Visit of the Presidency to the Northern Settlements

Remarks by President George A. Smith, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, Sept. 7, 1873.

For the past two weeks it has been my privilege, in company with President Young, and Elders John Taylor, Cannon, and Woodruff and others, to travel among and visit the Saints in some of the settlements in the northern valleys of this Territory and the southern portions of Idaho. Considering the short time since the settlements north of Ogden were formed, especially those of Cache Valley and Bear Lake, it seems that great progress has been made in building towns and villages, preparing places of worship, providing the necessaries of life, and constructing mills, roads and bridges, so that in a very few years the country has been turned from a desert, uninhabited region, to one of thrift and plenty.

While at Logan, a two days’ meeting was held, on Saturday and Sunday, two weeks ago today. The people of the valley were in the midst of a very abundant harvest, and their grain had so ripened that the harvest came upon them all at once; yet the attendance at our meetings was very large, larger, in fact, than it had ever been my pleasure to witness in that place before. The Spirit of the Almighty seemed to be striving with the people, and though they were pressed with the labors of an abundant harvest, they were on hand, alive and awake, to attend meetings and to perform their duties.

The changes which have come over this land, since we first settled in it, seem wonderful. The first visitors to Cache Valley pronounced it too cold a country for the cultivation of grain. Frost occurred almost every week during the summer, and the winters were very severe. Early explorers of that valley found the thermometer so low in the summer as to deprive us even of a hope of successful cultivation. But settlements were commenced and farming was attempted, and finally it was concluded that wheat could be grown there. It seems, however, that the brooding of the Spirit of the Lord over that land has softened the climate, and large crops of many varieties of fruit, including the apricot and peach, are raised there now.

I believe it is the case universally where the Latter-day Saints have settled in these valleys, and commenced their work with faith, trusting in the Lord, that he has softened the elements and tempered the climate, until they are now favorable, and year after year more tender vegetation has been introduced. I have noticed this in the settlements in the Sevier Valley and in Iron County. I commenced a settlement in Iron County in January, 1851. For nine years I attempted to raise peaches in Parowan, but they were killed to the ground every year. Now Iron County has become quite a peach growing country. I attribute this to the blessings of the Almighty upon the elements, and from this cause the cultivation of grain and fruits has progressed from year to year in greater altitudes, until now it is successful in many localities in the Territory where it was formerly impossible.

Two years ago I visited the valley of Bear River. The Bear Lake country had then been devastated by grasshoppers, and it presented a scene of utter desolation. The grain and grass crops and all the produce of the vegetable kingdom had been destroyed within a few days by an arrival of grasshoppers. This season we passed into Bear Lake, going part of the way by the new road recently constructed at a cost of $7,000, by the enterprise of Bishop O. J. Liljenquist and the citizens of Hyrum, by the stream known as Blacksmith’s Fork. We followed up this road until we attained an altitude of 5,400 feet above the level of the sea. Then we struck the old Huntsville road and went by that to Laketown, at the head of Bear Lake. This place is probably as delightfully and romantically situated as any in the Territory. It is very near the Territorial line, and contains about sixty families. The waters of the lake are clear and contain abundance of fish; and the meadows around the head of the lake and in its vicinity are very fine. The summits of the mountains are well covered with timber, which is not very difficult of access. We had two meetings at that place and found the people enjoying themselves well.

We then followed along the west shores of Bear Lake, some thirty miles, visiting some small places and making a stop at the fine settlement of St. Charles, where we also had two meetings. The purity of the water there; the great altitude and the cool climate will, when more known, render that locality a favorite place of resort to travelers and pleasure seekers in the short summer season. The settlers there raise excellent wheat, rye, barley, oats, and heavy crops of potatoes and garden vegetables. They have to watch pretty closely to get their crops in between the spring and fall frosts. The country is covered with a heavy growth of rich grasses. The winters are cold there. The settlement forms part of Oneida County, Idaho, the survey of the Territorial line having cut it off from Utah, in which it was formerly included.

St. Charles has sixty or seventy families, and wants more settlers. It is watered by a stream called Big Creek, the largest affluent of Bear Lake, a very fine stream, something larger than our Big Cottonwood, and furnishing abundance of water to the settlement. The grazing and farming facilities are excellent there, and the people seemed to be enjoying themselves exceedingly well, and had all they could do to take care of the crops and other temporal comforts with which they were surrounded.

Bear Lake is about twenty-six miles long and about ten miles wide. It is, in a manner, two lakes, the north end of it, about six miles, being cut off by a kind of embankment or beach, the two lakes being connected by a small stream only a few yards in width. The south part of the lake is very deep and the water pure. It has many streams entering into it, and many springs about it, and is a nursery for an immense amount of fish; large quantities of which, very fine trout and other choice varieties, are caught in their seasons.

The stream which leads out of Bear Lake, I think, is nine or ten miles long, to where it empties into Bear River. The lake has generally been called Bear River Lake, from the supposition that Bear River ran through it; but this is not the case. In this respect Bear Lake is unlike the Sea of Galilee and the river Jordan. The Jordan runs into one end of the Sea of Galilee and out at the other, passing right through it, but Bear Lake is at the head of a short stream which empties into Bear River. Along this stream and along Bear River is a large tract of fine grazing country, excellent meadow land, which our people are turning to good account.

There is a very fine town called Bloomington, on Twin Creeks, containing probably a hundred families; and about two and half miles from Bloomington in the principal town in the valley, called Paris. At Paris we held three days’ meetings, in a shade or grove, which had been prepared for that purpose. A large congregation assembled there and gave strict attention, and we enjoyed ourselves exceedingly well, all seeming very glad to see us.

After spending these three days at Paris, we visited some of the neighboring settlements. We had meeting at Montpelier, and passing through Bennington, Georgetown, Ovid, and some other small settlements, we visited Soda Springs, where we remained a day and a half, having two meetings with the people. We then resumed our journey, following down Bear River, camping out on our route, until we reached the settlement of Franklin, and thence on to Richmond, Smithfield and Hyde Park, holding meetings in each. Yesterday, we started for Logan, and reached home in four hours and twelve minutes in special trains. We had been gone two weeks and one day, having traveled two hundred miles by carriages through the mountains, and two hundred miles by railroad. The Elders of our party scattered among the settlements and held twenty-six meetings. We visited the Sunday schools and different organizations, and found them all alive to their several duties.

In almost every town we visited we were saluted on our arrival by a body of our Sunday school children, who turned out by hundreds. It almost seemed impossible that there could be so many children in the country as came out to meet us.

President Young was suffering on this journey from an attack of rheumatism, which rendered him uncomfortable. But still he preached a number of long and excellent sermons, sometimes speaking an hour and twenty minutes. He addressed all the large meetings, and did it in more than his usual energetic, eloquent and interesting style, and returned from the journey; but he accomplished it, and returned improved. For a man of his years, performing continually, as he does, a vast amount of labor of both mind and body, it seems almost miraculous that he could take this journey, attend so many meetings and councils, and endure the riding over a country as rough as the one we passed over. We were sometimes seven or eight thousand feet above the level of the sea, frequently six thousand, and then down to four thousand five hundred, and so on, up and down, through valleys and hills, the roads sidling in many places, rendering traveling difficult and unpleasant. Though after I had traveled through Palestine, where there are really no roads, I thought the country we had just passed over remarkable for its fine roads.

We bore testimony to the Saints of the everlasting Gospel, the plan of salvation which was revealed, through Joseph Smith, to this generation. We found them generally living in obedience to the principles of the Gospel, and rejoicing in the truth. There was a marked improvement, since I traveled through those northern regions before, in the condition of the roads, bridges, and private residences, and in some settlements a large number of barns have been erected. It seems, in the making of the settlements in these valleys, that it has been a difficult matter for the farmers to provide themselves with sufficient barns and storehouses, they are wanting almost everywhere, but some of these northern settlements are becoming very well supplied with these outdoor conveniences.

I am pleased to have the privilege of meeting with you again. I wish to bear my testimony to the interesting discourse which has been delivered to you this afternoon by Elder John Taylor, and I pray that the blessing of the Almighty may be upon us all. I feel that his blessing is over all the valleys where the Saints dwell, and inasmuch as they will abide in their holy faith, the faith of the holy Gospel, live in accordance with the principles of truth and the law which God has revealed for their salvation, the Lord will be their protector.

From the time that Joseph Smith took the plates of Mormon from the hill Cumorah, to the present moment, the enemy of all righteousness has been howling, and exercising every means in his power to destroy those who believe in the Book of Mormon, and who are willing to follow the instructions and counsels which God has given for the upbuilding of his kingdom in the last days. But they who have been humble, and have walked in accordance with their professions, have been upheld and protected, and the blessing of the Almighty has been continually upon them.

I pray the Lord that his blessings may rest upon you, and that you may rejoice therein, that we may all be able to walk humbly before him, keep his commandments, have power to overcome, and with the faithful be prepared to dwell in his kingdom, through Jesus our Redeemer. Amen.

Obedience—By Reason of Their Disobedience, Ancient Israel and the Land of Palestine Were Visited With and Still Remain Under the Curse of God—Tithing a Heavenly Requirement

Discourse by President George A. Smith, delivered in the Bowery, Logan City, Friday Morning, June 27, 1873.

Good morning, brethren and sisters! I am very happy to meet with you. We have the privilege of coming here occasionally and seeing you. We would like to give every one of you a hearty shake of the hand, but we desire to do it in a wholesale way, and we wish you to consider yourselves heartily shaken hands with (and suiting the action to the word); God bless you all forever. We have come here to bear testimony of the things of the kingdom of God, and to stir you up to diligence in performing your duties, and to perform the duties of our callings as ministers of the Gospel of Peace. We feel a little annoyed, necessarily, at the slow progress which is being made, yet we have a great many things to be thankful for, and a great many reasons to rejoice. We have very little reason to fear our enemies, provided that we, as Latter-day Saints, do our duty, but if we fail to obey the commandments of God, and the revelations which he has given for our salvation and guidance we have reason to fear, for unless we take such a course as to make God our friend and protector we are likely to fall into the hands of our enemies. King David Was requested, once to take his choice of three years’ famine, three days’ pestilence, or be driven three months before his enemies. David said he preferred to fall into the hands of the Lord; and when the scourge came David plead with the Lord to let the blow fall upon him and his house, and to spare Jerusalem. God heard his prayer and turned away the scourge, though it is written seventy thousand persons fell with the plague between Dan and Beersheba. In all ages of the world in which the Lord reveals himself to the children of men, he requires obedience, and promises them great blessings on rendering the same; but if they are not obedient he has invariably promised and poured out curses upon them.

Since I was here last, I have visited the Land of Palestine, on which God revealed himself to Abraham. Isaac and Jacob. He promised that land to them and their seed forever. It was to this land that Moses led the children of Israel, and upon which God promised them very great blessings if they would live in obedience to his laws and commandments. anyone who will attentively read the 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th chapters of Deuteronomy, will see foreshadowed, in plain language, the entire history of the children of Israel from the days of Moses to the present time; and in Palestine he will see the fulfillment of many of the prophecies contained in those chapters, with a minutiae that is really astonishing. Some men say they are infidels because that country is barren, sterile, rocky—a vast lime stone quarry, and could never have sustained such a population as the Bible represents it to have done. Others are infidel because they believe that so many kingdoms that are said to have once existed on that land could not have existed in so small a compass. But these querists and unbelievers do not realize that the barrenness, desolation, scanty population and condition of affairs which now exist there is a fulfillment, to the very letter, of the prophecies of Moses, the holy Prophets and of Jesus and the Apostles. God required certain things of Israel. If they complied it was all right with them; if they failed the catalogue of curses contained in the chapters I have referred to was pronounced upon their heads. Read the Bible and you will find that when they were obedient they were blessed, their lands were blessed, their armies were blessed, they were a great nation, they were able to resist the power of neighboring nations, they were courted, they were looked up to, neighboring nations paid them tribute. But when they refused to do that which the law of God required at their hands they lost this power—they fell into the hands of their enemies, they quarreled among themselves, they fell into darkness, married the daughters of aliens, worshiped strange gods, and they were finally broken up. Many of them were sold as slaves, some of them were compelled to eat their own children to save them from starvation, in the midst of the straits and sieges to which they were forced by their enemies. They were scattered to the four winds of heaven, they were sold in the slave market of Egypt, until they could not be bought, that is, there was no man to buy them. All these terrible judgments fell upon the Jewish nation, yet they were not utterly destroyed, a remnant was all the time preserved, and today, in every nation under heaven is found a remnant of the seed of Israel, retaining the Hebrew language, many of their ancient manners and customs, their old law written on parchment, which is read in their synagogues every Sabbath day. In nearly all the countries in which they have been scattered they have been subject to the most extreme abuse. They have been in constant fear, they have been permitted to reside only in certain quarters, and have had imposed upon them the most fearful exactions. You take for instance, the persecution of the Jews in Spain, under Ferdinand and Isabella—a very pious couple. Probably half a million of Jews were either banished from their homes, put to death, or compelled to accept the Catholic religion, and great numbers of their children were taken from them and placed under the charge of the Catholics, that, as the Queen believed, their souls might be saved. The Crusaders, while on their way to Jerusalem, plundered and killed thousands of the Hebrew race and yet, notwithstanding all the oppression that has been heaped upon them continuously from generation to generation, they still maintain their identity as the seed of Abraham.

Where are the inhabitants of Babylon and Nineveh? The city of Babylon was fifteen miles square, sixty in circuit. According to Herodotus, it was surrounded with a wall three hundred and fifty feet high, and eighty-seven thick, flanked with over two hundred towers, and contained palaces and hanging gardens that were the wonder of the world. It is almost doubtful now, where this once famous city stood, and the vicinity in which it is believed to have stood, is a vast marsh, rendering it difficult of access to any who may wish to visit it. And the Babylonians, where are they? Their descendants are so mixed up with the rest of the world, that none of them can be identified. You may trace other great nations of antiquity, and they have gone in the same way. But the Jews are still a distinct race, and they are a living record of the truth of the revelations of God.

There are a few thousand Jews in Jerusalem. They have synagogues, and they are permitted to go to a portion of the old wall, which they suppose to be a remnant of the outside enclosure of Solomon’s temple, and wail. A great many people who visit Jerusalem, go to witness their wailing. These Jews are graciously accorded the privilege, by the rulers of that country—the Turks—to wail over the desolation of Israel, provided they do not make so much noise as to disturb the neighborhood.

There are several other places, such as Mount Gerizim, a place in Samaria, considered holy, where a small sect of the ancient Samaritans meet annually. And in Tiberium, on the Lake of Galilee, two or three thousand Jews live. It is the Tiberius of Herod the Tetrarch; they consider that a holy place. The Jews are broken up into sects and parties, and in almost every town in Palestine, you find a few of them, oppressed, poor and despised, there, as elsewhere, living monuments of the fulfillment of prophecy.

At the last General Conference of the Church, during my absence, I was elected Trustee-in-Trust. It consequently became my duty to return home and look after the interests of the Church, directing the means for the building of Temples and other public works. This was certainly very unexpected to me; but the General Conference saw proper to confer this duty upon me, and as soon as I got the Conference minutes at Berlin, I started for home.

While I was passing through Palestine, I had some very serious reflections as to the causes which had operated to reduce the country to its present barren condition, and why the descendants of Jacob were so oppressed, and, as an independent nation, blotted out. In an interview with the venerable Chief Rabbi, Abram Askenasi, I enquired for the ten tribes. Said he, “We have no idea where they are, but we believe they will be found, and will return and inherit their land.” While traveling in Palestine I reflected a good deal on the fate of Israel. I asked myself, why they were persecuted, scattered, peeled and hidden from the face of men, and why were the tribes of Judah and Benjamin still scattered? Some of them can go to Jerusalem occasionally and visit, but only a very few thousand live, in a scattered condition, in the lard of their fathers, and they are in bondage, under tutors, governors, and rulers, and have in reality no power of themselves. Rabbi Askenasi said they had more liberty than heretofore. The Christian Powers have recently taken a course which has modified the action of the Turks toward them. They were now permitted to buy land, but they were poor and could buy but little, and he wished the Jews of all nations to contribute to enable the Jews of Jerusalem to extend the area of their possessions. They had purchased a piece of land in Jerusalem, and were building on it a home for widows and orphans.

Now I saw this degradation with which Israel are visited. Where did it begin? It was simply because the children of Israel failed to obey the law of God. If we search the Bible, we shall find many references by the Prophets to this subject, which are very plain and clear. In the third chapter of Malachi, and eighth verse, the Prophet, speaking of the condition of Israel in his day, uses this singular language, or rather the Lord, speaking through the Prophet, says—“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.”

Now, God required of Israel Tithes and offerings. He blessed them with land and with abundant rains. He made their land exceedingly fertile; he blessed them with flocks, with herds, and with everything on the face of the earth seemingly that they could desire. He gave them wealth in every direction; he gave them power over their neighbors—they were the head and not the tail. In return for all this, what did he require of them? He required them to pay Tithes and make offerings. Tithes meant one-tenth of all their increase. One-tenth of all this the Lord required them to place in the hands of the Levites and those whom he had selected to look after the general welfare. In addition to this tenth he also required certain offerings. You may trace the history of the Jewish nation through and you will find that when the people paid their Tithes and offerings, and thereby acknowledged their dependence upon and allegiance to the God of heaven, they were prospered and blessed continually. While they did this they were not running after other gods, making golden calves, setting up idols, or worshiping the gods of their heathen neighbors.

What does the Lord want with Tithes and offerings? He has plenty. And he has shown that he could do without them from that day to the present; but he promised his people blessings on certain conditions. Some of those conditions were that they should pay Tithes and make offerings. The Pharisees paid Tithes of mint, anise and cumin, but omitted their money. “Ye pay tithes of mint, anise and cumin, but omit the weightier matters of the law—judgment, mercy and faith. These things ye ought to have done and not left the others undone.” This was the principle.

I rode over the plains and hills of Palestine and saw their desolation. What is the reason of it? God gave that country to Israel; he blessed it and sent rains upon it, and made it fruitful above all lands, and in return he required of them one-tenth of their increase and some offerings; but they would not give him Tithes, they robbed him of Tithes and offerings, hence he cursed the whole nation with a curse. After seeing the condition of that country, I came home with a determination to preach the law of Tithing, for God has required of us, as he did of ancient Israel, obedience to that law, and he also requires that we should pay in our offerings; and he will do with us precisely as he did with Israel, if we fail to observe the law of Tithing and offerings, of course remembering the principles of judgment, mercy and faith, for these things we ought to do and not leave the other undone. My traveling over that country was not without its moral lesson to us at home. God has given us a good country. The world hate us. “Marvel not,” says the Savior, “if the world hate you.” The world will speak evil of us. Marvel not at that, we have nothing to fear from men in authority. We have nothing to fear from any source on the face of the earth, but from our own neglect. God himself is our protector and our ruler, and if we observe faithfully and truly, with all our hearts, the law that is required of us, we have nothing to fear from any other source; but if we neglect, if we have the effrontery to be baptized for the remission of our sins, and to step forward and receive the ordinances of the house of God, and then coolly and deliberately rob God of what is required of us, we may expect that he, in return, will send upon us in their time and season a long list of curses and afflictions, annoyance and distress, just as he sent them upon the nations of antiquity to whom he revealed himself and who refused to obey his law.

The Prophet Malachi, wished to reclaim Israel from the condition into which their unfaithfulness had reduced them, or rather the Lord wished to do so, and he used this exhortation—“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.”

We profess to believe a great deal, but do our acts correspond with our belief? Are we as critical, careful, fixed and determined in obeying this law of Tithing as we ought to be? Or do we feel that it is a burden? God does not want our Tithes at all unless we want to pay them, but we have no right to ask his favors, blessings and protection and the ordinances of the Priesthood, unless we render our acknowledgement. The conditions are before us. In every age of the world when any people have received revelation from God, directly or indirectly, if they did abide this law they were prospered, blessed and protected; they were powerful and strong. God watched over them. If they neglected it, he cursed them with a curse, even the whole nation. We have nothing to expect but the very same justice from the hand of God, if we, to use his expression, “rob” him. Now, I have just that kind of faith, if a man has a sum of money come into his possession, whether by the manufacture of lumber, or the selling of merchandise, or by any other means, if he will pay his tenth strictly, according to the law, he has the blessing of God upon the balance, and if he will keep a strict, straightforward account with all his increase, whatever it may be, and strictly observe the law of Tithing, he will have blessings upon his head, upon his property, upon his wives, children and posterity. If, on the other hand, he pursues the opposite policy, the Prophet says, “Ye are cursed with a curse.”

Now, brethren and sisters, think of these things. If we have the truth—the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which a great many of you testify you have, and I know we have, do not let a little neglect, folly and covetousness, and a little-disposition to rob our Father of what be has justly claimed at our hands as his Saints, place us in darkness. It is the very stepping stone to and beginning of apostasy, it is the foundation of wickedness and corruption. I see the results, I have realized them. I have wandered over hills and valleys that once teemed with their millions of inhabitants, and now they are a desert. God has cursed them. He has for many generations made “the rain of their land powder and dust,” the sun has smitten them and the water has dried up. Rabbi Askenasi told me in Jerusalem there really was no living water. The time was when there was an abundance. They preserve it in the rainy season in tanks, but we were told that in about a month from the time we were there they would have to purchase it; and I really felt relieved when I got from Jerusalem, for the water I drank while there was not very good, it did not seem to be very clean.

An Account of His Journey to Palestine

Remarks by President George A. Smith, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Like City, Sunday Afternoon, June 22, 1873.

Brethren and sisters, I am exceedingly thankful, through the blessings of the Lord and your faith and prayers, that I have been permitted to perform a lengthy journey and to return and associate with you again, to behold your faces, and to lift my voice and bear testimony to the things of the kingdom of God in this Tabernacle. I feel exceedingly thankful to my heavenly Father for his preserving mercy, and to my brethren and sisters for their prayers and faith, and for their kind assistance, which was bountifully rendered to me, enabling me to bear the cost of a lengthy and expensive journey. The principal object of that journey was to visit the lands in which the events recorded in the Bible transpired. Incidentally we visited many countries, and had an opportunity of acquiring information and extending acquaintances into lands which heretofore have been barred against visits from our Elders, as the Elders, when they went abroad went expressly to preach, and were frequently prohibited from entering these countries, or if permitted to enter were not allowed to speak of the Gospel. We, having means to travel, of course passed along as other travelers, for not being on a mission for preaching we were not interrupted, and this enabled us to acquire a knowledge of the laws and customs of the various countries we visited, and a variety of information that we had heretofore only got by reading; and I understand very clearly that a person may read almost any subject and yet a personal inspection will give better and perhaps more extended or different ideas from those gleaned solely from reading. In reading books, you learn the views, thoughts and reflections of the individuals who wrote them, modified more or less by a great desire in the human heart to make books readable, in order that they may sell. It is really true that a great share of the books in the world are written more to be read than to communicate facts. It is said that when Henry the Fourth was on his sick bed, his son, knowing his father had always been very fond of history, proposed to read a little history to him. “Oh,” said the dying king, “I am too far gone to bother my brains with romance.” That showed his opinion of history.

As soon as we reached Rome we began to find the localities referred to in Scripture. It was in the reign of Augustus Caesar, that Christ was born. At that time Judea was a tributary kingdom to Rome, its king being Herod. The decree which went forth from Augustus Caesar, that all the world should be taxed, of course included Jerusalem and the entire kingdom of Judea, which at that time was of considerable extent. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be taxed with the house of David, and there being no room in the inn, they took up their quarters in a stable, and there the Savior was born.

Some years after the ascension of Jesus, St. Paul went to Rome, in order to get a hearing before Caesar, on an appeal case, which had been adjourned from time to time before the authorities in Caesarea Philippi, in consequence of his refusal, it seems from the reading of the Book of Acts to furnish the “backsheesh.” Thinking that Paul’s friends would pay liberally for his relief, his judges had kept him bound in prison; but as the expected bribe was not forthcoming he was eventually sent to Rome on his own appeal; and while we were at Rome we were shown places where he was said to have been imprisoned, and one room where they said he used to hold meetings, and a variety of places and incidents connected either directly or indirectly with the mission of the Apostles in the first century.

In the cathedrals of almost all the countries which we visited we were shown relics that had been brought from Palestine. At Pisa there is a burying yard, probably an acre and a quarter in extent, nine feet of earth having been brought from Palestine as a covering for this burial place. It takes a permit from the Pope to be buried in that sacred soil. In the cathedral of San Lorenzo, in Genoa, they showed us the chain with which John the Baptist was bound, and the casket which they said contained his head, and a variety of other relics. In the church of St. Mark, in Venice, they showed us the coffin of St. Mark, and while there they showed us a casket said to contain the remains of St. John the Baptist, also the marble slab on which his head fell when he was executed. I ascertained, however, to my satisfaction, that this was a local saint, carried by the Venetians, seven or eight hundred years ago, from Marsaba, in Palestine, where he was recognized as St. John of Damascus. There is so much relic worship, that it has been overdone; but we commenced, when we got to Rome, to tread the ground where the Apostles labored. We visited a prison in which it is said St. Peter was imprisoned. We saw the spot where he is said to have escaped from his enemies, and was about to flee, but the Savior called to him and asked him if he was afraid to die, so says tradition. They show the print that Peter’s foot made when he heard the Savior’s voice. That is on a spot outside of Rome. They built a church on that place and it contains a statue of St. Peter, the toes of one of the feet have been worn off, we were told, by kissing, and their place supplied with bronze. They showed us the stairs, brought from Jerusalem, which they say led up to Pilate’s judgment seat. We saw a great many people crawling up and down them on their knees, weeping and wailing and kissing every step.

As we steamed towards the east, we passed the Isle of Candia, the Crete of Scripture, and were reminded by various places that we saw, of the incidents of St. Paul’s shipwreck.

Before leaving London we made arrangements with the firm of Thomas Cook & Son, to supply us with railroad facilities, hotel coupons, steamboat conveyance and transportation from London to Palestine, for one hundred and thirty days, terminating at Trieste, in Austria, via Constantinople and Athens. By this means much of the annoyance of traveling in countries where we did not understand the languages and manners and customs was avoided.

We reached Egypt and landed at Alexandria on February 6th. We were met on board our steamer by Mr. Alexander Howard, a dragoman of Messrs. Cooke & Co. He took charge of our effects, assisted us in passing the custom house, and conducted us to the Hotel d’Europe, giving us choice rooms, where we had a magnificent view, and furnishing us all the information necessary to make our sojourn in Egypt pleasant and profitable.

In Egypt we were still on Scriptural ground. Egypt, after the days of Constantine, until those of the Saracens, was a Christian country. In the seventh century it was conquered by the Saracens or Mahomedans. Alexandria is supposed to have contained 600,000 inhabitants when it was conquered by Amru. All the world has been horrified by the decision of Omar, Caliph of Medina, that the library of Alexandria—said to be the largest collection of books and manuscripts in the world—should be consigned to the flames.

“After a siege of fourteen months Amru, also called Amer, took it, and in his letter to the Caliph Omar, he informed him of the con quest he had made, saying that he had found there 4,000 palaces, a like number of baths, 400 places of amusement, and 12,000 gardens, and that one quarter alone was occupied by 40,000 Jews.” It is said that the books and manuscripts of that library furnished fuel for warming those baths for some four months.

There is in Egypt a sect of Christians called Copts, or the Coptic church. They are descendants of the inhabitants of Egypt that were conquered by the Saracens. At Cairo we visited one of their churches, and were shown the place where they said the Savior, his mother and Joseph resided during their stay there, when they fled from the wrath of Herod, and the basin they washed in, and we saw many persons who had come there to be healed in consequence of the holiness of this place. This class of Christians—the Copts—have maintained their identity through the reign of Mahommetan power, Turkish and Arabic, down to the present time. There is probably a million of them, perhaps more, in Egypt and Abyssinia. There is also the Oriental Greek Church in Egypt; they showed us some traditionary holy places.

We went to visit Heliopolis, or the City of On. I have taken a great interest in family matters, believing in the doctrine of baptism for the dead, and I went to Heliopolis because I had good reason to believe that Joseph who was sold into Egypt, married his wife there, Asenath, daughter of Potiphar, priest of On. Heliopolis is believed to be the On of that day, and was the great college at which all the leading men of Egypt were educated. Probably Moses received his education there. There is a needle or obelisk, some sixty feet out of the ground, at Heliopolis, containing inscriptions from top to bottom. How far it goes into the ground I know not, but the inscriptions on that needle, if rightly interpreted by Egyptian scholars, indicate that it was probably there when Joseph went to Egypt. The city and all its temples have gone to decay. Other needles of the same kind, which were there, have been carried away, one of them stands in Constantinople. The ground is in a state of cultivation though the ruins of the city of On are to be seen scattered about, and when we were there, there was on the ground a luxuriant crop of sugar cane, showing that the soil was very rich.

Everything that grows in Egypt has to be irrigated from the river Nile. There is little, in fact no other, water, except that which comes from the Nile. I say there is no other water, but a little below the city of On, there is a very old tree—a sycamore I believe, under which the Copts believe that Joseph, Mary and Jesus camped while they remained in Egypt, during their flight from Herod. A great number of the branches have been carried away, and portions of the tree, but its boughs are still very widespread. The owner of the tree has put around it a very decent picket fence of pine lumber—I do not know where he got it—and any man who will give him a franc, he will lend him a knife and he may cut his name on the fence, but if he will not give him a franc, he must not do that, and he must not carry away any of the tree. I did not care about cutting my name on the fence, so I saved my franc. But there was a spring or well close by, and the water was drawn up by a mute on a kind of rudely con structed wheel, with a number of earthen vessels tied to the ends of its arms. They told me that the spring was in ancient times brackish and unfit to drink, but when Mary came there she bathed in it and it became sweet and good. I drank some of the water and found it so, tasting very much like the big spring at St. George. I remarked to the man I really wished she had made it cold while she was about it, for a drink of cold water would have been very refreshing just then. This cost me one franc.

I am not designing, however, to follow the incidents of my journey any further than they relate, more or less, to the history of those countries mentioned either directly or by tradition in the Bible. In Cairo we were shown Joseph’s well, and we were told by our guides that it was made by and called after Joseph who was sold into Egypt. But on investigation we found that when Saladin, Caliph of Egypt, undertook to select a place for a citadel in his new city of Cairo, he hung up meat in different parts around, and he found that fresh meat would keep longer at that point than any other in the neighborhood, and he came to the conclusion that that was the healthiest place, and he had the ground cleared for a citadel, and in doing that they discovered a well filled with sand. The sand was cleared out, and as one of the names of the Caliphs was Yoosef, it was called Joseph’s well, so it may be that Joseph who was sold into Egypt made it, and it may not. Its present name, however, I believe, comes from the Sultan Yoosef Salah-ed-deen, Caliph of Egypt in the 12th century, a man known to fame. The water of the well is brackish, and is chiefly used for laying the dust.

We all felt more or less interest in the locality anciently called the land of Goshen, but as nobody could tell precisely where the land of Goshen was, it was necessarily a matter of guesswork. But the streams of water must run now somewhere near the same as they did then, and we followed the course of a fresh water canal, which has recently been turned from the Nile, and which is some one hundred and fifty miles in length, to Suez and the Red Sea. This canal passes near Zagazig, which is probably in the vicinity of the land of Goshen; and when the children of Israel started for Canaan, they had to follow this route in order to secure themselves the necessary amount of water from that old fresh water canal, which is now known and identified as having run very nearly on the same ground as the present one, which has been made within a few years, and which the railroad follows.

There is a good deal of speculation as to where the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, but the most reasonable conclusion I can arrive at, so far as I have been able to investigate the matter, is that they followed this fresh water canal, and that they camped near its terminus on the Red Sea, and crossed over to the peninsula of Sinai, after which they were miraculously supplied with water, food and clothing through the deserts of Arabia.

We passed over that portion of the Suez canal, between Ismaila and Port Said. The Suez canal is certainly a very grand enterprise. Port Said receives its fresh water from the Nile. It has got pipes over fifty miles in length to bring that water from the canal at Ismaila to supply the town. Port Said is considerable of a place, and there is a good deal of enterprise there.

On the evening of February 22nd, we sailed from Port Said on the Vesta, one of the steamers belonging to the Austrian Lloyd’s. The next morning we came in sight of Jaffa, the Joppa of the Scriptures. Jaffa is a kind of promontory or headland, projecting into the sea. The anchorage is simply an open roadstead, and landing is sometimes very difficult. If we had had an unfavorable wind and been carried by that port, it would have cost us considerable time and expense; but when we reached there the day was pleasant and the sea smooth, and we landed without difficulty.

At Jaffa we were met by the before-named Mr. Howard, who conducted us to the Turkish customhouse officer, who, I believe, examined only one passport, and passed us, and we went directly to our tents, which were pitched not far from the seaside, near the burial place. They were very nice wall tents, well carpeted, with all the outfit necessary ready for use, and we at once commenced keeping house.

This Joppa is the place where King Solomon landed the cedars that he got from Hiram, King of Tyre, for the building of his Temple. I am of the opinion that the place has undergone some physical changes since that time, although I, of course, could not determine to what extent. In the vicinity of this city is a colony of about six hundred Germans, under the presidency of D. V. Christopher Hoffman, who consider themselves the spiritual temple of Christ. They have bought some land and have put it under cultivation, and they say the rains have increased there very much within the last few years, and the lands are very productive. They raise wheat and a variety of grains without irrigation. They say their gardens and orange groves require irrigation. I think the olives do not. The most beautiful orange groves that we saw, perhaps, on our entire journey, were at Jaffa. We visited this German colony. The American vice-consul, Mr. Hardegg, met us and treated us with courtesy. He is a German by birth, never was in America, speaks English. We also saw a number of persons who were connected with the scheme of one George J. Adams, and who, after its failure, were left in that country, one of whom, Mr. Floyd, is now a dragoman. They built some houses, but they have been purchased by this German colony. We attended a meeting of a missionary, and heard a Methodist sermon. It seemed to be a very difficult thing to get together people enough to have a meeting.

I believe the only place of particular Scriptural import which they pretend to have identified in Joppa is the house of Simon the tanner, by the seaside. Some were so critical as to doubt whether it was the identical house in which Peter lodged when the messengers of Cornelius came; but then, there are the tan vats, and it is right by the seaside, and the Bible says that Simon was a tanner, and that he lived by the seaside. They showed us the flat roof on which they say Peter was sleeping. In one end of the house—the end towards Mecca—there was a recess, such as the Mahometans have in their mosques to pray in. We inquired of the man in charge of the house whether Simon was a Mussulman? He said, “Yes, and there was where he prayed.”

It is not important, of course, whether that building is the identical one or not, yet it has been visited by thousands, and is a source of revenue. It was in this neighborhood that the Lord revealed to Peter that what God hath cleansed should not be called common or unclean, and that it was proper for him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, and from that place he went to visit Cornelius, and administered the Gospel to those not of the seed of Israel.

Having obtained our horses and saddles, Monday morning, Feb. 24th, we started for Jerusalem. I could not obtain a Syrian saddle large enough for me to ride on, and I was compelled to ride on an English saddle. This made a great difference in my comfort. If I had carried a Spanish saddle from home, I should have been much more comfortable on my journey. I was constantly afraid that the fastenings of my English saddle would give way. I did not think they were strong enough, and then its construction and shape were not comfortable and convenient, and in those particulars it was nothing to be compared with a Spanish, or even with a Syrian saddle. I am pretty heavy, and had not been on horseback for fifteen years.

Travelers in Palestine suffer greatly from the sun, but we were early in the season—two weeks earlier than travelers generally set out for Jerusalem. Mr. Cook was fitting out several parties; but they were two weeks after us, and we were comparatively alone, though some few travelers fell in with us incidentally. At noon, we halted at what was called the Martyr’s Tower, in Ramleh. Ramleh has a history relating particularly to the crusades. It is in the vicinity of the country anciently occupied by the Philistines, and from its tower, which we climbed, and which is probably a hundred feet high, we could see a portion of their country. There is at this place a monastery of monks, who, it is said, feed travelers of all denominations, and they are spoken of by all travelers as being very kind. They are Roman Catholics. Of course we had no need to test their hospitality, for we had everything within our reach that was necessary to supply our wants, carrying it right along with us.

In the evening we camped on a very nice stream at the entrance of the Valley of Ajalon. Our Sunday school children will recollect this very well, from the fact that Joshua said to the sun, “Stand thou still upon Gibson, and thou, moon, in the Valley of Ajalon.” I ought to explain that in Palestine what we call a ravine is called a valley, and wider valleys they call plains.

Before reaching Ramleh we passed through the plains of Sharon, where a kind of red flower, called the rose of Sharon, grows abundantly, and the land appears to be very fertile. We were rather surprised, having heard such accounts of the sterility of Palestine, to find on our entrance into it that the land was apparently fruitful; though we were told that if we had come later it would have looked more barren.

Miss E. R. Snow and Miss Clara Little had a tent; Elder Paul A. Schettler and myself occupied another, over which floated the “Stars and Stripes.” Elders Lorenzo Snow, Albert Carrington, Feramorz Little and Thos. Jennings occupied another. My tent was used as our dining room. Our dragoman and cook had each his tent, and we had another for convenience sake. We were supplied with good camp stools; we had iron-framed bedsteads, with good mattresses, and good, clean nice blankets and sheets. All the difficulty about it with me was that my bedstead was too small for me. I have always had a horror of being buried in a coffin not big enough, and I have always desired that my friends—whoever might live to put me in a coffin, would have it at least two inches bigger every way than I was. I have always felt an noyed at the idea of being buried in a cramped-up coffin. It often made me think of it when stretched out upon that bedstead, or in the berths of the ships which I have had to stay in so many days on this journey, for generally they have been too small for me. Our dragoman, Aushonny Makloof, of Beyrout, supplied us very well with provisions. We had our Arab cook and our Turkish muleteers. Only one of them all could speak a little English, and really, to this day, I never could tell how many there were, although on some days we had more and some less, for as we passed through the country we sometimes hired a sheik and one or two attendants, to go along with us, paying them for it, so that he need not help himself to our movables without our consent. Our muleteers took down our tents and tent poles, and tied up tents, baggage and everything and put it all on to the backs of the mules. We had to ride out, or spend our time someway, looking at the country or waiting, as we chose, in the evening for these tents all to be pitched; but it was generally so arranged that, in our seeing the country, our muleteers would get on the ground and get the tents pitched and everything ready, so that when we went there we could go right in and sit down to the tables or do anything we pleased.

The second day we had our noon halt on the brook, which they told us King David got the stones out of, with one of which he killed the giant of Gath, and that the battle between the Philistines and King Saul took place along the two sides of this stream. It is called a valley, but it was simply a ravine. We saw a considerable number of sheep of various colors there, and some boys tending them, which, of course reminded us of the fact that King David was tending his father’s sheep when Samuel went to his father’s house to anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be king. King David, it will be remembered, was the junior of the boys, and he was small of stature compared with the others. He was sent out to look after the sheep. When Samuel came to the house of Jesse and told him that one of his sons had to be king, and he wanted to pick the one, Jesse brought in six tall boys, one at a time, to each of which Samuel said, “That is not the one.” When the sixth had been refused, said Jesse, “I believe that is all.” “Have you not another?” “O yes, little David, he is out with the sheep.” They sent for him and he was anointed king, and it was he who slew the giant Goliath; and I suppose if I had enquired of the monks I might have brought home the identical stone with which he did it, but I did not take the trouble. The place where we had our meal was not far from Kirjath-Jearim where the ark is said to have rested, not the ark of Noah, but the ark of the Lord, for a considerable time after it fell into the hands of the Philistines.

We again got into the saddle and started for Jerusalem across the mountain, for that country is one immense limestone quarry. If there ever was any soil it has blown away until very little remains. What there is left is evidently very rich where they can get the water to it: but as we crossed over and got a view of Jerusalem, a feeling of disappointment was evident on the countenances of every one of the party, or else I was disappointed and they were not, one or the other. But the whole thing presented itself to us in a different light from what we had anticipated, and I then understood why Dr. Burns, in his “Guide,” re commends people to pass round Jerusalem by another route, and come in from the east and get a first view from the eastern side. It is because the view from the Mount of Olives—on the eastern side—is a very great deal better than when you go from the west. It is said that there is a great deal in first impressions.

The Russians have built some monasteries in and about Jerusalem, and the Latins have got some, and within the last few years there have been a number of good new buildings put up. Sir Moses Monteilore has built a block outside, and not far from the wall. The venerable Abraham Askenasi, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, with the contributions of his friends throughout the world, has erected a considerable number of rooms as a home for widows and orphans. At first view we could pick out the mosque of Omar—the place where Solomon’s temple stood; we could also see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—the place where the Savior was crucified. We pitched our tent in the valley of Hinnom, near the Jaffa gate—the gate at which most of the business in Jerusalem is done. While our tents were pitching we passed in at the gate, and saw a good many beggars, some of them lepers, also quite a number of women dressed in white, some of whom were hired mourners and were wailing. As we passed along we found, not far from the gate, an old man lying in the street, almost naked and moaning piteously. He begged of us to give him something. When we got in we called at the banker’s in Jerusalem, and were told that the old man who lay there in the street begging, whom we had probably noticed, owned six hundred olive trees, a garden containing quite a number of fig trees, and an orange grove—that the banker had known him for years, and he came every year to Jerusalem, and lay on the street almost naked, howling and moaning piteously, begging from the pilgrims, while he was in reality one of the wealthy men of the country.

It is not easy to describe that city, nor, so far as I have seen, any of those Asiatic cities. The streets, if they can be called streets, are very narrow, and many of them are so crowded with camels, donkeys and packhorses, that they can only pass each other at certain places. The houses are rudely built, of a kind of concrete, or of rock and mortar. They are low and small and the roof flat, generally covered with cement. There are many buildings in Jerusalem that go to show it off—mosques and churches, with their minarets, towers and rotundas. The principal business street in Jerusalem is Christian street, which is fifteen feet wide. It leads up from the street that we enter from Jaffa’s gate, and has an avenue that leads off to the entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In front of that church is a little open space filled with beggars, and men with articles for sale—beads, photographs, jewelry of different kinds, and relics of all kinds. We could get almost anything in the way of relics we wanted there, and be assured that they were genuine.

President Carrington remained at Jerusalem while we went to the Dead Sea. He wanted to do some business connected with the Liverpool office; and he is not very fond of horseback riding. As you are aware he has been afflicted with rheumatism considerably, so he remained in the Mediterranean Hotel while we went to the Dead Sea and the Jordan. That gave him more time to pass around, and through and over Jerusalem, than any of us. He had several days, and he declared that he could never make up his mind as to what induced King David to locate his capital there. The chief rabbi told me that, anciently, Jerusalem was well supplied with water; but at the present time there was really no living water there. The pool of Hezekiah, and other pools were filled in the rainy season, but in a month from the time we were there a quart bottle of water would cost a farthing, and sometimes pretty hard to get. If the aqueducts from the pools of Solomon were repaired, they would not bring in sufficient water to supply the city, but in the days of Israel’s prosperity, there was abundance of water there, and he believed there would be again.

I had a letter of introduction, procured by Mr. James Linforth, from the Rabbi of the Jewish congregation at San Francisco, to Rabbi Askenasi. He is a very venerable looking man—tall, heavy set and a good supply of beard, like the Apostles in the picture. He seemed very much pleased with my visit, treated me with courtesy, showed me their synagogue and the building they were erecting, and returned the visit, accompanied by several of the Jewish elders, at my tent, where we had a very pleasant interview. But there is no infidel on the face of the earth who can disbelieve the mission of the Savior more than they do. He says the condition of the Jews is much improved of late years. Now they can purchase, and if they have only the money to do it with, and the amount they can buy is only limited by their want of money. They have also a title from the Turkish government for the ground upon which they are erecting their home for widows and orphans. This gentleman told me that no Jew had been inside the enclosure of the Mosque of Omar, although he believed it stands on the sight of Solomon’s temple, though not in the center of it.

In looking around Jerusalem, I did not regard it in the same light as President Carrington did. Kingdoms, in those days, were small and densely populated, and it was necessary for a ruler, in locating a capital, to have it so that it could be easily defended; and until the time when modern arms were invented, Jerusalem could be easily defended. Its siege and capture by the Romans proved, to all intents and purposes, that it was a very difficult city to take, for though it was surrounded by several walls, fortified with strong towers, and naturally defended by its mountainous position and the ravines around it, each one of these walls was occupied by rival parties, for it will be remembered by readers of the destruction of Jerusalem, that there were three separate leaders, and that when the Jews were not fighting the Romans, they were fighting each other; and it is even doubtful to this day that, if either John or Simon had had absolute command in their city and the confidence of the people, whether the Romans could have taken the place at all or not. An old proverb says that whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad. It was so with these Jews. They had slain the Savior, they had violated the commands of God, and they had brought upon their heads the curses pronounced upon them in the 27th chapter of Deuteronomy and in a great many other places, if they did not abide in the law of the Lord; and notwithstanding their strong city and their numbers, they were so divided among themselves that they could not make a successful defense. Speaking of this destruction of Jerusalem carries me back to Rome and the Arch of Titus, erected to commemorate his victories, on which is engraved a representation of the seven branched candlestick, and a great variety of the treasures brought by him from Jerusalem.

King David had learned the strength of Jerusalem by the difficulty he encountered in taking it from the Jebusites; and it is more than probable that God commanded him to locate the city there.

Rabbi Askenasi, speaking of the ten tribes, said he had no idea where they were, but he believed they were preserved, and that their posterity would return, and the time would come when God would bless Israel, and when water would be abundant in Jerusalem. We read in the 47th chap. of Ezekiel, that living waters were to come out from Jerusalem, and that they should run toward the east; and that the Prophet saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. He measured a thousand cubits, and the water was to his ankles; he measured another thousand, and it was to his knees; another thousand, and it was to his loins; another thousand, and it was a river with waters to swim in, that could not be passed over. He goes on and describes this as something that should take place at Jerusalem. I could but reflect, when standing on the Mount of Olives, on the saying concerning it in the last chapter of Zechariah, where, in speaking of the coming of the Savior, it says his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem to the east, and the mount shall cleave in the midst thereof, half going toward the north, and half toward the south. There shall be a very great valley, and the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, and shall be lifted up, and men shall dwell on it. The same Prophet tells us that living waters shall come out of Jerusalem, half toward the former sea, and half toward the hinder sea, and that in summer and in winter shall it be.

The convent at Mar Saba is situated on the canyon, which is the outlet of the brook Kedron; but it was perfectly dry when we were there, not a drop of water running in it. There are seasons of the year, I suppose, when waters run there, but these prophecies declare that living waters shall run out of Jerusalem in summer and winter, and I am foolish enough to believe that they will be literally fulfilled. I agreed with Rabbi Askenasi in the belief that God would restore that land to Israel, and that Jerusalem would again be supplied with abundance of water and be a glorious and happy city. I saw many Christians of different denominations there who had no such faith. One man came into our tent, and assured us that baptism by immersion was impossible, there never had been water enough in that country to immerse people. He had believed in immersion, he said, but since he had traveled through the country and had seen so little water, he was satisfied that they would all have to go to Jordan to be baptized. This is the way people look at it. The country is dry and barren, the rains have ceased upon it for many generations, though they have had occasional rains.

In going to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem, we visited a number of points of interest. One was the tomb of Rachel, another the pools of Solomon—three immense pools constructed to receive the waters of a spring and hold them in reserve, and the old aqueduct is still in repair almost to Bethlehem. We visited Bethlehem, and were shown the caves—called stables—in which the Savior was born, and the churches and ornaments. There was a great variety of people there, many begging and many trying to sell you relics. The country is without fences. There are a good many spots where there is an opportunity for the Bedouins to come along and scratch the ground with a kind of shovel plough they have, hitch some calves or very small cattle, and raise some barley. We purchased barley all the time for feeding our animals.

At the place which we supposed is called in Scripture the wilderness, or the border of the wilderness next to the Dead Sea, where John the Baptist commenced his preaching, is an immense convent. It was founded by a man named Saba. “Mar” in the Syrian language means saint, and when we speak of Mar Saba, it means saint Saba. This is the name of the convent. This man lived to be some ninety-four years old. He concealed himself from his enemies a considerable time in caves, but his power increased with the number of his friends, for he gathered around him a good many thousand monks, and they built this immense convent, which was strongly fortified for those times. They allow no women to enter, and no person can go into their building without a permit from the Greek Patriarch at Jerusalem. We had a permit to enter that convent, but sister Snow and sister Little, of course, had to go to the camp. It would probably have been considered an outrage for them to have come in sight of the gates. Having sent up our permit, we were admitted and passed through the building. There were sixty-five monks there, some of whom had been there thirty-seven years. A man has to be exceedingly holy to be permitted to go there. I looked at them, and wondered what could induce men to adopt such a life. They showed us one room filled with skulls. They said there were fifteen hundred of them, and they were the skulls of their brethren who had been killed by the Saracens at different times. They had taken great pains to preserve the skulls, with their names and registers. They have a spring of water which has a miraculous history, and they have one palm tree growing, which they say was planted by Saint Saba himself. They seem to have an eye to business. They had canes for sale, made from willows which they get the Arabs to bring from the Jordan. None of them are allowed to go out, and they are compelled to have everything brought to them. They had a number of fancy articles of their own manufacture for sale. I bought a small string of shells, which they said were brought from the Dead Sea. They gather a few francs from every party of travelers in this way. There was another party of Americans nearby who wanted to visit the monastery, but they had no permit; and a message was sent to us by them, saying, that if we would delay a little while we could all pass in with our permit. We had met the party and knew them to be nice, intelligent gentlemen. We stayed about an hour to accommodate these friends, and they passed in with us, otherwise they would have had to go clear back to Jerusalem for a permit. These persons—four gentlemen and two ladies—finding that we were going down to the Dead Sea, went along with us, and made the journey safe and pleasant. We went down to the Dead Sea the day following our visit to the monastery. I have seen a good many rough roads in Utah in the mountains, but of all the rough horseback riding I ever did see, I think that Palestine has the premium. Being pretty heavy, it was difficult for me to get on and off my horse, but because of the rough roads in some places, I dismounted and led my animal. I found, however, that he could stand better than I could, so I rode him, and I believe that some of the Saints here at home must have had faith hold that animal up, or he would have stumbled. I rode him four hundred miles, three hundred of which there was no road with any right to the name, and he never slipped or stumbled.

Some of the party went into the Dead Sea and had a swim. I did not. Some of them inquired for Lot’s wife—the “pillar of salt.” I expect she was at the other end of the sea, for we did not see her. The Dead Sea is a remarkable body of water. According to scientific observations, as read in the report of Lieutenant Lynch and others, it is 1350 feet lower than the Mediterranean. It is probably one of the deepest holes in the world. It is perhaps eight or ten miles wide and about forty long. It occupies the site of the cities of the plain—Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboim, upon which, in consequence of their wickedness, we are told that God rained fire and brimstone and destroyed them. The probability is that they were buried by a volcanic eruption, and that they and most of the valley of the Jordan were sunk at the same time. The probability is that that the Jordan ran through these cities, and that this deep basin being formed, the Jordan forms the Dead Sea, which has no outlet, much like our Salt Lake. There is a wonderful similarity between that country and this, only this, of course, is on a grander scale. Our Salt Lake answers very well to the Dead Sea; our Utah Lake answers very well to the Sea of Galilee, and some of the streams that run into Utah Lake answer very well to the upper streams of the Jordan. It hardly seems credible to me, but all the guide books assert that the Sea of Galilee is 650 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. The country is subject to earthquakes, and bears the evident marks of many of them. In 1837, Tiberium, the Tiberias of ancient times, was very severely damaged by an earthquake, the effects of which are visible to anyone who visits it. I have wondered how the Lord would restore that country. I thought he had got to have some kind of a process to hoist the waters of the Dead Sea above the level of the ocean, so that a stream could run out of it in order for it to be healed. Prophecy says that the waters that should run out of Jerusalem should run down to the east sea, and the waters of the east sea were to be healed, and there was to be a multitude of fishes, but now no living thing can exists in the Dead Sea. But if these prophecies are fulfilled, and I have not any doubt that they will be, these waters are to be healed, and I believe that the Lord will use natural means to bring it about.

We returned by way of Jordan. The stream is not so large as our Jordan here, but quite a nice river. The Arabs were very much afraid when we went into it, that we would go beyond our depth. It was safe to go as far as certain rapids, but it was not safe to go beyond them. They said that some zealous fellows got in so far that they could not get out, and one or two were lost, and they had some difficulty to fish the others out. Some willows and different kinds of timber grow along its banks.

We were supposed to be at the place where the Savior was baptized, and also at the place where Elijah smote the waters with his mantle, and he and Elisha crossed over dry-shod, and Elijah then went to heaven in a chariot of fire, after which Elisha passed back in the same manner. We saw the place where it is supposed the children of Israel, under Joshua, crossed over the river dry-shod. There is good reason to suppose that they crossed in harvest time, and that the waters were high. They say the waters of the Jordan are highest in harvest time. We had a ride across the plain probably seven or eight miles. That plain could be watered by irrigation. I was often asked if we were going to settle in Palestine. I replied that we were not, but I could take a thousand “Mormons;” go up the Jordan, put in a dam to take out the water, and irrigate several thousand acres. But there is little, however, at present inviting about the country, but it would no doubt be productive if irrigated. The valleys near the source of the Jordan would be much the best for cultivation, and the climate would be more agreeable.

Jericho, or rather the old site of that city, has a good many mounds. Men have dug into many of them, but we were told that no valuables had been found. We camped that night at Aines-Sultain, generally called the fountain of Elisha, because tradition says that, on his return after Elijah had ascended to heaven, he healed the waters of this fountain. Before then they were salt, but by a miracle he made them sweet. They are now delicious, and after our hard day’s ride in the heat and dust, we found the waters of the fountain of Elisha very palatable.

That night there was a company of Bedouins came and danced and sang for us. They had a sham fight, and I think it requires a man of pretty good nerve to sit and look at them and not be afraid that they would whip some of their crooked scimiters through his body. Each one of our party paid them something like two francs, which satisfied them. I believe a ticket at our theater here in Salt Lake would cost more than that, and take it as a whole their performance was not very expensive. They went off in a very fine humor. I could not understand their songs, but our dragoman interpreted the chorus of one of them to be, “May the ladies’ eyes be like the moon.”

From that place to Jerusalem the route is very rough. Some years ago a Russian lady, a very pious woman, went on a pilgrimage to the Jordan, and while riding over some of these rough ways she was thrown from her horse and had her arm broken and was badly hurt. She expended her money in improving a portion of the way, and on this account one of the canyons was much easier to go through than before that time.

We passed by other ancient sites, spoken of in the Bible as having been large cities, and no doubt they were; but we must bear always in mind that that was an age when Israel paid their tithes and offerings, and God blessed the land. At noon we stopped at a place called Christ’s Hotel, all of us very much fatigued. Our luggage train went ahead. In the afternoon we passed by Bethany, where Christ raised Lazarus, and saw what was pointed out to us as the house of Mary and Martha, and also the tomb of Lazarus. In the evening we camped again at Jaffa’s gate at Jerusalem, finding our tents pitched and everything comfortable. We used to sing about the flowery banks of Jordan, but it takes off the romance to go and see them; yet when irrigation and industry and the blessing of the Lord prevailed along them, I have no doubt they were as beautiful as any places in the world.

I made two careful visits to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and one to the Mosque of Omar and the grounds connected with it. I also visited many other places of interest about Jerusalem, but in giving you a detailed account of what we saw and passed through, in such a scattering way, I cannot communicate to so large an audience, to any extent, the impressions I felt at the time. I had no doubt that I passed over the grounds where the Savior and his Apostles, and the Prophets, kings and nobles of Israel had lived, although I did not believe a great deal about the identical spots set down by the monks, yet I was satisfied that I was in the localities in which the great events recorded in Scripture took place. But now little remains on the top of the ground that can be identified beyond the period of the occupation of the Crusaders or the Romans. We certainly saw the top of Mount Moriah, on which stands the Mosque of Omar. There are the rocks and the caves in them. The rocks have not been made by men. The Valley of Jehosophat is there. Learned men have dug deeply under Jerusalem in search of evidence to determine its original site, but an alarm was created that the monkery of the place might be spoiled by determining that certain localities were not where they are now represented, and the Turkish government was moved, so I was informed by some gentlemen, to stop the investigations and to close up the excavations, and we were not permitted to enter them.

President Lorenzo Snow’s correspondence to the Deseret News, Elder Paul A. Sehettler’s correspondence to the Salt Lake Herald, and Miss E. R. Snow’s communications and poems to the Woman’s Exponent, with other published letters, all composed under circumstances of great labor and fatigue, give a very correct idea of our visit to Jerusalem and journeyings generally. Elder Paul A. Schettler speaks six languages, and in attending to the financial business of the party, he had to make exchanges and was compelled to keep accounts in the currency of a dozen different nations, and even among the Arabs he could generally find some one who could speak in some one of the languages with which he was acquainted.

God has preserved me. Our party of eight went through the entire journey without an accident. We never missed a connection that amounted to any difficulty. We were in no manner injured; we had no sickness, except, peradventure, a little cold or a pinch of rheumatism now and again for a day or two. Our minds were clear, we saw more, I believe, in the eight months, than ordinary travelers see in two years. We visited a number of places in Holland, Belgium and France. We crossed three times over Italy. We visited the Ionian isles, Egypt, Palestine and Syria, Turkey in Europe, Greece, Bavaria, Austria and Prussia, and other parts of Germany. We spent eleven days in examining the mysteries of Rome. I paid four Italians to carry me to the crater of Mount Vesuvius. I think they earned their money, at any rate I was well satisfied with them. I had an idea in my own mind of how the crater looked, but I am now satisfied that I could form no correct opinion without seeing it. To reach the crater you have to mount about 1,500 feet perpendicular in height above where we could ride on horseback, in loose volcanic sand, and every time a man’s foot was placed in it, it would slip back about twice the length of his foot. I could not stand the walk, these Italians wanted the contract, and I gave it to them.

My time is exhausted. I thank God for the privilege, of seeing you. When on the Mount of Olives, with our faces bowed toward Jerusalem, we lifted our prayers to God that he would preserve you and confound your enemies. We felt in our hearts that Zion was onward and upward, and that no power could stay her progress; that the day was not far distant when Israel would gather, and those lands would begin to teem with a people who would worship God and keep his commandments; that plenty and the blessings of eternity would be poured out bounteously upon that desert land, and that all the prophecies concerning the restoration of the house of Israel would be fulfilled. God has commenced his work by revealing the everlasting Gospel to the Latter-day Saints, and may we all be faithful and fulfill our part is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Sacrament—Self-Examination—Recollections of Early Life—Reflections on Scenes of Childhood, After An Absence of Forty Years

Remarks by President George A. Smith, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday, July 7, 1872.

The administration of the Sacrament is an occasion which calls us, one and all, to reflection, to inquire of ourselves in relation to our course of conduct in life—whether the journey we have pursued, the paths that we are traveling, are in accordance with the holy principles of that reli gion which has been revealed for our salvation, and which we have received. While I have visited the cities of the East, I have observed that a great amount of means has been expended in the construction and ornamenting of churches and edifices for public worship. Every city, every village is beautified with magnificent buildings, stately domes, elegant spires, erected in honor and for the purpose of religion, and I have reflected upon the influence of this religion upon the minds of a community. In visiting friends I found many who are professors of religion, who seem to have an utter disregard for any forms of worship whatever, and who totally neglect prayer in the family and grace at the table. I am not aware, of course, whether or not this is general among Christians; but I notice among the Latter-day Saints, that it seems to be very natural to be slothful and negligent and careless in relation to our everyday, simple duties. We may build temples, erect stately domes, magnificent spires, grand towers, in honor of our religion, but if we fail to live the principles of that religion at home, and to acknowledge God in all our thoughts, we shall fall short of the blessings which its practical exercise would ensure.

While the Sacrament is passed around, and we take the emblems of our Savior’s death and suffering, and realize the sacrifice which he made for our salvation, we should ask ourselves, Do we remember him in all things? Do we acknowledge his hand in the providences with which we are surrounded? Do we call upon him in our families and in secret? Or do we neglect our duties, do we miss praying with our families in the morning, and have not time to do so in the evening, and are in such a hurry that we cannot even ask his blessing upon our food, and cannot take time to attend meeting on the Sabbath, nor afford to devote the day to rest, meditation and study? Let us also ask these questions of ourselves, Are we honorable in our relations with each other? Do we do by our neighbor as we would that he should do unto us? Are we just in our dealings? Are we honoring those principles of morality which alone can prepare us to inherit celestial glory? Brethren and sisters, if we ask ourselves these questions, and, after examining our conduct and career, can answer them honestly and truthfully in the affirmative, then we may partake of the bread and water in the presence of our heavenly Father worthily. If, on the other hand, we have been negligent and careless, we should repent, for repentance is our first duty.

Since I last saw you, I have visited the scenes of my childhood, and the place of my birth, after an absence of about forty years. My ideas of right and wrong were formed there; my associations with the people, up to fifteen years of age, were such as to give deep and strong impressions of their character, and of the principles by which they were governed. I cannot say that my visit was without its painful character. Forty years sweep from the face of the earth more than a generation. I understand statisticians to estimate that thirty-three years carry as many souls from the earth as dwell on it at one time. I went into my native town after forty years’ absence, and inquired for those who were the businessmen in my boyhood, for the magistrates, ministers, merchants, farmers and mechanics with whom I was acquainted then. Where were they? Nearly all dead; a very few of the old faces, like ancient oaks, remain. On my father’s farm there was a beautiful grove of maple—some two hundred trees, standing when I was there before, with no other timber among them, the ground sown with white clover—it was one of the most beautiful lawns I ever saw when I left it. I drove up before the house in which I was born, and said to the man who was residing there, “Is that grove standing?” “Not a maple tree on the farm,” was the reply. “Not a single one?” said I. “No,” said he, “not a maple on the farm.” I had not even the curiosity to drive across the farm, for in my mind that grove was the feature of all others, it was the place of my dreams.

Many of you know that in 1853 we had difficulty with the Indians in Southern Utah. At that time I was military commander of the Southern Department. Previous to every attack on the settlement, my dreams would carry me back to that grove, and there I would see, or get some intimation of, the coming trouble with the Indians. Now there is not a tree left. It would have been about so with the people if I had stayed away a few years longer.

I went into the school district where I had resided some six years, and visited Mr. Porter Patterson, with whom I was well acquainted in my boyhood, and began inquiring for the neighbors. “Why,” said he, “they are all gone but four: myself and wife, and Mr. John Stafford and Mrs. Garfield are all the married people that remain that lived here when you went away, thirty-nine years and two months ago.” “Then,” said I, “I must go to the graveyard.”

These reflections would bring to my mind the sermons that I had heard in my youth. I went to the cemetery, and saw the graves of a great many of my old comrades. There were headstones with inscrip tions to many whom I had known, and some whose funerals I had attended, and I could recite texts, and a portion of the sermons preached at those funerals. They were generally passages like this—“Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.” Passages of this kind were generally selected as warnings to all to be ready for death.

From the monuments in the graveyard I found that a good many had been summoned in their youth, for there were the graves of boys and girls with whom I had associated, some of them my relatives. I visited three cemeteries with a like result—the one in our own neighborhood, one in Colton and the other in Potsdam village, in all of which I had been more or less acquainted.

Latter-day Saints, in their preaching, call on men and women to prepare to live, and they teach them how to live, believing that if any person is prepared to live as he ought to, he will certainly be prepared to die whenever the summons shall come. It was never a part or portion of our teaching to attempt to scare men to heaven. I went to the meetinghouse, or rather to the site of the meetinghouse, for the old frame building had been replaced by another of bricks, and it converted into a lecture room for the normal school. In that old frame building I had been most solemnly sentenced to eternal damnation, nine times, by a Congregationalist minister forty years ago. He had gone to his grave, and nearly all the persons present in the congregation at the time, had followed, or preceded, him. The object of this sentence, in the eloquent and solemn language in which it was pronounced, and so oft-repeated, was, no doubt, to stir in the minds of impenitent sinners, and of me particularly, a conviction that would secure conversion to Christianity, as I was considered impenitent; and I do not know but the proper phrase would be, to scare me to heaven. But it did not have that effect with me, I never could understand nor realize certain portions of the teachings which I there heard. That I must become so thoroughly in love with the justice of God as to be perfectly willing to be damned to all eternity for his glory, and suffer all the miseries which they so eloquently described, was to me an impossibility, I could see no justice in such doctrines. But those were times of great religious excitement, when revivals and protracted meetings were common all over the country, and the souls of many were stirred to the very core, as it were, by the idea, then so strongly advocated, of the punishment and misery which were to be eternally inflicted upon all those who were finally impenitent. Those sermons divided the Christian world into two classes, one was made celestial, inheriting all the blessings and glory which a God could bestow; the other was banished to eternal misery.

When the doctrines of the Latter-day Saints were preached to me I could understand them. I could believe in faith and repentance, in the principle of obedience, and in the doctrines of baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that God had provided for all beings that he ever created, a glory, honor and immortality in accordance with their works, whether good or evil, giving, as a matter of course, to the faithful Latter-day Saints, the reserved seats; or to use the language of the Apostle Paul, I could believe that there was a glory of the sun, a glory of the moon, and a glory of the stars, and that the glory of the stars differed as much as the stars differ in brilliancy; and that all sects, denominations and classes of people would receive punishments and rewards in accordance with his divine justice. Every Latter-day Saint that abides in the truth, faithful, to the end, may expect the glory of the sun; and every man that acts in accordance with the light that he possesses lays a foundation for greater glory and honor than eye has seen, or than it has entered into the heart of mortal man to conceive.

I did not visit these graves with the feeling that some of the ministers of orthodox churches sought to impress upon my mind in my youth—I did not believe that they were consigned to eternal punishment because they believed differently from what I did. I went there feeling a confidence that honorable men and women would receive honorable treatment from a just God. In speaking on this subject, I designed simply to wake up the hearts of my brethren and sisters to the necessity of maintaining this honor, and to the fact that, as we advance in the things of the kingdom, greater sacrifices and more faith and diligence are required on our part.

I visited, in the course of my journey, the place where Joseph Smith’s father was born—Topsfield, Massachusetts. I was in the house he was born in, and upon the farm where the family had resided three generations previous, they having resided in that county—Essex—as early as 1666. One object of my visit was to obtain some historical information in relation to the family of Joseph Smith. It was about eighty-one years since my grandfather moved away from that place, at which time my father was eleven years old, and Joseph’s father twenty-one, they being bro thers. It would seem strange that, after the lapse of eighty-one years, I should find anyone who knew my grandfather, yet I saw several persons who stated that they were personally acquainted with him, although they could not remember when he moved away; but after doing so, he returned to that neighborhood, and visited his relatives and acquaintances, and they had distinct recollections of him, and gave me reminiscences of his history.

The graveyard at Topsfield contained no monuments over about eighty years old. I do not recollect the exact date. Among the oldest were the names of my great aunts and other relatives. Being a firm believer in the doctrine of baptism for the dead, I was anxious to procure the names of those departed persons wherever our records might be deficient, and I have, I believe, a prospect of obtaining the names of about nine hundred of the kindred of my great grandmother—Priscilla Gould.

The old portion of the burying ground at Topsfield, used by the early inhabitants, is totally without monuments—no gravestones whatever, so that I presume they simply used headboards or monuments of wood; and the place is now reserved as a sacred precinct in which, we were told that any of the kindred of those ancient worthies of the town might plant gravestones if they choose, but no person is allowed to be buried there. The cemetery had been enlarged, and from eighty years ago down to the present time there had been placed there many gravestones and handsome obelisks, some manifesting the pride and aristocracy of those who placed them there. I noticed one particularly, on which was inscribed a notice to the effect that the person buried there was a millionaire. It did not say whether he obtained money honestly or by some other means.

In visiting the office of the town clerk, I examined the record kept by my great grandfather in 1776-8, at which time he was the clerk of that town. I also found, by examining the records ten years before then, that he had represented the town in the Legislature of the Colony of Massachusetts, and was a very firm supporter of the Revolution. Just as I was about leaving the office to go to the railway station, I was told by the clerk that he had a list of the names of the children of Robert Smith in the town record. Robert Smith was supposed by us to be the first of our family who settled in Massachusetts, sometime previous to the year 1665. I there ascertained what our family records fail to show. Our records show that he had a son Samuel, and that Samuel had a son Samuel, and that Samuel had a son Samuel and a son Asael, and Asael was our grandfather; but I ascertained that this Robert Smith had a large family, and their names are contained in that old town record.

The Genealogical Society of Massachusetts has got out books containing the records of some hundreds of the families of the oldest settlers of the colony. If our friends here, whose ancestors were buried in New England, would unite in purchasing an entire set of these works, they would be enabled to find collateral, if not direct, branches of their kindred; and so obtain a key to help them in making the necessary records to attend to the ordinances for their dead. But our faith is, brethren and sisters, that when we have exhausted all the powers within our natural reason and reach to obtain a knowledge of our dead, and the Lord is satisfied with us, revelations will be opened to our understandings by which we will be able to trace back our genealogy to the time when men were within the pale of the principles and laws of the Priesthood, before these ordinances were changed and the everlasting covenant broken.

In conversing with Mr. Zaccheus Gould and his wife, of Topsfield, over eighty years old, and Dr. Humphrey Gould, of Rowe, who were cousins, of my father, I was enabled to pick up many very satisfactory items of information. I am also under obligation to Mr. John H. Gould, of Topsfield, and to the town clerk of that place, Mr. Towne, for valuable letters and papers relating to the history of our family, all of which, as they relate to the ancestry of Joseph Smith, will form an interesting page in connection with his history when it shall be published.

I do not design, in conversing with you at the present time, to enumerate the visits I made, though they remind me of a remark made concerning me by my grandfather on the last day of his life. He died in his eighty-eighth year, I being then in my fourteenth year. Said he, “George A. is a rather singular boy. When he comes here, instead of going to play as the rest of my grandchildren do, he comes into my room and asks me questions about what occurred seventy or eighty years ago.” It seemed to me, while I was absent that I was pursuing the same course yet, for although I had got pretty well along in years, I still wanted to talk with the old folks.

At Woonsocket, R. I., I visited Mrs. Tryphena Lyman, a cousin of my mother, in her 94th year, who was living with her unmarried daughter, an agreeable young lady in her 70th year. I had a very pleasant visit with them, and from them I learned some interesting incidents of my mother’s ancestors. From my cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Simon D. Butler, of South Colton, N.Y., I obtained a copy of the family record of my great-grandfather, Deacon John Lyman, written by his own hand in his family Bible—now 200 years old. Mrs. Butler has been my most faithful correspondent among all my relatives, and my meeting with her and her husband was more like meeting a brother and sister than cousins.

It is very well known that, by the election of a convention of delegates from all the counties of this Territory, held in this city, Ex-Governor Fuller and myself went to attend the Republican Convention at Philadelphia. Persons appeared there and objected to me because I was a “Mormon,” and the committee on credentials did not think proper to allow the representatives of the people of Utah a seat in that convention, consequently we retired, believing, fully, that the time would come in our country when men will not be questioned in relation to their religious faith or practice, when called upon to perform the duties of citizens, but that if they are firm and upright supporters of the Constitution and laws of their country, that will be all that will be required of them. I then took the opportunity to make these visits, which I had designed doing years before, and which I believe will result in good. I did not seek to be publicly known; I made no attempts to preach, though invited at different times to do so; and I must say for the credit of New England, that I had the offer of a Christian church to preach in. I say this to show that New England is improving in its religious faith, that is, there is less bigotry there now than there has been at certain periods. I could have had numerous opportunities to preach, but I wished to make my journey one of rest, and addressed but one public congregation, and that was last Sabbath in the Latter-day Saints’ Hall, Brooklyn.

While at Philadelphia I met Mr. E. W. Foster, Supervisor of Potsdam, my native town, he being a member of the convention, and one of the committee on credentials before whom our claim to a seat was contested. After leaving Philadelphia I visited Potsdam, and an incident occurred there which I will name. On landing at the railway station, Mr. Foster happened to be there, and recognizing me, he called me by name, and bid me welcome to the town. A very respectable-looking aged lady, hearing the name, stepped up to him and inquired if I was George A. Smith, and being answered in the affirmative, she seized my hand and said, “I want to thank you, your father saved my life.” “Why, when?” “A good many years ago.” “How?” “We were broken through the ice into the lake, and at the risk of his own life he saved mine.” The cars were about starting, and she rushed from me and said, “My name was Eliza Courier.” I really thought the incident worth naming, as occurring in the place of my birth, and from which I had gone nearly forty years before.

By the courtesy of General N. S. Elderkin, I had the privilege of visiting the State Normal School at Potsdam, and was very much pleased with the institution. The vast improvements which have been made in buildings, machinery, roads, transportation, and telegraphs, have certainly not been altogether inapplicable to the progress of education. When I received my education, an ordinary school master received nine dollars a month, and twelve if he was a first class teacher; and he could cut blue beech switches enough in a day, and perhaps less, to thrash the scholars the entire winter, and they were applied very freely. I used to think I got more than my share. I thought I could not watch the schoolmaster as well as some others, my eyes were not quite so good. But I noticed on my visit a very desirable change in their school government; the cultivation of the mind is the object sought now, and the teacher has become the friend as well us the preceptor of the pupil. The blue beech seems to be pretty well banished, and there is a marked improvement in the whole system of education, as well as in telegraphing, railroading, machinery, and architectural works generally.

I met several of my old schoolfellows, who were glad to see me, and treated me with courtesy. Among these I should mention General Elderkin, a man of influence and who never, in the darkest hour of our persecutions, has failed to recognize me as an old schoolfellow and friend, notwithstanding he had high religious notions. I met other gentlemen of this kind.

We are all passing to the tomb, and we want to leave a good record, that is, one that will be pleasing to the Lord. It is not a very lofty ambition for a man to spend his life so as to have it recorded on his tombstone that he died worth a million dollars; but if he spend his life in doing good, that will be a record that will be to his everlasting honor, and will prove to him treasure in heaven. People say, “You Mormons believe all will be damned except yourselves.” We know for ourselves that this is the work of God, and we know that every Latter-day Saint that is faithful to his profession and calling will attain to celestial glory. We also further know that God has extended, in his order, to all the human race, glory, honor, immortality and blessings in accordance with their works, whether good or evil. Read the vision in the Book of Covenants, and the 13th chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians and judge for yourselves; and while we should struggle to obtain the greater blessings, we should never disparage those who may fall short of attaining the highest glory. There is a glory of the sun, the Apostle informs us, also a glory of the moon, and a glory of the stars, and as one star differeth from another, so do these different degrees of glory differ. But in these various glories will be found all denominations and all honorable men—every one in accordance with those things which he has done in this life; and, says the Savior, “Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

As I passed by the site of the old academy, I said to General Elderkin, “There I received my Presbyterian baptism.” “So did I,” said he. I did not wish to raise a question in relation to the subject with him at all. He is now, I believe, a member of the Episcopal Church, and I, of course, am a Latter-day Saint; but the man who sprinkled the water on our foreheads, taught that hell was full of infants not a span long. The idea was horrible to me from the time I first heard it. “Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” says the Savior; and if we live in the sight of God as innocent, pure and holy as little children, we shall attain to the glory of the sun. May God enable us to do so through Jesus our Redeemer. Amen.

Patriarchal Marriage—The Settlement of Utah

Discourse by President George A. Smith, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday, May 19, 1872.

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.

The portion of the prophecy of Isaiah which I have read indicates that at a certain day and under certain circumstances, spoken of by the Prophet as being holy, seven women would claim to be called by the name of one man. Most of us have a different opinion with regard to the application of this prophecy. God inspired the Prophet, and it might be necessary, peradventure, to inquire what it all means. Seven women are to lay hold of one man, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” What is the meaning of this last sentiment? We will let the Bible explain it. You remember that when Rachel, the second wife of Jacob, the father of the tribes of Israel, found herself barren, while the other wives of her husband were bearing children, she prayed to the Lord that he, in his abundant mercy, would give her children, and when God heard her prayer and worked a miracle in her favor, causing her who was barren to become fruitful and bring forth a child, she said, God had taken away her reproach. This illustrates the meaning of the text. I did not make the prophecy, neither had I anything to do with making the history of Rachel, or even chronicling the event named.

In relation to Father Jacob, it is true he had four wives, and they bore him twelve sons, and their descendants are the twelve tribes of Israel. We are told by the Apostle John that the names of Jacob’s twelve sons—the sons of a polygamist and his four wives—will be written upon the gates of the holy Jerusalem; and there are none of us who expect to enter in through those gates but will have to acknowledge the truth of that doctrine. It is true that the principle of plurality of wives was adopted by the Church of Latter-day Saints in consequence of the revelation and commandment which God gave to Joseph Smith, and which, through him, were laid upon the heads of this people; and we quote the passages that we do quote, in relation to the principle of celestial marriage from the Old and New Testament, to prove that God is consistent with himself; that if he revealed to his Saints in the last days, the doctrine of plurality of wives, it was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah and others of the Prophets, and in accordance with the example which was set by Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and by holy men of ancient days.

In relation to the word “reproach” in our text, I will make another reference. In the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, verses 23 and 24, we find Elizabeth rejoicing because God had taken away her reproach. She though she had been barren, became the mother of John the Baptist.

These passages tell in so many plain words why it was that seven women wished to be called by the name of one man—it was that they might have the privilege of bearing children.

Now, if God brings to pass this prophecy in the glorious day which our text speaks of, when holiness and righteousness are to rule, and when truth is to have dominion, and peace dwell in the earth, although all the world may have been opposed to it, we cannot be responsible. Until some person can find a passage in the Old or New Testament that definitely forbids a plurality of wives, with the many incidents of history, items of law, and declarations of Prophets in relation to the practice by the ancient Saints of that doctrine, we are able to assert that the Bible is a polygamous book, and that no man can believe it without believing plurality of wives, under some circumstances to be correct. I know it has been said that the Old Testament permitted plurality of wives, but the New forbids it. The Savior said he came not to destroy the law but to fulfil it, and that not a jot or tittle of the law or Prophets should pass away, but all should be fulfilled. The new dispensation did not annihilate the principles of law and right, as revealed in the Old. Both John the Baptist and the Savior denounced all sins with an unsparing hand, and especially adultery, fornication and divorce; and not a sentence is found in the New Testament which prohibits plurality of wives, though the Savior and his Apostles lived in a country where it was practiced; and it is impossible to believe that if it were a sin it would have escaped definite rebuke and absolute condemnation.

The petition to Congress which has been read here today is a perfect wonder, I presume, to those who have heard it. It is astonishing to me, and doubtless to all who listened to it, and especially those who reside here, that such a statement could be got up by any individual whatever, that any imagination could be so tortured as to manufacture so unmitigated a tissue of utter and absolute falsehoods; and much more that persons could be found who would think so little of their reputation as to sign such a statement. We understand, however, that many of the persons whose names are on that petition did not see the original. Many of them thought they were simply signing a petition against the admission of Utah as a State, without bringing personal charges against a people among whom they have lived in perfect safety, and in a country where peace and order have prevailed, and where all have enjoyed the uniform protection which our Territorial laws and the general organization of society give. I regret exceedingly that such a document should be made public; but as it is, with the list of names attached to it, was published by order of the United States Senate, it was thought proper to read it to the congregation that all might have a chance to know what it was and judge for themselves.

I came to this valley in 1847, being one of the 143 pioneers who searched out and made the roads from the Missouri River here. The ample property we possessed in Illinois we had left there; and we made the roads, about 300 miles, or nearly across the State of Iowa, bridging about thirty streams, and passing through a wilderness totally uninhabited save by a few scattered Indians. That was as far as we could get the first year. The second year—1847—we made the roads from what we termed Winter Quarters, about five miles above where Omaha is now situated. We traveled on the north side of the river, established our ferry across the Elkhorn, and made our road, striking the old Oregon trail, as it was called, at the mouth of Ash Hollow; that is, we went up on the north side of the Platte to the north fork; while Independence road went up on the south side, and struck the north fork at Ash Hollow, probably a hundred and eighty miles below Fort Laramie. We thought some of crossing the river and taking the trapper’s trail, but we found it difficult, so we continued making a new road on the north side until we reached Fort Laramie. There we crossed and made a road a portion of the way, and followed the old trail a portion of the way through to Fort Bridger. On this route we encountered some companies who were going to Oregon, and being unable to get across the Platte and Green rivers we got up the means of ferrying, and ferried them across both these rivers, and they proceeded on the route to Oregon, while we worked our way across this Wasatch range into this valley.

When we reached here we found the place very barren; but it was the best prospect we had seen for five hundred miles. The creek we now call City Creek came out of the mountains, and divided into branches, and finally sank down into the ground, apparently without reaching Jordan River. It had about its sinks some green spots of rushes and grass, but except that the country was very naked and barren. The city plot here did not even bear good sage; and there was a little grass, but it was very dry. Along the stream were a dozen or so of scrubby cottonwoods and a few willows. The rest of the ground was naked, except being nearly covered with immense numbers of large, black crickets, which had devoured most of the leaves of the cottonwoods and willows; and when we went to work to cut a ditch to carry the water down to the place known as Old Fort block, where we first built our fort, so dry was the soil of the ditch that it took the whole stream two and a half days to reach the desired point.

It was in this desolate place—1034 miles from the Missouri River, and thirteen or fourteen hundred from Nauvoo—the place whence we had been expelled, that we commenced our location. It was understood that a party had undertaken to cross west here, some year or two before, and had perished. The name of the man who led the party was Hastings, and the route west is called Hastings’ cut off. It is said that John C. Fremont had been in this valley the fall previous, but we had no report of his explorations. We had an account of him visiting the north end of Great Salt Lake, and the south end of Utah Lake; but so ignorant was he at the time of the country between the two lakes that his map, published after his return from his exploration, shows Salt Lake and Utah Lake to be one body of water, whereas there is a river about fifty miles long between them.

In a few days after we reached here another party arrived, increasing our numbers to about four hundred. We had but very little provisions, which we had brought with us. The country was destitute of game, and the most rigid economy was necessary in order to subsist. We remained about a month, when a portion of the pioneers, myself among the number, started back for our families, who were still encamped at Winter Quarters, on the Missouri River; and on our way back we met about seven hundred wagons with families moving on for this place. These families came in late, and enclosed themselves in the Old Fort block, and the two blocks south of it, where they lived in security from the Indians, and during the winter they succeeded, partially, in enclosing a field, making preparations for irrigation, and sowing several thousand acres of grain. They found it necessary to ration themselves on account of the scarcity of their provisions, and I believe that almost every family allowanced themselves to half a pound of flour a day, that is, if they had it, many to less; and they went over these hills digging the sego—a wild, bulbous root, sometimes eaten by the Indians, and everything that they could get that had any nutriment in it. In those days the animals that were killed, having crossed the plains, were generally very poor; but they were used with the greatest economy, hides, feet and tail, all being eaten. I believe they tell a story of a certain rule among the Mahomedans, in relation to eating swine’s flesh. Some of them refuse it, but as a general thing the various classes of them only refuse certain portions—some reject the snout, some the ear, others the feet, others the tail, and so on; but among the whole Mussulman race they “go the whole hog.” Among the earliest settlers in this valley there was no rejection; and there are some, who lived here the first two years after our arrival, who will now say that they never tasted any food so sweet as boiled rawhide. About the time our first crop began to head out, the crickets made their appearance, and devoured the greater portion of it. This was awfully discouraging. Our nurserymen had collected their seeds, and planted them, and some twenty or thirty thousand trees had got up, may be five or six inches high, and one day, while the nurserymen had gone to dinner, a swarm of crickets came down and destroyed all the trees but three. That was the commencement of our nursery business in this city. It is believed, fully, by the Latter-day Saints of that time, that God delivered them from utter starvation by sending flocks of gulls from the lake, which ate up the crickets, and saved a portion of their crop. The crickets have not troubled the agriculturists in the valley, materially, since, but the flying grasshoppers have come in immense numbers, and in 1855 reduced all the families in the Territory to half the allowance of food they needed; and for several years back this plague has probably destroyed from one-third to one-half the fruits of the farmer’s labors. These are very material drawbacks to our prosperity with which we have had to contend here in Utah. Persons unacquainted with the manner and difficulties of irrigation cannot realize the immense labor, care and attention that are necessary to commence this work. Friends come in and look over our city, and say, “Why, how nice this water is that runs through all the street!” But the fact is, there is not a tree, bush, or spear of grass grows in these low valleys without being irrigated naturally or artificially, and there is only very few and very small spots where natural irrigation is attainable. By natural irrigation I mean that the water is so near the surface of the ground as to moisten it sufficiently to make it produce vegetation, and these places are only found about the sinks of creeks. Just turn the water that passes through these streets back into the original channel, and next fall would see most of the trees dead. All the results you see here, in the way of agriculture, were made, are held by main strength and constraint and continued diligence.

During the days of our early settlement, it was necessary that measures be taken to supply the wants of those who were without food, and for years a fast was held every month, and sometimes every week. The amount of food that would have been consumed by a family during that fast was presented to the needy, and in this way, struggling for three years in succession, the people were sustained, and nobody perished. When we did finally succeed in raising the necessaries of life, thousands of strangers came pouring in here, a great many of them destitute of bread. They had started for the gold mines without knowing how far it was, what outfit to take, or how to take care of themselves; and great numbers of them, when they reached here, had to be assisted on their journey, and there were thousands who went to California during the early days of the gold excitement there, who must have perished had it not been for the assistance they obtained from the settlements of these valleys.

We came here full of enterprise, and our only hope for subsistence was in agriculture. We found mines of lead, and minerals of various kinds; but we could do nothing with them. The Legislative Assembly memorialized Congress for a railroad and a telegraph line across the continent, and they set forth in that petition, in 1852, that the mineral resources of these mountains could never be developed without a railroad; and that if they would build a railroad, or make the necessary arrangement for one, the trade of China and the East Indies would pass through the heart of the American States. We have lived to see these predictions fulfilled.

You may pass, friends, over the Territory at your leisure; go from the north to the south, and you will find the inhabitants, generally, industrious, temperate, moral, straightforward, diligent and honest, very few spending their time about gambling hells or drinking saloons; in fact very few villages support such establishments, and wherever you find them you may be sure that modern civilization has made inroads there. When you see a gang of men standing round, loafing about a place, smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, and looking for something to turn up, you may generally set it down there is no Latter-day Saint there, or if there is a “Mormon” mixed up with them he is becoming demoralized. If the faith of the Latter-day Saints be adhered to as it should be, men would be temperate and moral, and they would avoid using profane language; and one of the injunctions of their religion is that the idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer.

We have fed thousands and tens of thousands of strangers who have passed through here without means, and no person has been permitted to go hungry in our midst if we knew it, admitting at the same time that our means of subsistence were limited, and all that we have wrenched from the soil has been by main strength.

I would like to draw a little comparison: I moved my family in ’49. I came out in ’47, and went back again and made arrangements to get back with my family, the earliest possible, which was in ’49. I brought in two hundred pounds of flour a head for the family, which I ran out in short allowances to each one of them, and I divided some to the neighbors, there being numbers of them around who had got out of food, and we eked it out little by little, little by little. If a friend called and had his dinner with us, why, we had to shorten our allowance of bread. There was no place we could go and buy a little flour or a little beef, for nobody had any but what they wanted themselves, and what they must have themselves, and if we divided our little out we, ourselves, must go hungry. If we lived fast today, we must starve tomorrow, and in this way we stretched the matter along. God, in his mercy, blessed us with good health; we had good health, hard work and short allowance of food. There was one thing we were very thankful for: We had been mobbed a number of times—five times driven from our homes. We had left our inheritances in Missouri and Illinois, and had got nothing for them, and here, whatever other things we lacked, we had the privilege of worshiping God according to the dictates of our consciences, and we could go to meeting, and preach and pray without anybody interrupting us; for although there were thousands and thousands of strangers constantly passing through our territory, they generally treated us with kindness and consideration. How is it now with us with regard to the necessaries of life? If a man is out of bread he can hardly find a house but what, if he enters and says, “I am hungry, give me something to eat,” the reply will be, “Yes, we have plenty.” And there are thousands of men and women who have come from the States and from Europe. We have contributed immense sums, and sent our teams by the hundred to the Missouri River to bring them here; and when they got here, their labor, industry and economy would enable them at once to obtain food and the necessaries of life, plain, to be sure, but an abundance of such as the country afforded. No one that is hungry can go to a house or a family and ask for bread and not obtain it. Look at the contrast; and it has been effected by years of fasting and united industry, poverty and toil, by the pioneers of this country. To be sure we have had plenty of the sayings of the Savior upon our heads to satisfy us that we were right in one particular. He says: “Blessed are ye when men shall persecute you, and say all manner of evil concerning you, falsely, for my sake.”

We bid welcome to our friends. The fields are wide and open, and the mountains are, no doubt, full of mineral. At any rate, every man has his chance, if he will dig for it. Dig for the treasures, and open the fields and the farms, but do not trespass on the rights of your neighbors. Worship God according to the dictates of your conscience, observe the law of heaven, but never, under any circumstances, intrude upon the rights of others. These are the principles which rule here. Look at these things, and realize that it is to the efforts of the inhabitants of this country, their labors, toils and sacrifices, that we owe our present comfort. We commenced by hauling carding machines and printing offices across the mountains; we built factories, and undertook to raise wool; we labored to produce flax and hemp, not very successfully, but we did all we could. Thousands of our brethren did not believe it possible ever to raise fruit; but God tempered the climate, and, although in the tops of the mountains, we have raised abundance of fruit in many of our settlements. Our sheep have become productive, our herds have increased, and we have laid a foundation for plenty; and any pilgrim who comes along, who wishes to obtain food and raiment, can obtain it, for it is here; and he can go into the mountains, and if fortune favor him he may strike something which he may desire, though I must honestly confess that, so far as I am concerned, I believe the plan for any man to pursue who wishes to lay a foundation for future independence, is to procure a piece of land and make a farm. He might, peradventure, strike an “Emma” mine; but I think that kind of luck will be the exception instead of the rule; but, as a general thing, the man who labors industriously to make himself a farm, creates around him a good, comfortable home in a few years. Of course, if men go prospecting for minerals, they know it is a good deal like a lottery. Our railroad is going south, and as it progresses, new mines and new mining interests will, without doubt, be opened and developed; and as a result of the labors of developing the resources of the Territory, I realize that millions will be benefited.

There is one thing that our friends do not realize. When they come here they make up their minds that “Mormonism” is a humbug, and their mistake is, it is true. Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and the plan of salvation revealed through him is the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and every man and every woman who rejects it, rejects the truth, and will be responsible for it; and every man and every woman who walks in obedience to its precepts will receive glory, honor, immortality and endless lives. I am not talking something I guess, I know these things are true; and it is the wisdom and prudence, the light and the intelligence of the Almighty, revealed through his servants to the Latter-day Saints, that have gathered a hundred thousand people from the four quarters of the earth and planted them down in comfortable homes in Utah, and it is only the inspiration of the father of lies that circulates the false reports and the abuse concerning them.

May God bless you my friends. You are welcome in this land. Go and be blessed; and as you go to your homes, to the four winds of heaven, tell the truth about the Latter-day Saints. May God enable us to overcome and be faithful in all things, that we may finally inherit his kingdom, through Jesus our Redeemer. Amen.

Our Schools

Remarks by President George A. Smith, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Monday Morning, April 8th, 1872.

I am gratified in the enjoyment of the privilege of continuing our Conference, and rejoice in the instructions and testimonies of the Elders which have been given during the two days past. There are a few subjects I feel anxious to lay before the brethren and sisters. I should be glad, had I strength and opportunity, to explain many things more minutely. I feel that God is with us, but that a great and fearful responsibility rests upon our heads. In order that we may be prepared to enjoy the blessings of our high and holy calling we should be diligent, humble, faithful, and constantly unite our powers of mind to magnify our Priesthood. One great responsibility which rests upon us is the education of our children—the proper forming of their minds and understandings, not only in the ordinary branches of education, but in the principles of our holy religion.

I understand from the reports of Mr. Robert L. Campbell, Superintendent of common schools for the Territory, that there are about thirty thousand school children in the Territory, between the ages of four and sixteen.

Our golden browed neighbors here in Nevada, who have for several years enjoyed all the benefits and blessings accruing to common schools from a State government, have about four thousand, if I am rightly informed, and no doubt, with the means which they possess, they are enabled to get up excellent schools.

It appears to be a portion of the policy of the national government never to do anything for schools in a Territory. When a Territory becomes a State, the policy of Congress, in years past, and it will probably continue to be so in years to come, has been to extend liberal privileges and immunities, in the donation of lands and of the percents from the sales of public lands within the State for educational purposes—the support of common schools and universities. This parsimonious policy towards Territories may be an enlightened one, and it may not; having lived in a Territory most of my life I may not be considered a proper judge. Suffice it to say, however, that so far as legislation for education is concerned, or any encouragement or assistance extended from the United States to the people of the Territories, their children must be raised in absolute ignorance. The result is, that whatever progress is made or improvement attained in these directions in the Territories is due entirely to the energy, enterprise and enlightenment of the inhabitants—the hardy pioneers who break the ground, make the roads, fight the Indians and create the State.

The report of the Superintendent of Common Schools for this Territory goes to show, not only that there are about thirty thousand school children, but that they have attended school a greater portion of the time than is sometimes reported in the new States, and in some of the older ones, where they have all the advantages granted by the general government. This speaks well for the pioneers of Utah; it is a proud record, and one of which the Latter-day Saints may justly boast. It is true that most of our schools are simply primary schools; but, from what I have seen while visiting a good many of them, I know they are vastly superior to schools which I attended, more or less, in my earlier years in other States and Territories. I am proud of these facts; but at the same time there is a great deal in our system that is not by any means up to the mark. All that has been done has been done voluntarily. The school laws of Utah Territory authorize districts to establish free schools, if they choose to do so, by a two-thirds vote of the inhabitants of the district, and a number of districts have adopted this system with satisfactory results. Otherwise the schools are sustained by the tuition fees of the pupils, with the exception that taxes are generally levied on the property in the school districts to assist to build schoolhouses and to supply a portion of the expenses and extend some little aid to the more indigent, that all may have the privilege of going to school. A general free school system has not been inaugurated, and any man who will coolly, deliberately and wisely consider the condition, associations and changeable nature of the government of our Territory, will see the wisdom of not entering upon such a system until it can be done under the regulations and privileges which a State government would bring. At least, that is my judgment on the subject, though we have advocates for the establishment of a general free school system now. I want to say in relation to this, that perhaps there are counties where such a system might be adopted with advantage; but if it were adopted generally throughout the Territory, it would have to contend with difficulties and dangers which I would wish to avoid. As I am not here to deliver a political speech I shall not, of course, undertake to explain what these are. I will simply refer you to certain little difficulties that have occurred in neighboring States in relation to the handling of school funds, and other important items, which show the delicacy of these matters unless they are in the hands of the most reliable men, who are absolutely responsible to the people by whom they are appointed and elected.

I feel satisfied, notwithstanding this good record, that there is a very great necessity for the minds of many people to be stirred up in relation to the education of their children, the building of good, healthy, well-ventilated schoolhouses, and the sending of the children to school, providing suitable books and seats. I remember once, in a new country, going into a schoolhouse, and finding the children packed almost like herrings in a box, some on the floor, some on seats, little fellows with short legs sitting on high benches, and all breathing air that, perhaps, might not inaptly be compared to that of the black hole of Calcutta. A couple of men, ignorant even of the most simple principles of ventilation, were laboring to teach these children, and I have sometimes taken the liberty to carry a carpenter’s saw into a school to saw off the legs of the benches to make them a proper height to correspond with the length of the children’s legs, for I do despise the idea of putting small children upon a high bench and large children upon a low one. I am very fond of seeing straight, erect, well-formed boys and girls, and in three months a little inattention on the part of teachers, trustees, and school superintendents in matters of this kind, will crook the necks, crook the backs, weaken the stomachs, produce deformity, lay a foundation for consumption, and shorten the children’s lives ten years. I suggest to the brethren from all parts of the Territory—go into your schoolrooms, measure the children’s legs, if you please, and the benches, and see how they correspond. See whether the little fellows sit up straight, or humped up as if they were trying to imitate the back of a camel or dromedary, and give particular attention to the manner in which the schoolrooms are ventilated. Do not deprive the little fellows of the most necessary and the cheapest of all elements—atmospheric air, in its purity, and thereby sow in their systems the seeds of premature death.

There are many persons come into the Territory who do not speak the English language. I think more institutions should be got up in all the neighborhoods to encourage the learning of our tongue. I know young people generally learn it pretty quickly; but as the laws and most of the public speeches are made in the English language, it is important even in Welsh, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, German and French settlements, that the language in which law and justice are administered, and in which public meetings are generally conducted, should be well and properly understood.

It occurs not only with some of the foreign emigration, but with some other persons, that they fail to appreciate the necessity of education, and of sending their children to school. Good and wholesome influences, exercised through teachers, Elders and Bishops, should be brought to bear on all this class of people, to show them the importance of educating their children. There are Elders who seem willing and ready to take missions to the most distant foreign countries, but when they are invited to go into a schoolroom to teach a school, they will say, “Well, I can make more money at something else, I would rather be land speculating, go a lumbering, or set up merchandising.” Let me say to you, brethren, that there is no calling in which a missionary can do more good, either man or woman, than to teach a common school, if he or she is qualified to do so.

We are very well aware that it is but little use to whip “Mormon” children. You undertake to thrash anything into them, and you will most surely thrash it out of them. It was never any use to undertake to drive or coerce Latter-day Saints, they never could be coerced in their religious faith or practice. It is not their nature, and the mountain air our children breathe inspires them with the idea that they are not to be whipped like dogs to make them learn. The manner in which it must be done is by moral suasion, superior intellect, wisdom, prudence and good straightforward management in forming the judgment of the pupil by cultivating his manly qualities. This principle should be carried out in all our schools. In my boyhood discipline was enforced by the application of the blue beech switch. The blue beech does not grow in this country, but many schoolmasters in former times in New York and New England were provided with these tough limber switches, and I have seen them used among the scholars with fearful effect, and in cases where I am satisfied the pupil was less at fault than the preceptor. I know they say Solomon declared if you spare the rod you will spoil the child. My opinion is that the use of the rod is very frequently the result of a want of understanding on the part of a spoiled parent or teacher in guiding, direct ing and controlling the feelings and affections of children, though of course the use of the rod in some cases might be necessary; but I have seen children abused when they ought not to have been, because King Solomon is believed to have made that remark, which, if he did, in nine cases out of ten referred to mental rather than physical correction. I will, however, allow other men who have taught school, as a profession, to offer their suggestions on these subjects; but I will say that I have known Professor Dusenberry teach a hundred scholars—the wildest, roughest boys we had in a frontier town, and never lay a stick on one of them. He has done it term after term, and the children liked and respected him and would mind him, and there was nothing on the face of the earth that seemed to hurt their feelings more than to feel that they had lost the confidence of their preceptor. This was simply the result of cultivating reasoning powers in the minds of the children, and I am happy to say there are many such teachers now in Utah.

I will say a few words in relation to normal schools. As I said before, we have had nothing to encourage primary schools but what we ourselves with our bone, sinew, energy and enterprise have done. So it is with the more advanced branches. The Deseret University has made efforts to establish graded schools for the education of teachers. This has been done by small appropriations from the Legislative Assembly and Salt Lake City and County; but the great mass of the work has been done by individual enterprise. There are many at the present time in Utah who have been thus educated, who devote the winter season, and many of them the summer, to teaching schools. The energy of Superintendent Campbell in introducing suitable books and apparatus, and to improve the condition of our schools has been commendable; and the Timpanogos branch of the University of Deseret, at Provo, one at St. George and several others established in the Territory for the education of teachers have had their good effects. But their effects are limited, compared with what they might be, and I am sorry to say that several of our young men have been under the necessity of going to universities in other parts of the world to obtain an education, which it is desirable we should have the facilities to give them here. Brethren and sisters, take this matter to your hearts, for it is one of the great missions of the Latter-day Saints to do all in their power to educate the rising generation and to teach them the principles of eternal truth.

I have had the pleasure of visiting a good many Sunday schools, from time to time, from a very early period after they were established in this Territory, and I can speak highly of their influence and the benefits they have produced. I visited a Bible class while at St. George, composed of young gentlemen and ladies, and I found that they were as well instructed in relation to the principles of the Gospel, as laid down in the Bible and in the revelations of the Lord, as a very large portion of the Elders. I was very glad to see it. I visited Sunday schools when I could in the course of my travels, and I was gratified to see the progress that has been made. I want to stir up parents to the necessity of fitting up and encouraging their children to attend Sunday school. I also want to encourage them to attend themselves and act as teachers; and for the young men and young women, whenever they can, or those whose family arrangements are such that they can attend to it, to volunteer and contribute their exertions in carrying on Sunday schools. A great many Elders have devoted much time to this useful and important subject, and have labored to teach, encourage and strengthen Sunday schools. Last summer, two weeks previous to the celebrated Methodist camp meeting that was held in this city, Dr. Vincent, a Methodist minister, and two others connected with Sunday schools, by their own request, addressed in this Tabernacle about four thousand Sunday school children. They told me they had visited the Sunday school in the 13th Ward, and had addressed the scholars there, and they said that that Sunday school was highly creditable. But although they gave us so much credit, they went away feeling very bitter towards us. I asked them if they had not been treated as well here as we would be in their society. “O, yes,” said they, “We were invited to attend Sunday schools and we did so. We were allowed to address the children, and at our request four or five thousand were brought together for us to talk to.” And they went on and told how well they were treated; but notwithstanding that, they said they had been told from the most reliable sources that a great many men had been killed in this country for not being “Mormons.” Said I, “You have been most foully gulled by somebody.” Dr. Vincent replied, “The authority is most reliable, for it came from our officers.” I said to him, “The officers change so often that they can have no personal knowledge on these subjects. Some of them are interested in promoting difficulty with the people of Utah. No man was ever killed in Utah for his religion; and if the few cases of murder that have occurred here were thoroughly investigated they would be found to be the result of private quarrels; and there have been five hundred percent less of such cases here than in any other new State or Territory with which I have been acquainted; and the country cannot be found on the face of the earth where the population is scattered over such a large area which has maintained such perfect police regulations, and these statements are simply scandal.”

I name this circumstance from the fact that a man who had been so liberally treated by the Latter-day Saints, who had had the privilege of speaking to the largest collection of school children that he probably ever saw in his life, would believe lies told him by renegades, and carry them away and publish them rather than the real facts which he had the privilege of seeing, hearing and learning from reliable authority while here.

I wish to stir up our brethren to continue their labor in Sunday schools, and, in doing so, to continue to sustain liberally the Juvenile Instructor. Place it in the hands of your children, it contains some of the best reading matter for them I know of, and its circulation should be widely extended. I notice from pieces published by Protestant ministers who have established churches in this city, that their principal hope of converting the “Mormons” is by leading, (I call it misleading) away their children. They despair of converting the old ones who are perfectly established in their religious faith; and their hope appears to be in misleading their children by getting them into their schools. By so doing they can probably draw them away from the Latter-day faith, and through the children they may also succeed in gaining over some of their parents. The enemy of all righteousness is sagacious, and so are his servants, and I think it quite honest, but not very creditable to Christian ministers to frankly acknowledge that their business here is to try and entice children from their parents. But so far as this is concerned our brethren and sisters should learn a lesson by it, and see that the persons who educate their children do not plant in their hearts falsehood, deception, wickedness and corruption. They should place them under the tuition of those who will teach them the principles they are employed to teach, and not instil into their minds those things that will lead them to destruction. The catechism for children, exhibiting the prominent doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, should be in every family, school and Bible class.

I think measures should be taken to increase the circulation among the people of the Deseret News, and the standard works of the Church. A great many read them, and many do not; and if in the various neighborhoods, a little more pains were taken, the information they contain could be more widely disseminated. I know the enemies of Zion are willing take any pains in the world almost to circulate lies; why should we not take a little pains to circulate truth, and to spread and to disseminate abroad pure and holy principles? I call the attention of Elders of the various stakes to these subjects.

Peace to the faithful. Amen.


Remarks by President George A. Smith, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, April 7, 1872.

We are again assembled this morning to continue the duties and services of our Conference, and I am requested by President Young to state that he is in the enjoyment of comfortable health and in excellent spirits. He regrets very much the circumstances which render it inexpedient for him to meet with you this morning, and hopes the time may soon come when he will again enjoy that privilege, also the privilege of bearing testimony to the glorious work of the last days, in the public congregation. He desires and appreciates the prayers and faith of the Saints; he thinks that it is quite proper that any man before he is thoroughly qualified to rule shall learn to be ruled—that he shall learn to obey before he learns to command. All these lessons in their time and in their season are proper for us to learn.

When we realize the malignity of the spirit of persecution which is aimed at the Latter-day Saints in these valleys, we need not wonder that we have to contend with vexatious lawsuits and with illegal and unjustifiable prosecutions, for the influence of the pulpit and the press when controlled by the spirit of lying is very great for evil, but God is greater—his power is more omnipotent; and although thousands of prophets, priests and wise men in the earth have been compelled to lay down their lives for the cause of Zion, and for the sake of the principles of the gospel of peace, and in doing so they have acquired honors that could not be attained in any other way; their reward is certain, eternal and sure.

I wish to call the attention of the elders who have been in years past, on missions, to one important item of duty. It is well known that our emigration annually brings some thousands of persons among whom our missionaries have labored and with whom they are acquainted, and among whom are many who still look to them for fatherly advice and encouragement, but many of the elders who return immediately forget that they have been missionaries. When they reach home they perhaps find their affairs a little deranged, business having stopped in their absence, money making or procuring the means of living having gone rather behind hand, they drop right into a groove as it were to catch up, and they forget their duties, and the people whom they have been acquainted with and who have treated them with kindness and generosity are also frequently forgotten and neglected. The emigrants come into these valleys and fall perhaps under influences that are wrong and wicked, for men inspired with a spirit of hostility to the work of God will take more pains to poison their minds than those who feel all right do to give them correct information. I wish to say to all such elders and to all the brethren, that when they get home their mission is not consummated, and that when newcomers arrive we should take pains to look after their welfare, give them counsel and instruction, aid and comfort, and realize that we are missionaries all our lives, and that it is our duty to instruct such in the things of the kingdom, to encourage them and set before them principles of intelligence, such as will be for their benefit.

I wish further to say to the Elders and to the brethren who have emigrated, that they should remember their friends they visited before they came here, or when they were on missions in the old world. Remember the poor family that went without their provision, perhaps, to give you a feast, or the family that to make you warm and comfortable gave up their beds to you, themselves enduring cold, discomfort and inconvenience to do so; or the family that opened their doors to shelter you from the storm when their neighbors hooted and scouted them, as it were, for entertaining a stranger. You missionaries in your experience have all met with such families, and many of them are there yet without the means to get here. Perhaps they have said to you, “Will you help me when you get home?” and you may have given them a look of encouragement, a half promise, or expressed a hope that you might be able to do so. Have you forgotten it? Perhaps a little effort on your part and on the part of your neighbors might bring these families to this country and place them in a position to acquire lots, farms, and homes of their own, redeem them from thralldom and bondage worse than slavery, and place them in a position of independence on their own soil, enjoy the fruits of their own labors and help to build up and develop the rising, spreading glory of Zion.

I have heard there is an Elder who, when on a mission borrowed some money of a widow that had not means enough to get away, but had a little she could spare until she could acquire enough to bring her family here; and that Elder, peradventure, has forgotten to pay it. I have heard there is such an Elder in Utah. Shame on him if there is! Under such circumstances we should not only pay punctually and faithfully what we owe, with good and reasonable interest, but all of us European missionaries should be prepared to do something handsome annually to help those from the bondage and thralldom in which we found them, and where they must remain until means are obtained to deliver them. I am calling now for the donation to the Perpetual Emigration Fund. A hundred thousand Latter-day Saints in Utah, and can we not help a few thousand that yet remain in the old missions, and bring them here? “Well,” some may say, “they will apostatize if they come.” That is all right, they must have the privilege. I understand that we have brought some men here with the Fund that have apostatized, betrayed the Saints and done all in their power to stain their garments in the blood of the prophets; but that is not our fault, it is theirs. We should gather the Saints and they themselves are responsible for the use they make of the blessings which God bestows upon them, even if they come through our hands and exertions. Look at the tens of thousands of families now in Utah in comfortable circumstances with houses, farms, wagons, cattle and horses of their own, many of them with carriages, and these families taken by the contributions of the Latter-day Saints from the most abject servitude and poverty from the bowels of the earth, from within the walls of factories, where but for this fund they must have remained for their lives; but now they are in comparative independence and enjoying the blessings of freemen.

After President Young returned from St. George for the purpose of voluntarily placing himself in the custody of United States Officers, as is well known, I received a letter from an eminent gentleman in the State of Massachusetts, who said that the prosecution against him could be nothing more nor less than a put-up job, and that the people of the country understood it as such; “and the fact is,” said he, “Brigham Young has done more for the benefit of large bodies of people than any other living man on the earth.” That is true. By the inspiration of Almighty God through his servant Brigham Young, this Fund was organized, and he has been the President of it, and through his energy and enterprise and the aid of the Latter-day Saints—his friends—he has gathered tens of thousands that could never have owned a rod of ground or a house as long as they lived, but would have been at the mercy of employers who looked upon them only as a portion of their property, and the question with them has been how much of this man’s labor can I get for the smallest pittance; but through the exertions and counsels of President Young and his brethren they have been delivered from this bondage and placed in comparative independence. I say God bless such a man, (Congregation said Amen) and God bless every man and every woman who will contribute to carry out this glorious purpose.

I am very anxious to wake up the Elders to labor at home, to keep alive in the hearts of the Saints the spirit of truth. While all those who so desire are free to apostatize, it should not be for the want of proper information, care and instruction, or in consequence of the neglect of the Elders to do their duty. I exhort the Latter-day Saints to unite in carrying on the work of gathering. A few years ago we thought that we would gather them all. When we had raised what means we could, and had expended it, we found the Elders were baptizing about as fast as we were bringing the Saints away. That is all right. Let us get the old and faithful Latter-day Saints away, and keep baptizing all that desire to be baptized. In the Scandinavian Mission the number of baptisms keep up, and some years a little more than keep up, with the emigration. There are families from year to year that can be brought away by a little assistance; they have part means, and only need a little more to emigrate. I do think that the history of the Perpetual Emigration Fund is a wonderful one. The Latter-day Saints in Utah sent from here two hundred wagons one year, three hundred another year, four hundred the next, and for two years five hundred wagons each year, each wagon having four yoke of oxen, or their equivalent in mules and horses, and bore all the expenses consequent upon bringing people across the Plains, bringing from one to four thousand persons a season. This is certainly creditable, and it has been done through the influence of Brigham Young and the united efforts of a free-hearted and noble people. We have got a railroad now and do not have to send the wagons; the business assumes another shape. The emigration is brought here with less labor and in less time, but with more outlay.

I have now laid before you my views on the emigration of the poor Saints from abroad. Consider upon and think about them. Make your calculations, and feel in your pockets and contribute to help on the work, and carry with you to all the settlements of the Saints a spirit that shall bring home to Zion the brethren and sisters from abroad. In that way the work can continue. May God bless all who aid in this glorious work is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Remarks by President George A. Smith, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Saturday Morning, April 6th, 1872.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May the blessing of Israel’s God be and abide upon you forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Supper—Historical Reminiscences—The Puritans

Discourse by President George A. Smith, delivered in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday, August 13, 1871.

In the providence of our Heavenly Father we are permitted once more to assemble for the purpose of partaking of the Sacrament of our Lord and Savior. It appears that on the night previous to his arrest, he gave to his disciples this ordinance. It was in a manner instituting anew the ordinance that Israel had observed from the time of leaving Egypt—namely, the feast of the Passover. When we assemble for the purpose of partaking of this ordinance it is very important for us to realize and appreciate the position which we take, for we witness to our Father who is in heaven, by the partaking of the bread and of the water, that we do remember him; and while we take the bread from the same plate we should not hold within our hearts feelings or sentiments other than what are right. To use the expression of the Savior, in the ever memorable sermon on the Mount, “When thou bringest thy gift to the altar, consider whether thy brother hath aught against thee.” Every man who receives the principles of the Gospel of peace and obeys the ordinances of initiation into the Church is under obligations to lead a straightforward, moral and upright life, to deal justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly in observance of the principles which he has received. To neglect these things, to suffer ourselves to stray from them, to become forgetful of the principles and ordinances of the Gospel, under all circumstances, should be avoided. If we love each other, as we should do, we should never be found speaking evil of each other. In almost all communities, so far as my knowledge of history extends, one of the great banes of society is a disposition to tattle, to speak evil one of another; and I have noticed that this habit has not always been forsaken by those who are called Latter-day Saints; but at times there seems to be a feeling of willingness to retail scandal. When we come to partake of the sacrament if we have injured our brother, sister or neighbor, it is our duty to make these things right, and to come wisely, prudently and conscientiously. If we harbor evil thoughts, or are the slaves of evil passions, when we stretch forth our hand to partake of the sacrament, we may be guilty, peradventure, of fulfilling that dreadful position referred to by the Apostle—“He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to his own soul.”

There are certain principles which God has revealed, by the observance of which we are entitled to his Holy Spirit; but when Latter-day Saints neglect their duties and fail to observe these principles and defile their bodies they cease to become fit temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in, and the light that is in them becomes darkness. It seems that at the last supper Peter was so sanguine, so fully determined and set in his faith that he declared to the Savior, though he should die with him yet would he not deny him; and yet in a very few hours after, when he saw his Master seized rudely by the high priests and soldiery, and dragged away, and a crown of thorns placed upon his head, he denied him. When his Master was first taken Peter was ready to fight for him. He was like a great many Latter-day Saints I have seen—they would much rather fight for their religion than try to live it. It was so at that time with Peter. He drew his sword and was ready to cut and slay, but his Master said to him, “Put up thy sword,” and he healed the wounded servant. Peter did not understand that; it did not look like the temporal dominion he expected to see Jesus possess; and when he was accused of being one of his disciples, he answered, “I know not what thou sayest,” denying him, to whom, but a few hours before, he had expressed such strong attachment. When Peter went out, the cock crew, and then he remembered the words of Jesus, and he wept bitterly. It is said of this Apostle that when he came to the end of his earthly career, which was crucifixion by the hands of his enemies, he requested that he might be crucified with his feet upwards; because he had denied his Master he was unwilling to be put on the cross in the same position.

This weakness exists in the breasts of all human beings, more or less; all have their times of trial, and their days of temptation and suffering. We remember, in the days of our Prophet Joseph Smith, whom God sent us in these last days with the dispensation of the fullness of times, and the restoration of the Gospel and Priesthood, that many, who stood by him and professed to be his most warm and ardent friends, not only turned away at his death, but in many instances became bitter enemies. This weakness exists, and there are reasons why it exists in the human heart. For instance, God requires his children to pray; but through labor, business and care they frequently fail to fulfill the requirement either in their families or in secret, and in a little while their minds become darkened; and in consequence of this neglect the Spirit of the Lord withdraws from them, and they forget what they once knew. You let a man among the Saints indulge in any habit prohibited in the Gospel, and the same result will follow if continued. If he allow himself to take the name of the Lord in vain, and continue in it, the Spirit of the Lord will withdraw from him. If he allow himself to be guilty of dishonesty, corruption, licentiousness or anything that is prohibited in the Gospel of peace, peradventure, his mind becomes darkened. He, today, might bear testimony that he knew this to be the work of God; and he might, by neglect of duty, in time become so darkened that he would conclude he hardly did know it, and finally that he did not know it. These are the results of losing the light of the Holy Spirit, hence the exhortation that every man who partakes of the sacrament should be careful, and make it a time of reckoning—bringing our minds up to the standard and knowing that we are right.

I notice in the observance of the Word of Wisdom, a manifestation of the Holy Spirit connected with it. Whenever a person has failed to observe it, and becomes a slave to his appetite in these simple things, he gradually grows cold in his religion; hence I constantly feel to exhort my brethren and sisters, both by precept and example, to observe the Word of Wisdom. We should not be thoughtless, careless nor neglectful in the observance of its precepts. “Why, it cannot do any hurt,” says one, “to take a glass of ale!” I recollect seeing a man once in England, who said to me, “Mr. Smith, how can it be possible that it can injure a man to drink the matter of half a pint of ale?” He had had so much that he could not stand without leaning against a fence, and yet he could not see how it could injure a man to take a half pint; but if he had not taken the first half pint he could have stood as well as anybody. It may as well be said, and no doubt often is, How can it hurt a man to chew tobacco or to drink tea? It injures, because it creates a disturbance in the human organization, and that disturbance, if continued, creates an appetite to which its possessor becomes a slave, and it shortens his days; and while living his condition is such that he cannot as efficiently perform the duties devolving upon him as he otherwise could.

We have every reason to be thankful that God has preserved us from the wrath of our enemies. He has led us by the inspired hand of his servant Brigham into the valleys beyond the Rocky Mountains, in the Great Basin; and he has blessed the desert land, that with the labor and toil of twenty or twenty-four years, has become manifest in stretching forth the curtain of the habitations of Zion. We have every reason to be thankful for these blessings, for previous to that time we are all well aware that we did not taste of but very little of what might be called religious liberty; for the very moment that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith, with six members, the hand of persecution and oppression was raised to destroy it. It not only extended to scandal and abuse, but to personal violence and to a long-continued succession of vexatious lawsuits; to the tearing down of houses, daubing men with tar and feathers, and driving from place to place. I have heard the scandal brought up occasionally that the Mormons were driven from Jackson County, Missouri, for stealing horses. Now the facts of the case are that there is not, nor can be found on record in the county of Jackson, a solitary syllable in any docket or record of any court the account of any crime or charge of crime against any individual belonging to the Church of the Latter-day Saints. From the time they settled there until the expulsion, amongst them it was one straightforward scene of good behavior. The charges on which they were driven were specified, published and signed by a large number of distinguished individuals, and these were that they (the Mormons) “differ from us in religion;” and that they also “anoint the sick with holy oil,” and “They openly blaspheme the most high God, and cast contempt on his holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct from heaven, by pretending to speak unknown tongues, by direct inspiration, and by diverse pretenses derogatory of God and religion and to the utter subversion of human reason;” “that the ‘Mormons’ tampered with the slaves,” &c. It is very true that the Mormons in Jackson County, Missouri, were not slaveholders; but the laws of the State on that subject were so very rigid that it required no mob power to enforce them; and as every office in the State, both civil and military, was held by men not “Mormons,” and especially in the county of Jackson, it is not likely that there would have been any difficulty to enforce the law. The declaration on which the mob was organized, and which was signed by clergymen and other gentlemen, was “The civil law does not afford us a guarantee against this people,” which was as much as to say, they were a law-abiding people. Well, but did you practice plurality of wives? Not at all, the principle was unknown in the Church; it had not been revealed, and every man and woman in the Church was rigidly, to all intents and purposes, strict monogamists. In 1838-9 these Latter-day Saints were expelled from the State of Missouri, and no charge of practicing polygamy existed against them; but when they were gathered together and received their grand sentence under the exterminating order of the governor of the State, they were told that if they “assembled together again and organized with bishops and presidents they should be utterly destroyed;” but they were required to leave the State and that in a very short time, which they did, leaving all their property. It is very well known that some three hundred and eighteen thousand dollars were paid by Latter-day Saints for land in the State of Missouri, and that very few if any of them, ever got a dollar for that land, and it belongs to them to this day; and when the great and glorious day shall come that the Constitution of the United States shall become absolutely the supreme law of the land, guaranteeing to all men the right of life, liberty and property, the Saints can inherit this land and live and enjoy their faith there as well as anywhere else. All these things had occurred, and the hand of persecution did not stay until, in 1844, it had slain the prophets, and, in 1845-6, had driven the people, and robbed and peeled them of the property they had accumulated in Illinois, and in 1857 the pioneers’ advanced guard, led by President Young, succeeded in making a road, and founding a colony in this valley.

In 1843 the law on celestial marriage was written, but not published, and was known only to perhaps one or two hundred persons. It was written from the dictation of Joseph Smith, by Elder William Clayton, his private secretary, who is now in this city. This revelation was published in 1852, read to a general conference, and accepted as a portion of the faith of the Church. Elder Orson Pratt went to Washington and there published a work called the “Seer,” in which this revelation was printed, and a series of articles showing forth the law of God in relation to marriage. From that time to the present the power of the enemies of the Latter-day Saints to persecute them seems to have been broken; for since then we have never been compelled to forsake our inheritances. The press and the pulpit have, of course, been called into requisition more or less, and a great amount of lies and scandal has been published, and politicians have endeavored to make capital and money out of exterminating the “Mormons,” and fortunes out of “Mormon” blood, and more or less difficulty has occurred; but during that period the Saints have been able to proceed along with their work. They have laid out a hundred and fifty towns and cities, and have built them up to a greater or less extent, extending their settlements five hundred miles through this great desert. They have also been able to hold in check the savage tribes of Indians and to gain influence over them; and with a few interruptions, arising from the reckless character and conduct of transients, have been enabled to maintain towards them a peace hitherto unknown in any State or Territory in the midst of an Indian population.

It required faith and energy to settle in such a country. For the first three years after the settlement commenced hardly any person dared to eat as much food as his appetite craved; so scarce were provisions that it was necessary to economize and eke out every little supply to its greatest possible extent. A great many became discouraged and disheartened, having the idea that the country could never be reclaimed; many went away, but generally returned after awhile, quite surprised at the progress made during their absence. Our visitors look at our city and say, “What a beautiful place! how did you find so lovely a place?” I can answer. When we reached here it was a naked sage plain, bearing very little sage, the land being too poor; but industry and a wise and careful application of the water to the soil has produced the vegetation here to be seen. For a while after we came here we could occasionally hear of rejoicing from pulpit and press that “Joseph Smith, the arch-impostor,” as they called him, was dead, and that the “Mormons” were driven into the wilderness, where they would all perish, and they should never hear anything more about them. Yet it only took a few years for them to discover that this people were yet alive, and that they were living in the exercise of their faith, and making themselves felt, known, realized and understood in the world. Now, inasmuch as God has thus blessed us and extended to us so many great privileges, it is very important that we should abide in the faith wherein Christ has made us free, and live in the exercise of that religion, and not by any means suffer ourselves to fall into snares, temptation, wickedness or evil. We have every reason to be thankful to our Heavenly Father for his many blessings.

Our organization as a church differs widely from almost every other. For instance, almost every denomination has, in its organization, a plan for the support of a minister—a salaried gentleman. When we commenced to preach the Gospel to the world without purse or scrip, without money or price, these ministers were generally the first to raise the hue and cry, to tar and feather, and throw rotten eggs at us; to drive us from our homes and tear down our habitations; and in every mob, from the commencement to the close of the persecutions, were to be found men professing to be ministers of the Gospel; and although the denominations to which they belonged might not be disposed to persecute, yet they disgraced them by taking part in such proceedings. It is said that the men who slew the Savior believed they did God service, and it is probable that the ministers, professors of religion and others, who, with blackened faces, surrounded Carthage jail and murdered, in cold blood, the Prophet and Patriarch of the Church, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, thought they also were doing God service, although they were guilty of the most brutal and disgraceful murders ever perpetrated on the earth.

There is one thing very peculiar in relation to us. I have noticed it from the fact that I have been a student, to some extent, of the history of the Puritan fathers who settled in New England. It is very well known that they escaped from tyranny in their mother country; they were oppressed there in their religious faith. Their views were of a different kind to those of the established church; and it was in consequence of oppression of this kind that they sought a home in the wilds of America; and in almost every instance, as soon as they had established a home, they commenced making rules and proscribing everybody who differed in opinion with themselves. You will notice this, especially if you read the early history of Massachusetts. The colonists of that State were very stringent in particular items of faith and practice. I have always felt a little proud of the noble heart of my fourth great-grandfather Zaccheus Gould, because he actually had the courage to keep the Quakers at his farm the very night after they had been proscribed by the colonial government and expelled from Salem, and for this and supplying them with the common necessaries of life and then allowing them to proceed on their way in the morning, he was fined and compelled to stand up in the church, and hear his confession read. But I am proud of the feelings and sentiments of the man that, although a Puritan, he had so much humanity in him.

I notice, in looking over the history of New England, that our Puritan fathers lacked an understanding of the power of principle. If a man preached a sermon that did not please them he must leave the colony; he could not retire to his farm, lot or inheritance, and there attend to his own business; no, they would frequently tear down his house, put him aboard a ship and send him away. Numbers of instances of this kind are on record; and the sect most noted for its principle of nonresistance to all men—the Quakers, were whipped and tarred and feathered, and some of them put to death; and numbers of them were expelled from the colony, and that, too, by men who, we cannot doubt, believed in their own hearts, that they acted from good motives. They did these things from a determination that they would cleanse the people. Still, after awhile, this feeling wore away.

I notice, from the very commencement of our settlement of these valleys that there never has been a law enacted or regulation made but what would affect the interests of all societies and denominations alike. There have been no special acts on this account. As a matter of course, persons have been cut off the Church, but their civil rights, and their privileges under the laws have not been in anyway abridged. Had our fathers, in New England, simply disfellowshipped Mr. Williams as a member of their church, and allowed him to baptize people by immersion if he choose, it would have been an entirely different thing from compelling him to leave the colony.

This spirit of intolerance is yielding to the march of enlightenment, in our own age and day, but still we as a people have suffered severely from its effects, for that alone compelled us to seek a home in these deserts. But it is gratifying to reflect that we have not nourished that spirit of persecution in our hearts, for from the time that emigrants commenced passing this way up to the present, ministers of every denomination, men of repute among their own people, have been called upon and invited, and, whenever they have desired it, have had the privilege of preaching to our congregations, and have held meetings and organized churches in our cities without interruption. These facts are before the world. There are scores of ministers who have spoken in this stand, many of whom have declared to the public that they never spoke to so large an audience and never expected to speak in so large a house in their lives; but when a Latter-day Saint Elder has called upon them and asked for the privilege of preaching, their answer has been in effect, “Why, no; I have a right to preach in a heathen temple, but I cannot open my temple to a heathen!” Such men dare not trust their congregations to hear the truth, or peradventure, to hear error. We have had here some of the most eloquent preachers, I believe, of the present age; and we were delighted that they should display their eloquence in our midst. And if they have anything better than we have we want it; and we think it is quite right for the younger portions of our community, who have not had the privilege of hearing the religions of the day preached in the world, to hear them here; and the more of it the better, if they desire it. But the elder portion of those who profess our faith have generally belonged to or been associated with different religious denominations; for as our Elders have preached abroad they have gathered from every bundle and of every kind; and that portion of our people are as thoroughly acquainted with all the religions and the religious tenets taught at the present day as any people can be. But it is not so with the younger members of our Church, hence when we had a Methodist camp meeting here, President Young and the Elders gave an invitation to all the people, and especially to the young, to go and hear the teachings there given. That was the reason they had such immense congregations. The camp meeting did not attract the miners; they cared nothing about it; they had seen and known and learned all they wished about them long ago. They did not come here to hunt Methodism, but silver and gold. But our people turned out, especially in the evenings, by thousands, and heard them speak and formed their own opinions. I have been at camp meetings in my boyhood, and I did not think the one held here a fair specimen—not what a camp meeting used to be thirty-five years ago.

If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak. Those who come into the Church of Latter-day Saints, if they are faithful, learn in a short time, and know for themselves. The Holy Spirit and the light of eternal truth rest down upon them, and you will hear them, here and there, testify that they know of the doctrine, that they are acquainted with and understand it for themselves.

There has been a great howl from the pulpit and the press calling upon the government of the United States to exert its power to suppress a practice in the faith of the Latter-day Saints. Now the fact of the case is, it is out of the power of any government or nation to regulate religion at the present age; it is a matter that must regulate itself. You may drive men from their homes, rob them of their possessions, murder their leaders deprive them of their civil and religious rights, but you cannot change their opinions by such arguments; and when men have recourse to them it only signifies that the foundation upon which their system is based is very weak, and that their only hope of enforcing their own and suppressing the views of others is by force. Shame on the low degraded feelings which prompt such measures. In every land freedom of thought and opinion and the liberty to preach and practice whatever religion you wish should be guaranteed and the only method of manifesting disapproval of the course of others in these respects should be to disfellowship them from their churches. All should have this privilege. It feels good for a man to believe as he pleases; and if you undertake to check this, do not put to death, daub with tar and feathers, or tear down the dwellings of those who differ from you. Where is the liberty, justice and uprightness of such a course? I have been through the mill a little, and understand how it feels.

For my own part, however, I believe that mankind generally are getting wiser on this subject. Our Puritan fathers never succeeded in forcing their peculiar views on others, and in time, even among themselves, everybody could say about what he pleased; or at any rate the particular points upon which there was the greatest trouble were taken away. So it will be in the present age.

It is very well understood that, by many of the people, the law of marriage is regarded as something instituted by God; and that men, in their laws and regulations on the subject, have undertaken to govern their fellows too much. Our fathers Abraham and Jacob and many of the prophets took steps in this matter, which are now denounced by a large portion of Christendom as very wrong; and yet these very persons, in their prayers and preachings, claim that they are going to “Abraham’s bosom.” I can tell any man that wishes to murder, rob and plunder, and deprive of liberty a Latter-day Saint because he believes and practices plurality of wives, that he need never expect to dwell in “Abraham’s bosom,” for Father Abraham will not cast his wives out to receive such narrow-minded men. I can further tell them that, if ever they come to the gates of the New Jerusalem, they will there find the names of the twelve sons of Jacob; and if they believe with all their hearts that Jacob and his sons, most of whom were polygamists, were wicked men, and most of the sons bastards, they had better stay outside; in fact they will not be permitted to enter. Unless they can acknowledge these twelve sons as lawful and legitimate sons, in accordance with the law of God, they will have to stay outside, and “without are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, idolaters,” and everybody that loves and makes a lie.

May God enable us, one and all, to be truly prepared to enter through the gates into the city, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Written Sermons and Extempore Preaching—The Priesthood—Opposition to It

Remarks by President George A. Smith, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Nov. 20, 1870.

In rising before the Saints I ever feel a desire to be guided and inspired by the light of the Holy Spirit to speak as the circumstances and condition of the people require. It is not as I used to observe in my boyhood. I would hear our minister pray the Lord to give him His Spirit to dictate and indite precisely such matter as should be suited to the wants and condition of the assembly, and then be would open his Bible and slip in his written pamphlet and read a sermon. Now, I confess that I never had such remarkable answers to my prayers on this subject. The Lord furnished it to him already written and pointed plainly, and he had nothing to do but to read it. Whether preaching by notes in this way is the better policy or not is doubted by many of the Protestant churches; but I believe it is the custom among most of them. There are some clergymen who differ from this rule, thinking probably that, if a man sits in his study and composes his discourse, he does not have the spirit of delivering it and enforcing it upon his audience as if it were delivered extemporary.

With the Latter-day Saints the idea of writing sermons or preparing addresses beforehand is entirely discarded, it never was practiced amongst them. It was the order of God to choose the weak things of the world. The learned, as a general thing, scouted the idea of the Lord revealing Himself to an ignorant man like Joseph Smith, or of Joseph Smith having faith to obtain knowledge from God. I know they used to say, “Why did not the Lord call upon a learned man who has devoted his whole life to the study of divinity if He wanted anything done?” The real fact was they thought they knew too much, they would not listen to anything the Lord might have to say. He simply called upon Joseph, because he got puzzled with hearing those learned men preach. He had heard them preach four or five different doctrines, and then had seen them quarrel over the converts; he went humbly to God and asked Him, according to the advice given by the Apostle James, who says, “If any lack wisdom let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not.” Joseph Smith was just foolish and simple enough to take this advice, and he went humbly before the Lord and asked Him which was the right way, and the Lord showed him. To be sure, I have heard, in theory, sentiments of this kind in the sectarian world. I have heard men pray the Lord for a pentecost in their meetings. You know on the day of Pentecost the disciples prophesied, and spoke in so many tongues that devout men from almost every nation under heaven, assembled in Jerusalem, heard the Gospel preached in the language in which they were born. Now, if any such event should take place in a Christian church in modern times there would be a very great excitement, the people would be alarmed, they do not believe in any such thing. The gifts of the Spirit—tongues, prophecy, &c., were done away with long ago, they say, and they are governed by the written word, and they differ very much in their interpretation of that written word.

Joseph Smith taught that every man and woman should seek the Lord for wisdom, that they might get knowledge from Him who is the fountain of knowledge; and the promises of the Gospel, as revealed, were such as to authorize us to believe, that by taking this course we should gain the object of our pursuit. “He that believes in me,” says the Savior, “the works that I do he shall do also; and greater works than these, because I go to the Father.” We find that, when the Savior commenced his mission, he came to John and was baptized of him in Jordan, thus setting an example for others to follow; and he declared that those who believed in him must take up their cross and follow him. He furthermore promised them that, in rendering obedience to his doctrines, they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and be born of the Spirit; and that by the light of the Spirit he would lead them into all truth and make known to them things to come.

How many of us Latter-day Saints are living up to this calling and in the light of this Spirit? How many of us are guided as we ought to be by the light of the Holy Ghost? Have not many of us become careless, thoughtless, negligent, heedless, and turned away to the right or to the left, and fallen into snares and temptations, and suffered ourselves to be led astray by false spirits and the doctrines of devils?

The Apostle says the Lord set in His Church Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, that they who believe might be no more children, carried away by every wind of doctrine, by the cunning craftiness of those who lie in wait to deceive. Hunt the world for this organization and you cannot find it except among the Latter-day Saints; it does not exist anywhere else, that is, so far as travel and a knowledge of humanity have developed. I remember once going to a Baptist church when quite a youth. I asked the gentleman at the door what church it was. He said it was the Church of Christ. Said I, “What Apostle built it up?” He said, “There are no Apostles in these days.” “Well,” I remarked, “Paul tells us that God sets in His Church first Apostles.” “Oh,” he replied, “the organization of the priesthood, with its authority and power, as mentioned in the New Testament, is done away.” That is the trouble throughout Christendom. This man to whom I refer, asserted however that they had the priesthood in the Baptist Church, and that it had descended to them through the Waldenses. This idea naturally sets us to inquire who the Waldenses were. One Peter Waldo, we are told by Buck, was a merchant who used a certain portion of his fortune in hiring a monk to translate the four Gospels; and on the strength of this work he commenced preaching and gathered around him a number of persons who believed in his doctrines. They were severely persecuted by the Catholic Church, which anathematized them and inflicted upon them every penalty in its power—even excommunication, sword and fire. Notwithstanding all this the Waldenses progressed, and their doctrines and the work they performed was a nursery for the Reformation.

But so far as the question of priesthood is concerned, if the Catholic Church had the authority, it cut the Waldenses off; and if it had none, all the Waldenses had was derived from it, for the Waldenses were seceders from the Catholic Church. The result is that the Baptists could have no priesthood except by special revelation, and to this they lay no claim whatever.

The same rule will apply to other denominations; for I believe all of them have to acknowledge that they received, either directly or indirectly, their priesthood originally from the Roman Catholic Church. Now if that church is not true, the priesthood which came from it could not be true; if their priesthood and authority were genuine and bona fide, their expulsion of the so-called Reformers would have its effect; the result is that, viewed in any light whatever, these various denominations are left without a duly authorized and legal priesthood. Unless the Catholic Church had it, they could not receive it from it; and if the Catholics did have it they cut the Reformers off, or expelled them. If you talk with the various Protestant denominations about these points they will tell you that the Catholic Church had degenerated, that it had gone into darkness, was anti-Christ, and all this sort of thing, which doubtless was correct; and according to modern revelation this must be true; and being true, we are urged to the conclusion that all the sects and parties of the religious world are wandering in darkness.

Now one denomination out of five or six hundred, more or less, the number grown out of the original Church, might probably be correct; but it is quite certain that no two of them, differing in faith and practice, could be; and under these circumstances the difficulty would be to determine which was right. It was in this position of perplexity and doubt that Joseph Smith was placed when he went and asked the Lord to tell him which was right; and the Lord revealed to him, through an holy angel, that they were all wrong, and said He: “I call upon you to go and preach the Gospel in simplicity and purity.” The result was that the Elders went forth and proclaimed the Gospel, and it produced a very singular effect on the minds of the people. A few received it, but they were treated with scorn; their preachers were mobbed, daubed with tar and feathers, pelted with eggs, their houses torn down and burned, and finally the leaders of the Church were murdered, and their followers expelled from the face of society and driven into the wilderness, or were compelled to renounce their religion, and the very great majority took shelter from the face of man in the midst of wild deserts, savage beasts and savage men. This was the history of it, and this tells why we are here.

Now, brethren, knowing these facts are we faithful to our calling? Do we live in the enjoyment of the Holy Spirit? Or do we suffer the things of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the trials incident to our humanity to lead us into difficulty and cause us to forget God, to neglect our prayers, our tithes and offerings, our fast meetings, our secret prayers, and other duties devolving upon us as Saints? How is it with us? Let us ask ourselves these questions and awake to the performance of our several duties. If we have been careless, repent of the carelessness. If we are negligent, wake up! If we suffer ourselves to do wrong, cease to do so, and live in obedience to the principles of our faith and the dictations of the Holy Spirit. The fact is, in relation to our religion, that if we do not abide by it and observe it, it would have been better for us if we had never known it; and if we do observe it, much is expected at our hands, both on our own behalf and on behalf of our forefathers.

You know Paul tells us, in the 15th chapter of Corinthians, speaking of the resurrection, as an argument in favor of it, “Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” This was a principle connected with the Christian religion that pertained to the dead, and it was so thoroughly understood that it was used as an argument in favor of the doctrine of the resurrection. I suppose that this is seldom or ever thought of by the Protestants; and when Joseph Smith came forth and announced that it was the duty of the Latter-day Saints to go forth and be baptized for their relatives who had died without the knowledge of the Gospel, it was regarded as an astounding idea; yet, as I understand the passage in Corinthians, no man can give any other interpretation to it.

In order to have the benefits and blessings of this ordinance resting upon ourselves and our progenitors it is necessary for us to live up to our calling and to pay strict attention to our duties. According to the revelations which were given through Joseph Smith certain places were set apart for the administration of these ordinances. Temples had to be built and fonts prepared and dedicated for this purpose.

The Prophet Malachi, in speaking of the latter days, says, “the day shall come that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble, it shall burn them up, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” But the Lord declares through Malachi that He will send the Prophet Elijah before that great and terrible day shall come, and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest He come and smite the earth with a curse. This prophecy has a reference to the revelation of the doctrine of baptism for the dead in the last days.

The Apostle Paul, in enumerating the great blessings which were bestowed on the ancients through faith, speaks in glowing terms of those who subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens; he says women received their dead to life; others were tortured, sawn asunder, wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, and dwelt in dens and caves of the earth, and all this for the faith; and then he winds up by saying that they without us could not be made perfect. Think then, brethren and sisters, of the duties that we owe to ourselves and to our ancestors! But, if we suffer ourselves to go into darkness, if we indulge in wickedness, fall into snares and temptations, we lose the Holy Spirit and the blessings which pertain to ourselves and our progenitors, referred to by Obadiah, who says that in the last days saviors shall stand on Mount Zion, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.

These sentiments may be clearly and readily appreciated by Latter-day Saints; and to stir them up to diligence, faithfulness and obedience I would refer them to the revelation given on the 19th of January, 1841, through Joseph Smith, relative to the building of the temple at Nauvoo. It was there said that there was not a baptismal font in the world, and the Church was required to build that Temple, and the promise was that if it was built the people should receive certain blessings. It was further stated that when the Lord commanded any people to do a work, and they were hindered from performing it by their enemies or by oppression, the Lord would not require that work at their hands any more. No people on the face of the earth, probably, during the present generation at least, or perhaps in any other, were more oppressed than were the people of Nauvoo while laboring to perform this work. They were persecuted in various ways: attacked through vexatious lawsuits by the State of Missouri and by the State authorities of Illinois, and all means that could be taken within reach of the law were used to bring distress upon them. Then the conclusion was, that if law could not reach them powder and ball should, and the result was that the Prophet and Patriarch of the Church were murdered, and other Elders severely wounded. Hundreds of houses were burned and every kind of outrage that could be imagined was committed on the Saints; and while building this Temple the brethren had to stand guard at night; and when working they were in a manner compelled to have their weapons of defense in one hand and their tools to work with in the other. But they continued amid all this storm of persecution, during which numbers had to flee to the wilderness, until the Temple was finished and dedicated; and having completed this task they had the promise of the Lord to go with them into the wilderness, with all the powers, blessings and privileges of the Priesthood, that in the wilderness they might receive and administer the ordinances for their dead.

We should now continue the work for the Temple which the Latter-day Saints are always commanded to build. We have a foundation here, a very good substantial one, and that must be approved by good men and pleasing to the Lord. We have to haul the material seventeen miles to continue this work, which has been interrupted from time to time through various causes. Still it progresses and we should not let it sleep, but should continue the work until we have an edifice reared according to the pattern, and dedicate it to the Most High God; and build in its basement a baptismal font, something after the pattern of King Solomon’s brazen sea, for the baptism of the dead, that within the walls of that sacred edifice we may be able to perform the duties and ordinances pertaining to the dead which God has commanded. Every Latter-day Saint, man or woman, young or old, should feel alive and awake to this great duty.

I understand why it is that men persecute the Latter-day Saints. It is because of the priesthood and power which exist among them: Satan stirs up the hearts of the children of men to wickedness, and to hate and persecute the Saints, to drive them and murder their leaders. This is the only cause; for the Latter-day Saints, from the time of their organization to the present time, have been the most orderly, law-abiding, industrious, temperate, and moral people that have lived on the face of the earth; and they are the same in this Territory as they have been elsewhere. For instance, let a man pass through this country, as Major Powell did last year, and he comes back and published a statement that he has visited five hundred miles of Mormon villages, and has seen a people happy and contented, and has not seen a grog shop, a loafer, drunkard or idler; but everybody enjoying himself, and that peace and good order prevail throughout, such a man will have the same greeting as Major Powell. “Why, Major, you are interested some way or the other; the ‘Mormons’ have got you blinded.” That, is the spirit and feeling manifested if a man tells the truth about the Latter-day Saints; and it is one of the greatest evidences of the truth of the work. The Lord says, “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.” Sometimes I have known the papers say this and that good thing about the “Mormons,” and I have said, “What’s up? Are we getting wicked, that the world loves us?” And I almost wondered at it. The fact is we should live our religion, keep the commandments of God and observe all things required of us, and care nothing whatever what the world either says or does about us. “Well, but suppose they should get up armies and kill you?” If they do they will send us right straight to heaven; and our duty is to labor in this life as long as we can and do all the good in our power, and never flinch from the truth or the principles of eternity. If our enemies are permitted to kill us they ensure to us a martyr’s crown, and we go to glory celestial. I have heard of men so foolish as to jump overboard from Zion’s ship because they thought she was going to sink. Why, if she does we shall only sink with her, and the man who jumps overboard is sure to sink anyhow.

I know men who apostatized in Missouri just to save their property. We were told there, “If you ‘Mormons’ will renounce your religion, you can stay here on your farms.” I remember one man who stayed there just for that reason. I got a letter from him a short time ago. He professes to be a friend to the “Mormons;” but he apostatized from them for the sake of keeping his property. I could have stayed in Missouri, and President Young could have stayed there, if we would have renounced our “Mormonism,” and our faith in Joseph Smith as a prophet, in the ordinances of anointing the sick with oil and baptism for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; but we knew these things were true, and we would not renounce them, and we had to leave what we had. Some called it a sacrifice. To be sure it was a pretty country and rich soil, and we had made handsome improvements, and were having many beautiful farms opened around us; and we were building towns and villages. But what were they when compared with our religion? We built them, and we knew how to build more; we had tried it twice in Missouri and in Illinois; and when they drove us again we thought that we would go into a country so wretched and miserable that no man on earth could want it. So we came right into the heart of the American Desert and built this place; and singularly enough, some say now, that this is too good a place for the “Mormons,” and they must drive us out.

Now, brethren, if we live our religion and are faithful to the Lord, we may escape the necessity of being driven again. It will not be a great while before many of us will take great pleasure in moving; because when the day comes that the Constitution of the United States becomes the supreme law of this land—the land of America, every man will be protected in His religious faith, and then we will go right back to Jackson County, and build a Temple, the most beautiful ever built on this continent or any other. We are going to do it, and the time is not far distant; and knowing this, our hearts do not cling in the least to any spot in the world any longer than is necessary to stay there to do our duty. When that day comes, and it will come, our countrymen will become so converted that their intolerance will cease and they will come to the conclusion that all men may enjoy their faith in the Supreme Being as they please without being interrupted. If we wait awhile, and are worthy, we will see this day and then we shall be able to go and build our Temple.

Now let us all be diligent and faithful and trust in the Lord and seek His protection; for it is worth all the protection a man can give a thousand times told. What can man do? He can kill the body. What else? That is the end of it, he has no further power. The principles of Mormonism cannot only destroy the body, but the soul and spirit; and they can confer the bliss of eternal glory and increase.

I do not expect to be permitted to address you again for some months. I expect to travel and visit the brethren in the southern country during the winter; shall probably visit some thirty-three settlements in our Dixie, and be absent several months. I wish to bear my testimony to the principles of the Gospel which have been revealed. I know these things are true. I don’t come here believing them simply, I know they are true, and that God has revealed them; and I also know that all the plans, powers and schemes of the wicked can never overthrow them. Distress may be brought upon individuals; and the fact is, that many of us, who have seemed to move along prosperously, and have surrounded ourselves in an incredibly short space of time with many of the comforts of life may cling too close to them and be unwilling to surrender them; and it may be necessary that we and the Lord should know by actual experiment whether we worship the things of this world more than we do the things of a better. It may be necessary for us to ask ourselves the question, and consider it thoroughly and carefully: “Do we love the Lord Jesus Christ, and his laws and the principles of his Gospel more than we love a piece of land, a little orchard, a garden, field, store, vineyard, ranch, or a herd of cattle, &c. How is it? Ask these questions, and if we do, it is time for us to repent, and we had better begin and make sacrifices. We had better contribute for the Temple, to help the poor and needy, &c. I remember, very well, reading of a man who came to the Savior, and said, “Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” After the Savior had answered him he said, “All these things have I kept from my youth up.” The Savior replied, “Yet lackest thou one thing, go and sell all that thou hast and give to the poor and come and follow me.” And we are told that he went away sorrowful. Why? Because he had great possessions and could not part with them. Are we getting into that track? The Savior once remarked that it was very hard for a rich man to get into heaven. I do not pretend to quote these passages exactly, you are familiar with them. But we are told that it is a very hard matter for a rich man to get into heaven. That is the substance of it. Don’t let us get so rich that we can’t go there; and don’t let us get so poor that we can’t contribute our mite to help to roll on the work of God. I remember reading in the Proverbs of an individual who prayed the Lord not to make him either rich or poor. He didn’t want to be rich for fear he should get proud and forget the Lord; and if he became poor he was afraid he might steal and take the name of the Lord in vain. We don’t want to go to either extreme. The time is coming, and is not far hence, when the Latter-day Saints will get so much knowledge of the things of God that they will be able to bear wealth and control it, and use it to the glory of God; and when that time comes, to use a familiar expression, “the Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing upon them that there will not be room to receive it.”

I ask my brethren and sisters to cultivate their minds. My counsel is sustain your Sunday schools; remember and send your children there, and go yourselves and act as teachers, and contribute the means necessary to carry them on. Remember also all the duties devolving upon us as Saints in the domestic circle. We are almost all ready to go on a mission to preach; we should not forget to preach in our houses, families and wards, and bear testi mony to the truth, and don’t let heathens grow up in our midst. Impress on the minds of your children their duties. You understand the law in relation to it. We are commanded to teach our children the principles of salvation, the doctrine of repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and the principles of righteousness to that extent that when they reach a proper age, they will wish to be baptized. We are to set before them examples, precepts and teachings, that they may grow up without sin unto salvation. These are duties devolving upon us. And when any of our children rebel against us and turn to wickedness, for all have to have their trials and temptations, parents ought to ask themselves, “Have we done our duty?” You know it is said, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Now, a very excellent way for parents to pursue with regard to their children, is to walk in that way themselves.

I bear my testimony to the principles of the Gospel, and I pray that the blessings of Heaven may be upon you; that you may be able to keep the faith, understand the law and abide in it, and roll on the great and glorious work. In a short season we shall be with you again, bearing our testimony, for we are determined to fulfil our calling and preach the Gospel, which was sealed upon our heads by Joseph Smith, by the commands of God. Bear testimony of the truths of salvation, and instruct the children of men; and there is no field in which greater good can be done in preaching and in missionary labor by the Elders of Israel than in Utah amongst the Latter-day Saints.

May the blessings of Israel’s God be upon you all is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.