Actions Should Harmonize With Professions—“Mormonism” a System of Power—All the Faithful Are Entitled to Revelation—Leading Men But As Instruments in the Hands of God

Discourse by Elder George Q. Cannon, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sept. 23, 1877.

I have listened with a great deal of pleasure to the remarks which have been made by our brethren, and the instructions which they have given unto us upon the principles of the Gospel. The interesting remarks of brother Brigham Young must have appealed very strongly unto all of us, and impressed us with their truth. First, he has said if our professions are greater than those of the rest of the world, and if we testify that we have received truths in advance, and authority greater than that possessed by others, our lives should correspond with our professions, or we can never justly expect that we will receive any greater reward than they; and this is a truth that should be taken home to the hearts of all the people who are called Latter-day Saints. The Lord requires of us that our acts, and that our desires, and that all our labors shall be in harmony with our professions, and that when we testify that we know that God lives, and that he has restored the everlasting Gospel to the earth, in its primitive simplicity, purity, and power, with the authority to administer in the ordinances thereof for the salvation of the children of men—that making these professions and bearing these testimonies, we should exhibit in our lives the fruits of the glorious doctrines and truths that we profess to have received. In no other way can we truly bear testimony to the veracity of these things. “A tree is known by its fruits; a good stream does not send forth bitter waters; men do not gather grapes of thorns and figs of thistles.” And so with us and the rest of mankind. When we profess to have received the truth, we should exhibit the fruits of that truth in our lives. When we profess to have received the everlasting Gospel and the Spirit of God, we should rejoice in the gifts of that Spirit. We should live so as to enjoy them, and in times of trial, of difficulty, of perplexity, and of affliction, we should exhibit a self-control and power and strength that might be expected from a people situated as we are, and having the blessings that we enjoy. Do the Latter-day Saints exhibit these fruits as they should? In some respects they are to be seen, and in others they are not so fruitful as they should be. There is an abundance of room for improvement on our part. There is room for an increase of exertion and an exhibition of greater faith as a people, than we have ever yet exhibited. The Lord is ready, according to our own testimonies, to pour out upon us every blessing that we need. Are we sick? Are any of our households sick? What is the privilege of the Latter-day Saints according to our doctrines, according to the teachings of these books (the Bible and the Book of Mormon), and according to our own belief? It is our privilege to exercise faith in the name of Jesus Christ, to have the sick, where not appointed unto death, restored to life. This is the privilege of the Latter-day Saints, the privilege of every faithful man and woman in the Church of Christ upon all the face of the earth. If there be a misfortune impending that is fraught with difficulty, or disaster, or trouble of any kind, what is the privilege of those who are the servants and handmaidens of the Lord Jesus Christ? It is the privilege, and has been the privilege in all ages of the world, according to the records that have come down to us, for those who live godly in Christ Jesus to have revelation concerning those events, that they may be prepared for them, and not be taken unawares. I would not give much for a religion that did not prepare me for events of that character; I would not think it the religion of Jesus Christ. I would not give much for a church, to me it would have no attractions, in which God did not manifest his power, in which there were no evidences received of God’s power and of God’s ability to deliver in the hour of trial and difficulty. It is this which makes the Church of Christ, it is this which makes what men call “Mormonism,” so attractive to me. It is because it is a system of power; it is because there are gifts connected with it; it is because I was told when a child that if I would be baptized for the remissions of my sins and repent of them, I should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is because there are in this Church Prophets and Apostles, the gifts of revelation, of healing, and discerning of spirits, and all the other gifts, that were ever enjoyed by the ancient people of God. It is these gifts that make the Church of Jesus Christ a power in the earth, and that makes the teachings and doctrines of this Church so attractive to all the inhabitants of the earth who believe truthfully and sincerely the doctrines contained in the Old and New Testaments. It supplies the want that is felt by every honest heart, a yearning after a knowledge of God, a yearning after the things of God, and a yearning after that certainty that dispels all darkness and unbelief, and is a rock, which is like the rock of ages, upon which the foundation being built, the building is forever without fear of being shaken or overturned, when the storms and tempests shall beat upon it.

This is the secret of the union that has always characterized this Church of Jesus Christ, and yet we do not live up to our privileges. What is the privilege of the Latter-day Saints? Are the privileges of this Gospel confined to a few individuals? Revelations have been given to our departed President—President Brig ham Young—but were the gifts, powers and qualifications of this Gospel confined to his person alone? Were they confined to his Counselors? Are they confined to the Twelve? Are they confined to the Bishops or to any other class in this Church? Certainly not. They are like the air we breathe; they are like the light that enlightens our understandings and gives light to our intellects. They are free to all who will live so as to receive them. There is none so old, none so learned, none so high, neither is their any so low, nor so young, nor so illiterate, unto whom these are denied. They are the free gift of God to all His children; to all who keep His commandments. They shall receive these gifts, and enjoy them if they will live so as to have them in their hearts, so that the Holy Spirit will bestow them upon them, and it is this also that causes this Church and this Gospel to be so delightful, there is an equality about it. It is not, as I have said, confined to a few, but it is extended to all the inhabitants of the earth, who will place themselves in a position to receive it. “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for this promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Even all. Whom does he call? Go preach this gospel to every creature, therefore every creature is called, at all times and in all generations throughout the earth. None are excluded from its glorious benefits. It is therefore the privilege of every member of this Church to enjoy revelation for himself or herself, to know the mind and will of the Father, to know concerning the doctrine whether it be of the Lord or whether it be of man, and I would not give much for a people or an individual who is destitute of this knowledge. Sooner or later unless they repent and feel after it, they will stand in slippery places, and when the floods come and the tempests beat upon them, they are in danger of falling away and becoming castaways from the Church of Christ; but the man who receives his knowledge from the Father, and the woman who can come to the Father in the name of Jesus and ask and receive for herself a testimony concerning this work, and concerning the government of God, in times of trial and difficulty, they are safe, because they know where their strength is and unto whom they can apply for light and guidance in the hours of temptation, trial and difficulty. They know then the voice of the true Shepherd.

My brethren and sisters let me address myself more directly to you upon this point. We have been bereft of our President. We have been bereft of the man who has stood at our head and guided us for thirty-three years, and we have learned to look upon him as the mouthpiece of our Father to us, but we ought, also, to have learned, as I have no doubt the majority of this people have learned, that he was but an instrument in the hands of God to accomplish the work entrusted to him, and that he being gone, the Lord will raise up and strengthen those who remain, and give them the power necessary to accomplish his work and carry it forward in the earth; and if they fall too, as they likely will, the column of humanity, the column of the Priesthood will still press forward, until all that the Lord has appointed to his people, he will accomplish on the earth, and Zion will be established and fully redeemed according to all the words of the Prophets. And further, it will cause us to draw nearer unto the Father and live so that we shall receive revelation from him for ourselves, that the knowledge of the Spirit shall be in our hearts, that the voice of the true Shepherd will be known to our ears, that when we hear it we will know it, that we cannot be deceived or led astray. This is the privilege of the Latter-day Saints, and the man and woman in this Church who does not live so as to enjoy this privilege comes short of being what he should be. It is these blessings that compensate for the falsehoods, for the contumely and for the persecution to which the Latter-day Saints are subjected. If it were not for these gifts and blessings our case would not be a very enviable one; but in possession of these blessings, and knowing for ourselves the truth, and understanding the will of our Father in heaven and rejoicing in the blessings of peace, quietude, union and love, such as cannot be obtained elsewhere, with those other gifts to which I have alluded—having these in our possession we can look calmly upon the efforts of the wicked. We can, without being afflicted in our souls, receive the persecution which they may seem fit to heap upon us; to have our names cast out as evil, to be accused of all manner of wickedness and crime. We can submit to these things cheerfully, knowing that the day will come when these lies shall be swept away; when the will of the Father and the glorious light of truth will shine upon us, and we shall be vindicated in the sight of the inhabitants of the earth, in the sight of heaven and angels. This being our condition, we can rejoice under these circumstances, and look forth to the time when we shall receive the happiness and reward alluded to. Brethren and sisters, live so that each of you can go to the Father and ask and receive from him the blessing that you need. He has said, “Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm.” Do not build upon man. Do not lean upon him, but lean upon our Father in heaven. Seek unto him; implore his blessing; ask for light and strength from him; humble yourselves before him, and confess your sins; be of a broken heart and contrite spirit, and he will visit you with his Spirit, and bestow upon you gifts such as you have never yet received.

That you may do this, and that we all may do it, that we may be eventually saved and exalted in the kingdom of our Father, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

The Rock of New (or Continued) Revelation—Incident in Regard to P. P. Pratt—“One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”—The Work of the Father Extends Throughout the Eternities

Discourse by Elder George Q. Cannon, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sept. 16, 1877.

Those who have listened to the discourse of Elder Woodruff and to the testimonies which he has borne concerning this work, must have been interested in his recital, in his explanations and in the doctrines which he has advanced, and which have special interest for the Latter-day Saints. If it were not for the new revelations received from the Almighty, this people called Latter-day Saints would not be in existence. If it were not that the Lord has revealed in great plainness his mind and will unto his people, they would not be an organization, neither would his Elders have gone forth bearing testimony of the truths of the everlasting Gospel. The rock upon which this Church is built, and the foundation stone thereof, is new revelation from God to men, and that revelation being of divine origin it must of necessity agree with the revelations which have already been given; hence, as he has said, the doctrines taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the organization of the Church as he was directed to accomplish it, was all in perfect harmony with the truths contained in this book (the Bible). It can not be otherwise and be what it professes to be. It made no difference to Joseph Smith whether he read and was familiar with every doctrine taught by the Apostles; he was under no necessity of framing his teachings therewith that there should be no difference between that which he taught, and that which had been taught, because the same spirit that revealed to the ancient Apostles and Prophets, and inspired them to teach the people, and leave on record their predictions and doctrines, taught him also and enabled him to teach exactly the same truths.

I remember hearing related brother Parley P. Pratt’s first interview with the Saints at Fayette, Seneca County, where the Church was organized. Those of you who remember brother Parley know his familiarity with the Scriptures, especially with the prophecies. On that occasion he was called upon to speak; the Prophet Joseph was not present at the time. He brought forth from the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and other prophets, abundant proofs concerning the work which the Lord had established through his servant Joseph, a great many of the Latter-day Saints were surprised that there were so many evidences existing in the Bible concerning this work. The Church had then been organized some five months, but the members had never heard from any of the Elders these proofs and evidences which existed in the Bible. And, if I remember correctly, he told me that Oliver Cowdery and the Prophet Joseph himself were surprised at the great amount of evidence there was in the Bible concerning these things. The Prophet Joseph was inspired of God to teach the doctrines of life and salvation, and he did so without reference to what the ancient prophets had said. I have heard President Young make the same remarks. He said that he never consulted the Book of Covenants, he never consulted the Bible or Book of Mormon to see whether the doctrines and counsels which he was inspired to give, corresponded with these books or not. It was a matter that gave him no particular concern, from the fact that he endeavored always to be led by the Spirit of the Lord, to speak in accordance therewith; hence these men have had very little care resting upon their minds as to whether their doctrines and counsels were in harmony with the doctrines and counsels of those who preceded them. It was for them to seek to know the mind and will of the Lord and comprehend his Spirit as it rested upon them, to speak in accordance therewith; and the doctrine that has been taught under the inspiration of that spirit will be found to be in perfect harmony with the doctrines which have been taught by men inspired of God in ancient days.

There are no two modes of baptism, there are no two methods of organizing the Church of Christ; there are no two paths leading into the kingdom of God our heavenly Father; there are no two forms of doctrine. “There is one Lord,” as the Apostle Paul says, “one faith and one baptism.” There is one form of doctrine, and when we all meet (those of us who shall be so fortunate as to be redeemed and sanctified in the presence of our Father and the Lamb), we shall find that our doctrines will precisely agree; our obedience will be of a similar character, we shall all discover that the doctrines that we have received and bowed in submission to are precisely the same doctrines, whether we were baptized into Christ in America, in Asia, in Africa or any other part of the earth, and it will be found when we all come together (that is the family of our heavenly Father), that we have all received the same faith, the same doctrines, and have partaken of the same Spirit and the same gifts, the Spirit having rested down upon all alike according to his or her faith. If it were not so heaven would be full of clashing sectaries; it would be full of confusion, strife and division and every kind of contention; because the same spirit that characterizes men here, and that creates division and contention among them here, if they could reach heaven in the possession of it, as some claim they do, would turn heaven itself into a pandemonium, and make it no better than this earth so far as confusion is concerned. This is not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus; this is not the path that he marked out. He marked out a plain path and all the inhabitants of the earth must, if they ever come into the presence of the Lamb, walk in that path to the end, or they never can reach there. And the millions of the dead, to whom allusion has been made by brother Woodruff, they also shall hear of the glad tidings of salvation. And the unnumbered millions who have died without ever having heard the name of the Son of God, and without ever having known anything concerning the redemption which he wrought out for them; they who died in ignorance of the law will not, of course, be judged by or held accountable to the law, having never known it. This would be contrary to the justice, the eternal justice of our Father in Heaven, to hold any man or being accountable for the law which they violated without their first having been made acquainted with it, hence, if they die in their ignorance they will be judged according to the light they received. But will they forever, through the endless ages of eternity, remain in this ignorance? Certainly not. The work of our Father is not confined to this earthly existence, it extends throughout the eternities: it extends from eternity to eternity; it is without beginning and without end; it is as indestructible and enduring as he himself. But all of the sons of our Father who ever dwelt upon the earth, and his daughters also, will hear at the proper time and under the proper circumstances the glad tidings of salvation, the name of our Redeemer and the plan by which they can be redeemed and be exalted into his presence. There are several plain allusions to these doctrines in the Scriptures. Peter talks about them very plainly. The Savior himself alluded to the same idea when he spoke to the thief on the cross, when he said to him—“This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise;” when it is a well-known fact that he did not ascend to his Father in Heaven. But while his body lay in the earth his spirit went elsewhere, and was absent from that body. The Apostle Paul also alludes to it in the 15th chapter of his Epistle to the Corinthians, and our minds have been set at rest by those glorious revelations and doctrines, because they explain to us the goodness, mercy and justice of our Father in Heaven, and enable us, who have received these doctrines and believe in them, to glorify Him as we could not if we believed these unnumbered millions that I have alluded to were condemned to endless perdition, without ever having a chance to be redeemed therefrom. It has always been a mystery to me, since I have been old enough to comprehend the truth, how it is that men, with the ideas which they entertain concerning the Gospel, can reconcile their belief with the fact that our Father is a God of truth, a God of mercy, and a God of perfect justice. I do not wonder at men becoming skeptical in view of the ideas which prevail in the so-called Christian world. A man must, in some instances, throw away his feelings and reason, and surrender his judgment, and accept the theories which prevail upon this subject, without reasoning and without questioning, in order to flow along with the orthodox stream. This is the only way in which many do, to go along without difficulty. But if the Gospel was taught in its plainness and in its fullness, and if men and women understood the Gospel as it is, there would be nothing that would be in contradiction to those truths to which I have alluded; but all would be harmonious therewith, and everything would tend to increase the faith, strengthen the love, and heighten the feeling of admiration in the breast of the human being in contemplating the character of our Father in the light of the plan which He has revealed for our salvation from the power of sin. And this is what the Gospel (or as men choose to call it in these days “Mormonism”) has done for us. It is this that has enlightened this people; it is this that has gathered them from the nations of the earth, and has enabled them to submit to the privations and persecutions that they have had to contend with; and it is this that will carry them forward, until they are brought back into the presence of our Father in Heaven.

I pray that the blessings of the Lord may rest upon the people, and that the revelations of the Lord Jesus may be in their hearts, and in their souls, to guide them in that path that will bring them back into the presence of our Father, which I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Difference Between the Saints and the Ancient Apostles and Disciples—The Quorums of the Priesthood Will Continue to Go Forward—The Saints Are Calm and Undisturbed

Discourse by Elder Erastus Snow, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday, September 9, 1877.

While Elder Richards was addressing us, a certain Scripture presented itself somewhat forcibly to my mind, that I will call attention to, as an illustration of the difference existing between us at the present time, and the condition, feelings and spirit of the Apostles and disciples of Christ at the time of His crucifixion.

The students of the Bible are aware how the feelings and faith of the disciples anciently centered in Christ, with the expectation that he was at that time to restore Israel to the possession of their promised inheritances, and establish himself upon the Throne of David forever, and that the kingdom which he came to establish, was not only to be spiritual but also temporal in its character. And notwithstanding the many plain sayings of the Savior, pointing at his death and his resurrection, and the work He came to perform for the redemption of man, there seemed to be a veil over their hearts that they comprehended it only in part. When He was taken and crucified, that veil still covered their minds. Notwithstanding that on the morning of His resurrection, the holy women reported to His disciples that they had seen Him and that He was verily risen, they could not seem to sense it. When two of their number traveled out into the country the same day, Jesus overtook them, and they knew him not, and they related to Him what had happened, adding that they had expected that He was the one who should have redeemed Israel. Then He began to expound unto them the Scriptures, and show unto them that it was necessary for Christ thus to suffer, to fulfill the words of the Prophets. Yet even these two, after hearing Him and His explanation of the Scriptures, returned and reported to the rest of the disciples what they had seen and heard, and even these could not dispel the doubts from the hearts of the disciples or take off the veil from their minds. Still they hesitated; still the vision of their minds was not fully open to comprehend the true nature and character of His mission and their own true calling. Finally, after a day or two, and the depth of their grief and mourning began to subside a little, Peter says to his brethren: I propose to go a fishing. John says, I go with you; and so one after another they who had followed the occupation of fishermen before they were called to be Apostles, concluded they would turn again to their former occupation and go fishing. They tried it, but the Lord did not bless them in their labors. They toiled all night, but the fish would not come, and they caught nothing. In the morning a voice called to them from the seaside, saying, “Children have ye any meat,” and they answered Him, “none.” Now, said He, “cast your net over on the other side of the ship.” They cast their net on the other side of the ship, straightway, and their net was full of fish, so much so that they could not bring it into the ship, and they were under the necessity of rowing to shore and drawing the net after them. But about this time, a thought penetrated Peter’s heart that this was very much like the many deeds of Jesus; this was like one of Jesus’ miracles, and straightway he cast a look toward the shore and exclaimed to his brethren, “Truly it is the Lord.” Then his faith and hope revived, and such joy filled his bosom that the impetuosity of his nature led him to leave the ship; he could not wait its progress to the shore but plunged into the sea, to meet his Lord. You remember what followed; Jesus knew they were hungry, and had breakfast prepared for them; he did not wait for their seine of fish to be brought ashore and cooked, but when they arrived he had it cooked, and the fish ready, and he invited them to sit down to breakfast with him. No one durst ask him who he was for by this time, God had opened their eyes and they knew him. You remember the peaceful yet keen rebuke administered to Peter on the occasion, because he had forsaken the injunctions that he had previously received, and the commandment that had been given unto him, and turned his at tention again to his fishing. After they had filled themselves with the fish and cakes, Jesus asked him: “Simon Peter, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” pointing to his fish. “Yes, Lord, thou knowest I love thee.” “Then feed my lambs.” Again the Lord says, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” “Yes, Lord, thou knowest I love thee.” “Then feed my sheep.” Again, the third time, Jesus asked, “Simon Peter, lovest thou me more than these?” Peter was grieved because the Lord asked the same question with renewed earnestness the third time, as if he doubted his assurance, and said, “Yes, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest I love Thee.” Jesus saith unto him,”Feed my sheep. Now you have tried your hand at fishing, Peter, and you see that when the Lord was not with you, you caught nothing. I called you from your fishing in the beginning, and said to you henceforth to leave your nets, and I would make you fishers of men.” This reproof sufficed Peter the rest of his life. We have no account of his ever wishing to go fishing again, at least not to neglect the flock of Christ.

In the epistle which Peter wrote to his brethren in the latter end of his life, he refers very delicately to that period of his career, when as he says, in his own words, “We buried our hope with Christ, but thanks be unto God that it is renewed again by the resurrection of our Lord from the dead.” The hope they had cherished seemed to have been lost when they buried him, but it was renewed again unto them by the resurrection of the Lord from the dead, and by his ministrations among them during a period of forty days after his resurrection, showing himself repeatedly and giving them instruction, telling them, at the same time, “not until I have de parted from you will the Holy Ghost come upon you and endow you with power from on high, revealing all things unto you which the Father hath prepared; but if I go away the Comforter will come, and he will guide you into all truth and show you things to come.

It is interesting to reflect upon and contemplate the influences and surroundings of the early disciples and the manner in which the Father performed his works in their midst and after the resurrection of the Savior; how their eyes were opened to see and comprehend the true nature and character of his mission upon the earth; the true nature of his kingdom, and the work which he was sent to perform, in which they were his helpers and fellow workers; called and ordained to the holy Apostleship, to be his witnesses in all the earth, to bear witness of him and baptize those who believed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things which he had commanded them. It seemed wise in the providences of God to conceal it, measurably, from their minds until after his resurrection from the dead. His last entrance into Jerusalem, when he rode upon the foal of an ass, and the believers spread their garments and palm branches in his pathway, for him to ride upon in token of the great esteem and respect they cherished for him, and their assurance that he had come in the name of the Lord, to establish the Throne of David and redeem Israel from the oppression of the Gentiles and the bondage that was upon their necks as a people; and they cried, “Hosannah, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” while some of the overrighteous ones or those who thought they were making too much ado about him were rather in clined to rebuke them and asked Jesus to rebuke them and tell them to be quiet. His answer was, “If these should hold their peace the very stones will cry out,” as much as to say, it is the Father in them that is crying. It was the promptings and inspiration of the Almighty that were moving the hearts of the people to call the attention of all Judea and Jerusalem, and all the people around about, that their eyes might see and their ears might hear and all the people know him who cometh in the name of the Lord, riding upon the foal of an ass, according to the predictions of the ancient Prophets. He would not rebuke them, but let the spirit flow; let their mouths utter praise; let them show their respect; let them show their respect, and do honor to him whom the Father had sent. And all this that when he should suffer, and the curtain should drop, and he should be executed, the Lord should cause the sun to be darkened, and the earth to quake, and the veil of the Temple to rend, that all Israel might have a testimony and an assurance that the Son of God was suffering.

Those who are familiar with the early history of the Latter-day Saints, with the life, career and death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, with the scenes that surrounded the people at that time, and the mighty strides that he seemed to take in the last years of his life; the force with which he seemed to push forward the work that was upon him, and the feeling that hurried him forward to confer upon the Apostles and a few others the keys of the Priesthood and the Holy Endowments, which God had revealed unto him, and his efforts to set in order all things pertaining to the Priesthood; also his communication on the powers and policy of the Government of the United States, and the purposes of God concerning them, putting his name before the people as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, and the recommendations which he made to save them from the civil war that has since overtaken them, the results of the slavery question, that was agitating the nation, all these great and important subjects were kept prominently before the people, and while the Elders and people of Israel labored diligently to carry out his teachings and execute his plans and designs, he stepped behind the veil almost as suddenly and unexpectedly, to the people, as did Jesus when he was crucified. I repeat, it was almost as sudden and unexpected to the vast body of this people as the crucifixion of Jesus was to his disciples, who were looking for him to be placed upon the throne of his father David, to rule and reign over the House of Israel.

The Apostles of this dispensation did not, however, leave the work of the ministry to which they had been called, and go a fishing; but there were some in Israel who seemed to have buried their hope with the Prophet Joseph. And it has been said of some that they died with him; and though they continued to live years after, yet their faith and hope seemed to have died with him. Not so with President Brigham Young, and the Apostles that were with him. They were mostly abroad ministering in their calling, but two or three of them were at home. Among the latter number was Elder John Taylor, who is with us today, as you who are familiar with the early history of those times are aware. He and Elder Willard Richards were with the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum, in person, when they were assassinated, and John Taylor received four balls. The rest of the Twelve were abroad attending to their ministry, holding Conferences in various parts of the country, nor did they leave those labors and turn again to their former occupations as did Peter and his brethren. A profound sensation was produced among all the Latter-day Saints throughout the world, and among their enemies, many of whom loudly condemned the shocking manner in which their death was accomplished. Time will not permit, nor does it appear to me a suitable time to dwell upon it; but great was the impression produced throughout the land. Deep was the sorrow and mourning, and the query arose in the minds of many, what shall be the result of these things? Especially among that class whose hopes seemed to have been buried with him, whose faith seemed to have been centered in him; who did not look beyond him.

But the response of the Spirit to those whose faith centered in God was this: The Prophet Joseph has organized the quorums, has set in order the Priesthood, and conferred the keys and powers thereof upon his brethren, and said to the Twelve Apostles, “Upon your shoulders shall rest the burden of this kingdom, to bear it off in all the world. The Lord is going to let me rest.” His words were before the people, and in the hearts of those who were living and walking in the light of the Holy Ghost, whose faith reached beyond the Prophet Joseph, and looked to the source from whence he received his power and influence.

We have often heard our late President, Brigham Young, who was President of the Twelve Apostles by seniority, and who had been placed there by the voice of his brethren, to preside over his quorum, which had also been confirmed by the Lord, say that he was attending a Conference in Petersboro, New Hampshire, when he heard of the Prophet’s death. The query arose in his mind: Where now rests those keys of the holy Priesthood which the Prophet Joseph received and revealed unto us? Where now on this side of the veil are those keys deposited? The answer came to him by the Holy Spirit resting upon him with a power and influence and peaceful assurance which caused him to bring his hand to his thigh with the utterance, “They are here. They are here!” The voice of his brethren responded, and the echo reverberated not only among the Apostles, but, among the Seventies, the High Priests, the Elders, Bishops, Teachers, Deacons, and all the people. They are here, with brother Brigham, with his brethren the Apostles, who have been called and charged by the Prophet Joseph with the duties and responsibilities of bearing off this kingdom and building it up, and setting in order and regulating the affairs thereof in all the world. This revelation of the Spirit to our beloved President, Brigham Young, on that occasion, and which also rested upon his brethren, and was diffused among all the people and responded to with such universal voice, sentiment and feelings, was not a fresh call, a new revelation, but it was bringing to their minds one previously given, refreshing their minds and understanding in the word of the Lord that had been spoken unto them through the Prophet Joseph himself, making more fully and clearly than ever, those words that had been previously spoken to them, the charge that he gave to them to bear off the work which now rested upon their shoulders. From that day until the present time has this revelation been clear and prominent before the people, and in their hearts, and in the mouth of President Brig ham Young. How often has he said, “Joseph is still my leader; he is still my President; he still bears the keys before me. I am still following after him to carry out his counsel, to accomplish the work of which he laid the foundation, under God. I am still as he appointed, an Apostle to bear off this kingdom, to bear witness of the work which God by him did accomplish, and to carry it forward by the power of God and the help of my brethren and fellow laborers, and I am still an Apostle and President of the Twelve Apostles.”

But the Lord signifies to me that these Quorums of the Priesthood shall go forward in their respective spheres of labor, and as one passes beyond the veil, following his file leader, the next Apostle will follow after, treading, as it were, in his footsteps, to bear off this kingdom. The work is of God and not of man, and no number of martyrdoms or death, and no amount of persecution nor slaying of the Lord’s anointed, can put a stop to it. How often we have heard it proclaimed that the keys of the Apostleship, which had been committed to men on the earth, together with all the keys of the Holy Endowments, and every blessing which the Lord has provided and promised to men in the flesh, are placed within our reach through the keys of this Priesthood, and that this Apostleship will continue upon the earth until it has accomplished that which the Lord has ordained and appointed, and until Israel shall be gathered, and the people be prepared for his second coming, and that, if one passes beyond the veil, another follows in his footsteps, and if persecution rage, and many witnesses of the Lord are slain, still he will preserve witnesses upon the earth, with the keys of that ministry and Apostleship to bear off the kingdom tri umphantly, and fulfill and accomplish all that the Lord has predicted. These utterances have often been made in our hearing, within the last thirty-three years, since the death of the Prophet Joseph, and have become household words with those who have been alive to their calling and duties, and whose eyes and ears have been open to hear the word of the Lord and remember it. How calm and peaceful the spirit and feelings of Israel on this memorable occasion, when our beloved President, who has led the van for the last thirty-three years, quietly gathered up his feet and was gathered to his fathers. How different was the spirit and feelings of Israel on this occasion from the other occasion I have referred to, and from the Apostles and disciples of Jesus when He departed! It shows to our minds the education of the people, and their advancement in understanding and faith. It shows the stability of our institutions and their power over the feelings and hearts of the people. In every department of the Priesthood, in every branch of the Church, through all the Stakes of Zion, and in every department of our labor, there seems scarcely a ripple upon the smooth surface of the waters.

Last Sabbath, when a vast congregation of the people came from the east, west, north and south, and from this city and its suburbs, to pay their last respects to the honored dead, the quiet, the order, the silent and discreet feeling of resignation and peace that prevailed, should be a lesson to the Saints and a testimony to the world of the purity of faith that we have embraced, and the influence that had been exerted upon the hearts of the people by our departed leader, and his brethren who have been laboring with him. We find no confusion, no running to and fro, nobody dropping their tools or neglecting their labors, and nobody wishing to go a fishing. When we had finished the last sad rites, and completed what duties we owed to the honored dead, we found every one, on Monday morning, resuming his duties; business assumed its wonted course in every department of our public as well as our private labors. The Saints everywhere, as well as our Elders abroad, move forward in the discharge of their duties with calmness and serenity, with assurance that Brigham is still our leader. Joseph is still our Prophet, and Brigham is leader as much as he was in life, but not on this side of the veil—he has gone into another sphere, to engage in the labors of the Gospel with Joseph, Hyrum, and all the holy ones that have gone before in this dispensation, to assist them in rolling on the work of this dispensation among the dead, and prepare the way for the final consummation of all things spoken of by the Prophets, while his brethren on this side the veil tread softly and diligently after him, as it were in his footsteps, to move on the cause of Israel, and send the Gospel to the ends of the earth. What a commentary on the stability of the institutions of Zion! The power of that faith that we have received, the strength of that union, and the perfection of that organization which God has established among us, which gives us the reassurance that instead of the cause of Zion weakening, it will gain additional power and strength; and the Priesthood that remain on this side, having lost a tower of strength in him who has gone, must exert themselves and their faith, and renew their strength in the Lord, and magnify their calling, that the work of the Lord be not hindered. That this may be the feelings and determina tion of every one of the Apostles, Seventies, High Priests, Elders, Bishops, and Presidents in Zion, and all the people, that we may strive more diligently to magnify our calling, until we meet again those who have gone behind the veil, where already there seems to be almost a majority of the early Apostles and first Elders of the Church, preaching the Gospel and preparing the hearts of those that receive it, while we who remain continue our labors in building the Temples of the Lord, and entering therein and officiating in the baptisms, endowments, and ordinances, and sealing blessings upon our dead, that the promises of God may be fulfilled which he has made, namely, that in this dispensation of the fullness of times He would gather in one all things that are in Christ Jesus, which are on the earth and which are in heaven, which may God grant and help us to accomplish, through Jesus. Amen.

God’s Purposes Unchangeable—The Two Powers—The Everlasting Priesthood—Abraham and Melchizedek—Organizing Stakes of Zion—Temple Building—The Latter-day Saints the Friends of the World

Discourse by Elder John Taylor, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, July 29, 1877.

In relation to the great principles of eternal life, as developed to us in the word of God, and through the various revelations that he continues to give unto us, there are many things that are of great importance to the human family. In regard to the ideas, theories and notions of men, it would seem that they, in former ages, have been of very little avail in thwarting or overturning the purposes of the Almighty, nor will they be in these days any more efficacious then they have been in the days that have past and gone. Before this world rolled into existence, or the morning stars sang for joy, He purposed, in his own mind, to accomplish certain objects that he had designed in relation to the world in which we live, and the inhabitants that dwell thereon. He has never swerved, changed or altered his views or opinions in relation to this, no matter what our feelings, ideas and theories may be concerning these matters. In the organization of the world and all creation as it now exists in the various dispensations of his providence that have been inducted in the different ages, in the manifestation of his will to the human family, he has had one design, one purpose, and one set of ideas to accomplish pertaining to the whole matter, and everything he intended concerning these things will all be accomplished, whether it relates to the early history of man, to the middle ages, or, to the ages in which we live. There are eternal principles associated with God, with his laws, with his Priest hood that are as unchanging as the eternal heavens; yea, more so, for the heavens may pass away, but the Scriptures say, “His word shall not fall to the ground.” There is something great and comprehensive associated with the plans and purposes of Jehovah in connection with the human family, which very few men care to take the trouble to investigate or reflect upon; and, as “No man can know the things of God, but by the Spirit of God;” and as very few place themselves in a position to obtain this spirit, the result necessarily is, that there is a large amount of ignorance in relation to the things of God and consequently a large amount of evil prevailing everywhere and which has existed in every age. I suppose, associated with these matters, there is a grand overruling destiny, and that it was necessary that this set of things should exist. There have always been two grand powers in juxtaposition, or rather in opposition to each other. There was in the heavens a conflict, and one-third of the angels, we are told, were cast out of there. That conflict has existed here upon the earth, and will continue to exist for a length of time yet to come, until, as we are told, Satan shall be bound. The conflict is between right and wrong, between truth and error, between God and the spirit of darkness, and the powers of evil that are opposed to Him; and these principles have existed in the various ages. No sooner was man placed upon the earth, than Satan commenced his work and his operations. God, it is true, created the world; God, it is true, is the Father and Spirit of all flesh; God, it is true, has a right to demand obedience from his children, and the observance of the laws he has given unto them; but that right has been contested from the very first. Satan placed a demurrer in the way immediately, and from the two sons of Adam, one of which feared God and the other did not, the wicked one killed the righteous, who himself appeared to be master of the field under the guidance and direction of Satan, and he held this position and this influence for a length of time upon the earth, until Seth was introduced to represent Abel, to represent God, and also to represent all the principles of truth and righteousness; and Satan with his influence and those that yielded to him, under the influence of Cain and others associated with them that had wrought wickedness, bore sway; and iniquity of every kind prevailed, they fought against God and the principles of truth and righteousness, and it was then as it is today, and as it was in the days of Jesus. Says he: “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; while broad is the gate and wide is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat.” It would have seemed, at some time, as though the purposes of God were thwarted in relation to the organization of the earth and the salvation and exaltation of the human family, and it was necessary, as has been referred to, on a certain occasion, to sweep off the inhabitants of the earth and start anew. “For the imagination of the thoughts of the hearts of the people, was only evil, and that continually,” and they were raising up a people that were prepared for wrath and destruction, having power to propagate their own species, they were doing it and teaching them the laws of death instead of the laws of life. God in his mercy to those spirits yet unborn, thought proper to sweep them from the earth and then commence another state of things under the direction of Noah. It was necessary that these opposing influences, these contending powers, should be in existence; that this antagonism should prevail; that there should be a devil, that there should be all the influences associated therewith. There was a degree or design of God in relation to the human family from the commencement, to save all that were capable of it, in the celestial glory. All that were not capable of this, in a terrestrial glory, and all that were not capable of receiving that, or prepared for it, in a telestial glory. It was necessary, according to certain unchangeable and eternal laws, that existed with Christ in the eternal world, that man possessing any of these glories should be prepared to receive them, or they could not inherit them, therefore, it was necessary that man should be placed in a state of trial or probation, having to contend with evil that he might, through the power of God, and the strength that he would give to him, if he was sought unto, that he might, through that power, overcome and inherit a celestial glory, and dwell with God in his celestial kingdom. For this purpose, he gave the Priesthood, which is spoken of as being after the order of Melchizedek, after the order of the Son of God, and after the powers of an endless life; which is the power that exists in the heavens, and the wisdom and intelligence that dwell with the Gods; and is the principle by which the Gods in the heavens and men who are under its influence upon the earth are governed. It is called in the Scriptures, the “everlasting priesthood, without beginning of days or end of years,” and that those who have it, administer not only in this world, but in the world which is to come; and it is the privilege of those who have it, to come, as the Scriptures say, “to the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven, to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, unto Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” It is this principle spoken of in the Scriptures that brings life and immortality to light, that enables mankind, when living according to its laws, to overcome the powers of darkness, to combat successfully with the errors of the world, to triumph over evil of every kind, to subdue the world, the flesh and the devil, through the aid, guidance, power and spirit of God; to come out triumphant and obtain an inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in the heavens for those that are obedient thereto, and live according to its requirements. It is in view of this, and of the strength and power and communication with God that the Priesthood is imparted to man, and it is that which, according to the Scriptures, “brings life and immortality to light;” and men in the possession of these principles know and understand their relationship to God, unto the eternities that were and unto the eternities that are to come, bringing life and immortality to light; it chaseth away darkness, confusion, mystery and doubt and uncertainty; it draws aside the veil of the eternal world, enabling men, who are in possession of it to comprehend their standing and relationship to God, to each other, to the past, present and future, and to all intelligent beings that ever have existed, that now exist, or that will exist; hence this principle is given to men to lead them in the paths of life, to instruct and prepare them for that celestial glory where God the Father dwells, and Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and those of the holy Priesthood who have lived before in different ages, who exist now and who will exist throughout the eternities that are to come. It places us in relationship to all these beings, and we feel that we are one with God, one with Jesus, one with the ancient Apostles, Prophets and Patriarchs, one with the men of God that have had the holy Priesthood in the different ages of time, and expect to be one with them in the eternal worlds. We should also be one in accomplishing the purposes of God pertaining to the earth whereon we live. It is not easy for men, without a knowledge of these principles, to comprehend those things of which I speak, for as I said before, and so say the Scriptures—“No man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God;” and the Lord has revealed unto us, through very simple methods, the way whereby we can approach unto him. Who is there among men, with all their wisdom and intelligence, that can comprehend God? Who understands his laws and his doctrines? Who knows anything about his purposes and designs? Why, it is as high as the heavens, it is deeper than hell, it is as wide as the expanse of the universe, it circumscribes all subjects, and comprehends all intelligence. Who knows it? Nobody, but those who are enlightened by the spirit of revelation that proceeds from God. How did men in former times obtain a knowledge of these things? By obedience to the laws of God, by submitting to his authority, by taking up their cross and following him, and by searching diligently to obtain a knowledge of his laws.

We read a little about Abraham, as given to us in his history. What does he say about himself? “I, Abraham, having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers. It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundations of the earth, to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me. I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.”

We read in the revelations given unto us by Joseph Smith, that he was ordained by Melchizedek, and the Bible tells us that he was blessed of Melchizedek; and Paul in speaking of Abraham and Melchizedek, says: “The less is blessed of the greater,” and that, although Abraham was a great man, and had great intelligence, great knowledge and many communications from God, that Melchizedek was yet greater than he, and had more intelligence, and knew more of God. What is the result? Why, the Lord gave to him the Urim and Thummim, whereby he was enabled to inquire of the law of God. What law? The same principles that existed in that day were the same that existed in the days when Jesus came upon the earth.

Jesus says, that “Abraham saw my day, and was glad.” The Apostle tells us that “God foresaw that he would justify the heathen through faith, and preached before the Gospel unto Abraham.” Then Abraham had the Gospel, and a knowledge of the laws of God. Life and immortality are brought to light where the Gospel exists, and he had it; hence it brought him to God, and the Lord revealed himself unto him and told him, that in blessing, he would bless him, and in multiplying, he would multiply him, and in him and in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. There was something very remarkable about these things, something that shows a determination on his part to do the will of God, to obey his laws and keep his commandments, and to carry out his purposes and designs, so far as he was able to do it. Among other things he said: “I desire to be a follower of righteousness, and to have more righteousness. Then I desire that I may be a prince of peace and a father of nations.” He sought this at the hand of God, and God promised him that in him and in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. But did he give it to him? He did. Did he fulfil his word to him? He did. Who were Moses and Aaron? Moses led the children of Israel, under the guidance and direction of the Almighty, with a mighty hand and stretched-out arm, and delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians. Who were they? They were the descendants of Abraham. Who were the old Prophets we read of in the Bible here? They were the descendants of Abraham. Who was Jesus? A descendant of Abraham. Who were the Twelve Apostles? They were the descendants of Abraham. Who were the Seventy that existed in those days? They were the descendants of Abraham. What were they told to do? To damn mankind? No. What? To go and preach the Gospel to all the world, to lift up a banner of life and salvation to the nations, and call upon them to repent. Who were the Nephites that came to this continent? Lehi, Lemuel, Nephi, etc. Who were they? They were descendants of Abraham. Who were the Twelve Apostles that were on this continent? They were descendants of Abraham. What was their mission? It was to preach the glad tidings of salvation to the people, which they did. Who was Joseph Smith? We are told in a revelation in relation to him, that his name should be Joseph, and that he should be the son of Joseph, who was a descendant of that Joseph who went into Egypt. God saw proper to reveal unto him the ancient records of the people that lived on this continent, as a descendant of Abraham, and what was his message to the people? “Go ye unto all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.” Has this message been communicated? It has to a very great extent. There are around me and before me, men who have traveled thousands and hundreds of thousands of miles, without purse or scrip, as they did formerly, trusting to the help of the Lord, in the midst of contumely and reproach, to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation to a fallen world. Have they done it? They have so far as it was in their power, and they have continued to do it up to the present day. Will they accomplish the work that was designed of the Almighty? They will. Will the Zion of our God be built up? It will, and I prophesy it in the name of Jesus Christ. Will the kingdom of God roll on? It will. No power on this side of hell or in hell can stop it. God is at the helm, and I know it, and his work will roll forth and continue to roll until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our God and his Christ, and he will reign forever and forever. The Priesthood in this day are assisted by the Priesthood that existed in former days, who lived and operated and withdrew, and are operating with Him. These are things that many people reflect very little upon, but they are nevertheless true.

Who was it that appeared with Jesus when he was transfigured upon the Mount with Peter, James, and John? Moses and Elias. Who were Moses and Elias? Prophets who had existed before, and still continue to exist, and to administer on the earth as well as in the heavens. How was it of John the Baptist? I speak of these things particularly for the information of those who may be present who are not acquainted with our revelations, and, perhaps, in many instances not much acquainted with the Bible. But John, we are told, when on the Isle of Patmos, had great, important, and glorious visions presented to him. There was a glorious personage who stood before him, and he was about to fall down and worship him. But says he, do not worship me. Why! Who are you? I am one of thy fellowservants, the Prophets that have kept the testimony of Jesus Christ, and the word of God; worship God, says he, do not worship me. I am one of those that, perhaps, wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, dwelling in deserts and dens and caves of the earth, of whom the world is not worthy; but I have been exalted, and glorified as you now see me, and I have come to administer to you. Who was it that administered to Joseph Smith? Moroni and Nephi, men who had lived upon this continent. Who from the other continent? John the Baptist for one; Peter, James, and John for others; Moses and Elias again for others, who revealed certain principles that God designed they should reveal, and imparted unto him the powers of the Priesthood which existed in the heavens, that it might be again conferred upon men on the earth, and that the blessings of the everlasting Gospel might be again restored.

We have been organizing Stakes of Zion for a length of time, and placing things in order under the direction of President Young and Council. What order is that? The order given by the revelations of God for the guidance of his people, not of man nor by men, but by the will of God: a pattern of things in the heavenly world. That is the thing that is now being introduced here among the Saints. Why are we building Temples here? Because it is part of our mission. Elijah was to come to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest, say the Scriptures, I come and smite the earth with a curse. In this is the wisdom of God made manifest, and the power of God displayed. In this he shows as he has represented in the revelations that he would show, that the wisdom of God was greater than the cunning of the Devil, for those that Satan thought he had destroyed, that were cast into prison, Jesus went and delivered, and preached unto those spirits in prison who sometime were disobedient in the days of Noah. Again, in relation to the position that we occupy here upon the earth. We are gathered to Mount Zion. We are spoken of as being saviors. “Saviors shall stand upon Mount Zion, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” How can men be saviors unless they save somebody? That would be a matter of impossibility; hence we go to work and build our Temples. Why? That we may carry out that mission that Elijah came about, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers; that our fathers, who have lived without the Gospel, and without the light of truth thereof, that we may administer for them in these Temples, and be baptized for them, as the Scriptures say: “If the dead rise not, why are ye baptized for the dead?” and “Why,” says the Apostle, “stand ye in jeopardy every hour?” We go to work then and build Temples, and is this message that we have come upon a message of terror, trouble, misery, and confusion? No. It is a message of life to the people.

God told his disciples to go to the ends of the earth; and, says he, “I will go with you, and mine angels shall go before you, and my spirit shall accompany you.” Has it been so? It has. It has. Whence comes our gathering? Because we are introduced into a Gospel of gathering, because we are living in a gathering dispensation, because that is one of the dispensations that existed in former days, and has been restored in the latter days wherever this Gospel is preached, that spirit accompanies it. You cannot prevent it. Go and preach to the people, baptize them, lay hands upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and the first thing that exists among the people is the feeling to go to Zion. A feeling of that kind universally prevails. Where did it come from? It comes through the administering of Elijah to Joseph Smith, and through the things that he imparted to him, and is one of the dispensations which is embodied in the dispensation of the fullness of times; hence, say the Scriptures, “I will take them, one of a city and two of a family, and bring them to Zion.” What do you do with them there? “I will give them pastors after my own heart, and shall feed them with knowledge and understanding.” Our mission is not a mission of death, it is a mission of mercy and salvation.

As has been remarked, whom have we injured? Whose life or liberties have we interfered with? Are we the enemies of mankind because we tell them the truth? If God has spoken, and has certain purposes to accomplish, can we hinder him? No. If we obey his will, we must be subject to the inconveniences resulting therefrom. We go forth in the name of Israel’s God, trusting in him, “bearing precious seed, and returning again bringing our sheaves with us.” Well, what then? Those who are being taught and instructed, are sent out again. To whom? Why, as saviors to their own people, and then our nation, as elders in Israel, to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ unto the nations, and gather out all who are honest and willing to obey the truth. What then? Then they return again. Then go to work and build Temples, and then administer in them. “I will take them,” say the Scriptures, “one of a city and two of a family, and bring them to Zion, and they shall be saviors there;” hence we have representatives here from among the different nations of the earth. We are building Temples. What for? For ourselves? Yes, for our fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, friends, associates, and ancestry. Yes, for thousands and tens of thousands of others. That is what we are doing. We have built one Temple down at St. George; we are building another here; we are building another in Sanpete, and another in Cache Valley. Well now then, how do we act as saviors? We first build Temples; we then go in and administer in them, and do for others what they cannot do for themselves. We become, then, saviors in that respect here upon Mount Zion; and hence the nations of the earth have their representatives here, who are representing those different nations in the Temples of the Lord of Lords. Well, what next? How are we assisted in this? By all the intelligences that have lived before us. Could we have stemmed the amount of opposition and overcome the evils with which we have been surrounded if there had not been an invisible power sustaining us? We could not. But all the Priesthood that have existed before, with God and Jesus at the head, are on our side and assisting us; and he is all the time crying, “Touch not mine anointed, do my prophets no harm.” He still cries the same. They are operating in the heavens while we are operating on the earth; “They without us cannot be made perfect, and we without them cannot be made perfect.” It needs a grand controlling power associating and uniting the heavens with the earth; uniting them together in indissoluble bonds that cannot be broken. Uniting them together in one grand phalanx for the accomplishment of the purposes of God. When Satan thought he had got the inhabitants of the whole world, did God give them up? No! No!! When Jesus “Was put to death in the flesh, he was quickened by the spirit, by which he went and preached to the spirits in prison that were sometime disobedient in the days of Noah.” When men have been destroyed and nations led into iniquity and overcome, are all going to be lost and destroyed? No. God has introduced a plan whereby all that have lived upon the earth, that are worthy in any respect or honorable, and all that have desired to do right, who have lived without the Gospel, shall yet have the privilege of it, and they shall be baptized for, according to a certain order that God has indicated in relation to these matters to his Priesthood here upon this earth; and will God be thwarted? No. He will accomplish his designs, and the earth, by and by, will be purged from iniquity; and Zion will grow and increase and spread, and no power can hinder it, for God is at the helm, and he will guide and direct all things according to the counsel of his own will.

Are we the enemies of mankind? No. We are their friends. No men living ever exhibited more friendship to the world than we have. I have traveled thousands of miles, and hundreds of thousands, as President Young and many brethren around me have, thousands and thousands of miles without purse or scrip, without hope of earthly reward, to carry forth those principles that we knew God had revealed for the salvation of the human family, and we know it today. I know these things are true. I know that God has spoken. I know that the heavens have been opened. I know that the truth of God has been revealed, and I bear record of it before this people, before God, angels, and men. I know of what I speak, and therefore testify of it in the name of Israel’s God. I call upon men everywhere to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost. I call upon the Latter-day Saints to be one, and to be united in temporal and spiritual things, to seek after God that they may learn of Him and His laws; then shall your light shine like the sun, and then shall Zion rise and shine, and the glory of God rest upon her, and the power of God be made manifest among his people. Amen.