers and glanced at them, and the most infernal (Pardon me for using that expression) lies ever framed are told. It seems as though the devil is mad every way. "Now," says he, "They are going to take advantage of this, and I am determined they shall have no benefit of it; I will fill the earth with lies concerning them, and neutralize this declaration of President Woodruff's." And you will see in all the papers everything that can be said to neutralize the effect of this. To me it is pretty good evidence that the devil is not pleased with what we are doing. When we kept silence concerning this, then we were a very mean and bad people; and now that we have broke the silence and made public our position, why, we are wicked in other directions, and no credence can be attached to anything that we say. You men know by this that his satanic majesty is not pleased with our action. I hope he never will be.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff:

      I want to say to all Israel that the step which I have taken in issuing this manifesto has not been done without earnest prayer before the Lord. I am about to go into the spirit world, like other men of my age. I expect to meet the face of my Heavenly Father – the Father of my spirit; I expect to meet the face of Joseph Smith, of Brigham Young, of John Taylor, and of the Apostles, and for me to have taken a stand in anything which is not pleasing in the sight of God, or before the heavens, I would rather have gone out and been shot. My life is no better than other men's. I am not ignorant of the feelings that have been engendered through the course I have pursued. But I have done my duty, and the nation of which we form a part must be responsible for that which has been done in relation to this principle.

      The Lord has required at our hands many things that we were prevented from doing. The Lord required us to build a Temple in Jackson County. We were prevented by violence from doing it. He required us to build a Temple in Far West, which we have not been able to do. A great many things have been required of us, and we have not been able to do them, because of those that surrounded us in the world. This people are in the hands of God. This work is in the hands of god, and He will take care of it. Brother George Q. Cannon told us about the lies that are abroad. It is a time when there have been more lies told about Mormonism than almost any other subject ever presented to the human family. I often think of what Lorenzo Dow said with regard to the doctrine of election. Says he: "It is like this: You can, and you can't: you will, and you won't; you shall, and you shan't; you'll be damned if you do, and you'll be damned if you don't." That is about the condition we as Latter-day Saints are in. If we were to undertake to please the world, and that was our object, we might as well give up the ship; we might have given it up in the beginning. But the Lord has called us to labor in the vineyard; and when our nations passes laws, as they have done, in regard to this principle which we have presented to the Conference, it is not wisdom for us to make war upon sixty-five millions of people. It is not wisdom for us to go forth and carry out this principle against the laws of the nation and receive the consequences. That is in the hands of God, and He will govern and control it. The Church of Christ is here; the Zion of God is here, in fulfilment of these revelations of God that are contained in these holy records in which the whole Christian world profess to believe. The Bible could never have been fulfilled had it not been for the raising up of a prophet in the last days. The revelations of St. John would never have been fulfilled if the angel of God had not flown through the midst of heaven, "having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." Was that angel going to visit New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and the world, and call the people together and preach to them? Not at all. But the Lord raised up a Prophet. The angel of God delivered the Gospel to that Prophet. That prophet organized a Church; and all that He has promised in this code of revelations (the Book of doctrine and Covenants) has been fulfilled as fast as time would admit. That which is not yet fulfilled will be.

      Brethren and sisters, it is our duty to be true to God and to be faithful. Make your prayers known unto the Lord. The Lord has told us what He will do concerning many things. He will fulfill His word. Let us be careful and wise, and let us be satisfied with the dealings of God with us. If we do our duty to one another, to our country and to the Church of Christ, we will be justified when we go into the spirit world. It is not the first time that the world has sought to hinder the fulfillment of revelation and prophecy. The Jewish nation and other nations rose up and slew the Son of God and every Apostle but one that bore the Priesthood in that day and generation. They could not establish the kingdom; the world was against them. When the apostles asked Jesus whether He would at that restore again the kingdom of Israel, He replied: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." He did not say it would be established then, but He taught them to pray: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." It is a long time since that prayer was offered, and it has not been fulfilled until the present generation. The Lord is preparing a people to receive His kingdom and His Church, and to build up His work. That, brethren and sisters, is our labor.

      I want the prayers of the Latter-day Saints. I thank God that I have seen with my eyes this day that this people have been ready to vote to sustain me in an action that I know, in one sense, has pained their hearts. Brother George Q. Cannon has laid before you our position. The Lord has given us commandments concerning many things, and we have carried them out as far as we could; but when we cannot do it, we are justified. The Lord does not require at our hands things that we cannot do.

      This is all I want to say to the Latter-day Saints upon this subject. But go before the Lord and ask Him for light and truth, and to give us such blessings as we stand in need of. Let your prayers ascend into the ears of the God of Sabaoth, and they will be heard and answered upon your heads, and upon the heads of the world. You watch the signs of the times, the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. They are beginning to be made manifest both in heaven and on earth. As has been told you by the Apostles, Christ will not come until these things come to pass. Jerusalem has got to be rebuilt. The Temple has got to be built. Judah has got to be gathered, and the House of Israel. And the gentiles will go forth to battle against Judah and Jerusalem before the coming of the Son of Man. These things have been revealed by the prophets; they will have their fulfilment. We are approaching these things. All that the Latter-day Saints have to do is to be quiet, careful and wise before the Lord, watch the signs of the times, and be true and faithful; and when you get through you will understand many things that you do not today. This work has been raised up by the power of Almighty God. These Elders of Israel were called from the various occupations of life to preach as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. They were not learned men; they were the weak things of this world, whom God chose to confound the wise, "and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are." We are here on that principle. Others will be gathered on that principle. Zion will be redeemed, Zion will arise, and the glory of god will rest upon her, and all that Isaiah and the other prophets have spoken concerning her will come to pass. We are in the last dispensation and fulness of time. It is a great day, and the eyes of all the heavens are over us and the eyes of god Himself and all the patriarchs and prophets. They are watching over you with feelings of deep interest, for your welfare; and our prophets who were slain and sealed their testimony with their blood, are mingling with the Gods, pleading for their brethren. Therefore, let us be faithful, and leave events in the hands of God, and He will take care of us if we do our duty.

      I pray God that He will bless these apostles, Prophets and Patriarchs, the Seventies, High Priests and Elders of Israel, and these Latter-day Saints, who have entered into covenant with our god. You have a great future before you. You have kept the commandments of God, so far as you have had the opportunity, and by receiving the Gospel of Christ and being faithful your reward is before you. Your history is written and is before you. I will say that this nation, and all nations, together with presidents, kings, emperors, judges, and all men, righteous and wicked, have got to go into the spirit world and stand before the bar of God. They have got to give an account of the deeds done in the body. Therefore, we are safe as long as we do our duty. No matter what trials or tribulations we may be called to pass through, the hand of God will be with us and will sustain us. I ask my Heavenly Father to pour out His Spirit upon me, as His servant, that in y advanced age, and during the few days I have to spend here in the flesh, I may be led by inspiration of the Almighty. I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me nor any other man who stands as the President of this Church, to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. God bless you. Amen.

 

            The choir sang:

How beauteous are their feet Who stand on Zion's Hill.
Who bring salvation on their tongues, And words of peace reveal.

            Benediction by Apostle Heber J. Grant. Adjourned until 2 p.m.

_____

[6 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 41:526-528, 10/11/90, p 24-26]

Afternoon Session, 2 p.m.

            The choir sang:

With joy we own Thy servants, Lord, Thy ministers below,
Ordained to speak Thy truth abroad, That all Thy name may know.

            Prayer by Elder C. W. Penrose.

            A special hymn entitled "Zion will be free," was sung by the choir.

_____

Apostle Heber J. Grant

Briefly addressed the conference. He said in substance: I have great satisfaction in seeing so large a congregation present. I have never attended a conference at which more of the Spirit of the Lord was manifest. We have been united and the speakers have been inspired by the Spirit of truth. May I be able to contribute something of the same character as that already given for the benefit of all present. I rejoiced in the large Priesthood meeting held here last night, at which the Spirit of God was present. I sustain a testimony born at that gathering to the effect that the man who contributes to the support of God's work will be rewarded both temporally and spiritually. I have been gratified with the remarks that have been made about events, which some have imagined will take place in 1891. Some spend nearly the whole of their time in hunting the mysteries, while neglecting important duties as they come along. The best course to pursue is to fulfill daily the duties required as they present themselves. In this way a man is rewarded as he goes along, and walks in the path that leads to salvation.

_____

Apostle John W. Taylor

 Was the next speaker. he said substantially: I feel thankful to my Heavenly Father for the privilege of attending this Conference. It is the best I've ever attended in my life. I am in the habit of saying this every half year. I am like a hungry man who when he eats declares that this is the best meal he has ever partaken of. God has fulfilled His promise to His people and provided for them pastors and teachers after His own heart.

            I was glad to be confirmed in my impressions regarding what some have expected would transpire in 1891.

            I invite you all to pay your tithes and offerings, that this may be a land of Zion to us all. I am fully in accord with the views of Elder Grant in relation to the temporal duties of the Saints. When we engage to serve the Lord we do so that we might reap salvation. All that you will find yourselves possessed of as a foundation when before the bar of God will be your wives and children. If you train not your children you are blind indeed. There is a spirit working among the Saints to educate their own offspring. If our children will be all we will have for a foundation of glory in eternity, how needful that they be properly trained, that Church schools are the greatest institutions among this people and will be one of the greatest powers for good as one of the helps in the work of God. About two years ago an eastern paper published what purported to be a correct report of missions schools or it he asserted that 5000 children of the Latter-day Saints, in Utah attended them. If this be true it shows quite a percentage of parents who are inconsistent with regard to their religious duty. The ordinances of the Gospel have been taught to us and we are responsible for our children being instructed in these things.

            The speaker here read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants regarding the responsibility of parents regarding the proper instruction of their children. if I were a Catholic I would wish my children to be of that faith. So with any other religion. Being a Latter-day Saint I desire my children to be of that faith. Otherwise I would be a hypocrite. There are among us wolves in sheep's clothing ready to lead astray our little ones. The cry has gone forth "Let Zion be defiled." Wolves do not devour old sheep when there are any young ones. I have herded sheep long enough to know that. Look after your children. If you are faithful over a few of them God will make you ruler over many. May God bless you all. Amen.

_____

Apostle Mariner W. Merrill

Was the next speaker. The substance of what he said was as follows: I hope to have your attention that you may hear what I have to say. This position is not to me a desirable one. I am not here of my own choice. May the Lord favor me with His good spirit that what I may say may be of profit. I have felt that if ever there was a time when Saints needed the testimony of Jesus it is now. The Saints need that witness for themselves that they may understand the revelations as given from time to time. There was one given to President Taylor in 1882. It directed at all the quorums should be fully organized and the families of the Saints set in order. This was that the Priesthood and people might be preserved. We could hardly realize the importance of the word of the Lord in that relation at that time. We can see it now. Events since then require the Saints to know for themselves of the divinity of this great work. There is more or less fault-finding and complaining against each other among the people. When this is the case we should consider this matter, for the Lord has spoken on the subject and said we must forgive one another. It is written concerning the disciples of old, that there were envyings and strifes among them and they forgave not each other in their hearts, and were severely chastened in consequence. There may have been an outward form of reconciliation, but they forgave not one another inwardly and were in consequence of afflicted and sorely chastened. He who will not forgive his brother stands condemned and there remains in him the greater sin. The speaker related an incident wherein one man refused to forgive another, although the brother of against whom he entertained feelings asked forgiveness and requested to know what he could do to regain to his good will. Resuming his comments, Brother Merrill said: is there anybody here who feels us? If so he stands under condemnation, and lies under the greater sin. We ought to cease our fault-finding, and seek the Lord in fervent prayer morning, noon and evening. There is no other proper course for Saints. We must carry our religion into the actions of our lives. We must forgive one another as we desire to be forgiven. If we do not, God will not hear our prayers. He will be slow to answer our supplications. This evil is more or less prevalent. It keeps people away from their meetings. The time is now when we should live according to the light of the Holy Spirit that the Lord may favor us. Make all things right with each other, and make restitution to each other where you have wronged any one. There was a time in our history when we did this and when we confess our sins. When this is done, let us at our quorums and houses in order, and the peace of the Lord will be with us.

            We should fulfill our obligations and covenants with each other. Some of the people are living beyond their means and fail to meet their engagements at the proper time. This is a cause of much ill-feeling. My policy has always been to pay as I got. Do not incur financial obligations; do not mortgage your homes, unless some circumstances exists that demand that you should do so. Pay day always comes around. It is easy to sign a note, but, when it matures, the one who gives it is sometimes unable to redeem it. It is contemptible for a man to take advantage of the law of limitations and hide behind that statute by refusing to redeem a note or pay a book account when they are outlawed. If you can't pay for what you want do without it. We have all seen the evils of mortgaging homes thousands of farmers in the east have done so and have lost their property. It will not do for the Saints to thus bring themselves into bondage.

            Many of our young people think they cannot get married because they cannot provide a fashionable home this not only applies to the people of Salt Lake City, but largely to those throughout the Church. The tendency toward extravagance is increasing and is wrong. The Saints have good credit. When engaged on railroad construction contracts in the past I have been asked by business men who have been asked to let wagons and supplies go on credit, whether the persons desiring the accommodation were "Mormons." Saturday, "if they are it will be all right, as they will pay their debts." We are more ready to pay others than our brethren. We should pay without distinction everybody. But the better way is not to purchase until we have ability to pay down. It is good to be a free people financially. This status can be maintained by our living within our means. The policy of extravagance is all wrong. This country will be a land of Zion to all those who live within their means, pay their tithing, and offer their prayers morning, noon and night. That class will always be impressed with the will of the Lord when it comes through His servants. I was recently in the east, and I know that what Brother Canon has stated about the moral condition of the people there is strictly correct. Brother Merrill bore testimony to the truth of the Gospel, including by saying: God bless you. Look after your dead, and live your religion.

_____

Apostle Abraham H. Cannon

Spoke briefly. He said: If any had imagined that God had withdrawn His Spirit from His Church, such ideas must have been dispelled during this Conference. Every heart must have been touched by the inspired instructions that have been given. When the servants of God are not bodily present with the people and their voices are not heard in their congregations, they begin to murmur and complain. But when the Prophets are with them the sheep soon recognized the voices of the shepherds and they are again established. This has been exemplified in other ages. Instances illustrative of this truth occurred in the history of ancient Israel, when Moses was their leader. So in the days of Jesus. His disciples had heard his teachings and understood them to be of God. They beheld the miracles he wrought. Yet when Jesus was hung up on the cross His followers imagine their hopes were blasted. Hence it is no new thing for the people to be mistaken when separated or a time from the servants of the Lord. If the instructions given during this conference are carried out, none will be without light and none need be led blindly. If this spirit of intelligence does prevail, Zion will indeed be the pure in heart. The condition of the Saints will grow brighter and better while the course of the world will be retrogressive. Since the restoration of the Gospel and its proclamation the world lies under condemnation, because they have, in many instances rejected the light. God is being ruled out of everything. The voice of the people is accepted as the voice of God, when the legitimate order is the reverse the voice of God should be the voice of the people. God will give no revelation through His prophets but what can be tested by the faithful among the people, to whom the channel of communication with the heavens is open. God's ways are not as the ways of man, and in the midst of our trials He has never deserted His Saints. The speaker predicted the spread and triumph of the work of the Lord, to the divine origin of which he bore testimony.

            The choir sang an anthem:

Lord what is man?

---------

President W. Woodruff

Stepped forward to the breastwork of the stand and said: Before dismissing this Conference I want to say a few words to the Latter-day Saints. The Lord has said by revelation, to those who hold the keys of the Kingdom of God: "Whomsoever thou shalt bless I will bless and whomsoever thou shalt curse I will curse."

            I have traveled something like a hundred and seventy-five thousand miles in my day and time, and I have preached the Gospel to the nations, to the islands of the sea and to my own country. I have met, in some instances, men who professed to have faith in God and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who have stood up before me and cursed the Prophet of God, Joseph Smith and blasphemed the name of God. But in the midst of all these things, I have never seen a moment of my life when I felt to curse anybody. I hope I never shall. But I have pulled these men, under the circumstances, that the curse of God would overtake them; and in no instance, when I have been moved upon to say that, has it ever fallen unfulfilled; for they have been marked cases of the judgments of God overtaking them. But with regard to blessing, I will say, if there was ever an hour in my life that I felt to bless the Latter-day Saints, it is at the present time. My heart is drawn out with love and gratitude towards God and my brethren with whom I am surrounded. I have been sustained as a weak instrument in the hands of God as the President of this Church. Since I have been called to this office I have been sustained by the Latter-day Saints, and for over fifty years of my life as an Apostle. Why should not my heart be drawn out in love toward such a people? The world know not the love of the Latter-day Saints. They do not comprehend it. It never entered into their souls. I am surrounded here with Prophets, Apostles, Elders and Saints of the living God; and in the morning of the resurrection, when they come out of their graves, they will pass by the Gods and the Angels who are set there to watch the interests of the celestial world; they will go to those thrones, kingdoms, principalities and powers which have been ordained of God for them to occupy – those who dwell in this dispensation as well as in other ages of the world. If I am faithful, I shall meet you there; I shall meet these Saints of the Living God there. Therefore I feel it is my privilege to bless the Latter-day Saints. I cannot go abroad, as a man, and spread this Gospel to the world and administer to them the ordinances thereof, to have any effect, without the Holy Priesthood; and I, as a man, cannot bless the inhabitants of the earth, so that the Lord is bound to acknowledge it, only by the power of the Holy Priesthood; and that power I feel to exercise at the present time in blessing my brethren and sisters.

            In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I feel to bless my Councillors – Presidents Geo. Q. Cannon and Jos. F. Smith. They have stood by me in all the labors of life, as far as we have been associated, since we have entered into the new and everlasting covenant. On the same principle, I feel to bless these Apostles who surround me. We have been united. We are united in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they have the gratitude of my heart for the labors of love and life which they have carried out in their day and time. I feel to bless the Presidents of the Seventies, with all their quorums in this Church, with every blessing that I have power to bestow upon them, as a servant of the Living God. I feel to bless the High Priests, who bear the high and Holy Priesthood after the order of Melchisedec – their Presidents and all who belong to the quorums. I also feel to bless the thousands of the Elders of Israel who have entered into covenant with the Lord, who have received a portion of the Melchisedec Priesthood, and who have gone forth and been faithful in the ordinances of the House of God. I feel to bless the Bishopric and the Lesser Priesthood, which is after the order of Aaron – the first Priesthood sealed upon the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist, who held it, and who laid down his own life for the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ. I feel to bless these Latter-day Saints as fathers and mothers, as brothers and sisters, in all the ordinances of the House [528] of God. I feel to bless them and their families, and their flocks, and in their herds, and in all they put their hands unto. As far as I have the power to bless, they have the blessings of my heart and my spirit, in every sense of the word. And I say to all Israel, God bless you.

            Let us live, brethren and sisters, that when we have finished our work and our testimony, as other generations have done, we will receive the same exaltation and glory. The world do not know you. The world do not know this work. They do not understand it. They have not entered into the spirit of it; they never will, except they obey they Gospel of Jesus Christ and the law of the celestial kingdom.

            The vast audience than arose to their feet and President Woodruff pronounced the final benediction.

            Conference adjourned till the 6th day of April, 1891.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference.

_____

1891

4-6 Apr 1891, 61st Annual General Conference, SLC Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly 42:497, 4/11/91, p 17; Millennial Star 53:305, 321, 337, 353, 369, 385, 401, 417, 433, 449]

[4 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 42:497-498, 4/11/91, p 17-18]

GENERAL CONFERENCE

_____

            The Sixty-first Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, convened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 4th, 1891, in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, President Wilford Woodruff presiding.

            There were on the stand: Of the First Presidency, Wilford Woodruff and George Q. Cannon; Of the council of the Twelve Apostles: Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mariner W. Merrill, Anton H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon; Patriarch, John Smith; of the Presiding Council of the Seventies: Seymour B. Young, C. D. Fjeldsted, John Morgan, B. H. Roberts and George Reynolds; of the Presiding Bishopric: William B. Preston, R. T. Burton and John R. Winder.

            There were also numbers of Presidents of Stakes and of other leading brethren from various parts of Utah and surrounding region.

            Conference opened by President Wilford Woodruff announcing that the choir would sing the hymn commencing:

Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation;
No longer as strangers on earth need we roam.

            Prayer was offered by President Angus M. Cannon.

            Singing by the choir:

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God!
He whose word can not be broken, Chose thee for His own abode.

President Wilford Woodruff.

            We are highly blessed of God in being permitted to meet together on this the sixty-first anniversary of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I feel that we ought to be thankful before the Lord, that our hearts should be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for this privilege which we now enjoy. It is true many of our friends have been called from our midst during the past year, to the other side of the veil. The Lord has been merciful to us, as a people, in preserving us through our history, in all the vicissitudes of life through which we have been called to pass since the establishment of this Church and kingdom. I feel that we should lift our hearts in prayer to God our Heavenly Father for His mercies, and that He will guide and direct us by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that our minds may be enlightened, and our understanding opened to comprehend His mind and will concerning His people.

            I rejoice in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in the revelations that come from heaven to both Jew and Gentile, with the various dispensations of God to man. Generation after generation has passed away since the early Patriarchs stood in the flesh on the earth. The Lord has expressed, through the mouths of inspired men, from generation to generation, His mind, His will, His work. Those revelations which were delivered thousands of years ago have been fulfilled to-day in our midst and among the nations of the earth. God has set His hand to establish His work, to warn the world once more, for the last time, before the coming of the Son of man, and He has called Elders into the vineyard of the Lord, to labor while the day lasts; for "the night cometh, when no man can work." We have the fruits of this labor before us to-day, in this Tabernacle, in the valleys of these mountains. I trust, while we are together, that our prayers may be lifted up to the Lord, that our hearts may be united; that while our brethren, the Apostles and Elders, stand before us and give unto us their testimony of the word of God, we may have a full share of His blessing.

            I do not think I ought to occupy much more of your time this morning; but I feel thankful that I am still with you, and able to meet on this occasion with so many of the Latter-day Saints who have entered into covenant with the Lord, and upon whose shoulders He has laid the holy Priesthood, to administer, to warn the world, to devote their time and attention to the ordinances of the House of God, both for the living and the dead. I feel myself that of all people under heaven that have ever lived, the Latter-day Saints have the greatest cause to rejoice that they live in the day and generation when the Lord has set His hand to gather together His people, to establish both Jerusalem and Zion, and to fulfil His promises made to Father Abraham and the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets.

            The Jews have been a hiss and a bye-word among the Gentiles since the death of the Savior, eighteen hundred years ago. Their redemption is at the door to-day; it has been proclaimed by inspired men to their own tribe. It is left on record that the Jews will return home, that Jerusalem will be rebuilt; their temple will be established, and all those great and mighty promises given by inspiration and revelation will come to pass.

            I pray God our heavenly Father to bestow His blessing upon us, that it may continue to rest upon His Saints who have entered into covenant with Him; that we may recognize our responsibility and magnify our calling day by day, so that when we pass to the other side of the veil we may be justified in His sight. This is my prayer and desire for Jesus Christ's sake, Amen.

_____

Apostle Anton H. Lund

addressed the Conference. Following is substantially what he said: I am pleased to meet with the Saints and listen to the remarks of President Woodruff. In looking back on their history the Latter-day Saints have much cause to rejoice. We can see that the Lord has been with His people, notwithstanding the opposition they have had to meet. In the early history, which was marked by great difficulties, if the Lord had not been close to the Saints they would not have been able to stem the opposition which confronted them. We need to have no fear of the outcome. The Lord has power to protect His people. But we should look to ourselves. We have received the truth. We should show our gratitude for this boon by our works. You know of the Lord's parable of the sower. I have no fear that the word has been in the case of the Saints, sown on stony ground. But with some of us it has, I fear, been sown on soil on which briars have grown and partially choked it. As a rule, however, the loss of this world's goods and of friends have had no power to draw us away from the truth. Generally speaking the truth was sown on good ground.

            We have need to beware, lest, in times of peace, riches become the chief object of our lives. We have so much to love for that we cannot afford to do this. We should be honest in our dealings. I have seen more trouble arise among the Saints from temporal matters than any other cause;. We should all deal justly and remember the debt we owe to our Heavenly Father and pay our tithing. If we neglect this duty our faith and love for God's work will decrease. If we attend to this duty, those conditions will increase with us. There is a special debt of honor that not a few have omitted to discharge -- the refunding of means supplied by brethren to enable them to come to this country. This is not right, as such an obligation is sacred. We should remember our benefactors and not be guilty of the base sin of ingratitude.

            We should not forget the object of gathering. It is to learn more fully the ways of the Lord. We have progressed in this respect, but many have neglected to give their children proper instruction in these matters. Some have imagined that their time has been too much occupied to give their children these beneficent teachings. Those who cannot occupy much of their own time in this labor should be particular to send them where they can get the instruction -- Church and Sabbath schools. In this way they may become grounded in the faith of the Gospel and be able to give reason for the hope that is in them. Many parents, seeing the result of former negligence in this regard now regret their sins of omission. Some have thought that their children could receive all that was necessary at ordinary meetings. This is an error, as children are only capable of receiving but a little at a time.

            the speaker bore testimony to the divine character of the work in which he is engaged, attesting it to be the preparatory labor for the coming of Christ to govern the world.

_____

Apostle Marriner W. Merrill

said he was pleased to meet with such a large number of Latter-day Saints in conference. He had had many reflections since coming here in relation to the past. Thirty-eight years had gone by since he first became associated with the Saints in this city and Territory, and during that period how many of the brethren with whom he had been intimately acquainted had passed away! He dared say there were many present that morning who had never seen the face of President Young, President Kimball, Brother George A. Smith, and others of the early pioneers and settlers of this Territory; and he presumed also there were very few persons now in the Church who had ever beheld the Prophet Joseph. He himself was one of the latter. But the Prophet Joseph's testimony was still in force; his spirit had continued in the earth at his death; his mantle fell upon the shoulders of President Young; in turn it fell upon those of President Taylor, and now it was borne by President Woodruff. Thus we saw that the spirit of the great latter-day work was fully sustained among God's servants; in other words, the inspiration of the Holy Ghost that rested upon the Prophet Joseph and his brethren in an early day was still with the Church. That spirit and inspiration would continue in the earth and could not be taken away. The man or woman who had lost the spirit of this work had done so through his or her own neglect -- through the non observance of the commandments of God. During thirty-eight years of close observation he had seen that those Saints who had faithfully kept the laws of the Lord, who were honest in their dealings, had attended to their duties, and been prayerful in their daily life, were firm and steadfast in the truth today. The speaker counseled the Latter-day Saints to examine their acts closely, to sit in judgment upon themselves, as it were, and see, if needs be, wherein they had lost the gifts of the gospel. They must be a prayerful people, or they would assuredly lose the spirit of this work. Apostle Merrill next dwelt upon the subject of tithing, the strict observance of which he strongly enforced upon his hearers. The payment of tithing was an important matter among the Latter-day Saints. Though some had perhaps parted with thousands of dollars in this way, they yet had an abundance of this world's goods; they were full of faith and greatly blessed of the Lord.

            In bearing a strong and earnest testimony to the truth of the latter-day work, the speaker urged the Saints always to be honest and forgiving. They must not encourage hard feelings in their hearts against one another; they could not afford to do this, though the world might do it. He said the Latter-day Saints had the grandest organization on earth, and he pointed with pride to their Sabbath schools, Young Men's and Young Ladies' M. I. associations, and Primary associations. If we keep the commandments of God, he said, we would be sustained in our work and lifted up to a far higher plane than those who now ridiculed and reviled them, and upon whom they looked with pity because of their ignorance.

_____

Apostle John W. Taylor

addressed the Conference, the following being the substance of his remarks:

            I desire to be directed in my speaking by the Holy Spirit. I have listened with great interest to the remarks of Elder Merrill. I have paid particular attention to his testimony regarding the truth of this work. Any strangers who may be present will think his declaration in that regard rather remarkable. Our Lord and Savior promised that all who should do His will should know for themselves as to the divine origin of the Gospel. This is the reason why Elder Merrill is able to make such a positive statement of the knowledge he has obtained.

            What is necessary to be done in order to be in accord with the will of God and as a result obtain a similar testimony? There are many opinions abroad on this subject. The best source of information is the Scriptures, which Christ commended to the consideration of men in His day. The speaker here read from the sixteenth chapter of St. Mark, showing that baptism by immersion in water, and the obtaining of the holy Ghost, by a prescribed ordinance, were necessary parts of the law of the Gospel. He also dwelt upon the commission given to the servants of God in that age to preach the Gospel, free of charge, to all people. In the same chapter is also a statement of the spiritual signs that were to follow the believer as a result of obedience. An explanation was given by Elder Taylor of the manner in which the divine message was carried to the people by the ancient Apostles and the results of the reception or rejection of their teachings. He next referred to the case of Nicodemus, who visited the Savior under cover of night to make inquiry regarding the steps he should take to obtain salvation, the reply being, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Christ asserted that He testified of things that He had seen and did know. Here then is an instance of a similar character here this morning, Brother Merrill having testified to what he does know. Christ gave other instructions to His servants in the days of the primitive Church. He enjoined them to tarry at Jerusalem until they were endowed with power from on high. He promised that if they did he would bestow upon them the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, who would instruct them and show them things to come. It is this spirit that imparts this knowledge of the things of God. These are not new doctrines. They are laid down in the Scriptures, which state that the "testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The speaker then dwelt for some time upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit as defined by the Apostle Paul, asserting that people among whom these spiritual manifestations do not exist, are not in possession of the power of God unto salvation. He admonished all his hearers to take the advice of the Apostle Paul and seek earnestly the best gifts. He promised strangers that those who would believe in Christ, repent of their sins, be baptized by one holding authority for the remission of them, should receive the Holy Ghost and be able to testify that they had acted in accord with the divine will.

            Adjournment till 2 p.m.

            The choir sang,

From afar gracious Lord.

            Benediction by Patriarch John Smith.

_____

[4 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 42:498-500, 4/11/91, p 18-20]

Afternoon Session.

            SATURDAY, April 4th.

            The choir sang:

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

            Prayer by Elder Jacob Gates.

            Singing:

Lord, Thou wilt hear me when I pray, I am forever Thine
I fear before Thee all the day, O may I never sin.

Apostle F. M. Lyman

            Addressed the Conference, substantially as follows:

            As was quoted this morning from the Apostle Paul, no man can say that Jesus is the Christ except by the Holy Ghost, so it is in reference to this work; no man can say Joseph Smith was a Prophet except by that same spirit. These things can only be known by the revelations of the Lord, which come by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. We believe we are the children of God, that we are in His likeness, just as we are in the likeness of our parents and our children in ours. We believe in Christ and Him crucified and in His mission to save mankind; that for the cause of salvation He laid down His life and taught the law. His ancient Saints by their faith, repentance and baptism, and having the hands of the servants of God laid upon their heads, received the Holy Ghost. That Spirit bore testimony to them of the mission of the Savior and that their faith was perfect and their repentance genuine.They received testimony that their sins were forgiven. Their faith became so strong that they endured persecution unto death. The history of those things have come down to us. We believe in the resurrection of the body, of which Christ was the first fruit; That His was the great atonement for the sins of man. We believe that those who follow His footsteps will be redeemed and obtain immortality and eternal life. We hold that men to have this faith, must obtain it through repentance and baptism, and receive the Holy Ghost through being pure and just. They must love their fellow men and deal justly by them. They must have the spirit of charity -- the genius of Christ. If they do not they will fall short of a fullness of salvation.

            God has sent none of His children to earth without their having the privilege of attaining to eternal life. Those who fail to reach that blessing will have themselves to blame. Man has his agency, and has from the beginning had power to resist evil and accept of and practice righteousness. Men will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. For all good deeds God will reward his children. Such works are the result of the inspiration of the Spirit of the Almighty. All good emanates from that source. All that is wicked comes from the evil one. The inspiration of Satan leads to the destruction of men.

            We have the privilege to know that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which we have received. He established it and planted his authority on the earth. This knowledge has caused the Saints to gather from the lands of their birth. They have, in numbers of instances, laid down their lives in the cause of truth. Among those who have done so was the Prophet Joseph. We can afford to lay down our lives, when necessary, in such a work. All that we endure for righteousness' sake will redound to our advantage in the life to come. We are to be rewarded for our good works, our endurance, and our labors for truth in the earth. Our lives here are but for a little season. Almost all the old members who were prominent in the Church have passed away. Nearly all who are at the head are new people.

            The speaker proceeded to say that the Church had increased in strength from the beginning and that in the future it would not be of less importance than it was today, but would spread abroad, increasing in numbers and righteousness, and the Latter-day Saints would show the effects of the doctrines of the Gospel upon them. It would show in their communities, wards and Stakes as well as in themselves individually. The time was coming when the Latter-day Saints ought to seek to emphasize still more definitely the distinctive features of the Gospel in their lives.

            In traveling among the Latter-day Saints difficulties were sometimes found to exist; but he begged of them to vie with each other in seeing who could be the most ready with the spirit of forgiveness. Where there was hardness of heart the Spirit of God could not dwell. In the presence of assembled Israel he warned the Latter-day Saints against the inclination towards stubbornness and unforgivingness. The Spirit of the Lord was full of forgiveness, justice, righteousness, mercy and long suffering, and they could not possibly be true Latter-day Saints without these virtues.

_____

Apostle Lorenzo Snow

remarked that they were dependent entirely upon the Lord whom they endeavored to serve for that intelligence and instruction, and those qualification, which were essential in order that they might perform the duties and obligations devolving upon them. The Lord had accomplished a great deal for the Latter-day Saints. He had aided them materially in their various experiences, in the trials and temptations to which they had been exposed while endeavoring to carry out His purposes during the last sixty-one years.

            In taking a retrospect of their history as a church and people, they could not but feel grateful indeed for the mercies of the Almighty towards them. Referring to the advancement of the Latter-day Saints, morally, spiritually, and financially, the speaker said that during this experience of the last fifty-five years -- since he had been associated with this Church -- he had watched the wonderful strides made in these respects. He dwelt upon the persecutions and trials through which the Saints passed in Nauvoo and Missouri, the sacrifice of their homes and farms, and even the Temple itself, which had been consecrated through the revelations of the Almighty. They submitted to these cheerfully, though it took considerable faith to make the surrender. In Missouri their wives and children tramped over the frozen plains, and in some places their tracks were marked with their blood. Yet despite all these trials, the people grew in strength in the principles which they had espoused. They knew that all these things were of God and that they were suffering for His cause. It was plain to their understanding that the Holy Ghost assisted them; otherwise those sacrifices could never have been made. Various offers came that if they would renounce their principles there would be no cause for sacrifice; but they valued their religion too much to do this.

            God had revealed to His chosen people many glorious things. He had enlightened their understandings; because when the Gospel reached them they were in darkness; they knew not God nor His ways. Who could wish for better prospects than were before the Latter-day Saints? What God had revealed in regard to their future was the result of faithfulness in this life in the carrying out of His purposes. It was wonderful what they had been able to do as a people, and they were still growing. More had been accomplished by the Latter-day Saints than by any other people on earth. What more did their persecutors want than they had delivered over to them already? Why did their missionaries go forth and preach the Gospel, while some had even laid down their lives in God's cause? For the good of mankind at large -- because we were the children of God. When men persecuted the Latter-day Saints they knew not what they did. This people would not be satisfied until every knee should bow and acknowledge the Lord as King.

            God bless the Latter-day Saints. Let them not be discouraged. There was One at the helm who would not fail them, and the time would come when they would have everything that their hearts desired.

_____

Apostle Abraham. H. Cannon

was the next speaker, the following being the substance of his discourse: I have listened with great interest to the remarks of the speakers who have preceded me. God has been merciful unto us in imparting His mind and will through these Apostles who have addressed the conference. Though the Church has been organized nearly sixty-one years, it is still in its infancy. The events of the past will in future be considered small compared with those which will yet be developed. When we reflect concerning what God has said about the latter-day Zion, and the great things which are yet to come, we must see that we have scarcely passed the stage of childhood. We have not reached that maturity in which our greatest strength will be exhibited. Notwithstanding this, in comparison with the religious world at large, we are in the brilliant sunshine. In spiritual things the Saints lead the van of progress. In other things we, as a people, occasionally are very deficient. We have not learned how to live as Saints because we have not learned to take care of temporal blessings. We have not yet brought temporal blessings under subjection to the law of God. We are not as just nor forgiving as we should be. We are not as diligent in attending our meetings as we should be. The Gospel plan means temporal as well as spiritual salvation. It relates to time as well as eternity. Unless we learn more fully the temporal lessons of life we will come short of a fullness of blessings. Industries necessary for the future growth and benefit of Zion are not as much encouraged as they ought to be. They languish in consequence of this indifference. It is not possible for Zion to grow and become a heaven to the honorable of the earth unless we take a more consistent course in regard to temporalities. Consider for a moment the financial difficulties passed through of late. It has been deemed necessary to induce capital to come here from abroad to build up the country. Why not put forth our own efforts and establish permanent industries?

            In 1875 shortly after the Franco-German war, France had an immense indemnity fund to raise. It was so great that it would seem as if it must crush the nation. Yet it was all paid in an astonishingly short time, and France recently was able to loan England an exceedingly large sum to bridge a financial difficulty. The poor peasantry were able to come to the assistance of their government in paying the indemnity, and the latter pay the interest to their own people. Thus they build up their own country. Why cannot we emulate such an example? The time is foretold in relation to Zion that her people will yet become lenders and not borrowers. These thoughts have come to me while listening to the brethren.

            Some people have predicted that the destruction of the Church is near. A greater error could not be made. Those who take this view have not read aright the history of this community.

            The speaker went on to state that those who assert that the Church is going to decay, point, as an evidence in that direction, to what they conceive to be the mistakes of the authorities. What they hold to be mistakes are, however, only what was proper should be done under existing conditions at the time the steps were taken. The same class of pessimists regard the act of Adam and Eve in partaking of the forbidden fruit as a calamity to humanity, when it was a part of the divine plan whereby man could be brought to a knowledge of good and evil, and gain an experience that would advance him in the scale of being. A certain class of the contemporaries of Moses condemned the leading of the Israelites out of bondage into the wilderness as a mistake. But the glorious results of the exodus is a manifestation of divine wisdom. The lowly character of the birth of Christ has been regarded by some as a mistake, as it would, in their estimation, have been better for Him to have come into the world under affluent circumstances, so that he might have been received by the rich and the noble. It was deemed a mistake for him to be nailed upon the cross, and even His disciples imagined when it occurred that their calling was gone. Yet that glorious act of sacrifice constituted the atonement of a God for the redemption of humanity. It is the judgment of men not illuminated by the Holy Ghost which commits mistakes. Men's thoughts are not as God's. The men who have led this Church in this dispensation do not make mistakes, although, viewed by individuals devoid of the Holy Spirit, some of their acts may assume that appearance. I testify that President Woodruff who stands at the head of the Church is directed by the revelations of God. So with those associated with him. They may make mistakes in their personal concerns, but the affairs of the Church of Christ are moved forward by the power of inspiration of the Almighty. The Church will not diminish in power, but will increase in every gift and grace and in the power of salvation from this time forward.

_____

President George Q. Cannon

said: The allusions to temporal matters which have been made by previous speakers suggest a subject which I think should come before this Conference. You are all doubtless aware that the residents of this neighborhood and Utah County, and also those in the north, have engaged in the erection of a sugar factory-the largest enterprise that has ever been attempted among us in the shape of home manufacture. Our leading men are making great exertions to have this industry established in our midst, and to have the contract which has been made for machinery, etc., carried out in season. It is a business which has been thoroughly approved by those who have taken it into consideration.

            There were some doubts entertained at first concerning the practicability of this undertaking, and likewise as to whether or not it would be remunerative. A number of practical men were selected to examine into this. They visited California and other places, and made inquiries into the question of the manufacture of beet sugar. They were perfectly satisfied that it was an industry which could be established here, and made to pay if properly conducted.

            Some doubts were expressed concerning the raising of beets in this part of the country of a quality suitable to the production of sugar, as it was feared that there was too much alkali in our soil. Experiments were made in various places as to the raising of the beets, and samples of these were sent to California for analysis. Some were also analyzed here. These analyses set at rest whatever doubts might have been entertained before on this point. Indeed many of the beets were found to exceed in richness of saccharine matter those raised in California. The plant, as you no doubt know, has been located in Utah County.

            Now, it is very desirable that we should take hold of this matter as a people; that we should unite in our efforts, and not leave the burden upon the shoulders of the few. The First Presidency have been much exercised, as well as the Twelve, in relation to this business. We started into it before the stringency occurred in the money market. We had gone too far to retreat without loss of prestige, and it was therefore determined to push the affair through.

            All our people should take an interest in this question, and it is perhaps necessary to say here that none of those directly concerned in the enterprise have any misgiving as to its success, providing the beets can be raised. But from what we can hear, there is a supineness and indifference on the part of many in this matter that is to be deplored. We could have put the plant in Cache Valley and had a $50,000 bonus, independent of the stock subscribed. The people there were actually willing to give $50,000 to have the sugar factory established in that place, and take stock in addition. But for reasons which seem to be weighty in the minds of those who had the project in charge, it was decided to build the factory where it is now, promises having been made by the people of Utah County which encouraged those taking the initiative. It appears to me that there should be a disposition manifested to carry out those promises now, and that men should be willing-even if at a sacrifice, as some anticipate would be the case-to raise the beets at the price proposed.

            We are told by those building the factory-men familiar with the business, and who have been engaged in the manufacture of sugar-that beets can be raised half a dollar cheaper on the ton than has been offered, and persons make a good living at it. The company felt, however, that they should put the price a little higher, and did so; but, no doubt, if the undertaking proves remunerative, and when it gets beyond the experimental stage, the company will be willing to divide any profits there might be with the farmers who raise the beets. But we feel that something should be done energetically. It would be a disgrace to this Territory if we had to import labor here to raise beets for this factory; and yet that will be the necessity to which the company will be driven unless they can make contracts for raising the roots by our own people at home.

            We appeal to you-I do so personally on behalf of the company-to the farmers of Utah County, Salt Lake County and of all places within reach of this factory, to devote a portion of your land to the culture of sugar beets this coming spring. It is time that steps were taken in this direction. The only cause for fear we have is of there being a lack of beets. If these can be produced in sufficient quantity, the success of this enterprise is assured.

            The contractors can furnish machinery to crush 300 tons of beets per day, and it is thought at a push 350 tons, by an additional expense on their own part. This will require a good many beets, and the employment of a good deal of labor. We should try and keep the money at home and help to keep in our own hands that which we shall otherwise have to send elsewhere.

            A committee has been appointed who have the seed, and Bishop Thos. R. Cutler, of Utah County, is the manager. Anyone can also go and make inquiries of Brother Elias Morris, who is the president of the company; and those wishing to subscribe for stock can easily do so by applying to Brother Heber J. Grant, Brother Moses Thatcher or Brother Thos. G. Webber. All further information needed can be obtained on application to Brother Francis Armstrong, chairman of the executive committee, or Brother Leonard G. Hardy. The beet seed that has been imported is now for sale at the store of Hardy, Young & Co., Main Street.

            The choir sang the anthem: "O Give Thanks unto the Lord."

            Benediction by Apostle Moses Thatcher.

_____

[4 Apr, 7:30 pm]

[DNW 42:500, 4/11/91, p 20]

Priesthood Meeting.

            At half-past 7 o'clock in the evening a meeting of the Priesthood was held in the Tabernacle. President George Q. Cannon was the opening speaker. The chief points of this discourse were: The responsibilities and duties of those whom he addressed, the falling off from the early practice of the missionaries going out into the nations without purse or scrip, to prove the world; the opportunities for all to do good at home, the importance of attending fast meetings and the payment of offerings for the support of the poor. He concluded with some clear and practical instructions regarding the important duties of Teachers in the Church.

            President Woodruff followed. He dwelt for some time upon the responsibility of the brethren in carrying the Gospel to all peoples. In the bestowal of the Priesthood upon men, the Lord had said many were called but few should be chosen, the reason for many not being among those of final selection being that they set their hearts too much upon the things of this world to the neglect of their higher duties. He explained the importance and power that could be exercised in prayer, and exhorted those present to take a wise and progressive course in matters pertaining to the temporal welfare of the people.

_____

[5 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 42:500-503, 4/11/91, p 20-23]

SECOND DAY.

_____

            SUNDAY, April 5th.

            The choir and congregation sang:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word.

            Prayer by Elder John Morgan.

            The choir sang:

Hark, listen to the trumpeters! They sound for volunteers;
On Zion's bright and flowery mount Behold the officers.

President Wilford Woodruff.

After a few prefatory observations, said he never wished to address any body of people upon the Gospel of Christ unless he could do so by the Spirit and inspiration of Almighty God; and that was his feeling this morning.

            Those who were at Conference yesterday listened to some very strong testimonies presented by the Apostles. There was one discourse in particular to which he desired now to refer; that of Brother Abraham H. Cannon, who alluded to the views of certain persons as to the great mistakes which had been made in this world, some of them by people calling themselves Prophets, Apostles, and Saints of God. One of these alleged mistakes was in God permitting Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit; another was the mistake made in the Savior being born in a stable and cradled in a manger, instead of his coming as a conqueror, as the leader of the inhabitants of the earth; another was that the Apostles and Prophets ceased to have revelations when Joseph Smith died. It was to these principles that he wished to refer.

            When the Prophet Joseph was called of God to lay the foundation of this Church and kingdom he was a mere boy. His first prayer to the God of heaven was offered when he was only fourteen or fifteen years of age. He had read and studied the scriptures previously and was anxious to know what religious sect to join. An answer came to him from the Lord thereon. The heavens were opened; God the Father and God the Son appeared to him, and the Father said, "This is My beloved Son; hear ye Him." The history of Joseph Smith from that time until he organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on the 6th of April, 1830, was a constant scene of revelation and visitation. His counselors were the angels -- those who held the Priesthood in the flesh while on the earth and administered upon this continent to the sons of Adam, to the children of Israel who dwelt here. They were his teachers and continued to be so until he was called to organize this Church and Kingdom upon the foundation laid by the ancient apostles and prophets, "Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone."

            The speaker said he would like to ask that assembly of Latter-day Saints what power would the Prophets of God in those early days have had to organize and build up the Church of Christ upon earth unless they had been taught either by the angels of God or the Lord Himself? There was no other way; and every step that the Prophet Joseph took, up to the very day of his death, was a proof of this.

            Any man or woman who read the Book of Doctrine and Covenants would find there a code of the most sublime revelations ever given by God to mankind True, Joseph Smith was illiterate, in a measure, so far as learning was concerned; but those who had read those revelations could see that no ignorant boy, without inspiration, could have prepared such a code. It required revelation almost every day. When this code of revelations was given, after the Church was organized, with Prophets, Apostles, Seventies, High Priests, High Councilors, Elders and Teachers, it was not particularly necessary while those revelations were before the people that the Lord should give special written revelation to President Young, though the latter had revelations. He had the power and Spirit of God with him; it was a living witness day by day to guide and direct him in all the works which he had to perform here in the flesh. What he accomplished had shown this. He (the speaker) wanted to make these remarks because he did not know to what extent the minds and feelings of the Latter-day Saints might be led in these channels.

            The God of heaven had not forsaken the Presidency of this Church. He had not closed the heavens against them nor those associated with them. His Spirit and power were with this people, and would never be withdrawn from them up to the time of the coming of the Son of Man.

            President Woodruff next adverted to some of the early missionaries of the Church, including Orson Pratt, Parley Pratt and Orson Hyde, who were ordained Elders and sent forth to work in the Lord's vineyard and to warn the world. They held the Priesthood, they had authority to preach the Gospel of Christ to the children of men. He asked the congregation, had not Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, backed up the testimony which had been borne by these men and scores of other missionaries since their day? Where would Utah and its inhabitants have been today but for Latter-day Saints? It would have been a barren desert, just as they found it on the 24th of April [July], 1847.

            Turning to the subject of the Priesthood, the speaker remarked that they could trace the history of Israel, the dealings of God with men, from the time of Father Adam down. Not an iota of evidence could be adduced proving that a man ever went forth, called of God, and successfully preached the Gospel of Christ without he bore the Holy Priesthood. The Lord had chosen the weak things of the earth to confound the wise. This had been the nature of His dealings with men in every age, and thus it was that humble men had been called in this last dispensation of the fulness of times to go forth and warn the generations in the midst of which we stood today.

            Great responsibilities rested upon the shoulders of all Latter-day Saints, and the leaders of Israel would be held responsible before high heaven in the day of judgment for the manner in which they exercised their Priesthood. He advised the Saints to read section 121 Doctrine and Covenants, relating to the Lord's answer to the Prophet Joseph's prayer. This was, he said, one of the mightiest revelations that God had ever given to man, and it has been fulfilled. The Lord had said, "Many are called but few are chosen." Why was this? Because their hearts were set so much upon the things of this world. The rights of the Priesthood were inseparably connected with the heavens, and the heavens could be controlled only on the principles of righteousness. The people would understand this. The Lord would not withdraw himself from this work, for He had set His hand to fulfil the promises made through the mouths of inspired men.

            Some of the brethren on the previous day bore testimony that this Church was the work of God. They certainly would not be qualified to preach the Gospel and undertake to build up Zion if they did not know this. And how did they know it? By the revelations of Jesus Christ, by the inspiration of Almighty God, that Spirit which belonged to every man who was faithful to his covenants. The testimony that we had in our day and generation was the same as was given in every age of the world.

            Speaking next of the gifts and graces which had attended this Church and those who labored in it both at home and abroad, President Woodruff said he did not refer to this in any mere spirit of boasting. No member of the Church could undertake to preach to the people unless moved upon by the inspiration of God. What man was there that ever arose to speak on the stand who knew before hand what he was going to say? If anyone else did, certainly he himself did not. These principles were before them, and they knew them to be true. He prayed to God his Heavenly Father that their hearts might be united. He could say for himself that if the inspiration of the Holy Spirit had not been with him, he would have been in his grave years ago, and hundreds more with him. If the Lord had not been with him in his travels many a time he would have been lost. President Woodruff in this connection, mentioned a remarkable incident. On one occasion he said he was in charge of a company of Saints numbering upwards of one hundred. They had engaged passage on a steamboat at Pittsburgh; but the Spirit of God said to him, "Do not go," and but for that the entire company would doubtless been lost. They did not go, but went by another boat. The one by which they were to have gone took fire at night some five miles down the river and all on board were lost either by fire or water. So the Spirit of God had been with them all through this work.

            It was the duty of all to pray, and one of the requests which he had to make of the Latter-day Saints was to be a prayerful people. They did not pray enough. They should go before the Lord in their secret place and plead with Him to guide and direct them in all the affairs of this transitory life. When the prayers of 100,000 Latter-day Saints reached the Lord they were always heard and answered.

            The Lord would build up Zion. He would establish His work and gather Israel together. They had to warn the world, so that all would be left without excuse in the day of judgment. The earth was heavily burdened with the sins of its inhabitants, and they were even increasing, causing pain and affliction on every hand. But before the judgments came the Lord had raised up men to warn the world, and he prayed that those warnings would not be without effect.

_____

Apostle Franklin D. Richards.

was the next speaker. He greatly rejoiced to hear President Woodruff speak with such vigor and power in his great age, and that he was spared in the providence of God to give counsel unto the people. The labors of such men are needed among us; for the powers of darkness are tremendous in their opposition to the Church of God. This work, which seems now so great, is still in its infancy, and the latter-day Saints have need to cultivate every grace and virtue of the Gospel.

            We have been complained of as being exclusive. We have been made so because those who have not known us have been filled with such falsehoods that the very name of a "Mormon" has been odious to them. They have thought themselves holier than the Latter-day Saints. But the Lord is making His Gospel and its power felt in the earth. The Gospel is true, and this is being demonstrated by the people of God. We have learned by practical demonstrations that this is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the same as the ancient Apostles taught and practiced, and for which they laid down their lives. It is the same Gospel that the Lord promised Adam should abide in the earth until the end of the world. The leaven of this Gospel is being placed in the earth, and it has got to stay here till it shall leaven the whole lump. None need flatter themselves that they will get us out of the way. The Lord has put us here and we are here to stay. The spirit of the work is increasing upon us. The more intense the strife, the more determined does it make every Latter-day Saint feel that he will stand to the truth.

            Latter-day Saints should strive to the uttermost to sanctify the Lord God in their hearts, and live so as to make every desire of our heart to be subservient to His honor. In the providences of God we shall be mixed with the human family, and we should have within us the leaven of righteousness and charity, so that these qualities may be manifest to those with whom we come in contact. We are apt to have small notions regarding some things. The Lord says His ways are not as our ways, and His thoughts not as our thoughts. This is exemplified in our daily lives. How many have laid plans and devised means to accomplish certain things, and have found themselves thwarted in their narrow plans? But by and by they find themselves coming out beyond where they expected. This is the way the Lord deals with His children. A notable illustration of this is found in the Scripture. A certain woman came to the Savior and asked that one of her sons should sit on His right hand and the other on His left, in His Kingdom. She felt, doubtless, that if that could be granted her she could depart in peace. What was the outcome? Why, the Savior declared that these two sons should be among the twelve men who should sit on thrones, judging the whole house of Israel. What she had asked was a small matter compared to this.

            The speaker bore a strong testimony to the truth of the work of God. He testified that the truth will triumph, and that the blessings and gifts which have been promised will be realized by the faithful. In the hearts of those who are righteous the light of the truth will be increased and intensified, and their pathway will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. New revelation is not needed every week and every month concerning the order of the Church. The Lord has established that. but we need revelation for ourselves. We need to have the Spirit in us day by day, keep the commandments of God, walk in His statutes, and subdue our wayward ways and feelings unto Him. We should seek diligently to increase in knowledge, in faith, and in good works, so that we may glorify our Father in heaven. Then when the salt comes to be scattered abroad it will exert its saving and hallowing influence. having retained its strength, it will have the effect to season and bless all with whom we come in contact. But if the salt loses its savor, it becomes good for nothing but to be trodden under the feet of men. How thankful we ought to be that these things are revealed to us. While the world is going headlong to destruction, our eyes have been permitted to see, our ears to hear, and our hearts to understand the truth. The work of God will prosper, and when we go hence we shall rejoice with those that have gone before, and shall be glad for that which we leave behind.

_____

Apostle Moses Thatcher

was the next speaker. He said in substance:

            I have listened with great pleasure to the remarks made by the speakers at this conference and have been highly vilified by the remarks of our President and the testimonies that have been borne. It does not appear that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is at the point of decay. I believe the presence of this vast audience is a testimony that the work of God is not going to decline. The great distinction between the work of God and that of man is, that His works never decay, while mortal man's work bears in it the elements of destruction. God's works are eternal.

            I have been reflecting lately, upon the accusation which the Saints have been subjected to by those who know them not, with reference to their loyalty as citizens. We are told in the public print that we advocate the union of church and state; that our doctrines tend to form the idea that the Church must be dominant, and that the allegiance of its members is given to the Church. Now I do not see how an individual can feel loyal to any government unless he is loyal to the maker of that government. He is most ready to defend the constitution of the land, who is ready to conform to the laws of the Maker of the world.

            We should not be judged by those who know us not and whose object is to vilify us. No person jealous of our prosperity can be a just judge. I recently read in an anti-Catholic paper a serious charge made by an apostate from the Catholic church, intending to prove that President Lincoln was assassinated by Catholics, and that the deed was sanctioned by the Pope. I merely refer to these statements, but I have long since learned that assertions from apostates must be received with great allowance. I am not prepared to believe that the Catholics would have a priesthood guilty of a crime so damnable. I do not wish to dwell upon this except to show that there is a tendency among apostates to speak evil against their former associates.

            I now wish to refer to the doctrines of the Church, and to show that the revelations do not teach a union between Church and State. We should be judged by our own writings, and not by those who are prejudiced against us.

            The speaker quoted from the Doctrine and Covenants, section lviii, 29 and following, and also Sec, ci, 76, 80. There is not space at command for the insertions of the quotations.

            Here the Lord says distinctly that He established the constitution of the land, in order that liberty and freedom should be extended to all. His command to the people is to obey the laws of the land. God has clearly drawn the line between the boundaries of civil government and freedom of worship.

            The speaker proved this from Jer. 27, where it is stated that God had made the king of Babylon the ruler over the kingdoms of the world. Now there were among the rulers of the empire, three young Hebrews. These, we must presume, knew that the king held his authority from God. And yet, when the monarch commanded them to worship the image he had erected, they refused, and the event has been recorded in order to show us that there was a clear distinction between the freedom of worship and civil government. The king was told by these young men that they did not know whether God would protect them or not, but this they knew, that they would not worship the image. They felt that the king in commanding them to do so had overstepped his bounds. Well, the heat of the fiery furnace was intensified, but the three young heroes were delivered and the result was that the haughty king praised and glorified God, who was able to deliver his faithful servants from the greatest peril.

            Daniel, too, was cast into a lion's den, having been entrapped by those who were jealous of his prosperity, but this king was soon led to recognize the true facts in the case, and he decreed that the vile plotters should receive the penalty which they had intended for Daniel. They were, therefore, with their whole families, cast before the lions, and the bones of the wicked were crushed between the teeth of the wild beasts.

            Our Savior, also, when his enemies sought to entrap Him in order to put Him into the clutches of the law, distinctly defined the difference between that which belongs to God and the civil government. He was asked if it was right to pay tribute to the emperor, and his answer was, "Render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto God the things which be God's."

            When in the fourth century Constantine attempted, by imperial decree, to unite church and state by making the Christian religion the State religion, the evil effects of the unauthorized alliance commenced at once to appear, and finally culminated in the bloody Inquisition, in which, it is said, sixty millions of people fell victims to religious persecution. The history of the Paulines, Waldenses, Huguenots, Covenanters and others, show how tragic and cruel that persecution was. In the establishment of this government, with its inspired national charter, God put a check to the fruit of that unholy alliance, and reaffirmed the divine words of Christ, "Render unto Caesar the things which be Caesars and unto God the things which be God's." Should the first amendment of the Constitution ever be over-ridden, sorrow and bloodshed cannot fail to follow and the history of the past will be repeated.

            We are not disloyal to the Constitution, the greatest charter of liberty ever given to man, for we know that it was given by inspiration, and this grand instrument prohibits the enactment of laws against liberty of worship.

            Yet there are associations in this republic which ask for that which we are accused of doing.

            The speaker related some incidents connected with the Sunday laws which have been framed especially to invade the rights of one class of people

            "Let the eyes of the nation," it has been said "cease to look at the mote in the eye of Utah and turn to the beam in the eyes of others." For the question of Church and State is really before the nation.

            The following extract was read to illustrate the situation.

      "Again the national Reform Association propose to turn this government into a Kingdom of Christ, and the woman's Christian Temperance Union in national convention 1887 said: "The Woman's Christian Temperance Union local, State, National and world-wide, has one vital organic thought, one all-absorbing purpose, one undying enthusiasm, and that is that Christ shall be this world's King in its realm of cause and effect, King of the courts, its camps, its commerce -- King of its colleges and cloisters -- King of its customs and constitutions. . . . The Kingdom of Christ must enter the realm of law through the gateway of politics. In conformity with the above ideas national reformers have bestowed upon the Savior the title of The Divine Politician."

            Here we see that the Women's Christian Temperance Union endorse the idea of the National Reform Association, to turn this government into a kingdom of Christ.

            God has given the laws of the Church, and in them He commands us to obey the law of the land. We have proven our loyalty in many ways. We know that God lives, that Christ lives and that He stood on the pulpit in the temple at Kirtland, proclaiming that He who died now lives. It is because we believe this and are willing to bear testimony to the truth thereof that we are accused of disloyalty. But we are not disloyal. We were driven from Kirtland, from Jackson County, Missouri, and from Nauvoo, and we came out to this wilderness, then Mexican territory, and planted the flag of our country, the emblem of liberty, on Ensign Peak. We then knocked at the door of the nation for admittance into the Union. The speaker depicted the loyalty of the people and predicted the triumph of truth, of liberty and the glorious work and destiny of the Saints. It will yet be shown when millions flock to the banner of liberty, that our hands never wavered. Then we will no longer be objects of suspicion, and may God speed the day; And then we will not retaliate, but like Joseph of old, we will throw our arms around those who sold us and weep for joy at the re-union between us.

            The choir sang:

Let the mountains shout for joy,

and the whole congregation afterwards joined in singing the Doxology.

            Benediction by Apostle Heber J. Grant.

_____

[5 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 42:503, 4/11/91, 23]

Afternoon Session.

            Singing by the choir and congregation:

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah, Jesus Anointed that Prophet and Seer,
Blessed to open the last Dispensation, Kings shall extol him and nations revere.

            Prayer by Elder Seymour B. Young.

            The choir sang the anthem:

How beautiful upon the mountains.

            The sacrament was administered, the Priesthood of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth wards officiating.

President George Q. Cannon

addressed the conference. He read from the writings of Abraham -- as they appear in the Pearl of Great Price -- the passage showing how the father of the faithful was called of God and the feelings that animated him, his great desire being to become a producer of righteousness. Among the points of the discourse were the covenants of God, through the Priesthood, with the fathers and their effects upon the latters' posterity; the origin, earthly mission and destiny of man, as made clear to the Saints by revelation; the objects of the Saints in building holy temples, chief among them being the performance therein of sacred ordinances which would, as the work progressed, bind the human family together from Adam to the latest generations; the fulfilment of the covenants made by the Lord with ancient Israel concerning their descendants in these days, which were about to begin to be fulfilled; the comprehensive nature of the Gospel; its saving power reaching the dead as well as the living. The concluding part of the remarks was devoted to showing the necessity of young men in the community marrying, and of the ordinance of marriage being performed in the way in which God has appointed -- by His authority. A synopsis of the discourse could not give an adequate idea of it, therefore there is no attempt to present one.

_____

Apostle Heber J. Grant

said he rejoiced at the testimonies which had been borne by his brethren during this conference. There was no joy that the Latter-day Saints had ever felt equal to that experienced by those who, while abroad, proclaimed the principles of the Gospel. The bringing of souls to a knowledge of the truth, laboring for the upbuilding of God's Kingdom, was the greatest work that they as Latter-day Saints could be engaged in. If the Elders of Israel were as ready and willing to respond in all matters as they were to go forth and preach the Gospel to mankind, no power on earth or in hell could retard the onward progress of this work. Indeed, there existed no power that could check it now, even though they might be negligent in some things. But they, as a people, would move forward with greater rapidity if they were as faithful in all other directions as that in which he had mentioned. Call on a Latter-day Saint for a donation of a few hundred dollars, and he would sometimes hesitate, and many a time refuse, to respond to the call. Ask the same man, however, to make a sacrifice of his time for several years, and neglect his business in order to enable him to proclaim abroad the principles of the Gospel and, as a rule, he would yield cheerfully.

            It had been remarked that some persons felt that the work of God was decaying, that the Church had not the same power it formerly possessed, and that those holding responsible positions in it had not the same influence. He wished to bear his testimony that this assertion was not true, and in proof of his refutation the speaker pointed to the crowded condition of the Tabernacle that day, as well as the overflow congregation in the adjacent building. People were occasionally heard to say, "Oh that we could have the meetings of former days and the same joy that accompanied them." When he heard an individual making a remark of that kind, he at once recognized that the Spirit of God no longer dwelt with him. He himself had never known the day when he rejoiced more in the principles of the Gospel than now; and this should apply to all who faithfully kept the commandments of God. There was no stronger evidence of neglect of Christian duty than for a man or woman to be longing for the testimony of the Spirit previously enjoyed.

            A man might now and again be heard to say "Tithing -- I an sick and tired of hearing about it; why cannot they talk of something else?" Such a remark as that plainly told the nature of the individual who uttered it; for he defied them as Latter-day Saints to find the man who lived strictly up to what was required of him in a religious sense, and who was himself obeying the law of tithing, that was ever tired of hearing that principle talked of.

            There were some persons who asserted that they did not believe in the existence of a God; but no man on the face of the earth could say this in all honesty. There was something in the heart of every man that told him there was a God; no human being was ever born without a spark of divinity in his nature. A man denied his own very existence when he undertook to declare "There is no God." The apostate "Mormon" -- he who had once received a testimony of the truth and then turned away from it -- realized that there was but one hope for him, and that was to destroy the work of God. In the course of conversation some time ago a gentleman said to him, "Mr. Grant, the great objection I have to your religion is that when a man has once been a Mormon, and then turns away from it, he can be nothing else. Outside of your church he can be a good Methodist or good Episcopalian today, tomorrow he can be a good Congregationalist, and next day a good Baptist; but if a man turns away from Mormonism, why he has no religion, he has no faith, and he is a pagan." His reply to this was,"My friend, the strongest testimony on earth to the reasoning faculties that I possess as an individual, as to the truths of Mormonism so-called is this very condition of the apostate Mormon." It was a fulfilment of the scriptures. When men had received the light and that light went out, how great was the darkness!

            When men had once known that the Gospel was true, and then through sin and iniquity lost the spirit, their lives were beclouded; they realized that they had left the truth; and that was the reason why they would not join with any other religion. When men proclaimed against the gospel and displayed a feeling of vindictiveness against others their minds were lit up not by the Spirit of God, not by the light and intelligence which came from heaven, but that which came from beneath.

            He prayed to God to help the Latter-day saints to be true to their covenants and to direct their steps aright.

            The choir sang the anthem,

Grant us Peace, O Lord.

            Benediction by Apostle John Henry Smith.

_____

[5 Apr, 2 pm (o)]

[DNW 42:503-505, 4/11/91, p 23-25]

            In consequence of the Large Tabernacle being unable to accommodate the general assembly of the Saints an

OVERFLOW MEETING

was held in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City, April 5, 1891, commencing at 2 o'clock p.m.

            Apostle F. M. Lyman presided.

            The choir sang:

Zion stands with hills surrounded.

            Prayer by Bishop Geo. H. Taylor.

            The choir sang:

'Twas on that dark, that solemn night.

            The Nineteenth Ward Bishopric and Teachers administered the Sacrament.

Elder John Morgan

spoke concerning the favorable circumstances surrounding the Church at the present time -- sixty-one years after its first organization -- considering the hardships and persecutions to which its members had constantly been subject in times past. Our settlements, which extend from Canada in the north into Mexico in the south, teem with their tens of thousands, many of whom have been gathered from the different nations of the earth. Though so many different nationalities are represented in the Church, there should be no division or class distinction among us on national lines; all sectional organizations, representing classes and nationalities, should be discouraged wherever and whenever they tend to divide the people and create clannishness. One object of the Gospel of Christ is to make all true followers of the Redeemer one, and to establish a common brotherhood in which all class distinctions and national differences should be forever obliterated. One should not feel himself above another, because of the land that gave him birth, and no derision on account of nationality should be tolerated in the midst of the Saints. We should share all our privileges and rights on equal principles, the same as we enjoy certain rights and benefits as citizens of our great common country, whether we are American born or have become citizens by adoption.

            We should also be kind and forbearing to those who are not of us, even to our enemies who persecute us, and are endeavoring to bring trouble upon us, for in many instances they do not know what they are doing. Christ and His disciples were also derided, slandered, persecuted and martyred, but the virtues of these Former-day Saints have been recognized by following generations, and today they are honored among the children of men; so, also, will the Latter-day Saints, in course of time, become known throughout the world and be accepted on their true merits for what they really are, and not for what their enemies represent them to be at the present time.

_____

Elder Joseph M. Tanner

referred to what the Gospel had already done towards destroying national feelings and sectionalism among the Saints, and thus we have been enabled to accomplish by our union that which otherwise would have been impossible. The Saints are looking forward to the great reward promised the faithful, in which they have implicit confidence. Their aim is set high, their aspirations are noble and good, their ambition is commendable, and their hearts are bent on possessing the eternal riches of heaven. While many ambitious men of the world have set their aim high and through their perseverance and determination have succeeded in obtaining power and dominion on the earth, the Saints are patiently awaiting the results of their labors of love and look with much interest to the final outcome of the great war which is continually raging between the powers of darkness and the intelligences of heaven. And they will obtain all they desire in righteousness if they continue faithful and true to the end.

_____

Elder B. H. Roberts

said that the presence of so many thousands of Saints at this annual conference of the Church was in itself great evidence to him of the truth of the great Latter-day work: The Spirit of God is certainly moving upon the people and inspires them to gather together to learn of the ways of the Lord. So far we have not, as individuals, nor as a people, passed through any experience or difficulty that has not been calculated to benefit us. The Lord will cause His people to pass through such ordeals as will do them the most good, and give each one of us the experience most needed. by this means only will we be able to attain to that exalted position for which we are aiming. At the time the Saints were being driven out of Missouri Joseph the Prophet passed through most trying scenes, but as he lay incarcerated in a dreary dungeon, together with several of his brethren, the Lord spoke comforting words to his soul, and explained to him, at least in part, why He allowed His servants thus to suffer. Says the Lord (Doc. and Cov., 122:3-8):

"The people shall never be turned against thee by the testimony of traitors; and although their influence shall cast thee into trouble, and into bars and walls, thou shalt be had in honor and but for a small moment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion, because of thy righteousness; and thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever. If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers, if thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife and of thine offspring * * * * And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness and all the elements combine to hedge up the way, and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all; art thou greater than He?"

            Of the many great and glorious revelations given to the Prophet Joseph perhaps none of them contain greater promises than this one. In that time many prominent men in the Church turned against the Prophet, and became traitors to him and the work of God, but they did not succeed in turning the hearts of the Saints away form him, nor did their opposition to him harm in the least degree in the final outcome. As it was with the prophet Joseph so will it be with all the Latter-day Saints, who prove faithful to their God and His cause. Then let persecution continue to rage and bring what it will; let there be another exodus and another breaking up of homes and sacrifice of worldly possessions, yea let death come in its worst forms, or chains and slavery, it will all be for our good, and we have no grounds for fear.

            The speaker then read an extract from another revelation , in which the Lord commands his people to "renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children" (Doc. & Cov. 98:16-17), and then said it was a strange fact that notwithstanding the peaceful mission of the Latter-day Saints in behalf of both the living and the dead, they should be defamed and denounced as a wicked and bloodthirsty people, and be accused of disloyalty and numerous other crimes entirely unknown among us. Peace on earth and good will to man is and has always been our motto, and nothing could be farther from the truth than the accusation that we are a rebellious and war-like people. Truth, however, though slow in its progress, will prevail at last, and establish itself on the ruins of falsehood. And where revolution may succeed revolution, society be destroyed and virtue and truth be trampled under foot by the wicked and ungodly, these mountain valleys shall preserve the virtues, strength and elements of truth which shall finally renovate the earth and restore its inhabitants once more to their original purity and happiness.

_____

Apostle Abraham H. Cannon

said he had learned to acknowledge the truth of the saying that there needs be opposition in all things, trials and difficulties are necessary to purify the Saints, and it is a positive fact that the work of God has made the greatest progress in the midst of persecution, and opposition. It is very doubtful whether our missionaries who have gone abroad would have made much progress in their various fields of labor, if they had not encountered opposition. It is said that when the first Elders who brought the fullness of the Gospel to the nation of Great Britain reported the opposition they met with there, both from the seen and unseen world, the Prophet Joseph rejoiced and declared that he knew the mission would prove a success, which it did. Likewise in Scandinavia, where so many have joined the church, and in other lands, where the Gospel has been successfully preached, did the Elders meet with opposition in their endeavors to establish the banner of truth, and in many instances they were imprisoned and suffered much for the testimony they bore; but all this brought most glorious fruits. The Saints therefore, should not regret the fact that their enemies oppose them or that they are called upon to pass through persecution and sufferings for the truth's sake; only weak minds yield to opposition; the strong persevere and gain the victory. Most of the scientific truths which have been introduced into this world have met with bitter opposition at first, and their advocated have in many instances been looked upon as madmen, and have been derided and persecuted; but as years have rolled on, their truths have been accepted and their inestimable benefits to mankind recognized. Thus will truth always triumph in the end.

            We should not discourage those among us who set their aim high and who are ambitious to do good. There is no height and no position that can not be reached by the Latter-day Saints if they are faithful, persevering and actuated by good motives.

            The speaker then referred to the position taken by Abraham of old in refusing to worship the idols of his native land, notwithstanding his father's displeasure, and the king's reprimand; and when he was encouraged to worship fire, water, and the clouds, the winds, and other powers, he chose to worship the true author of these elements -- the great God of heaven. If Abraham could take this noble stand in the midst of heathen opponents, should not the latter-day Saints be able to cope successfully with the opposition placed in their pathway and serve the true and living God amid trials and persecutions?

            The choir sang the anthem:

How beautiful upon the mountains.

            Benediction by Elder Andrew Jenson.

_____

[6 Apr, 10 am*]

[DNW 42:505-506, 4/11/91, p 25-26]

THIRD DAY.

_____

            April 6th.

MORNING SESSION.

We thank Thee. O God, for a prophet, To guide us in these latter days:
We thank Thee for sending the Gospel, To lighten our minds with its rays.

Was sung by the choir and congregation.

            Prayer by Elder John D. T. McAllister.

            The choir sang:

Sweet is Thy name, my God, my King.
To praise Thy name, give thanks and sing.

THE AUTHORITIES

of the Church were presented by President George Q. Cannon for the votes of the assembly, as follows:

            Wilford Woodruff, 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.

            Lorenzo Snow as President of the Twelve Apostles.

            As members of the Council of the Twelve Apostles -- Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John H. Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mariner W. Merrill, Anton H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon.

            Counselor to to the Twelve Apostles -- John W. Young.

            The Counselors in the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles, with their Counselor, as Prophets, Seers and Revelators.

            Patriarch to the Church -- John Smith.

            First Seven Presidents of the Seventies -- Henry Herriman, Jacob Gates, Seymour B. Young, C. D. Fjeldsted, John Morgan, B. H. Roberts and George Reynonds.

            William B. Preston as Presiding Bishop, with Robert T. Burton as his First and John R. Winder as his Second Counselor.

            Franklin D. Richards as Church Historian and General Church Recorder, and John Jaques as his assistant.

            Joseph Don Carlos Young as General Church Architect.

            John Nicholson as Clerk of the General Conference.

            As the Church Board of Education: Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Karl G. Maeser, Willard Young, George W. Thatcher, Amos Howe, Anton H. Lund, James Sharp.

            The voting in every instance was unanimous.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff

said that as the report of only one of their societies was complete, that would be the only one read to the congregation this morning. To give incomplete reports would be misleading.

            In submitting the report of the Ladies' Relief Society he would like to remark that credit was due to that body of the latter-day Saints for the work which they had accomplished. They had done an immense amount of good for many years in feeding the poor, administering to the necessities of the needy, assisting the Bishops, and the church and Kingdom of God in many ways. The blessings of the Lord would rest upon them, as it would upon all the Saints who did their duty.

THE LADIES' RELIEF SOCIETY

report was then read by President George Q. Cannon. It gave the following exhibit:

Disbursements for charitable and other purposes            $ 13,672.86
Cash, real estate and other property now on hand           41,217.09
In addition to above property there are 45,485 bushels of wheat on hand.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff

delivered a discourse in which he showed that the Church had been led by the revelations of God from the time of its establishment in this dispensation, on the sixth of April, 1830, until the present. He supported this position by explaining some of the glorious principles which had been revealed, and historical facts which showed plainly that the Almighty was directing His work, constantly inspiring His servants at the head of it on earth with the revelations of His Spirit. He predicted that the Lord would continue at the helm of His Church and would never forsake it. It would not be appropriate to give a synopsis of the discourse.

[Wilford Woodruff]

[DNW 42:553-555, 4/25/91, p 1-3; CD 2:206-211]

DISCOURSE

Delivered by President Wilford Woodruff at the General Conference,
in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Monday Morning, April 6, 1891

_____

      I have a few thoughts and reflections I would like to present to my friends, the Latter-day Saints. Fifty-two years ago the twenty-sixth day of this month I stood upon the Temple Block in Far West. Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt and others were in prison. The Lord had given a revelation and commanded us, as the Apostles, to go there upon that occasion to lay the foundation of that Temple. He appointed a day and a date on which we were commanded to perform this work. Then all was peace in Caldwell County, where we dwelt. The Lord perfectly understood what would take place before that time came. When the time came to fulfil this revelation the Latter-day Saints were in Illinois, they having been driven out of Missouri. The spirit of opposition was so great that our lives were in jeopardy in returning there to perform the revelation. When the day came for us to go there our Prophet was in prison for the Word of God and testimony of Jesus. When we conversed with our patriarch and leading men, they said the Lord would take the will for the deed. They did not think it was wisdom for us to go; for Missourians had sworn by all the gods in existence that if all the other revelations and prophesies of "Joe Smith" had been fulfilled, that this one should not be, because there was a day and date to it. After hearing the views of Father Smith and others of the brethren, Brother Brigham Young asked the Twelve what their feelings were with regard to this. We told Brother Brigham that the Lord God had spoken and we were ready to obey, and leave the event in His hands. We did. We went there. We arrived at that place, according to that revelation and commandment, on the 26th day of April, 1839. We laid the corner stone of that Temple, with Father Cutler, who had been appointed to oversee that building. After that stone was laid we knelt upon it, and Brother Geo. A. Smith and myself, who had been called by revelation to fill the places of some who had fallen, were ordained Apostles under the hands of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John Taylor and John E. Page. There was a number present. But they are all today in the spirit world, excepting myself, so far as I know. I name this, because I wish to say here to this congregation that during these fifty-two years that are past and gone I have had the opportunity of bearing my testimony to many of the nations of the earth and islands of the seas and to the Latter-day Saints. And as I know not how long I may still have this privilege in the flesh, I feel it my duty to bear my testimony today to this people upon a few principles, and one is the subject upon which I treated a little yesterday.

      There are a few people who profess to believe that the Church has not had the living principle of revelation from heaven and the blessings of God with it since the death of the Prophet Joseph as it had while he lived. I want to say to these Latter-day Saints that I traveled with Joseph Smith a thousand miles in 1834 for the redemption of our brethren in Missouri. There are perhaps half a dozen men in this congregation today who were in that camp [Zion's camp]. We were with that Prophet of God. We heard his testimonies. We saw his revelations fulfilled. I was with him when he received that revelation given on Fishing River. Of course, we know that he was a Prophet of God, and that he held the keys of the kingdom of God. We knew the inspiration of Almighty God was with him, and that when he prophesied it came to pass. Those who are here today, Brother Gates, Brother Noble, and perhaps others, who were present on that occasion, will remember the day that Joseph Smith called the camp together. We were all well. There was no disease nor sickness in our camp. But he told us what awaited us. He gave us to understand that there was to be a chastisement visit our camp. He told us the reason. He had given counsel to the brethren with regard to many things, and a number of them had disobeyed that counsel. They did not understand and appreciate fully his position and standing as a Prophet of God. "Yes," says he, "you think of me as a boy, like the rest of you, but you will understand soon that I occupy a position where God governs and controls me." Those who were present know the feelings that we had. There was not a dry eye in camp. He stood upon a wagon and told us the judgments of God would visit our camp and we would be chastised. These things came to pass. The day that we landed the destroying angel visited our camp, and, of course, there was sorrow. I do not know the number that went to the grave, but somewhere about fourteen, I think. Then we understood that we had a Prophet in our midst. We knew very well that what he said would come to pass. Well, everything that was done in that camp, going and returning, a record of it, in a measure, has been kept. During that thousand miles journey the word of the Lord was given unto us, and we fully understood we were being led by a Prophet of God. We realized that all the way through that mission.

      Now, I want to say that I have traveled with Joseph Smith a good deal in my day. I was associated with him more or less from the spring of 1834 to the day of his death. I know, as do my brethren who were associated with him, that he was a Prophet of God-one of the greatest prophets God ever raised upon the earth. As I said yesterday, he received revelations upon every subject necessary for the organization of the Church-the organization of the Twelve Apostles; of the Seventies, of the High Councils, of the Bishops, etc. The Lord gave revelations upon all these things, until we had the pattern set before us. He laid the foundation of a great work in this the greatest dispensation God ever gave to man. So much in testimony of Brother Joseph Smith.

      In 1847 I likewise traveled one thousand miles with Brother Brigham Young, the man who was called to lead Israel after the Prophet Joseph's death. There is a number in this house who came in the pioneer company. We had in Zion's Camp two hundred and five souls. We had in the Pioneer Camp one hundred and forty-five, I believe. And I can testify before God, angels and men that the same power, and the same spirit of revelation were manifest in his work up to the day of his death as were manifest in the work of the Prophet Joseph. It is true, Joseph Smith's life was short. The Savior labored only three and a half years, after He entered into the ministry, before He was crucified. The Prophet Joseph labored fourteen years before he was martyred. President Brigham Young lived longer. He led this Church quite a number of years. I was with him when he came into this valley. I was in the same carriage with him. He was taken sick on the Weber. A number of the camp were taken sick, caused, no doubt, by the change in coming to these mountains from the region we had left. He began to recover from the hour that he entered into this valley. He came here, and what did he do? I will name a few circumstances. He pitched camp some distance southeast of here. The next morning he and the Twelve who came with him took a walk. He had been quite feeble, but he was then able to walk with the assistance of his staff. We walked along until we came to this Temple Block. It was covered with sagebrush. There was no mark to indicate that God ever intended to place anything there. But while walking along Brother Brigham stopped very suddenly. He stuck his cane in the ground and said, "Right here will stand the great Temple of our God." We drove a stake in the place indicated by him, and that particular spot is situated in the middle of the Temple site. One of the first things President Young did after he got here was to order the preparing of a block down here, called the Old Fort, where the camp could gather to. This country then was very desolate, covered with wild sage, and that pretty near dead, too. There was hardly anything here with life, owing to the excessive dryness. We went to work and surrounded this ten acre block to preserve ourselves; put adobe walls on three sides and log cabins on the east side. This was the wisdom displayed by President Brigham Young all his life-care and caution, and safety for the people. He then went to work and laid out this city. There was not a living soul in this valley excepting a few Indians who would eat roasted crickets for their dinner. He laid out these streets, these sidewalks, these blocks. He laid out this Temple block here. A number of councils were had with regard to it. Brother George A. Smith was very anxious that we should have forty acres instead of ten; so much so that there was a vote taken to lay forty acres out. Afterwards President Young thought ten acres in a city of this kind was all that should be devoted to an interest of this character. So Brother George A. Smith surrendered his views, and we all voted for ten acres. When the city was laid out and these other arrangements made we returned to Winter Quarters, where President Young got his family and returned with them and some of the Saints; and two or three companies followed the same season.

      I name these things for the benefit of those who consider that there has been no growth in the Church and Kingdom of God since the death of the Prophet Joseph. President Young laid the foundation of four Temples in this Territory. Three of these Temples are now in operation, and the other is being built right here. The Latter-day Saints have gone to work and labored in these Temples by the commandment of God, for the blessing of the living and redemption of their dead, and a million of men and women, whose bodies are returned to dust, and whose spirits are in the spirit world, have received the benefits of the Gospel by the power of God and the work of the Elders, under the direction of President Young. Is this a loss of prestige? Is there no hand of God in this? Is there no progress in this? These things certainly were not accomplished in the life of Joseph Smith, although Joseph Smith received revelations with regard to Temples, and the ordinances and endowments afterwards administered in the Temple at Nauvoo. He also built the first Temple, in Kirtland, and many blessings were revealed in that Temple, and this work was continued while he lived, as far as he had the power. I remember well the first time I read the revelation given through the Prophet Joseph concerning the redemption of the dead-one of the most glorious principles I had ever become acquainted with on earth. To think that I and these Latter-day Saints could go forth into the waters of baptism and redeem our fathers, our mothers, and those that have gone before us, in the lineage of our father's house, and they come forth and receive a part in the first resurrection! Well might the Prophet say God has fulfilled His promise that in the last days He would raise up saviors upon Mount Zion, and the kingdom should be the Lord's. Never did I read a revelation with greater joy than I did that revelation. I have often referred to the course we pursued in connection with that. Joseph Smith himself (many of you may recollect the time) went into the Mississippi river one Sunday night after meeting, and baptized a hundred. I baptized another hundred. The next man, a few rods from me, baptized another hundred. We were strung up and down the Mississippi, baptizing for our dead. But there was no recorder; we attended to this ordinance without waiting to have a proper record made. But the Lord told Joseph that he must have recorders present at these baptisms-men who could see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and record these things. Of course, we had to do the work over again. Nevertheless, that does not say the work was not of God.

      Well, the Lord manifested a great work in the labor of Brigham Young. He filled these mountains here for a thousand miles, under His direction, with cities, towns and villages. He gave counsel in all these things. Brigham Young was the architect of this building (the Tabernacle). He was the architect of the Temple that we are building here. I say to the Latter-day Saints that God was with him. He was with John Taylor. He has been with Wilford Woodruff. He will be with those that follow me; for the Lord will never permit this people to be led only by the revelations of Jesus Christ. He will be with these Apostles of the Lord, and will continue with them until the coming of the Son of Man. These things are true. Zion will arise, and grow, and flourish; the glory of God will rest upon her, and the Lord Almighty will fulfil all the promises that He has made concerning His work in the last dispensation and fulness of times. The spirit of inspiration was with Brigham Young from the day that he entered into this work till he laid down his life here upon his bed. I bear my testimony to these things. There never has been a time, either in these Temples or anywhere else, but the Lord has made manifest His will on any point on which light was desired. To my certain knowledge the Lord gave revelations in St. George Temple to His servants there, upon points of doctrine we did not understand. President Young was there. I was there. Brother McAllister and others labored there; and we knew these things. So I say there is no man that goes into these Temples to labor, or goes into the vineyard of the Lord to labor, who, if he will live his religion and do his duty, will fail in receiving the mind and will of God. Yes, the Lord has raised up saviors upon Mount Zion, and the kingdom is the Lord's. It is His work. And we have the great power as Latter-day Saints to go into these temples and redeem our dead, and attend to ordinances for them that they never heard of in their day and generation. What will be the condition of these saviors upon Mount Zion? These Saints of the Lord will hold the keys of salvation to their Father's house to the endless ages of eternity. There never will be a time when that power will be taken from them. We ought to realize these things, and we ought to prize the blessings which God has put in our hands. I had a great desire, when that revelation was given, for the redemption of my Father's house. Father Smith was the first patriarch to the Church. He was a literal descendant of Joseph who was sold into Egypt. When he laid his hands upon men's heads the spirit of blessing and of prophesy rested upon him. He told me that I should bring all of my father's house into the Church. I dwelt upon that with a great deal of interest; and the first time I visited my father's house, although it was several years after this, I baptized him into this Church, and my stepmother, and my sisters, and everybody that was in my father's house, even a Methodist class-leader who was boarding there. I organized a branch of the Church in Farmington, Connecticut, and almost all of the members were my relatives. I afterwards brought my father up here, where he died, and his body lies in the cemetery.

      There are a great many things connected with these matters that I feel to rejoice in. The more light we have, the more revelations of God we have, the more we shall prize these privileges. It is a great blessing that we stand in the flesh in this last dispensation and fulness of times; and where we can open our hearts to understand these blessings, all of us will labor, as far as we have opportunity, to attend to this duty for our dead. I do not want to go into the spirit world and meet with my progenitors and have them say to me, "You held the keys of my redemption and my salvation and you neglected to do this work, and I am not redeemed." I have labored, with the assistance of my friends, in the St. George Temple, for three thousand of my dead friends of my father's house and my mother's house, and have done all that I could for them. This is the greatest joy of my life, when I look upon these things and realize that I have had this privilege here on the earth. And when I lay my body in the tomb and my spirit goes into the spirit world, I shall rejoice and have glory with them in the morning of the resurrection, inasmuch as they receive these principles. "Well," perhaps you may say, "what if these people whom you have been baptized for do not receive the Gospel?" That will be their fault, not mine. This is a duty that rests upon all Israel, that they shall attend to this work, as far as they have the opportunity here on the earth.

      Brethren and sisters, I felt as though I wanted to bear this testimony to the Latter-day Saints. The Lord has manifested this work from the day that Joseph Smith received the records of the stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim-the Book of Mormon. From that day until this there has been no time that the Lord has forsaken His Church. We have been persecuted, we have been afflicted, and we have passed through serious trials in our day; but the Lord has carried us through all these things. And we are here in the midst of the everlasting hills, given by revelation to old father Jacob, who laid his hands upon the head of his son Joseph and said that he was "a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall," and that his blessings prevailed above those of his progenitors "unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills;" and these blessings were to rest upon him and his posterity. These things have come to pass. The majority of the Latter-day Saints are through the loins of Ephraim, the son of Joseph. Ephraim is "a mixed cake." He is mixed among the nations of the earth, and it is those who have the blood of Ephraim in them who, when they hear the word of the Lord, receive it; and all that God has promised through these Patriarchs and their posterity will come to pass. So with regard to Judah. Moses told the Jews what would befall them. He told them what would take place in their Temples and in their cities. They built altars to Baal and broke their covenants, and he told them they would be scattered and peeled, and destroyed by pestilence, by famine, and by the sword; women would eat their own children, and a remnant of them would be taken from Jerusalem and scattered among the whole Gentile world, and be trampled under the feet of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled. Those words have been fulfilled to the very letter as fast as time would admit.

      We are in the hands of God. Our responsibilities are great, and we should try to magnify our calling, and not set our hearts so much on the things of this world that we neglect any of the oracles of God or the work of God for the living and the dead. God bless you all. Amen.

 

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Apostle John Henry Smith

said he had enjoyed exceedingly the proceedings of the Conference thus far, and had listened with pleasure to the remarks made by the brethren. Almost every topic in which they were interested had been dwelt upon in some form or other. The Spirit of the Lord had rested in great abundance upon the entire congregation, as well as those who had addressed them, so far has he had been able to judge. Points of doctrine, matters pertaining to our temporal concerns, our fidelity and faith in the discharge of the duties devolving upon us had received due consideration.

            None among us should fail to recognize that there was ample room for improvement. We all had our weaknesses and made our mistakes. We daily appreciated the truth of the words, "Man is prone to evil as the sparks to fly upward;" therefore, it was our duty to remain constantly upon our guard, and not to become unmindful of our responsibilities in the least degree. Our movements must be either backward or forward; hence every possible effort should be made to advance in the direction of truth and righteousness.

            In regard to the rising generation today we found ourselves somewhat peculiarly situated. In some parts the instruction of our children was in the hands of those who were not of the faith of the Latter-day Saints. From the conditions which existed around, it behoved us to be more watchful to this matter than was formerly the case. Not that he desired to say one word which would reflect upon those who were in the field as teachers in the district schools, and against whom he had never heard a word leading toward the supposition that they made use of their positions to impress any particular faith or doctrine upon the minds of the scholars; yet the tendency of mankind was to create an impression upon others which was characteristic of the man himself. It should be our desire [to] foster education in every possible way -- that which tended to enlighten and prepare a man for the discharge of his obligations both toward God and his neighbor. In sending their children to school, parents should look well to it that their spiritual training was not altogether neglected, and let them seek to inculcate in the minds of the young of correct principles.

            Associations should be conducted in our communities to aid in this work. Our Sabbath schools accomplished a great deal -- they were probably the most active agencies outside the influence of home in directing the minds of the children for good. Then in addition to the Sabbath schools there were the Primary Associations, wherein little children were instructed by good and faithful sisters. The speaker also made mention of the Young Men's and Young Lades' Mutual Improvement Associations, which he feared, however were not always made so potent for good as they might be. He meant by this that parents were frequently neglectful in not urging upon their sons and daughters the great importance of joining such associations and being regular in their attendance at the meetings. There was no subject fraught with greater consequences to the Latter-day Saints than that of the conditions now surrounding our children.

            The world presumed that "Mormonism" was designed to stultify men and women, and to restrict their liberties; but when people became conversant with the principles of the Gospel which the Latter-day Saints had received, they would soon see the error into which they had fallen.

            In conclusion he urged those present to remember the instructions given during Conference, carry these with them to their homes, and seek to profit by the testimonies which have been borne.

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Elder Seymour B. Young

Addressed the Conference briefly. He referred to the organization of the Church sixty-one years ago today, with six members, and said that the gratitude of the Saints should be great for the blessings they enjoyed. God would not only judge and chastise the Saints for omitting to do His will but would condemn and punish those who oppressed them. The speaker concluded by bearing testimony to the divine inspiration by which the Church had been led from its organization until now, manifested through the chosen servants of the Lord.

            The choir sang an anthem,

Praise ye the Father.

            Benediction by Elder C. W. Penrose.

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[6 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 42:506-509, 4/11/91, p 26-29]

Afternoon Session

            The choir and congregation sang:

O, ye mountains high, where the clear blue sky Arches over the vales of the free.
Where the pure breezes blow and the pure streamlets flow How I've longed to your bosom to flee.

            Prayer by Elder B. H. Roberts.

Behold the mountain of the Lord In latter day shall rise,
On mountain tops, above the hills And draw the wond'ring eyes.

was sung by the choir.

Elder Jacob Gates

said, substantially: I am glad of the opportunity of bearing testimony to the divinity of the work we are engaged in. I have been much interested in what has been said. I am assured of the great final triumph of this latter day work. I can bear testimony to what Brother Woodruff said this morning regarding the care the Lord has exercised over His Church. It is the work of the Lord, which has been a triumph all the way through. Many of the young never saw the Prophet Joseph. They do not appreciate him as they should. If they would live more closely to his teachings they would value him more. I was present in Zion's camp in 1834, when the revelation predicting a scourge upon the brethren was received by the Prophet. During that journey I listened to the Prophet, noting carefully his teachings and admonitions. One evening I had occasion to pass his tent, when I heard him say, in conversation, The brethren have not listened to my counsel and the scourge must come. Before we arrived at our destination the scourge appeared and the words of the Prophet were verified. The sympathies of Joseph were wrought upon, and he asked the Lord to take away the affliction, but the Lord said to him, You have predicted the scourge, and if you insist that it be turned away, it will fall upon you. I knew the character of that man. I knew him in life and I saw him in death, and I testify that he was one of the greatest prophets that ever lived on the earth. This is proved by the principles he enunciated and the work he accomplished in a brief space of time. I also testify that the successors of Joseph in presiding over the Church have been and are now led by the same Spirit that directed him.

_____

Elder John Morgan

said he rejoiced that they had been enabled, through the blessing of God to meet together at another Conference in peace and quietude, to listen to the words of admonition and counsel of their brethren. He expressed his great satisfaction at the prospects before them, as a Church and people, at the present time, and pointed to the responsibilities resting upon those in positions of authority. Hundreds of our missionaries were today laboring in the mission field, but this portion of the Church's work would not be finished until the Gospel message was carried to all the nations of the earth.

            This was the work of God, and His hand was over it; the course of His Kingdom was onward and upward, and today this work was moving grandly on, as God in the beginning designed that it should.

            May God bless Israel and hasten the day when the nations of the earth shall be one, when His Kingdom shall be established in its fulness, when Zion shall arise and shine and become the glory of the whole world.

_____

President George Q. Cannon.

            There is one thought that has weighed very much upon my mind during our Conference, and probably it is because of the peculiar circumstances and the changed conditions which surround us. It is the supreme importance of members of this Church living in close communion with God-the necessity for a living testimony in the breasts of everyone of us, that each may know for himself or herself that the course which is being pursued is in accordance with the mind and will of God.

            If the officers of this Church were dependent upon the people, upon their sustenance, upon their confidence, and the people themselves did not know by any means except that which human wisdom would impart or human judgment justify, that they were taking the right course, we would be in a most unfortunate position, because constant changes are occurring. I need hardly refer to that which took place at our last Conference in order to bring this home to the minds of all. I allude now to the manifesto.

            If the Lord were not with this Church, if he were not directing His servants, and the people themselves did not have the testimony of Jesus concerning this work, the issuance of that manifesto would have had a fatal effect upon thousands, perhaps, in the Church. I can say for myself that I never shrunk from anything in my life as I did from that. I know it was God who dictated it-that it was issued in accordance with the requirements of the Spirit of God; and I also know that every member of this Church who is living in close communion with the Lord has had a testimony-notwithstanding their natural feelings with reference thereto, notwithstanding the painful consequences which followed its adoption in relation to existing family relations-that it was the right thing to do. The outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the people at the time, upon the people who have come since to this conference-the Spirit which has been bestowed upon us since we assembled, are all evidences to my mind that the Lord has borne a testimony to the Latter-day Saints concerning these matters.

            There are many things connected with this subject that no doubt, if time and opportunity afforded, might be talked about to the satisfaction of many present. I was much impressed by the arguments made yesterday as to the duties which we owe to our Government; and the line of distinction was drawn between religious and civil obligations. That distinction was made very plain, I presume, to every mind. While the argument was in progress the idea suggested itself to me that perhaps there might be some who would say, in listening to it and the revelations which God has given to us concerning our duties in regard to civil government, "Why, then, did you as a people place yourselves in an attitude of resistance to the laws which have been enacted?" For it is a well-known fact that many of our people have gone to prison, when by saying they were willing to obey the law-they were told, at least, in some instances-they might have escaped punishment. Now, to some persons there seems to be something irreconcilable, or that needs explanation, in this matter.

            You may remember that yesterday afternoon a distinction was drawn-though this was not dwelt upon-particularly in favor of constitutional law. We have held for many years-in fact since 1862-that any law directed against our marriage relations-which we believe to be a part of our religion-was in violation of the first amendment to the Constitution. In that view we have been sustained by very many good judges. There was the law of God on the one hand and the law of the land upon the other, the latter, as we believe, enacted by prejudice and leveled against our religion to destroy us. We considered it necessary, however, that this law should be obeyed to the very uttermost. This was explained to some extent during our last Conference. But these are the reasons we have had: We felt as though we would gladly go to prison, that we would endure all the penalties that could be inflicted upon us legally to vindicate the principle of religious liberty; we felt that our principles were being infringed upon by laws of this description. Whether our fellow citizens appreciate what we have done or not, we certainly feel that we have done a good work in thus standing in passive resistance-not active resistance-to the law which we regarded as an encroachment upon religious freedom. Every patriotic man in this country ought to applaud a people or an individual who stands up in defense of any principle that pertains to human rights. We have done this-we intended to do it-to call attention to what we looked upon as a wrong.

            We endeavored by our sacrifices to arrest the progress of this crusade against our religious liberty; we honestly believed that we had a right to act as we did. That we have failed, however, in persuading the nation, that we have failed in making apparent to the people and convincing them of this, is very clear at the present time. We have utterly failed. We have carried this to such an extent that the Lord himself has signified His acceptance of the sacrifices and offerings of the Latter-day Saints. He has said to us, "It is enough now. You having done your duty, this matter must rest with Me;" and we have, in consequence, sustained the issuance of that manifesto, undertaking to comply with the law-that we will do our best to carry it out, having done all in our power up to the present to vindicate our rights. But the day will come-and I am not afraid to risk my reputation, if I have one, as a prophet-when that which we have done will be recorded with admiration and praise. When a people can make a sacrifice such as we have, when by the mere expression of a few words we could have saved ourselves ignominy and pain of imprisonment and the sad consequences involved to the wives and children of those called upon to suffer, it will be written in history that what was offered to us we declined, preferring to endure all these things to vindicate our rights.

            Now the question arises, "What is going to be done?" It has seemed to me that a magnanimous Government like ours might cease its operations against those who are involved conscientiously, who believed that they were acting according to the command of God. I have hoped for this. I hoped at one time that our persecutions, and the manner in which the courts were proceeding against us, would have the effect of calling the attention of the nation to those wrongs under which we were suffering. But it is a lesson of history, repeated in our case, that persecutions only increase by the addition of victims. Every victim adds more to the flame of persecution. This is the history of the past; it is illustrated and confirmed in our own history. Every fresh victim, instead of arresting or lightening the persecution, only serves to intensify the feeling of determination that this must be crushed out at all cost and hazard. Every man that went to prison only seemed to be an evidence of our obduracy and our determination to defy the law, and to strengthen the opinion that we must be subdued and broken down.

            Well, now, a serious question presents itself before us respecting the present condition of things. Here are women-very many of them-and children placed in a sad position. These women are bound to their husbands by ties that have been considered the most sacred, and among us they have been honored quite as much as though they occupied the position of legal wives. What shall be done in reference to them? It is a serious question-one that comes to us constantly. It is one that I hope will be answered by the action of the Government. When it becomes convinced of our sincerity in issuing this manifesto declaring that plural marriages should cease, let us hope that some favorable action will be taken in regard to existing relations.

            I am not certain yet that we shall be disappointed in this. I believe we have already seen, in effect, a great softening of feeling upon these points, and the people must understand-they should understand-that what we do shall be done in good faith; that we do not deal in deception. Each one must seek to accommodate himself to affairs so that we shall not create a feeling that will be a continuation of the antipathy manifested through this doctrine. So far as our sincerity is concerned, I think it is of the utmost importance that the world should know that when we make a promise of this kind we mean exactly what we say-that we are not dealing falsely, that we are treating this matter in good faith, leaving the result with God our Eternal Father; and that we will to the best of our ability accommodate ourselves to the changed condition of affairs. I have no doubt if we do this that, in the end, the result will be all we can desire.

            None of us doubt that God is controlling this work to suit His own purposes and to fulfil His own designs. I have been compelled to acknowledge my own blindness; I never had such a feeling concerning my own ignorance and inability to comprehend the plans and purposes of God as I have had of late. But I bow to His Supreme wisdom; it is infinite. He understands the end from the beginning; He has laid the foundation of this work.

            I have testified, I might say hundreds of times, before public men, that I believed if I had not done what I did in reference to plural marriage I would have been damned utterly. I have said this before leading men; I have said it before the President of the United States; I have said it wherever I have talked about the subject. I can only speak for myself; but the command came to me in such a form from my God that I believe I would have been damned if I had not obeyed it. Having this belief embedded in my very nature, what could I do but obey? It was either obedience on the right hand or damnation on the left. Yet, notwithstanding this, I obeyed the law; and hence it is, I say, we need the Spirit of God to be with us, because all these things come in conflict with all our pre-conceived ideas and that which we have framed in our own minds. We have to trust to our God for the results. He has laid the foundation of this work; He has carried it forward to the present time, and He will take care of it in the future.

            I say now publicly that it is the intention of the Latter-day Saints to obey the law and leave the results with the God of heaven. But some of our brethren have asked this question: "How can you reconcile it with consistency that our brethren who go into court now and say, `We will obey the law,' whereas before all felt this to be wrong?" The conditions are entirely different, as you will see. It needs no deep penetration to perceive how differently we are situated now from what we were then. Our position is not at all what it was. We now say, "We bow in submission to the law." It would have been almost a betrayal for some of us to have done this before.

            Suppose that a number of men were holding a citadel and the enemy on the outside demanded a surrender, the great bulk of those within would perhaps say, "No, we shall not surrender; we will maintain this citadel," whereas the few would exclaim "Yes, we will surrender it," and hoist the flag. Now the rest would feel that to be a betrayal on their part. But suppose, on the other hand, that the whole body inside had been beleaguered for some time, and, finding it of no use to stand longer on the defensive, agreed to join in the surrender, then it would be no discredit to hoist the flag. This example may not exactly illustrate our position, but to my mind it has some features bearing upon it. Everyone can now join in the surrender honorably. We have made covenants it is true; but each man must arrange his affairs so that he would not violate those covenants, thereby bringing down the displeasure of God. But he must honor the law of the land. I do not know whether it is wise to talk too much upon this question, but I think we had better deal with it plainly and meet it squarely as it presents itself to us rather than dodge it. That is my view.

            I want to save this people if possible from distress, from sorrow -- to save ourselves from the evils that the enemy would heap upon us if they could take the advantage. This they are trying to do by asserting that we are not honest, and so seeking to get us in continual trouble. This is not at all necessary. This people have suffered for several years now as no people ever have before within the confines of the United States. We have suffered quietly, and our grief has not been much known. It has been concealed from the world to a very great extent. The anguish and misery that have been inflicted upon families have been borne silently. We have passed through very serious trials, but I believe with all my heart that there is a brighter day dawning upon Zion.

            I would like to refer to the remarks made by President Woodruff this morning. He said that a short time ago there were no Apostles upon this stand. I do not know how you felt at that time -- I had not the privilege of being and meeting with you; but I know how I and the brethren felt who were deprived of that opportunity. This is changed; glory be to God every day! We have freedom and we can meet with you and speak to you, and give you counsels as the Lord requires of us. We can entreat you so to live as to have a testimony in your hearts concerning this.

            I wish to allude to another point; I mentioned it yesterday. Some have said to us they believed that if we had taken the course Daniel did when he was put in the lion's den, and the three Hebrew children when put in the fiery furnace, perhaps it would have been more heroic and more consistent with our profession as Latter-day Saints. A person looking at this superficially might think there was something in the spirit of it. I have no earthly doubt that if President Woodruff had been required to go into the lions' den or into the fiery furnace, or to do anything else in the way of sacrificing his life in order to save this people, he would have done it. I have not a shadow of a doubt that President Taylor would have done the same. All of us knew his courage and firmness. I will not speak of myself; but I do not believe there is one of these men holding the apostleship who would not gladly, had it been God's will and the sacrifice would have sufficed, have given up his life to save this people. The three Hebrew children in taking the course they did involved only their own lives; their action did not involve the lives, liberties, and future of a great people. Therefore you can see that the analogy between their case and ours is not a complete one.

            When Daniel went into the lions' den he himself was the sufferer; it was his own life only that was jeopardized. But suppose just for a second that the leaders of this people had said, "We will stand and resist this we will carry out this command of God in the face of the whole world"? What would have been the effect? Why, it would have involved this entire people, every member of this Church, every man and child in it. And how many are there who would have obeyed that doctrine and shown their faith? How many would perhaps have said, "You have no right to drag us into this -- to involve us and our lives and our future, and everything that we have on earth in a sacrifice which only you yourselves are concerned in." Can you not see the difference between the three cases I have quoted? It is as plain as it can be.

            God guided those men of old to do as they did. God has guided His Church until now; He guided us to do what we have done, and in the history of His dealings with the children of men it will be recorded that we have made as great or greater sacrifices than any people that ever lived.

            Now I wish to say this much because I have heard expressions such as those to which I have referred; I have heard them too many times from those who themselves have shown their faith in the doctrines sufficiently to obey them. Well now, brethren and sisters, this is the great point of all I have said this far: Each one of us should have the light of the Spirit of God shining in his heart so that he may know for himself that which is right, that when we hear the voice of the true Shepherd we will recognize it. We may not be able to tell all the details, but we will know by the testimony of the Spirit of God within us that which is right. This is the testimony which it gives to the Latter-day Saints. They know when they hear the voice of a servant of God, and they understand it. They may not be able to explain all of the reasons connected with this, but they have a living testimony of the truth within them.

            Go and plead with the Lord; ask Him to remove the darkness from your minds, to give you the light of the Holy Spirit, that it may shine upon your understanding, that you may comprehend it, and you will not wait upon Him in vain. I can assure you that He will hear your prayers and answer them; He will fill you with peace and joy, and you will know for yourselves that this is God's work; you will know that all your wisdom, the wisdom of men, of those standing at your head, is not alone sufficient to guide this Church. We may mark out paths for traveling, but the Lord directs our ways, and we cannot walk safely without. We may have our ideas as to how this work is going to be built up and established, but the Lord will show us, as has been quoted in our hearing by Brother Franklin D. Richards, that "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's ways higher than man's ways." We would never have reached these valleys had not the Lord guided us; and we can look back and see how wonderfully His promises have been fulfilled in our behalf. Scarcely a step could have been taken of our own choice if we had not been upheld by God and had He not sustained us in all our doings. So it will be to the end, and we will be obliged to confess that his wisdom has done it all.

_____

            There is another subject that I would like to mention before we adjourn this Conference. Remarks have been made to us concerning home industries and their importance. Talk about revelation! You go and read the sermons of President Young, and if you do not believe now that he was a prophet, I think after you have read them you will be sure he was, because he talked as a prophet to this people concerning their future, and his words were full of godlike wisdom, and he poured them out in a constant stream during his lifetime. One of his great themes was that we should become a self-sustaining people. Our minds have diverted from this to a great extent. I believe, however, that circumstances will be so arranged that we shall be compelled to pay attention to these matters. It should be the aim of every man to try and become self-sustaining, and to have his family self-sustaining. It is my desire to raise everything that is eaten and drunk by myself and my family. I have striven for this. I would like to have it so that I could have everything we wear produced here also. But what I wish to refer to now is this:

            We are allowing our young men throughout these valleys, by hundreds, to grow up in ignorance of skilled industries. I was recently at a conference in one of our Stakes -- a large Stake, noted for the thrift of its people -- and upon inquiry I found that there were only two boys in the settlement in which the conference was held learning trades, and very few anywhere else in the Stake. This to me is ominous of trouble, ominous of poverty -- our young men growing up destitute of knowledge concerning skilled branches of business. I am in favor of education. I think no one who knows me will discredit me when I say that. But I am not in favor of book education at the expense of education in skill at manual labor. I have a number of sons, and I would rather they should be destitute of book learning, much as I value it, than be destitute of a knowledge of using their hands and their bodies in earning their living. I believe they would be better citizens if they would learn how to work than they would be, with all the learning that they could get, if they did not possess these other qualities. But there is no necessity that our children should be taught one branch alone. They can be given a good education, and at the same time be taught some skilled branch of labor. I think it is an error for us to send our young men to school till they are eighteen, or nineteen, or twenty years of age without teaching them some industrial occupation, because it is from fifteen to twenty that boys learn to use their muscles and how to toil without it being burdensome to them. But you take a young man after then, if he has learned nothing but what is in in books, and put him to hard manual labor, and he shrinks from it. Very few men can stand it. They want to get easy employment. While I do not think it necessary that all should follow manual labor, it is necessary that all should be taught these branches, so that they can be useful. Then if they can make their living by following some lighter occupation that will be more congenial to them, they can do so. But it seems to me, brethren and sisters, that this is a subject that ought to receive our attention. We are importing skilled laborers from abroad-carpenters, brickmasons, etc., to supply the demand in this city and Territory. It think this is deplorable. We should be in a different condition.

            Pardon me if I allude to my own case in this matter, as I happen to be familiar with it. I have several sons, and I have offered each of them for one year to any of our brethren who would teach them mechanism. I have done this with all the sons that I have grown up, because I thought an education of this kind was very valuable. I would like my boys to learn every kind of trade. I would like them to be skilful. I would like them to use these glorious hands that God has given us, and this glorious brain, in a skilled manner. The man who can do this is a much more useful citizen. It is bad to see so many learning to drive a team and following teaming as an occupation. Almost anybody can learn to drive a team. A girl can learn it. I have seen girls that did it excellently. There is very little skill about that. Of course, a good teamster is a rare article; I am aware of that. Then we have men following farming who do not study farming and make a business of it. If you are going to make your children farmers, give them that knowledge that will qualify them; give them a knowledge of agricultural chemistry, so that they will understand the nature of soils, and how to improve soils, and the best manure for soils, and the best soils to produce certain articles. Give them skill in this direction. Let us take advantage of the opportunities that God has given us. There are no brighter intellects in this world than are to be found among the Latter-day Saints -- young men of capability, young men who will make their mark if you will give them any kind of a chance. These young men will grow up and be a mighty race, if we will take the course that we should do with them. I feel that when a child is born the parents are indebted to that child. To bring it into the world as a waif; to launch it upon society without giving it a proper education and proper training and assistance is a great wrong. If we did this we would be like animals. It is the duty of every man and every woman who has a child to do everything in their power for that child, to qualify it to be a useful man or woman, and no pains should be spared in this direction. We live in our children. After we are gone we will live in our offspring, and our good qualities will be perpetuated in them if we will take the right course.

            This is a subject that admits of a great deal of talk, and it ought to be spoken about in our settlements and impressed upon the people. We should take pains to teach our boys and our girls everything that will make them useful, and help to give them a knowledge of the principles that God has revealed. In this way we will be a blessing to our children. They will rejoice in us, and they will arise and call us blessed. What a glorious thing it is to think that our posterity will honor us, and that they will say, "I know that my father was a good man; that he did all he could for me." "I know my mother was a good woman; she loved me and did all in her power to give me a good start and to furnish me with all the knowledge that she could to make me a useful woman," and to have those children quote the example of their parents to their posterity, and let it go down as a heritage from one generation to another, until we shall arise up a generation that will be accepted of the Lord, and upon whom His blessing and His power will rest. We will soon enter upon the millennium. God has told us this; and it should be the desire of every man and woman in this Church that their posterity may live, not only for a generation or two, but throughout the entire millennium, and then throughout that period when Satan will be loosed again; that as long as time shall endure some of our posterity may be found among the friends of God, bearing the holy Priesthood, honoring God, keeping His commandments, not only through the millennium, but during that period when Satan will be loosed again to go forth and tempt the nations; that even then some of our descendants will be found numbered among the righteous, and continue to be numbered among them as long as time shall last. I think this is a desirable wish for every man. And let us lay the foundation now. Let us, as parents, influence our children.

            Let us make our mark upon our children, and give them a fair start; endow them with all the power that we have, to make them all that we desire them to be. Every parent should have this ambition. Every man and woman ought to live for their children, and not neglect them. I feel condemned sometimes because of public duties I cannot attend to my family as I would like; and my constant prayer to God is that He will give more of His holy Spirit to them, to make up for my lack of time with them. I think this is a good prayer. Let us try to make our children all that we would like them to be, as far as our influence goes. I say to you parents who have children in the covenant, if you will pray for them God will feel after them, and He will save your posterity. He has made promises to this people, and you cling to them, in the meantime doing all you can yourselves to have those promises fulfilled, so that there will be no neglect on your part. Your children may err, and do things that are sinful and are painful and sorrowful to you. But cling to them. Pray for them. Exercise faith in their behalf. Treat them with kindness; not, however, condoning their sins and their transgressions. But be full of charity, full of long-suffering, full of patience, and full of mercy to your children. Don't drive them away by your severity, or by being too strict. But be kind and merciful to them, correcting their faults when they need correcting, at the same time showing them that your corrections are not prompted by anything but love for them and for their happiness. God bless you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

            The choir sang:

Let God arise; let His enemies be scattered.

            The closing benediction was pronounced by Elder Joseph E. Taylor.

            Adjourned till October next.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference.

_____

4-6 Oct 1891, 61st Semi-Annual General Conference, SLC Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly 43:497, 10/10/91, p 17; Millennial Star 53:689, 705, 721, 737, 753, 769, 785, 801, 817]

[4 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 43:497-499, 10/10/91, p 17-19]

GENERAL CONFERENCE.

_____

            The Sixty-second [61st] Semi-annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, convened at 10 a.m., on Sunday, October 4th 1891, in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, President Wilford Woodruff presiding.

            There were on the stand: Of the First Presidency, Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith; of the council of the Twelve Apostles: Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Francis M. Lyman, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mariner W. Merrill, Anton H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon; Patriarch, John Smith; of the Presiding Council of the Seventies: Se[y]mour B. Young, C. D. Fjeldsted, B. H. Roberts and George Reynolds; of the Presiding Bishopric: William B. Preston and John R. Winder.

            There were also numbers of Presidents of Stakes and of other leading brethren from various parts of Utah and surrounding region.

            The Conference was called to order by President George Q. Cannon.

            The choir and congregation sang the hymn commencing:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord
is laid for your faith in His excellent word.

            The opening prayer was offered by Apostle M. W. Merrill.

On the mountain tops appearing, Lo! the sacred herald stands!

was sung by the choir.

            The conference was addressed by

President Wilford Woodruff,

as follows: I want to say to my friends this morning that I am a very happy man. My heart is filled with gratitude to God my Heavenly Father for the blessings I enjoy. It is over seven years since the Presidency of this Church and as many of the Twelve Apostles have occupied this stand until today, and I feel that we have all reason to thank God and rejoice in His name for the blessings and privileges that we enjoy this glorious morning. Turning to Apostle Snow the speaker asked: Is there any law against a man telling what is in his heart if he has no evil in it?

            Apostle Snow replied that he knew of none.

            President Woodruff -- Brother Snow says that he does not know of any such law, and therefore I say God bless President Harrison for exercising his official clemency in liberating President Joseph F. Smith, and I am thankful that Brother Smith is with us today. I say also God bless every other man, whether he be Jew or Gentile, Catholic or Protestant, judge or juryman, who has lent his name to this and not only liberated President Smith but many of our brethren who have the privilege of sitting here with us on this occasion. I hope there is no harm in that thought or feeling; for that is the way I do feel at this time. My heart is full of gratitude and blessing to my fellowmen for all the good they have done. Everything that leads to good and to do good is of God, and everything that leads to evil and to do evil is said to be of the wicked one. I feel that all of us have reason to rejoice before the Lord for the deliverance and blessings which He has wrought among us. I rejoice in the union which exists among us as a Presidency of this Church and the twelve apostles. These are bodies of men who of all men under heaven should be united in the work of the Lord in which we are engaged. I do not believe there ever has been a body of men in any age of the world who, as a general thing, are more united and happy than are these today; and while we are here assembled together I hope and trust that we may have the inspiration of Almighty God with us in our teachings, in our instructions, in our counsels. We shall call upon our brothers to address us, and I say in the name of the Lord, let us all have peace.

_____

President Joseph F. Smith

next addressed the assemblage. He said that, agreeable to the request of President Woodruff, he arose to speak to the Saints for a short time that morning, according to the inspiration that he might receive and the strength and assistance that might be given him of the Lord. Of himself he felt very weak and incapable of addressing so vast a congregation as he now saw before him; he felt exceedingly humble in the sight of God.

            He desired to add his acknowledgements, and also his thankfulness, to those expressed by President Woodruff, in that he was permitted to meet with the Latter-day Saints that morning. He was deeply grateful to his Heavenly Father for the privilege of meeting with them in conference in that Tabernacle for the first time in seven and a half years. To Him be given the glory and honor for every blessing that they had received; and he was also thankful to the President of the United States for exercising clemency towards him and again giving him his franchise and his citizenship in the community in which he lived. He was also most grateful to his friends who gave their influence and their assistance to this end. He need not name them, for they well knew the work that they had done. He fully acknowledged their kindness under God, and would endeavor to act consistent with the circumstances in which he was placed, and the condition in which the people of God were placed, in order that he might be able to continue his usefulness in the midst of the people at large.

            He desired to say that his faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ had undergone but one change since he met with the Saints there before. They might ask what that change was. His answer was this: "The change that has come upon my faith since I had the privilege of last meeting with you is that my faith is as much stronger, as much more fervent, as much more determined as it is possible for it to have grown in the lapse of seven and a half years. That is the only change that has come upon my faith in regard to the principles of the Gospel." He loved the Gospel a little better than he did few years ago; he loved his brethren a little better; he was trying a little harder to be a better man today than was the case a few years go; and he was endeavoring to the best of his understanding and ability to live a little nearer unto the Lord now than he did a number of years ago. These were the changes that had come upon him during his exile, during his absence from the people and from his home. He trusted that he might continue in this direction, to grow and develop in faith, in understanding, in humility, and in all the graces of the Gospel until "the perfect day."

            He desired to exhort his brethren and sisters to do likewise, to be just as faithful as it was possible for them to be, from this time henceforth and forever. They had received the truth, inasmuch as they had embraced the Gospel that had been restored to the earth in this dispensation through the Prophet Joseph Smith. They were engaged in the right cause, they were walking in the right path, inasmuch as they were endeavoring to follow the precepts of that Gospel. Let them continue in that path; let the Spirit of the Lord expand their hearts and minds, enlarge their understanding, quicken their perceptive faculties, extend their perceptive faculties, extend their sympathy and love, and increase their faith and diligence in the performance of all the duties which devolved upon them as Latter-day Saints. All would then be well with them. The Kingdom of God was the kingdom of righteousness, Christ Himself being the "chief corner stone," and the Latter-day Saints were his subjects; for they acknowledged no king but King Emmanuel. He was their King, Lawgiver and Ruler; He was their Dictator; because He dictated to them by the influences of His Holy spirit. He inspired their hearts to do that which was right and righteous in His sight; He reproved them when they did wrong; He showed them, through the influences of His Holy Spirit, the right course -- the righteous way, and He inspired their hearts to walk in that way. The Kingdom of God was established upon the earth and Christ, their head, was King. He had said that they should be subject to kings, and to emperors, and to presidents and rulers in the midst of the children of men, and to the powers that be, and to the laws that are, until He comes "whose right it is to reign, " and "subdues all things unto Himself."

            This was the work in which they were engaged; this was the hope that inspired their hearts; this was the desire that was before them -- that they might be subject to the powers that be, that they might work righteousness in their day and age, that they might be faithful in the discharge of every duty devolving upon them as men and women occupying a position in the community in which they lived; that they might be pure-minded, honorable, truthful, honest and sincere in all they undertook.

            While they acknowledged God as their head, while they acknowledged Christ as their Ruler, King, Lawgiver and Preceptor, still they were subject, and always had been subject to the governments under which they dwelt, and they expected to yield obedience unto the laws which existed, when those laws were made for the government of the children of men and for the establishment of peace and good order in the midst of the world. Where good government did not exist in this their great and glorious country it was not because the form of government was not good. It was not because, as a rule their laws were not intended to be good; but it often happened because those laws were not properly administered, or because the administration of the law was entrusted to those who were not just in their hearts.

            These were circumstances that they could not control. They were creatures subject to these conditions, and must yield obedience to them. They must honor this law of God and also the law of men, and seek to be good citizens. It was the right of every individual within the sound of his voice, and throughout the world, to exercise his or her own judgment as to what was good and what was evil; and so long as every man or woman did, according to the light which he or she possessed, that which was right and avoided that which was wrong, they might continue to plead with God that the errors and evils and wrongs which existed amongst us might cease and righteousness reign in their stead. It was the duty of every one to pray to God that justice might be administered and truth upheld and sustained in the midst of the children of men everywhere.

            As Latter-day Saints they believed in the Son of God, for they were Christians in every sense of the word. In believing this they did not alone depend upon that which was written in the Bible; they had not to depend entirely upon their faith in this matter. It was true they read the Bible, that they read the testimony of the ancient Apostles in the New Testament; they read the record of the Nephites on this continent, and they believed their testimony. But over and above that, greater than all this, they had in their hearts the inspiration of Almighty God, the revelations of God to man, teaching us that these things are true and that God lived, that Jesus is His Son, that He died for the world, that his blood cleanses us from all sin, through our obedience to the principles of the Gospel, and through our fidelity to the principles of righteousness in our lives. That was why it was impossible for a man who had once received the testimony of Jesus Christ to forsake God and join the various "isms" which existed in the world today. They might depart from this Gospel, from religion, from Christ, from the knowledge of God, from the faith of the Gospel of the Son of God, but they became infidels. This had been proven, and was known to be the fact. How careful then, they ought to be who had the privilege of knowing the truth for themselves.

            After enlarging upon the subject of faith in God, the speaker went on to say that during his exile he enjoyed perfect liberty; because the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the Gospel of liberty, and whoever received it was free indeed, though he be in chains, in bondage or in prison. It made no difference as to that. He was free because God had made him so, and there was no freedom greater than this. Those of their brethren who had been in prison for conscience sake were free men, even though restricted of their liberty for the time. Why was he free? Because he owed no man, so far as he knew; because he did not entertain malice in his heart toward any man. He was no man's debtor to his knowledge, and, according to the best of his ability he never wronged or injured anyone. If he had, let that man come and show him wherein he had wronged him, and, God being his helper, he would make it right to the last farthing. He had endeavored to live within the pale of the kingdom of God -- the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that would make all men free, inasmuch as they would receive the truth.

            His brethren and sisters would excuse him if he displayed a little fervor and enthusiasm -- they might call it fanaticism if they pleased. What did he care. So that he was satisfied and knew that God had spoken to him, that he had received the truth, it made no difference. And if they had received the truth, could they be less fervent than he? No. Yet with all his thankfulness, with all his fervency, faith and confidence in the work in which they were engaged, he was not as earnest, devout, and thankful as he should be. There was still room to grow, to improve and enlarge his usefulness from day to day and from hour to hour, and he intended to try and improve upon each opportunity.

            They must be subject to the powers that be, subject to the authorities of the Priesthood and of the Church; subject to their counsels of righteousness, subject to their directions in righteousness. They would only counsel them in that which was good in the sight of God. It was not an exhibition of freedom or manhood for men to disobey the words of God and the righteous counsels of His chosen servants. A man was a coward indeed who would do so. There was no cowardice in a man obeying at all times righteous counsel when it came from the Presidency of the Church, from the Apostles, from their Presidents of Stakes, from their Bishops, and Teachers, and from those who were authorized to teach, instruct, and counsel the people of God. It was manly, it was noble, it was independence of spirit for a man to hearken to such counsel and to be obedient to such men. It was brave; for the world was against the people of God. The world looked upon the Latter-day Saints with scorn and contempt, and though they were deceived. But they were not. The finger of scorn was sometimes pointed at them because they said they were not ashamed to listen to the counsels of those good men who led and instructed them. But the people had proved them; they knew their principles, how they had guided the Saints in the past, they knew their integrity, their honor, their worth, their fortitude; and could therefore well afford to be guided by them in all things and be united with them. It was manly and Godlike to do so; not to do it was cowardly.

            Would any man dare to tell him he was a coward when he listened to good counsel, no matter from whom it came? It took courage to do as they had done; and that was why the Latter-day Saints were independent men. They were chosen and uplifted of God because they dared to obey the truth, to acknowledge in the presence of the whole world that Jesus was the Christ and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of the living God. They dared and proposed to continue to do this to the end of their time, knowing that it was right, and did not intend to shrink from that duty, God helping them.

            In conclusion the speaker exhorted the Saints to be faithful, humble, and diligent in the performance of all their duties, never wavering nor faltering in the least, but remaining steadfast in the principles of the Gospel. Then God would bless and prosper them and their children after them, from generation to generation.

_____

President George Q. Cannon

said he had listened, as no doubt all present had, with exceeding great pleasure to the testimony borne by President Joseph F. Smith. He felt that this was a time when they, as a people, could rejoice and be thankful unto God. This Conference would be a memorable one; for when they thought of the many changes that had occurred there was great reason for thanksgiving and giving praise to their Father in Heaven for His kindness and mercy unto them. He was satisfied that no power but that of God could have wrought the changes they had witnessed or delivered them as they had been delivered. Hence it seemed to him that this general Conference was a fitting occasion on which to join with all their hearts in thanking God, as a people, for that which He had done for them; and they might rest assured that He would yet continue to fulfil the many promises given unto His chosen ones.

            It was a glorious thought that in the midst of affliction, sorrow, and trial that they had a Friend so powerful as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whom they served. It would be a dreary prospect before them, indeed, if it were not for the consolation that God had given them upon this point. God had called them to endure trials and to pass through tribulation. The hearts of His people had been wrung in anguish; their faith had been tested to the fullest extent; and had it not been for the promises of God and the faith given unto them they would have fainted by the wayside. But in the midst of their peculiar circumstances He had been near unto them; He had comforted their hearts, He had whispered peace, He had been on their right hand and on their left, and they had proved Him to be the God whom they declared Him to be; and those who were faithful would yet see the outpouring of His power, a bestowal of heavenly gifts, and an increase of heavenly manifestations such as they had never before witnessed.

            He knew and could bear testimony that God was pleased with the Latter-day Saints and had accepted of their offerings; He had recognized their fidelity to His cause, their determination to do that which was required of them. There were many things yet to be accomplished and they would be done in the good time of the Lord. Brother Joseph F. Smith had told them that morning that he thanked God for the testimony he had received. It was something they should all be thankful for -- that their great Creator, in the midst of the darkness, gloom and uncertainty which prevailed over the earth had condescended to reveal Himself to a few humble individuals who had sought to do His will; for though the Latter-day Saints numbered thousands, yet they were but few compared with the great family of man. They could not, however, pride themselves with the reflection that this blessing was for them alone; God was just as willing to remove doubt and uncertainty from every other heart as He had been to remove it from theirs. He was not a partial God; but when they saw how the inhabitants of the earth wandered and indulged in all manner of speculation concerning God and eternity and then reflected upon what God had revealed to the Latter-day Saints, it should fill them with inexpressible joy and thanksgiving for the mercy that He had shown unto them, and for the light and intelligence which he had poured out upon them as members of His Church.

            The great bulk of mankind at the present time seemed to have very little hope concerning the future. He was very much struck with the writing left by Boulanger, the French general, who suicided in Belgium a few days ago. His closing words were that he "went to nothingness," died without hope, looked upon himself as going to annihilation. That, at least, was the only interpretation that could be put upon his last expressions. What a future for a man to contemplate -- a man in the image of God, full of the attributes - though perhaps undeveloped -- but still the attributes of Deity! Only imagine that by blowing his brains out he thought to end his existence for ever and become a clod of the earth! This was not, however, an exceptional belief; it was too general in the world today. God had not left the Latter-day Saints to be a prey to these dreadful feelings, but had implanted within them principles which gave them correct ideas concerning the future, the object of their creation, the purpose which our Father had in sending us here. With them it was life eternal; there was no limit to the blessings that God intended to bestow upon His people if they would only continue faithful. But He would still try them; they would still have to pass through the furnace of affliction, as many had already; and be tried as gold that was seven times purified; they would have to pass through the deep waters. Poverty, privations, and persecutions might yet be their lot; but if they endured these things and remained faithful to the end glory and blessings unlimited would be their share. He besought them to have unwavering confidence in God and let their faith be strong, for by the exercise of faith they could accomplish wonders. The things they had endured of late should increase rather than diminish their faith in God and His willingness to save them.

            When they sought for gifts and blessings from God, let them not do so in order to satisfy their own requirements merely, and that they might be able to say "I am better than my fellowmen" If they asked for gifts, let them also pray for grace and strength commensurate therewith, so that they might bear them meekly and humbly, realizing that they were not ours, after all, but the gift of God, who could at any moment withdraw them from us. The nearer we lived to God the more the spirit of testimony would rest upon us, and everything connected with our religion was then made simple and plain. No man or woman in this Church could grow in the work of God who did not constantly commune with Him and constantly have answers to their prayers.

            President Cannon next remarked that there were many subjects which might be talked upon at this conference, and many upon which the Saints needed instruction. The two or three days now before them were scarcely sufficient to get their hearts as mellow as they should be. They came to Conference with their minds absorbed and clouded with various business affairs. They should forget these, and enter heartily and prayerfully into the important work in which they professed to engage. Let them forget their anxieties and business cares and concentrate their thoughts entirely upon the work of the Lord.

            That was the first day of their Conference, and he hoped to see it close as it had begun, with crowded congregations -- the people hungering for the Word of God and desirous to hear the counsel of His servants. If they came together in that spirit, he knew that they would not go away unsatisfied, but would be thankful for the good they had received.

            The choir sang:

Pilgrims Chorus.

            Benediction was pronounced by Patriarch John Smith.

_____

[4 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 43:499-500, 10/10/91, p 19-20]

Afternoon Session.

            Sunday;, Oct. 3 [4].

            The choir and congregation sang:

Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation, No longer as strangers on earth need we roam;
Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation, And shortly the hour of redemption will come.

            Prayer by Elder Seymour B. Young.

            Singing by the choir:

Jesus, once of humble birth, Now in glory comes to earth;
Once He suffered grief and pain, Now He comes on earth to reign.

            The sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered, the priesthood of the First ward, Salt Lake City, officiating.

_____

President Lorenzo Snow

addressed the conference. He said, in substance, that as his voice was not sufficiently strong to make all the vast congregation hear, his remarks would be brief. He would at least bear testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had realized their anticipations regarding the manifestations they expected when they embraced the Gospel. There might be a few however, who had not to the fullest extent they had wished. There were some that could bear testimony that they received a knowledge of this work before they obeyed it. But as a general thing, this understanding had come subsequent to obedience. This was the case with him. He had a good opportunity to investigate and satisfy himself of the truth of the Gospel. He was acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, the Patriarch, and others over fifty-five years ago. He became satisfied that if there was any truth in the claims of any religion, the principles taught by those men were correct. Consequently, he acted upon this belief, although he knew he would have to face opposition. The bright worldly prospect then before him would have to be renounced. But he concluded that if the ancient Gospel and its powers and gifts had been restored, it would be an excellent thing to obey the divine message. After having been baptized and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by those having divine authority, he obtained a most perfect knowledge. The heavens were opened above him, and so long as memory lasted he could not forget that testimony or have any doubt as to the divinity of what is called "Mormonism." His faith, however, did not rest alone upon the manifestation he had described, but for fifty-five years and over he had received many demonstrations of the divine character of the work of God. All faithful Latter-day Saints who wished to know from whence they cane, what they were here for and whither they were hastening, these matters would, if they diligently searched, be made perfectly plain to them. They would realize the force of the parable of the Savior in reference to the man who found a treasure and sold all he had to obtain it; also the saying of Christ to the young man whom he told to give up all his worldly possessions and follow him. When Zion existed in its glory its people would be one. The time was near at hand when the Saints must again endeavor to do away with the class distinctions which have grown up in their midst, and become one in all things.

_____

Apostle Franklin D. Richards.

was the next speaker. He expressed his desire to bear his testimony to his fellow-men concerning the truth of the Gospel as given to the world in these last days. He rejoiced exceedingly that God had sent His servants to the land of his nativity to testify of the glorious work that had been established. It was fifty-three years ago last June that he obeyed the message. The speaker had previously commenced the work of searching the scriptures in order to learn the truth and he had not had to wait long till he found it. In the latter part of the same year the Lord had revealed it to him, and from that day till now, he had never, not even in the darkest hours of trials, had a doubt as to its genuineness. He had found it out through obedience to the principles laid before us this morning and by the reception of he Holy Spirit and the experience of His power, both in soul and in body. He was sorry that he had not been able to do more than he had for the advancement of the kingdom of God and the salvation of his fellow men. The Lord had blessed him from time to time with spiritual gifts and he knew certainly that the work in which he was engaged was the work of the most high God.

            We need never have any doubt concerning this work. The man who was honored as the instrument of introducing it into the world was a servant of God. He received it from Jesus Christ, our Savior.

            The speaker testified that he knew that the Redeemer lives and that He will stand on the earth in the latter days. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. He appeared in his spiritual body to the brother of Jared and to Moses, and he came in the fulness of time and took upon him a body of flesh and bones, and became like man in all respects, but he was a perfected type, and He is the great and glorious Being who has the control of the affairs connected with this gospel. The inhabitants of the earth will have to hear Him. Blessed be God our Father, for the knowledge we have received of Him. There is not an earthly monarch from Nimrod to Nebuchadnezzar, and the old Roman Emperors, or the Czars and Sultans and Pharaohs and other mighty men who have ruled with power in the world and who have gone to the spirit world but will have to acknowledge that Jesus came to save the human race, when He brings them out of their graves.

            He said that he who believes in the Father also believes in Him, and, "if you do not believe, you shall die in your sins." That has been the condition of the past ages. But Christ came to save them. We must all lay our bodies down in the dust, but the day shall come when we shall rise again, and then shall every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. Blessed are they who have already received this knowledge. We do not know how to be thankful enough for this great blessing. We have all to be tried. Abraham was tried till every hope seemed to be cut off. His only child was laid on the altar, but the Patriarch still believed that God was mighty to raise him from the dead. Many of us have been similarly tried, when we have seen our children on a bed of sickness. We have called the Elders to administer to them, but all hope seemed gone and we thought all was over, when God finally restored the beloved ones to us. God's children are of little account before they have been tried and have faithfully endured. When we have learned to take everything as it comes and yet have the firm determination, "I and my house will serve the Lord;" when we can give up everything and do this as it behoves the servants of God, then we are prepared to receive all things back again as ours, which are not so now. Let us, then, go on and keep the commandments of God. We need more of the Spirit of the Lord, if we wish to see our way through all trials and difficulties. May God grant us the glorious privilege to attain unto perfect manhood and become like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

            The choir sang an anthem.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff

then addressed the congregation. In the year 1833 he had heard the first Gospel sermon. In the first year after having embraced the Gospel, he had held the office of a Teacher. In the second year he was ordained a Priest. The following year he became an Elder and the next he was ordained a member of the quorum of Seventies. For about fifty-two years he had been a member of the quorum of the Twelve.

            The speaker would say that during this time, he had endeavored to preach the Gospel to the world, and in so doing had traveled enough to go round the world six times, yet he had not tried to preach or to minister in the ordinances of the Kingdom of God, except by the power of Jesus Christ. And now after having labored so many years he felt still as much dependent on the Holy Spirit as ever, and on the faith and prayers of the Saints. There never was a Prophet on the earth who could instruct the children of men except by the power of the Priesthood.

            The speaker then very strongly refuted some of the slanders that have been hurled against the people of God, even by prominent men who have visited the Territory. He made an eloquent appeal for liberty of conscience. The Latter-day Saints accord to all men freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences, and we ask for ourselves only what we are willing should be enjoyed by others. The speaker wished the blessings of God to rest abundantly on the Conference, and all the people.

_____

Apostle John W. Taylor

was the next speaker. He was grateful for the privilege of meeting with the Saints in Conference, especially as he was in a position to hear all that had been said, to the truth of which he could bear testimony. He had also greatly enjoyed the musical exercises. This is one of the most pleasant parts of divine worship. We flatter ourselves that we are growing in grace. But let us ask where are many of our sons and daughters today? Do they honor the Sabbath day? Those who did observe this ordinance will be blessed. We should comply with this sacred law. The Apostle Paul, referring to our day, said that many people would be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. The pleasure resorts in this country were more numerously patronized on the Sabbath than any other days. This practice was not confined to Salt Lake City. The same condition existed largely in the various towns and settlements throughout the Territory. The Lord would overrule and sanctify to the good of the young people many things which they could not now understand, if they would be diligent and faithful. They had a great work to perform. God called upon all men to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Those who bore this message should keep themselves in purity. If the young have sinned let them repent and the Lord would forgive them. They should keep out of saloons, for it was sinful to eat and drink with the drunken. They should refrain from the use of tobacco and other things which the revelations of the Lord said were not good for man. The revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ were given daily through His servants to His people. The greatest desire of the saints should be to do the will of our Heavenly Father and keep His commandments. May we have wisdom, firmness and faith sufficient to enable us to endure unto the end. The day of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ was at hand. Those who should stand at that time would be those who are free from the dins of the world. The speaker bore testimony to the work of God and its final triumph.

            The choir sang:

Awake! O my soul.

            Benediction by Bishop William B. Preston.

            The Tabernacle affording insufficient room for all the people, an overflow meeting was held in the Assembly Hall, beginning at 2 p.m.

_____

[4 Oct, 2 pm (o)]

[DNW 43:500-501, 10/10/91, p 20-21]

OVERFLOW MEETING.

            An overflow meeting was held in the Assembly Hall at 2 p.m. Apostle F. M. Lyman presided.

            The choir and congregation sang:

Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation, etc.

            Prayer was offered by Elder Thomas E. Taylor, after which the choir sang:

Jesus, once of humble birth, etc.

_____

Apostle Heber J. Grant

was the first speaker. He said. It is a source of extreme satisfaction and comfort to meet with the Latter-day Saints in general Conference. The fact that so many people have been turned away from the doors of our buildings of worship today because of their overcrowded condition betokens a steady growth, expansion and interest in spiritual matters. At our morning services we were greatly blessed by the spirit of the Lord. I trust that we may be similarly favored this afternoon. It is impossible for us to worship properly without the Spirit of God. There is but one way to obtain and retain this invaluable blessing, and that is to obey the Father. There are trials and tribulations in all the walks of life, but they can be made easier by the comforting influence of the Holy spirit. We sometimes are wavering and doubtful; this is because of the lack of proper exertion on our part. Much of the trouble we have to endue is self inflicted, and that carelessly. The pleasures of this life are but fleeting. We should seek for something more substantial and enduring -- something higher and better. When we are brought before our heavenly Father on the day of judgment we should be able to say that we have increased our talents a hundred fold. The talents which have been entrusted to our keeping are exceedingly valuable. We will be held responsible for the use to which we put them. Do not be deceived in believing that we can obtain any blessing without working for it.

_____

Bishop O. F. Whitney

said: It is certainly an inspiring sight to see a congregation of this magnitude and kind assembled to worship God; and the inspiration is increased when we reflect that this gathering represents nearly all of the civilized nations of the world. There are men and women in this audience who have come from the north and the south; the east and the west, with one common purpose in view -- that of serving God. Like streams that flow to the ocean, they have found their way into the Church of Christ, which may be compared to a huge reservoir that is fed by mountain rivulets.

            Snow falls from the heavens pure and white, and by the warmth of the earth is melted and formed into little rills which seek their level, but in so doing they become stained by the traces of the soil they carry with them to the reservoir. So with the Latter-day Saints, they came from heaven pure and stainless like the snow-flakes. Joseph Smith taught that the spirits of men were originally pure. It is coming in contact with the earth that stains and discolors our lives.

            We profess to be, and are, the children of Abraham; not in a mystical or figurative sense, but in reality. Our progenitors were scattered through many nations, and we believe that God had a purpose in view in sprinkling the nations with their blood. The question may be asked: why was it necessary to sprinkle many nations with the blood of Israel? The answer is, that this blood might be a preservative. The children of Abraham are the salt of the earth. Salt is a preserving element. The children of Abraham, though widely scattered, are being steadily gathered. In response to the call of the servants of God, they come to Zion, "one of a city and two of a family" in fulfilment of prophecy. Why is this? It is because the spirit of God rests upon their minds and finds response in their hearts no matter to what nation they belong. This sprinkling of the blood of Israel among all nations, though a seeming calamity, will be the means of blessing all nations. God promised that through Abraham all the nations of the earth should be blessed. This was chiefly fulfilled in the birth and mission of the Savior, though only in part. If we are the children of Abraham we must do the works of Abraham. "We are the salt of the earth, but if the salt hath lost its savor wherewith shall the earth be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." We are also "the light of the world," and "a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." Men do not "light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, where it gives light unto all that are in the house." These are deep sayings, and worthy to ponder over in our most serious considerations. They are filled with the spirit and force of truth. Being Abraham's children, we must do the works of Abraham. He was required to leave kindred and country and all the associations of youth. In this respect the Latter-day Saints have done the works of Abraham. Here are men and women from all parts of the world who have left their native lands, their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and other loved ones, to gather to Zion. Those of us who would not do this are not worthy of the blessings of the Lord. Many of us who have been born and reared in this mountain region have not been tried in this respect, but rest assured, those of us who have not been thus tried, will have the test applied in some other manner. God will pass us through the mill, that our harsher feelings may be ground away.

            Abraham was given a child of promise. All his hopes were centered in that son; and yet he was called upon to sacrifice him. We read this flippantly, not understanding its full significance. The history we have of it is only brief. The Bible is but an abridgement of great events. We are not told of the terrible struggle this command cost Abraham; we do not read of the pathetic account of Sarah's breaking heart while passing through this ordeal. Some will say, it is easy enough to do as Abraham did, when you know that God has commanded it. I do not believe but that Abraham was tested in this matter just as you and I might be now. How was he able to tell that his informant was not an angel of the Evil One? Satan can appear as an angel of light, and can deceive the natural eye. He can speak with the tongue of an orator, and thus deceive the natural ear. It was doubtless the Holy Spirit that convinced Abraham.

            The strength of a chain was its weakest link. A shrewd general marshals his hosts so as to attack the enemy at the weakest point in his fortifications. Satan is a wily and skilful general and attacks the human family where they are least able to repel him.

            The speaker closed by saying that a day of sacrifice and consecration was coming. A day of unity and equality would follow. The faithful alone would be able to stand when the Lord of Hosts should appear, for he would be "like a refiner's fire and as fullers' soap." and would purge men from their iniquity, and all those who were purified would go back to heaven whence they came.

_____

Apostle A. H. Lund

said: I earnestly desire that I may be able to address you with the same spirit as the preceding speaker. The work of God is spreading, and the people are improving. They are securing testimonies for themselves, and are thus learning to know God, whom to know is life eternal. Most of this congregation has received the testimony that God has restored His work in this age. The knowledge we have received is not enough. We are not warranted in sitting supinely down and neglecting our duties. Life, with all its battles, is before us. If we do what is right victory is assured us. It is good for us to have struggles.

            The gathering was a theme on which the prophets of God in ancient days loved to dwell. Israel was scattered, and the country made desolate. The curse of God was upon the country. For a long time it was incapable of sustaining a population. but a change is taking place. This is the day of the restitution of all things. Since the servants of God were sent to the Holy Land, shortly after the ushering in of the present dispensation, to bless it and dedicate it and set it apart for the return of the posterity of its ancient inhabitants, a mighty revolution has been wrought in the climatic and other conditions of this historic country. The emancipation of the Jews has commenced. The day is hastening toward us when these unfortunate and despised exiles will return with rejoicing to the land of their forefathers.

_____

Elder B. H. Roberts

addressed the meeting as follows: In attending a quarterly conference in an adjacent Stake of Zion recently I took occasion to remark that the gathering reminded me somewhat of a sight I once witnessed in the House of Commons in Great Britain. The house had resolved itself into a committee of the whole in order to more successfully discuss and consider certain problems which confronted the English nation; that laws might be legislated and instated that were calculated to advance the best interests of the people. So with the people who had assembled in that Stake. They had met to take in to account the questions that interested them most; that they might give and receive such instruction as would be for their best good. This conference is held for a similar purpose. But it differs from the operations of the House of Commons in that it is of infinitely more importance, because it not only concerns our temporal welfare but our spiritual as well. The instructions given will not only effect men in time, but in eternity also. This comparison may sound like egotism to strangers, but it is nothing more than the declaration of a truth. In making this statement we are not indulging in boastful talk. In proof of this, I refer them to the principles taught in our meeting this morning. Our instructions may cause a smile of derision and contempt to flit across the features of the unthinking, but we care not for that. We are ever ready and willing to defend that which tends to the temporal or spiritual welfare of mankind. The importance of the work of God does not depend on individual testimony. We point to results and ask the world to ponder. The achievements of the Saints in these mountain valleys are such as should strike the world with admiration. Poverty-stricken and weary they entered these vales, but by complying with the principles taught in this conference they have been made the most prosperous and contented people on the globe. On the arrival of the Latter-day Saints on this valley nothing but arid wastes were seen. But the streams were taken from the mountains, the wastes were watered, and today happy homes are surrounded by productive vineyards, heavily laden orchards and fields that yield astonishing returns.

            There is to my mind no grander philosophy than the Gospel of Christ. "He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those what diligently seek Him." As a logical sequence, repentance follows. In its proper order comes baptism, after which we stand cleansed of our misdeeds. Our bodies, which are the tabernacles of God, and are then ready for the reception of the Spirit of truth which makes us children of light. These principles are true and it is important that the world should know them. The knowledge of these doctrines must eventually flood the earth.

            Statesmen may devise means, nations may seek to bring about certain conditions for the welfare of man. But it is necessary to work from within;, not from without. I know of no other scheme that will ameliorate the condition of man as well as the Gospel of Christ.

            The choir sang the anthem:

Let the mountains shout for joy.

after which the congregation arose and joined in singing the "Doxology."

            The benediction was pronounced by Apostle F. M. Lyman.

_____

[4 Oct, 7 pm]

[DNW 43:501-502, 10/10/91, p 21-22]

A PRIESTHOOD MEETING

was held in the evening beginning at 7 o'clock. It was probably the largest gathering of the kind ever held since the organization of the Church in this dispensation. The speakers were, in the order in which they addressed the assemblage, Presidents George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith and Wilford Woodruff. The themes dwelt upon were the nature, powers, duties and responsibilities of the Priesthood. Those on whom it is conferred are measurably responsible for the salvation of the people, and will be held accountable to the Lord for the manner in which they use the authority confided to them Business cares will not stand as an excuse for not responding to the calls of duty in connection with the calling of the Priesthood. We are living in a time when the love of the world prevails, and great care has to be taken lest the callings of the Priesthood be lost sight of by this feeling. Greater care should be taken in providing employment for the people, and means should be adopted for that purpose. It would probably be a good thing to have missionaries called to devote their time to laboring among the people in Zion, visiting them at their homes and looking after their spiritual and temporal welfare. Those who hold the Priesthood should refrain from all conduct that is improper, and should exercise an influence for peace, acting in all kindness and brotherly love. It is not in keeping with the genius of the Gospel to indulge in anger, which leads to wrong and sometimes breaks up friendships that have existed for years. The brethren should govern their families in love, avoiding all forms of harshness. The instructions and ideas presented were clear and pointed, and a good spirit was present in the meeting.

_____

[5 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 43:501-503, 10/10/91, p 21-23]

SECOND DAY.

_____

Morning Session.

            MONDAY, October 5th.

            The choir and congregation sang:

Do what is right; the day dawn is breaking, Hailing a future of freedom and light;
Angels above us are silent notes taking Of every action; do what is right.

            Prayer by Elder John D. T. McAllister.

            Singing by the choir:

Lo! the mighty God appearing, From on high Jehovah speaks!

_____

Apostle Francis M. Lyman

was the first speaker. Following is a brief outline of his discourse:

            This is one of the most important conferences that has ever been held. The people are more numerous than they have ever been before. Yesterday they were well instructed. Doubtless they are well prepared to make good use of the instructions they have received. The Saints have been in long training. They have been tried in a great variety of ways. Their determination and fidelity have been manifested up to the present time. The gospel they have received commends itself to the honest, courageous and independent everywhere. It embraces all truth. It requires courage to believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and repent of sin. A coward will not repent. It needs a force of character to live right, combat sin in himself and do the will of God. We seem to be inclined to love evil and gratify ourselves. The Gospel requires self-denial, taking up the cross and following Christ and being like Him. We are apt to conclude that it is impossible to do right. But the Gospel requires that we should be honest, virtuous and charitable. The Lord has bestowed upon us His Priesthood, which cannot be too highly appreciated. Through it we obtain salvation, which cannot be achieved without honoring it. Are we honoring the Priesthood by discharging the duties it demands? Each should put this question to himself. When this is done, as a rule there will be some dissatisfaction among the brethren with themselves. Some imagine that the laws of the Gospel are too exact for human nature to comply with them. When Christ commanded his disciples to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect, He meant exactly what He said. Is there one thing that is right that we cannot do? Can we not deal justly and honorably one with another? The Church is sixty-one years old and most of its members have been within its fold over twenty-one years. Should we not now be able to show the results of maturity, and exhibit an example to all people that would be the admiration of the whole world? Rectitude of conduct is admired by all people. We are clothed with authority to preach the Gospel to the world. Are we doing this at home by word and deed? What are the presiding Elders in the Stakes and wards doing? What are their labors today? The Lord requires that they be workers and teachers of righteousness, both at home and abroad. An exemplary man is one who sets good examples and no bad ones. Occasionally men who are in leading positions take a course to weaken the faith of the people who are under their guidance. Our children as well as the people look to us for examples, which is the strongest exhortation of teaching that can be given. It takes a good man to do good things. We will not be judged by our profession but by our works. We are not expected to make excuses when we are required to perform any duty, but to do what is required by the Priesthood. The Elders should be men who do not need to be exhorted to do right. They ought themselves to be comforters and exhorters, and their conduct should be harmonious with their teachings. The world is looking upon this people, and we are noticed as a community. Many visitors come here to see us. Do they see an improvement among the people in relation to temperance and observing the Sabbath? Do they see a growth of love among us in our families and in all our associations with each other. Families ought to be united. Wives and husbands should live in union and the children should not be alienated from their parents. There should be no harshness exhibited in our families, but every home should be permeated with the genius of affection.

            There is here, at home, an excellent field for missionary work, especially among the young. They are intelligences who have come from God to be tried and proved. Every son should seek to become a savior to the family of which he is a member. So ought every daughter. What are we doing in the families of the Saints? How many sons are seeking to labor for the family to which he belongs, to bring salvation to each member? Duties belong to both sons and daughters in this direction. The duties of the Priest and teacher are important. They are required to visit the Saints at their homes and see that no iniquity exists in the Church. I fear that our young men from twelve to twenty-one years of age are not being looked after. They are not labored with and taught in the functions of the Aaronic Priesthood to prepare them for that of Melchisedec. They should be taught to be expounders of the Gospel. When an officer of the higher Priesthood goes around in the exercise of the calling of Teacher a young man holding the lesser authority should be by his side, to receive training and experience. The young men ought to be taught to take part in family prayer. Fathers should not monopolize the performance of this important duty. It is unfair to send young men into the world without some experience. Those who are advanced should teach them their duties. If the young are brought into active service there will be discovered in them the power of God. The Presidents of Stakes and Bishops should give attention to this subject.

            Elder Lyman concluded by expressing the prayerful hope that the leaders of the people may always enjoy their freedom and be enabled to minister among he Saints, and that the blessing and power of God might be with them.

_____

Apostle Heber J. Grant

was the next speaker. Following is a brief summary of his remarks:

            It is a source of pleasure to meet in General Conference with the Saints. I desire the advancement of the Kingdom of God above all things on the face of the earth. All the Saints wish to know the mind of God, that they may keep His commandments. While we may make mistakes and cause our sincerity to be doubted, if we have the self-consciousness of desiring the progress of the work of the Lord, we still stand firm and will endure. The criticism of a man's own conscience is more exact than that of others in relation to him. It is our duty to bow in prayer for the light of the Holy Spirit to beam upon us as a guide. We should also seek the counsels of those who preside over us. Something has been said about leading brethren being engaged in business pursuits. Criticisms in relation to myself have been indulged in by some people. I have not engaged in anything of this character without the approval of the brethren. Men have various gifts. Some are more spiritual than others. But be this as it may, so long as we labor with an eye to the welfare of the work of God we are in the right path. I do not wish to be misunderstood by the Latter-day Saints. When I have the love, fellowship and confidence of those who preside over me, and a consciousness that my allegiance to the Almighty is unimpeachable, I can endure any misunderstanding that may exist concerning me. The speaker here read a portion of the hymn on page 260, which dwells upon the promises of the Lord to sustain the Saints in all the trials and vicissitudes and ordeals of life. He further said: We know that we are engaged in the work of God. I have shed tears of joy because of the testimonies which I have received form the Lord concerning His cause. Let us learn to be loving, kind and forgiving, for this disposition brings peace and contentment.

_____

Apostle Mariner W. Merrill

addressed the assemblage, speaking substantially as follows:

            It has occurred to me that it would be a grand thing if all the brethren could have heard the remarks made last evening at the priesthood meeting concerning the duties of the Elders. The Gospel has done a great deal for us. This can be seen at once when we compare our former situation with the circumstances now surrounding us. Our condition has been greatly improved. As a rule the Saints when ungathered did not own much. They did not possess the farms they cultivated, nor the factories they worked in. Now, as a rule, they are prosperous, through the gathering and the operations of the principles of the Gospel. This material progress has been exhibited at home, as well as in the case of those from abroad. In other respects the Saints have been blessed. Great privileges have been and are enjoyed. For instance, the people have had the opportunity of going into holy places and doing a work for their dead. But many of us have forgotten the pit from which we were dug. We imbibe the spirit of the world and are too eager after riches. We occasionally neglect our prayers and forget to teach our families the principles of light and truth. When we neglect our duties it gives our children license to do the same. Some years ago it was revealed through President Taylor that we should set our houses in order. Have we done so? If so all is well with us and peace reigns in our habitations; the son is willing to look after the father and the daughter to the mother for counsel and advice. Such a condition is a happy one. I remember when people wishing to engage in any enterprise could go to President Young for his advice. Is this done to any extent now? If we do this and can go forth with the blessing of our leaders we would feel great satisfaction and would have greater faith in the ultimate success of our undertakings. The genius of this work is the spirit of humility, and we should aim to do things by common consent, seek humility of spirit and to promote union. It is in keeping with the plan of salvation.

            Remarks have been made regarding the young people. Many of our youth have never been ordained to the Lesser Priesthood, and they appear at the Temple without having had any ordination until they were made Elders. They should be graduated in the Priesthood, from the office of Deacon upward. They could be given charge of our meeting houses and assigned other labors. It is not necessary to hire janitors to do this labor. The people should not only be visited by the Teacher but likewise by the Priest. Those who labor in these callings should, before engaging in them, not fail to go before the Lord in private and ask that the spirit of truth may manifest what is necessary to be said at the time when it may be needed. Sisters who are alone should gather their families together and pray with them. Never allow yourselves to find fault with the Priesthood. It is a dangerous thing. Beware of faultfinding with those who are over you. Don't judge each other unless you are appointed to do it. Be honest with each other. All our agreements, no matter who they may be made with, should be strictly fulfilled. If we do this all people will have confidence in us. The Latter-day Saints should not forget their dead, millions of whom are waiting for us to do a work for them. We will meet them in the future, and the question may be asked as to what we have done for them. If we cannot make a satisfactory explanation we will be ashamed. This is an important and mighty work. It pertains to us and our kindred. These things should be remembered, for there is a reality behind the vail as there is here. How joyful we will be if when we meet our dead we have done all we could in their behalf.

            The choir sang:

Let the mountains shout for joy.

            After which the congregation joined in singing the Doxology.

            Benediction by Elder Joseph E. Taylor.

            Adjourned till 2 p.m.

_____

[5 Oct, 2 pm]

[DNW 43:503-505, 10/10/91, p 23-25]

SECOND DAY.

_____

Afternoon Session

            Oct. 5th

            The choir and congregation sang:

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

            Prayer by Elder B. H. Roberts.

            The choir sang:

Lord, thou wilt hear me when I pray; I am forever Thine.

____

Apostle Moses Thatcher.

was the first speaker. He said in substance, that he had no doubt that the Saints had been richly blessed and edified by the remarks of the brethren during the teachings of the Conference thus far. Personally, he had no special subject in his mind upon which to address them; he realized, however, that we lived in a very busy time, and that those who desired to work need not remain idle. In the midst of this condition it became very necessary that we should judge of those things which were most important, and perform those duties which in their nature tended to the glorification of our Heavenly Father, to the advancement of His righteous cause and to our present salvation.

            There was no evil in riches, so-called, nor in wealth; but there was great danger in the love of riches, in a desire for luxury, which had a tendency to distract the mind from the better things of God and of eternity.

            At no period since he himself had reached years of maturity had he entertained any doubt as to the ultimate triumph of this work; he had never feared as to the outcome of God's Kingdom. The temptations which now surrounded the people were numerous, and perhaps more dangerous than in the past, by reason of the fact that they were somewhat new to them; but if they kept before their eyes the high mark of their calling, proved true to God, to each other and to the covenants which they had made with Him, no danger need be feared. The circumstances surrounding them today, which had largely changed the political status of the people, were not, in his opinion, dangerous. If, instead of being a comparatively poor people, God should bestow upon them an abundance of riches, he did not think that such a condition would be dangerous to them unless they turned their worship to the gift rather than the Giver. The Lord had decreed that He would make the Latter-day Saints the head and not the foot; but the only question which had arisen in his own mind was whether, if the Lord should bestow upon them exceeding great riches, they would still be obedient to His law; would they still be willing to listen to the counsels of His Holy spirit? and would their hearts still be warm in the love of God and in the love of labor? If so, then these things which had been in the Christian world oft regarded as evils would prove blessings to them.

            There could be no doubt in the mind of any thoughtful person that the accumulation and centralization of wealth in the hands of any people gave them prestige and power. It enabled them to attain a higher culture; to give their boys and girls advantages which, under conditions of poverty, they could not reach; and, however much men of the world might ridicule the ideas of a Latter-day Saint religiously, if that Latter-day Saint was a man of wealth, he became in the estimation of such persons, in a large degree, also a man of power and influence. God had decreed that Zion should be glorified, and that the kingdom of heaven should become the dominion of the whole world.

            The speaker next dwelt upon the self-denial which had oftentimes been exercised both by the leaders in this Church and by the Elders, as the servants of God, in proclaiming the Gospel to the nations of the earth, and also referred to the spirit of gathering. He denied that there had ever been any desire in this Territory to bring the masses into bondage, and said that if the condition of the Latter-day Saints today was better than that of other people elsewhere it was because they had received the religion of Jesus Christ. So long as that religion had full sway in the hearts of this people and of their leaders, Zion was in no danger; but if they should learn to adopt the ways of the world, to concentrate their wealth, form syndicates and trusts, arraying capital against labor, unhappy would be the day for this people.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff

said he felt very much gratified in meeting with so large a congregation of the Latter-day Saints upon a working day. It spoke well for Zion and for the Saints themselves. He had made up his mind before Brother Thatcher spoke to occupy a few moments that afternoon in expressing his views upon temporal things, and Brother Thatcher had certainly opened the way leading to that opportunity.

            After dilating upon the work of God in the beginning of creation, and showing how our Heavenly Father placed temporal matters in the hands of men, the speaker remarked that the Lord did not call upon their enemies to build their Temples and habitations. The circumstances attending the building of Solomon's temple were referred to, and, turning next to the organization of this Church, President Woodruff observed that when the pioneers came to this alley in 1847, they found it a barren desert, without a single mark of the Anglo Saxon race. The Latter-day Saints upon their arrival here set to work and did the best they could to change its condition. They plowed, planted and watered the ground, built cabins and other habitations, and so went on until that Tabernacle, the Temple adjoining it, and three other temples were reared in the midst of the people. It had taken millions of dollars to rear these holy places, and, he asked, who had to do it? Why the leaders and Elders in Israel -- the Latter-day Saints, the Relief Societies and the women of Zion; all had contributed of their substance which God had given them. Did they call upon their enemies -- those who were opposed to them and seeking their destruction to help them in their work? No, and they would not have responded if they had. Was it wrong for the Latter-day Saints to engage in these things? It was not; they could not carry out the purposes of Almighty God unless they did.

            He would say before the Lord that he believed in his heart there was not one among the Presidency of this Church, or among the twelve Apostles, but who, if required to do so, would lay down his life willingly for the Gospel's sake. Moreover, there were thousands among this people who would be ready to do the same. Of course, we should not set our hearts upon the things of this world, nor suffer them to turn us from our duties.

            With regard to their position temporally, their history was before the whole world. The United States government required their property -- what was called Church property -- and receivers were appointed to take it. They delivered it up to them, according to their demands, and property that had already been sold and the proceeds of the sales used for the benefit of the people had been included in the seizure.

            He thought there was no particular harm in his naming this. President Taylor delivered into the hands of the various Bishops throughout this territory a certain quantity of wheat and other grain as trustee-in-trust. It amounted to considerable; but all this with the other property was required at their hands. The authorities went to work and had to give their notes to the amount of about $300,000 in order to satisfy the government. They still trusted in God; but it took some money to discharge the demands made upon them. They had to borrow some money to meet those notes; and still they owed something with regard to them.

            President Woodruff alluded to the many thousands of dollars which it had also been necessary for the Church to expend in order to help the people in some of the settlements, in the erection of school houses, meeting houses, to supply the wants of the poor, etc.

            What was the cause of this great gathering of the people? he asked. They heard the Gospel of Christ proclaimed by His Servants, and believed it. They came to Zion without counsel from anybody, because they had the spirit of gathering within them, and it was this that had made Utah what she was today.

            Let them be patient, faithful to their covenants with God, full of charity one towards another, and all would be well. He counseled them to go forward in the good work which they had begun, and they would assuredly conquer and overcome the obstacles which beset their path. God would be pleased and soften the hearts of men towards them; hundreds and thousands would yet visit Utah, to behold the work of the Latter-day Saints, and see they were in earnest and meant what they said.

_____

President George Q. Cannon

said he rejoiced exceedingly in the instructions which we had received that day. He trusted that everyone who had attended the Conference that morning and afternoon felt repaid for the time spent there, and that this would be the case as long as their Conference should last. It was a good thing for them to withdraw from worldly affairs for a short time on such occasions, to come here, wait upon the Lord and receive His Holy spirit. It would refresh and revivify them, and they would pursue their various avocations with increased zest when the Conference was over. In a pecuniary sense, too, they would lose nothing by the time so set apart.

            They had been endeavoring ever since they came to these valleys -- President Young, his counselors, the twelve Apostles, and those who since the death of some of their leading men had occupied their places -- to convince the Latter-day Saints that the policy which God prompted them to indicate to the people to pursue was the true one, and the one which, in the end, would result in great benefit and prosperity to them. It was that they should remain here in Utah instead of yielding to temptations to go where the prospect seemed more alluring. Especially was this the case in the early days in regard to California, and those who took the counsel of President Young in this matter had since seen the wisdom thereof. It had been so in other temporal things; but it had required faith on the part of the Saints sometimes to believe that the counsel given them by God's servants was the best. There had occasionally seemed to be a conflict between the counsel of their leaders and the inclinations growing out of the traditions of the people; but had the latter pursued a course different to that marked out they would never have prospered as they had. There were now thousands of Latter-day Saints, some of whom had had an experience of forty-four years, since coming to these valleys, who could bear testimony to the fact that in nearly every instance where the people had followed the counsel of God's inspired servants they had invariably prospered and been blessed, and that where they had departed from it they had lost not only in faith frequently, but financially.

            Referring to the Irrigation Congress recently held in this city, the speaker remarked that the universal testimony of the many delegates who attended it was as to the prosperity of this people. Every one of them whom he had met had spoken in terms of unstinted admiration of the wisdom and success which had characterized the settlements and the building up of this Territory. Those gentlemen actually admitted that they had profited by what they had seen in operation here, and had returned to their respective homes deeply impressed with the value of the lesson they had learned. They called it an "object lesson." There had been no great monopolization of land and water here, as was the case elsewhere -- men taking up large tracts and occupying them to the exclusion of honest settlers; and in no other part of this great continent did the poor man enjoy such facilities and opportunities as in Utah Territory. He did not believe there was another place in this broad country where, in proportion to the population, so many men occupied their own homes. The testimony of visitors concerning what they saw here is the beginning of the end -- the beginning of that which the servants of God had foretold and the Prophets had predicted concerning Zion. President Cannon mentioned also the abundance of free water for the use of the people, and said it was their privilege to continue under these favorable conditions if they would. If the people would take the course pointed out to them by God through His servants they would see yet grander results in these matters.

            President Woodruff had made mention of the expenses which they, as a Church, had had to bear; but they had been growing in wealth all the time, notwithstanding the trials and persecutions which they had had to endure. They did not seem like persecution now, and he had no words of reproach nor condemnation to utter. The Lord had overruled them for good, and such would be the case to the end.

            The speaker next touched upon the great changes which had taken place of late years in this Territory, particularly in this city, Ogden and in this county, and said these would probably extend to other counties.

            He had a great desire in his heart at this Conference to impress upon the Latter-day Saints the importance of taking steps looking to the permanent relief of the needy or destitute in our midst, that in our prosperity we might not forget the Lord's poor. We were very likely to have an inclement winter, and therefore out of our substance we should see that none of God's creatures wanted for food or shelter.

            After a parenthetical reference to the marvelous productiveness of Utah's soil, President Cannon said it was their duty as a people to so organize that the poor in their midst who needed help should have their wants relieved. Bishops and others in authority should see to it; but while doing this, care should be taken to prevent the abuse of charity, and the indolent from taking advantage of it. All men should work to the extent of their ability and not live in indolence. He besought the Latter-day Saints to impress upon the minds of their children that all labor was honorable. They had sometimes been criticized because they had spent too much money in the building of temples and meeting houses, and people had said if they had erected colleges instead it would have been better. He believed that the results would prove the wisdom of the course that had been taken upon all these points. Boys and girls should be taught to labor. College and book education is very useful; but all cannot devote their lives to the acquisition of that kind of education. He would like to see a good university established here to which our young men and women could go, without having to seek a finished education elsewhere, but he desired to see, if possible, manual training coupled with it. He believed the true course was for us to teach our boys handicrafts, instead of their being obliged to earn a livelihood by having some "soft" job. Let them teach their children to be industrious and take their share of daily toil rather than spend their life entirely in the study of books.

            The choir sang the anthem:

Look up and put your trust in God.

            Benediction by Elder Charles W. Penrose.

_____

[6 Oct, 10 am]

[DNW 43:505-506, 10/10/91, p 25-26]

THIRD DAY.

_____

Morning Session.

            October 6th.

            The choir and congregation sang:

We thank Thee, O God, for a prophet, To guide us in these latter days.

            Prayer by Elder Daniel D. McArthur.

            Singing by the choir:

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

_____

Elder Charles W. Penrose.

            We have had an excellent time during conference thus far, as the instructions imparted have done me good, and I hope they will benefit all who have assembled. If we observe these teachings in our daily lives we will be a better people than we have been. We have received good counsel, calculated to make us better in every department of life.

            If there are any people in the world who need to exercise Christian charity they are the Latter-day Saints. False reports are constantly spread concerning our actions and faith. It seems that those who are opposed to us cannot tell the truth about us either by pen or speech. If we had not the truth they would not be compelled to resort to misrepresentation in seeking to overturn our position. We are called to exercise charity not only to each other, but to all mankind. God does not judge by outward appearances, but by the intent and motive. If those who make errors design in their hearts to do right, God is merciful to them. When people continually resort to calumny and falsehood it is difficult to exercise charity to those who indulge in it. The world has been flooded with misrepresentations concerning the Latter-day Saints. This has occasionally occurred in high places. But we should possess our souls in patience. We should also lift up our hearts and rejoice that we are made to suffer such injustice for truth's sake. A new assault has been made against the Church. In all the books and articles that I have read that have been penned in hostility, there has not been one that has not contained falsehood. The Utah Commission, sent here under the Edmunds act, have made a majority report to the Secretary of the Interior, in which they do great injury to this community. It may appear in the Deseret News. It might be deemed questionable whether we should publish such things against ourselves. But it appears to me that they should be submitted to the Saints that they may weigh them. It is not necessary to publish everything of a scurrilous character that is said against us, as it would engross too much of our attention to the exclusion of subjects that are more profitable. It is necessary that the Saints should know what is said against them, and that some one should show the other side. When the Church is belied there ought to be a refutation of the misstatements. The majority of the Utah Commission, in the report alluded to, have sought to make it appear that the people are dominated by their leaders in political matters-that they are by them treated as political serfs. The object is that we might be kept in Territorial vassalage and be denied the rights accorded to other people. It may be ungenerous to say so, but it looks as if the Utah Commission were influenced by a desire to retain their places and salaries. They may possibly, however, believe their own statements, although they are false. The report states that forty-one male persons in 1890 entered into the relation of plural marriage. They give no names or other data. The reason is obvious. In the manifesto issued by the President of the Church this statement was denied most emphatically. The action of the head of the Church was endorsed by the people in General Conference. The report says that the commission had had information that in 1891 eighteen such marriages occurred. I know of no such marriages in 1891, and do not believe one has taken place. The commission cast reflections upon the sincerity of the Church in the issuance of the manifesto and of the community in the dissolution of the People's party and the division of the people on national party lines. Any person who witnessed the spirit of the people when this division took place might have imagined that they were a little too intense and zealous on the question. We ought to know whether we are sincere and whether we have been coerced or dictated by the leaders of the Church. I have been in the Church many years, and am acquainted with the leaders of it, and have traveled a good deal among the people. I know that I have not been dominated or coerced in political matters. I have never seen anything of that character. The people have voted as they pleased. We have had the secret ballot, and the authorities of the Church could not know how a person voted if they wished to. The franchise was taken from the women of Utah because it was claimed that they voted as they were told, just as if a woman could be induced to do anything that she didn't want to.

            We are a free people, and our leading men have not led us into bondage. The statements to the contrary are untrue. I am sorry for a man who bears false witness against his neighbor, for God will judge him. In the future, as in the past, the people will be free and they will join whatever political party they please to identify themselves with.

            The Latter-day Saints are an honest and sincere people. As a citizen of the United States, I protest against my acts and theirs being misrepresented to the government of the United States.

            The speaker continued for some time, showing that the charge of there being an amalgamation of church and state in Utah is baseless and untrue.

_____

President Woodruff

said: I want to bear record to this congregation, and to heaven and earth, that what Brother Penrose has said is true; and as a proof of this I will say that I had a great desire in my heart at the last election, that we might have some Republicans in our legislature, and have not got one. Here is Brother Lund. [Brother Lund is one of the Apostles.] I believe he is a Republican. He ran, but did not get elected. This shows that if I had anything to do with it, I certainly had no influence with the people; for we have got no Republicans in the legislature.

_____

Apostle Moses Thatcher

said that, by request, he would endeavor to make a few remarks. He had entertained for years pronounced views on the union of Church and State. Whatever was the opinion of others, he had felt for years that to unite the church and State in authority would lead to anarchy and possibly to revolution. In some periods of the history of the world God had allowed the people to have their spiritual head as their king -- as in the case of ancient Israel -- but at the same time He had warned them of the danger of such a situation. This idea of the Union of Church and State had arisen from our belief and longing for the time to come when Jesus would reign as king of Kings. Did Jesus not say when here, that he would not then rule, but would do so at His future coming? Is there any harm or sin in our looking forward to a union of Church and State under the great Creator of all?

            We are citizens of a form of government which we have declared was inspired in its inception, under a Constitution given by the Spirit of God. We understand the necessity of giving hearty obedience to the laws of our country. We say these insinuations and assertions made by our enemies are untrue, and we hereby enter our solemn protest against such injustice.

            When troublous times come, as they will, the youth of this people will stand forth on the backbone of this country, from Canada to Mexico and uphold the glorious principles of civil and religious liberty, endowed by the Constitution of our country.

_____

Elder Franklin S. Richards.

said in substance that he was pleased to bear his testimony to the truth of the Gospel. For this testimony he was more thankful than for anything else on earth. He realized his own and friends' weaknesses, but with all he knew they, as well as himself, were struggling with all their strength to live so as to some day be so perfect as to attain to what Paul called the stature of a man in Christ Jesus. He had wondered why it was that our enemies were so persistent in the circulation of such untrue reports as those alluded to this morning. He had many excellent opportunities of knowing the full value of the action taken by the Church in issuing the manifesto, and he knew and hereby bore witness to the honesty of that action. It was done in all sincerity. He was willing to testify to this before men and high Heaven. The chairman of the Utah Commission had told him a year ago that the best and only thing to do was to dissolve the People's Party. He had answered, that if the "Liberal" party disbanded he would insure the disintegration of the People's Party. He was more than surprised to see the actions and words of those who attacked our integrity and honesty of motives. He felt to say Shame upon such actions and upon such men. He had no patience with injustice or untruth. He had never seen the time when he was ashamed of his religion, no matter how high the worldly position of those before whom he stood might be. He rejoiced in the freedom and glory of the Gospel.

_____

Elder John T. Caine

was requested to speak. Following is a brief synopsis of his discourse: In regard to the report made by a majority of the Utah Commission, he would say that many statements made therein were, to his knowledge, untrue. He would not say that the Commission were ignorant, but if they were, they were in that condition because they would not take steps to learn the truth. When these gentlemen came here they inquired if any obstruction would be placed in the way of administering the law, and they were assured there would not. If they said any such difficulty had been met, then they had stated that which was incorrect. They had frequently asked why this people did not divide on national party lines and get rid of further trouble. Now that this had been done, they pretended to doubt the sincerity of the motives that prompted the action. He could say emphatically that no man had ever attempted to dictate his political actions. He had in all his long official experience been perfectly free in his political views and movements. No one had ever sought to dictate to him. The great point, he believed, in these late reports was that these men saw there was a prospect of there being no further use for them, and there would be no salaries for them in the future. The speaker said he had never seen real political dictation until he went to Congress, and there he found how men could be led and dictated to.

            At this point President George Q. Cannon asked the speaker whether he did not think that the Conference should stake some action in reference to the misstatements of the majority of the commission. would he advise an expression by appropriate resolutions? Mr. Caine said he certainly did, as we had lain under the lash too long without retaliation in the shape of some strong refutations.

            Some one arose in the audience and commenced speaking. It proved to be

BROTHER JOHN CLARK,

the well-known merchant. He was invited to the stand. When he appeared there he spoke as follows:

            Reference has been made, my brethren and sisters, to the report of the Utah Commission. I am of the opinion, as the previous speaker, that the misrepresentations that have been placed upon us for a number of years have been passed by too many times in silence. I think that some action should be taken, and that some resolutions, before this conference adjourns, should be placed before the Conference for their action. I have read the report of the Utah Commission, and from my knowledge of the affairs in this Territory, I am satisfied, as has been stated, that statements made in that report are incorrect and maliciously untrue, and have been gotten up for the purpose injuring the Latter-day Saints. I therefore move, if it be in order, that a committee of five be appointed by this conference to formulate such resolutions as will refute, and deny these statements, and set in proper order our views in regard to these matters.

            The motion instantly received a large number of seconds. It was put to the audience by President Cannon and carried unanimously with a combined shout of ayes that seemed to shake the building. There was no response for a contrary vote.

            In answer to the question as to how the committee should be selected, Brother Clark, who made the original motion, made another to the effect that they be appointed by the President of the Conference. This later motion was seconded and carried unanimously with the same intensity and vigor as the first.

            President Woodruff then named the following as the committee on resolutions:

            John Clark, chairman, William H. Rowe, Charles W. Penrose, John T. Caine and Franklin S. Richards.

            The motion to accept of the committee thus constituted was unanimous.

            A question was raised as to when the committee should be required to report. Brother Aurelius Miner moved that two o'clock today be the hour. This motion was seconded and carried unanimously with a tremendous shout of "aye."

            The choir sang the anthem:

Praise ye the Father.

            Benediction by Elder John R. Murdock.

_____

[6 Oct, 2 pm*]

[DNW 43:506-509, 10/10/91, p 26-29]

Afternoon Session.

            Singing by the choir:

Hail to the brightness of Zion's glad morning.

            Prayer by Elder John Nicholson.

Behold, the mountain of the Lord, in Latter days shall rise,

was sung by the choir.

_____

President George Q. Cannon

said the first business in order would be to hear the report of the committee appointed at the forenoon session of the Conference to draft resolutions expressive of the views of the assemblage upon certain misrepresentations recently made regarding the community.

            The committee not being ready to report, Apostle A. H. Lund was called upon to speak.

Apostle Anton H. Lund

urged the Saints to carry out the instructions they had received in their everyday lives. Since last conference we have reached another station on our journey, and in that time God has been fulfilling his promises. The signs of the times are significant. On such occasions as this it is good to examine ourselves and see just where we stand. Our assurance that this is the kingdom of God should not lull us to sleep. The winter is approaching. I would like to impress upon the brethren to attend their quorum meetings. Our young men have their names enrolled in the various quorums, and they are not so placed to be neglectful of their duties, but that they should be alive to all of their obligations. We should sustain the Sunday schools and Church schools and every institution in the midst of Zion.

_____

Apostle Abraham H. Cannon

said he did not know how anyone could have attended this Conference without being profoundly impressed with the testimonies given. There had been a spirit accompanying the words spoken which must have carried conviction to the hearts of all present. He was convinced of the ultimate triumph of this work, for God had established it.

            He was sorry to hear of the statements which had been circulated against this people, reference to which was made this morning. His mind went back over his own short life, and he could not remember ever to have heard a single word uttered either by his parents or those in authority in this Church tending to plant in his soul a disrespect for the government under which he lived. On the contrary, all that had been spoken in his hearing went to increase in his breast a love for that government, which God Himself had established, and for the Constitution which He inspired great and wise men to write. His grief was great concerning some of the false statements made against the Latter-day Saints. He believed that there existed a deep-laid plot to drive them from their homes and to take possession of the lands which God had so abundantly blessed. Further, he believed there prevailed to some extent among this people the feeling that they were not destined to remain in this Territory, but that they must seek refuge and freedom elsewhere. Hence, the tendency, which he deplored, to some extent prevailed among the Saints, that they must withdraw from the United States, seek homes in other places, and desert the land to which God had led them through the inspiration of His servants. This was the Zion of our God, these were the mountains of Israel, these were the valleys upon which His blessings had been showered, and this was the spot where they would develop into a great and mighty people. He believed that the temple of the Latter-day Saints, the great temple upon which a pillar of light should shine by night and upon which a cloud should rest by day would be established in Jackson county, Mo., and that it would be built with the aid and assistance of this people, connected with others whom God should call to work. But when the Saints went to Jackson county it would not be with the rattle of the drum, with drawn sword and fixed bayonet, but with the palm of peace waving and calling the nations to come unto the glory of Zion and partake of the blessings which God had in store for the honest in heart. He hoped that our young men and women would feel in their hearts that these valleys were their homes, the places where they were to grow and develop, and not feel to separate and find their abode elsewhere. Here let them concentrate their efforts for the furtherance of God's work, so that the people of all nations might come, feeling that justice would be administered with a righteous hand.

            It was announced that the committee on resolutions had entered the building and were ready to report. The Conference voted unanimously to hear the committee.

            The following were then read by Hon. John T. Caine:

_____

COMMITTEE REPORT.

_____

Misrepresentations of the Utah Commission Denounced.

President Wilford Woodruff and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in General Conference assembled:

            Brethren and Sisters. -- Your committee appointed to formulate an expression of the Conference relative to certain statements made by the majority of the Utah Commission in their report to the Secretary of the Interior for the year 1891, beg leave to report the accompanying Preamble and Resolutions, and recommend their adoption by the Conference.

Very respectfully,

JOHN CLARK,
W. H. ROWE,
CHAS. W. PENROSE,
JOHN T. CAINE,
FRANKLIN S. RICHARDS.

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct 6, 1891.

PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS.

            Whereas, the Utah Commission, with one exception, in their report to the Secretary of the Interior for 1891, have made many untruthful statements concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the attitude of its members in relation to political affairs; and,

            Whereas, said report is an official document and is likely to greatly prejudice the people of the nation against our Church and its members, and it is therefore unwise to allow its erroneous statements to pass unnoticed.

            Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in General Conference assembled, that we deny most emphatically the assertion of the commission that the Church dominates its members in political matters and that Church and State are united. Whatever appearance there may have been in past times of a union of Church and State, because men holding ecclesiastical authority were elected to civil office by popular vote, there is now no foundation or excuse for the statement that Church and State are united in Utah or that the leaders of the Church dictate the members in political matters; that no coercion or any influence whatever of an ecclesiastical nature has been exercised over us by our Church leaders in reference to which political party we shall join, and that we have been and are perfectly free to unite with any or no political party as we may individually elect; that the People's Party has been entirely and finally dissolved and that our fealty henceforth will be to such national political party as seems to us best suited to the purposes of republican government.

            Also, be it resolved that we do not believe there have been any polygamous marriages solemnized among the Latter-day Saints during the period named by the Utah Commission; and we denounce the statements which convey the idea that such marriages have been contracted as false and misleading, and that we protest against the perversions of fact and principle and intent contained in the report of the Commission, and declare that the manifesto of President Woodruff forbidding future plural marriages was adopted at the last October Conference in all sincerity and good faith, and that we have every reason to believe that it has been carried out in letter and in spirit; and all statements to the contrary are entirely destitute of truth.

            And be it further resolved, That we appeal to the press and people of this country to accept our united declaration and protest, to give it publicity, and to aid in disseminating the truth, that falsehood may be refuted and justice be done to a people continually maligned and almost universally misunderstood. And may God defend the right.

            A motion was made to receive and adopt the preamble and resolutions, when a gentleman in the audience asked if a "gentile and a sinner" might be allowed to make a few remarks. It was

MR. CHARLES ELLIS,

            President Cannon -- Yes, we have no objection; you are at liberty to do so; but won't you come to the stand?

            Mr. Ellis -- if you can hear me I will talk here.

            President Cannon -- You cannot be heard there as well as here.

            Voices in the congregation -- Go up to the stand.

            After a brief pause Mr. Ellis went forward, and, taking a position on the lower stand, he said: I simply want to say that so far as the resolutions just read go, I endorse them, but would like to see something added to this effect:

            "That, whereas the people called "Mormons" have conceded every demand made upon them by the government of the United States, therefore they, as American citizens, loving their country and having the best government in the world, pledge themselves to loyalty to that government, demanding in return that the United States government shall guarantee to them all the rights and privileges of fair-play and equality before the law, to the protection of life and liberty and the pursuit of that happiness which it guarantees to every other sect that is based upon the bible." (Loud applause.)

_____

Elder B. H. Roberts

said: It appears to me that in dealing with the matter to which our attention was called this morning, namely, the misrepresentations that are contained in the report of the Utah Commission, there is one thing that the Latter-day Saints should recognize. That is, that in adopting these resolutions which have been formulated by the committee appointed by the Conference we are acting in harmony not only with what reason would prompt men to do, but likewise in accordance with the expressed will of the Almighty.

            In 1839, the Lord saw proper to give instruction to the Saints as to how they should conduct themselves in relation to those who persecuted them. In that revelation, written or indited by the Prophet of God while incarcerated in Liberty jail through the oppressors of Missouri, we find this statement:

      And again, we would suggest for your consideration the propriety of all the Saints gathering up a knowledge of all the facts, and sufferings and abuses put upon them. * * * *
        And also of all the property and amount of damages which they have sustained, both of character and personal injuries, as well as real property;
        And also the names of all persons that have had a hand in their oppressors, as far as they can get hold of them and find them out;
        And perhaps a committee can be appointed to find out these things, and to take statements, and affidavits, and also to gather up the libelous publications that are afloat,
        And all that are in the magazines, and in the encyclopedias, and all the libelous histories that are published, and are writing, and by whom, and present the whole concatenation of diabolical rascality, and nefarious and murderous impositions that have been practiced upon this people,
        That we may not only publish to all the world, but present them to the heads of government in all their dark and hellish hue, as the last effort which is enjoined on us by our Heavenly Father.

            It seems to me that the attention of this conference should be called to this great fact -- that we owe it to ourselves, we owe it to God and to the character that we are establishing not to permit these infamous statements -- either made by design or through ignorance -- to pass out among the people of this nation without a flat and emphatic contradiction. (Applause.) We are enjoined by the spirit and letter of this revelation to say that these things are false. They are untrue in every particular; and further, we should say to the people of the United States that we claim the right to be heard upon this subject; that we have been lied about long enough; that we have been misrepresented to our injury and without protest as long as we intend to be. I conclude my remarks with the closing words of the resolution: "and may God defend the right;" for I believe He will. [prolonged applause and a chorus of voices: "Amen."]

            The preamble and resolution were unanimously adopted by raising the right hand and shouting aye.

_____

            Hon. John T. Caine read the following

DECLARATION BY THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH:

      Concerning the official report of the Utah Commission made to the Secretary of the Interior, in which they allege, "During the past year, notwithstanding the 'manifesto,' reports have been received by the Commission of eighteen male persons who, with an equal number of females, are believed to have entered into polygamous marriages during the year," we have to say, it is utterly without foundation in truth. We repeat in the most solemn manner the declaration made by President Wilford Woodruff at our General Conference held last October, that there have been no plural marriages solemnized during the period named. Polygamy or plural marriage has not been taught, neither has there been given permission to any person to enter into its practice, but on the contrary, it has been strictly forbidden.

WILFORD WOODRUFF,
GEORGE Q. CANNON,
JOSEPH F. SMITH,

First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            Apostle Moses Thatcher moved that we receive, endorse and adopt as true the statement of the Presidency. Unanimously adopted.

            Hon. John T. Caine next came forward and said -- I move that the Conference now adopt the sentiments expressed by the gentleman who modestly denominates himself "a Gentile and a sinner."

            This motion was carried unanimously.

THE AUTHORITIES

of the Church were presented by President George Q. Cannon for the voice of the assembly, as follows:

            Wilford Woodruff, 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.

            Lorenzo Snow as President of the Twelve Apostles.

            As members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles -- Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John H. Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Marriner W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon.

            Brother Cannon stated that a letter had been received from Brother John W. Young, requesting that his name be not presented at this time. Some of his reasons were given. Brother Young's name was not presented.

            The counselors in the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as Prophets, Seers and Revelators.

            Patriarch to the Church -- John Smith.

            First Seven Presidents of the Seventies -- Jacob Gates, Seymour B. Young, C. D. Fjeldsted, John Morgan, B. H. Roberts and George Reynolds.

            William B. Preston as Presiding Bishop, with Robert T. Burton as his First and John R. Winder as his Second Counselor.

            Franklin D. Richards as Church Historian and General Church Recorder, and John Jaques as his assistant.

            Joseph Don Carlos Young as General Church Architect.

            John Nicholson as Clerk of the General Conference.

            As the Church Board of Education;: Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Karl G. Maeser, Willard Young, George W. Thatcher, Amos Howe, Anthon H. Lund, James Sharp.

            It was moved by Apostle Francis M. Lyman that Wilford Woodruff be sustained as the Trustee-in-Trust for the Church.

            All the voting was unanimous.

_____

Elder Jacob Gates

said he was pleased to bear testimony that God lives, the God who spoke to the youthful Prophet of the nineteenth century. He had been intimately acquainted with the leaders of this Church and he knew they were worthy the confidence of God, angels, and men. He felt to prophecy that we would stay in these valleys until we became a mighty people, who would stretch from the north to the south of this great country, and we would remain, as Brother Abraham Cannon has said, until we reached out to the central location of Zion, and there built the great Temple that is to be erected in this generation. He had been shown by divine power, this people go from Missouri and he had seen them return also in the same vision. He had been told, by the voice of revelation, that we should return in power and glory. Joseph had predicted our coming to these valleys and here we should remain. He wanted to say to those who never knew the Prophet, that he knew Joseph Smith was called of the Lord. Had stood guard over him when he was in danger; had heard him prophecy and seen its fulfillment. Had been acquainted with Brigham Young, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff. He bore a powerful testimony to the worth and integrity of those men. He closed with a prayer that God would sustain this people when they cast a vote to defend our rights and would help us to maintain truth and righteousness on the earth.

_____

Patriarch Lorenzo Young.

said, in substance, that fifty-eight years ago he was with the Church in Ohio. He compared this immense congregation with the people gathered in a little log schoolhouse in Kirtland, at that time. It was no more crowded than was this great building. It was wonderful to him to hear of the machinations of those who sought to crush out the truth. Had associated with the Prophet under many and dangerous circumstances. The speaker related some interesting experience and bore testimony to the greatness of the character of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The enemy of all righteousness was opposed to all truth. It was absurd to him that any one could imagine we would ever leave this beautiful country. He had heard Hyrum Smith prophesy about this rocky mountain country long before he (the speaker) knew anything about it. Elder Young said he had been an invalid for the last eighteen years. It was marvelous to him that he was here today. Next week he would be eighty-four years old. He felt comforted in spirit although feeble in body. Thanked God for the gospel and that he had posterity here today. He felt to bless President Woodruff and our leaders generally; likewise all Israel, and our sons and daughters.

_____

President George Q. Cannon.

            I presume that if we were to prolong this conference the remainder of the week there would be more desire to speak than there was last Sunday morning, when we convened; but we have other cares and labors, and it seems proper that conference should be adjourned to-day.

            It would not be doing justice to our feelings not to say something before the close of these proceedings, concerning the changed conditions that have arisen around us as a people. I am sure there is but one feeling among reflecting men and women, and that is, in the first place, thanksgiving to God for causing the clouds of darkness and misrepresentation to scatter, and for putting it into the hearts of many of our fellow citizens to look upon us in something like our true light. I have been profoundly grateful to a great many men in this nation, some in high places, others not so conspicuous. I have felt grateful to many in this city and neighborhood. Many have come in of late and have looked at us with unprejudiced eyes, and they have been willing if there was any goodness in us to admit it. Now, we have many faults. If others are not conscious of this, we ourselves are. Many may think that we are fanatical. I am willing that they should entertain that view, if they choose to do so. But we would like them to believe us to be honest and sincere, however mistaken we may be, in their opinion. And I am very glad indeed to see a better feeling growing up in this neighborhood, and I am thankful to the men who have contributed to this. There has been a great deal of courage shown-more than we could have expected. Men have come out and made acknowledgments concerning us that could not have been expected from them under the circumstances; and they have been willing to take abuse, in many instances, and have borne it patiently.

            I feel that as a people we should be very thankful to such men, because when a man comes in our midst as an official, and he does his duty to us, he deserves our thanks, it is so rarely that this has been the course pursued. You would imagine that men ought to do these things anyway; but this has not always been the case. Yet there has been a disposition, I believe, among hundreds of men and women in our community, who have no sympathy with our system or belief, to look upon us, as I have said, in our true light, and to recognize in us any virtues that they may perceive. I would myself like to see that condition grow. I know I speak your feelings, and the feelings of my brethren with whom I am associated, when I say that we desire to see that feeling increase. We do not want to live in antagonism with our fellow citizens. As was expressed by our friend who spoke, we have shown a disposition to meet our fellow citizens, and there ought to be no quarreling between men because of religious differences. We do not want to intrude our views upon them. We do not want to force our ideas down their throats. We never have done so; at least, we think not.

            Now, there has been a chasm, so to speak; it commenced many years ago, arraying class against class, and it has been looked upon as something dreadful for the two classes to associate. This is a bad condition of things, in every sense of the word-in a business sense, in a social sense, in a political sense. There should be no chasm between citizens. I hope that honest men throughout this city and Territory, and throughout the United States, who may be mistaken about us, will become convinced that we are sincere and honest. I believe that the day is dawning that will see a recognition of these qualities. Our friends must make allowance for us. There are many things that we say which may be considered improper, but they must recollect what we have suffered that caused these expressions. They must be charitable to us, as we desire to be charitable to them. That is the feeling which should exist between us and among us.

            There has been a great deal said about freedom of action and independence, and then there has been much said about taking counsel. I have thought a little about this. I would not like people to get wrong ideas, not even Latter-day Saints, concerning these matters. In political affairs I will tell you how I have always felt. I do not want to influence anybody only to do that which is right. I do not think any of our leading men have any other feeling. I influence others, if I have any right to influence, as I try to control my family. I present things to them. If they see them in a right light they will accept them, and if they do not they won't. So it is in the Church. I think that we should counsel together, and if any man has a good idea, we should be ready to take it. I agree exactly with what Brother Merrill said on this point. I think that fathers and mothers can frequently get good advice and good suggestions from their children. I take pleasure myself in talking with my children; and if I lived in a neighborhood where there was an experienced man, and wanted advice, I would go to him and ask what his views were. I would take his counsel, if it was good; if it was not, I would not want it. That is the principle upon which counsel is given, and it is the principle upon which we should seek advice. No man can govern his family by thrusting his views upon them unless they are willing to accept them. You cannot govern your children that way. Sometimes they will not come up to your standard; they will not see things as you see them. Can you force them to do as you want them? If you do, after awhile you will have a rebellion. You may do it for a time, while they are under your jurisdiction, but when they get old enough to rebel, they will be very apt to do so. As with families, so with communities. This is a principle upon which we should act one to another. If President Woodruff had all the authority that an angel could have, with his disposition he would not want to force his views on this people. He would like them to understand what he thought of various movements, and he would express his views; and if they saw wisdom in them, they would receive benefit by acting upon them. But that is not what our opponents have said. They think that the Priesthood, or the President of the Church, rules the Church and dominates it, and that if the members do not do as they are told, they are placed under a ban. That is not the case; never has been the case. I feel, my brethren and sisters, that we should be thankful in our hearts for our condition, and do all in our power to produce harmony and peace, and to remove wrong impressions everywhere, so far as our influence extends.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff.

            Before dismissing this conference, I want to say that to me it has been the most interesting I have ever attended. I have never before seen the Latter-day Saints as ready as on this occasion to spend the same number of days together in listening to the teachings and counsels of the servants of God. The Lord has said: "Whomsoever ye bless shall be blessed, and whomsoever ye curse shall be cursed." I never cursed anybody in my life, and I do not feel like doing so now, for my heart is full of blessings to the Latter-day Saints, to my counselors, to the Twelve Apostles, to the Seventies, to the High Priests, Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons-all our brethren and sisters throughout the Church.

            I entertain the same sentiments as have been expressed here by President Cannon toward those who are not of us religiously. There is a feeling of friendliness toward us, I think, in these valleys, on the part of those outside of this Church; they seem to feel in their hearts to give us those rights and privileges which belong to us, under the laws of God and man. Some of the judges have been ready to receive our testimony, our manifestoes, and have seen fit to give and administer righteous judgment. All such men have my blessing and prayers, and confidence. I feel that God will bless them and all who perform their duties with clemency in righteousness toward their fellow men.

            The choir sang:

Let the hills resound with song.

            The benediction was pronounced by President Woodruff.

            Adjourned till April 1892.

JOHN NICHOLSON,
Clerk of Conference.

1892

3-6 Apr 1892, 62nd Annual General Conference, SLC Tabernacle.
[Deseret News Weekly 44:503, 4/9/92, p 7; Millennial Star 54:273, 289, 305, 321, 337, 353, 369, 385, 401, 417, 433]

[3 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 44:503-505, 4/9/92, p 7-9]

GENERAL CONFERENCE.

_____

            Convened at 10 a. m., on Sunday, April 3rd, 1892, in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, President Wilford Woodruff presiding.

            On the stand were, of the First Presidency, Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith; of the Council of the Twelve Apostles: Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Marriner W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon; Patriarch, John Smith; of the presiding Council of the Seventies: Seymour B. Young, C. D. Fjeldsted, John Morgan, B. H. Roberts and George Reynolds; of the Presiding Bishopric: Wm. B. Preston, Robert T. Burton and John R. Winder.

            There were also many other leading officers of the Church from various parts of Utah and surrounding States and Territories.

            Conference was called to order by President George Q. Cannon.

            The choir and congregation sang:

Come let us anew our journey pursue, Roll round with the year,
And never stand still till the Master appear. His adorable will let us gladly fulfil.

            Opening prayer by President Lorenzo Snow.

            Singing by the choir:

come dearest Lord, descend and dwell By faith and love, in every breast;
Then shall we know and taste and feel The joys that cannot be expressed.

_____

President George Q. Cannon

was the first speaker. He said:

            At the request of President Woodruff, I rise to make a few remarks at the opening of our Conference. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, there is great cause for thanksgiving this morning on the part of the Latter-day Saints in having the privilege of meeting at the opening our sixty-second annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and meeting together, too, under such favorable circumstances as now surround us, having a comfortable building in which to worship, where we can sit and listen in peace to the words of life and salvation that may be addressed unto us by the servants of God.

            In contemplating the past, there can be no soul in this congregation from whose heart thanksgiving and praise cannot arise to God, our Eternal Father, for the goodness and mercy that He has shown unto us. We are never without cause for thanksgiving; for our God has been good, and kind, and merciful. He has not forgotten us. He has not turned His face away from us. He has not closed His ears to our petitions. Neither has he refused to answer the prayers that we have offered unto Him. The evidences of His mercy are around us, are within us. We have received them, and we rejoice in them this morning. And I feel, for one, to lift up my voice, in the congregation of the Saints, in praise of our Eternal Father, our Great Creator. I feel that we can come together this morning full of gratitude, full of humility, with broken hearts and contrite spirits, bringing them as a willing offering unto our God-a sacrifice that He will accept, it being the sacrifice that He requires at the hands of His Saints.

            When we contemplate the great changes that have occurred within the past few years, and see how wonderfully God has softened the hearts of the people, how He has turned aside the wrath of man, and given favor, to a goodly extent, to His people, we certainly ought to feel thankful to Him. I have just returned from the East, where I have been for several weeks, and I never in my experience among men, saw a kinder feeling manifested towards this people than I have during this visit. The Lord has softened the hearts of the people of our nation and of the leaders thereof, and they feel kindly disposed to the Latter-day Saints. The misrepresentation, the falsehoods, the mists of darkness which have beclouded us and our reputation, have, to a very great extent, been removed. And I have felt exceedingly thankful to the Lord because there is no power but His that could have done this. Man's power could not have accomplished such results. But God has all power, and He has poured out His Spirit and softened the hearts of the people, and taken away that animosity and removed many of those misconceptions that have existed in regard to us.

            The Lord has blessed His people in many directions. We have, of course, our difficulties to contend with. We have many things to overcome. We are still in the world; and being mortal and subject to the vicissitudes of human life, we must expect to have many things to contend with that will try us. But looking at our condition as a whole, at this entire people in all their abidings, I think it can be truthfully said that we are exceedingly favored of the Lord-I mean in temporal matters. I do not believe there can be found an equal number of people in one community on this continent who are so well provided with food, with raiment, with shelter, and with the conveniences and comforts of life. It is true, we do not have a great excess of riches among us. On the other hand, we do not have extreme poverty. We have the poor, but as a rule they are cared for. The cry of the poor and the oppressed, I hope and believe, does not ascend to the God of heaven against this people because of that which they suffer at our hands. On the contrary, I trust and believe that the prayers of the poor ascend in thanksgiving to God, imploring blessings upon their brethren and sisters for their kindness and benevolence. At least, if this is not the case it should be among us. The poor should be made to rejoice. They should be made to feel so glad that when they bow their knees before the Lord they will implore blessings upon their brethren and sisters for their goodness and kindness to them.

            The Gospel is being preached with exceeding diligence by the Elders who are now in the field. In some parts of Europe the Gospel is spreading, and the Elders feel greatly encouraged at the prospects before them. News from Turkey is to the effect that the Sublime Porte will grant unto our Elders privileges that are granted to other denominations. This is the latest intelligence that we have from there. The firman has probably not yet been issued, but it will be, and then our Elders will be free from many embarrassments which have surrounded them in the preaching of the Gospel throughout the Turkish Empire. There is a field in those lands for the labor of a large number of Elders; and, no doubt, our attention will be drawn more and more to that quarter of the earth, because of the promises that are connected with the lands under the dominion of the Turkish Empire. The Latter-day Saints have always entertained very great affection for Palestine-the land that was promised to our father Abraham, and to his seed. Our interest has been excited in perusing the words of the prophets of ancient days, and also in the words of God in these latter times, concerning the restoration of His ancient covenant people to the land of their fathers. For upwards of sixty years now, since this Church has been organized, the eyes of that people have been directed to that land, and to the Jews. Probably no people on the earth, not even the Jews themselves, take greater interest in the events that are taking place in that quarter of the earth than the Latter-day Saints do. It is, therefore, a cause of rejoicing when we hear that there is a great prospect of our obtaining liberty to preach the word of God throughout those lands and to those various nationalities that are embraced in that Empire. The Lord has blessed the labors of the Elders in Holland, also, and a good work is being done there. They write that doors are being opened, to a great extent, in the Netherlands. In Belgium the Elders are finding many converts, and are laboring successfully. Throughout the German Empire there is an increased interest being taken in the Gospel. The day will yet come when there will be freedom throughout that Empire, and when there will be thousands and thousands gathered from that nation. In Northern Sweden many effectual doors are opening, and there is also a call for more missionaries from Norway. On the Pacific Islands the Elders have been very successful also. At Samoa the Elders are laboring diligently. It is a hard mission; but they are young men and full of vigor, full of zeal, full of faith, and they rejoice exceedingly in their labors, because they have abundant fruits as the reward thereof. Some of our brethren have gone to the Friendly Islands-to Tonga, and they have learned the language of that group, which is a kindred language to that of the Samoan Islands, the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, and the Society Islands. That Polynesian language is divided into dialects, it may be said, and when a man is familiar with the dialect spoken on one of those groups he does not have much difficulty in learning the dialects of the adjacent groups throughout Polynesia. Two of our Elders have gone down to the Society Islands, and are about to commence or have commenced their labors on that group. You doubtless remember that in former days a great many members of the Church were on that group of islands, but through various circumstances they have been left, to a great extent, to themselves. It has been felt, however, by the Elders on the Navigator group that some effort should be made to re-establish the work on the Society Islands. In New Zealand the Elders are laboring with diligence and success. The Book of Mormon has been translated into that language and is being circulated and read by the natives. Throughout the United States our Elders are laboring with all the zeal and diligence that we could ask for. In the northern States this winter has been severe, and there have not been many baptisms. While I was East I met Elder C. W. Stayner, who told me that as soon as spring opened he expected there would be a great many additions to the Church. There was an increase of interest among the people. In many places they listened as they had not done for years to the preaching of the Elders. In the Southern States mission the Elders inform us that they are making efforts to get doors opened in the cities, and they are encouraged by the prospects before them. In the Indian Territory our brethren have commenced to build a chapel. So that, so far as our own land is concerned, there is much to be thankful for, and many souls are being gathered out. The work of the Lord is also growing among the Lamanites, especially in Southern Arizona, under the ministrations of the presidency of the Maricopa Stake of Zion. We are trying to do our duty to this nation-to lay before the people the message of salvation which God has given unto us.

            The days of trouble are at hand, and it is our duty, as God's servants, to go and declare to the inhabitants of the earth that these are the last days, and that God is about to bring to pass that which He has spoken concerning His judgments and calamities that should be poured out upon the wicked in the last days, preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man. The Elders, it must be said in their favor, go forth, as a rule, full of this desire to acquit themselves as men and to cleanse their garments of the blood of this generation, by bearing faithful testimony to the truth. It is most gratifying to see our young men respond as they do to the calls that are made upon them to go here and there, wherever the authorities of the Church direct, as missionaries, to carry the message of salvation and glad tidings. And it must be said that the character of our Elders, in some respects, is improving. The pains that are being taken in our primary schools, our Sabbath schools, our young men's improvement associations, are bearing their fruits. I remember presiding abroad and having Elders come whose ignorance concerning the principles of the Gospel they had been sent out to teach was painful to see. There has been a great change in this respect. Therefore, I say the character of our Elders has improved. They now go out, as a rule, well instructed in the principles of the Gospel, familiar with the history of the Church, capable of explaining the doctrines and everything connected with the Gospel, and, when necessary, capable of defending the principles they teach. This is a gratifying improvement; and it will be more and more visible as the years roll by and as our facilities for imparting understanding will increase, as they are increasing on every hand.

            Throughout these mountains the Lord has poured out His Spirit upon His people. There is a great deal of union. Still there is much room for improvement in this respect. The Lord is trying us in directions in which we have never been tried before. Did any of you ever think that we should be tried as we are now being tried? These are new trials, and they are going to test the faith of a good many who are called Latter-day Saints. The depths of our love for the truth are going to be sounded, and if we are not built upon the rock and have a living testimony concerning the truth within us we shall be in danger. God is going to have a tried people, and the trials will not always come in the form that we are looking for. They would cease probably to be trials if they came in that way; but they come in forms for which, it may be said, we are partly unprepared. They come to us in unexpected forms; therefore the greater the trial of our faith. I tell you, my brethren and sisters, that I tremble for us and for myself, lest in these trials we should take missteps; lest we should give way to wrong influences and yield to an improper spirit, and be led away from the truth and that union which is so precious, which is so great a gift that God has bestowed upon us to distinguish us from all peoples upon the face of the earth.

            I pray that God may give unto us the light of eternity to ever be with us, and that we may watch it and take care that it does not become dim in our hearts, that it don't become obscured by any influence or power; but that having that light shining upon our path continually we may walk undeviatingly forward until we shall attain unto that great glory that God has in store, and be crowned with Him in His presence with those blessings that have been sealed upon us by the authority that He has restored from heaven. I pray God to bless us during this Conference, to fill every man that shall speak with the power of God, and the hearts of all who hear with that heavenly and softening influence, that the words of life may fall like good seed into mellow ground, there to lodge, there to germinate, there to grow, there to bring forth fruit that shall be to the glory of our God and to our own salvation, which I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

_____

Apostle Franklin D. Richards

addressed the Conference. Following is a brief and necessarily imperfect synopsis of his discourse:

            He felt the necessity of having the Holy Spirit in attempting to address the congregation. A grand view had been presented to us of the progress of the work of God in the present time, and even in the contemplation of this we are reminded that it is necessary for us to have a sense of our own unworthiness Without humility the spirit of God cannot dwell within us.

            There is one principle which underlies the very existence of the Church of God, and that is the necessity of continuous revelation. Against this principle all the world goes out in opposition. But without it the Saints cannot grow in the knowledge of God. The reason why men have been left to form religious systems which have the "form of godliness but deny the power thereof? is this, they had no revelations. They do not believe that there are any, nor that there ever will be any more. This is contrary to the spirit that prevailed among the ancient people of God. When on one occasion someone complained to Moses that certain people prophesied, that man of God said he wished all the Lord's people could prophesy. Peter quotes the promise given through the Prophet Joel, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." We believe that we are living in the beginning of the days here spoken of, and we should therefore nourish and cultivate the spirit of revelation constantly, and the more since we believe that we are living in time of trouble, from which only the righteous can escape, by standing in holy places and immovable.

            We are sometimes told, that the Scriptures say we must expect no more revelations, and in support of this, people quote the verse at the end of the Revelation of John, where men are prohibited from adding to or taking from the word of that prophecy. But it is clear that those who argue in this way do not understand the work of God. It was strongly forbidden to add anything to the ancient law or to take anything from it. Yet this did not mean that there was to be no more prophets or revelations after the time of Moses. The prohibition referred to is applicable only to the book in which it is found, and not to revelation in general. All the scriptures extant in Paul's day were necessary for instruction, etc.; so is everything that God has revealed up to the present day.

            At the dedication of the temple in Kirtland, the prophet Joseph and the Apostles were sustained as prophets, seers and revelators. That is how the apostleship was looked upon then, and the speaker could testify that the apostles now are cultivating the spirit and are prophets, seers and revelators to the people, if they are willing to receive them. And so with other members of the Priesthood. Every head of a family should live so that he could be a seer and revelator to his household. It is distressing to contemplate the fact that the people can sometimes indulge in strife and contentions. No man has a right to get so interested in his own affairs as to forget what he owes his fellowmen. No one has a right to climb upon another in order to obtain an elevated position for himself. None should speak evil of another. We must be careful in these things and have no animosity towards each other, even if we are of different opinions in some things. If we are not careful in these matters, we are in danger of losing the Spirit of God and thus be prevented from growing in righteousness. However, the work in which we are engaged is the Lord's. If we only will be faithful, He will bear us off triumphant, and build us up in the true faith.

            Revelation is continually needed. Even the advancement of the world in science and inventions is a result of the spirit of revelation. The speaker referred to the application of steam and electricity to various uses, as an illustration of the workings of the spirit of revelation. The world ought to know this and to glorify God for what has been accomplished.

            God has given us knowledge concerning Him. His will has been revealed to us, but all has not yet been revealed. There is more to follow. The various branches of God's people had kept their separate record, as we are doing, and they will all be brought together and testify concerning the establishment of the work of God. We ought diligently to study what we already have received of the word of the Almighty, in order that we may be prepared to receive what is yet to be revealed. It is a principle of the divine law that in the mouth of two or three witnesses everything shall be established. When the records of Judah and the various branches of Israel are brought together they will present strong testimony. If we only will cultivate a right spirit within us by living righteous lives, being godly in our conversation and pure in our tabernacles, we will know more and more of the will of our Father.

            The speaker was glad and felt to glorify God for the work He is doing among us. We live here among the everlasting hills as was predicted of the people of God long ago. The temple buildings in Kirtland, Nauvoo and in Utah, where we soon will have four temples completed, is an evidence that we are accepted by the Lord.

            The speaker closed his remarks by referring to the happy condition of the Saints during the millennium, when their age shall be "as the age of a tree" and wished that we all might live so that at the time of translation to glory, we might be able to partake in this most glorious event.

[Franklin D. Richards]

[DNW 44:633, 5/7/92, p 1; CD 3:26-33]

DISCOURSE

Delivered by Elder Franklin D. Richards, at the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
(during the General Conference) Sunday morning, April 3rd, 1892

_____

      My beloved hearers, I am most deeply sensible of the folly of man undertaking to instruct and to edify God's people, except he be filled with the words of life and faith, and is inspired by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. There has been presented to us a general review of the condition of the work of God in the earth at the present time, by which we are reminded of very many reasons we have for gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His manifold mercies unto us. I think a realizing sense of His goodness and our own unworthiness is very necessary for us to entertain, in order that we may possess that meekness of spirit and that brokenness of heart by which the Spirit shall be able to dwell freely and abundantly with us.

      There is a principle which is the very life and growth and existence of God's people, which is entertained by His Saints everywhere, and against which the whole world rises up in decided opposition, that is, the principle of present and continued revelation. Without this no Saint can grow and increase in the knowledge of God. Without this the great latter-day work that has attained its present proportion would never have reached such a position. It is the life and vitality of God's people to have the ministrations of the Holy Ghost, which takes of the things of God and shows them unto mankind. Without them, men have been left to fashion a great many forms of religion, having, as the Scriptures said they should have, the form of godliness without the power thereof. As the body may look nice and lovely even in death, it is impotent and goes back to mother earth, except the spirit vitalizes it, gives it life and animation, fills it with its hopes and desires.

      When we go forth to the human family we are confronted with this opposition at once. It is said to us that there is to be no more revelation, and they try to make us believe that there shall be no more. Why, it is contrary to the spirit that all the Prophets have entertained. When men rose up in ancient Israel and began to prophesy, some of the holy folks went to Moses and said so-and-so is prophesying. What was his answer? Says he, "Would to God that all the Lord's people were Prophets." That has been the sense of every true, enlightened Prophet of God upon the earth. It is according to the promise which Peter set forth at Pentecost, as had been declared by the Prophet Joel, that in the last days He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh: "and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." Let me remind you, my brethren and sisters, that we live in the dawning of that day; and it is not only our privilege, but a duty we owe to ourselves, to God's people, and to the honest in heart throughout the world who have not heard the Gospel, that we should nourish and cultivate this spirit of revelation within us constantly.

      It is the work of the Holy Spirit to quicken our spirits. If we are washed from our sins, and live holy before God and in the working of that spirit, which is unto the sanctifying of our bodies and our spirits, we become filled with that light which is to grow, and ought to grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day. As we live in a period of time when troubles, judgments, and sorrows unspeakable are to be poured out upon the ungodly, and the righteous can only escape by their faith, and by standing in holy places without being moved, it becomes everyone that professes the name of Jesus that they should cultivate this spirit within them continually. "Ye receive the spirit," says the Lord to us in the latter-days, "by the prayer of faith." So, then, we ought with constant prayer, diligence and devotion to kindle continually the fire on the altar of our hearts by the faithful keeping of His commandments and living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, so that this may continue to warm and enlighten our minds, that we may become baptized by the Holy Spirit and by the fire of the Lord.

      But they tell us, when we talk of these things, that the Scriptures say we must not have any more revelation. By their ignorance and misunderstandings they wrest the Scriptures, not knowing the Gospel nor the power of God. They say, it is given in the last chapter of Revelations: "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book, and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Very true; so it is and so it will be. The Prophet Moses left it on record in Deuteronomy that there should be nothing added to that law which was given unto them. It is written twice in Deuteronomy, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it." Suppose that meant there should be no more revelation, what are you going to do with these great prophecies of Isaiah, of Jeremiah, of Ezekiel, of Daniel, and all the holy Prophets that came after? If that was a perpetual injunction against further revelation, how could the Savior come, in contravention of this law that He had given to Moses, and declare His whole system of salvation to us, which was from before the foundation of the world, originated in the eternities, to bring life and immortality to light, and lead us, if we will be led by it, unto the eternity that shall come after the angel shall declare that time shall be no longer? He had reference only to that book; they had no business to add to that law. The Prophets never believed, the Church of God never realized, that there was any restraint upon the spirit of revelation. But they held, as we hold, that without it there was no life, no God. And this saying of the Apostle in Revelations, means adding to that book of Revelations. The people for a long time had many different books, or rather manuscripts, till they were gathered up and put together. Paul did not understand that all these old Scriptures were wrong. He said to Timothy, "From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation." These scriptures were necessary down to his time. Just so with the Savior. His inspiration and volume of eternal truth was necessary. And it is just as necessary now that the people of God should be filled with the light of revelation, and without it they can make no advancement in divine life.

      The Prophet Joseph, when dedicating the first Temple of this dispensation, in Nauvoo [Kirtland], March 1836, presented the Twelve Apostles that had been appointed and consecrated to their work, and they were upheld as prophets, seers and revelators. That is the estimate which the Prophet Joseph placed upon the holy office of the Apostleship, and that is the idea and sense that this people entertain concerning that office and calling; for twice every year they lift up their hands to sustain the Twelve Apostles as such. I testify to you, my brethren, that the Apostles improve in this principle, and increase in it, and they are becoming prophets, seers and revelators unto God's people, if they will receive them. It should be just so with these men who are High Priests in Israel. The Presidents of Stakes and their counselors, the Bishops of wards and their counselors, should so live before God as to be prophets, seers and revelators to their people. Every man having the authority of the Priesthood-and we are a whole army of Priesthood, over a hundred quorums of Seventies existing among us-who is at the head of a family should be a prophet, seer and revelator to his household. These brethren that are sitting by me have been in obscurity. These providences of God that have been directing us for years back have been calculated to place righteous men where they would have to find their way to their God by the prayer of faith, by the light of the Spirit and by the power of the Holy Priesthood. It is necessary that these things should be so understood, and that we should grow up into Christ our living Head. As a child has to be weaned from its mother's breast, so Elders should get knowledge and understanding of their duties to their families, their duties to the Church, their duties to the human family, so that they may stand in the light of truth and take the same food and bread of life from the table of the Lord as the child when it leaves its mother's breast and has to sit at the table beside her and masticate its own food.

      It is interesting to contemplate this, and sometimes alarmingly so when we see brethren so far forget themselves in any of the pursuits of life as to indulge in anything like strife, or contention, or animosity. It looks as if we had come to times when these things were very threatening among God's people; and as Brother Cannon has nicely put it, they are principles of danger among us. Men have no right to get so animated and over-anxious about anything, striving or contending for any matter, as that they can push down another brother to climb up on his downfall. None of us have any right to speak evil of each other in order to get a good name ourselves. We have no right to impair the character of our brethren, or their honest convictions, in order that we may get the ascendency over them. It is an abomination in the sight of God for any man to do it, and vastly more that Saints should do it, who have with their lips professed their belief that it is their duty not to speak evil of each other, nor of the Lord's anointed. We ought to be careful of these things. I would exhort you, my brethren, in this, that while you indulge in these things which look to animosity towards your brethren who may differ from you on any question, you are taking that course that shall put out the light which should shine upon your understanding; whereas, if any man would defer to his brother, in honor preferring one another, the love of God would abound, their souls would be strengthened, and every man would go on in the growth of the principles of righteousness. And this course we must pursue if we go forward. If we do not, we cannot come to a standstill, therefore we shall retrograde. I would say to all brethren who are anywise addicted to these things, set a watch at the door of your lips and another at the doors of your hearts, and sanctify the Lord in all your ways, and not feel that the kingdom of God is going to be upset or overthrown by your doing, or not doing. The work is the Lord's; and if we will be true to Him and to the principles of His Gospel which we have taken upon us to do, He will bear us off triumphant. He knows how to make the wrath of men to praise Him. He knows how to build us up in our holy faith, if we will preserve ourselves by our own faithfulness from the powers of sin and Satan.

      Then the spirit of revelation is what we want continually. The world are astounded at the idea of revelation, when they are getting full of it themselves and they don't know it. Ever since the time this work commenced, or thereabouts, great inventions have been coming forth concerning the use of steam. It was about this time that Mr. Watts heard the tea kettle hiss and the top of the kettle rattle by the power of steam, and learned to use it and apply it. Others have used it in their inventions since. Just so it was with other men; Benjamin Franklin running up a kite, putting a key on it, that he might bring down the electric fluid with safety and do no harm. Men have ever since been finding out how to harness the lightning and make it convey intelligence, transport light and numerous comforts to the human family all over the earth and through the depths of the sea, until the various nations are becoming much more like one great family, and we hear from everywhere each twenty-four hours. Revelation is among them. They ought to acknowledge it and give God the praise. Some of them do. We all should. Their knowledge is knowledge of science; but the knowledge that God gives to His people by the Holy Spirit and the power of the Priesthood is the knowledge that is concerning Him, His ways and will, and what we ought to do to please Him, to bless and exalt ourselves, to love and glorify Him in all our operations.

      Nor have we got all the revelations we are to have. The Lord has left precious promises on the pages of holy writ that He will give us more of it. Although the human family are wrought up to their present condition of opposition against revelation, I want to remind them, if there is anybody within the sound of my voice that thinks we have all the revelations we are to have, they are greatly mistaken. If you will read the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, you will find there the Lord spoke through the Prophet and told him to take some sticks. That is curious we would think nowadays. It would seem a great deal more curious if the Lord had said to the Prophet, take a book, for they did not know anything about books. They had the law rolled up on sticks, and He told him to take two sticks, and write upon one, "For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions;" and on the other "For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions." "And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand."

      We have the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and we have the promise that we shall have another record that will come from the house of Israel. The Lord told us that when we began to spread this Gospel to the Lamanites and the house of Israel, we might know that the work of the Lord had commenced among all the branches of the house of Israel. Well, it has; but we don't know much about it. But there are the ten tribes in the north, and messengers to them too. The Lord told the brethren once concerning the Revelator John, "If I will that he tarry til I come, what is that to thee?" The last that we hear of John's persecutors is that they put him into a caldron of boiling oil, but he came out unhurt-as miraculous as when the Hebrew children went into the fiery furnace. And that John is ministering to the house of Israel in distant portions of the earth, or wherever they are; and a record is going to come from them to us-the same as the Book of Mormon and the Bible have come to us, and they three shall become one. That means they shall contain the same doctrines, the same principles, the same Gospel of salvation, and these three shall come together and be one in the hands of God's Elders in these last days; and we or our children will live to see this come to pass. So that the human family and the Latter-day Saints need not contract their minds nor limit their faith to think we have got all the word of God we are to have. It would be a good thing for us if we would read and study more what we have got. We would then be better prepared for the rest when it shall come.

      The promise of this union of these records is found in the Book of Mormon, ii Nephi, 29th chap:

      For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them: for out of the books which shall be written, I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according that which is written.

      And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.

      I would like to explain a certain principle contained in the law. You know that it is given unto us in the Book of Covenants that in our testimonies before the tribunals of the Church, by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word must be established. That was the method that was given by Moses in his law to the children of Israel. They had to have proof, and by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word must be established. Now, then, the Lord went and planted one vine away off in the nethermost part of the vineyard; he planted another in another part of the vineyard, and that was better than the first; and he planted another in another part of the vineyard, that was the worst part of all the vineyard. When the work of the Father commences in all these branches of Israel, that will be such a work, and similar to, this among us, and they will write an account of those things, as we are writing them and keeping a history of God's work, and when they come forth and become united as one people on the land of promise they will bring their records with them; and these three records will be three great testimonies to all the branches of the house of Israel, and the whole human family, concerning His work, and in the mouth of these three witnesses His great eternal purpose of the last days shall be established before the heavens and the earth, and all men that contend against these principles will be placed without excuse.

      The whole principle is life and revelation in each of us, life and revelation in the Church in these days, here among us and everywhere, in all the regions where His work is going on. We ought to understand this principle, and cultivate it, and keep the exercise and love of it growing within us. The more we get to know the more we see there is to learn, and the greater is our desire to learn. We come to know more of the things of God, both for time and eternity. Thus by a faithful, righteous life and godly conversation we can preserve our tabernacles in such condition that the Spirit can dwell with us, and we can have the ministration of the still small voice by day and the voice of dreams by night, and by other means that the Lord is willing to give to His people, that we may grow up into Christ our living head. For my part, in seeing this and looking at the work of the Lord in its progress, I feel that we have great reason to rejoice and be glad and praise His holy name for the work of His doing; to enlarge our hearts and increase our understandings by the comprehension of His will and His designs, so that we may be pliant ministers and laborers in His hands, to do according to His pleasure. He has brought us out unto this land that was a desert, and made it a choice land-a land which he promised unto Joseph, and He told him that the land should be blessed with the dew of heaven, and with the precious things brought forth by the sun, and those brought forth by the moon, and the precious things of the everlasting hills. And we are right here among them. These hills are full of nearly every kind of mineral that can benefit and bless mankind, even to the sulphur.

      Well, this Zion that the Lord has had compassion upon us to establish, is His work. He has brought us through some little trials, we ought to be benefited, refined and profited by them, and be willing to employ ourselves, our strength, our means, and what talents the Lord may give unto us, to the advancement and progress of His holy work. This is the way I feel about it, my brethren and sisters, and this is what we want to cultivate and encourage. These works that He has commenced in all the branches of Israel, what are they? Such works as He has begun with us here, in establishing the fulness of the Everlasting Gospel among us. We are preparing Temples. Think of it! A Temple in Kirtland was dedicated. The Saints received endowments therein. A Temple was built in Nauvoo, and the fulness of the endowments was revealed just before then, and many of the Saints received their blessings therein. Then again how the Lord has blessed us to get four Temples here in Utah, the fourth almost ready for dedication, and quite ready for the top-stone to be laid, which you are all filled with interest and anxiety to see accomplished. Now then, if the work of the Father, begun among the ten tribes and among the other branches of the house of Israel is very similar to what is here, and they are receiving knowledge of God, being built up in faith, being established in righteousness, and these men that have never tasted death-the three Nephites and the Apostle John-are busy working to bring to pass righteousness and to carry out the purposes of God; it won't be long till we or our generations after us will see them and have fellowship with them; when wickedness is moved out of the way and violators of righteousness cleansed out of the land, and the Lord's Kingdom established, then it will be glorious. Then holy ones from on high will come and minister among us. We ought to anticipate these times with a pleasure increasing with delight, because now is our salvation nearer than when we believed, and it is growing nearer continually; and if we are diligent and faithful, so will the influence thereof and the power thereof increase, until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The dawning of that day has come, and Israel's sons and daughters are gathering home.

      The Lord is refining His people, and has us in the crucible, to deal with us, and refine us, and prepare us that He may get away the dross from us, and that we may become pure and holy, acceptable before Him; for He has said, by the mouth of His prophets, that the day shall come when a man shall be more precious than fine gold. We would think if we had a lump of gold as large as the smallest man among us that it was very precious. If then, when the Lord has tried us and found that we will not sin against Him, but will walk with Him, sanctify ourselves, purge away our dross, and we become more precious than fine gold, how supremely precious a man will be in the eyes of God, and in the estimation of his brethren! We ought to try to add this interesting character to each other, and not to speak diminutively of each other, not try to diminish and belittle and depreciate the gifts of each other, that we may be lifted up. The Lord does not delight in such things; but they who are given to working righteousness, despising the gain of the oppressors, and withholding their hands from the taking of bribes, they are the class of men that will live and dwell in the munitions of rocks, dwell in everlasting burnings, and be counted able to stand, as the three Hebrew children did, and as Father Abraham did, and as a great many other faithful ones have done that have gone before us at one time and another. We want to live and get to that standard that we can be able to entertain these things. Why, we want to live so that the time may come of the translation-that change from mortality to immortality. The glorious promise is that children shall grow up to the age of a tree, and then they shall not die to sleep in the earth, but shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The increasing revelation and the power of godliness is going to bring God's people to a state of union by and by that we will look back upon these days of trial and smile over them, and be thankful for them, and bless God that we have been permitted to go through them.

      This is our time, to see how we will use it; to see, whether by the blessings of God we will sanctify ourselves before Him, and be prepared for something more and better in the realms of life, and light, and glory, and go into the Temples and do those things which may enter into the works of futurity and for those that have gone before us, turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to their fathers, so that we may rejoice with them when we go to them on the other side of the veil, and we with them come back and inherit the earth, the everlasting possession which is promised unto the faithful and the meek which Christ said "shall inherit the earth."

      Brethren and sisters, I feel as though everything around us, everything above us, is inviting and beckoning us on to work righteousness, to depart from the wickedness of the human family and worship God in spirit and in truth, establish His altar in every house and habitation, and so study the laws of the Priesthood and the everlasting Gospel that we can become Godly, become the sons and daughters of the living God, and be prepared for all the great eternal purposes that He has to reveal, and that He has to carry out for the regeneration of His people and the earth for them to live upon.

      And that we may be possessed of this Spirit, and animated by it, that we may continue in it, and that we may love and do the will of God while we dwell here, and be prepared to come with the righteous when they shall return to live and reign on the earth, is my prayer, my desire, and my constant labor with you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

_____

Apostle Heber J. Grant

was next called upon to address the congregation. He was pleased to meet with the Saints at this Conference, not having had the privilege of so doing for some time. He rejoiced in the testimonies that had been given this morning. The speaker said that his daily supplication was that he might have the Holy Spirit, because he felt this to be necessary in order to make life a success. We have come here on earth to fulfil a certain mission and unless we possess the Spirit we cannot understand what this mission is, or appreciate the future that is before us. We are engaged in a labor that requires sacrifices. There are appetites and desires that must be overcome and subdued, if we will become perfect to some degree in fulfilling the requirements made upon us. If we are meek and lowly and willing to take instructions of those with whom we are associated and seek earnestly for the guidance of the Spirit, there is no danger of failure, but we will reap a reward in the Kingdom of God.

            The Saints are in a position that might be envied by other people. The speaker had met men who had expressed their view that there is to some extent a millennium among the Saints. They know of no other people so closely associated and united in their interests.

            The government might be able to take away our property, but no government on earth could take away from us the testimony of the gospel, and as we labor for the advancement of the Kingdom of God, all will be well with us.

            The speaker endorsed the remarks made this morning. The Gospel teaches us to be united and live harmoniously together. If we are not one, we are not God's people. The principles of the Gospel bind the hearts of the people together, and without union we could not enjoy the Spirit of God. May this Holy Spirit abide with us forever.

_____

Apostle John W. Taylor

said he was thankful to meet with the Saints and he hoped to be directed by the Spirit in what he might be led to say. He felt that the Lord had inspired the brethren who had spoken to touch upon the principles that had been referred to. As Latter-day Saints we are always safe, when we have a spirit of humility with us, and we are always in danger if we have not this spirit. In this condition we are like an engineer running in the dark and not heeding the lights ahead of him. He is likely to run his train into some obstruction on the road. The speaker felt the necessity for each one to look after his own condition. If we are looking after others, we are in danger of being shipwrecked in our faith. The Lord has given us light, which, if we follow it, will guide us into the path of righteousness.

            It is necessary to preach the principles of unity and meekness to the Saints. By this they will be kept from the fear that the kingdom of God perhaps is going to break up. The Lord is not displeased with any except those who do not acknowledge His hand in all things. There is anxiety among a certain class of the Saints that the authorities of the Church are in danger of going astray, and they think they have some excellent suggestions to make, if they only had a chance. Such thoughts are idle. God is with His people. The work is spreading on every hand and it shall continue to go on. Let us serve the Lord and cultivate the spirit of Christ who taught Him to say, "Father, not my will but Thine be done."

            The speaker testified that he knew that Christ lived and would reward every one according to the deeds done in the flesh. And to the strangers who might be within the sound of his voice he would say, Repent of your sins, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and ye shall also receive knowledge for yourselves that this work is of God. May the Holy Spirit be poured out upon this Conference.

            The choir sang the anthem:

Light and Truth, the World are Waiting.

            Benediction by Patriarch John Smith.

_____

[3 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 44:505-507, 4/9/92, p 9-11]

 

Afternoon Session.

            Conference reopened at o'clock.

            The choir sang the anthem:

Wonderful Counselor.

            Prayer was offered by President Angus M. Cannon.

            The anthem,

Unfold ye portals,

was sung by the choir.

            The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered under the direction of the Priesthood of the Fifth ward, Salt Lake City.

_____

President Joseph F. Smith

said it was gratifying to behold so many people gathered together in that Tabernacle at the opening of the Sixty-second anniversary of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He trusted that the blessing of the Lord might be poured out upon all present, and that not one person who attended Conference would suffer in health by reason of the inclement weather. After expressing the hope that the Latter-day Saints in this city would open their houses to the visiting brethren and sisters on this occasion, and extend to them all the hospitality within their power, the speaker remarked that we were not in every respect just as we used to be. There was a time, he sad, when the Saints rejoiced exceedingly in hospitality; it was at a period when there were not many rich among us. Now, however, that we had abundance, when many were rich and had ample homes, our visiting friends at Conference were under the necessity of obtaining lodgings at the hotels. Whether this was because we were less hospitable than formerly, or because the people were growing so numerous on the outside that the few inside were unable to entertain them was a question that they must answer for themselves. But he hoped the day would never come when the Latter-day Saints would feel inhospitable toward their brethren and sisters, the people of God, or towards the stranger within our gates; for hospitality, kindness, charity, and love were some of the characteristics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It behoved the Saints always, and under all circumstances, to be kind to their neighbors, true to their friends, to beware of their enemies, to be humble and submissive unto God, devoted to His cause and alive to their own salvation.

            Our salvation was the great object we had in view in gathering to Zion and embracing the principles of the gospel which had been restored to the earth in this dispensation through the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brethren. Anything that would detract from that object and from our pursuit in that direction should be carefully avoided, while every principle that tended to advance us should be constantly sought after.

            The Latter-day Saints were said to be a peculiar people. In some respects perhaps they were, but in many respects, it seemed to him, they very much resembled the rest of the world. If we had received a knowledge or proof of those principles which emanated from God, and of which the rest of mankind were destitute, then so far as the Saints observed them, lived up to them, and were true and faithful unto them, they were distinct and peculiar from all other people. But with this exception they were like the rest of the world. How far we deserved credit that was not due to all mankind besides would depend upon our adherence to those superior principles of light, truth and knowledge which we had received in this dispensation of the Gospel which the world had not yet received. There were hundreds of thousands of people on the earth today who were as honest in every particular as the Latter-day Saints, who were quite as sincere, just as earnest in their faith, in their religion and as devoted to God. He had, however, in the course of his experience, met many who did not believe at all in Mormonism, who did not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the Latter-day Saints believed it, and who were so prejudiced against them that it seemed impossible to open their eyes to the truth; yet they were more consistent according to their faith, according to their ideas of religion, and in their duty to God, more earnest and devoted than hundreds, aye, thousands, of those who professed to be Latter-day Saints and to have received the Holy Ghost. He had seen people who had such faith and such love for Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that they would not allow an ornament or an image in their house, nor even a picture to hang upon the walls, for fear that their thoughts, desires, and affections should be drawn from the great object they had in view -- the worship of God. And yet they were not Latter-day Saints; neither could they be convinced as to their error with regard to their religious belief. He had asked himself often what would be the condition of this class of people when they came to be judged "for the deeds done in the body." While they had the privilege of hearing the Gospel preached in their lifetime, yet because of the superstition in which they had been brought up, because of the traditions of their forefathers, of the prejudices that had been begotten in the minds of the people generally concerning the Latter-day Saints, concerning new revelations and new religions, they closed their ears against the truth as revealed by God in these latter days.

            The point to which he wished to draw attention was in regard to this thought. How would it be with the Latter-day Saints who had received a fulness of the everlasting Gospel and the ordinances appertaining thereto, but who were not sincere in their religion, who proved by their acts that they were not generous and kind to their brother and their neighbor, who were not honest in their professions and promises, who did not honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy, who used strong drinks and tobacco, who violated the Word of Wisdom and the law of God as revealed unto them, who were not charitable but judged their brother harshly, who were willing under some circumstances and in some cases even to wreck the kingdom of God on earth, as it were, and betray their brethren into the hands of their enemies out of spite, out of a feeling rankling in their bosom, and who were in every sense of the word anything but good Christians, to say nothing about being Latter-day Saints. He asked, what would be their condition when the stood before the bar of God "to give an account of the deeds done in the body." Without attempting to answer this, he would assume that the condition of the heathen and the unbelieving, those who had never known God but had rejected the truth because of ignorance and superstition, would stand higher and receive a greater and more eternal weight of glory than such Latter-day Saints as he had mentioned; because when men and women descended to such conduct they ceased to be Latter-day Saints; they cut themselves off from the presence of the Father, from His mercy, and from the rights and blessings which He had in store for the faithful. Yet some of them had a standing with their brethren. They called themselves Latter-day Saints, and would feel very much offended if told that they were not entitled to all the ordinances of the holy Gospel. We were all weak and erring creatures, and liable to do those things which were displeasing to God; we ought not to do these things with our eyes open, when we knew better. Little acts made up the sum total of our existence on earth. The speaker, in passing, urged a strict observance of the Sabbath day, and said that lying was an abomination in the sight of God. A man must not take advantage of his neighbor to wrong him in order to build himself up at another's expense; he must not try to injure his character or stigmatize him in any way, because the Bible taught him different. Latter-day Saints must not do this, or they would bring down upon their heads the condemnation of God.

            The speaker next touched upon the importance of prayer and the keeping of all God's commandments. Zion could only be built up on the principles of truth and righteousness. Men could not help to build up Zion who were hypocrites, liars, thieves, adulterers, whoremongers, or otherwise wicked in their hearts; neither could they have any lot or part in Zion when it should be built up. Therefore it behoved us as Latter-day Saints to remember what we had covenanted with God to do, and to do it.

            Some of those who knew him thought that he was a radical sort of person, that he was austere, somewhat harsh, perhaps, and exacting; but he believed there was not another man in Israel who was more ready to extend the hand of forgiveness and charity towards one who erred and made mistakes in regard to the matters on which he had been speaking, than Joseph F. Smith.

            The speaker here read from the Sixth Lecture on Faith, (Book of Doc. and Cov.) to show that exaltation in the Kingdom of God is only attainable by strict conformity with the law of self sacrifice -- the giving up of all earthly interests and even life itself if necessary, for the sake of the truth. Only in this way can a man know that he is accepted of God and take hold of eternal life.

            Having dwelt upon the subject of love to God and to our neighbor, President Smith touched on that of faith. He instanced the cases of Job and Abraham, both of whom he said stood the severe test made by God in order to prove the sincerity of their love for Him. Later the Son of God Himself was put to the test, and later still the Apostles of Jesus Christ were subjected to torture, and even death, in order to prove whether they had the love of God in their hearts. Let the Latter-day Saints, he said, apply the test also and ask themselves the question, "Am I in a position to endure such tests of faith as these and not flinch?" God help us to live our religion, for it is good, it is righteous, pure and Godlike; for it emanated from God.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff

            Remarked that as a few moments yet remained before the service of that afternoon closed, he desired to occupy the remainder of the time. He had been very much afflicted during the last three or four days -- so much so that he at one time feared he would not be able to speak at this Conference at all. However, he had some things upon his mind that he would like to say to the Latter-day Saints before the Conference ended, and there were a few he might mention that afternoon. Referring to the subjects treated upon by the preceding speaker, President Woodruff said the Lord had labored from the creation of the world to do all that He could, consistent with the agency of men, to fit them for the highest glory they were capable of receiving; and from the days of Father Adam down to our day, whenever the Lord had a people on the earth who would obey Him, He had raised up Prophets and Apostles and given unto them the Holy Priesthood and the keys and powers thereof, that they might administer to the sons and daughters of Adam and prepare them for celestial glory. But under that law, under the administration of those men, the opposition of the world had been encountered; and whenever men undertook to live righteous lives and keep the law of God they had to suffer persecution.

            The Lord had promised through the mouths of the ancient Patriarchs and Apostles, for thousands of years that are past and gone, that in the latter days He would send the fulness of the everlasting Gospel to the children of men; that He would raise up Prophets and Apostles; that He would organize His Church and Kingdom on earth; that He would raise up men to go forth for the last time and prune his vineyard with a mighty pruning, to prepare for the coming of the Son of Man. The sons of Israel today who dwelt in the congregation before him were a class of those men. God had called them from the nations of the earth -- Apostles, Prophets, Elders, Seventies and High Priests, and the Lesser Priesthood, to labor in the vineyard for the last time, to gather out the inhabitants of the earth as far as they would listen to the testimony borne to them, calling upon them to prepare for the great work of God which was at their doors. The Elders of Israel had traveled tens of thousands of miles to accomplish this.

            The conduct of the Latter-day Saints should be very different from the rest of the world, who did not profess these things. The Kingdom of God was here upon the earth in its fulness. There were many things belonging to this Church and Kingdom which were not looked for in the world. One of these was union. That was a law of God belonging to the Latter-day Saints. Like the ancient Prophets and Apostles, the modern Prophets and Apostles should be united in their work in the flesh; and we as a people should not deviate from this rule. There should be unity throughout, a unity of heart and mind, from the President of the Church and his two counselors down. The law of God required it; and whenever there was any deviation from this they were in danger. The work of the people of God was advancing, and in this nation there was a great change in public feeling taking place in regard to the Latter-day Saints, than whom no people had been more lied about or misrepresented in the past, since they came to dwell in the valleys of these mountains. The world should learn who and what they were, and what they were doing; and all they asked was that the truth should be spoken concerning them. They had labored in the interest of their fellowmen. As Latter-day Saints they had faith that God would save the whole human family in some kind of glory, if they were not the sons of perdition. But all men under heaven were held responsible before God for their acts, and if they committed sin they had to pay the penalty.

            He prayed God that they might all, as Latter-day Saints, live their religion, do what God required of them, remember their prayers, and walk uprightly before the Lord, and when they reached the other side of the vail they would meet with their reward, according to the works done in the flesh. He prayed that God's blessing would rest upon this Conference, that the people would be united together, and that much good would result therefrom.

            The choir sang:

Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

            Benediction by Elder Seymour B. Young.

_____

[3 Apr, 2 pm (o)]

[DNW 44:507, 4/9/92, p 11]

THE OVERFLOW.

            The Tabernacle did not afford sufficient space for the great multitude of people who gathered to worship in the afternoon; it was therefore decided to hold an overflow meeting in the

ASSEMBLY HALL.

That building was also densely packed, and still many hundreds were unable to gain admission to either building.

            Apostle Franklin D. Richards presided at the overflow gathering, when the proceedings opened at 2 o'clock.

            The choir sang:

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

            Prayer was offered by Apostle John W. Taylor, after which the choir sang:

Lord, Thou wilt hear me when I pray! I am forever Thine!

_____

Elder John Morgan

was the first speaker. He said that it was with no small degree of pleasure that he mingled his voice in worship with his brethren. He loved to testify to the truthfulness of the everlasting Gospel. When we considered that for sixty-two years the testimony of this Gospel had been sounded in the ears of the human family in all parts of the earth it was no longer a cause for wonder that so many people were gathered on such an occasion as the present Conference. The immense audiences in the Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall and the hundreds who had been turned away from both buildings gave some idea of the hosts of Israel. These Conferences were productive of great good. Those who attended them were built up and refreshed and carried away with them the spirit of kindness and love. The instructions given at these great semi-annual gatherings found echo in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints in every ward and Stake of Zion. Thus was Israel benefited incalculably. When contemplating the rapid and wonderful growth of the Church during its sixty-two years of existence we found much over which to marvel. Numerically we were becoming a great people and he felt like echoing the saying of one of God's Prophets, "Give us room that we may dwell." In years gone by it was the custom of the leaders of the Church to call young people to build up settlements and villages and found cities and commonwealths beyond the borders of civilization. This principle was correct and beneficial. Barren and uninviting wastes had thereby been converted into productive farms. The struggles of these young people upon the frontier were oftentimes of a trying nature. But they were imbued with the faith of God and the true spirit of pioneering. The children of parents so called, naturally inherited these gifts, and as they grew to man and womanhood they too went in search of homes in the wilderness. They took up the land, diverted the streams and cultivated the soil. They surmounted the obstacles and overcame the difficulties common to the settlers of a new country. They were brave, industrious and honest and their accomplishments are eternal monuments to their memory.

            Today hundreds of young men in the thickly populated districts were without any definite or fixed purpose in life. This superfluous strength should be scattered about. If it was not these selfsame young men and their descendants would become the hewers of wood and drawers of water. By spreading out they could take up land and in time become the possessors of valuable homes. We were surrounded by districts richly endowed both as to climate and soil and other natural resources. In extending our borders we had passed by many such favored spots.

            It was wrong, the speaker said, for parents to remain on the little farm at home. They should be allowed and encouraged to extend the borders of Zion and acquire titles to land which would become inheritances of incalculable worth. In our remote settlements the cry was for more strength. In surrounding States and Territories our people were sought after as peaceable and law-abiding citizens. These States and Territories offered all the facilities essential to making a people happy, independent and prosperous.

_____

Elder B. H. Roberts

next addressed the congregation. He said that it was natural in these semi-annual conferences to be somewhat reminiscent in our reflections, especially when the progress of the work of the lord was pointed out to us. His mind involuntarily reverted back to the log-cabin of Father Whitmer, where sixty-two years ago a few men, six of whom were members of the Church, held the first Conference of the present dispensation. What a bold and remarkable prophet a man would have been esteemed on that occasion had he predicted that in little more than half a century the Church would grow to its present proportions, or if he had declared that a great Tabernacle, with a seating capacity of from 10,000 to 13,000 persons, would be built in the Rocky Mountains, and that such a building would be wholly inadequate to accommodate the Latter-day Saints who should go to it to worship. If on the occasion of the first conference of the Church those present did not particularize the building of a great Tabernacle in the wilderness, they did predict a wonderful growth of the Church. An infant had the organs and outlines of a grown person but was undeveloped. Who was there that could stand beside the cradle and predict the possible achievements of that embryotic man? Or who was there that could predict with any degree of accuracy the growth and development of the Church during the next sixty-two years? We could reasonably hope that its development would be much more rapid in the future than in the past. The labors of the Elders had been productive of much good. The most of it, however, was like the iceberg, hidden below the surface. The work of preaching the Gospel to the living was insignificant when compared with what had been done for the dead. In the St. George Temple alone more baptisms had been performed for the dead than the total membership of the Church. For this and other sacred purposes the Latter-day Saints had reared their temples. To witness the laying of the cap-stone of the last and greatest of these structures thousands of people had come to this city. There were those who spoke slightingly of these stately structures, but they did so ignorantly. We were called upon to do a great work, how great we knew not. It had not yet entered into the heart of man how much good would be accomplished in the temples of our God. They were the links between heaven and earth. In them we would be bound to our dead kindred and they to us.

_____

Apostle F. D. Richards

said it was a prevailing idea with a great many people that there were only six members in the Church at the time it was organized. He had entertained the same thought for a long time himself, but learned of his mistake and was now desirous of setting other people aright on the same question. According to the laws of New York a church could neither be organized nor incorporated with less than six members. He could not say authoritatively what the exact membership of the Church was at the time it was organized. It was on the 15th of May, 1829, when Joseph and Oliver were baptized and ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. Between that time and April, 1830 the Gospel had been testified to by Joseph and Oliver, and quite a number had been baptized.

            The choir and congregation sang:

How firm a foundation.

            Benediction was pronounced by Apostle Heber J. Grant.

_____

[4 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 44:508-509, 4/9/92, p 12-13]

SECOND DAY.

_____

Morning Session.

            MONDAY, April 45th, 10 a. m.

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said, You who unto Jesus for refuge hath fled.

was sung by the choir and congregation.

            Prayer by Elder Charles O. Card.

            Singing by the choir and congregation:

Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation, No longer, as strangers, on earth need we roam;
Glad tidings are sounding to us and each nation, And shortly the hour of redemption will come.

_____

Dr. James E. Talmage

read circular Number Eight issued by the

CENTRAL BOARD OF EDUCATION.

            The paper gives detailed explanations as to the nature of the Church educational system, and furnishes specific definitions of the relationships the various institutions and officers bear toward each other, and clear directions as to how each establishment should be organized and conducted.

            The following was, by request of President Willard Young, of

YOUNG UNIVERSITY,

read by Apostle Heber J. Grant:

PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTION.

            Believing that the time is now fully ripe and in every way propitious for the establishment of the Church University mentioned in the circular of the General Board of Education which has just been read, and that no better time than the present, when the Latter-day Saints are assembled in General Conference, can ever be found for taking those preliminary steps which may be proper and right for the carrying out of such a purpose, I therefore respectfully ask that the following motion be put to this congregation, viz:

            I move that this congregation unite in requesting the First Presidency to appoint a committee of five persons to consider a general plan for the proper founding and endowing of a Church University by, or in behalf of the whole body of religious worshipers known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            I suggest that the report of the committee be submitted to this Conference at the earliest time practicable.

WILLARD YOUNG.

_____

Elder Willard Young

said: He believed that it was the right of every member of the Church to unite in the action here proposed, looking to the founding of the one Church University. Therefore as it had been stated that steps were being taken for the formation of the university, he wished as a member of the Church to have a voice in this action, in which he hoped every one present that morning would join.

            President Cannon announced that the First Presidency would take the resolution into consideration and, at a subsequent meeting, probably name the members of the committee for the acceptance of the Conference.

_____

Apostle Lorenzo Snow

was the next speaker. He said the position which the Latter-day Saints occupied in relation to God and the duties resting upon them were such as required aid which could not be secured naturally; they must be maintained by the Spirit of God. The circumstances in which the Saints were placed and the scenes through which they must necessarily pass in the future were briefly touched upon by the speaker. The Lord had done a great deal for the Latter-day Saints during the last sixty-two years, both as a Church and as individuals. When they looked back upon their past history, both individually and collectively, they were astonished at the great progress which had been made, and the blessings which had been bestowed upon them. When this Gospel first reached them in the different nations from whence they came they knew very little in regard to the things of God, in comparison with their present knowledge; they knew nothing in reference to the relationship in which they stood to our Father in Heaven -- that they were his offspring, that they lived before coming into existence here, moved and had an understanding. Apostle Snow touched upon the subject of revelation, and made reference to the book of Doctrine and Covenants, wherein he said many important things were plainly exhibited to us in regard to having a present knowledge as to our condition and relationship to God. The blessings which He had bestowed upon this people were simply marvelous. When the Gospel reached them in the different nations to which they belonged, their condition and circumstances were very different from what they are now. The speaker illustrated his remarks on this head by showing how thousands of the Saints since coming to the valleys of these mountains had enhanced their condition not only spiritually but from a worldly or temporal point of view. It was God who, through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith, had brought this great latter-day work to its present degree of perfection. Let them look at the beautiful cities and towns in this Territory at this time. All these things were to be attributed to God and not to the shrewdness or the ability of men, who were only the instruments in His hands. There were thousands of persons now dwelling in the midst of these mountains who before gathering with the Saints here did not know even how to handle a pick-ax, hoe or shovel, and many of whom were now in comparatively affluent circumstances. This was a good deal, but it was nothing in comparison with what the Lord had done for this people spiritually.

            As a people we must be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect. We might not be able to fulfil all the duties pointed out yesterday; still it was incumbent upon us to do our utmost to reach the highest possible state of perfection, having regard to the peculiar conditions by which we are surrounded. God bless the Latter-day Saints. How firm a foundation had the Lord laid for the exercise of their faith. In the time of trial -- trials such as probably they never anticipated and might naturally wish to escape -- let them not be discouraged, but stand firm, endure the ordeal steadfastly, and the outcome would be much better than had been expected.

______

Apostle Moses Thatcher

            Was next called upon. The circular just read in reference to the Church schools, he said, was a very important document, and he desired to call the attention of those present to the fact that, in this respect, the Latter-day Saints were not unlike the Roman Catholics throughout this nation. They paid taxes which the State legislature appropriated to various States of the Union for the support of the State universities and schools, and yet they were unwilling to entrust the education of their children to the schools which they sustained under this system of government. Therefore while their substance was used for the education of the children of others, not of their faith;, their loyalty to their religion caused them to comply, not always, however, without finding some fault with the system of the country, and then they educated their children in their own schools. This would seem to an extent, an injustice, yet the Latter-day Saints were not able, nor were the Roman Catholics, to prevent this, even if they had the disposition to do so.

            The theory of the government under which we lived was founded on the idea that sovereignty was in the people. In laying the foundation broad and deep our fathers undertook, in order to secure religious freedom, a complete separation of Church and State. The free schools that had recently been established in this Territory, did not under the law permit the teaching of religion. The Latter-day Saints, like the Catholics, realizing the importance of our children receiving a religious education, that belief in and devotion to God were the very foundation of true education, were placed in the position in which they now found themselves in this matter.

            Our Territorial legislature appropriated money freely to sustain the University of Deseret, or the University of Utah as it was called, for it was in conformity with the spirit of the time that we must change the name and, as far as possible, obliterate the memory of the past, even as the Roman Catholics sought to do when they introduced their doctrines among the aboriginal inhabitants of this continent. The funds, therefore, that were appropriated by the Territorial legislature from the taxes of the people went to support the University of Utah and the Agricultural College in the north; and while we were no doubt willing that our taxes should be thus used, as those schools in some degree harmonized with the wishes of the nation, yet when we turn our eyes inward and searched the foundation upon which we were building, we were desirous that our children should be educated in the Church schools. But in order to do this we must not forget that the competition would be very severe.

            The building and the appointments of these schools would be as perfect as the means within their reach could make them. On the other hand, we were comparatively poor, so far as the means to educate our children were concerned; because what we lacked in this respect must be made up in our union of faith, in our devotion to the work, and in our contributions for that end. The whole matter was not accomplished in the vote of that conference today, but there must be a great deal of work in the future in order to carry out the object in view. Every father in Israel must "put his shoulder to the wheel."

            The education of the world largely tended to the development of the intellect without the cultivation of the heart. The Latter-day Saints believed that true loyalty to the country depended to a great extent upon true faith in the Creator of the country. Therefore their foundation was deeper than that of the world, as they viewed it, inasmuch as they made the true worship of God the chief corner-stone of the structure, having in view always the highest liberty of the individual.

            He believed that we had here in Utah as bright minds as the world had produced, and that if we would give this great subject the thought and attention necessary, the time was not far distant when our schools would compare favorably with those in other parts of the country. The time would come when instead of our boys going to the universities of the East to complete their education, the sons of others would come to these mountains to complete theirs. There was no reason why it should not be so.

            In speaking on the subject of direct revelation from God, the speaker said, a man might have knowledge without having wisdom. No person in this Church was safe for a single hour unless he had the Spirit of God to guide him, and the time was near at hand when every man must stand upon the knowledge which God had given him. Individual intelligence was the glory of God.

            We were upon the verge of grave times, and should we because the conditions had recently changed, sell our birthright for "a mess of pottage?" he answered no; and if i the exercise of what he might term his American liberty -- which might be better given as American license -- he should become a stumbling block to his brethren, God would hold him responsible for it.

            There were duties which they owed to the State as well as to the Church. Let them as intelligent American citizens render to civil government that which belonged to it, but never forget to render to God the things that were His. The Latter-day Saints, everyone of them, had promised their allegiance to the American government, but they could not afford to give away the fruits of the labors which they had received since the organization of this Church sixty-two years ago for the baubles of the world; "and," said the speaker in conclusion, "I would to God that more of our Elders could give the enthusiasm, devotion, and love to the work of God which they seem to give so willingly to political matters."

            The choir sang: Praise Ye the Father. Benediction by Elder B. H. Roberts.

_____

[4 Apr, 2 pm]

[DNW 44:509-510, 4/9/92, p 13-14]

Afternoon Session.

            The choir and congregation joined in singing:

We thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, To guide us in these latter days.
WE thank Thee for sending the Gospel, To lighten our minds with its rays.

            Prayer by elder Joseph E. Taylor.

Praise to the man, etc.

was sung by the choir and congregation.

_____

President George Q. Cannon

said: In response to the resolution presented and adopted by the Conference this morning, the committee of five has been nominated by the First Presidency. Their names are:

            Willard Young, Karl G. Maeser, James E. Talmage, James Sharp, and Henry Cluff, Jr.

            If this committee be acceptable to this Conference and they confirm our nomination, they will signify it in the usual way.

            The nominations were unanimously sustained and President Cannon then said: the committee will report at some time during Conference, at a subsequent session, as to their conclusions.

_____

President Cannon

read from a prophecy of Enoch, contained in the "Pearl of Great Price," in relation to the coming of Christ in power, in the latter days, to reign on the earth a thousand years, and to the gathering of a people to prepare to meet Him when He should appear. He then delivered a discourse on the nature of the work of God, established in fulfilment of the prediction of Enoch, and the divine selection of the men who have been and are engaged in carrying it forward. he dwelt for some time and with great earnestness and force upon conditions now existing among the Saints that are contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, and liable to divide the brethren from each other in their feelings, and destroy the amity that should exist among them. The concluding portion of the discourse was devoted to an explanation of the right of those whom Go had placed to preside in the church to counsel the Saints in everything pertaining to the building up of Zion. As a synopsis would not give an adequate idea of President Cannon's remarks, a condensation of them is not attempted. They will probably be produced in full hereafter.

_____

President Wilford Woodruff

next addressed the assemblage, the following being the substance of what he said:

            It was his duty as a leader of this Church, as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator as he was called, to bear his testimony to what President Cannon had just said; for he had told the truth. He himself realized the delicate position which any of them were placed in when they touched upon political matters; at the same time he was very glad that Brother Cannon had touched upon that subject so far.

            There were the Twelve Apostles. One part of their number -- he did not know how many -- were Democrats, the other Republicans; and it was so with every quorum in this Church and kingdom. He confessed that the spirit which he had seen manifested towards some of the Twelve, and that by other men of high standing in the Church had pained him exceedingly. It might be asked in what way? In the fist place, every man had as much right -- Prophets, Apostles, Saints and sinners -- to his political convictions as he had to his religious opinions. There was no necessity for quarrelling one with another, but there had prevailed a spirit, since the political division, among the Latter-day Saints which was greatly to be deplored. As Brother Cannon had said, that spirit would lead them to ruin, to sorrow and affliction, unless a different course was taken. He had seen some good men in the Church come together on these political matters and display a spirit that they had no business to. A good deal had been said about Brother John Henry Smith, and why he was a Republican. He took it up, and gave his views to the public. The question arose and was put straight out, "Is he going to apostatize? Because a man cannot be a Latter-day Saint and a Republican!" That was the feeling. Others might think that a man could not be a Latter-day Saint and a Democrat as well. Now, a man could be both, and if we behaved ourselves and did what was right as Latter-day Saints they would not have any trouble. He, however, wanted to say to the congregation before him that all the devils in hell and on earth were united together to destroy this Church and Kingdom. Whether it was one individual or a hundred, they labored to that end, and the Saints had to be careful to watch their position in these things. There was an election held recently in the North -- the town of Logan -- where the Republicans were victorious. They (the Presidency) were accused of guiding, directing and ordering, as it were, the operation of this; but such was untrue. He himself had sons who were both Republicans and Democrats, but he had never once in his life told either of them how to vote. God knew he had allowed them to do as they liked. He wanted the Apostles to do as they liked, also every other man in Israel; "but for God's sake don't quarrel; don't throw filth and dirt and nonsense at one another, because of any difference on political matters." Let all present give heed to this. Let them go about their business and attend to their political affairs as they pleased; but do not quarrel. If there were any people on the face of this earth that ought to be full of unity, of faith, of the Holy Ghost and the revelations of heaven it was the congregation before him today.

            He thanked God from the bottom of his heart that he had lived to see his day -- to see such vast congregation as this in the valleys of these mountains. He had grown up and lived with the Church almost from its organization, and when he remembered how few were now living in the flesh of those whom he knew in Kirtland or even Nauvoo, and who associated with the Prophet Joseph, he marveled that his own life had been preserved so long. When they passed behind the vail they would find their records there, in the great library of the Kingdom of Heaven, and he would like to have a good account, as he wanted all of them to have.

            After pointing out the important responsibility resting upon the people of God, and remarking that the eyes of the Lord and all the heavenly host were constantly upon them, President Woodruff said that God had greatly blessed them thus far in their mission here below and would yet give them the power to accomplish much more, if they but walked uprightly before Him, lived in unity, and carried out the purposes and principles of the Gospel in their daily life. Whatever duties we were called upon to perform, we should fulfil them cheerfully. Today the Latter-day Saints who dwelt in the valleys of these mountains occupied a very important position in the world. A great change was taking place in public opinion toward them, even in our own nation. They had been so derided and misrepresented in the past that people at one time, it would seem, hardly dared to come into Salt Lake City for fear that they would have their throats cut or be otherwise killed! The object of this people was to labor for the welfare of their fellowmen both here and abroad; and this was what they had been doing all the way through. The gospel which they preached would save all the sons of men under the heaven who would embrace it and obey all its laws. The Latter-day Saints were not the enemies of anybody. They believed that every man had a right to his religion, to whatever sect he might belong, and this people only claimed in return the same privilege. That was all they ever had asked.

            The speaker referred briefly to the building of temples by the Latter-day Saints, and said they had made this once desert land to bring forth things in abundance for the sustenance of man, through the power of God. Thousands had gone before us here and thousands would come after; but the foundation had been laid and we were building upon it.

            In conclusion, President Woodruff alluded to the ceremony of placing the cap-stone on the Temple on Wednesday. A great deal had been said as to people going upon the building on that occasion, but he wished to state that not one-tenth of that congregation could go up there. It was desired that all should remain on terra firma except the very few whose duty it would be to ascend the building to perform the necessary work of the day. He would rather not a soul went up than that one man, woman or child should be injured

_____

President Joseph F. Smith

said he desired to bear his testimony to the remarks which had been made by President Cannon and President Wilford Woodruff. He wished to be understood that he was heart and soul in unison with them in the views which they had just expressed, both in regard to religious and political questions; He joined in exhorting the Latter-day Saints, whatever they might do in the line of politics, to endeavor to bring them up to the high standard that they should occupy among those who professed to be the people of God, and not descend to the low, mean ways and tricks of the world. If they could not be honest in politics as well as religion, and act as men of God, they were not very good latter-day Saints.

            In relation to the authority of the Presidency of the Church, there had been a tendency for the last seven or eight years among the Latter-day Saints to disregard to some extent the rights of the Presidency and the authority of those who had been placed over them. This no doubt had arisen from the fact that the Presidency had a great length of time been comparatively out of sight of the people, and the people had been free to act as they pleased. There had been a feeling more or less, growing up, not only among the people, but also with some who were prominent in the Priesthood, which caused them to act as though they considered themselves just about as great, and perhaps a little greater, and that they had just as much knowledge, and perhaps a little more, and equal authority, with the presiding authorities of the Church. In some respects he himself had seen a disregard shown to the counsels of the Priesthood. This was wrong. It was true we had not the Prophet Joseph Smith with us in person today, neither had we the Prophet Brigham Young; nor the Prophet John Taylor; but we had the Prophet Wilford Woodruff and his counselors; we had the first Presidency of the Church, organized and acknowledged by the whole people and by God the Heavenly Father; and the same authority that rested in Joseph Smith and his counselors and that succeeded them in others rested here today with the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and when they essayed to counsel the people -- as it was their right to do -- it was the duty of the Saints to hearken. He prayed that the Lord might guide them in this direction in this matter, give them to understand that the Church of God was organized upon the earth, that the authority of the holy Priesthood was here and that the Priesthood had the right to dictate in all things appertaining to the building up of that Church. God had so far acknowledged the acts of His servants and would continue to do so from this time henceforth; because this was His work.

            Great responsibilities rested upon the men who had been chosen by the Almighty and appointed to act in these positions, and they felt the weight of the responsibility resting upon them continually. Not only did they feel this, but they had actually to assume the task of carrying the troubles, burdens, and sorrows of hundreds, he might say thousands, of individuals in the Church; for there was scarcely a man or woman who had any trouble who did not come to the First Presidency for sympathy and counsel. Sometimes he had seen President Woodruff almost borne down beyond the possibility of endurance by these responsibilities crowding upon him, in addition to those which he had to bear in connection with his Presidency over the whole Church. "Try to make his burdens light," implored the speaker. "Let the people go to their Bishops, to the Presidents of their Stakes and to other wise men in Israel to ask counsel, and get them to help bear their burdens; but do not bring so many to President Woodruff. It is weighing him down and shortening his time upon the earth. Keep your troubles i your local organizations as much as you can."

            God bless this people, and during this Conference may the spirit of peace and unity dwell in the hearts of all. He besought the Saints to live their religion, to do right and keep all the commandments of God, that they might know of the doctrine whether it was of God or of man, and whether the course they were pursuing was acceptable in His sight.

            The choir sang the anthem,

Let God arise.

            Benediction by Apostle Francis M. Lyman.

_____

[5 Apr, 10 am]

[DNW 44:510-512, 4/9/92, p 14-16]

THIRD DAY.

_____

Morning Session.

            The choir and congregation sang:

Do what is right; the day dawn is breaking, Hailing a future of freedom and light;
Angels, above us, are silent notes taking Of every action; do what is right.

            Prayer by Elder John D. T. McAlister.

            Singing by the choir and congregation:

The spirit of God like a fire is burning! The latter-day glory begins to come forth.
The visions and blessings of old are returning, The angels are coming to visit the earth.

            President Cannon read the following communication:

Church University.

SALT LAKE CITY, April 4, 1892.

To the First Presidency and Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in annual conference assembled:

            Dear Brethren and Sisters -- Your committee to whom was referred the duty of preparing a plan for the action of the Conference, relative to the establishment of a Church University, respectfully submit the accompanying resolution; and we recommend its adoption.

            Respectfully, your brethren,

WILLARD YOUNG,
KARL G MAESER,
JAMES E TALMAGE,
JAMES SHARP,
BENJAMIN CLUFF, JR.,

Committee.

RESOLUTION.

            Being sincerely desirous of fostering education in our midst, we the members of the unincorporated body of religious worshipers known and designated as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now in General Conference assembled, on this 5th day of April, 1892, do respectfully request the presiding officers of our Church, viz: Wilford Woodruff, President, and George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, Counselors, all of the First Presidency; and Lorenzo Snow, President, and Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Mariner W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon, members, all of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, for us, and in our behalf, to found upon such trusts, and to endow, in such manner as they may deem wise and proper, an institution of learning of high grade, to be officially named "The University of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," but to be commonly called and designated the "Church University." We respectfully suggest that the University be established at the earliest time practicable. We, the Latter-day Saints, hereby express our willingness and full determination to aid, to the full extent of our power, the authorities of our Church in building up said University of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            The adoption of the resolution was moved by Elder B. H. Roberts, and the motion being seconded, it was put to the Conference and carried unanimously.

            On motion of Apostle Lyman the committee was discharged from further duty in the premises.

_____

Apostle F. M. Lyman

was the first speaker. He said in substance, that these were precious seasons when so many of the Latter-day Saints met together to worship the Lord and to transact business pertaining to the building up of our Father's Kingdom in the earth. After expressing the pleasure he personally felt at seeing such a large gathering of the Saints present at this Conference, despite the very inclement weather, he referred to the trials through which the people had passed for the Gospel's sake, not only in this but in all previous dispensations. There seemed to be a power and influence opposed to the purposes of our Maker to try and thwart His designs; and apparently, looking at the matter from a human standpoint, the opposer of the Lord had been successful. At least, a good many things had occurred which appeared to disappoint the hopes and expectations of the followers of the Savior, and he supposed no greater disappointment ever happened in the experience of God's children on the earth than when the Savior himself came to lay down His life.

            The revelations and requirements of the Lord had always been, in a measure, trials to the people, -- not to all, but to a great many. Not a few had turned away from the truth indeed, because things did not go exactly as they wished. The speaker pointed out that the Saints had in some respects been too neglectful of the duties and obligations resting upon them; they did not order their lives as they should. They had, he feared, been careless in regard to their prayers, and in regard to the payment of tithing, notwithstanding that the Lord had blessed them abundantly with the earth's riches. The Latter-day Saints were increasing in numbers, they were prospering in their business enterprises in these valleys, and should therefore give the Lord according to their substance. Their tithing should increase year by year, and their disposition to serve God should grow greater day by day. Let them act in full obedience to the Word of Wisdom. There should be no occasion for such admonitions against contention as were given by President Woodruff and Presidents Cannon and Smith yesterday. There should be no such feeling existing among the Latter-day Saints as was then referred to, but it was the duty of the People to honor the Presidency and the authority of the Holy Priesthood in all things. President Woodruff as the mouthpiece of God, should have the obedience of all the Latter-day Saints in all that pertains to the building up of Zion. The truth of the Gospel should be so grounded in their hearts that it could not be shaken, and they should discard politics and everything else that would tend to divide them in the spirit of the Gospel and against their brethren. They were expected to be one in the spirit and labors of the gospel, and while there was division on party lines, it ought not to create one particle of bitterness among the people. Whenever any of the Saints had a feeling of that kind within their hearts toward their brethren and lacked the spirit of forgiveness, they must know that they were in error. The revelation in regard to plural marriage, the issuance of the Church manifesto, politics, and other things had, no doubt, in turn tried the hearts of many of them, but he was thankful to say that very few had left the Church on account of what had taken place. In closing, the speaker asked God to bless the various officers of the Church. He also touched upon the ceremonies at the Temple tomorrow, which, he said, would be a grand occasion.

[Francis M. Lyman]

[DNW 44:625, 4/30/92, p 25; CD 3:34-39]

REMARKS

By Elder Francis M. Lyman, at the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
(during the general Conference) Tuesday morning, April 5th, 1892

_____

      While I attempt to speak to you, my brethren and sisters, this morning, I feel more than ever in my life the necessity of your faith and prayers, and I suggest that it is good discipline for the mind, whenever our brethren rise to speak or pray in our behalf, that we offer up a silent prayer, asking God to bless our brother in his speaking and in his praying.

      These are precious seasons where so many Latter-day Saints meet together to worship the Lord and to transact business that pertains to the building up of our Father's kingdom in the earth. The Lord has been very gracious to all of us during this conference, and in spite of the bad weather the people have had faith enough to gather together in great numbers, manifesting their deep interest in the work of the Lord; and our brethren have been greatly blessed in speaking to us the words of truth and of instruction suited to the requirements of the Latter-day Saints.

      We find that from the beginning the children of God have had seasons of trial. All the changes, all the revelations, all the movements of the people have in a measure tended to try some of those who profess faith in the Lord. The trials of the people go as far back as we are acquainted with their history, not only in this dispensation, but in all dispensations. There seems to be a power and an influence opposed to the purposes of our Maker, trying to thwart His designs; and, looking at it from a human standpoint, the opposer of the Lord has been apparently successful; at least, a great many things have occurred that would seem to disappoint the hopes and expectations of the followers of the Savior; and I suppose that no greater disappointment ever occurred in the experience of God's children on the earth than when the Savior Himself laid down His life. With all that He had said, with all the references that He had made to the laying down of His life, and with all that had been said in the revelations to the Prophets of old, no one was prepared for the death of the Savior. With all that had been said by the Prophet Joseph to his brethren and the Saints of God in early days, there was not one soul, save it might be the Prophet himself, that was prepared for the sacrifice of his life. No one ever thought that he would be slain. No one ever thought that his brother Hyrum would be slain. They were not prepared for it. Neither were they prepared for many of the revelations that the Lord gave. Although we are a people of revelation, founded upon the rock of revelation, yet there is hardly a revelation given by the Lord to the Latter-day Saints but takes them unprepared. They had not thought it would be just that way, but that something else would have been revealed. And these revelations and requirements of the Lord have always been, in a measure, trials to the people; not to all of them, but to a great many. Many people have turned away from the truth because things did not come exactly to suit them. Now, the instructions that the Latter-day Saints have had from the beginning have been to the effect that they should live their religion, keep the commandments of the Lord, and so live that they might have the testimony of the Holy Spirit abiding in their hearts. If these instructions had been followed very closely and carefully by all the Latter-day Saints, I believe that they would have been fairly prepared, at least, to receive any order, any revelation and any changes that were necessary for the accomplishment of the Lord's purposes in the earth. But we are a little careless and neglectful of the duties that devolve upon us, and we do not order our lives as carefully as we ought to do. We are not as particular in regard to the worship of the Lord; we are not as particular in partaking of the sacrament; we have not learned to love the sacrament and to comprehend it as we ought to do, so that all Israel are gathered together on the Sabbath day to partake of the sacrament. We have not yet learned to comprehend the importance of prayer so thoroughly and perfectly but what we forget and neglect our prayers. They are neglected in the father's house, and in the son's house, and in the daughter's house. We are careless also in regard to our tithing. Although the Lord blesses us abundantly, and provides us with fruitful seasons as He did last year, yet the Latter-day Saints become careless in regard to their tithing. And I suppose there is always an excuse in the heart of every brother and of every family where there is a falling off in regard to tithing, in regard to prayer, in regard to attending meeting and the conferences and to the worship of the Lord. I wonder what excuse we can make as Latter-day Saints for the neglect of our tithing. The reports of this year from many of the Stakes of Zion would indicate that the people are becoming poorer; that our increase and our interest have not been so much during the last year as in years before. Yet the fact is, we are increasing in number; we are extending our farms; we are increasing our merchandizing; we are engaging in more business enterprises; and if we feed as well, and clothe as well, and lay by a little every year, as we ought to be doing, our tithing fairly and honestly paid, should have been a little better. If you and I do not pay more, there ought to be others coming up, for there is a little generation of young men coming to maturity who should have become tithepayers independent of their fathers; and the tithings of the people should increase, unless there is a famine or some great reason why there should be a falling off. I desire to emphasize this before all Israel, that our tithings ought to increase year by year, and also our disposition to attend the worship of the Lord, to attend to our prayers, to observe faithfully the Word of Wisdom, and to increase in good works year by year. We ought to be better men. We ought to be more careful, more circumspect, more faithful and devoted to the Lord than we have been in the past. This is as necessary as it is that the child should grow from childhood to youth, and to manhood and old age. We ought to grow and improve in our morals, in our faith, in our integrity and in our humility day by day. There ought never to be a necessity for the remarks that were made yesterday by President Cannon and President Smith. There ought not to be any feeling among the Latter-day Saints to question the authority of God's priesthood-the authority of the Teacher, or the Priest, or the Bishop, or the President of Stake, or the Apostle, or the First Presidency. From the First Presidency and the Apostles through all the other quorums there ought to be that proper regard for authority and seniority in the midst of the people and amongst the Priesthood that would be pleasing to the Lord. The Priesthood that we bear ought to be respected. Men may be weak, and have their failings; but we ought to honor the Priesthood that they bear and the authority that they exercise. I love to honor and respect a man that God honors. If the Lord can trust the Priesthood with His servants, I feel that I can afford to honor them. I care not what the degree of Priesthood is that a man bears; in fact, I can honor the man that has made covenant with God to keep His commandments and is humble before the Lord. I can love and respect such persons for the humility that they have before God; for they have the friendship and favor of the Lord, and I feel that I can honor and treat them kindly. And when it comes to my brethren who preside over me and who are associated with me in the quorum to which I belong, and my brethren the High Priests and the Seventies and the chief Elders, why it does seem to me that their words, their counsels and their exhortations should be so sacred that we could all honor and respect them. I know that in the quorum of the Apostles and with the Presidency there is a feeling of respect, of honor and of obedience to those who preside over us. We defer to our seniors, and we honor and respect them in their presidency. If there is any lack of respect for the Presidency of the Church, in the Church or in any of the quorums of the Holy Priesthood, I should be very sorry to witness it. I have always felt that President Woodruff was to me the same as President Taylor was-the vicegerent of God. I have felt that President Woodruff and President Taylor were the same to me and to the Church as President Brigham Young, and they as the Prophet of God; for these men have walked right into the same authority and the same power, the same blessing, endowment and responsibility, as leaders of Israel as was held by the Prophet Joseph Smith. And in the absence of President Woodruff, I have always felt-I trust I may ever so feel-that President Cannon, or whoever may stand in the place that President Cannon does today, is to me the same as President Woodruff, as the President of the Church and as the President of the Conference; and in the absence of the President and his first Counselor, I look upon the second Counselor as the man who stands as the mouthpiece of God to the people. For these are three Presidents, as I understand it. I understand that in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith he was the President of the Church, and that he had associated with him other two Presidents-a presiding quorum of High Priests-and that either of these in the absence of the others was perfectly competent to give forth the word of God to the Latter-day Saints. And I have always looked upon my brethren of the Apostles, from President Snow to Elder Abraham H. Cannon, the last of the Apostles, as being perfectly competent to give forth the word of the Lord to the Latter-day Saints, to teach them, to counsel them, and to instruct them in the ways of life, while the Lord inspires them to do so. I felt yesterday that the word of God was given to us through President Cannon just as perfectly as though it had been through President Wilford Woodruff. And President Woodruff said so. He knew it as well as we knew it. You Latter-day Saints who heard his voice understood it, and felt the spirit with which he spoke. It was so in regard to what President Jos. F. Smith said; and it is so with the word of the Lord given through the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ; for they are anointed with the same power and authority, and you sustain them as prophets, as seers, and as revelators; and they are competent, when the spirit of God is upon them, to bear testimony, and to instruct, and to admonish, and to warn, and to counsel, and to direct the Latter-day Saints. That is the nature of the authority and power that is conferred upon them, and it ought to be respected just as we respect each other; and as we respect each other, so I think the people will respect us and honor the Priesthood and authority which we bear. These men are called to labor in all the world, with all the churches and all the people, to teach, to instruct and to set good examples. I hold that these chief brethren in these quorums and these Seventies, are expected to set good examples, that the people cannot reasonably and truthfully find fault with them. They are expected to set good examples in their lives, in their families, in their neighborhoods, in business, and in all their ways, and to be filled with the light of revelation and the word of the Lord on all occasions, to speak forth those counsels that the people require, so that the people may be warned of dangers and evils, just as we have been warned of the danger of the people going into trouble. Some of the brethren have expressed some fears. Now I want to say that I have but very few fears. I have great confidence in these Latter-day Saints that have had a long experience, from the early days of the Church. We are mixed up now. We have a few brethren that have been here from the very beginning. Then we have some that came in the next stage, and a few later, and some still later; and the Latter-day Saints are so thoroughly proven that what turned men from the Church and made them enemies to the Presidency of the Church in the days of the Prophet Joseph will not do it today. They have too good sense, and have been too thoroughly taught and schooled. We have the same feelings and spirit sometimes that men had in former times; but when in our sober sense, and when we exercise a little reason and judgment, the knowledge of the truth is so grounded in our hearts that we cannot be shaken. We will discard politics, we will discard everything that would make us bitter towards our brethren and divide us in the spirit of the Gospel. We are expected to be one in the spirit of the Gospel and in the labors of the Gospel; and where division on party lines is necessary and occurs, it ought never to make one particle of bitterness between brethren. And I want to say to all Israel that if you feel that kind of bitterness in your heart toward a brother, and lack the spirit of forgiveness, you are in error, because we cannot allow bitterness in our hearts toward our brethren; in fact, bitterness ought not to be in our hearts toward any person. If the world be pitted against us and feel opposed to us in their sentiments and feelings, and in their religious and political organizations, why should we not be friendly to ourselves? We ought to be. Therefore, judge yourselves. No man need to be judged by anyone else. Let every man judge himself in regard to the feelings in his own heart. We need not become excited. We need not become over anxious, or troubled, in regard to the Kingdom; for the Kingdom is the Lord's, and He will maintain it, whether you and I are faithful or not. And it is increasing year by year. Though we may not seem quite so fervent; we may not feel as anxious in regard to the sacrament as we ought; we may not be quite as careful in regard to our tithing, the word of wisdom, etc., yet you will find that the Spirit of the Lord is working among the Latter-day Saints, and it is telling upon their hearts, and it seems to inoculate their systems and their blood, and they have the spirit of the Gospel more or less in them, and they become so established and firm that they will not altogether let go of the faith. They may have seasons of carelessness and indifference, and they may be overtaken with anger sometimes and be profane and vulgar; but I tell you that the Lord is working, and He does put His spirit in the families of the Saints, and in the meetings and gatherings of the Saints, until the Latter-day Saints are becoming so strongly impregnated with the Spirit of the Lord and with the doctrines of the Gospel that they are not apostatizing as they used to do in great numbers. The Presidency here do not fear the Apostles turning against them. They do not fear their joining with the ranks of the enemy, as was the case in the days of the Prophet Joseph. Have we any fears in regard to these Seventies? Have we any fears in regard to these Presidents of Stakes? We never think of one of them turning away, leaving the Gospel, and joining hands with the enemy. The revelation of plural marriage, no doubt, tried the hearts of a great many people. The Manifesto tried a great many people. But not many have left the Church on account of it. The evidence of the brethren before the Master in Chancery tried some of the people, and politics tries the people; and I tell you that everything that comes along will try some of the people. But I say that we are today a tried and proven people so far that there will not be the apostasy, in proportion to our numbers, that was witnessed in the beginning of the Church. Some will apostatize, no doubt, and lose the faith, and die in that condition. But I tell you the very best and choicest, the most independent spirits that could be found in the earth, have been gathered-the choicest of families, and of cities, and of nations; those that were not afraid to have their names cast out as evil. These are the ones that have been gathered in this remarkable gathering, the like of which cannot be found anywhere else. No other people gather together as we do. And the Lord has tried and proven us. Not only this, but the strength of the trials that we have endured, and the faith and power that we have, tinctures our children, and they will walk measurably in our footsteps, though some of them may be lost.

      I pray God to bless this Conference. My heart is full of rejoicing. I love my brethren. Oh! I feel to say God bless them. God bless President Woodruff and his counselors. God bless Brother Lorenzo Snow, and Brother Franklin D. Richards-these aged men. God bless these younger men, who need a blessing more than the older ones do, because we lack the experience, and we need to be proven and tried yet as they have been. God grant that we may be as faithful as they have been. God bless Israel. God bless this First quorum of Seventies. God bless Brother Jacob Gates, who now lies near his death, apparently, and preserve his life as long as it shall please the Lord that he shall live-a man full of faith and integrity. God bless these Presidents of Seventies. I love every one of them. There is not one without weaknesses, but their weaknesses are about the same as mine, and I sympathize with them. God bless the Bishops, who, of all men in the Church, have heavy loads to carry and are the servants of everybody. God bless the Bishops of the big wards and the little wards, and all Counselors, and all men in Israel who are laboring for the building up of God's Kingdom. May we tomorrow, with the favor of heaven, place the capstone on that Temple. Oh, what a day! I was here when the cornerstones were laid. I was about thirteen years old. I thank God I had that privilege, and I want to see this tomorrow; and then I want to live to see the building dedicated and the people have the privilege of going in, tens of thousands of them, to perform their labors for the dead. God bless Israel and all the interests of Zion, at home and abroad, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

_____

Apostle John Henry Smith

said he knew of no people in the world who were so amply taught in everything that tended to make up the sum total of the human life as the Latter-day Saints, and he rejoiced in the knowledge of the truth, in the testimony of Jesus Christ, and in the testimonies which had been borne by the brethren during this Conference.

            He had been requested to state that an effort was on foot to erect a monument in honor of the late President Brigham Young, that hero in the settlement of this western country and the body of heroes and heroines who came with him here and loyally planted the American flag upon this soil. He appealed to those present to contribute as far as their means would allow towards the accomplishment of this grand work. He trusted that every man, woman and child would help the undertaking forward -- that every "Mormon" and non-"Mormon" throughout the land who respected the work that had been done in the interests of the Gospel in this part of the world would throw in his mite. When the visitors to this Conference returned home to their respective districts they should exercise their endeavors to induce others to contribute, that their names might be recorded as having taken part in so noble a cause.

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Apostle Marriner W. Merrill

said, in substance, that he had enjoyed this Conference exceedingly, and considered the counsel already given as timely and fitting. He had been led to reflect on the conditions of the past in the history of this Territory. He was not here at the time of the laying of the corner stone of the Salt Lake Temple, but came shortly afterwards. He thought of the amount of means that had been expended by the Saints in erection of houses to the Lord. It was an evidence that God was with them. The Prophet Joseph said that whenever the Lord had a people on the earth he commanded them to build temples. The Nephites were only a few years on this continent when they were commanded to erect a holy structure of that character. This was a temple-building dispensation. The Salt Lake building would soon be completed, making the fourth on this Territory. Others would be constructed, and the people would enter those sacred edifices and do a work for their kindred dead. All Israel desire that President Woodruff should dedicate the Temple in this City. He had assurance that when it was dedicated President Woodruff would be there, President Brigham Young would be there, and President Heber C. Kimball would be there. He knew that Brother Kimball had been in Logan temple because he had seen him in that building. It need not be supposed that the servants of God who had passed behind the veil were not interested in the work of God and its progress on the earth. They were all interested in the subject. The Prophet Joseph, the head of this dispensation, was watching and aiding it, together with his associates.

            The speaker touched upon the subject of faith. We might know the things of God by the Spirit of God, and no man or woman could understand these things unless he or she possessed humility of spirit and a contrite heart. He knew that this great latter-day work was true and came from God, having received a testimony thereof. The Latter-day Saints should not entertain animosity or hard feelings towards anyone. They come to these Conferences for the purpose of having their minds and spirits refreshed, that they might return to their homes prepared to do better than in the past and to live better and purer lives. How many would follow out the good counsels to which they had listened at this conference? He besought the Saints to go forward with the best resolutions to serve God faithfully henceforth, and to let nothing turn them aside from the truth.

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Apostle Anthon H. Lund

followed. He endorsed all the remarks which had been made by the previous speakers, and said there had been no division in the faith of the Latter-day Saints. The principles which God had revealed to them they had believed alike, whatever else might have happened. In the past intolerance had been productive of much evil. If we, as a people, were tolerant in religious matters, why should we not be so in regard to things which were not nearly so important as those which belonged to the salvation of the soul? When we engaged in political affairs let us be forbearing, and not think because another person did not hold the same opinion as ourselves that he was necessarily in the wrong. Let not our opinions on earthly matters divide us in our religious views, but seek to love one another as the Gospel demanded. The Lord had been with this work from its inception, and he would carry it to a successful issue.

            This Conference would be remembered as a very important one. The circular read yesterday in regard to the establishment of the Church university was a most interesting matter and he was very pleased that such a system had been inaugurated in our midst -- that the servants of God had been led to lay this subject before the Saints and counsel them to remember the education of their children. Let us, he said, give our children that which no one can take away from them, and that is an excellent education. He hoped the Church university would so prosper that the time would come when the children of the East would come here to finish their tuition instead of the youth of Zion going there for that purpose. Might God bless the Latter-day Saints and help them to choose to walk in the path of righteousness.

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President George Q. Cannon

then said that it would be appropriate for him to say a few words before the congregation was dismissed, in regard to the subject of the proposed monument to the memory of President Brigham Young. This matter had been carefully considered, a committee appointed, and the services of a sculptor secured. It was at first thought that comparatively few would contribute to the fund, but upon more mature consideration the opinion prevailed that this was an undertaking in which probably all the Latter-day Saints would like to engage. It was therefore decided that they should be able to contribute $1 each. It was not expected that contributions should be limited to that amount; any one who chose to give more could do so, and it would perhaps become necessary to go beyond the sum named. But it was felt that each of the Saints might put in one dollar. There might be many of the children, too, who would like to add their mite, if not more than a dime or a quarter, so that they might be able to say, "I helped with what little means I possessed towards the fund for the building of that monument." This was a good time to take the matter up in earnest. Judge Elias A. Smith was treasurer of the fund, and the contributions of as many of the Saints as could donate during the Conference would be gladly accepted. When those present returned home they could tell their neighbors what was going forward and they to induce them to help also. In the days to come everything of this character - in which they took part now, every such movement in which our children took part -- would be remembered with feelings of gratification. On this account it was well that the subscription should be a general one. This movement had its origin with the authorities of the Church. When the proposal was made to them they heartily approved of it; what was now being done was with their sanction.

            President Cannon continued -- In my remarks yesterday afternoon I alluded to Brother John Henry Smith. A member of my family afterwards called my attention to what I had said and observed that I did not explain myself fully, but that I left myself open to misconstruction. Lest there should be any misapprehension on this point I wish now to explain what I really meant. What I said was quite clear to myself, though perhaps it was not so clear to some who heard me. It appears to have been thought that we (the First Presidency) told Brother Smith do do what he had done.

            Now the explanation of this is very simple. John Henry Smith came to the First Presidency when this division on party lines took place and said to us, "I am a Republican; I would like to give my voice to my brethren on republicanism. Can I, being one of the Twelve, do it; am I at liberty; will I be transcending my bounds or doing anything improper?" We told him that we saw no impropriety in his doing this. Now that is what I meant by the remark I made yesterday, and I take this opportunity of explaining it, because I was told by two or three last evening that they were afraid somebody would put a wrong construction on what I said. I take pleasure in explaining this, though to the First presidency it was quite plain at the time.

            The choir sang:

Let the mountains shout for joy.

            Benediction by Elder John Nicholson.

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[5 Apr, 2 pm*]

[DNW 44:512-513, 4/9/92, p 16-17]

THIRD DAY.

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Afternoon Session.

            The choir and congregation joined in singing:

Our God, we raise to Thee Thanks for the blessings free, We here enjoy.

            Prayer by Elder Charles W. Penrose.

            Singing by the choir:

Lord, Thou wilt hear me when I pray, I am forever Thine;
I fear Thee all the day; O, may I never sin.

            There being a great many more people in and around the Tabernacle than could be accommodated with sitting room within the building, it was announced, by President George Q. Cannon, that an overflow meeting would be held in the Assembly Hall, over which President Lorenzo Snow would preside.

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Apostle Abraham H. Cannon

addressed the congregation. He said it seemed a long time -- sixty-two years -- since this Church was organized, and especially was this the case when they considered the marvelous work which had been accomplished. God had indeed been with this people, and had performed that which we today witnessed. But with all that had been carried out already, there was still a great deal to be done in the accomplishment of the mission which God had assigned to the Latter-day Saints. He had placed upon us the duty of preaching this gospel of the Kingdom to the world. True, we had done this to a very great extent already. Every quarter of the globe had been visited by the Elders and in almost every language had the truth been proclaimed; but a stupendous work yet remained to be done. Touching upon the question of dissension, the speaker asked what good would it do, if discord was sown to bring emigrants here -- if they were placed in the way of following the example which was too frequently set them by some of those who professed to be the people of God? It would perhaps be better, under such circumstances, to leave them in the lands where they now dwelt than have them here to make them apostates to the truth and perhaps send them forth again to spread falsehood and circulate improper rumors concerning the Saints in Zion. He counseled the people to look after their brethren and sisters who arrived here from abroad, and urged that suitable employment should be provided for them as soon as possible, in order that their minds might not be kept idle and filled with idle thoughts. In this Territory there was ample work for all, and it was well that the people should be kept employed, thus keeping them out of the way of that evil which prevailed to too great an extent in our midst. Let us seek to beautify Zion by the industry of our own hands, and work unitedly for the salvation [of] our fellowmen.

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President A. O. Smoot.

of Utah Stake, was the next speaker. He said it afforded him exceeding pleasure in having the privilege of addressin