Visit to the South—Persecution in Arizona—An American Siberia—Persecutions in Missouri and Illinois not the Result of Polygamy—Affecting Reference to the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum—Judgment Begins at the House of God—No Man Has a Right to Attempt to Control Another’s Belief or Conscience—Ex Post Facto Application of the Edmunds Law—Attempts of the Speaker to Conform to the Law As Far As Possible—Outrages Heaped Upon the Latter-Day Saints—No One Ever Punished, According to Law, for Killing a Mormon—The Saints Counseled to Endure Their Afflictions, Take Care of Themselves, and Serve God—Conclusion

Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, Feb. 1, 1885.

I have been very much interested in the remarks made by Brother Erastus Snow, who has addressed us.

These are precious principles which only the Saints know how to comprehend and appreciate. We are told “that the natural man perceiveth not the things of God, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned,” and therefore those outside of that influence and spirit which is communicated to the Saints of the Most High, through obedience to the Gospel of the Son of God, find it very difficult to understand them. But we comprehend them, because God has given unto us His Spirit, which takes of the things of God, and shows them unto us.

I and a few others have been away from here for some time, visiting among our southern brethren; Brother Snow, who has just spoken to you, was one of the party. It appears rather an inclement season of the year to go on a journey of that kind; but circumstances seemed to make it necessary that we should go and look after the interests of the people, socially and politically; for notwithstanding our religious ideas, we still have certain rights, privileges and immunities, which belong to us as individuals and as citizens of the United States, in common with others. And seeing that things were quite loose in those far-off settlements, and that men and their families were being subjected to various kinds of outrage, usurpation and imposition, in many instances under the form of law, it seemed necessary that somebody should attend to these matters, and I thought it best for me to go, in company with others of our brethren, to ascertain what was the true position of affairs, and to give such counsel as the circumstances might demand. We found that a great many outrages had been perpetrated upon many of our brethren; that they had been dealt with contrary to law, and in violation, as has been referred to, of the rules of jurisprudence governing such matters; that a vindictive and persecuting spirit had been manifested, and that several of the brethren had been sent off to a distant land from their own. I did not know but that they were without a prison in Arizona, when I heard of these things, and that therefore they had sent a number of honorable men who differed from them in their religious sentiments off to Detroit. I had these things inquired into and found they had a good Penitentiary in Arizona, and that there was no necessity for any such outrage as this to be perpetrated upon decent men. I was sorry to find that things had been conducted in this unusual and vindictive manner, and without any ostensible reason for such extra-judicial acts. Not only because injustice had been heaped upon honorable men, but also because of the position in which it places the nation which was once the pride and glory of all lovers of freedom and equal rights, and boasted of as being “the land of the free, the home of the brave, and an asylum for the oppressed.” These foolish men are now seeking to carry out the enormities that existed among what was called the civilization and intelligence of ancient barbarism, then, as now, under the name of Christianity, and other euphonious appellations which are common to us, and that we are well acquainted with. I was in hopes that things were not so bad as they were represented to be, but I found that I was mistaken in that matter, and I was sorry to find myself so mistaken.

In relation to this anomalous form of proceeding they are now copying the example of Russia, which is generally considered an arbitrary government, and where despotism has been supposed to reign supreme; they have in that nation a place called Siberia, to which they banish men, under a despotic rule, without much formality of trial. I was hardly prepared today to suppose that we needed an American Siberia under the form and in the name of liberty and the rights of men. But this is the fact. We have herein America today an American Siberia in Detroit, to which place, upwards of two thousand miles from their homes, men are banished for a term of years; and what for? Because they have the temerity to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience, and cannot fall down and worship before the Moloch of an effete Christianity.

These extraordinary proceedings that have been going on in this Territory, in Arizona and in other places, simply exhibit the very principle that Brother Snow has been speaking of. I need not tell you about affairs that have transpired here. You are quite as well acquainted with them as I am, and ought to be better: for I have been away from here for about four weeks visiting the Saints in our southern settlements, and we have had a most pleasant visit. Outside of these extraordinary proceedings, we found the people prospering very well, with pleasant homes and bright prospects before them. We had with us several of our best brethren, and we visited many of our settlements in that district of country, the residents of which were very much gratified at our appearance in their midst, and for the counsels they received. But I found that such had been the outrages committed that it was impossible almost for any man standing in an honorable position to maintain his position unless he broke the law by resisting the officers, and they thought it not prudent to do so, and so did I. It may suit others to violate the law, to trample upon human rights, and desecrate the sacred term of liberty, and this is frequently done by the arbiters and minions of the law in the name of justice; but we profess to be governed by higher, by nobler and more exalted principles, and to move on a higher plane; and if Jesus could afford to endure the attacks of sinners against Himself, we, if we have the Gospel that we profess to have, ought to be able to endure a little of the same thing. There is nothing new in these affairs, nothing strange in this at all. Many of you have had much to do with these matters. Some of these grey-headed men that I see before me know a little more about those matters than some of the younger portion do. Many of you have been driven from your homes, robbed of your property, dispossessed of your possessions and had to flee from your homes to these mountain valleys, and seek an asylum among the red savages which was denied you by your so-called Christian brethren. Before you came here you were banished from the State of Missouri into the State of Illinois. What for? Because you had the audacity to worship God according to the dictates of your own consciences. I have had to flee from bloodthirsty bandits time and time again. Brother Snow had to do it, and many of you grey-headed men and women have had to do it. What for? Because of polygamy? No, there was no such thing then alleged. What for? Because you had the hardihood, in this land of freedom, to worship God according to the dictates of your own consciences. For this crime you had to leave your homes, and you were despoiled and robbed and plundered, and had to flee as exiles into another land. I had to do it, you have had to do it. You fled from Missouri to Illinois, and then from Illinois to this land, and why? Why did you leave Illinois and come here? Did you injure anybody? No. They killed your Prophets, and I saw them martyred, and was shot most unmercifully myself, under the pledge of protection from the Governor, and they thought they had killed me; but I am alive yet by the grace of God (sensation). Why had you to leave? Because they murdered your Prophets, and wanted to possess themselves of your property; murder and spoliation generally go together. And because they killed them, they accused you of doing some wrong, said you must leave your homes, and there was nobody found in all that wide land to check the outrages of those red-handed assassins, to administer justice and to preserve you in your rights. I do not know any other reason; I never did know any other, and never expect to be informed of any other.

The history of these things is quite familiar to you as Latter-day Saints, and you do not think it anything strange. Some of our young people think that the present proceedings are very remarkable. But many of us, grey-headed folks, have seen plenty of such proceedings, and have had many experiences of this kind; they are nothing new to us at all. And did we ever expect them to get better? We have not so understood it. We are told in the Scriptures, and we have kept teaching it all the while, that “the wicked would grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” That is doctrine which I have believed in for the last 50 years and I have had a good deal of testimony and practical confirmation on that point. We expect that these things will tran spire. We have been told about secret organizations that should exist, and they are beginning to permeate these United States, and are laying the foundation for disruption, disintegration and destruction. It is not necessary that Congress and the Judiciary should set examples of tyranny and violation of Constitutional law, and attack the fundamental principles of free government and the rights of man; for there is plenty of that kind of spirit abroad; yet men who profess to be the conservators of the peace and the maintainers of law join in these nefarious, unholy, tyrannical and oppressive measures. There are any number who are ready to follow in their footsteps, and the whole nation today is standing on a volcano; but they do not seem to comprehend it. Well, are we surprised? I am not. It is strictly in accordance with my faith: it is strictly in accordance with the Old Testament Scriptures; and it is strictly in accordance with the Book of Mormon; it is strictly in accordance with the revelations given to us by Joseph Smith, and all these events that have been predicted will most assuredly transpire. But I suppose it is necessary that “judgment should first begin at the house of God,” and if it does, “where will the wicked and the ungodly appear,” when it comes upon them? We are told that the wicked shall slay the wicked. We need not trouble ourselves about the affairs of the nations, the Lord will manipulate them in His own way. I feel full of sympathy for the nation in which we live, and for other nations, in consequence of the troubles with which they are beset and which are now threatening them; yet they do not seem to comprehend the position. I know a little of some of the things that will transpire among them, and I feel sorry. Do you feel sorry for yourself? Not at all, not at all. Do you feel sorry for your people? Not at all, not at all. The Lord God has revealed unto us great and eternal principles which reach beyond this earth into the eternal heavens, and which have put us in possession of light and truth and intelligence, and promises and blessings that the world are ignorant of and do not and cannot comprehend. I feel every day to bless the name of the God of Israel, and feel like shouting, “Hosanna! Hosanna!! Hosanna!!! to the God of Israel, Amen and Amen,” who will rule among the nations of the earth, and manipulate things according to the counsel of His own will. These are my feelings in regard to these matters. But then I feel interested in the welfare of my brethren and sisters, and when I see their rights interfered with and trampled ruthlessly under foot, I feel that there is something at work that ought not to be, and yet that is quite necessary to teach us some of the principles of human nature, that we may be able to discern between the good, the virtuous, the upright and the holy; and the impure, the foolish, the vindictive, the corrupt, the lascivious, and those who are trampling under foot the laws and principles of eternal truth. God has revealed unto us certain principles pertaining to the future which men may take objection to. He has revealed unto us certain principles pertaining to the perpetuity of man and of woman; pertaining to the sacred rights and obligations which existed from the beginning; and He has told us to obey these laws. The nation tells us, “If you do we will persecute you and proscribe you.” Which shall we obey? I would like to obey and place myself in subjection to every law of man. What then? Am I to disobey the law of God? Has any man a right to control my conscience, or your conscience, or to tell me I shall believe this or believe the other, or reject this or reject the other? No man has a right to do it. These principles are sacred, and the forefathers of this nation felt so and so proclaimed it in the Constitution of the United States, and said “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Now, I believe they have violated that, and have violated their oaths, those that have engaged in these things and passed that law, and those that are seeking to carry it out. Congress and the President of the United States and the Judiciary, and all administrators of the law are as much bound by that instrument as I am and as you are, and have sworn to maintain it inviolate. It is for them to settle these matters between themselves and their God. That is my faith in relation to this matter. Yet by their action they are interfering with my rights, my liberty and my religion, and with those sacred principles that bind me to my God, to my family, to my wives and my children; and shall I be recreant to all these noble principles that ought to guide and govern men? No, Never! No, NEVER! NO, NEVER! I can endure more than I have done, and all that God will enable me to endure, I can die for the truth; but I cannot as an honorable man disobey my God at their behest, forsake my wives and my children, and trample these holy and eternal obligations under foot, that God has given me to keep, and which reach into the eternities that are to come. I won’t do it, so help me, God. [Here the speaker vigorously struck the book on the desk, and the large audience responded with a loud “Amen.”] The Constitution expressly says that no law shall be passed impairing the obligation of contracts. But we have entered into covenants and contracts in our most sacred places, and that, too, in many instances, before there was any law prohibiting the same, and yet the attempt is now being made to give the Edmunds law an ex post facto application and to punish us for these contracts which were not criminal, even from the standpoint of our enemies, at the time they were formed. I myself married my wives long before there was any law upon the subject, and many of you did the same, yet by an ex post facto application of laws since enacted the attempt is now made to punish us as criminals. I have never broken any law of these United States, and I presume that some of you, whom our enemies now seek to criminate and drag into court as violators of law, can say the same. Under the present system of things in this Territory, harlotry and adultery are vindicated, sustained and unblushingly protected, and honorable and virtuous wedlock is trampled upon, condemned and punished. Well, what will you do? I will obey every Constitutional law so far as God gives me ability. What else will you do? I will meet these men as far as I can without violating principle, and I have done it. When this infamous Edmunds law was passed, I saw that there were features in that which were contrary to law, violative of the Constitution, contrary to justice and the rights and the freedom of men. But I said to myself I will let that law take its course; I will place myself in accordance with it, so far as I can. Did I do it? I did. I remember talking to Mr. Pierrepont, who was Attorney-General under President Grant’s administration. He with his son called upon me. They dined with me, and perhaps I can explain my views on this subject by repeating our conversation as well as any other way. I have a sister keeping my house for me—the Gardo House. When Mr. Pierrepont came in, I said:

“Mr. Pierrepont, permit me to introduce you to my sister, who is my housekeeper. It is not lawful for us to have wives now. And when the Edmunds law was passed I looked carefully over the document, and saw that if I was to continue to live in the same house with my wives that I should render myself liable to that law. I did not wish—although I considered the law infamous—to be an obstructionist, or act the part of a Fenian, or of a Nihilist, or of a Kuklux, or communist, or Molly Maguire, or any of those secret societies that are set on foot to produce the disintegration of society and disturb the relations that ought to exist between man and man, between man and woman, or man and his God. I desired to place myself in obedience or in as close conformity as practicable to the law, and thought I would wait and see what the result would be; and that if the nation can stand these things I can or we can. These are my feelings. Men and nations and legislators often act foolishly, and do things that are unwise, and it is not proper that a nation should be condemned for the unwise actions of some few men. Therefore I have sought to place myself in accord with that law. I said to my wives: “We are living in this building together. We were quite comfortably situated, and we might so have continued, but I said to them that under the circumstances it will be better for me or for you to leave this place; you can take your choice. They had their homes down here which they now inhabit; which were quite comfortable. So I said to them, you can go there and I will stay here, or you can stay at the Gardo House and I will go there or somewhere else; for I wish to conform to this Edmunds law as much as I can.”

I am always desirous to let everything have its perfect working. We talk sometimes about patience having its perfect work. If we have laws passed against us I like to see them have a fair opportunity to develop and see what the result will be. These were my feelings then, and they are my feelings today.

Well, do you think, then, that the people have been outraged? I most certainly do. The usage has been in all legal trials among all civilized nations to presume that all men are innocent until proven guilty; but we now have test oaths introduced, which is another violation of the Constitution and by which an attempt is being made to hold all men guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Again: there is a usage which has existed among the civilized nations, and in this nation also, that a man must be tried by a jury of his peers, selected from the vicinage, but the juries selected for our courts are composed today of our bitter persecutors and our most relentless enemies, and in many instances selected from the lowest and most debased men who can be found or picked up from the gutters. We also have another class of courts improvised for the occasion in the shape of “U. S. Commissioners’ courts,” which are operated and run after the order of the ancient notorious “Star Chamber.” Such institutions provoke the contempt of all honorable men, and the parties assuming such offices place themselves in a position to be despised of their fellows. I might enumerate many other outrages, but time will not permit on this occasion. No man’s liberties are safe under such administration. What will be the result? The result will be that those that sow the wind will reap the whirlwind. When men begin to tear down the barriers and tamper with the fundamental principles and institutions of our country, they are playing a very dangerous game, and are severing the bonds which hold society together, and the beginning of these irregularities is like the letting out of water. The next step that followed the Edmunds Act, was the introduction of a test oath. The legislation already provided was not good enough for some of our officials here and another portion of the Constitution must be broken to introduce a test oath without any authority. I think this was introduced by our Governor. Then comes another class of men called Commissioners, rather a new idea in American Government. Yet it was thought necessary that extraordinary operations should be entered into in relation to the Mormons. Why? Because it is necessary that they should be dealt with differently from anybody else.

Now, I have seen some of my brethren shot to pieces in cold blood and under the protection of the State Government, and the promise of the Governor made to myself and Dr. John M. Bernhisel, who is sometime ago dead. In Missouri a great deal of that thing was done. In Georgia lately, and in Tennessee acts of the same kind have been perpetrated. Now, I want to know if anybody can tell me—here is a large congregation, and many thousands of you acquainted with our history—I want to know if anyone of you can tell me of any individual that was ever punished according to law for killing a Mormon. Speak it out, if you know it. I do not know of any such thing. Brother Snow says there is not an instance on record. Well, I would rather be on the side of the Mormons in that case than on the side of those who are their persecutors and murderers, for they have got something to atone for yet, which we have not under those circumstances. We have got through with our part of it. The other is not through with yet. There are eternal principles of justice and equity that exist in the bosom of God, and He, in His own time, will manipulate these things according to the counsel of His own will; and with what measure men mete, as sure as God lives, it will be measured to them again, pressed down and running over.

Very well, what would you advise us to do? Are we suffering any wrongs? Yes. Well, what would you do? I would do as I said some time ago. If you were out in a storm, pull up the collar of your coat and button yourself up, and keep the cold out until the storm blows past. This storm will blow past as others have done; and you will see that many of the miserable sneaks who are active in those measures, and who are crawling about your doors, and trying to spy into your houses, etc., will be glad to crawl into their holes by-and-by. Well, what will you do? Get angry? No, not at all. Let these men have their day and pursue their own course; we will protect ourselves from them as well as we can. Why, some of our folks in the South were actually try ing to seek an asylum in another land away from the persecutions of free America, and I do not know but that we shall have a lot of pilgrim Fathers again here in this country, fleeing, not from England by way of Holland, nor from France, nor from any of those countries where they used to persecute people and proscribe them for their religion, but from America, “The land of the free, the home of the brave, and the asylum for the oppressed”—fleeing from there because of their religious sentiments. What an idea! Who could have thought of it? People say that history repeats itself. It is so doing in our day. Well, what would you do? Observe the laws as much as you can. Bear with these indignities as much as you can. But it would not be well for these men to perform their antics anywhere else than among the Saints, or they would dangle to the poles, lots of them, by the neck, if they attempted any such acts. No people would endure these things as the Latter-day Saints do. Will you endure them? Yes, a little longer. Wait a little longer. And after you have borne with a good deal, then endure “as seeing Him that is invisible,” and cultivate those principles that Brother Snow has so beautifully set before us, and feel, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you.” Well, what would you do? Would you resent these outrages and break the heads of the men engaged in them, and spill their blood? No. Avoid them as much as you possibly can—just as you would wolves, or hyenas, or crocodiles, or snakes, or any of these beasts or reptiles; avoid them as much as you can, and take care they do not bite you. [Laughter.] And get out of the way as much as you can. What? Won’t you submit to the dignity of the law? Well, I would if the law would only be a little dignified. But when we see the ermine bedraggled in the mud and mire, and every principle of justice violated, it behooves men to take care of themselves as best they may. That is what I have told people while I have been in the south—to take care of their liberties, to put their trust in the living God, to obey every constitutional law, and to adhere to all correct principles. But when men tamper with your rights and with your liberties, when the cities are full of spies and the lowest and meanest of men are set to watch and dog your footsteps; when little children are set in array against their fathers and mothers, and women and children are badgered before courts, and made to submit, unprotected, to the gibes of libertines and corrupt men; when wives and husbands are pitted against each other and threatened with pains, penalties and imprisonment, if they will not disclose that which among all decent people is considered sacred, and which no man of delicacy, whose sensibilities had not been blunted by low associations, would ever ask; when such a condition of affairs exists, it is no longer a land of liberty, and it is certainly no longer a land of equal rights, and we must take care of ourselves as best we may, and avoid being caught in any of their snares. I cannot think that this crusade is aimed entirely at us; from many circumstances that have transpired, I have been led to believe that whilst we are made the victims, these proceedings are introduced as a political ruse, for the purpose of embarrassing the incoming administration. What would you do? Would you fight them? No. I would take care of myself as best I can, and I would advise my brethren to do the same. Would you resist law? No. As I said before, I can stand it if they can. It is for us to do what is right, to fear God, to observe His laws, and keep His commandments, and the Lord will manage all the rest. But no breaking of heads, no bloodshed, no rendering evil for evil. Let us try and cultivate the spirit of the Gospel, and adhere to the principles of truth. Let us honor our God, and be true to those eternal principles which God has given us to hold sacred. Keep them as sacredly as you would the apple of your eye. And while other men are seeking to trample the Constitution under foot, we will try to maintain it. We have prophecies something like this somewhere; that the time would come when this nation would do as they are now doing—that is, they would trample under foot the Constitution and institutions of the nation, and the Elders of this Church would rally around the standard and maintain those principles which were introduced for the freedom and protection of men. We expect to do that, and to maintain all correct principle. I will tell you what you will see by and by. You will see trouble, trouble, trouble enough in these United States. And as I have said before I say today, I tell you in the name of God, Woe! to them that fight against Zion, for God will fight against them. But let us be on the side of human liberty and human rights, and the protection of all correct principles and laws and government, and maintain every principle that is upright and virtuous and honorable, and let the world take the balance if they want, we don’t want it. We will cleave to the truth, God being our helper, and try to introduce principles whereby the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And we will obey every institution of man for the Lord’s sake so far as we can without violating our consciences and doing things that are wrong and improper.

God bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Object of Gathering—Our Principles and Organization Revealed From God—He is Cognizant of All Things—Our Faith not Affected By the Ideas of Men—Our Dependence Upon God—Enoch’s City—God’s Justice in Sending the Flood, and in the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah—His Judgments Will Come Upon Those Who Persecute His Saints—The Lord Will Bless His People—We Will Stand By the Constitution Though Others Ignore It

Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Evening, December 14th, 1884.

We hear a great many things associated with the Church and Kingdom of God in which, as a people, we are very much interested.

We meet together, from time to time, to sing, to pray, to speak, to hear and to attend to the various duties and responsibilities that devolve upon us. We are taught of things pertaining to time and things pertaining to eternity, and perhaps we are more favored—well, there is no perhaps about it—we are more favored than any other people that dwell upon the face of the whole earth. We have been gathered together from among the nations of the earth in order that we may be instructed in the laws of God, and in the principles of truth and life, that we may be able to comprehend our relationship to our heavenly Father, to his Son Jesus Christ, to the Priesthood that exists in the heavens, and to the inhabitants of the earth by whom we are surrounded, and among whom we dwell.

There is something very peculiar about the position which we occupy among the nations of the earth. We have not received any of the intelligence which we possess from these nations, with the exception of some matters pertaining to science, to art, and the common education of the day. But as regards our religious principles we are not indebted to any men who live upon the earth for them. These principles emanated from God. They were given by revelation, and if we have a First Presidency, if we have High Priests, if we have Seventies, if we have Bishops, Elders, Priests and Teachers, if we have Stake and other organizations, we have received them all from God. If we have Temples, if we administer in them, it is because we have received instruction in relation thereto from the Lord. If we know anything pertaining to the future, it comes from him, and in fact we live in God, we move in God, and from him we derive our being. Men generally will not acknowledge this, but we as Latter day Saints believe in these truths. Not one of us could have entered this house this evening without being sustained by the power of God. Not one of us could leave this house without guidance, strength and power from him to accomplish it. We have been taught to believe that he is the Creator of all things visible and invisible, whether they be things in the heavens or on the earth, whether they belong to this world or other worlds, and that there is an all wise, all powerful Being, who controls, manipulates and manages all the affairs of the human family, and this is true whether it relates to the world in which we live, to the heavens that are above us, or to other worlds by which we are surrounded. It relates to our bodies and to our spirits, and to all things associated therewith. Hence we are very dependent beings. In the organization of man, in the organization of this earth, and in the organization of the heavens, there were certain things designed by the Almighty to be carried out, and that will be carried out according to the purposes of the Most High, which things were known to him from the beginning. There exists all manner of curious opinions about God, and many people think it impossible for him to take cognizance of all men, but that is very easily done. If I had time to enter into this subject alone I could show you upon scientific principles that man himself is a self-registering machine, his eyes, his ears, his nose, the touch, the taste, and all the various senses of the body, are so many media whereby man lays up for himself a record which perhaps nobody else is acquainted with but himself; and when the time comes for that record to be unfolded all men that have eyes to see, and ears to hear, will be able to read all things as God himself reads them and comprehends them, and all things, we are told, are naked and open before him with whom we have to do. We are told in relation to these matters that the hairs of our heads are numbered; that even a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without our heavenly Father’s notice; and predicated upon some of these principles are some things taught by Jesus, where he tells men to ask and they shall receive. What! The millions that live upon the earth? Yes, the millions of people, no matter how many there are. Can he hear and answer all? Can he attend to all these things? Yes. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” It is difficult for men to comprehend some of these things, and, as they cannot comprehend them they begin to think they are all nonsense—that is, many do—and, hence, infidelity and skepticism prevail to a great extent. A great many strange notions are entertained in regard to God and his dealings with humanity. This is because men do not understand the things of God. I read in one of our papers a short time ago, that there was some kind of a commission going to meet—some two or three professors or scientists, men who are supposed to possess superior intelligence—to examine the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, to find out whether it was true or not, and I suppose if these people—especially if they should be pious men, possessing a little learning and science—should come out and say the Book of Mormon was not true, we all of us should have to lay it aside should we not? This to me is the veriest nonsense. It would not make one hair’s difference with us whether such a commission should decide that the Book of Mormon is right or wrong. If they decide that it is true it will not increase our faith in it; if they decide that it is not true, it will not decrease our faith in it. Yet these are ideas that men entertain.

Speaking upon this point I am reminded of an incident that took place a number of years ago. Several prominent European scientists called upon me, and they talked a little upon our religious principles. Then they asked me if I was acquainted with the advanced ideas in regard to geology. I told them I knew a little about them from what I had read. “What do you think,” said one of them to me, of these views as compared with the scriptural account of the creation of the world?” “Well,” said I, “the great difficulty is that men do not understand the Scriptures.” They could not see any difficulty on that ground, for they all had their eyes to see, and they had an understanding of words, languages, etc. “Well,” said I, “we won’t go through the whole Bible, for that is quite a large book; but I will take one or two of the first lines in the Bible. ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ Will you please tell me when the beginning was? “We don’t know,” “When you find that out,” said I, “then I will tell you when the world was created.” A good many other things transpired associated with this interview, that I do not wish now to repeat. Suffice it to say that before they got through, one of them said: “I have read a good deal, I have studied a good deal, I find I have a good deal more to read and study yet.” I thought so too. I thought if men could not understand the first two lines of the Bible, it would be quite a task to teach them the whole of it.

In regard to the work in which we are engaged, as I said before and as you have heard over and over again, it emanated from God, and all the principles pertaining to it, came from Him. We talk sometimes about this work, and how it is going to be accomplished. The work we are engaged in is the work of God. If it is accomplished it will be accomplished by the power of God, by the wisdom of God, by the intelligence of God, and by the Priesthood that dwells with the Gods in the eternal worlds, together with that which he has conferred upon his people here upon the earth, and not by any other power or influence in existence. We talk of a Zion that is to be built up. If a Zion is ever built up on this earth, it will have to be under the guidance and direction of the Almighty. We talk about a Church that is to be built up and purified. If it is ever built up and purified, it will be under the influence of the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of God manifested among his people, whereby iniquity will be rooted out, righteousness sustained, the principles of truth advanced, honor, integrity, truth and virtue maintained, and hypocrisy, evil, crime and corruption of every kind be rooted out. That will have to be done by the aid and under the guidance of the Almighty. There is no man living in and of himself, can guide the ship of Zion or regulate the affairs of the Church and Kingdom of God unaided by the Spirit of God, and hence he has organized the Church as he has with all the various quorums and organizations as they exist today. Who can boast or has anything to say in relation to these things? No man living, no man that has lived. If Joseph Smith knew anything about these things, it was because God revealed it, and He has revealed many great and precious principles in which the children of men are interested pertaining to this world and to the next, pertaining to the living and the dead, pertaining to time and eternity, and pertaining to all things associated with the happiness and exaltation of man. All these things emanated from God. And if Brigham Young knew anything he received his intelligence from God and from the Prophet of God; and if any of us know anything we have received it from the same source. We are told that He is in all things, through all things, and about all things, and by Him all things exist. He is the light of the sun and the power thereof, by which it was made; the light of the moon and the power thereof, by which it was made; and the light of the stars and the power thereof, by which they were made; and it is the same light that enlighteneth the understanding of man. This may seem strange doctrine to some. We have been taught to believe that there was a difference between mental and visual light; nevertheless the above statement is philosophically true.

In regard to the earth, is it the Lord’s? Yes. We are told that he made it, that he created all things, visible and invisible, whether pertaining to the earth or to the heavens. And where did man originate? As we read it, he originated also from God. Who formed man according to the Bible record? The Lord. Whence came our spirits? We are told that God is the God and Father of the spirits of all flesh. Then He of course is interested in the welfare of all flesh and all people of all languages, of all tongues, of every color, and of every clime. That is the way that I understand these things. Our spirits are eternal and emanate from God. So we, as a people, have always understood and do understand today. We possess our bodies also, and they also emanated from God. The Bible tells us something in relation to these matters in tracing out genealogies. Who was Seth? He was the son of Adam. Who was Adam? The son of God. In another place we are told that “all we are His offspring”—that is, according to that, we are all the offspring of God.

Now, this earth was formed for a certain purpose, and man was also formed for a certain purpose. And there are certain principles laid down—you will find them in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and in the various revelations that God has made through his servants—there are certain principles laid down indicating that there are different grades of men possessing varied powers and privileges, and that these men have to pass through a certain ordeal—called by many a probation—that is, that we are here in a probationary state, in a state of trial; and that as men live and act according to the intelligence they are in possession of—the privileges which they enjoy, and the deeds that they perform, whether for good or evil, there will be a time of judgment, and that there will be a separation, of these various peoples according to the way in which they have lived and acted upon the earth. Hence Paul tells that there are bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial, that there is one glory of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars, and as one star differeth from another star in glory, so shall it also be in the resurrection. Joseph Smith, in speaking on the same subject, tells us that there are bodies celestial, bodies terrestrial, and bodies telestial, which agrees precisely with the remarks made by Paul, only in other language. Thus there are many curious things associated with our existence here upon the earth, which the natural man does not and cannot comprehend. No man can know the things of God, but by the Spirit of God.

Now, then, on this earth—which we call the Lord’s vineyard—He has sent forth His servants from time to time to gather people into His fold, to gather out a few here and a few there who would be prepared to act and operate with Him, and then, generally, these have been a comparatively small number. Jesus said when He was upon the earth “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” And it would seem, according to the testimonies we have both in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon, that the Lord has taken great pains in different ages of the world to send forth His servants to preach the Gospel to the people. We find this especially so in Noah’s day, and in the days of Enoch. There was a remarkable work performed then according to the revelations which have been given to us, which will be more fully developed when the Lord shall see fit to reveal other things associated therewith. But we learn that there was a Church organized about as ours may be; we learn that they went forth and preached the Gospel; we learn that they were gathered together to a place called Zion; we learn that the people of Zion were under the guidance, direction and teaching of the Almighty; in order that they might be prepared for another Zion in the grand drama associated with the dealings of God and his purposes pertaining to this earth and the heavens. We read that they walked with God for 365 years. We are told in the Bible a little short story about it, because it was one of those things that it was not necessary that everybody should know. We are told that “Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him.” But there was more about it than that. Enoch preached the Gospel to the people, and so did hundreds of Elders as they are doing today; and they gathered the people together and built up a Zion to the Lord, and when Enoch was not, but was caught up, Enoch’s city was not, but was caught up, and there were certain things associated therewith that are very peculiar. Why were they taken away from the earth? Because of the corruptions of men, because of the wickedness of men, because mankind had forsaken God, and become as broken cisterns that could hold no water, because they were not fulfilling the measure of their creation, and because it was not proper that they should live and perpetuate a race that was so corrupt and abominable. But before this was done, the righteous, the virtuous, the honorable, the pure, the upright were gathered together, and taught and instructed in the things of God. And what came next? Why, the destruction of the world. It was overflowed, we read, by the flood. What! And all the people destroyed? Yes, except a very few, according to the statements we have. “Well,” say some of our wise men, “was not that cruel to destroy so many people?” Perhaps it would be according to your ideas, but it was not according to the Lord’s ideas: because he looked upon men as immortal beings. These men were accountable to their Maker, they had a dual existence, they were associated with time and with eternity, and we might go still further and say they were associated with the past, the present and the future, and the Lord as a great cosmogonist, took in the various stages of man’s existence, and operated for the general benefit of the whole. But was it not cruel to destroy them? I think God understood precisely what He was doing. They were His offspring, and He knowing things better than they did, and they having placed themselves under the power and dominion of Satan, He thought they had better be removed and another class of men be introduced. Why? There were other persons concerned besides them. There were millions of spirits in the eternal worlds who would shrink from being contaminated by the wicked and corrupt, the debauchee, the dishonest, the fraudulent, the hypocrite, and men who trampled upon the ordinances of God. It might seem harsh for these men to be swept off from the face of the earth, and not allowed to perpetuate their species thereon; but what about the justice of forcing these pure spirits to come and inhabit tabernacles begotten by debauched corrupt reprobates, the imagination of whose heart was only evil, and that continually—what about them? Had they no rights that God was bound to respect? Certainly they had, and He respected them. He cut off the wicked. What did he do with them? He did with them as we do with some of the wicked, and that we do not do with a great many others—that is, they were put in prison. Had He a right to do that? I think He had. They were his offspring. I think He had the right to act according to the counsel of His own will. At any rate he took the liberty of doing it. And who was there to say, “Why doest thou this?” First, He called upon them to forsake their wickedness, but they would not, and a while after He destroyed them. Had He a right to do it? He had and He sent them to hell. Some people talk about roasting there. That is something of man’s getting up. He sent them to prison, and they were confined there, and when the proper time came, Jesus, when He was put to death in the flesh, was quickened by the Spirit, and went and preached to those spirits that sometime were disobedient in the days of Noah. Perhaps they had time enough during their stay, to reflect upon their acts, and to become a little steadier, and to reflect upon God and His laws. At any rate Jesus went and preached to those spirits in prison.

What, then, became of the inhabitants of the world? There were a few who went through the narrow gate that Jesus spoke of, and they were caught up and Zion with them, and the Lord is taking care of them in his own way. They will be dealt with according to His purposes and designs, and be numbered among His jewels. The others, as I have said, were cast into prison, and there they remained about 2,500 years. It was a pretty long imprisonment. Still the Lord had a right to manipulate these things as He pleased, and He so manipulated them, and although this time seems very long, yet in the eternities to come it would only be a comparatively short period; and if they needed a schooling of this kind He, as their Father and Creator, was the proper one to adjudge their punishment.

Sometime after this there were certain cities that had become very corrupt, such as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord had a reckoning with them, handled them in His own way according to His best judgment. Abraham was a man who feared God, and God said: “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do.” So He informed Abraham about it. Abraham plead with the Lord, “Why,” said he, “Lot lives down there, a nephew of mine, and a pretty good sort of a man, and there may be a great many others.” The Lord said: “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous, within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” Abraham, however, thought this was more than he could pick out. I expect there was a crowd of mean “cusses” among them as we have among us. And finally the Lord said that if ten righteous could be found in the city, He would not destroy it for ten’s sake. But ten righteous people could not be found, and therefore the city had to be destroyed. What! All the people? Yes, all the people. But before they were destroyed he sent two angels and they brought out Lot, his wife and daughters. His wife was a little tinctured with gentilism: she looked back, and the Scriptures tell us she was turned into a pillar of salt. When they got away, brimstone and fire fell upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them. Thus the Lord has taken the privilege in many instances of correcting mankind. He used the children of Israel to kill the people who dwelt in the land of Canaan, and directed them to spare them not, because of their wickedness, to cut them off root and branch. He raised up one nation and put down another, and raised up one king and put down another.

There were times when the iniquity of these people was not yet full. In Abraham’s day the Lord told that Patriarch that he should go to his fathers in peace, but in the fourth generation his posterity should “come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full:” by the days of Moses they appear to have filled the cup of their iniquity, for he enjoined upon the Israelites, thou shalt utterly destroy them,” “as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.” So that the Lord takes upon Himself to manipulate the nations according to the counsels of His own will, and as they all of them have to do with eternity as well as time, He adjudges them according to the eternal laws and principles by which He is governed; and hence we are told that eternal punishment is God’s punishment, and everlasting punishment is God’s punishment, thus men and nations are adjudged by the Almighty, according to the infinite and eternal laws and principles which exist in the heavens, and with a reference to eternal duration and not according to the finite, erratic and limited ideas of men. Jonah was sent to the city of Ninevah, to tell the people to repent, and that if they did not repent they would all be destroyed. But they listened to the voice of the Prophet. They clothed themselves in sackcloth and sat in ashes and repented before the Lord, and then the Lord forgave them. Why was it that a great many people were thus judged by the Almighty? It was because of their iniquity. The same thing prevailed upon this continent. The spirit of evil and contention, war and strife, existed among the ancient Jaredites, when they forsook their God, and violated his laws. They fought one with another. They were maddened by fury, even that fury which was lit up by the fires of hell and by the spirit of fiends, until they completely destroyed one another. So it was with the Nephites who had departed from the law of God, and trampled under foot his ordinances. They and the Lamanites were stirred up one against another, until at last they gathered together thousands and tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of fighting men—they were four years in gathering their armies, and they fought and shed blood and spread destruction and death wherever they went. We can read the account of it in the Book of Mormon, and I do not propose to repeat it here this evening.

Now, how is it pertaining to the last days? As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it also be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. In what respect? In the days of Noah did they have the Gospel preached unto them? Yes. Did the people generally reject it? Yes. Did the people gather together and build up a Zion? Yes. How is it in these days? The Lord has revealed his Gospel to us as he did to them. He has sent forth the words of life, and is sending them to the nations of the earth. Hundreds of Elders are going today, and taking their lives in their hands, and some of them have to sacrifice their lives! And others, in this land of liberty, because they will be virtuous and keep the commands of God, are today weltering in prison. Woe! to those who have a hand in these things. I tell you and I tell them, as a servant of God, in the name of God, that he will be after them and they shall suffer worse than that which they inflict upon innocent, pure and virtuous men. Now, I bear testimony to this, and you will know it when it comes to pass. Woe! to them that fight against Zion, for God will fight against them—hypocrites! who are wallowing in filthiness, corruption, adultery, fornication and deception, in the name of virtue are seeking to destroy a virtuous people, and those who dare honor and obey the commandments of God.

Then, in regard to the work in which we are engaged. Will it go on? I tell you it will. Will Zion be built up? I tell you it will. Will the Zion that Enoch built up, descend? It most assuredly will, and this that we are building up will ascend, and the two will meet and the peoples thereof will fall on each other’s necks, and embrace each other. So says the word of God to us. Will we go on with our work? With the help of the Lord we will. He has told us to do a work, and we will try to carry it out—we of the First Presidency, we of the Twelve, we of the Seventies, we of the Elders, we of the High Priests, we of the Presidents of Stakes, we of the Bishops, and we of the Holy Priesthood in all its various forms. By the help of the Lord, we will try, first, to purify ourselves, to purify our households, to get rid of covetousness, deception and fraud of every kind, to act honorably before God and before all men, and to love not the world, nor the things that are in the world; for if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Anything that we may have or possess comes from God; and if we are exalted, if we possess the good things of the world—which I tell you in the name of Israel’s God we shall, in spite of all men and all their influences, for the people of Zion will be the richest of all people. This is in accordance with the Scriptures. The Scripture tells us: “For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring sliver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in the land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders.”

The Lord has gathered us together that we may learn His law; that we may be instructed in the principles of truth, righteousness and virtue; that we may be prepared to honor and magnify our calling, and glorify our God.

Well, what would you have us do when men are so corrupt—when it is enough for a man here, because he has the kindness to take some chickens for a poor woman to sell for her—when that is enough evidence to convict him that he is an adulterer, and must be placed under bonds and subjected to trial and punishment. What do they do with their Christian whores that they have in our midst? Where do they come from? They are not our institution. But they are protected, they can vote, they can do as they please, no process can be introduced against them, for they are a part of their institution, and must be protected; but anything “in the marriage relation,” you know, is different from that.

Well, what shall we do? We will treat all decent men very well, and we will give the others a wide berth. These corrupt and villainous men who are seeking to trample under foot the rights of free men and deprive them of everything in life that is worth having, will suffer the bondage they are seeking to bring upon us. I tell you that, and we need not try to make these affairs any worse. We will treat them as well as we can. There are thousands and tens of thousands who despise their meanness and corruption—honorable Americans, thousands and tens of thousands of them who are ashamed of the meanness and corruption of these wretches; and there are thousands of men abroad who have just the same feeling. I saw and conversed with a member of the British Parliament recently, and in speaking about Rudger Clawson’s case, said he: “It is one of the most infamous things I ever heard of, and if you will permit me I will go to the President of the United States, and ask him to pardon that man.” “Why, yes,” said I, “you have my permission certainly.” That is the way a British member of Parliament talked about the acts and doings of some of our officials here right in our midst. Yet, notwithstanding the wickedness, the corruption, venom, the hypocrisy, and the deception that is practiced here, right under our noses, we will stand still and see the salvation of God, and God in His own time will remove these vindictive men out of their places. Meantime we will continue to fear God, and work righteousness; we will cleave to the truth, live our religion, be humble before God, train up our children in purity, virtue and holiness, and set ourselves against everything that is corrupt, hypocritical, fraudulent, and contrary to the principles of righteousness. We will trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe. We will do right, we will treat all men right, and we will maintain every institution of our country that is according to the Constitution of the United States, and the laws thereof, and we will sustain them. By and by, you will find they will tear the Constitution to shreds, as they have begun now; they won’t have to begin; they have started long ago to rend the Constitution of our country in pieces; and in doing so they are letting loose and encouraging a principle which will react upon themselves with terrible consequences; for if lawmakers and administrators can afford to trample upon justice, equity, and the Constitution of this country, they will find thousands and tens of thousands who are willing to follow in their wake in the demolition of the rights of man, and the destruction of all principles of justice, and the safeguards of the nation; but we will stand by and maintain its principles and the rights of all men of every color, and every clime; we will cleave to the truth, live our religion and keep the commandments of God, and God will bless us in time and throughout the eternities that are to come.

God bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

The Gathering—Our Territorial Condition and Organization—The Eternal Nature of Our Covenants—The Law of Ancient Israel, Which Required a Man to Marry His Brother’s Widow—Settlement of the Difficulty Connected With the Utah Lake and Jordan River Dam—The Flood—The Lord Will Sustain and Uphold Us—We Must Not Associate With the Wicked

Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered in the Stake Meetinghouse, Provo, Sunday Morning, November 30th, 1884.

I am pleased to have an opportunity of meeting with you in your conference, and of talking with you on some principles associated with the Gospel of the Son of God, in which we, all of us, are more or less interested. We are gathered together from among the nations of the earth. We have assembled ourselves thus together because of a work which the Lord has commenced in the interests of humanity, not only pertaining to ourselves, but pertaining to the world of mankind. In obedience to the revelations of His will, and the command that He has given unto His servants through the restoration of the everlasting Gospel, we have many of us gone forth among the nations of the earth to proclaim those principles which God has revealed for the salvation, happiness and exaltation of the human family. We have been gathered together according to the word of the Lord which He spake by His ancient Prophets who have lived in the world in generations that are past, and who, under the influence of the Spirit of God, have given a very graphic account of the gathering of the people together, in the last days; and of the instructions they should receive preparatory to other events that will necessarily transpire upon the earth, as spoken of by all the holy Prophets since the world was. We are living in what is called “the dispensation of the fullness of times,” wherein it is said God will gather together all things in one, whether they be things in the heavens or things on the earth. And we are gathered together to this land of Zion, (which has been spoken of also in the Scriptures) where we might learn more perfectly the law of God, and carry out those principles which He has made known for our information, for our instruction, for our guidance and direction, as regards the course that we should pursue, and the blessings that should attend those who have obeyed His laws and kept His commandments. We are here really to build up and purify the Church of the living God. We are here to build up and establish the kingdom of God. We are here also to build up a Zion unto our God, wherein His laws can be taught, the principles of eternal truth be communicated, the relationship and communication opened between the heavens and the earth, and men placed in a position whereby they will be enabled to act intelligently, in regard to all matters pertaining to this world as well as to the world that is to come.

We have been told, and it has been prophesied of, that great calamities will overtake the nations of the earth. One of the ancient Prophets (Isaiah, in the 24th chapter) makes use of very peculiar language in relation to this matter. He says:

“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

“And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. * * * * * *

“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

“Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.”

In relation to these matters we as a people have been very much interested, and these things have been spoken of for a long, long time. I have been preaching them between forty and fifty years, and a great many others who are now living, have borne testimony of these things; and have gathered together as we have done. This places us in a very peculiar position, for we not only bring our religion with us, and the spiritual ideas connected with it—we not, only bring these things that are spiritual, but we bring our bodies along with us which are very temporal; and when we gather as we have done here in this land and form a people such as we are, we necessarily become part of the body politic of the nation with which we are associated—that is, of the United States. We are organized here in a Territorial capacity, as other Territories are organized, and are now living in what was before the unsettled portions of the United States; we are organized according to the general provisions made and provided by the nation in which we live, and we are organized under what is called an Organic Act, whereby the action of the Government of the United States has placed us in the position that we now occupy. We have, for instance, as other Territories have, a governor. We have district judges of the United States; we have a U.S. marshal, an attorney, etc., etc., and the same kind of officers that exist in other Territories that are under and associated with the government of the United States. We have granted unto us in the instrument called the Organic Act certain rights and privileges. We send a Delegate to Congress, and are authorized so to do. We have our Legislature, and have the right of voting for it. We have our County Courts and Probate Courts, as other Territories have, and are placed under general regulations pertaining to these matters as exist in the order that prevails in the United States. In this respect we act as others do—that is, we are placed pretty much under the same laws, not quite; pretty much under the same form of government, not quite; we have certain rights and privileges ceded to us, not like others have exactly; but to a very great extent similar to others. In this respect we act and operate as other citizens of the United States do, and in this respect we have rights, privileges and immunities as others have so far as they go. But they don’t go with us quite to the extent that they do with other people under the same circumstances. Nevertheless, perhaps we enjoy as many privileges and as many rights as we are capable of comprehending and of magnifying, and it may be possible in the inscrutable wisdom of the Lord, that we should be subjected to certain kinds of prohibition and enactments, that differ materially in many respects from those of other people. But so it is, and these things are quite as beneficial to us as other things. If we had nothing to cope with or to contend with, we might feel as the Methodists do sometimes when they talk about sitting and singing themselves away to everlasting bliss; but as we are not going to the same place as they are, it don’t make much difference; they can take their road, and we will take ours. We have other ideas of a religious nature from those entertained by other people. But take it as a whole we enjoy very many great blessings. We are living here in a goodly land. We have many privileges in this land: and in our endeavors to preach the Gospel and gather together the people under the blessing and guidance and direction of the Almighty, we have been very successful thus far. Although in our history there are many things which have been unpleasant for people to meet with—such as mobbings and drivings, killings and imprisonment, and a variety of other things that are not pleasant to the feelings of human nature, yet upon the whole the Lord has controlled these things for our good, just in accordance with the words of the Psalmist, where he says: “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.” It has not been pleasant for people to be driven, say as I have been, and as many of you have been from our homes; but, then, we had to endure it, and there is no use grunting about it. We had to do it in Missouri. We were driven from our homes there. Then we went to Illinois, and at first we were treated very kindly. But when we began to grow and increase, they did not like our religion, and they don’t like it today, and we don’t fancy their’s much either; so on the religious question there is not much love lost. We had to leave Illinois and come here. It was not very agreeable, as I have said, to have to leave our homes and our farms and come out here to live among the Redskins; for this was a desert when we first came here. It was not full of beautiful farms and houses, orchards and gardens, cities, villages and hamlets. It was a desert where the red man roamed unmolested, where the crickets had full sway, and where the white man had scarcely trodden. There had been a few pass through before we came here, and it had been discovered perhaps a hundred years or two by some travelers that had existed in those days; but to all intents and purposes it was what was called then and marked on the maps as the “Great American Desert.” Since then the solitary place has been made glad, and the desert has been made to blossom as the rose. The Lord has been very kind and merciful to us, and opened out our way, and provided for our wants, and although we may have some little things to complain of—all of which are very trifling in comparison to many things that exist among other peoples—yet are we abundantly blessed all over the land. Is there anybody here in your conference, or is there anybody in any of the conferences of the Stakes of Zion, that lacks the necessaries of life? Is there anybody that is destitute of food, or of clothing, or of habitations? Not that I know of, and if there are any such things, they ought not to exist among us.

Now, then, if we are blessed we have not to thank any man, or any set of men for it. If we are provided for, we have not obtained it from anybody else, but from the Lord God of Israel, who has watched over and protected His people just as He said He would do. He said it was His business to take care of His Saints, but, then, it is our business to be Saints. And being gathered together as we are under these circumstances, we are organized according to certain laws laid down in the order of God, and given by revelation of God, for our guidance and direction, wherein we are instructed in things pertaining to this world and to the next; pertaining to things that are past, things that are present, and things that are to come—pertaining to time and eternity. By this means man, the noblest work of God, is brought into closer rela tionship with God than he has been for generations past. Many things have been revealed, and there will be many more yet revealed that have been hidden from before the foundation of the world according to the word of God to us, and we are trying to act wisely, prudently and intelligently, to live and act and conduct ourselves in a manner that will be honorable before God, that will be honorable before the holy angels, that will be honorable before all honorable men and all men who love righteousness and truth and virtue, and who are inspired by the principle and integrity and by those principles that emanate from God, and that always lift up and exalt and elevate those that have embraced and are governed by them. These principles are revealed to us according to the laws which God has introduced, and through the medium of the Holy Priesthood, which He has again restored unto the earth, and we are here to learn His laws that we may walk in His paths. We are here that we may build temples unto His name, and that we may administer in those temples. This is the object of our being gathered together, that we may be brought into a closer union and relationship to God our heavenly Father, that we may be instructed in the laws of life, and that we may comprehend the relationship that exists between us and Him. And while we are looking for calamity and trouble—wars, pestilence and famine, and all those things that have been spoken of by the holy Prophets—yet there is to be a voice heard before that day crying: “Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues”—that is, speaking of a certain something that is called Babylon. Well, we have been doing that, and we have been gathered together that we may comprehend those principles of which I have spoken. We have come here that we may enter into covenants that are eternal, and which continue behind the veil. And we expect that while we are organizing Zion here upon the earth, and seeking to establish the kingdom of God, we have those who are cooperating with us above, those who are building and preparing for us in the heavens mansions to go to. Jesus went to prepare mansions for those of His followers in His day. Says He: In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.” There is something very peculiar about those things, about the preparing of those mansions for those that go behind the veil. But it is for us to learn to comprehend all these matters. We read about beautiful cities. We read of the new Jerusalem and the old Jerusalem. We talk about cities the most magnificent that can be thought of. Do you think they grow out of nothing? No, they have to be made just as we make things here, only more intelligently. What is meant by a certain saying: “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” Ah! indeed. Well, you can guess what it is. I will leave it with you.

People find a good deal of fault with us about our having more wives than one; but, then, that is nothing; we attribute that to their ignorance. If they were better informed they would know better. Abraham was a friend of God, and he practiced polygamy, under the direction of the Lord; David was a man after God’s own heart, and he had wives given to him of the Lord. They would have put them in the Penitentiary, if they had been here today. But then because of many things that transpire in these days, the Lord will make the earth empty. Why? Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant. We are gathered together here in order that we may observe the laws which have been restored unto us, and keep the everlasting covenant. While they make covenants for time only, we make covenants for time and for eternity. There is the difference. Ours is everlasting; theirs until death do they part. We as wives and husbands expect to be associated after death in the eternities that are to come. We believe in an everlasting covenant, and in an everlasting Gospel. An angel was to bring the everlasting Gospel, and everything associated with it is everlasting. It existed before we came here. It exists with us in time, it reaches into eternity, and people that do not have the Gospel have no everlasting covenants. They think we are very low, on the one hand, because we cannot comply with their ideas, and we think they are very ignorant because they don’t understand ours. But so it is. We are here to do the will of God, to carry out His law in all humility and faithfulness to God our heavenly Father—faithfulness as men to the nation in which we live—faithfulness to all men—to make known the things that God has communicated to us.

Now, then, in speaking of covenants, let me follow that subject a little further. Have we to do with time? Yes. Have we to do with eternity? Yes. Did we exist be fore we came here? Yes, and we shall exist when we leave here. The principles that we are in possession of, go back into eternity and reach forward into eternity. We are here in a state of probation, and God, in the infinitude of His mercy and kindness, has seen proper to bring us together as we are, and then we are nothing to brag of when He has got us here. Still while many have rejected the truth, we have received it. God has given us His grace to enable us to comprehend the Gospel and to give us power to obey it, and some of us have kept faithful for quite a long time, and it is pretty hard work for some of us to be faithful. It is good to be a saint. When we get the Spirit of the Lord upon us, we feel to rejoice exceedingly, and sometimes when we don’t have much of that, it feels rather what we used to call hard-sledding. But there is nothing that makes things go so well among the saints of God as living their religion and keeping the commandments of God, and when they don’t do that, then things go awkward and cross and every other way but the right way; but when they live their religion and keep the commandments, “their peace flows as a river, and their righteousness as the waves of the sea.”

Now, in regard to these matters there is a subject I have referred to at one or two of the conferences we have visited lately, and I will mention it here. The ancient Israelites had a very peculiar law among them, and yet it was a very proper law, namely, that if a man died, his brother was to take his wife and raise up seed to him. That would be a curious kind idea among the world, where they did not believe anything of that kind; singular kind of a doctrine; but it was a thing that was practiced among the Israelites, and it is a thing we ought to be practicing among us. That is, if a man has a brother dead who has left a widow, let the woman left in that kind of a position be just as well off as a woman who has a husband. Here is a principle developed which then existed, and I will speak a little on that subject and show certain reasons and certain whys and wherefores for these things. If a man should die and leave a wife and she should be childless, why not her be taken care of as well as anybody else? Would not that be just. Would not that be proper? Would not that be right? Yes. But says the man, “I do not know about that. I would rather raise up seed for myself.” Perhaps you might do both. You might if the law did not prevent you carrying out the law of God in the United States. If these worthy ancients had lived here, they would not have allowed them to carry out such a law. Still there is a principle of that kind exists. Why should it not be put into practice? We do believe, you know, more or less in this principle. But then there are a certain class of men who will say: “I would rather somebody else attended to that business; I would rather attend to my own affairs, and let everybody attend to theirs.” All right. Suppose you do it. We will carry the thing a little further. This woman’s husband has gone behind the veil, and he is operating there, and probably he will be called upon in a family capacity to look after those that were coming there, or help prepare mansions for somebody who is yet on the earth, as Jesus did for His disciples. He has left His wife behind here, but he is there operating for others. Now, what would you think of making to yourselves friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations? What would you think of that? We talk about angels taking care of us, and all sorts of things like that. But I expect that when we get behind the veil we shall have business to do as much as we have here, and one thing will be, perhaps, to look after the arrangement of our family affairs, and things associated therewith.

Now, then, a man here says: “I would not like to embark in a thing of that sort—marry a brother’s wife, and raise up seed for him.” What did they do with such men in olden times? The woman had an opportunity of loosing his shoe and spitting in the man’s face that would not raise up seed unto his brother, and it was said: “So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. And his name shall be called in Israel, the house of him that hath his shoe loosed.” (See Deut. xxv, 5 to 10. See also Ruth iii and iv.)

But we will go again to the other side, and find those there engaged in doing certain works in the heavens and preparing mansions for those that are coming. Now, when Jesus went to prepare mansions I do not suppose that He did it Himself. He had plenty of hands to set to work of that sort, same as we have here. This man that has died hears his brother say,” I would rather attend to my own affairs,” and he says, “All right, come here and attend to your affairs also. If you are selfish perhaps I will turn selfish too.” Now, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. That is the way it presents itself to me in relation to these matters. If a woman is left by her husband, let her have somebody to take care of her; if not her husband’s brother, then his next of kin. That is the order so far as I understand it, and I wanted to say so much in relation to these matters. Why should not women have equal rights with men? They have these rights and they ought to be sustained and maintained among us as Saints. We ought to look after the welfare and interest of all.

I shall now refer to what is known as Utah Lake and Jordan River dam water question. This is a subject that has troubled you a great deal and upon which there has been much awkwardness and unpleasant feeling. It was adjusted some time ago, but the agreement, it appears, was not carried out: in consequence of which considerable trouble was likely to ensue. President Angus M. Cannon showed me a letter in which it was stated that a lawsuit was commenced in regard to the affair, some of the parties, thereto being outside of the Church and some inside. In commencing this suit those inside the Church were not taking the right course, and they would have subjected themselves to be cut off the Church, because God has given us laws in relation to these matters whereby they can be properly regulated wisely and in accordance with His laws. Brother Cannon (who is President of the Salt Lake Stake) came to me and wanted to know what to do. He said he could not regulate these matters as his jurisdiction did not extend beyond Salt Lake Stake, nor could President Smoot because his jurisdiction did not go beyond Utah Stake. Here was a dilemma. What shall be done? Could I show him a way out of the difficulty? I told him I could; that a council had been provided through the Prophet Joseph Smith, for just such cases. Some people don’t know anything about that, but yet that is a fact. They did not know that it had ever been used before. It is a council of twelve High Priests over which the First Presidency of the Church should preside to adjudicate upon difficult cases that might arise in the Church, and this should be the highest council in the Church, and from which there should be no appeal. We called together this council and met here in this house, and the parties were heard—some outside of the Church and some inside. Finally we got the matter adjusted, and I am informed that the decision is satisfactory to all parties. The council was composed of the following brethren, viz.: Abraham O. Smoot, President of Utah Stake; Angus M. Cannon, President of Salt Lake Stake; Warren N. Dusenberry, Probate Judge of Utah County; Elias A. Smith, Probate Judge of Salt Lake County; Jonathan S. Page and A. D. Holdaway, Selectmen of Utah County; Ezekiel Holman and Jesse W. Fox, Jr., Selectmen of Salt Lake County; Presiding Bishop Win. B. Preston; John T. Caine, Delegate to Congress from Utah; Bishops Thos. R. Cutler and John E. Booth. After the first session of the council, in consequence of Hon. John T. Caine being required at Salt Lake City on official business, Elder L. John Nuttall was appointed a member of the council in place of Elder Caine. Myself and Brother George Q. Cannon presided in all the meetings of the Council. In selecting the council we selected men from the two counties who were conversant with county affairs, and both counties were equally represented. But some people will say—How is it the High Council could not settle the question? Because the High Council in Utah Stake has no jurisdiction over affairs in Salt Lake Stake, nor has the High Council of Salt Lake Stake any jurisdiction over affairs in Utah Stake, and the other council was formed just to meet such an emergency. I speak of this for your information; and, as I have said, when the matter is thoroughly completed, it will prove to be satisfactory to all parties.

Now, I want to read you a curious Scripture. We talk a good deal about water, and about certain laws—laws of hydraulics and hydrostatics—we have had a good deal of talk about these things lately, I have heard some very singular remarks made pertaining to the waters of the Utah Lake by Brother Madsen, who has kept a very accurate account of the condition of the waters of the lake under various circumstances for a great number of years. Among other things he said that it was very difficult to tell how and in what manner the waters of the lake were sometimes increased. That he had frequently seen large fountains or springs rising in the lake, that he should think furnished more water than any of the rivers that flowed into it—and these springs were very fluctuating, so much so, that it was found very difficult to make any accurate calculations pertaining thereto.

It is thought and so stated by some writers that there are subterraneous passages for water flowing from Lake Superior.

This may appear strange to some. But in regard to the flood, the laws governing hydraulics, as we understand them, were not strictly carried out on that occasion. Speaking of the flood we read:

“And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second mouth, the seventh day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”

What was done? “The windows of heaven were opened,” and the immense bodies of waters that exist in the upper firmament were let down, or as it is expressed, “the windows of heaven were opened.” What else? “The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up.” You have got a Brigham Young Academy here. I would like to give the professors and pupils of that establishment a problem to solve, and that is—How they could manage to get enough water out of the seas, and out of the oceans, and out of the rivers, and out of the clouds, to cover the tops of these mountains and fifteen cubits above, and let that spread all over the earth? I would like to know by what known law the immersion of the globe could be accomplished. It is explained here in a few words: “The windows of heaven were opened”—that is, the waters that exist throughout the space surrounding the earth from whence come these clouds from which the rain descends. That was one cause. Another cause was “the fountains of the great deep were broken up”—that is something beyond the oceans, something outside of the seas, some reservoirs of which we have no knowledge, were made to contribute to this event, and the waters were let loose by the hand and by the power of God; for God said He would bring a flood upon the earth and He brought it, but He had to let loose the fountains of the great deep, and pour out the waters from there, and when the flood commenced to subside, we are told “that the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained, and the waters returned from off the earth.” Where did they go to? From whence they came. Now, I will show you something else on the back of that. Some people talk very philosophically about tidal waves coming along. But the question is—How could you get a tidal wave out of the Pacific ocean, say, to cover the Sierra Nevadas? But the Bible does not tell us it was a tidal wave. It simply tells us that “all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” That is, the earth was immersed. It was a period of baptism.

I will find you another Scripture. It will be found in the book of Job. Job had been complaining. It is said he was the most patient man on the earth. Still he had been complaining about the treatment he had received. He had lost his camels, and sheep, and his children; the lightning had struck his son’s house, and finally he was smitten with boils, etc. He was not very patient then, not any more so than any of us would be under similar circumstances. He got a little out of humor; did not fancy it very much; found himself scraping his body with a potsherd, and wallowing in ashes. After some of his friends had talked to him, the Lord spake, saying:

“Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.

“Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched line upon it.

“Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?”

Who managed that matter? “Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?” Why, the Lord did it. These are singular expressions. It is said in the other place that “the fountains of the great deep were broken up.”

Now, then, I want to say to the Latter-day Saints, that God has more to do with the earth, with the waters, with the fountains of waters, with all the affairs of men, and with everything we have to do with, than men are willing to acknowledge in a great many instances. What means the saying, “In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.” Do any of you know of such things? I guess you do. Plenty of them. What means that Scripture where it speaks of Moses in the wilderness, when the children of Israel cried out for water in the desert land, and called on him for water? The Lord told Moses to smite the rock, and it should give forth water. Moses felt angry with the people because of their murmuring. And when the people were gathered together before the rock, Moses said: “Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?” And he smote the rock and water came out of it. But Moses did not honor the Lord in that instance as he ought to have done. The Lord felt angry with him, and would not allow him to go into the land of Canaan because he did not sanctify the God of Israel. At the same time the Lord fulfilled His word to Moses, for when he smote the rock the waters came out. By what principle? Was that according to the law of hydraulics? It was the power of God that manipulated that affair. So it was in the case of Elijah. There had been a drouth in the land of Israel, and there was great suffering in consequence of it. Elijah went and prayed to the Lord that the drouth might pass off, and that rain might come. The Lord heard his prayer, and sent the rain. At first, we are told, a little cloud arose out of the sea, like a man’s hand; but by and by the heaven was black with clouds, and there was great rain. Who was it that manipulated these matters? It was the Lord. It would appear to some to be according to the laws of nature, etc. So it would; but at the same time this was done by the prayer of faith, and the water flowed forth. And I want to say one thing here, and that is, that if we are sustained in these latter days, God must sustain us; if we are upheld, God must uphold us. Men are raging and have been raging against us; but I will say, as I have often said, Woe! to them that fight against Zion, for God will fight against them, and He will have His own way of doing it. It is for us to pursue the even tenor of our way, and if we will work righteousness and fear God, and keep His commandments, the wilderness and the solitary places shall be made glad, (as it has been already abundantly among us) and the desert shall blossom as the rose. But it will not be to me, or to Brother Cannon, or to President Young, or to anybody else, that the glory will belong. We will give God the glory for all our deliverance. He has been very kind and merciful to us all the day long.

Therefore, let us do right. Let us observe the laws of God, and keep His commandments, and the blessing of God will be with us. We will go forward and build our temples and labor therein. We will go forth and build up the Kingdom of God; we will go forth and purify the Church of God; we will go forth and establish the Zion of God. When Zion existed upon the earth it took 365 years to prepare the people thereof to be translated. But the Lord in these last days will cut His work short in righteousness. Therefore let us do right. Do right by everybody. Bear with the infirmities of men and the follies of men. Treat all men kindly, no matter who they may be—whether they are insiders or outsiders, or apostates, or anybody else—treat everybody kindly. But do not be partakers of the practices of the wicked. Do not mix up with the corrupt and evil. If they are hungry, feed them; if they are naked clothe them; if they are sick, administer to them; but do not associate with them in their abominations and their corruptions. Come out from the world and be ye separate, ye that bear the vessels of the Lord, and let “Holiness to the Lord” be written in every heart; and let us all feel that we are for Zion and for God and His Kingdom, and for those principles that will elevate us in time and throughout the eternities that are to come.

God bless and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

The Gathering—The Lord Will Punish the Wicked—Polygamy and Prostitution—Statistics of Crime Committed By Mormons and Non-Mormons—The Wickedness of the New England States—The Debased Position of U. S. Officials As Exhibited in the Courts of Utah

Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered at Ogden, Sunday, October 19th, 1884.

I am pleased to have the opportunity of meeting with you in Conference here, and to talk with you a little on some of the principles associated with our duties in our connection with the Church and Kingdom of God.

The Latter-day Saints occupy a very peculiar position in the world, but I do not know that we have any thing very particular to say on that question. It is true, we have used our own agency in coming here, but there are certain purposes of the Almighty, associated with our gathering together, over which we had very little control. There is a remarkable saying in the revelation of St. John, in reference to a certain Babylon, which reads as follows:

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

“For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

There is something very significant in the text here quoted. It would seem that John, in a previous part of his vision, had seen an angel who would precede this other. He says:

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

As Latter-day Saints we have listened to these things from time to time. We have talked about the opening of the heavens, the manifestations of God our heavenly Father, and Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, about the restoration of the Gospel, and the organization of the Church and Kingdom of God. We have talked a good deal about the Holy Priesthood, and the authority of God having been conferred upon man from the heavens, which places us in communication with our heavenly Father; and also of the organization of His Church in a manner that is in accordance with His will and under His inspiration. We have heard quoted from time to time, passages like this:

“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”


“And I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

Many other passages of a similar nature are contained in the Bible, which we all of us at least, profess to believe in; and by the manifestations of the power of God, and the light of revelation, we have been instructed in the things of eternity, and the organization of the Church of God has been effected. It commenced upwards of 54 years ago, and the work has been progressing from that time unto the present; and all the organizations that have been effected pertaining to the Priesthood have been made under the immediate direction of the Spirit of the living God, and have been given unto us by direct revelation in order that we might be instructed in the laws of life and be enabled to accomplish the things that God had designed from before the foundation of the world pertaining to these last days; and with these things we are generally familiar.

When Jesus was upon the earth, and His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, He said:

“When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

In this He had direct reference to the events which are now taking place among us as a people. “Thy Kingdom come.” Why? That Thy will may “be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” We are here for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the will of God, with the law of God, with the order of God, with the dominion of God; and we are here to establish the kingdom of God. We are here to be taught in things pertaining to the Church of God, and its purification. We are here to build up a Zion of God, which implies the pure in heart. Then we are here to send forth the Gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. We are here to build Temples to the name of the Lord, and to administer therein. We are here to represent God upon the earth as His Priesthood, and we are gathered in the different Stakes as you are gathered here today, to attend to various duties associated with that Priesthood, and to become acquainted with all the principal features associated with the Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth. It is for us as Stakes, as peoples, and as Saints of God, to learn to comprehend the relationship that we sustain to God our heavenly Father, and to His Church and Kingdom here upon the earth, to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the Priesthood that is behind the veil; and also to become acquainted with things upon the earth connected with the welfare of humanity, whether in the land of Zion or in any other land. And we are gathered together for the express purpose of being taught and instructed in all these principles. We are not here, as Jesus was not here, to condemn the world; as He says:

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

This was the prominent object of His mission to the earth, “That the world through him might be saved;” and we are here to carry out His purposes. We have certain relationships with the world while we are in it, that cannot be ignored, and we have certain duties to perform associated therewith that should be respected. As it is, we are here as an integral part of the United States, and we have duties to perform as citizens thereof, and it is expected that we shall fulfill every proper requirement, observe every correct law, and govern ourselves with propriety and uprightness, honor, truth, and integrity, and be good citizens thereof; these are things that are expected of all honorable people. And it is proper for us to meet the obligations and duties devolving upon us pertaining to the nation with which we are associated. We have another duty to perform to the nations of the earth. It is to send forth the Gospel thereunto; and for this the Twelve are organized and Seventies, and the Elders are sent forth as the messengers of God, that mankind may embrace the eternal truths of the Gospel, by which life and immortality are brought to light; that they, with us, may have the privilege of partaking of the rich blessings of eternal life; that they, with us, may have the opportunity of being instructed in the laws of life, and that they, with us, may be made partakers of all things associated with the Church and Kingdom of God. These are their privileges, inasmuch as they will be obedient to the laws and ordinances pertaining thereunto, and live according to the requirements of heaven. Until these things are done, other things will not be accomplished which God has designed in relation to the nations of the earth; for the people of the earth are all His offspring, and He feels interested in the welfare of humanity, generally. He expects that we shall do the same. We are building Temples, and we are administering in those Temples. What are we doing that for? There is something very peculiar about this matter. Well, we may be doing it in part for ourselves, in part for our wives and our children, in part for our fathers and our mothers, and uncles and aunts, and many of our friends and progenitors that we have been acquainted with, and in part for many others with whom we are not acquainted; that we may be united together, and stand as saviors upon Mount Zion. You heard Brother Cannon tell you today, that there was a company of about 40 going to Logan this morning, with one Bishop to fulfill some of these duties, and these things are beginning to be generally understood among the Latter-day Saints.

All of these duties and responsibilities devolve upon us. All these things are within our reach. As a people, if we live our religion and prove ourselves worthy, we are privileged to enjoy all the blessings and mercies which God our heavenly Father has conferred upon us through the medium of the Gospel and our obedience thereunto; and we wish to perform our duty to everybody—to perform, as they say in the Church of England, our “duty in that state of life unto which it has pleased God to call us.” It has pleased God to call us to these lands and to make use of us for certain purposes in the interest of humanity and for the welfare of a fallen world. This is the object of our being gathered together, and that we might build up a Zion unto the Lord, and be instructed in all the principles of righteousness, truth, integrity, and everything associated with our present and future happiness, and thus become the blessed of the Lord, and our offspring with us.

These are some of the things devolving upon us. Hence Zion is beginning to lengthen her cords and increase her Stakes, and we are spreading out in the north, in the south, and in various different directions. We are seeking to look after the welfare of the Saints of God, in their various settlements wherever they may be, and to protect them in every way that it is possible for us to extend protection, on the principle of union, harmony and brotherhood, inspired by the Spirit of the living God. Hence it becomes the duty of the First Presidency to look after all these things, and sometimes, under peculiar circumstances, we are obliged to send a few Saints from one Stake to strengthen other Stakes of Zion, that the people may be preserved in their rights and their liberties from the aggressions of unscrupulous people, who are seeking to take advantage of the circumstances with which our people may be surrounded.

We complain sometimes about our trials: we need not do that. These are things that are necessary for our perfection. We think sometimes that we are not rightly treated, and I think we think correctly about some of these things. We think there are plots set on foot to entrap us; and I think we think so very correctly. At the same time we need not be astonished at these things. We need not be amazed at a feeling of hatred and animosity. Why? Because we are living in a peculiar day and age of the world, which is distinctively called the latter days, wherein it is said that God will have a controversy with the nations of the earth. There are some things about these matters that men do not understand. They think that men manipulate the affairs of men. They do in part, and they are used ofttimes as instruments by the Almighty, and sometimes by another power that is called Lucifer, just as circumstances may be. But in regard to the nations of the earth, God sets up one nation and pulls down another, according to the counsels of His own will. And we read of nations that years ago flourished and were great, prosperous and powerful, of which we now know nothing only as we learn it from a few pages of history; they are obliterated and blotted out as nations, and do not exist today. Nations and empires have risen and fallen; they have grown, increased, and prospered, and then decayed, crumbled, and died. The Lord manipulates all these things according to the counsels of His own will. But men generally understand very little of these matters; for there has been very little communication with God for ages, until He was prepared to reveal His will in these last days. Yet men profess to fear God, and a great many of them seek to worship Him. There is something very remarkable said by the Prophet Isaiah, when he had his vision opened in regard to the events that should transpire in the latter days. He says:

“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

“And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.

“The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

“Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.”

There are many statements made by the Prophets in relation to these things—that the Lord would pour out His judgments upon the earth. Jesus speaks of the destruction that should come upon the people, that should befall Jerusalem, that should encompass nations, and of scenes that should transpire in the latter days—that the sun should be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord should come. Associated with this is a part of the work in which we are engaged. A voice was to be heard, as I said before, saying:

“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

“For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

In accordance with this declaration, which is a part of the great program that we Latter-day Saints believe in, we have been gathered unto this land, which we denominate the land of Zion. We have come out from the world, and some of us hardly know why; yet we have come, having obeyed the Gospel and having received the gift of the Holy Ghost. There has been a feeling and spirit operating upon us that has enlightened our minds and propelled us forward. Our great aim was, when we were in other lands distant from this, to make every effort we could to come to the land of Zion. Did we understand what it was for? In part we did, in part we did not. We came to it because we thought it was the land of Zion. We came to it, if we comprehend ourselves, that we might not partake of the sins nor receive of the plagues of Babylon; and that we and our wives, and our children and our associations, might be free from the corruptions, abominations and evils that exist and prevail throughout the world; and that we might come to a place where we could learn the laws of life, where our children could be brought up in the fear of God, and where we had hoped to be able to worship God according to the dictates of our own consciences. Sometimes we think we have made a little mistake in this. I guess not; for we shall yet understand one thing, and so will the nations of the earth—that “The Lord reigneth: let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.” Yes, we shall all learn that “the Lord reigneth.”

Associated with these principles are all the common affairs of life—that is, we have bodies like other people; we need food, we need raiment, we need habitations to live in, we need land to cultivate, fields, gardens and orchards; our children are born as others are, and we live and exist pretty much as other human beings. They are the children of our heavenly Father, and so are we. But the Lord has seen fit to gather us together, and has opened our way, and our lines have fallen unto us in pleasant places. Yet every time the Saints have been gathered together there has been manifested on the part of the wicked a spirit of oppression, a spirit of persecution, a bloodthirsty spirit, a spirit which would seek to rob us of our rights, to despoil us of our homes and inheritances. This we have expected among other things. We have never dreamed of anything else than that such a state of things would exist. I remember when I had the Gospel first preached to me before I was baptized, I heard a lecture something like this: “Now, we have nothing particular to promise you, only the favor of God, if you will live righteously and keep His commandments. You may be persecuted, afflicted, imprisoned, or put to death for the testimony you may have to bear for the religion you are called upon to obey; but we can promise to you that inasmuch as this is the case you will have eternal life.” Well, we have had a little of the other mixed up with it. And I have seen mobs gather from time to time, in different parts of these United States, and I have had to meet them time and again. For instance, I was driven from Missouri years ago, together with the whole people. We were robbed and pillaged, and we had to take and throw in what little we had to help each other. Everybody that had a team turned it in to help his brethren away from whom? From their Christian persecutors, that is, so-called Christians. I wish we had another name for them. (Laughter.) We helped one another out until we reached Illinois. I was there, and I know what I am talking about. Did I feel very unhappy? Not at all. I enjoyed myself just as well as I do today. I felt quite easy. I have been accustomed to these things, and there is nothing very particular about them. By and by, we built up the beautiful city of Nauvoo. We also built a temple there and officiated in it, and received many precious blessings from the hands of God, that the world know nothing about, and never will know until they embrace the Gospel of the Son of God. But we were driven again, and we are here today. Did we leave our property? Yes, I did, quite an amount, and so did many others. We had a city there, and we left it. What was done to us before this! We were mobbed, plundered; we were brought before courts; we were persecuted and proscribed; that was done to us when we were there, and in many instances we had to defend ourselves by our own right arms, or suffer from crawling assassins who were seeking our lives. I had to do it time and time again, right in that land. I have had to have guards in my house, so had President Young, for nearly two years, to keep from being assassinated. I was in prison with Joseph and Hyrum, when they were shot down in cold blood. We were there placed under the protection, or professed protection, of the Governor, who told Dr. Bernhisel and myself that we had better not bring any arms with us to defend ourselves, and who pledged his faith and the faith of the State for our protection. I saw that faith violated and trampled in the dust. I saw these men, to whom protection was promised, shot down in cold blood by assassins gathered for the purpose. These are things that I have witnessed in the few years that I have lived upon the earth. When I left Nauvoo, I left a very good house, very well furnished. I left carpets on the floors, stoves in the rooms, crockery ware in the cupboards, and I got into my carriage, with my family, and left it to seek that protection among the Red Indians, that we could not find among the people who lived in this boasted land of the free and home of the brave, this vaunted asylum of the oppressed. We were protected here among the Indians, and I felt perfectly safe among them. I would as soon go among the Red men today who traverse these mountains, as I would anywhere else, and feel myself just as safe.

I speak of these things to show some of the feelings that have been exhibited. Well, says one, didn’t you feel angry? Oh, no, not particularly so. I felt it was all right. It was a part of the program. I needed education and other people needed it, and it was necessary we should be placed in a position that we could have it. We did not feel very unhappy. We felt quite comfortable. What! When you left your homes? Yes. I felt as easy as I ever felt in my life. I felt at least that I should be safe from the hands of bloodthirsty men and mobocrats, and that I should be put in a position that I could protect myself better than I could there, and others felt a good deal the same way. I remember we used to sing a song something like this: “On the way to California, In the spring we’ll take our journey, Far above Arkansas fountains, Pass between the Rocky Mountains.” (Laughter.)

That is the way we used to sing. I remember a little boy of mine—he was then, though he is not a little boy now, for it is about 39 years ago, used to sing this, and all the boys around. He met his grandfather one day, who calling him by name, said: “Joseph, you won’t sing that when you leave your home and go out yonder.” “Oh, yes, grandfather,” said he, “I will sing that then.” Finally, we got outside. By and by his grandfather came along, and he ran out to meet him. We were then camped out in about a foot of snow. He ran towards his grandfather and began to sing:

“On the way to California,” etc.

“There,” said he, “grandfather, I can sing that now.” Well, I speak of these things to show some of the incidents I have passed through. We came out here and we found this country a desert, covered generally with sagebrush, and a few scattered Indians straggling around. We had to commence to build our houses, for there were none here when we came; and since then the wilderness and the solitary places have blossomed as the rose, and the desert has been made glad, as foretold in the Scriptures. We feel that we are kind of half comfortable in these valleys of the mountains, but the devil is not dead yet. (Laughter.) We did not think he would be; we have a work to perform; and we purpose, by the help of the Almighty, to accomplish that work. We don’t expect to be disappointed in it either, and we don’t anticipate that it will be overturned. We believe that God lives in the heavens and manipulates the nations of the earth, and woe to them that fight against Zion! I tell them in the name of God that He will fight against them. (Amen.)

This is my testimony in relation to these matters. People may think they are very smart in persecuting the Saints, but by and by they will find they are on the wrong side of the question, and many of them will find it out when it is too late. They will find it out when the harvest is past and the summer is ended, and they will say, “My soul is not saved.” You Latter-day Saints that begin sometimes to be trembly at the knees, and afraid of certain circumstances, had better trust to the living God than give way to fearful forebodings in these matters; for Zion is onward and upward, and God is on her side, and He will protect His Israel if we will only be true to Him. We are here for that purpose. God will sustain Israel and stand by His people. (Amen.) There is one thing very certain, very certain indeed, and that is, whatever men may think, and however they may plot and contrive, that this Kingdom will never be given into the hands of another people. It will grow and spread and increase, and no man living can stop its progress. Hence I feel quite easy, as I said before, for the Lord reigns, and let the people rejoice.

From time to time we have certain raids made upon us. Something of that sort seems to be afloat today, and I wish—I was going to say I wish I could talk about something better—but these matters are as proper as anything else, as far as I know, for they are things we have to meet face to face. We Latter-day Saints—what are we? Professors of religion. Are we? Yes. There are laws being enacted in order to deprive us of our religious rights, whereas the Constitution of the United States says that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Is that true? Read it for yourselves in the Constitution. This is what we profess as Americans. We have men in our midst who have introduced test oaths, whereas the Constitution says, that “no religious test shall ever be required;” yet they have introduced test-oaths, and people are obliged to swear certain things that the Constitution says shall not be permitted. Are we American citizens here? I think so. Have we any rights? I think we ought to have. Are they being trampled upon? Yes, they are; and these things are being done with impunity. How is it? Why, the Constitution is treated by the politicians of today as the Bible is treated by professors of religion. You talk with “Christians” upon the Bible, and you will find that they believe it when it is shut. They will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send it to the heathen, but when you come to open it, they themselves don’t believe in it. Ask them about Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, and Deacons. Have they them? No, they do not even profess to have them. Ask them about being baptized in the name of Jesus, for the remission of sins by men having authority, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and you will find that they don’t want to hear anything about these principles. They do not believe them. Why they object even to people being married for eternity! They believe in men and women being married only until death doth them part. That is a very cold affair. We do not believe in being married for time only. We believe in making covenants for eternity, and being associated with our wives and children behind the veil. We have received instructions from the Lord in regard to these things, and we are desirous to carry them out. As I have said, the Constitution provides that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Yet men are asked what their religious faith is; right here in our courts today. These are things that we as American citizens have a right to look into; to look well after our liberties, and to watch well our enemies. For these are not only our enemies but they are the enemies of human liberty, the enemies of the rights of man and the enemies of God. It is for us to look well after these things, and in our elections and in all like matters, to see that we are very particular about the management of these affairs, and that we are not overrun and cheated out of our liberties by unscrupulous men. I speak of these things at this your Conference, for your information and for your warning; and would say, be united, diligent and energetic, and stand for your rights as men.

I remember some little time ago a gentleman named Mr. Pierpont (who was Attorney-General under President Grant) called upon me. I was pleased to see him, and am pleased to see all honorable gentlemen. I invited him to dinner, and we had quite a chat. But here let me introduce another affair. At the time when the Edmunds law was passed I was living in what is known as the Gardo House. I had most of my wives living with me there, and after looking carefully over the Edmunds law I thought to myself, why Congress is growing very wild; this Government is getting very, very foolish; they are trampling upon Constitutional rights. No matter, I said, I will obey this law. I had comfortable places for my family elsewhere, and I requested my wives to go to their own homes, and live there, and they did so in order that I at least might fulfill that part of the law; for foolish or not foolish, my idea was to fulfill as far as practicable the requirements of the law and not place myself and my family or my friends in jeopardy, through any foolishness of mine. It was expected by many of those corrupt men—I do not say in speaking of these that all are corrupt—that when these laws were passed we should turn our wives out and deal with them as they do with their women under such circumstances—make strumpets of them. There is no such feeling as that in my bosom, nor in the bosoms of this people. We have made eternal covenants with our wives, and we will abide by our wives, and God will sustain us in protecting the rights of innocence, and in fulfilling those eternal obligations which we have entered into. But we can once in a while yield a little to the follies and weaknesses of men, when no principle of truth is involved. Under these circumstances I had a sister of mine who was keeping house for me when Mr. Pierpont came there to dine with me. I said: “Mr. Pierpont, permit me to introduce you to my sister. It is not lawful for us to have wives here.” (Laughter.) After talking further with him upon the subject I said, “Now, Mr. Pierpont, you are well acquainted with all these legal affairs. Although I have yielded in this matter in order that I might not be an obstructionist, and do not wish to act as a Fenian, or a Nihilist, or a Communist, or a Kuklux, or a Regulator, or a Plug Ugly, or a Molly Maguire, yet, sir, we shall stand up for our rights and protect ourselves in every proper way, legally and constitutionally, and dispute inch by inch every step that is taken to deprive us of our rights and liberties.” And we will do this in the way that I speak of. We are doing it today; and as you have heard it expressed on other occasions, it looks very much like as though the time was drawing near when this country will tumble to pieces; for if the people of this nation are so blind and in fatuated as to trample under foot the Constitution and other safeguards provided for the liberties of man, we do not propose to assist them in their suicidal and traitorous enterprises; for we have been told by Joseph Smith that when the people of this nation would trample upon the Constitution, the Elders of this Church would rally round the flag and defend it. And it may come to that; we may be nearer to it than some of us think, for the people are not very zealous in the protection of human rights. And when legislators, governors and judges unite in seeking to tear down the temple of liberty and destroy the bulwarks of human freedom, it will be seen by all lovers of liberty, that they are playing a hazardous game and endangering the perpetuity of human rights. For it will not take long for the unthinking to follow their lead, and they may let loose an element that they never can bind again. We seem to be standing on a precipice and the tumultuous passions of men are agitated by political and party strife; the elements of discord are seething and raging as if portending a coming storm; and no man seems competent to take the helm and guide the ship of State through the fearful breakers that threaten on every hand. These are dangerous things, but it becomes our duty as good citizens to obey the law as far as practicable, and be governed by correct principles.

I had some papers read over at the General Conference, giving my views in relation to some of these matters. They have been published, but I will have one or two extracts read for your information.

President Cannon then read as follows:

The distinction being made be tween Polygamy and Prostitution:

1st. Congress made a law which would affect both; and cohabitation with more than one woman was made a crime whether in polygamy or out of polygamy.

2nd. The Governor turned legislator, added to this law, and inserted in a test oath to officials, the following words regarding cohabitation, “in the marriage relation;” thus plainly and definitely sanctioning prostitution, without any law of the United States, or any authority.

3rd. The United States Commissioners, also without legislation, adopted the action of the Governor, and still insisted on this interpolation, in the test oath in election matters, and placed all polygamists under this unconstitutional oath, and released prostitutes and their paramours from the obligations placed upon others.

4th. The Prosecuting Attorney has sanctioned these things, and pursued a similar course: and while he has asked all the “Mormon” grand jurors certain questions pertaining to their religious faith in the doctrines of the “Mormon” Church, and challenged them if they answered affirmatively as to their belief in polygamy, he has declined to ask other jurors whether they believed in prostitution, or whether they believed in cohabiting with more than one woman or not.

5th. Chief Justice Zane when appealed to on this question, refused to interfere, or give any other ruling.

Thus a law was first passed by Congress, which has been perverted by the administration, by all its officers, who have officiated in this Territory, and made to subserve the interests of a party who have placed in their political platform an Anti Mormon plank; and have clearly proven that there is a combination entered into by all the officers of state officiating in this Territory, to back up this political intrigue in the interest of party, and at the sacrifice of law, equity, jurisprudence, and all the safeguards that are provided by the Constitution for the protection of human rights.

Congress cannot be condemned for these proceedings. The law as it stands on the nation’s Statute Books makes no such distinction, so far as the qualification of jurors are concerned, between those who cohabit with more than one woman in the marriage relation, and those who do so outside of that relation. All the rest has been aided by officials here. The law reads: “Section 5: That in any prosecution for bigamy, polygamy, or unlawful cohabitation, under any Statute of the United States, it shall be sufficient cause of challenge to any person drawn or summoned as a juryman or a talesman, first, that he is or has been living in the practice of bigamy, polygamy, or unlawful cohabitation with more than one woman, * * or second, that he believes it right for a man to have more than one living and undivorced wife at the same time, or to live in the practice of cohabiting with more than one woman.” It will thus be seen that the same questions can be properly put to both classes; and such was the evident, unmistakable intention of Congress. But the Prosecuting Attorney with red-hot zeal changes all this, in his religio-political crusade against the faith of the Latter-day Saints he insists upon his right to propound the question with the Governor’s interpolation super-added, whilst he entirely ignores the other side of the case; hence those who cohabit outside of the marriage rela tion can go scot free, without interrogation or questioning, and when attention is drawn to this perversion of the law, he asserts that he has the right to propound what questions he chooses, and decline to ask those he has no mind to; in fact that the whole proceeding was a purely optional matter with him. Thus the whole weight of the law is unjustly and unrighteously thrown on the shoulders of those who believe and act in the marriage relation, and entirely removed from the others, who develop into the jurors, who are to indict, try and condemn the other and far more honorable class.

I will have something further read. It is alleged that we are a very corrupt people, that we are a very lawless people; that we are a very wicked people; that we are a very lascivious people; and therefore it becomes necessary for them to pass and execute certain laws in order that we may be placed under the guardianship of people who are more pure and more virtuous. That is why I want some statistics read in relation to that matter, and I would not have had them read, nor have dwelt upon these matters, only on the principle of self-defense.

President Cannon then read as follows:

“The population of Utah may be estimated at 160,000 in 1883.

“Of these say 130,000 were Mormons and 30,000 Gentiles, a very liberal estimate of the latter.

“In this year there were 46 persons sent to the Penitentiary, convicted of crime. Of these, 33 were non-Mormons and 13 reputed Mormons.

“At the above estimate of population the ratio or percentage would be one prisoner to every 10,000 Mormons, or one-hundredth of one percent, and of the Gentiles one convict in every 909, or about one-ninth of one percent. So that the actual proportion of criminals is more than ten times greater among the Gentiles of Utah, with the above very liberal estimate, than among the Mormons.

“It is urged that those non-Mormon prisoners are not a fair representation of the average of crime throughout the country, but are the result of the flow of the desperate classes westward to the borders of civilization; with greater truth we reply that the Mormon prisoners are not representatives of Mormonism, nor the results of Mormonism, but of the consequences of a departure from Mormon principles: and of the 13 prisoners classed as “Mormons,” the greater portion were only so by family connection or association.

Arrests in Salt Lake City, 1883— Mormons 150 Non-Mormons 1,550 or more than ten times the number of Mormon arrests.

“Again, it is estimated that there are 6,000 non-Mormons and 19,000 Mormons in Salt Lake City, which shows of Mormons one arrest in 126 and 2/3.

“Non-Mormons one arrest in a fraction less than every four, or rather more than twenty-five percent.

President Taylor continued:

Make the best of this we may, it is a bad showing, and ought not to exist among the dwelling places of the Saints. What of our drunken Saints? Our violators of the Sabbath day? Our Sunday bathing trains? Whereon many of our youth mix up with the ungodly, and what of many other evils which exist among us? It is a shame that these things should exist in Zion in the cities of the Saints; but our would-be reformers are ten times lower and more depraved than we are. Yes, but then we have ten times too many crimes; and it is sorrowful to see it, and we can only account for it on this principle, that the wheat and tares must grow together until the harvest. The Gospel net gathers of every kind, good and bad, sheep and goats. Again, it is but just to those who oppose us, to say that they have their ministers, their Sunday schools, their churches, their hospitals, etc., and many, very many good and honorable men and women. But with all these agencies the record shows them to be, as a whole, ten times as corrupt as we are. Before they came, we were comparatively free from their gross immoralities. But what of today? The record shows that theirs are the gambling dens, the houses of assignation, theirs the brothels and drinking saloons, etc., and if, which God forbid, we have feticide and infanticide, it belongs to them—these are their institutions, they do not belong to us. Is it then, any wonder that they have ten times the amount of crime? This is a terrible showing, and yet these are our reformers, our accusers; from these proceed our courts, our juries, etc., they assume to be our regenerators, and are trying to make us as good as they.

President Cannon again read:

“Dr. Nathan Allen, of Lowell, has declared in a paper read before a late meeting of the American Social Science Association, that “nowhere in the history of the world was the practice of abortion so common as in this country; and he gave expression to the opinion that, in New England alone, many thousands of abortions are procured annually.”

“Dr. Reamy, of the Ohio State Medical Society, says: “From a very large verbal and written corres pondence in this and other States, together with personal investigation and facts accumulated * * that we have become a nation of murders.”

The Rev. Dr. Eddy writes to the Christian Advocate regarding one little village of 1,000 inhabitants: “Yet here, and elsewhere, where 15 percent of wives have the criminal hardihood to practice this black art, there is a still large and additional percent who endorse and defend it. * * Among married persons, so extensive has this practice become, that people of high repute not only commit this crime, but do not shun to speak boastingly among their intimates of the deed, and the means of accomplishing it.”

Dr. Allen further states: “Examining the number of deaths, we find that there are absolutely more deaths than births among the strictly American children, so that aside from immigration and births of children of foreign parentage, the population of Massachusetts is rapidly decreasing. * * The birth rate in the State of New York, shows the same fact, that American families do not increase at all, and inspection of the registration in other States shows the same remark applies to all.”

Bishop Coxe, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, of New York, in a pastoral letter to his people writes: “I have heretofore warned my flock against the blood-guiltiness of antenatal infanticide. If any doubts existed heretofore as to the propriety of my warnings on this subject, they must now disappear before the fact that the world itself is beginning to be horrified by the practical results of the sacrifices to Moloch, which defile our land. Again I warn you that they who do such things, cannot inherit eternal life. If there be a special damnation for those who shed innocent blood, what must be the portion of those who have no mercy upon their own flesh.”

Dr. Cowan, M. D., writing on what he styles “The Murder of the Unborn,” says: “That this crime is not only widespread on this great continent, but is rapidly on the increase, we have the testimony of physicians, whose investigations have been thorough, and whose social standing and integrity cannot be questioned.”

President Taylor continued:

In pondering over the above sickening details, and carefully examining the irrefutable records of prison statistics, I note deliberately the weight of testimony furnished by a host of their most honorable and reliable men in the East, to whom I give all honor, who calmly and deliberately pronounce them “a nation of murderers,” “the slayers of the innocent,” the consumers of their own flesh, in connection with this terrible record we have in our prominent cities, flaunted before our eyes, their dens of infamy and crime, impudently and unblushingly paraded before us, and stuck under our very noses. In looking at these things I ask myself can human depravity descend any lower, and the humiliating answer comes, yes! yes!! yes!!! The question arises wherein? The most damning nature of this record is that these crimes are sought to be palliated by unjust law, made ostensibly to punish crime, but really to pervert justice and protect falsehood, chicanery and intrigue. We have a local administration which provides test oaths to try to cover up the crimes of their friends, and to protect prostitutes, whoremongers and adulterers, and to make that a crime which is nowhere proclaimed a crime by the Almighty. And then we have these whited walls and painted sepulchres under the guise of the protectors of virtue and the defenders and advocates of purity and moral reform, bring all the weight of their influence and position to bear upon innocence, virtue and integrity. Surely, as it is said, justice is fallen in the street, righteousness standeth afar off, and judgment cannot enter. But what of our people? With all of their weaknesses, follies and imperfections, of which we as a people have very many in the sight of God, they are yet in the balances of unbiased equity before the law, as per record ten times the superiors of our accusers, but with the points of prostitution, harlotry, gambling and other vices, not to mention the terrible crimes of feticide and infanticide, we have nothing to do; these are their institutions only, and do not belong to us.

But it may be argued, are not the executive and judiciary expected to administer the law as they find it? Certainly; and if they would confine themselves to this, all honorable men would sustain them. But governors are nowhere authorized to introduce test oaths, in violation of law, to protect the spoliators of virtue, the brothel and the adulterer; nor is the judiciary required in the execution of its legal function to ignore the precedents of courts, nor to sanction the empanelment of packed juries.

I have had these things read for more reasons than one. First, to show the hypocrisy of those who come here to teach us morality, and who proscribe the acts of a pure and industrious people who dwell in these mountains. And for another purpose, to guard our brethren and sisters against the encroachments of such fiends in human form as those persons here referred to. We cannot have, and won’t have adulterers and adulteresses among us, much less will we have those who, by murder, stain their consciences and damn themselves forever. You sisters, guard yourselves against these infamies, or you will sink yourselves down, down, down to pits of infamy and ruin, that you never dreamed of. I do not wonder that the Prophets have expressed themselves as strongly as they have in relation to the events that shall overtake the world. I remember that some 30 years ago, there was one of our brethren in an eastern city, I heard a report about his wife being engaged in something of that sort. I asked him if it were true. He said it was. I don’t know when I felt such a loathing for a human being in my life as I felt toward her. I would sooner have touched a rattlesnake than touched her hand. And I feel so today. We cannot degrade ourselves with these fiendish practices. All are not guilty; for as I have frequently said there are thousands and millions of honorable men and women throughout the land. But these evils which exist in this and other nations are too terrible almost to be spoken of; yet it is requisite they should be presented before you Latter-day Saints, that you may remember the pit from whence you were dug, and the rock from whence you were hewn; that you may appreciate in some measure the blessings you enjoy, and your freedom from these infamies in this land of Zion. And I would say to you Bishops—if you find adulterers and adulteresses in the Church, cut them off, they cannot be associated with the Latter-day Saints.

Another thing: I was lately called upon as a witness—perhaps you may have seen some account of it in the papers—and I want to make some explanation in relation to the matters that I then presented, because they are not generally understood: I was required to divulge certain things. I did not know them to divulge. Perhaps some of you have had people come to you with their confidences. I have. But I don’t want to be confidant. Why? Because if they made a confidant of me and I was called before a tribunal, I could not, as an honorable man, reveal their confidences, yet it would be said I was a transgressor of law; but no honorable man can reveal confidences that are committed to him. Therefore I tell them to keep their own secrets, and remember what is called the Mormon creed, “Mind your own business,” I don’t want to know the secrets of people, those that I cannot tell. And I could not tell very much to that court; for I have studiously avoided knowing any more than I could possibly help about such matters. I was asked questions about our temple, which of course I could not divulge. I was asked questions about records which I could not tell them, because I did not know. I have studiously avoided entering into a knowledge of these matters. They did not build our temples. We have never had any revelations from God, through them! We may have had from the devil (laughter), but never have had revelations from God through them. And I think there are some things we have a right to guard sacredly in our own bosoms. We are told “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” Now, if the Lord shall commit a secret to me I don’t think I should tell it to anyone; I don’t think I would, not unless He told me. Then, I do not want to know your secrets. I was asked if certain ordinances could be performed in different places. I told them, yes, under certain circumstances. “Where,” I was asked—“Anywhere besides in temples?” Yes. Anywhere besides the Endowment House? Yes. “Where, in some other house?” In another house or out of doors, as the circumstances might be. Why did I say that? Is not a temple the proper place? Yes; but it is said in our revelations pertaining to these matters:

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

Thus under such circumstances we perceive that our operations elsewhere will be all correct; it makes no difference. It is the authority of the Priesthood, not the place, that validates and sanctifies the ordinance. I was asked if people could be sealed outside. Yes. I could have told them I was sealed outside, and lots of others.

I want to show you a principle here, you Latter-day Saints. When Jesus was asked if He thought it was proper for His disciples to pluck ears of corn on the Sabbath day, He told them “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” What else? I will say that man was not made for temples, but temples were made for man, under the direction of the Priesthood, and without the Priesthood temples would amount to nothing.

I speak of these things for your information: but men are not authorized to act foolishly about these matters. The temples are places that are appropriated for a great many ordinances, and among these ordinances that of marriage; but, then, if we are interrupted by men who do not know about our principles, that is all right, it will not impede the work of God, or stop the performance of ordinances. Let them do their work, and we will try and do ours.

While I was in court a few days ago, and gazing upon the assembly of judges, lawyers, marshals, witnesses, spectators, etc., many reflections of a very peculiar character passed through my mind, some of which I will here rehearse.

I could not help thinking as I looked upon the scene, that there was no necessity for all this; these parties need not have placed themselves in this peculiar dilemma. Here was a young man blessed with more than ordinary intelligence, bearing amongst all who know him a most enviable reputation for virtue, honesty, sobriety, and all other desirable characteristics that we are in the habit of supposing go to make a man respected and beloved, the civilized world over. He had been trained from early childhood in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, had been an attendant at Sabbath schools and Young Men’s Improvement Societies, where his course was of the most pleasing kind; more than this, some years ago, when quite a youth, he had shown his devotion to the faith in which he had been reared, by going forth without purse and scrip, to preach in the midst of the unbelieving the doctrines of a most unpopular faith. And, as I reach this point in my reflections, my mind instinctively wanders to a monument I gazed at in the Salt Lake City cemetery but a few days ago. That monument records in fitting words of respect and admiration the devotion of two young missionaries in a far-off Southern State, one of whom had fallen a victim to mob violence, had sealed with his blood the testimony which he bore, the other had stood by him in this hour of sore need, and rescued his mangled body and brought it safely for thousands of miles to the home of his bereaved parents and sorrowing co-religionists. This heroic young man is the one now arraigned before the courts of his country, for an alleged offense against the morality of the age. Assuming that the reports pertaining to him should prove to be correct, and he really has a plural wife, what then would be the position? He, from his earliest recollection, had been taught to reverence the Bible as the word of God, to revere the lives and examples of the ancient worthies whom Jehovah honored by making them His confidants, and revealing unto them the secrets of His divine purposes; he had read of one who was called “the friend of God, and the father of the faithful,” of another who was said to be “a man after God’s own heart;” of a third who in all things is said to have done the will of Heaven, and so on till they could be numbered by the score; yet all these men, the friends, associates and confidants of the great Creator of heaven and earth, were men with more than one wife, some with many wives, yet they still possessed and rejoiced in the love and honor of the great Judge of all the world, whose judgments are all just, and whose words are all righteousness. This young man is charged with following these worthy examples; it is asserted that he has taken to wife a beautiful and virtuous young lady, belonging, like him, to one of our most respected families, and who also believes in the Bible, and the example set her by those holy women of old, such as Rachel, Ruth, Hannah, and others, who honored God’s law, and became the mothers of Prophets, Priests and Kings. And as my cogitations ran I thought what need had these two to follow such examples of a bygone age; why not walk in the way of the world today; unite with our modern Christian civilization, and if passion guided their actions, why call each other husband and wife, why hallow their associations by any sacred ceremony; was there any need of such? Why not do as tens of thousands of others do, live in the condition of illicit love? And then if any child should be feared from this unsanctified union, why not still follow our Christian exemplars, remove the fetal encumbrance, call in some of the copyists of Madame Restell, the abortionists, male and female, that pollute our land, that would have been sub-rosa, genteel, fashionable, respectable, Christianlike, as Christianity goes in this generation. And if this did not succeed, the young man might have turned his victim into the street to perish, or die of pollution as is done in tens of thousands of instances, in the most sanctified manner by the hypocrites of the day. Then, in either of these cases, the young gentleman could have been received into good society, be petted and applauded; could hold a position under our government, be even a deputy-marshal, registrar or what not, and still further, be able to answer all the necessary questions; and be admitted as a grand juror without being brought in as a guttersnipe on an open venire, but as a respectable citizen on the regular panel. Or again, these two, in the event of a child being born, might consign it to the care of some degraded hag, some baby farmer, where gradually and quietly its innocent life would ebb out, and by and by the grief-stricken parents would receive the anticipated notice that their dear little offspring, notwithstanding every care, was dead and buried. This is a respectable crime, a crime committed principally by those who go to high-toned churches and fashionable meetinghouses in velvets and feathers, in silks and satins, and who with upturned eyes and hypocritical voices, insult the majesty of Heaven by drawling out, “Lord have mercy upon us, miserable sinners.” Yet they are murderers—murderers of the worst kind, shedders of innocent blood, consumers of their own flesh, whom the vengeance of God awaits. Yet this young man and woman could have done all this and no marshals with ready feet would have dogged their steps, no packed grand juries with unanimous alacrity would do the bidding of overzealous prosecuting attorneys; no Federal judge would overturn precedent, ignore law, disregard justice on purpose to convict. No, they might then have been the friends, associates, companions of judge and prosecutor, governor and commissioner: but now, as they would neither associate unrighteously, nor take means to destroy the results of their union, but honestly and virtuously live, as is claimed, as husband and wife, he stands in the felon’s dock charged with an offense against the dignity of the United States, and to convict him, oppressive laws, more oppressively administered, are brought to bear with all the ingenuity that malice can devise and hatred adopt. And there, in this ignominious position, he stands, with every person who might possibly be his friend, excluded from the jury, without the possibility of a fair trial by his peers, not one of the panel being in the least sympathy with himself: and by such people this unfortunate young gentleman has to be tried, judged, prosecuted, proscribed, and condemned, because of his firm and unswerving faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of David, Solomon, and numerous other Godfearing and honorable men, who, like him, have despised the cant and hypocrisy of an ungodly world, and dared to obey the behests of Jehovah. Of these things he had learned from the Bible, in the Sunday school; no wonder then that our would-be reformers are so anxious to exclude the Bible from our district schools, as its teachings and examples so emphatically condemn the theories on which the acts and legislation of Congress are based, as well as the course pursued by those who seek to aid in the regeneration of Utah by adding to or taking from the law as is best suited to shield their own corrupt practices, or, on the other hand, by extra judicial proceedings, under cover of the law, they pervert, to prosecute and persecute the Mormons.

And where was this scene enacted? In the gorgeous palaces of Belshazzar, surrounded by his wives, concubines, and nobles, and where was seen written on the walls, “Mene, mene, tekel upharsin?” No. Was it at the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, when ten righteous persons could not be found to avert the wrath of an offended God, or in Pompeii or Herculaneum, who, in their turn, for their libidinous and unrighteous practices, as Sodom and Gomorrah, suffered the vengeance of eternal fire? No. Was it in the Saturnalia of the Bacchanals of ancient Greece and Rome? No. Those nations have been long overthrown, and are now only known to a few readers of ancient history. Was it during the reign of the first French republic, when they elevated a prostitute as the goddess of reason? No. Was it in the days of the inquisition, when the rack, the gibbet, the faggot and the flames were brought into requisition to force unwilling victims to testify of things which their consciences forbade, and who perished by thousands for daring to think and act, and believe in and worship God according to the dictates of their consciences? No. Was it under the influence of Bacchus, or in the midnight revellings as exhibited in Rome under Nero? No. This scene was enacted in midday, in the 19th century, in the year of our Lord, 1884, in the Federal Court House, in Salt Lake City, at a court presided over by Judge Zane, Chief Justice for the United States in the Territory of Utah, assisted by Prosecuting Attorney Dickson, and the other adjuncts of the law, and in the presence of several hundred American citizens. Towards these gentlemen personally I have no feelings, no complaints to make. I understand them to bear the reputation of being learned and honorable men in all other matters. But they stand in an unfortunate position; they represent a cause so low, that it is impossible to look upon it without loathing and commiseration; they represent a political exigency, a party necessity, capital has to be made by the perse cution and prosecution of American citizens who have embraced an unpopular faith, and they are the tools with which the unclean, despicable and barbarous work has to be done. I envy not their calling. I have no desire to stand in their shoes. Let my work be to do the will of God, to build up truth, virtue, righteousness, honor and peace upon the earth, and they may, if they so prefer, continue in the unfortunate work that their party has assigned to them.

Before I close I will say that I have not spoken on this subject with any feeling of acrimony in my heart towards the parties engaged in these proceedings. Some of the gentlemen engaged therein, in other respects, bear an excellent reputation. I will further say that we as Latter-day Saints have often heard it reported and reiterated in our ears, that the world was growing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, and that it would grow worse and worse. So we need not be surprised to see the fulfillment of these things. Furthermore, I wish specifically to state that while these abominations exist and these acts of injustice, we leave it with the perpetrators of these acts to pursue their own vain course. But it is for us to guard well against the innovations of the corrupt and the designing; it is for us to guard well our liberties; and then it is for us to treat honorably, rightly, and properly all honorable men and women. Although thousands are engaged in committing these crimes which are too dreadful to reflect upon: yet at the same time there are thousands and millions of honorable men and women throughout the nations, and many of them among us. We don’t class them with the corrupt, the libidinous and the murderers; although for our part we must be very careful of our associations, and know the character of those whom we receive into our houses, or allow our children to associate with.

God bless you and lead you in the paths of life; and while others are trying to exalt crime and murder into a fine art, and extol these libidinous practices; and while we have test oaths framed on purpose to screen the adulterer and adulteress; and while honorable men are prevented or voluntarily abstain from voting, and harlots and whoremongers, and men who betray their wives and associate with other women are considered honorable men and protected by the authorities of this Territory, it is for us to guard ourselves against everything that is improper, and to be pure, especially you who bear the vessels of the Lord. God bless you, and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Design of God in Relation to the Earth and Its Inhabitants—Power of Satan—The Two Zions—What is Required of the Saints—A Priesthood in the Heavens, As Well As on the Earth—Duties of the Priesthood—Would-Be Advisers—Celestial Marriage—Distinction Between Polygamy and Prostitution—Government Officers Discriminating in Favor of the Latter—Unchastity Not to Be Tolerated in the Church—Charity Advised—Class of People Who Accuse the Saints of Crime—Criminal Statistics—Horrifying Statements of Crime in the Eastern States—Warning to the Saints

Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Monday and Tuesday (Semi-Annual Conference), October 6 and 7, 1884.

If the congregation will endeavor to preserve as much order as possible, and prevent the crying and disturbance of children, I will try and address you for a short time. Last evening I made quite a lengthy address in this hall; but we had very good order. There was no whispering, no talking, nor disturbance of any kind. It requires, in a large congregation like this, quite an exertion to speak so as to make the people hear. I am told that the people could not hear half of what was said by several of the brethren yesterday. It is wrong for us to have disorder in the house of God, a place where we meet for instruction.

Last evening I talked of some matters of considerable importance to the Priesthood, of which there was an immense number present; they nearly filled this hall. I wish to continue some of these remarks; for it is necessary that all of us should be instructed in the great principles which God has revealed for the guidance, salvation and exaltation of the Saints of God, and also for the benefit of the world wherein we live. There were very many promises made to eminent men in generations long since past; but these generally had reference more particularly to the benefit of the world of mankind than to individuals.

There were certain great principles involved in the organization of this earth, and one was that there might be a place provided whereon the children of our Heavenly Father could live and propagate their species, and have bodies formed for the spirits to inhabit who were the children of God; for we are told that He is the God and Father of the spirits of all flesh. It was requisite, therefore, that an earth should be organized; it was requisite that man should be placed upon it; it was requisite that bodies should be prepared for those spirits to inhabit, in order that the purposes of God pertaining to His progeny might be accomplished, and that those spirits might be enabled, through the medium of the everlasting Gospel, to return unto the presence of their Heavenly Father, as Gods among the Gods.

There have been different agencies at work throughout this world’s history. Lucifer has been and is one of these agencies. There was a garden planted, and Adam and Eve were placed in it, and there they had communion with God. There was another being whose name was Lucifer, who is called in some places, “the son of the morning.” Job speaks of a time at the creation of this earth when “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy,” (Job xxxviii, 7). As it was necessary that there should be a God, a man, an earth and a heaven, it was also necessary that there should be a devil, that man might be tried, and by trial be instructed. Indeed, in the economy of God, it was not only necessary that man, but the Savior also should be perfected by suffering. It is written: “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews, ii, 10.) It was further necessary that there should be a Redeemer according to the plan which was devised from before the foundation of the world, and also that man might be a free agent to act and operate for himself, to receive the good and reject the evil, or reject the good and be governed by the evil. And there were certain rewards promised to those who would obey the laws of God, and keep his commandments, and certain punishments inflicted upon those who would not. Satan has made very great ravages among the human family in trying to accomplish his purposes; for he has been the enemy of God, and the enemy of man, and in ages past he wrought upon mankind until after a certain period he had contrived to get the great majority of them on his side. Nevertheless, they had the Priesthood among them in those early days as we have among us today. After Adam there were Seth, Enos, Mahalaleel, Methuselah, Lamech, and a great many others until we arrive at Enoch and Noah, who operated especially in behalf of the interest of the human family. They preached the Gospel as we preach it, and taught the same principles that we teach. They gathered the people to a Zion as we gather them, and when they had been gathered together, they had enemies as we have, who arrayed themselves against them. But Enoch was clothed upon with the power of God. He walked with God for 365 years, and we are told, “he was not; for God took him.” That is about all that is said about him in the Bible; but we have other information. Many others walked with God, and there was a city that the people were gathered to—a Zion. They walked with God and they were instructed of the Lord; but it took at any rate, 365 years to accomplish this object.

Furthermore, in the latter days there is to be a Zion built up: but in these days we are told that the Lord will cut His work short in righteousness. Enoch, in his day, had his messengers go forth among the people, and when they gathered, it induced the rage of man, and great armies assembled against the Saints, but Enoch prophesied by the power of God, and the earth shook and the mountains trembled, and the enemies of the Saints in fear fled afar off. By and by when the time came for the accomplishment of the purposes of God, and before the destruction of the wicked, Enoch was caught up to heaven and his Zion with him. And we are told in latter revelation in relation to these matters that a Zion will be built up in our day; that great trouble will overtake the inhabitants of the earth; and that when the time arrives, the Zion that was caught up will descend, and the Zion that will be organized here will ascend, both possessed of the same spirit, their peoples having been preserved by the power of God according to His purposes and as His children, to take part in the events of the latter days. We are told that when the people of these two Zions meet, they will fall on each others’ necks, and embrace and kiss each other.

As they in that day were placed under the guidance of the Almighty, so are we. As they had a work to perform associated with the welfare of the human family, so have we. As they had the Gospel to preach, so have we. As they had a Zion to build up, so have we. As they needed the support of the Great Jehovah, so do we. As they were dependent upon Him in all their movements, whether in relation to earth or heaven, so are we. The work in which we are engaged is one that has been introduced by the Great Eloheim, the God and Father of the human family, in the interests of His children. And wherever and whenever these principles have existed, this same being that was in the garden with our first parents still goes forth and has gone forth as a raging lion, seeking whom he may deceive, seeking whom he may devour, seeking whom he may lead down to death. And in these latter days God has introduced these same principles with the same object in view. He has revealed the same principles of heaven, and as heretofore, in the interest of humanity. Who was Enoch? Was he a man of God? Yes. Who were the Elders with him, were they men of God? Yes; and they received their instructions in that Zion that was then built up, and more or less directly from God; for Enoch walked with God. Whom was Enoch operating for? For God his heavenly Father. He was there, as Jesus was on the earth in his time, as he said, not to do His own will, but the will of his Father who sent him. And whom did those people operate for? They operated for the welfare of the human family who would receive the truth and be governed by it. And whom did Jesus and His Apostles in their day operate for? For the benefit of all the world. Jesus Himself appeared as the Redeemer of the world, and He commissioned His Apostles to preach the Gospel to every creature, saying: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned.” What is this salvation and condemnation? That would take a long time to tell. Suffice it to say that there are bodies celestial, bodies terrestrial, and bodies telestial; one glory of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; but strait was the gate and narrow was the way that led unto the lives, and few there were at that time and few there have always been who have gone in thereat. And what was it that they sought? It was the Celestial Kingdom of our God, that they might come forth in the first resurrection and be one with the Father and one with Jesus, and be long to the Church of the Firstborn whose names are written in heaven, and become Gods among the Gods, and participate in all the glory of the Celestial Kingdom. But few there were who found the narrow path. It is so today. Were the Apostles of Jesus commanded to preach the Gospel? Yes. Are we commanded as they were? Yes. What was the position of the Apostles? They were simply messengers of life and salvation to a fallen world. What are the First Presidency, the Twelve, the High Priests, the Seventies, and the Elders today? What are they? Bearers of life and salvation to a fallen world, the messengers of God to men, the legates of the skies commissioned by the Great Jehovah to introduce the principles of eternal life, and gather in his elect from the four quarters of the earth, and to prepare them for an exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God. And what becomes of those who choose the other path? They are still God’s children, and He feels interested in them. What will He do with them? They will be judged according to the deeds done in the body, and according to the light and intelligence which God communicates to them. Then there is another glory, a telestial glory. Those who enter into that glory will also be judged according to their deeds and be rewarded according to their acts. We are told of others who will suffer the wrath of God, and in the revelations given to us we learn that eternal punishment is God’s punishment, that everlasting punishment is God’s punishment, for He is eternal, and He is everlasting. We are informed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. We are told, too, that the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, who were destroyed because of their wickedness, were shut up in prison and they remained there for a long, long time. How long? We read that Jesus, who was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, went and preached to the spirits in prison which were sometime disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah. How long had these people been there? At a rough guess about 2,400 years. It was quite a painful ordeal to go through. It is one that none of us would like very much. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God—a fearful thing to violate His laws. We have gathered here that we may learn those laws, the laws of God, the laws of life, and prepare ourselves under His guidance for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God. But are all the Latter-day Saints going into that kingdom? No. How is that? It is just as Jesus declared. “It is not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, that will enter into the Kingdom of God; but he that doeth the will of the Father who is in heaven.” Did Jesus come to do the will of His Father in heaven? He did, and He expects all who aim at Celestial glory to do the same, and if they do not they will not get there. He says, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” And He will say unto them, “Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, I know you not, you have not lived as becometh Saints.” Oh, say some, that don’t mean the Saints. No, it don’t, but it means many who profess to be Saints. Do the world profess to cast out devils, to heal the sick and to do many mighty works? They do not. Do the world prophesy in His name? No. Do the world preach in the name of God? They preach in His name, many of them, without having the authority, as we have heard at this conference; but they do not propose to do many mighty works in His name, but many of our Elders do—Elders who magnify their calling and honor their God. On the other hand there are Elders who are careless, wayward and rebellious against God and His laws—who seek to trample under foot the principles that He has revealed—who seek to set themselves up to guide, direct, and manipulate the affairs of the Church and Kingdom of God, and yet these same persons know nothing but what they know naturally, as do the brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed; and we none of us know anything only as God instructs us. We are indebted to Him for the introduction of this work, and for all the information pertaining thereto. It has been from no man nor set of men, nor organizations of a professed spiritual or temporal nature, that we have received intelligence pertaining to the things of God, the Church of God, or the Kingdom of God. It has come directly from the Lord, through the Gospel of the Son of God, which brings life and immortality to light; and if men think—and we every once in a while meet with such characters—they know better than the Lord how to manipulate affairs they will find out their mistake. The Lord will say to them, “Depart from me, I never knew you: for it is not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, that shall enter into the Kingdom of God; but He that doeth the will of our Father in Heaven.”

Hence there is a great work for us to do. There is something comprehensive in it. It is indeed the dis pensation of the fullness of times spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world was. It relates to the interests of men that now live: it relates to the interests of men who have lived, and it relates to things that are yet in the future. It is a thing in which the Gods in the eternal worlds are interested, and all the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets that have lived upon the earth are all interested in the work in which we are engaged. There is a Priesthood in the heavens, and we have the same Priesthood on the earth, but there should be a closer communion between the Priesthood on the earth and the Priesthood in the heavens; it is desirable that we should be brought into closer proximity, we want to be advancing as Enoch advanced. After the appearance of Jesus upon the earth, there was to be a certain power who would make war with the Saints and prevail against them; and it is said, “they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time:” (Daniel vii, 25) but in this day we are told that “the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever,” (verse 18). You and I may violate our covenants; you and I may trample upon the principles of the Gospel, and violate the order of the Priesthood and the commands of God; but among the hosts of Israel there will be thousands and tens of thousands who will be true to the principles of truth, and God in the heavens, the holy angels and the ancient Priesthood that now live where God lives are all united together, for the accomplishment of this purpose. The Lord will roll forth His purposes in His own way and is His own time. And having thus organized, as I before stated, it is not for us to act as we may think individually, but as God shall dictate. We have a regular order in the Church. You brethren, who hold the holy Priesthood, understand these things. Has God not given to every man a portion of His Spirit to profit withal? Yes. Has He not done more than this to the saints who are true and faithful? Has He not given to them the gift of the Holy Ghost? He has, and they know it and realize it. They are brought into communion with each other, and into communion with God and the heavenly hosts. But having this Spirit do we need others to guide us? Yes, all the time. Why? Because of the powers of darkness, the influence of Satan and the weakness of human nature. We need watchmen upon the towers of Zion, who are on the alert to look after the interests of Israel, and see that God’s people do not go astray. Hence it becomes the duty of the Teachers to look after the people, to see that there is no hard feeling, no covetousness, no fraud, no adultery, no iniquity of any kind; but that purity, holiness and righteousness prevail among those that they preside over. And how far does this extend? To every place where there is a ward or a portion of a ward—to the utmost extremity. It may be compared unto the body—from the head to the feet, from the toes to the fingers, and to every other part. All the officers necessary for the work of the ministry are to be found in the Church, and everything has been organized according to the order of God. Are any of these men who are called to presiding positions autocrats—men who exercise undue authority over the feelings and associations of their fellow man? No. Have any of them the right to disregard the feelings of their breth ren, trample them under foot, and act as tyrants? No. Have the Apostles, or High Priests, or Seventies, or Elders, any such right? No. Brother Cannon will read an extract from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, on this question.

President George Q. Cannon then read as follows from Section 121, of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants—

“Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

“Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

“That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principle of righteousness.

“That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

“Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

“Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

“By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

“Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

“That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

“Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

“The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.”

President Taylor continuing his remarks said: We have many specimens of the characters referred to in this revelation read by Brother Cannon. These things continue to exist more or less. Some people are very desirous sometimes to instruct me about how I ought to manipulate and manage affairs. Well, if they were set as my instructors I should be much pleased to get all the information I could from them, and I would be pleased to get information from the humblest person in existence—if it was information. Among other things I find that a good many begin to think that we are very much persecuted and proscribed in our marital relations, according to the revelations which God has given us, and there is sometimes a little trembling in the knees. I am pleased there is not much of it, but there is a little once in a while. Sometimes I get advice from outsiders, from the newspapers, etc., and sometimes from some of our brethren (but from very few of our brethren), in relation to these matters.

God has given us a revelation in regard to celestial marriage. I did not make it. He has told us certain things pertaining to this matter, and they would like us to tone that principle down and change it and make it applicable to the views of the day. This we cannot do; nor can we interfere with any of the commands of God to meet the persuasions or behests of men. I cannot do it, and will not do it.

I find some men try to twist round the principle in any way and every way they can. They want to sneak out of it in some way. Now God don’t want any kind of sycophancy like that. He expects that we will be true to Him, and to the principles He has developed, and to feel as Job did—“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Though other folks would slay us, yet we will trust in the living God and be true to our covenants and to our God. These are my feelings in relation to that matter. We have also been told that “it is not mete that men who will not abide my law shall preside over my Priesthood,” and yet some people would like very much to do it. Well, they cannot do it; because if we are here, as I said before, to do the will of our Father who sent us, and He has told us what to do, we will do it, in the name of Israel’s God—and all who sanction it say Amen—[the vast congregation responded with a loud “Amen.“]—and those that don’t may say what they please. [Laughter.] If God has introduced something for our glory and exaltation, we are not going to have that kicked over by any improper influence, either inside or outside of the Church of the living God. We will stand by the principles of eternal truth; living we will proclaim them, and dying we will be true to them, and after death will live again in their enjoyment in the eternal worlds. That is my feeling; so I don’t feel very trembly in the knees, and I do not think you do, generally. I see sometimes a disposition to try to ignore some of the laws which God has introduced, and this is one of them. People want to slip round a corner, or creep out in some way. There is something very creepy about it. There was a man in former times we are told, came to Jesus by night. His name was Nicodemus. He was one of those persons who did not like the daylight. I have known some people who would want to be baptized in the evening, or get into some corner that they might not be seen. Well, there is not much to such folks. Jesus was very unpopular, quite as unpopular as we are, in His day. Nicodemus was a prominent man among the Jews, and he thought it might injure his reputation if he was seen visiting that Nazarene, to get instruction from Him, so he crawled in at night. Jesus talked quite plainly to him, as you can read for yourselves; but we find some folks of a similar kind now creeping around. They have not the manhood to stand true to their colors and to their God. Some folks think that we polygamists are very much indebted to our brethren who are monogamists to help to steady the ark (God save the mark!)—(Laughter.)—to help to save us, and that we need such men in the Legislature, etc., and to fill our various offices. Well, I won’t tell you all I think about some of these things, but I do think we are all of us dependent upon God our Heavenly Father, and if He don’t take care of us we shall not be taken care of; if His arm is not extended in our behalf we shall have a poor showing; but if God is with us, we ask no odds of the world, for He governs the destinies of the human family. He puts down one man and exalts another. He dethrones one king or president as the case may be, and sets up another, and He rules as He pleases among the nations of the earth and all the children of men, although they don’t know it. We live in Him, we move in Him, we have our being from Him. We are not dependent very much upon the monogamists about any of these things. You need not plume yourselves very much in these matters; and I will tell you, if you want to get along smoothly, you had better find among your various neighbors, when you have some matter of difficulty to settle, some of these polygamists and ask a little counsel at their hands. They will be able to advise you about many things, especially if they are men of God, humble men, living their religion and keeping the commandments of God.

There are some few things I have been reflecting about, and have noted them down, and I think I shall read them now.

The distinction being made between Polygamy and Prostitution:

1st. Congress made a law which would affect both; and cohabitation with more than one woman was made a crime whether in polygamy or out of polygamy.

2nd. The Governor turned legislator, added to this law, and inserted in a test oath to officials, the following words regarding cohabitation, “in the marriage relation;” thus plainly and definitely sanctioning prostitution, without any law of the United States, or any authority.

3rd. The United States Commissioners, also, without legislation, adopted the action of the Governor, and still insisted on this interpolation, in the test oath in election matters, and placed all polygamists under this unconstitutional oath, and released prostitutes and their paramours from the obligations placed upon others.

4th. The Prosecuting Attorney has sanctioned these things, and pursued a similar course; and while he has asked all the “Mormon” jurors certain questions pertaining to their religious faith in the doctrines of the “Mormon” Church, and challenged them if they answered affirmatively as to their belief in polygamy, he has declined to ask other jurors whether they believed in prostitution, or whether they believed in cohabiting with more than one woman or not.

5th. Chief Justice Zane when appealed to on this question refused to interfere, or give any other ruling, and thus aided in packing the jury.

Thus a law was first passed by Congress, which has been perverted by the administration, by all its officers who have officiated in this Territory, and made to subserve the interests of a party who have placed in their political platform an Anti-Mormon plank; and have clearly proven that there is a combination in all the officers of State, officiating in this Territory, to back up this political intrigue in the interest of party, and at the sacrifice of law, equity, jurisprudence and all the safeguards that are provided by the Constitution for the protection of human rights.

These (continued President Taylor) are some points that are of considerable importance. Similar things have been exhibited in former times—an animus, a united operation against justice, equity and law, and, in our case, against the Constitution of the United States, and the rights and privileges and immunities of the Latter-day Saints. A law was framed professedly in the interest of purity and virtue. When it got here it was perverted and made to subserve the interest of prostitution and prostitutes; and the lowest class of men, who violate their marital relations, and trample under foot all principles of virtue and integrity, can go on our juries, can vote at the polls, through the intrigues of corrupt men; and they thus try to shackle a free people, bring them into bondage, and make slaves of them, unless they will bow to their infernal behests, and in the name of Israel’s God we will not do it. [The congregation responded with a loud “Amen.“] We are not going to elevate prostitutes and men who violate their marital relations above men and women who are virtuous, honorable and upright. These are my feelings, and I am not afraid to proclaim them to the world. So much for these things.

Do we want a class of men along with us that will submit to these kind of things, and are we to share in this hypocrisy, this infamy and degradation? What mean these dens in our city that are introduced by our Christian friends—dens of infamy, dens of prostitution, gam bling holes, houses of assignation, dramshops, etc.? They are to cater to the virtuous (?) feelings of these honorable, high-minded, pure reformers that have come among us—(Laughter)—or what are they for? They are sanctioned, I am ashamed to say by the officers of government, and protected in their libidinous and degrading pursuits. How was it some time ago when the Edmunds law was first introduced? A son of Mayor Little was one of the election registrars. His father some years ago had had two wives—I am sorry to say he has not got them now, they are dead—and because some years before any law of this kind was in operation in the United States he had practiced plural marriage, his son was obliged to tell his father that he could not register. Shortly afterwards a notorious courtesan known as Kate Flint, with some of the inmates of her bagnio, drove up and requested to be registered. “Why, of course.” And this same gentleman that could not register his honorable father, who had never violated any law of the United States, had to endure the mortification of taking the names of these others and placing them on the list as respectable voters in our midst! About this time another non-Mormon came along to one of the other registration officers, and on partly reading the oath—this test oath that had been prescribed—said, “I am afraid I can’t take that!” “Why can’t you take it?” Well, he was an honest man among the Gentiles; he did not like to foreswear himself; so he said, “I have a wife, and then I keep a mistress.” “Oh, well,” says the man, “read on a little further.” He read on until he came to the words, “in the marriage relation.” “Oh, well, yes, I can take that,” he said, and registered. These are facts that are stuck before our noses here in the City of Salt Lake by the officials sent among us, and who are instructed particularly to look after our morals.

So much, then, for such affairs. Now, do we want affiliation or association with such practices and principles as these? God forbid. And we want no falterers in our ranks. What shall we do? Live our religion, be true to our covenants, and keep the commandments of God.

What shall the Presidents of Stakes do? Look after our Stakes, and if you find adulterers or adulteresses among you, don’t permit them to go into the temples of God; for we won’t have such people; they cannot be sanctioned by us, nor have our fellowship. We will not have them; the world may take the strumpets; they may wallow in their filth, but we will not have our holy places polluted by people calling themselves Latter-day Saints, who indulge in these abominable practices; we will not have them; and anybody who permits them to go into these holy places will have to be responsible for it. Many Bishops do it, they will be held responsible. Therefore, be careful, you Presidents of Stakes and you Bishops, how you act, and look well after your people, for be it understood that before our Lord Jesus Christ shall come, “Tighteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” (Psalms lxxxv, 13.) We are preparing ourselves to build up a Zion of God, and these people, whoremasters and whores, liars and hypocrites, will never get into the city of the living God, they will be found outside the gates.

Now, have I any ill feelings towards these people that persecute and proscribe us? No. I would do them good for evil, give blessings for curses; I would treat them well, treat them honorably. Let us be men of truth, honor and integrity; men that will swear to our own hurt and change not; men whose word will be our everlasting bond. If you see men hungry, feed them, no matter who they are: white, black, or red, Jew, Gentile or Mormon, or anybody else—feed them. If you see men naked, clothe them. If you see men sick, administer to them, and learn to be kind to all men; but partake not of their evil practices. “O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united.” We are trying to raise up a people that shall be men of God, men of truth, men of integrity, men of virtue, men who will be fit to associate with the Gods in the eternal worlds.

We are accused of being corrupt, degraded, low and debauched. Who by? By people, as I will show who are ten times as degraded, ten times as debauched, ten times as low and guilty of ten-fold more crime than we are. These are our professed reformers. I speak of these things therefore in our defense, and were we not accused by men void of honor and principle, I never would broach such a subject; for, I do not delight to dwell on the infamies, the corruptions and abominations of the world. I would rather speak of their good qualities and honorable principles, and I am thankful to say that there are thousands and tens of thousands and millions in these United States and in other nations who look with contempt upon all the chicanery, deception and fraud, whether of a moral, social, political, legislative, or judicial character; thousands and millions of men; I see many of them, very many of them, who pass through here, men of note, of position in society from the United States, and from the different nations who call upon me from time to time, and express their sentiments pertaining to these matters. In order to sustain what I say, I will have Brother Cannon read over some statistics in regard to crime. We are, as I have said, represented as a very bad people, and I want to show a comparison between us and our reformers, or those that profess to be our reformers in relation to these matters.

President Cannon then read the following, being the criminal statistics for the year 1883.

“The population of Utah may be estimated at 160,000 in 1883.

“Of these say 130,000 were Mormons, and 30,000 Gentiles, a very liberal estimate of the latter.

“In this year there were 46 persons sent to the Penitentiary convicted of crime. Of these 33 were non-Mormons, and 13 reputed Mormons.

“At the above estimate of population the ratio or percentage would be one prisoner to every 10,000 Mormons, or one hundredth of one per cent, and of the Gentiles one convict in every 909, or about one ninth of one percent. So that the actual proportion of criminals is more than ten times greater among the Gentiles of Utah, with the above very liberal estimate, than among the Mormons.

“It is urged that these non-Mormon prisoners are not a fair representation of the average of crime throughout the country, but are the result of the flow of the desperate classes westward to the borders of civilization; with greater truth we reply that the Mormon prisoners are not representatives of Mormonism, nor the results of Mormonism, but of the consequences of a departure from Mormon principles; and of the 13 prisoners classed as “Mormons,” the greater portion were only so by family connection or association:

Arrests in Salt Lake City, 1883: Mormons, 150 Non-Mormons, 1,559 or more than ten times the number of Mormon arrests.

“Again, it is estimated that there are 6,000 non-Mormons, and 19,000 Mormons in Salt Lake City, which shows of Mormons one arrest in 126 2/3.

“Non-Mormons one arrest in a fraction less than every four, or rather more than twenty-five percent.”

As I have said before (continued President Taylor), if we were not on the defensive in this case, I would say nothing about these things; but it ill becomes men who have got ten criminals to our one to come here as our reformers, and try to disfranchise men who are ten times as good as they are. These are facts that are not of my getting up.

They come from the public records and can be verified by the prison and other statistics. And the question is, how much of that rule do we want here?

The questionable honor is reserved to these advocates of “advanced high moral ideas” to trample upon all judicial precedents. It was not enough that an insignificant minority should have more than an equal showing with the majority, being equal in numbers in the drawing to make up a venire. It was not enough that every Mormon was questioned as to his religious faith, and that no Gentile was. It was not enough that all “Mormons” were excluded from this so-called “impartial grand jury,” and that their avowed enemies were to be their judges. It is not enough that our people must be tried by men whose average record shows them to be ten times their inferiors as law abiding citizens; but not having enough men to pack this “impartial grand jury” according to the provisions of law, under the guise of virtue, and in the name of morality and justice, edicts are issued to the officers to go into the purlieus of the city and gather up ad libitum from among the guttersnipes creatures to form “a jury of the peers” of the accused with which to persecute and prosecute honorable men and women.

These are things we object to, and I wish our brethren and sisters to be informed in regard to these matters, that they may have a correct estimate of the position that we occupy pertaining thereto. We cannot respect and esteem such operations, and while we are desirous to place ourselves in conformity with all law, all order and all correct principle, yet we despise in our hearts this chicanery, hypocrisy, fraud and deception. But do we expect to see such things? Yes. Are we surprised at it? No. Why? Because we have been told over and over again, and the Elders have preached over and over again, and the Prophets have prophesied of it over and over again, that the world will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Who is it that embarks in these things? It is the corrupt, the ungodly, the debauchee, the adulterer, the liar, the men who violate every principle of honor, truth and integrity, and who are enemies to this nation, and the same class of people are enemies to any nation. They are laying the axe at the root of the tree of liberty, and trying to overturn the freedom of man, and to place free men in bondage, a thing no honorable man would con descend to for a moment. And there are many in this city who despise these things as they do the gates of hell, who are not associated with us in a religious capacity, many honorable men who have feelings of this kind, and then there are tens of thousands in the United States who possess the same feelings and the same abhorrence of this corruption, degradation and infamy that is sought to be palmed upon us. But while we can estimate these things at their worth, we can also estimate the actions of honorable men who are not of us at their true worth. Because a man is not a believer in our doctrines, that is no reason why he should not be an honorable man, for there are thousands and millions of them: it would be a pity if they were in the same condition as the others. But we as a people have to defend ourselves against the aggressions of an unscrupulous enemy who is instigated by the power of the adversary to overturn and destroy the truth today as he has done in other ages, in other nations and among other peoples. Therefore it becomes us to look well after our affairs, and protect ourselves as best we may from the calumnies, the reproach, and the infamies that are sought to be foisted upon us by an ungodly, hypocritical and corrupt people.

Now, having got through with this, I want to refer to something else. It has been stated that the reason why we have so many of these criminals is because that the scum of society from the eastern States floats out here, and that therefore a rough, uncouth, lawless class finds its way into this community. Now, I want something read to you about some of these so called virtuous people in the east.

President Cannon again read as follows:

Dr. Nathan Allen, of Lowell, has declared in a paper read before a late meeting of the American Social Science Association, that “nowhere in the history of the world was the practice of abortion so common as in this country; and he gave expression to the opinion that, in New England alone, many thousands of abortions are procured annually.”

Dr. Reamy, of the Ohio State Medical Society, says: “From a very large verbal and written correspondence in this and other States, together with personal investigation and facts accumulated * * that we have become a nation of murderers.”

The Rev. Dr. Eddy writes to the Christian Advocate regarding one little village of 1,000 inhabitants: “Yet here, and elsewhere, 15 per cent of wives have the criminal hardihood to practice this black art, there is a still large and additional percent who endorse and defend it. * * Among married persons, so extensive has this practice become, that people of high repute not only commit this crime, but do not shun to speak boastingly among their intimates of the deed and the means of accomplishing it.”

Dr. Allen further states: “Examining the number of deaths, we find that there are absolutely more deaths than births among the strictly American children, so that aside from immigration and births of children of foreign parentage, the population of Massachusetts is rapidly decreasing. * * The birth rate in the State of New York, shows the same fact, that American families do not increase at all, and inspection of the registration in other States shows the same remark applies to all.”

Bishop Coxe, of the Protestant Episcopal Church of New York, in a pastoral letter to his people, writes: “I have heretofore warned my flock against the blood guiltiness of antenatal infanticide. If any doubts existed heretofore as to the propriety of my warnings on this subject, they must now disappear before the fact that the world itself is beginning to be horrified by the practical results of the sacrifices to Moloch which defile our land. Again I warn you that they who do such things cannot inherit eternal life. If there be a special damnation for those who shed innocent blood, what must be the portion of those who have no mercy upon their own flesh.”

Dr. Cowan, M. D., writing on what he styles “the Murder of the Unborn,” says: “That this crime is not only widespread on this great continent, but is rapidly on the increase, we have the testimony of physicians, whose investigations have been thorough, and whose social standing and sincerity cannot be questioned.”

President Taylor continuing said: These are the people that are coming here to reform us, and are so disgusted with our corruptions. Yet I am pleased to find that there are, once in a while, men who have the courage to speak against these damning evils. Bishop Coxe, of the Episcopal Church, is one of these men, and I honor such men whenever I hear of them, and should be glad at all times to extend to them all courtesies possible. Dr. Allen and Dr. Reamy are inspired, it seems, by the same detestation of these hellish, these fiendish, these outrageous acts. Yet from these people come our reformers, who are so horrified at the evils they see in Utah. But fortunately, the bed is too short, they cannot stretch themselves on it; and the covering is too narrow and too contracted, it will not cover them, and their evils and abominations crop out on every side, and they become their own accusers.

It is their own statements that I have had read to you this morning. I am sorry to know that these things are as they are; but these are facts, and we do not feel very much honored with the association of such people. We do feel honored always to associate with honorable men and women; but with the seducer, with harlots, with thieves, with murderers of the innocents, no! never! no never! We want no association with them. As it is stated here by one of these reverend gentlemen in the East, speaking of these things, no murderer hath eternal life in him, nor no murderesses have eternal life in them.

I have had these things read to you for two reasons: First, to show the corruption that exists among these so-called virtuous people, honorable people, pure people, who are so shocked at the atrocities that take place in Utah. Another reason is that I want to warn our brethren and sisters against these infamies, and against permitting these filthy wretches to come into their houses. They are too low, too debased, too corrupt; and I speak of it because I know what I am talking about; there are some of these people crawling around us like so many vipers, and insinuating their hellish, murderous practices into the families of some who call themselves Latter-day Saints. Woe! to such Saints. You cannot have a place among us. No woman murderer, no man murderer can have a place among the Latter-day Saints, and I speak of it that the Presidents of Stakes and the Bishops may be apprised of these things. And some of these people would try to pass by the Bishops, and then by the Presidents of Stakes, and then by the President of the Church, and crawl with all their slime and damnable hypocrisy into the Temples of the living God. They may pass by these, but they will have to pass by the angels and the Gods, before they get through, and they will never inherit the Kingdom of God. Hear it you sisters! Hear it you brethren! Hear it you Bishops, and you Presidents of Stakes! Watch well and know well what you are doing, when you sign recommends for doubtful characters to go into these holy places. We do not want them there. It is not their place, and you will have to account for your acts if you permit these things knowingly. It is necessary that you should be particular about these matters, for you will have to answer for your doings as I have for mine. We cannot, because of relationship, because somebody is a cousin, or an uncle, or an aunt, or a brother, or a sister, or a son or a daughter, or a father or a mother—we cannot ad mit and will not admit them to any of these holy places unless they are worthy. I call upon you if you know of adulterers or adulteresses, or people that practice these unnatural infamies, to sever them from the Church; they shall not have a place in the Church and Kingdom of God. Mr. Murray here, and others, may make laws and test oaths, with provisions in them to screen the adulterer, the whoremonger, and the seducer; but we will tear that away from our people, and all such shall have no place with Israel, and all who are in favor of it, signify it by saying “Aye.” [The congregation responded with a loud “Aye.“] These are our feelings, and it is some of these things which has led me to talk as plainly as I have done in regard to some of these other matters. I wanted to present the contrast so plainly before you that he that runneth might read. Enough of this, however, for the present: Handle it carefully. Deal with it gently, Speak of it tenderly, Poor Justice is blind.

Why We Gather—Difference Between the Latter-Day Saints and the World—Organization of the Church in Former Days—Condition of the World Previous to the Restoration of the Gospel—The Reformers and the Work They Performed—All Men Enjoy a Portion of the Spirit of God—The Jews—The Gospel Must Be Preached—Organization of New Stakes—Missionaries’ Families to Be Provided for—Building Homes and Beautifying Them—The Destiny of Zion

Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered in the Bowery at Rexburg, Bannock Stake, Idaho, Sunday Afternoon, Aug. 17th, 1884.

I am pleased to have the opportunity of meeting with you in this place, of visiting your homes in these new settlements, and of striking hands and conversing with many of our old friends with whom we have been associated quite a distance from here, and some a very long distance indeed.

As Latter-day Saints we have gathered to these valleys of the mountains. We are assembled together for certain purposes associated with our own individual interests; in other respects for purposes connected with the welfare of our families, of our wives, our children, our husbands, etc. And then, further, we have gathered together as we have done in these mountains to comply with certain requisitions made by the Almighty upon His people in these latter days. We have come here in accordance with a message that he has communicated from the heavens to the inhabitants of the earth. These ideas and feelings are at the foundation of all our movements, of all our acts. We occupy a very peculiar position in the midst of these United States, and also in the world. We differ from others in a great many respects, in our ideas of God, in our religious sentiments, in our social views, and in our relationship with each other, and in many respects in all the leading characteristics of human life and existence pertaining either to this world or to the world that is to come. We assemble here as Latter-day Saints—for it is to these that I am speaking—and I understand the term Latter-day Saint is used in contradistinction to former-day Saints. The Church of Christ existed some 1,800 years ago, when Christ himself was its teacher. He came down from the heavens to teach and instruct the people in the ways of life. Those who believed in Him were baptized in His name for the remission of sins, and they had hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost. They were born of the water and of the Spirit, and were made new creatures in Christ Jesus. They were instructed in the principles of the Gospel, and they had placed among them Prophets, Apostles, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists. We are told that these men were authorized by Jesus to preach the Gospel to all the nations of the earth. We are told that they were to tarry at Jerusalem, until they had received power from on high, notwithstanding all the teachings they had had from the Savior. What was that power? It was the gift of the Holy Ghost. Had they not received it? Not in the sense here implied. What, not those that had been with Jesus? No, I repeat, not in the sense here implied. Jesus emphatically told them that it was necessary He should go away; for if He went not away the Comforter would not come. He instructed His Apostles to teach certain principles that should exist and that ought to prevail among all the human family. But the people have departed from these things. The Gospel put them in possession of the Holy Ghost, which brought things past to their remembrance, led them into all truth, and showed them of things to come. The Savior explained the office of the Holy Ghost. It would enable those who received it to comprehend the past, the present and the future. It would draw aside the curtain of the invisible world, and they would be enabled to gaze through the dark vista of future ages and comprehend the purposes of God, as they rolled forth in all their majesty, glory and power. And then in the church, as I have said, there were placed Prophets, Apostles, Pastors, Teachers, etc., for the perfecting of the Saints, and for the work of the ministry; that men properly qualified and endowed of God, by His Holy Spirit, and ordained and set apart by Him, might go forth as messengers of life and salvation to the nations of the earth. Hence they had their Twelve, their Seventies, their Bishops, and the various officers of the Church. This organization to which I now refer, existed 1,800 years ago, on the continent of Asia, and according to accounts given in the Book of Mormon, a similar organization existed on this continent. Here they had their Twelve, and these Twelve were commissioned to preach the Gospel as the others were on the continent of Asia. Jesus visited them here as He visited the others in Asia, and they were placed under His guidance and direction.

Now, what condition was the world in before the Gospel we now preach was introduced? Many of you older men here—there are not so many old men here as we find in some places—lived when the Gospel was not upon the earth. I did and many others did. Where could we find anything resembling that which was taught by Jesus? Nowhere on the face of the wide earth. Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, etc., were nowhere to be found. Do I know this? I do know it, for I lived in the world at that time. I knew what was going on. I was mixed up with their teachers, and was well acquainted with the different societies and organizations. Did they have the Gospel as laid down in the Scriptures? No. I remember reading with very great interest the remarks of one of the Wesleys—I do not remember now whether it was Charles or John—in some poetry of his: “From chosen Abraham’s seed the new Apostles choose O’er isles and continents to spread the soul reviving news.”

He knew very well that they did not have Apostles, nor those officers that used to exist in the Church, and he felt it keenly, as did many others. I, myself, mixed up with a society of gentlemen before I heard the fullness of the Gospel, who were searching the Scriptures to find out the true way; for we did not find any men who professed to be inspired. We were told that all inspiration had ceased, and yet there were men professing to be called of God to preach the Gospel. Now, that is a very singular thing. How can a man be called of God, if God has ceased to speak? If a man is called of God, he must be called either by the voice or Spirit of God, or by somebody who is authorized of God, and knows something about His ways. If he does not receive his calling in this way, how is he going to get it? There is one other way—that is, if God has had a regular Priesthood upon the earth, unbroken, uncorrupted and uncontaminated, then it might come down from one to another through the different ages. The Church of Rome professes to trace its authority down from the days of the Apostles until the present. But unfortunately there is a Scripture that rather interferes with them and with others, namely: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” I will tell you what Joseph Smith told me personally. Said he: “You are going out to preach the Gospel, and if you can find a people anywhere as you wander through the world”—which I have done a great deal, traveled thousands, and I do not know but hundreds of thousands of miles, and mingled with all classes and creeds and con ditions of men, religious and irreligious, professors and non-professors, Christians and Jews, Gentiles and all classes of people—“if you can find,” said he, “a people anywhere having the doctrines of Christ, you need not baptize them.” But I never found anywhere, wherever I went, any persons holding the doctrines of Christ as taught by Him, with Apostles and Prophets and inspired men under the influence of the Holy Ghost, and with an organization similar to that which was introduced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore I had to call upon all men everywhere to repent, for I could not find the kind of people Joseph said I need not baptize. Wesley and Whitfield, and going back still further, Luther, Melancthon, Knox, Zwingli, and many other reformers, started what are termed reformations. But what did they do in those reformations? Did they bring back the pure Gospel of Christ? No, they did not, and they did not profess to do it. It is left for some of their admirers to do that for them which they in their day never professed to do. What did they do? They tried to reform abuses that were in the church. Well, what was done by these people? What influence were they under? They were under the influence, more or less, of the Spirit of the living God. But they didn’t have the Gospel, you say? No; but they were not deprived of a portion of the Spirit of the living God on that account. It is a very great error for us to suppose that men throughout the whole world have not been under an influence of that kind more or less. We are told in the Scriptures that God has given unto all men a portion of His Spirit to profit withal, and many men who have followed that Spirit according to the light they have had, have done a great deal of good among men, among whom were Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, Wesley, Fletcher, and others in the various churches. Fletcher, I think, was a Church of England minister; so was John Wesley, and many others; then there were others among the Presbyterians, Methodists, Catholics, etc. They were good men. They sought to do good, and did do good; for he that doeth righteousness is righteous. They followed the leadings of that portion of the Spirit of God which is given to all men to profit withal. They operated in the interests of humanity; introduced many charitable institutions; made provision for the poor and outcast, the lame, and the blind; acted in a very liberal, kind and generous manner. I have known, in my travels, many ladies and gentlemen possessing large fortunes, who spent their time and their means in trying to promote the welfare of humanity. But was that the fullness of the Gospel of the Son of God? No, it was not. Was it right for them to do these things? Yes; for it is always right for all men to do good to their fellow men; to be moral, virtuous, honorable and upright; and notwithstanding the wickedness and crime that exist in these United States, yet there are thousands and millions of good honorable men who desire to do right; but they do not know the truth, and are led astray by men who know not what they say nor what they affirm. If these men had the Gospel with which is associated the gift of the Holy Ghost, it would lead them into all truth as it did in former days. And what is said of circumstances and events that shall transpire in the last days? We are told that it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall bring again Zion, that her watchmen shall see eye to eye. This will be the case when all the people of Zion live their religion, and comply with the requirements of the Lord.

Speaking of good men, I had several gentlemen call upon me just before I left the city. They were Jews. They came from London, or somewhere in that neighborhood. One of them professed to be a lineal descendant of the tribe of Levi, and of the house of Aaron, and I was told by part of the company that he held the legitimate right to the Aaronic Priesthood, and his name agreed with the records we have pertaining to these things. Well, these men were engaged in a very charitable enterprise. They had heard that we had some sympathies with the Jews, and desired to see me and have a talk with me on the subject. They told me about the terrible scenes that had transpired in Russia lately, and the heavy persecutions that their people had endured in that country. They and their friends had subscribed some 80,000 pounds (about $400,000) to assist their persecuted brethren in Russia, and had formed a number of colonies in the United States, and thus delivered a great many from their oppressors. They have purchased large tracts of land, and established their brethren upon them. I told them they had rather missed the place—that they should have taken up Palestine. That, they said, would be all right in its time; they could easily go from this country to Palestine when the time came. I talked with them about a good many principles. I talked about our temples, and said that they would have to build one at Jerusalem, and I told them that I had spoken to Baron Rothschild on this same subject some few years ago, and that he would assist in gathering the people. They said that he had given them some help in connection with the enterprise they now had in hand, and they supposed he would assist in the future.

I speak of these things to show the good feelings that exist among men in many instances. That was certainly a very charitable act for these men to be engaged in. They were Jews and not Christians, neither were they Latter-day Saints. Why, it would be a good work for an infidel to be engaged in—to do good to his fellow men and relieve the oppressed. That is what we believe in—to do good to all men, especially to the household of faith.

It is well for us to remember that we are not the only people God has on the earth. We are told that He is the God and Father of the spirits of all flesh. He is therefore interested in the whole of the human family. The Savior commanded His Apostles to preach the Gospel to every creature. Why? Because the whole of the human family are the sons and daughters of God, and it was proper that they should have the principles of life and salvation presented to them. He has told us to do the same thing—to carry the Gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people—and our Elders go forth, as they did in former times, without purse or scrip, trusting in God. And some of them get killed. We have heard of two being slain quite recently in these United States, where we boast so much of freedom, human rights, liberty of conscience, etc. Right in the State of Tennessee, this atrocious deed has taken place, and it is not long since one of our brethren was murdered in Georgia. We feel sorry for these things; but, then, we cannot help it. We cannot relinquish our labors in relation to these matters. It is enjoined upon us to preach the Gos pel to every creature, and we propose to carry out these things as the Apostles did in former times. Lives may be sacrificed for the truth’s sake; but it makes no difference where we are if we are only engaged in the work of God. Jesus said: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” I fear God, and know no other fear, and do not want to; and when men talk sometimes about what they will do and what they are going to do with the Mormons—“Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red Sea”—it does not make our knees shake nor our heart palsy. We feel that we are here to do the will of God, and in the name of Israel’s God we will do it; we will, God being our helper. These are my feelings, these are the feelings of my brethren around me, and these are the feelings of all good Latter-day Saints who comprehend themselves and intelligently know the principles by which they are governed.

We have embraced the Gospel of the Son of God, and God has taught us how to organize His Church. Had He not taught us we should not have known anything about its organization. Joseph Smith knew nothing about it; Brigham Young knew nothing about it; I could not have known anything about it, nor any of the Twelve, nor any man living on the earth, until God introduced it and taught us in all these things. In addition to establishing His Church, He has told us to build up a Zion to His name, and we are gathering the materials together for that purpose. We have got our Stakes organized, and we have come here to help organize your Stake. Yesterday the High Council was organized. This is a body of men that exists in the Church and Kingdom of God. All Stakes must have such a Council that they may have a perfect organization among themselves. Then you have Bishops, Teachers, etc., whose duties you are familiar with, the same being laid down in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Brother Ricks here is your President, and with one or two exceptions, Bishops have been appointed in all the Wards, that everybody in the various settlements may be placed under proper government, and under the guidance and direction of the Almighty, according to the laws that He has introduced in His Church. For this purpose you have been taught to gather together in your towns and villages, and certain instructions have been given in regard to these matters. Before these instructions were given, Brother Preston and Brother Ricks were directed to come out and examine this land, and they found it was suitable for the settlements of the Saints. They were then requested by me to furnish a plan of the country, and also select places for cities and have them surveyed, to provide lots for meetinghouses, schoolhouses, Relief Societies and Mutual Improvement Associations. All of which they promptly attended to.

The Stake of Bannock was afterwards organized, as also a Presidency for the Stake. Town sites were selected and surveyed, and then the instructions which you have heard read were given by the First Presidency. We find you have a very good country, and are pleased to see you as comfortably situated as you are. It is hard struggling always to start new settlements. I am pleased, however, to find so many of our young men embarking in this enterprise; and by and by you will have a number of most beautiful cities in this portion of country. The land is quite productive, as was evidenced by the samples of oats, wheat, corn, turnips, etc., exhibited here yesterday. These things show you have got into a tolerably good country; and you have almost more water than you know what to do with; but when the time comes when all the land is taken up between these mountains, these streams will not be quite so big as they are now; you will be able to manage them a little better, for the earth will drink up a good deal of water. It seems to me your lines have fallen in pleasant places. Don’t be discouraged about anything. Everything is moving along all right. The great thing is to conform yourselves to the circumstances in which you are placed. There is one thing I have been very much pleased to learn. I requested Brother Preston, in talking about these things, to see that in the neighborhood of every town there should be a piece of ground set apart for the benefit of missionaries’ families; because we shall be calling upon the Elders here to go forth and preach the Gospel, the same as we are doing in other parts of the land of Zion. I asked Brother Preston to set a pattern here in this respect to the balance of the land of Zion, and then report to me, and I would call upon all other peoples in the land of Zion to do the same, that the families of the missionaries may have bread and other supplies, and thus be sustained and looked after, and not feel in any kind of bondage. Most of the missionaries, perhaps, would not be in needy circumstances, but if they should there will be something for their families and they will have no excuse to back out under these circumstances. And then we call upon the older men among the Seventies and High Priests and upon lots of the young men to attend to these matters, and thus promote the welfare of all.

And now we want to see you as Latter-day Saints, as quickly as circumstances will permit, get on to your city lots, and don’t be scattered abroad like so many stray calves. We want you to locate on your city lots, and in the mean time be preparing to build on them; for we must have beautiful cities and splendid habitations in the land of Zion. Many people begin to admire Salt Lake City; but we have done nothing there to what we intend doing. I have talked with Brother Ricks on the subject of building nice homes, and have suggested that you get some architect to furnish the plans of some pleasant cottages, and some more pretentious, according to the means and circumstances of the people. You may be able to purchase architectural books that will answer the purpose; but let us build beautiful homes. It is nearly as cheap to put up a good looking house, and one properly constructed, as it is one of those ill-favored affairs. Build your temporary homes well back in the lot, so that when you build again these will answer for kitchens, or it may be some of your boys or girls, till they can do better. But we want to see beautiful cities, beautiful houses and pleasant homes, and everything around you calculated to promote your happiness and well being.

And then we want to see you operate as one in all things. You fathers of families and you mothers, see to it that you dedicate yourselves and your habitation and everything you have to God, and that you live pure, virtuous, and holy and upright lives. See to it that you are men and women of God—children of the Most High God, and your offspring with you. And I tell you that the time is rolling on when Zion will become the praise and the glory of the whole earth. The time is coming and hastening on when, as one of the prophets predicts, people will say such and such a man was born in Zion—that is, the people of Zion will be so honorable, so upright, so virtuous, and so blessed of God, under the auspices of the Almighty, and the government which He will introduce, that they will think it an honor to have been born in Zion. We will fear God, and work righteousness on earth, and when we get through here be transplanted to the heavens until this earth shall be redeemed; for we shall again possess the earth when it shall be celestialized. God bless you all, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Nature of the Gospel, and of Our Position and Calling—Responsibilities of the Latter-Day Saints—The Right of All Men to Religious Freedom—Honorable Men of the Earth—We Aim at a Higher Exaltation Than the Rest of the World

Remarks by President John Taylor, delivered in the Tabernacle, Ogden, Sunday Afternoon, July 20th, 1884.

We are occupying a very peculiar position in the world, and in many respects different from the position that is occupied by any people that at present live upon the earth. Our ideas, and views, theories and doctrines; our principles and our mode of life generally are very distinct from that of other people. We look at things from another standpoint to that which the world generally do. Our ideas are predicated upon the work that God has commenced, by the ministration of holy angels, by the opening of the heavens, by the voice of God, and by the revelation of His will to the human family; in which all mankind, whether they comprehend it or not, are very much interested. The Lord has been pleased to make known unto us certain things of which we were ignorant; and certain things of which also the world of mankind are ignorant; and of which we know nothing, and could know nothing, only through the revelation of God to man.

The Gospel, we are told, brings “life and immortality to light”—life for ourselves, life for our families, for our wives and children, life for our progenitors, and life for our posterity; and consequently it is pregnant with greater events than anything that has yet transpired upon the earth. It goes back, back, back into the eternities that were, it unfolds things that now exist, and are on the eve of fulfillment, and it develops things which are to come. Consequently, as I said before, we are in a different position from that of other people. We do not look at things from the same standpoint which they do. We have other ideas and feelings and anticipations, and are in possession of another spirit and principle of intelligence other than that which is generally diffused in the world. Men in the world talk about the Gospel, but they do not comprehend it. We as Latter-day Saints talk about the Gospel, yet we understand only very little about it. Just in proportion as we live our religion and possess the Holy Spirit, do we comprehend the position that we occupy and no more.

We read, in the Scriptures, of a dispensation of the fullness of times, when God would gather together all things in heaven and all things in the earth—that is, a certain dispensation which would include everything that has existed in other times, and in other dispensations, and would embrace in one dispensation what has been scattered throughout the world in different dispensations, from the commencement of time until the present. Hence this is a matter that affects the earth and the heavens; it is a matter in which those who are in the heavens are concerned, and also those that are upon the earth. It reaches back to the commencement of time and goes forth to the final winding-up scene of all things pertaining to this earth whereon we dwell. Hence, as I said, we occupy a very peculiar position before God, and also before the world. The world do not comprehend our position, and hence they reason very strangely and very vaguely about us, and they get some very strange notions pertaining to us. That is not surprising. It is as much as we can do ourselves to comprehend our position. It is as much as the Elders of this Church can do to magnify their callings. It is as much as the Apostles or the Presidency of the Church can do to comprehend their positions, and it needs continual watchfulness, and prayer, and self-abnegation, and devotion to God, and the continual guidance of His Spirit, that we may comprehend the relationship which we sustain to each other, to our heavenly Father, to the world in which we live, to the nation with which we are associated, to the world of mankind generally, and the duties and responsibilities that devolve upon us pertaining to all of these matters, both to the living and the dead.

We have a fight to fight. We have a faith to contend for. We have principle to learn, and to develop to others. We have our relationship to God, and to holy angels, and to the world to maintain. We have duties and responsibilities devolving upon us that mankind, and that we ourselves comprehend only very little. It has been thought generally that if men could secure in some way or other their salvation, and get to heaven, as it is called, that they were doing a great work. We have, however, got a great deal more than that to do. We have first to learn ourselves the way of life; and then to teach others that way. Hence, what mean our Seventies and our High Priests, our Elders and our Apostles and men holding the Priesthood of God? What mean those various missions they take to the nations of the earth? What mean our gathering together here, and the efforts that we make for that purpose? What mean the building of Temples and the administering therein? What mean some of those things that we begin to have a slight glimpse of regarding certain duties and responsibilities resting upon us, pertaining to the dead as well as the living? What mean those Scriptures that speak about saviors upon Mount Zion? What mean our dedications to God, and the ordinances that we administer in His house? What means the development of those great principles pertaining to eternal lives that begin to enter into our minds partially?

Man is a dual being. He possesses a body and a spirit. He is connected with eternity as well as time. He existed before he came here. He exists here. He will exist after he leaves here. Before he came here he had to do with intelligences; he has here, if he will only fulfill his part; and he will have to do with them hereafter. We are here on a mission. What does that consist of? That is the question. Some of us have to go to the ends of the earth and preach the Gospel to every creature under the heavens. That is something which God requires at our hands. Some of us have to assist in establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth. Some of us have to aid in purifying the Church of God. We have the same kind of material now that they had in former ages for this very purpose. In former times God placed in His Church Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists for the perfecting of the Saints. These officers were requisite to the Church then, and they are requisite now. We all have our follies and weakness. We all need the assistance of the power and Spirit of God.

We talk sometimes about the world, we Latter-day Saints, and we are very flippant in referring to their follies and foibles. We have enough follies of our own; and I often very much question whether they do not live as near to their religion as we do to ours. “How is that,” says one, “we are a much more moral people than they are?” We ought to be. We make greater professions than they do. They do not talk about having revelation. They do not talk about having any special mission to the nations of the earth, and we do. They do not talk about any celestial glory, and know nothing about it. We profess to know a little about it. They do not aim at a celestial glory, for they do not know what it is; and we understand a very little about it. One thing we do know; one thing is clearly told us, and that is if we are not governed by the celestial law and cannot abide a celestial law, we cannot inherit a celestial kingdom. What is it to obey a celestial law? Where does the celestial law come from to begin with? From the heavens. Very well. What have the people here to do with it generally—that is, outsiders? Nothing. They do not say they have had any revelation. They have had no principle of that kind unfolded to them. They are living under what might be termed a terrestrial law; and many of them, I think, under the circumstances, do quite as well as we do under our circumstances. We profess to be moving on a more elevated plane than they are. We profess to have come out from the world; to have separated from the ungodly. We profess to be under the guidance of Apostles and Prophets, Pastors and Teachers, etc., and to be living under the inspiration of the Most High. They do not profess anything of the kind.

These are some of the things we profess to believe in; and some of the things that the world do not believe in. We have, however, enough to do in attending to the duties of our Priesthood and calling without troubling ourselves with the follies and foibles of those who are not of us. As I have already said they do not profess what we do. We profess to be governed by higher principles and nobler motives, and by more exalted ideas. Let us try and live up to our profession. So far as the people of the world are concerned, I look upon them very charitably, myself. I do not entertain any vindictive feelings toward them. “Well, say you, “have they not got curious ideas pertaining to religious matters?” Yes, they have; but they have as much right to their ideas as I have to mine. I have no right to interfere with them. They have a right to worship whatever kind of a God they please, or in any form that suits them. If a man has a mind to worship a red dog it is none of my business. It is for me and for my brethren to fulfill the duties that God has placed upon us. He has revealed certain principles to us from the heavens for the benefit of the whole human family, and we will do that which God has commanded us. Will they persecute us? No matter about that. God has told us to do certain things, and we will carry them out, persecuted or not persecuted. We must perform our duty. At the same time we have rights and privileges that belong to us in common with everybody that lives in the United States. We have as many rights in these United States as any other people have, and no man has the right to deprive us of them. They are trying to deprive us of them all the time. That makes no difference. The principle is still the same, and it is for us to look after our rights. God has given us a goodly land here, and we have paid for it. It is ours by right of purchase and possession. If we have got farms, or city lots, or inheritances of any kind, we have paid for them according to the laws of the United States. We have complied with all the requisitions of the United States that are constitutional, and mean to do that all the time. We simply contend for our rights. We simply contend for the principles of human liberty, not only in behalf of ourselves, but in behalf of thousands who are in these United States. There are thousands of honorable men in these United States—in the Senate and House of Representatives, and all through the land—who are quite willing men should have the rights and privileges of free men, and then there are thousands, and ten of thousands, and millions of others who want to trample the principles of freedom under their feet and deprive men of their liberties. In relation to the people of the United States, I have nothing myself but kindly feelings. I feel sorry for them. I am sorry to see people act under wrong influences, influences that will lead them to destruction. The people of the world are placed under influences that they do not comprehend. What is the matter with them? I have numbers of prominent men call upon me from the United States, and from all parts of Europe, prominent men of all classes and grades, and when we meet together they talk very kindly and very pleasantly. They admire our beautiful city and improvements, and they do not believe one-hundredth part of the stories that are circulated about us broadcast throughout the earth. They say, “We know better than that.” There are a great many honorable men among the peoples of the earth, and we do not want to get a spirit of enmity and hatred against anybody because of the infamous acts of a few unprincipled men. We are here as saviors upon Mount Zion; and the time will come, and it is not very far distant, when, in consequence of the evils, the corruptions, the adulteries and licentiousness that prevail throughout the land, that God will bring the people to judgment. Then the time will come, and it is not very far distant, when the sinners in Zion will be afraid, when fearfulness will surprise the hypocrites.

We are here to build up the Zion of God, and not to build up ourselves. We are here to establish righteousness, and to establish it first within ourselves; to feel that “as for me and my house we will fear God.” We should prepare ourselves for glory and for eternal lives, that we may associate with the Gods in the eternal worlds. We are the sons of God; but we occupy a different position in many respects to the rest of the world, because we have obeyed the new and everlasting covenant; been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and had hands laid upon us for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and have lived up to our privileges, many of us. Consequently we are aiming, as I said before, at a higher exaltation and a greater glory than the world know anything about, and that we ourselves at present comprehend, but very little. But we shall improve from time to time and become better instructed in the laws of life and in the principles of eternal truth. We are gathered together for that purpose.

Well, brethren and sisters, God bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Temples—Requirements Made of Those Who Seek to Enter Temples—A Woman States Her Case to President Taylor, in Which Arises Some Singular and Serious Questions—The Saints Ought to Be Progressing—They Should Seek to Do the Will of God—Duties of Presiding Officers—Evildoers Should Be Brought to Account and Dealt With—God is Merciful—the Celestial Kingdom

Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered in the Tabernacle, Cache County, Sunday Afternoon, June 15th, 1884.

I have been very much interested while listening to the remarks made by the brethren who have addressed us, and certain thoughts have passed through my mind associated therewith, which it may not be amiss, in part at least, to make known.

There are certain circumstances which take place in our associations with the things of God that tend to lead our minds to reflection and thought. We have been building a temple here. We have exerted ourselves for a number of years for the accomplishment of that object. We have completed it, it has been accepted by the Lord, and we are now administering therein. In these administrations there are many things that tend to lead men to thought and reflection. We meet in our congregations as we are doing here today, and in thus meeting we pass along through the common routine of religious duties which devolve upon us; but when we go into those sacred places there are certain requirements made of us, that, whether we may have thought about these things before or not, are then brought to our remembrance. In the first place people desirous to go and attend to ordinances in these houses, must have a recommendation from their Bishop. That is one of those—I was going to say—ugly facts. That is, ugly to those who are not prepared to pass through that ordeal, whose lives have been careless, whose actions have been improper, and whose standing perhaps is precarious—that is one of those facts that must be faced. Then when they have obtained this recommendation from the Bishop, it must be endorsed by the President of the Stake, and after that have the sanction of the President of the Church. This is quite an ordeal for many men to go through. For men and women who are upright, virtuous and honorable, it is a very simple matter; there is no difficulty in their way at any time; but to those who have been careless of their duties, who have departed from the laws of God, and who have tampered with, or violated the ordinances of the Gospel—to such people it is a critical time. However, there is something far more difficult than that yet to come. That is only a starting point in these matters. The things that are ahead are a great deal more difficult to accomplish. What are they? The time will come when we shall not only have to pass by those officers whom I have referred to—say, to have the sanction and approval of our Bishop, of the President of the Stake and of the President of the Church—but we are told in this book [the Book of Doctrine and Covenants] that we shall have to pass by the angels and the Gods. We may have squeezed through the other; we may have got along tolerably well, and been passed and acted upon, and sometimes a “tight squeak” at that; but how will it be when we get on the other side, and we have the angels and the Gods to pass by before we can enter into our exaltation? If we cannot pass, what then? Well, we cannot, that is all. And if we cannot, shall we be able to enter into our exaltation? I think not. What do you think about it?

A great many things of this kind are continually presenting themselves before me. All kinds of cases are brought to my attention, and some of them are of a very serious nature. I had a case only this morning. I am not going to mention names, nor to expose persons; but it was a case of a sister who had been married to a man, actually sealed to him, in the Endowment House. The man, from what I was given to understand—of course I do not know all the details of the case, it will have to be inquired into by myself and others in authority—the man had frequently one leg in the Church, and the other out; sometimes doing well, and sometimes not doing well; sometimes in good fellowship, making acknowledgements, etc., and sometimes not in good fellowship. The woman had quite a large family by this man, and finally, a little before his death, the man became very careless; very indifferent, and very negligent pertaining to his duties, and he died in that condition. Now this woman comes along and says, “What am I to do? I have borne quite a large family to this man. He was a tolerable good man in some things, but he did not magnify his calling nor honor his God. Now, what shall I do?” Here are some very singular questions, and they will come to all of us in some shape or another, and we might as well begin to look at them now as at any other time, for it is written: “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after;” hence the reason I mention this matter. It is a sample of a great many others, sometimes with the man and sometimes with the woman, and the question is: How far are we prepared to say to such a woman, “You are not safe for eternity with the husband that you have been associated with in time.” These are serious questions. That man was dreaming, perhaps, for a long while that he was on his way to heaven and that all was right; that he had been baptized and been received into the Church, and attended to some of the ordinances thereof, but he was negligent, careless and indifferent about the fulfillment of his duties, neglected his children, did not act right towards his wife, and did many things that were wrong and improper. Now, what shall be done? The woman felt unsafe with such a man. But is it not said, says one that all manner of sins and blasphemy shall be forgiven (except the sin against the Holy Ghost, which is the shedding of innocent blood), and that they shall come forth, if they have had certain blessings sealed upon them “in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection in the next resurrection.” But the question is: If a woman is expecting a man to exalt her, and to lead her forth to thrones and principalities, powers and dominions, is she safe in that expectation? She may have been sealed to him, and he have had these things pronounced upon him, but he may have been destroyed in the flesh, because of his iniquities, which very many have been, although we could not always tell the reason why. There are certain things that men may commit according to the Scriptures, and to that which has been revealed in our day, which render them subject to be turned over to the buffetings of Satan, “for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (See 1st, Corinthians, verse 5; also Doctrine and Covenants, Section cxxxii, 26.) There are other sins that they may commit, whereof it says they shall be destroyed, whether men or women, that do these things. Now, it may be well enough to fix up our own affairs as we think they ought to be fixed, to make our own calculations, and to settle our own accounts; but these accounts have yet to be supervised and settled before those that have the right to do it before we get through, and we must not only pass by, as I have said, our Bishops, and our Presidents of Stakes, and the President of the Church, but we must pass by the angels and the Gods also.

Some of the brethren mentioned that we are now on a more elevated plane than we were a while ago. We ought to be. We do not expect to remain in the position that we were. We ought to be increasing in intelligence and in knowledge, and be preparing ourselves for those things that are to come. Yet we find men that are careless, such as the person I have referred to. By and by death comes along, they pass out of existence; and while it is the feeling and desire to do the dead man justice, and all men justice, and to act upon correct principles in regard to all, it would scarcely seem just under some of those circumstances to carry our charity so far that we would unite a woman with a man, who, when he came forward and wanted to pass by the angels and the Gods, they said to him, “Stop! and take another course. You have not yet paid the penalty of your wickedness, and the contempt of God’s laws and His kindness. You cannot come forth in this first thousand years; you must wait for the second.” Then what of the children, and what of the wife who perhaps has been faithful, and might have been in very different circumstances, if she had not attached herself to a man of that description?

These are things for us to reflect upon. We shall not have everything our own way about these matters. When we pass out of this world we are left at the mercy of somebody else. If we are resurrected it will be because Jesus is the resurrection, and there are eternal laws and principles that will have to be met by us all, and that cannot be avoided. Jesus says: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” Certain ones will come forth in the first resurrection, and others will not come forth until the second. For the path of the just is upward and onward all the time, while the path of the unjust is downward.

These are questions, I say, for us to reflect upon. If we are the Saints of God, it is necessary we should begin to learn to do the will of God on the earth as it is done in the heavens: for it is not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, that shall enter into Christ’s kingdom, but he that doeth the will of the Father who is in heaven. We think sometimes we can do as we please. We may do as we please, and then God will do as He pleases; and for every word and for every secret thought we shall be brought to judgment, we are told.

Some of these things when we reflect upon them are matters of very great importance. We are not here to do our own will, but the will of our heavenly Father. Some men who think they are doing pretty well, and doing, according to their own expression, “as they darned please,” will wake up to find they have not been doing the will of God. They may have thought that they had wives and children, but they will wake up to find that they have not got them, and that they are deprived of many of those great blessings they anticipated enjoying. With all of our mercy, kindness and tender feeling towards our brethren and sisters, and towards all people, we cannot violate the law of God, nor transgress those principles which He has laid down with impunity. He expects us to do those things that are acceptable before Him, and if we don’t we must pay the penalty of our departure from correct principle.

These are things that are of very great moment, and this building on the hill [the Temple] is one of those things which brings us face to face with many very important facts associated with the present, with the past and with the future. Whatever we may think about it, all things are open and naked before Him with whom we have to do. As it is written: “Hell is naked before Him, and destruction hath no covering,” and how much more the hearts of the children of men?

We are here to accomplish the purposes of God, to build up His Zion, and to establish His Kingdom upon the earth, and He expects us to do it. He expects that we will begin to do His will upon the earth as it is done in the heavens—here in this land of Zion among the Latter-day Saints. If we do not do it we shall, as has been remarked by Brother Cannon, dishonor ourselves. It is proper, therefore, for us to consider well and ponder the path of our feet. It is well for us to find out the standing we occupy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is well for us to realize how we stand, first, with our God, secondly with the Holy Priesthood, thirdly, with our families, with our wives and children, or with our husbands and children, as the case may be, and furthermore that we deal justly and righteously with all men. We cannot run our own way and have the blessing of God. Everyone who attempts it, will find he is mistaken. God will withdraw His Spirit from such, and they will be left to themselves to wander in the dark, and go down to perdition. It is expected of us that we shall move on a higher plane, that we shall feel that we are the children of God, that God is our Father, and that He will not be dishonored by disobedient children, or by those who fight against His laws and His Priesthood. He expects us to live our religion, to obey His laws and keep His commandments.

This Temple, as I have already said, is a place where among other things, eternal covenants and obligations are entered into, and the question is, How and in what manner shall they be performed, and who are worthy and who are unworthy. There are some things that we find it exceedingly difficult to decide upon. Why? Because the parties that are dead are not here to speak for themselves, and we cannot have them misrepresented or robbed of their rights in any shape. But if they have violated the laws of God, what then? Now, here comes a question to which I desire to draw the attention of the authorities of this Stake. There are many of those men (if what we hear about them is correct) who ought to have been cut off from the Church. But they have not been; the Bishops have been negligent, the Teachers have been negligent, and perhaps the President of the Stake has been negligent. I am not speaking particularly of this Stake; I am speaking in general terms. I speak of it to draw the attention of Presidents of Stakes, Bishops, Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, and those who officiate in the Church of God, and all men who are set to watch over the fold of Christ. If some of these men, that I have referred to, had been brought up on certain occasions, they might have repented of their sins and placed themselves right; but because these officers did not do their duty themselves, and did not see that other men did theirs, things have passed along out of order, and the parties in question have gone behind the veil. What account can we give of ourselves if we are found thus negligent? If people do wrong let them be brought up, and let the Teachers, Priests, and Bishops clear their garments of them, and feel that they have done their duty and purified the Church so far as they could. The Presidents of Stakes should see that these things are carried out according to the laws of God. This is a standard we must attain to, so that when people say, “Can we go into the Temple of the Lord?” we may know exactly their status, what position they occupy, and what to do with them, without having to take up the records of the dead. These are responsibilities devolving upon us. Our Elders go abroad to preach the Gospel and to gather in the people. When they are thus gathered the Presidents of Stakes, the Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons are expected to watch over them, and see that they are fulfilling their obligations, or that they are not fulfilling them. If they fail to do their duty, let them be brought to account; let them be dealt with according to the laws of God. If they repent, forgive them; but it is expected that all who have taken upon them the name of Christ will obey the laws of God, and walk in obedience to His commands. These are some things that we all of us have to be responsible for, and therefore I, occupying the position that I do, feel it my duty to lay these things before you and to require them at your hands—that is at the hands of the President of the Stake and his Counselors, at the hands of the Bishops and their Counselors, at the hands of the High Council, and at the hands of the Priests, Teachers, and Deacons; for I don’t want to carry myself the sins of the people. God expects us to purge ourselves from iniquity, that we may become the chosen of the Lord, and our offspring with us, not in name or in theory, but in deed and in truth, and according to the laws of life, and the spirit that dwells in Jesus Christ, our Savior, which every one of us ought to have dwelling in us and dwelling and abiding in our habitations, that we may feel that we are devoted to our God, blameless before the Lord, and keeping His commandments.

These are things that it is proper for us to reflect upon. We enter into obligations here as young men or young women, or as old men or old women, as the case may be, no matter what or how we enter into covenants before God, holy angels and witnesses, and pledge ourselves in the most solemn manner to be true to these covenants, and if we violate these covenants, and trample under foot the ordinances of God, we ought to be dealt with by the Church, and either repent of our sins or be cut off from the Church, so that by purging the Church from iniquity, we may be acceptable before God. For the Gods spoken of, are not going to associate with every scalawag in existence; scalawags are not going where they are; and if men do not live according to the laws of a Celestial kingdom, they are not going into a Celestial glory; they cannot pass by the angels and the Gods, who are set to guard the way of life. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it.

Is God merciful? Yes. Will He treat His children well? Yes. He will do the very best He can for all. But there are certain eternal laws by which the Gods in the eternal worlds are governed and which they cannot violate, and do not want to violate. These eternal principles must be kept, and one principle is, that no unclean thing can enter into the Kingdom of God. What, then, will be the result? Why, the people I have referred to—people who do not keep the Celestial law—will have to go into a lesser kingdom, into a Terrestrial, or perhaps a Telestial, as the case may be. Is that according to the law of God? Yes. For if they are not prepared for the Celestial kingdom, they must go to such a one as they are prepared to endure. Certain principles have been developed, and a great many have not. But we are here in a school to learn, and it is for the El ders of Israel who are desirous to do the will of God, and keep His commandments, to put themselves in the way of doing so, to seek to the Lord for His guidance and direction, to repent of their follies, their nonsense and wickedness of every kind, and to come out for God and His kingdom, and to seek to build up the Zion of God and the kingdom of God upon the earth, and if we do this, God will bless us and exalt us in time and throughout the eternities that are to come. Amen.

Manifestations to Be Looked For—Some Already Received—Many Things Known Which Can not Be Told Yet—The Work Required of the Saints—Other and More Splendid Temples to Be Built—Persons Required to Labor in the Temples—Kind of Men Wanted to Go Upon Missions—Self-Denial Required—Blessings in Store for the Faithful

Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered at the time of the Dedication of the Temple, in the Tabernacle, Logan, Cache County, Sunday Afternoon, May 18th, 1884.

Since we assembled in this place we have had a very interesting time. It has been our desire that all who could be properly recommended by their Bishops should have an opportunity to visit the Temple, whether it be the residents of this Stake, and the Stakes of this Temple district, or the residents of other Stakes, because we have felt that it is due to those who have assisted so liberally in building the Temple in this place, that they should have a full and fair opportunity of seeing it. For that purpose we have already had two dedication services, and we intend to have another in the Temple, commencing at half-past ten o’clock tomorrow morning, tickets for which can be obtained from President Geo. Q. Cannon, at the close of this meeting.

We are living in a very important day and age of the world, in a time which is pregnant with greater events than any other period that we know of, or any other dispensation that has existed upon the earth. It is called “the dispensation of the fulness of times,” when God “will gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;” for the heavens, the Gods in the eternal worlds, the Holy Priesthood that have existed upon the earth, the living that live upon the face of the earth, and the dead that have departed this life, are all interested in the work in which we are engaged. Consequently, it is of the greatest importance that everything we do, that every ordinance we administer, that every principle we believe in, should be strictly in accordance with the mind and word, the will and law of God.

I have heard some remarks in the Temple pertaining to these matters, and also here, and it has been thought, as has been expressed by some, that we ought to look for some peculiar manifestations. The question is, What do we want to see? Some peculiar power, some remarkable manifestations? All these things are very proper in their place; all these things we have a right to look for; but we must only look for such manifestations as are requisite for our circumstances, and as God shall see fit to impart them. Certain manifestations have already occurred. When our Heavenly Father appeared unto Joseph Smith, the Prophet, He pointed to the Savior who was with him (and who, it is said, is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person) and said: “This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him!” So that there was an evidence manifested through His servant to the world, that God lived, that the Redeemer, who was crucified and put to death to atone for the sins of the world, also lived, and that there was a message which had to be communicated to the human family, and that the Son was the personage through which it should be communicated. The key thus being turned, authority given by the highest source in the heavens in relation to the purposes of God on the earth, the Holy Priesthood began to be developed. Why? Because there was no Priesthood on the earth; there was nobody who was authorized to operate and officiate in the name of the Lord, therefore John the Baptist came as the representative of the Aaronic Priesthood, having held the keys thereof in his day; and he placed his hands upon the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and said: “Upon you, my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.” John the Baptist having thus come and imparted the Aaronic Priesthood, which like the Melchizedek Priesthood is an eternal Priesthood—it being already conferred it is not now necessary that John the Baptist should return for the accomplishment of that purpose. He had delivered his testimony, he had turned the key, he had introduced the power and authority to administration in that Priesthood, so that those upon whom it was conferred were able to perform the several duties associated therewith.

Then Peter, James and John appeared and conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery the Melchizedek Priesthood, which, as you all know, differs from that of the Aaronic. The Melchizedek Priesthood, according to the Scriptures, is after the order of the Son of God, and after the power of an endless life. It places men in communication with God our Heavenly Father, whereby through its influence, ordinances, powers and blessings, they can approach the presence of God, the Eternal Father, and come, as it was said by one of old, “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” It is that Priesthood through the Gospel, that brings life and immortality to light, that places man in a position whereby he can obtain, through faithfulness and adherence to the laws of God, all the rich blessings associated with the eternal worlds, of which we are allowed to partake while we dwell here upon the earth, or hereafter in the heavens. It is not necessary that Peter, James and John should come again to do the thing that is already done. The Priesthood has been restored, with which is connected all the blessings that ever were associated with any people upon the face of the earth; and if we know today so little in regard to the things of God, and the principles associated with eternity, with the heavens and with the angels, it is because we have not improved our privileges as we might, nor lived up to those principles which God has revealed unto us, and because we are not yet prepared for further advancement.

Jesus in His day, said to His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. * * * * Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” What did He mean? Just what he said, precisely. If He went away He would send them another Comforter, the Spirit of truth, which should abide with them forever, and teach them all things, and bring all things pertaining to the past to their remembrance; the Comforter was also to lead them into all truth, and show them things to come.

This same Comforter has been given, in connection with the Gospel in these days, for our enlightenment, for our instruction, for our guidance, that we may have a knowledge of things that are past, of the dealings of God with the human family, of the principles of truth that have been developed in the different ages, of the position of the world and its relationship to God in those different ages, of its position in years that are past and gone, and of its present status. It is also given for our enlightenment, that we may be enabled to conduct all things according to the mind and will of God, and in accordance with His eternal laws and those principles which exist in the heavens, and which have been provided by God for the salvation and exaltation of a fallen world; also for the manifestation of principles which have been and will be developed in the interest of man, not only pertaining to this world, but also to that which is to come; through which medium the Lord will make known His plans and designs to His Priesthood and His people in His own due time.

After these things had been introduced, the people in Kirtland, Ohio, by the command of God, through Joseph Smith, the Prophet, some 49 years ago (without being particular as to dates), commenced to build a house unto the Lord wherein certain preliminary ordinances were introduced, and that house was built under very trying circumstances to the Saints, but they accomplished it. Most of the Saints then devoted all the time they could possibly spare for the accomplishment of that object; it was not in little donations, but they had to exert their undivided energies and means to its accomplishment. When they had finished it, it was dedicated to the Lord, God accepted their sacrifice, and Jesus appeared in that Temple, of which appearance you will find a description in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants (Section 110). Before this they had had the Aaronic and the Melchizedek Priesthoods presented to them, and Moroni, and other personages had appeared unto Joseph Smith. When this Temple was erected for preparatory ordinances—for it was not like the Temples we now have, nor like the Temple that was in Nauvoo, the Lord appeared, and then Moses appeared. They had already the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, and of the Melchizedek; and as Moses had held the keys and authority of the gathering of the children of Israel, from the land of Egypt, in a former dispensation, so he was now sent to confer these said keys upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. It is said, that after this vision closed—that is the vision of the Savior manifested to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple—that:

“The heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.”

Here then were the keys committed associated with the gathering. Why is it that you are here today? And what brought you here? Because the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four quarters of the earth have been committed to Joseph Smith, and he has conferred those keys upon others that the gathering of Israel may be accomplished, and in due time the same thing will be performed to the tribes in the land of the north. It is on this account, and through the unlocking of this principle, and through those means, that you are brought together as you are today. I have heretofore mentioned a circumstance, and I will mention it again here, as there are so many present to show you how those things operate. What I refer to is this: Soon after we were driven from Missouri, the Twelve were sent to England. There was no place then for the Saints to gather to; the Prophet therefore said to the Twelve: “When you go to England, until you get further information, do not say anything about the gathering.” Consequently we did not; but we could not keep the spirit of it from the people. Why? Because we had the Gospel, and the Gospel brings life and immortality to light, and those that receive the Gospel receive the Holy Ghost, and a knowledge of the things associated with the Gospel. And hence I remember a sister coming to me in Liverpool, England, where I had raised up a church, and says she, “Brother Taylor, I had a very remarkable dream or vision, I don’t know which, and it was something like this: I thought that the Saints were gathered together on the Pier Head [that is the place where the vessels then used to sail from], and there was a ship about to sail. The people said they were going to Zion, and they were singing what they called the songs of Zion, and rejoicing exceedingly; you were among them, and you were going also. Now I want to know if you can tell me what it means.” “Yes,” said I, “I know what it means, and I will tell you when the time comes”—just the same as I have to say today that there are many things that I know of which I can only tell you when the time comes.

By and by, Joseph Smith sent word that the Saints were to gather to Nauvoo; that they had a gathering place there, and the Saints were to be directed to that land. I then went and told this sister the interpretation of her dream or vision. I mention this to show that you cannot prevent these manifestations: they are associated with the Gospel. If men and women receive the Spirit of God and the gift of the Holy Ghost, it reveals those things unto them. It was said by one of old, that through its influence “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;” and although Joseph had told us not to say anything about the gathering, yet he could not prevent the Lord from revealing it to the people. He did reveal it, and a great many, as well as the sister referred to, had a knowledge of it.

That is the principle which brought you here. If that key had not been turned; if Moses had not come to introduce it, you would not have been here, and Joseph Smith would not have known anything about it, nor anybody else until God revealed it in His own appointed way.

But as I stated before, the Father said, “This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him!” He manipulates the Priesthood in the heavens and on the earth. He manages the affairs associated with the redemption of the human family. “Hear Him!” And when He was prepared to send forth these messengers, as we send forth messengers to accomplish certain purposes—when He saw that the time had come, He said, “Go Moses, and attend to this matter. They have built a Temple; from now they will begin to gather the Saints, and it is necessary that they should have proper instructions and information relating to these matters.” And Moses came.

Now, that was one thing. Then we read that:

“After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.”

That was the promise made to Abraham some 3,500 years ago. It was not a promise made to Abraham alone, but through him to others. He and his seed were to be the instrumentality, the media through which mankind should be blessed; they were to be the special instruments in the hands of God for the accomplishment of these purposes. Hence the Priesthood began to be organized—the Bishopric and all pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood including Priests, Teachers and Deacons; and associated with the Melchizedek Priesthood, the First Presidency, the Twelve, the High Council, High Priests, Seventies and Elders, and all those occupying their own particular place; and hence in that small Temple, as we should now call it, that was erected in Kirtland, they had the same organization of the Priesthood, and the same arrangements of the stands for the seating of the Priesthood as we have here. Why? Because the Priesthood had been introduced after the order of Aaron, and after the order of Melchizedek, which is after the order of the Son of God, and after the power of an endless life, and that officiates and operates in time and in eternity, and by which Priesthood and through which authority the worlds were framed by the power of God. Things as they existed in the heavens again began to be introduced upon the earth. Hence, that His servants might be properly instructed and comprehend correctly the great principles which He designed to unfold to the human family, He sent those several messengers holding those various keys that they might unlock the doors and place His servants in communication with the heavenly Priesthood in the eternal worlds.

Do you want anything more than this, you Latter-day Saints? This was the position in which they were placed, and the position in which we find ourselves today.

Then we are told that another personage appeared, as stated:

“After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:

“Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—

“To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—

“Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.”

What means this? What means this Temple that you have built here on the hill? Why have you built it? Why have you expressed such anxiety in the erection of that Temple? Why have such crowds of our brethren and sisters from distant places come here to the dedication of this Temple? Why is it? It is because those keys were turned of which I have just read in your hearing.

“Behold the time has fully come * * * to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—

“Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.”

What does this mean? It means that there was a great and comprehensive plan designed by the Almighty in his economy connected with the salvation of the human family who are His children; for He is the God and the Father of the spirits of all flesh. It means that He is interested in their welfare, in their prosperity, in their happiness, and in all that pertains to their exaltation in time and throughout the eternities that are to come. Being thus in terested, and so little of the Gospel having been revealed in the different ages, and so much of the power of darkness and iniquity having prevailed among men, it was necessary that something should be done for the dead as well as the living. God is interested in the dead as well as the living. Adam, who is the Ancient of Days and the father of the human family; Seth, Enos, Enoch, Mahalaleel, Methuselah, Noah, and all the prominent leading men of God, as well as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Prophets, Jesus and His Apostles, together with the Prophets and Apostles who lived on this continent, and who stood at the various times or epochs as the representatives of the nations, and as thousands of these peoples have passed away having held and now holding the Priesthood; all these ancient fathers feel interested in this great work, and their hearts are turned toward the children, being interested in their welfare, happiness and exaltation; and their children who now have received the Gospel have their hearts, through this instrumentality, and the keys and principles which were introduced by Elijah, turned towards the fathers through the inspiration of the same Gospel, which Gospel as spoken of in the Scriptures, is an everlasting Gospel, being associated with the everlasting covenant, which principle wherever it has existed, brought life and immortality to light.

When Jesus came, He came to do a work in many particulars similar to that in which we are engaged, and when He got through with His work here, He stood as the Savior of the world, and of the human family. He came to preach the Gospel to the poor, to open the prison doors to those that were imprisoned, to set at liberty, and to proclaim the acceptable hour of the Lord, etc. This was a work connected with the people who lived at the time of the flood, and were destroyed and kept in prison until the Lord should see proper to extend manifestations of His mercy to them. Hence, as we read, “Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.” He having finished His work upon earth for the living, went and performed a work for the dead; as we are informed, “He went and preached to spirits in prison; that had sometime been disobedient in the days of Noah.”

It is reserved for us to do a work for those who have passed away, who have not obeyed or had the Gospel in their lifetime. We are here to do a work connected with the redemption of the dead. When the Temple was commanded to be built in Nauvoo, after the Temple had been built in Kirtland, and after so many keys had been turned, and after so many manifestations, visions and ministrations had been had, yet it was said then that there was not a place upon the earth in which to perform the ordinance of baptism for the dead, and Joseph was commanded to build a house for that purpose. But who knew anything about these things until God revealed them? Nobody. Men talk and boast of their intelligence and their knowledge—why, there is not a man breathing on the earth, outside of this Church, who has any knowledge of those things to which I have referred, and nobody in this Church either, only as God has revealed it. We are all of us indebted to the revelations of God, through the medium of the Holy Priesthood, for these things. Joseph Smith, before his death, was much exercised about the completion of the Temple in Nauvoo, and the administering of ordinances therein. In his anxiety and for fear he should not live to see the Temple completed, he prepared a place over what was known as the brick store—which many of you who lived in Nauvoo will recollect—where to a chosen few he administered those ordinances that we now have today associated with endowments, so that if anything should happen to him—which he evidently contemplated—he would feel that he had then fulfilled his mission, that he had conferred upon others all the keys given to him by the manifestations of the power of God.

At first these things were only partially made known to him, and as they were partially developed he called upon the Twelve that were then living—many of you greyheaded people will remember it—to commence and be baptized for the dead, and they were baptized in the Mississippi River. Immediately after these baptisms, the Prophet had a revelation which more clearly developed the order in relation to such baptisms. According to that revelation it appeared that, notwithstanding all the visions, revelations, keys, etc., that had heretofore been given, there was not a place, not even in the Kirtland Temple, wherein those things could be carried out, and hence a font, such as we have in this Temple, was built in the temple at Nauvoo, and it was there, under proper circumstances and proper administration, and according to the principles that he had laid down, that those ordinances were admin istered then, and are administered now.

I now come to another subject that opens a wide and expansive field, broad as the world in which we live, and expansive as the universe, and which affects all the inhabitants of the earth living or dead. Why is it that there is such a feeling, as I have said, concerning your Temple and other Temples? It is because those keys have been turned, and you have received, like the woman I spake of, a knowledge of the gathering dispensation. You have laid out a great amount of means, done a large amount of labor, and you have built a house that is creditable to you, and which God will sanction and approve and does sanction and approve. You have made it very nice, pleasant and beautiful. We ought to build Temples to the Lord, for we are His offspring and He is our Father, and He has revealed unto us those things and implanted those principles in our bosoms. They are developed within us, and this Temple is a proof of it, just the same as we are a living proof of the gathering dispensation. We have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and a knowledge, so far as we have progressed, of the things of God. You have been baptized, you have had hands laid upon you for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and you that have lived your religion have received this Holy Ghost, and I want, as an evidence before God and this people—I want to see how many of you can bear testimony to that. All who can, hold up their right hands. [A perfect forest of hands was held up.] We know, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and by obedience to His law, so far as we have obeyed it, that God lives. But then, we have been poor, weak, erring creatures, surrounded by infirmities. Yet God has conferred upon us great, inestimable and eternal treasures, even the gift of eternal lives, and upon many of us are conferred these promises of thrones, principalities, powers and dominion in the eternal worlds. God has conferred those rich and precious treasures upon us, but we have them in earthen vessels. We have to wrestle against flesh and blood, against the powers of darkness, the Adversary, who rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience, and leads them captive at his will, and against the power of wickedness in high places. We have not all of us learned to obey those principles that God has revealed. We have not all of us learned to say in our hearts, “Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” We have not all of us learned to submit our will to the law and word of God, yet God is introducing Temples and ordinances and blessings, and light, revelations and intelligence, to lift us up, to exalt us, that we may be a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid; that we may progress from intelligence to intelligence, from knowledge to knowledge, until we shall see as we are seen and know as we are known.

We are living, as I have said, in an important day and age of the world. We have gathered to this land because God has decreed it. He has reserved us for the latter days, that we may perform that work which He decreed from before the foundation of the world. If there have been any blessings enjoyed by men in former dispensations of the world, they will also be given to you, ye Latter-day Saints, if you will live your religion and be obedient to the laws of God. There is nothing hidden but what shall be revealed, says the Lord. He is prepared to unfold all things; all things pertain ing to the heavens and the earth, all things pertaining to the peoples who have existed, who now exist or will exist, that we may be instructed and taught in every principle of intelligence associated with the world in which we live, or with the Gods in the eternal worlds.

Having said so much on some of these subjects, let me now talk a little upon some other things.

We have finished our Temple. What is it for? Not a building to look at; not a house to brag about; for before we get through we shall have built some Temples so much better, that you will not feel to boast about this Temple. The Temple that the people built in Kirtland, was only a small building compared with this one, and they were a very small and poor people who built it, yet it was built in accordance with the commands of God. In Nauvoo, also, the people were very poor. They had just been driven from the land of Missouri, yet they were commanded of God to build it. What was obtained in these Temples? In the Kirtland Temple Jesus appeared, and Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared also, and all these things that I have read to you and spoken about, transpired on that occasion. Communication was opened between the heavens and the earth, between the Priesthood in the heavens and the Priesthood on the earth, and the Keys of that Priesthood imparted to Joseph and others on the earth. It was left to those in this world to keep open those communications, to see that the road was clear, and that there was no barrier interposed between earth and the heavens, and to lead forward and progress in other principles yet to be developed; we operating, in our part here in their behalf, and in behalf of their children who are our fathers; while they, in their exalted position, are operating for them and us in the heavens; thus forming a connecting link between the Priesthood on the earth and the Priesthood in the heavens.

We have now finished this Temple, and some people inquire, what is it for? For many things: that our sealings and ordinances may be performed in a manner that will be acceptable before God and the holy angels; that whatsoever is bound on the earth according to the laws of the eternal Priesthood shall be bound in the heavens; that there may be a connecting link between the living and the dead, between those who have lived, all those ancient fathers of which I have spoken who are interested in the welfare of their posterity; that there may be a royal Priesthood, a holy people, a pure people, a virtuous people on the earth to officiate and operate in the interests of the living and the dead; not looking so much after themselves, but after God, after the work of God, and after the accomplishment of those things which God has designed to be carried out in “the dispensation of the fulness of times” when all things are to be united in one, and that they may be prepared to operate with the Priesthood in the heavens in the redemption of the inhabitants of this world from the days of Adam unto the present time. It is also intended to introduce the higher branches of education—literary, scientific, linguistic, philosophical and theological; for we are told to obtain a knowledge of laws, languages, governments, justice, equity, rule, authority, dominion, and all those great cosmopolitan principles exhibited in the laws of nature and among the peoples, by the wisdom, prescience, power and intelligence of “nature’s God.” That we may thus be acquainted with earthly and heavenly things, in accordance with everlasting laws that have existed in the heavens and on the earth from the beginning; and that all those great and eternal principles by which the worlds are governed may be comprehended by us.

This is a great work. Well might it be said to Joseph Smith, “You are laying the foundation of a great work”—so vast that very few can begin to comprehend it. We read sometimes about the millennium. But what do we know about it? It is a time when this work will be going on, and Temples, thousands of them, will be reared for the accomplishment of the objects designed, in which communications from the heavens will be received in regard to our labors, how we may perform them, and for whom. This is the work devolving upon us. We have to build up here a Zion unto God. Who are Zion? The pure in heart, and the pure in life. And be it remembered that it is not every one that saith, “Lord, Lord,” that shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but it is he that doeth the will of the Father who is in heaven. We must be faithful to our calling, for there is a great work for all of us to perform. Some men who have been ordained to the Priesthood have remarked that they have nothing to do. I have heard some foolish remarks of that kind. They will find plenty to do before they get through. They need not be troubled on that score. There will be plenty for them to do if they are only prepared to do it. There is a great work to perform in preaching the Gospel to the nations of the earth. Then as we build our Temples we shall want a great many people to administer in them, and I have seen some people quite pleased at the idea. Some Elders, Seventies, and High Priests have said—“What can I do? I am getting old and greyheaded. Still I would like to do something.” We shall require quite a number to administer in the Temples as we get them built. I am informed there are over forty persons employed in the Temple in St. George, about the same number, I presume, will be required in the Temple here, and then forty in the one at Manti, forty or more in the one at Salt Lake, and then forty in each of the others we are going to build. Hence, we shall find places for some of you folks after a while. You need not be concerned about having nothing to do. We will find plenty for the Seventies to do. You need not think there are any too many of them. The nations of the earth have yet to be preached to. The work is not all through. It is hardly begun. We are just getting ready for the labor, and so you may prepare yourselves, you Seventies, you High Priests, and you Elders, for missions to the nations of the earth. [Here President Taylor inquired of Bishop Preston how they were progressing with the missionary farms, and was answered that they were progressing satisfactorily.] We don’t want the aged and infirm to go out to the world. For that labor it requires strong, able-bodied men, men that are able to cope with the world, the flesh and the devil, as they say. We want men who are full of vigor, life and vitality. We want men to cleave unto God, and seek for more of His Spirit, that they may go to the nations of the earth to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation to a fallen world. That is what we are gathered together for, that we may be instructed in the laws of life, and then go and teach these laws to others. Our Elders go out to preach the Gospel without purse or scrip, and when they return we help them back. But we should see when they are gone that their families are taken care of, and everything made pleasant and comfortable for them. This is quite a little thing that some of you can turn your hands to. You can assist on the missionary farms, and in this way help to take care of the families of those who are absent on missions. This is a principle we want to see extended all over the land of Zion. How are you going to be paid for this? You will just get the same pay which I used to have when I went out to preach; you will have just the same source to go to, only you will have a little more time, I expect, than some of us had. We used to go without purse or scrip. We went along trusting in God. We are now in a different position, perhaps, and can put a few dollars into the bag to help us along; but I will tell you when I was away I would rather trust in the living God than in any other power on earth, for I learned that I could go to God and He always relieved me. He always supplied my wants. I always had plenty to eat, drink and wear, and could ride on steam boats or railroads, or anywhere I thought proper: God always opened my way, and so He will that of every man who will put his trust in Him. I would rather have God for my friend than all other influences and powers outside; for in God we live, in God we move, and from God we derive our being and our existence.

Then what about the payment of those men who are to be employed in Temples? There are three or four men that will have to be provided for, and others will have to take care of themselves, find their own bread and dinner, and think it a privilege to work for God, for the interests of His Kingdom, and to act as saviors upon Mount Zion. Supposing there are forty required to labor in this Temple. Many of you are pretty well off. You have got fat, and have almost kicked, some of you (laughter). Some of you have got more means than you know what to do with, and it is a bother to you. We will have to fix upon the number of men and women—for the sisters will be required as well as the brethren—that will be needed. These can go along, leaving their farms and their merchandising, or whatever they may have in hand, and go into the Temple of the Lord, on a mission for six months, or twelve months, or two or three years as the case may be, the same as others who go out into the world. If I today were not engaged as I am I should say, “Won’t you be kind enough to give me and one of my wives, or more, as the case might be, an opportunity to officiate in the Temple?” and I should feel it an honor to be privileged to work in the house of God. Would you want pay for it? No, I would bring my own bread and dinner, and I have no doubt there are many of you who would like to do the same. I guess we could pick out the forty people thus required right in this house today, without any trouble. All you who are in favor of carrying out this idea hold up your right hands. (All hands went up.) I knew there were more than forty right here (laughter). As to the three or four whose whole time will be engaged in this labor, these will have to be provided for. In this way we shall become saviors upon Mount Zion. It is written in the Scriptures, that “saviors shall come up on mount Zion * * and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” Now, a man is not a savior, nor a woman either, unless they save somebody. Well, we want men and women who are ready to officiate in this place. And when you get there, surrounded by the heavenly influence of the house of God, the gift of the Holy Ghost will rest upon you, which will bring joy and consolation to your hearts. When you have labored there for a while, you will desire to labor there again. You will carry this heavenly influence among your friends and throughout your neighborhood, and this we want to extend throughout all the land of Zion. We shall have, I presume, regular Temple organizations. Something of this kind may be organized among the High Priests who will look after the Temple districts. In this way we will find something for the High Priests to do. Some of them have been very much afraid that there would be nothing for them to do.

And thus we will go on, and God will assist us in the work in which we are engaged. He will yet make us the richest of all people. He will pour wealth into our laps, inasmuch as we keep His commandments. And what else is said? “Sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee.” Men shall call you the ministers of our God. And we want to minister for God in time and throughout the eternities that are to come. We have started in, and we will try by the help of God and the light of His Holy Spirit, and the revelations that he will give to us from time to time—we will try and operate and cooperate with the Priesthood in the eternal worlds, either on this earth or in the heavens. We shall operate until the work that God has designed pertaining to this earth shall be accomplished, and the living and the dead saved so far as they are capable of being saved according to eternal laws that exist in the heavens, and according to the decrees of the Almighty. Don’t you think we have something to do? I remember when I was first called to the Apostleship some 46 years ago. I looked at the calling square in the face, and said, “Well, this is a life work: this is an operation that will last a lifetime.” I have got other ideas since then, namely, that when I get through in this world I expect to officiate in the other. Hence it is an eternal operation, and that is the difference between what I then thought and what I now think. God has revealed unto us great and glorious truths, and He is prepared to reveal more if we will only place ourselves under His guidance and His direction. Let us seek to follow the principle that Jesus inculcated—to do the will of our Father who is in heaven, who said, “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” We are here as much as He was here, and under obligations as He was to do the will of our Heavenly Father. We should subject ourselves to the law of God, the word of God, and the will of God. I say continually, “O God, lead me in the right path: O God, preserve me from all error; O God, I am a poor, feeble, weak, erring human creature, surrounded with infirmities. I need Thy help all the day long. O God, help me.” That is my feeling, and the feeling of my brethren of the First Presidency, and of the Twelve and others. We feel that we need the help of the Almighty. We will try and be humble, and be faithful and true to our covenants. And if we listen to counsel, and obey the laws of God, and do the things that He requires at our hands, He will help us and bless us, and He will bless Zion and preserve Israel, and woe to them that fight against Zion, for God will fight against them. But He will preserve us if we are faithful and true to our integrity. We will be blessed in time, we will be brought nearer to the heavens. The light of revelation will burst upon our heads, and the glories of the eternal worlds will be made manifest. We will rejoice together in the fullness of blessings of the Gospel of peace, and by and by we will be crowned with glory, honor, immortality and eternal life in the celestial kingdom of our God.

God bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Remarks by President John Taylor, before the High Council of Salt Lake Stake of Zion, February 20th, 1884.

The case of the officers of the Deseret Hospital versus Dr. Ellen B. Ferguson was heard before the High Council of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion, on the 20th of February, 1884, and a decision was rendered therein by President Angus M. Cannon. President John Taylor on that occasion, made lengthy remarks which were applicable to the case in question, and upon the general principles of justice. The request has been made that they should be published, as they would be of benefit for the guidance of other High Councils. For this reason, his remarks and the proceedings in the case are now published. Mr. President and Members of the High Council:

I listened with a good deal of interest to a trial that you had before you, yesterday and the day before, in which there were certain principles developed that I thought it might be necessary and advantageous to reflect upon, and to give you some of my views thereon.

I should have been pleased to have done this had there been time when the High Council was before in session; but I thought as I had not then an opportunity I would take the opportunity tonight, this meeting having been convened for that purpose.

There are a great many principles underlying the subject that was presented before you, and acting as you are in the capacity of a High Council, and having many cases to adjust, I thought it might be proper to touch upon some of the leading principles pertaining to government, rule, authority, dominion, the conflict of opinion, the necessity of being prepared to act wisely, prudently and intelligently, and to discriminate between right and wrong: so that upon general principles we might be able to comprehend things that would be calculated, in many instances, to help us to avoid a great deal of difficulty. I have been very much hurried for time today, or I would have liked to have had some of my views prepared. As it is, I have had a few items put down very hastily, and I will get Brother George Reynolds to read what I have stated on this subject.

I made a few remarks at the conclusion of the investigation you have had here. I call it an investi gation; for I think it was more an investigation than a trial.

The investigation was instituted to find out the true status of certain things whereby injury had been received by certain parties, and, on reflecting further upon the subject, I have had some leading items put down, which, as I have said, Brother Reynolds will read, after which I will make some remarks.

I speak of these things before Brother Reynolds reads my views, otherwise the attitude that I take might seem strange to you.

In the few remarks I made before the High Council, at the conclusion of the investigation, I stated that I was pleased to see the harmony and unity, the kindly feelings, care and anxiety that you manifested to all parties, both for and against, with a view to arriving at a just conclusion in relation to this matter. I also spoke of the Board of Directors of the Hospital, stating that they also had done as near right as they knew how. Then I spoke of the accusers of the party in question—Sister Ferguson—and I thought that although there were some errors associated with the action taken, that they were quite sincere in their intention to correct a supposed evil, and I would not except Sister Ferguson from the same rule, and the question is, with such a diversity of opinion, with so much commotion in existence, with so many severe charges being made, how it is possible for all to be right, and yet all acted upon principles that they conceived to be right; but which were in many respects incorrect. This I may explain more fully hereafter; and it is for this purpose that I wish to talk a little to lay my views more fully before you.

Brother George Reynolds then read as follows;

I. The care, justice, equity and proper deference to all manifested by the High Council.

II. The care and zeal manifested by the Directors, the President and associates in the interests of the Institution—the Deseret Hospital.

III. The zeal, energy and competency of the resident surgeon, as vouched for by the testimony of other eminent physicians.

IV. The diligence and zeal manifested by the matron and the assistants.

Whence then originates this difficulty; these hard feelings, sayings and doings, this bitterness, acrimony and ostracism?

These arise partly from misunderstanding, partly from ignorance, and partly from a misconception of law, order, precedence and jurisdiction, with probably the best possible motives. It will be found on a careful examination of this subject that there is a great principle involved that affects in some respects all institutions, associations and nations.

Among the nations of the earth there are various forms of government. There are what are called absolute monarchies—such as Russia, Turkey, China, Persia, Morocco and others; then there are limited monarchies, such as England, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Portugal and others; these are governments which are called representative, having a monarchy, but that monarchy partially under the power of the representative of the people. There is another species of government which is called oligarchical, which is under the direction of notables, who manipulate the affairs of the country for the benefit of the people. Then there is what is called the republican form of government, such as the United States, France, Switzerland, Mexico, and the South American Republics and others. These are supposed to be governed by the people and are said to be “governments of the people, for the people and by the people,” their general motto being Vox populi, vox Dei, or the voice of the people is the voice of God. These governments assume different phases according to the nature of the government, varying from absolute despotism, wherein the will of one man governs the whole, to that of the freest and fullest and most unrestricted will of the people; and to prevent usurpations in the republican forms of government, as well as in some of the limited monarchies, constitutions are introduced and subscribed to, which are an agreement or compact between the rulers and the people, or the governors and the governed, and such governments whether monarchical or republican are called constitutional governments. These constitutions prescribe the powers and authority of the various officers in the government, and how and in what manner the several officers of the government shall be selected, elected and qualified. In our government, whether in a National, State, or Territorial form, all officers, of every grade, are requested to take a solemn oath to sustain and maintain the constitution of the United States, and of the State, or if a Territory, the organic act of the Territory as the case may be. If these things are not a fiction all these officers and authorities throughout the land in every department of National, State or Territorial government, are as much bound by their obligations and oaths as the people are bound to be subject to all constitutional laws, and the people are not one whit more bound to the observance of the law than these men are bound to the observance of the sacred and solemn covenants which they have entered into. And if the people have given up to governors, legislatures, the judiciary and to the officers of the law certain powers, rights and privileges, this authority coming of or from the people, it is expected that they shall act for and in the interests of the people; and furthermore, that while they possess those rights ceded to them by the people, whatever is not thus ceded and placed in the hands of their rulers is emphatically stated to be reserved to the several States or to the people.

There are again other branches of government among the several nations, or States in the nations, as well as in this nation; there is martial law and civil law; also the governments of cities acting under the directions of the authorities or legislators of the nations or of this nation; to whom certain rights, immunities and privileges are given in the shape of municipal regulations or of charters. But it must be understood here in matters pertaining to our government, that no charters or grants of any kind can be given by any parties, in excess of the rights which they themselves possess, and that the same obligations which vest in regard to constitutional rights and guarantees must be observed in all those municipal regulations by the recipients as of the grantees of those charters.

These rights and privileges in our government are formulated upon the idea that our government is “of the people, by the people and for the people.” There are other institutions which receive more or less the patronage and sustenance of the general, the State, and Territorial governments, such as educational institutions, hospitals, infirmaries, asylums, railroads, canals, steam boat lines, etc., all of which are more or less sanctioned by law, and are more or less of a quasi public character. These institutions generally have usages of their own, and operate under certain stipulations specified in charters granted to them, each having their own regulations and bylaws, as their directors, boards of management, or other officers may dictate. These are all subject to the common laws of nations and the usages of the people. Then there are other laws, there are laws that pertain to the physical world in which we live, and those that govern the sun, the moon, and the countless stars that shine in the dome of heaven. With all these man has nothing to do. He never has been and in the nature of things never can be able to change what are called the laws of nature. If any congress, parliament, or convocation was to pass a law changing the period of the earth’s revolution, or the phases of the moon, or the rising or setting of the sun, or if all the congresses, parliaments, or legislative bodies in the world were to unite to pass such a law, it would be of none effect, or utterly useless, for the simple reason that these laws are entirely independent of man’s action and outside of his control. So with the laws governing man’s physical being or that of the brute, or those natural to the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, all these are irrevocably fixed and unchangeable so far as man is concerned. All beings, all things, from the Great Creator to the minutest form of life are governed by the law of their existence. The laws by which all created things fill the measure of their existence were placed there by a superior power to that of man, and he is impotent to change or annul them. All these are called natural laws. Then there are celestial laws, adapted and suited to celestial beings; terrestrial laws adapted to things of the earth, and other lower laws called telestial. As we are taught in the Doctrine and Covenants; in all the universe there is no space where there is no kingdom, and where there is no kingdom, there is no law; and all things that are governed by law are preserved by law, and sanctioned by law; also even the law or laws of the state of existence to which they belong, be it higher or lower, much or less.

There are again celestial laws as before referred to, and terrestrial laws, and the question arises, what is the meaning of a celestial law; and what again is the meaning of a terrestrial law; a celestial law pertains to the law of heaven; and is a principle by which the intelligences in the celestial world are governed. The Gospel in its fulness places those who obey it, under its influences, while at the same time it does not relieve them from other obligations of a terrestrial nature. It is said in the Doctrine and Covenants, that he that keepeth the laws of God, hath no need to break the laws of the land. It is further explained in section 98, what is meant in relation to this. That all laws which are constitutional must be obeyed, as follows:

“And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.

“And that the law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, be longs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

“Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of the church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

“And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.”

That is taking this nation as an example, all laws that are proper and correct, and all obligations entered into which are not violative of the constitution should be kept inviolate. But if they are violative of the constitution, then the compact between the rulers and the ruled is broken and the obligation ceases to be binding. Just as a person agreeing to purchase anything and to pay a certain amount for it, if he receives the article bargained for, and does not pay its price, he violates his contract; but if he does not receive the article he is not required to pay for it. Again we ask, what is this celestial law? The celestial law above referred to is absolute submission and obedience to the law of God. It is exemplified in the words of Jesus, who, when He came to introduce the Gospel said, “I came not to do my will but the will of the Father that sent me;” and His mission was to do the will of the Father who sent him, or to fulfill a celestial law. And when His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, He said, “When ye pray, say: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” This it would seem was the celestial law, or the law of the Gospel.

Thy kingdom come. What kingdom? The kingdom of God, or the government of God, or the rule and dominion of God, the will of God—thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This seems to be the grand leading feature of that celestial law. Connected with this are all the blessings, rights, privileges, immunities, promises of exaltations, promises of blessings in this world, and of exaltations, thrones and powers in the eternal worlds; being heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. While such persons do not neglect the lesser duties associated with the responsibilities of life, and do not violate any correct principle or law, they still feel a responsibility resting upon them to yield obedience to the mandates of Jehovah; and thus as good citizens, loyal and patriotic to the country and its institutions, fulfilling all just and equitable requirements, whether civil or political. They have at the same time the same inalienable right as men, to worship their Creator, and yield an obedience to His laws, without infringing in anywise on the rights and privileges of others, and that right is guaranteed to them also by the constitution of the United States.

I have before spoken of certain associations, such as educational establishments, cooperative institutions, hospitals, and other organizations, which legislatures, private bodies of men, or individuals may establish. These institutions must be governed by their constitutions and bylaws as shall be agreed upon among themselves. And any parties entering into those compacts, take upon themselves the responsibilities of the conditions associated therewith. But as in National or State affairs, these duties and responsibilities are often very imperfectly understood; and hence in consequence of the weakness and imperfections of men, many misunderstandings and difficulties are liable to occur.

The case that you have had here before the High Council is one of these cases.

The question is, how far shall rule, dominion, authority and power be used, and how far shall mortal suasion, individual and special rights, and a judicious and intelligent policy obtain.

It is rather a peculiar case and requires an understanding of the position occupied by the various parties. It will be observed that there are two usages or laws in existence—one of these would be the general law, regulating an institution of that kind, which would be applicable to a university, a cooperative institution, a shoe establishment, such as we have, or any other well regulated institution. In our cooperative institution here in the city, there is a President and Board of Directors; they appoint the Superintendent. He has the charge of the buying, selling, engaging, or dismissing men, making contracts, and generally supervising and manipulating all the affairs of the institution. The Directors would be empowered to remove him, if thought advisable. In the University the Board of Regency stands in the place of the Directors, and they appoint Dr. Park as President, and he has general control of the studies and the internal management of its affairs. In like manner, Mrs. Ferguson held the position of resident surgeon, and is supposed to manipulate the affairs of her department in the hospital subject to the hospital physicians and the directory. Of course Sisters Van Schoonhoven and Beck would be under her direction as they belong to the medical department; while Sister McLean, being matron, would have charge and control of the domestic arrangements. It does not appear that any one of them was derelict in her several duties; but that a misunderstanding had arisen between Dr. Ferguson and these officers of the hospital, she being charged with being austere and dictatorial in her intercourse with them, and she on the other hand charges them with insubordination and plotting against her. Bitter feelings and acrimonious remarks passed between them, crimination and recrimination, until it culminated in those three ladies drawing up specific charges of a most serious character against the resident surgeon. These charges, it would seem, were credited by the directory and she was requested to resign. It is evident that the directors did this sincerely for the benefit of the institution; and to prevent a person whom they considered incompetent, as an opium eater, a drunkard and a thief (for these were the charges made according to their ideas), to officiate any longer in that institution.

But here arises another phase of the matter which is this; that while they had authority to dismiss her from the institution on these alleged charges, they had no right to malign her private character and reputation which it does not appear that they desired to do, but to avoid, as far as possible. Yet these things having taken place, and these allegations having been made on paper, and she having been dismissed from the hospital, they leaked out without her having any opportunity to defend herself against these statements, and her reputation has been seriously injured; hence comes in another law—the law of the Gospel, above referred to, or under other circumstances, the celestial law, or what is sometimes substituted for it here, the law of equity.

President Taylor resumed: There are very many nice points of discrimination associated with a subject of this kind. When we talk of law it is a very comprehensive subject, and enters into all the ramifications of human life, and, as has been remarked, through all nations. Generally among the governments of the world—and also among many of the institutions referred to, there is a kind of neutral ground, a sort of neutral zone, something similar to that which sometimes exists between one State and another in order to prevent collision and difficulty, and it is upon this ground that a great many troubles and difficulties frequently exist on various matters. The people on their part occasionally claim things that they have no right to claim, and those who govern sometimes go beyond the bounds allotted to them. And hence arises difficulty and trouble. Courts are appointed generally for adjudication of these matters, and sometimes it is very difficult for these courts to decide correctly, justly and equitably the cases that come before them. Among the nations they are very frequently submitted to what is termed the “arbitrament of the sword.” That, however, is a very poor thing when put into the scales of justice. I have heard it said, for instance, when certain questions have arisen in the United States—that is, in regard to States rights and in regard to the rights of the people, and in regard to how far they should be sustained in their privileges, rights, etc. I have heard some people very flippantly say, “Oh, that has been decided by the sword.” A very singular piece of justice is a sword with which to administer one’s social, political, or national affairs. When we come to put it in the balance of the goddess of justice—who is supposed to be blind and to hold the scales evenly—it will not stand the test. Hence when people make this remark it shows that they are very ignorant of the principles of jurisprudence, of the rights of man, of the obligations that the nation sustains to its people, or the people to the nation.

But what I wanted particularly to arrive at are the principles associated with this case that has come up before you, and I will try and show you why and how these difficulties have occurred between these parties.

Sister Ferguson—who according to the evidence we have had, and from questions presented, and remarks made—evidently is a lady of intelligence and very well acquainted with medical affairs, and as such she was appointed House Surgeon of the Deseret Hospital. From this position she was removed. And here comes in a principle that I wish to speak upon.

In this city we have a cooperative institution. I refer to it because it is an institution with which we are all familiar. I have already referred, in what has been read, to the nature of its organization, and the kind of government by which it is carried on. There are quite a number of employees in the institution—some 150 or 200. There is a Board of Directors, and there is a president and a superintendent. The superintendent seems to be the man upon whom rests the greatest responsibility, and he is responsible to the directors for all his acts. As stated already, he makes the purchases or orders them made; he disposes of the goods, or orders them disposed of. He makes arrangements for all its business transactions, and he reports to the directors, monthly, the status of the institution. In his hands is placed the power to manipulate and regulate the affairs thereof. If some person in that institution—he may be a good man—is incompetent, he uses his discretion in removing that man. He requires men that are acquainted with the business that he is associated with: and although this may be a very good man, the superintendent may think it proper, in the interests of the institution to have him removed. He uses his authority and has him removed because of his incompetency. The man who is dismissed may feel aggrieved. He may think he is competent: and it is difficult in all such circumstances to meet the wishes and views of all these people. Hence the necessity of a wise discretion. “But,” says the man, “I am a good Latter-day Saint.” “Very well, that may be; but, then, because you are a good Latter-day Saint, you may not be a good blacksmith, a good carpenter, or a good shoemaker, or you may not be—to come to their terms—a good salesman, one who comprehends the value of goods and the wants and interests of the business.”

Now, a great many questions arise out of these things, and how far they shall go and how far they shall not. On the other hand there may be a man who is very competent. I could refer to some of these and yet they are not good men. “Well,” says one, “we don’t want such persons as these in our institution. Although they are competent men and well acquainted with the business, I am afraid their example and influence would be pernicious, and we don’t want them; and we think we would have a right to act in such a case.” So they would think anywhere. The same thing would apply to the institution I have mentioned.

Then another question arises associated with these matters, and it has come up before you here. We have a hospital. There is an Executive Board, which amounts to the same thing as the Board of Directors in the other institution. Then there is a resident surgeon or physician, and it becomes her duty to attend to certain rules and principles that are laid down to use medical talent and ability for the benefit of the patients and the hospital, and to manipulate certain things committed to her charge. I suppose they have some rules associated with these matters, although I cannot state them definitely. Sister Ferguson, it would seem, got up a set of rules. They might be very good; I do not know, but it would seem they were not adopted by the Board, and it would also seem that the Board held the power in its own hands to manipulate these affairs. So that, although the rules drawn up by Sister Ferguson might have been very good and very advantageous if adopted, it appears they were not.

Let me refer to another thing. Sister Ferguson received her medical education in some medical college in the east. All such institutions, it was stated yesterday, both in England and this country are governed by certain rules and the general usage is that the resident physician takes charge of and manipulates the general affairs of the institution; and what are termed by some the inferior officers—I merely make use of that term for want of a better one—are under the direction of the resident physician or surgeon as the case may be. This was Sister Ferguson’s experience. Those acting in one department had no right to interfere with the privileges belonging to others. If these things had been specifically defined by the Board in this Hospital, and each had known her proper duties, and each fulfilled them, difficulty might have been averted; although according to the evidence we had, all were very diligent and sincere in carrying out their several duties. If a set of rules had been adopted and lived up to, a great amount of difficulty arising out of this subject would have been avoided between the parties, and which has more or less involved you and I and others, and caused us to look into these matters. Well, was there anything wrong in that? No. At the college in which Sister Ferguson obtained her medical knowledge—and a diploma as a mark of that knowledge or education—she also obtained a knowledge of the rules and usages of that kind of an institution; consequently it became almost part of her system. Is not that so, Doctor? That is the way I understand it. Well, now, Sister Ferguson comes here and she gets among a lot of us novices. At least I should call myself a novice; for I have never been in any of these establishments; I have never attended medical lectures, etc., consequently I should consider myself a novice in these things. At the same time, independent of this, there is a principle of rule and propriety that ought to exist everywhere, that does exist among all the nations of the earth, and that does exist among all those various institutions of which I have spoken. But for want of a better knowledge of these things, I am not surprised if, with her superior knowledge, Sister Ferguson did assume a dictatorial air and said, when interfered with, “I do not know that that is any of your business. I think that is mine.” And then, again, those other sisters have got their feelings on the same question, and no law being laid down in relation to those matters, they carry out their ideas according to their theories, and they do not think it is proper for any kind of airs to be put on by anybody whether rightfully or assumed. They do not comprehend that, and neither do we, generally, in our republican institutions. It is a good deal the same in our Church affairs. We are apt to think that “Jack is as good as his master,” and a little better. That is about the feeling that exists. And if people should sometimes see their authority interfered with, it creates feelings of irritation. To a person accustomed to be governed by correct rules, and to see things carried out intelligently, it is painful to their feelings to see them carried out otherwise; they feel as though something was wrong and wanted putting right.

I will relate a little circumstance of that kind; for we have all kinds of things among us Mormons. We had a war here a while ago. Brother Wells here was appointed a Lieut. General, and then myself and George A. Smith were appointed his counselors—(laughter), if anybody knows what that is in a military capacity. I never was able to find out. Well, we went out and did the best we could, and I must say that General Wells displayed a good deal of knowledge, tact, vim, life and fidelity, and we tried to step up to him as near as we could—being his counselors. (laughter.) There was a little difficulty arose about Brother Nathaniel Jones—or Colonel Jones—a very excellent, good man, and a thorough disciplinarian; and he had not been rubbing his back against that medical college wall and become familiar with all its usages, but he had been in the Nauvoo legion and an officer in the Mormon Battalion, and there he had got a smattering of military tactics, military ideas, military rule and authority, and when he saw all kinds of curious doings among the boys—as they called themselves—who were not strictly under military rule, etc., he wanted to straighten them out. But they, like the associates of Sister Ferguson, felt that “Jack was as good as his master.” They didn’t want too much military rule; they wanted a great amount of latitude, that they might be able to carry out their ideas and enjoy themselves and kick up their heels and feel like a lot of wild colts. Well, General Wells wanted me to go down, as his counselor, and see if the difficulty could not be put right. I was not even a corporal; I don’t know what office I did hold; but he wanted me to go down and adjust matters. So I went. I examined into things generally; talked with the officers, and mixed up with the men, and found out how things were exactly. There were Captains, and Colonels, and Generals, and all kinds of big men there, and they each had men in command; but Colonel Jones, whenever he saw anything wrong anywhere, wanted to go to work himself and put it right. I soon found out the feeling that was against him. The men considered him too straight-laced, and as they expressed it, “had too many epaulets on his shoulders,” because they saw in him a disposition to exercise authority, and the officers of the several companies did not object to that because it relieved them from responsibility. “Now, Brother Jones” (said I)—I called him brother; I had not got the length of calling him colonel, I called him plain Brother Jones—“let me tell you how to fix these matters. Such and such a man is a captain, is he not?” “Yes.” “Another, there, is a lieutenant?” “Yes.” “And another is major?” “Yes.” “And you are in command here?” “Yes.” “Well, now, instead of going to work to regulate all these matters yourself, why do you not detail lieutenant so and so, captain so and so, and major so and so, to look after the men who are acting improperly?” He thought the advice was good, and followed it, and order and harmony were restored.

Now, this would apply to Sister Ferguson. There was nothing particularly wrong about her; there was nothing particularly wrong with the Board; the directors did not wish to harm Sister Ferguson; they were simply seeking to remedy what they thought was an evil.

Now we come to another principle which is this: if in an institution like that, without any regulations pertaining to these matters, there was any kind of—shall we call it arbitrary feeling? I do not know that much of that feeling was displayed. There may have been a little of it; I do not know; but when we come down to the Gospel, which we profess to be governed by, it places us in another position. This Hospital was started, I believe, as an institution for the benefit of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These sisters, I suppose, were selected because they were considered competent, and then, on the other hand, because they were considered good Latter-day Saints. Now, I believe that about them, and they desired to do right, and then sister Ferguson desired to do right too. But then there were these discrepancies exhibited. But when we come down to the law of the Gospel, that places us altogether in another position. And the law of the Gospel and the law of the needs of the world do not always altogether harmonize. Sometimes we require to exercise a good deal of forbearance, a good deal of kindness, and a good deal of that kind of feeling expressed by the poet in speaking of his wife:

“Be to her faults a little blind, Be to her virtues very kind.”

I have had a good deal of experience of this nature. I have to meet with all kinds of men and all kinds of women. We are all surrounded with a good many infirmities, and I feel as the old lady said, “we are all poor, miserable, independent sinners.” We all make egregious mistakes sometimes when we think we are acting for the very best. There is nothing new about that. The same thing exists in the nations. The same thing exists among the leading men of this government and in other governments.

Let me here refer you to a case that took place in New Orleans. General Jackson when he was in command had some difficulty with the mayor of that city. To make defensive works he called for cotton. One man, I think objected, and said, “General, that is my cotton, and I don’t choose that you shall use it in this public way.” “Well,” said the General, “if it is yours why don’t you take your gun and help defend it?” He ordered the cotton bales to be rolled up, and it was necessary, as he thought, under the necessities of the case, that military authority should be obeyed; in other words, that martial law should be exercised. He got the cotton. He drove back the British. He accomplished his object. And after he was done he was fined, I believe, $1,000 for interfering with the civil authorities, and resisting the writ of habeas corpus. He thought he had a right to do what he did, and he assumed the responsibility. But they fined him for it, and that fine stood against him until pretty near his death. He had transgressed the civil laws of the land, and if he could do that with impunity, it was considered that others could do the same, and they did not want to set such a bad example. In this we see a conflict between military and civil authority. The mayor thought he was doing his duty; the general thought he was doing his; but when it was brought before the courts the general was fined. He paid the fine, but it was remitted some little time before his death.

Then there is a case of a similar nature right before this nation at the present time. I refer to the case of Fitz John Porter. I am not competent to enter into the full details of it. However, suffice it to say, that his superior officer, General Pope, had ordered him to make a certain movement, and, it is alleged, he disobeyed the order, thinking that if he did obey the result would be injurious. In this he committed a breach of military etiquette and military law. They had the law there—not like this hospital—and he violated it. For this he was censured.

I merely want to show that there is nothing in these kinds of misunderstanding for they exist everywhere and have existed from time immemorial. And it is not uncommon for parties when their dignity is insulted to settle the matter by pistols or swords, as the case may be, and frequently one or the other is killed, and “honor is satisfied.” I merely introduce this to show how such things operate, and that you make the very best rules you can, and the very best laws, and there is a danger of their being violated. I might mention other instances, but I do not wish to occupy too much time in relation to these matters. From what I have said it will be seen that these folks, to whom I have alluded, were pretty decent people. I do not know but the Mayor of New Orleans was a pretty good man, and General Jackson had a pretty good reputation, and was afterwards President of the United States. I expect Fitz John Porter is a pretty good man; I expect that General Pope is a pretty good man; yet they have disturbed the nation and Congress with the difficulties that have existed between them in spite of all those laws. As I said before there is a kind of neutral zone, and yet men come in conflict.

Here as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we profess to be governed by a law that is different from others. I have mentioned it already. It is the law of the Gospel. Then, as has been stated, we have our institutions separate and distinct from the States, the same as others have. Other religious bodies have the same. We have our religious usages, our ideas, and our theories. We believe—and hardly I was going to say we believe in a celestial law. Hardly. What is it? “Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” That is the way I understand it. As I have said before, Jesus came not to do his own will, but the will of His Father that sent Him. And when He told His disciples to pray, as I have stated, He said, say, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come,” what! thy kingdom! whose kingdom? the kingdom of God. What! The kingdom of God come upon the earth? Yes, that is what it says—the rule of God, the govern ment of God, the dominion of God. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When that is done we shall have a celestial law here. We have not got it yet quite, and we are not prepared for it quite; but we are trying to introduce those things, and the Gospel has been restored for that purpose, and revelation has been given for that purpose, and the heavens have been opened for that purpose, and the Priesthood of God has been organized for that purpose in all its various forms and ramifications, and predicated upon that principle, the High Council has been organized, and other officers and peoples associated with the Church and kingdom of God.

Now, then, as has been stated here, the Executive Board of this hospital were desirous to be set apart by the Priesthood that they might act under the blessing of God. They came to consult me about the hospital in general, and wanted to know if something could not be done in the interest of the sick and afflicted of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were desirous of having a house that was dedicated to God, a house where the Elders could go in and administer to those who were afflicted as well as the physicians, and that all these things should be conducted under the direction of the Almighty. Now, while I am a strict believer in discipline and rule, yet I could not but believe, on the other hand, in the feelings that were exhibited by Sister Eliza Snow and others, in relation to these matters. It has appeared in this investigation that some difficulty arose among those in charge of the hospital, and Sister Eliza and others tried to get them to harmonize and act as Latter-day Saints. That was very good counsel to give, and it would have been well if it had been obeyed, but, it was not, and things have resulted as they have done.

Now, what would you do? These sisters prayed, etc. I presume they did, and certainly I do not want to set them down as hypocrites. They had seen Sister Ferguson take opium once or twice. She alleged that she took it for neuralgia of the heart. Being afflicted with a disease of that kind she had consulted some eminent physicians, and they had advised her to take morphine for an affliction of that sort. It was supposed to be a proper thing to take under the circumstances. Now, while the taking of this morphine might look a little suspicious, yet if they had had that same neuralgia, would it not have been the proper thing to have said, “Oh, my sisters, won’t you be merciful to me. And while I am sick don’t attribute my sickness to any wrong or any evil, but won’t you come and pray for me and be my good, kind sisters and friends and help me in my affliction.” That would have been the right thing to have done instead of trying to find out something bad. There was nothing that could be brought against Sister Ferguson here. She had to stand the fire of all kinds of witnesses, and not one solitary thing could be proven either against her moral conduct or against her actions, or against her reputation in regard to these things—either as a brandy drinker or as a morphine taker under those peculiar circumstances.

Well, now, it would look naturally cruel to me to throw out reflections, especially when a person was laboring under extreme pain, and we ought not to give way to that kind of feelings, any of us. Why, if I were to see the lowest and most de praved suffering under an influence of that kind, I would want to follow the teaching given by Jesus in regard to the man that had fallen among thieves and had been abused and robbed. The Priest passed by on the other side of the road, thinking doubtless it was only some poor devil. Then came a Levite, and he passed by, thinking no doubt, “he is only a poor outcast; let him die and be damned or anything else.” But a certain Samaritan came along, and his feelings seemed to be this: “You have fallen among thieves. Won’t you allow me to administer to you.” That would be proper. That is the way I look at it. I would do the same thing to anybody that I saw in distress. I would not seek to injure their reputation or to malign their character.

Now, I suppose that these sisters were mistaken in their ideas. I do not think that they have bad hearts; but sometimes when people allow their prejudices to run against a person, they carry these things too far. While we are desirous to put down iniquity we must not go to work and act a cruel part toward anybody. God does not do it. He sends His rain on the evil and on the good. He causes His sun to shine on the just and on the unjust. A wicked man’s field may lay alongside a righteous man’s field. He don’t take His sun off the field of the wicked man. He makes no distinctions of that sort. He pours blessings upon all, and He has to be merciful to us all, otherwise we would not be as we are today, surrounded with the blessings we enjoy.

In regard to all these matters, it requires great care and great discrimination. When those sisters came to me and reported that Sister Ferguson had got out of the way, and read those charges, I felt ashamed. I could hardly believe it at first. I said to them: “These are grave charges you are making. Do you know that these things are so?” They answered they thought they did. “Well,” said I, “If these things are true, Sister Ferguson is not fit to hold that position, nor to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” For she was accused, you know, of being false—in other words, a liar. Some things, too, were said to be strangely disappearing, so that she was accused of being a thief; but when we come to inquire into these things we find there was no foundation for the charges. They seem to have arisen from unworthy jealousies. We should not be too ready in harboring such feelings.

Now, I will tell you of a principle taught by Joseph Smith. It may be of use to you as a High Council, and it will not hurt anybody else. In speaking of the discernment of spirits, said he, a man may have the gift of the discernment of spirits; he may see what is in the heart; but because that has been revealed to him he has no business to bring that as a charge against any person. The man’s acts must be proved by evidence and by witnesses.

I speak of these things for your information, and I do not know but I have talked long enough.

Suffice it to say that as Latter-day Saints we ought to be under the law of love, of kindness, and of mercy. And yet at the same time we cannot overlook the wrong. It is right to probe certain things to the bottom as you have done this thing. I was pleased to see the energy displayed all the way through on both sides, and I think this is the general feeling that prevails—a determination to ferret out wrong and to correct evil. One thing is just as necessary as the other.

I have already published a statement about a woman who had committed an act of adultery while her husband was away from home. I was written to about it. Why, said I, cut her off from the Church. We cannot have such people in the Church. Ultimately I requested the husband of the woman to come and see me, but instead of coming himself he brought along the seducer of his wife and three beautiful children—three as beautiful children as I had seen anywhere and as promising. It made my heart ache to see the position that that woman had placed her family in. But I could not help it. She had entered into covenants which were sacred. She had violated those covenants. The Book of Covenants says that such people shall be destroyed. I could not change it. I did not make that law. When they told me that the seducer was there, I said, I do not want to see him. I can’t have anything to do with such a wretch—a man that would enter into a family and debauch another man’s wife while he was away, thus taking advantage of the circumstances in which she was placed. I do not know who the man was; and I don’t care. I don’t want to see him. The woman wept. “Can I stay in the Church,” she asked. “No, madam, you can’t.” I could not assume the responsibility, the Bishop could not assume the responsibility, the High Council could not assume the responsibility without becoming partakers of the crime. I have seen other things of a similar kind and have had to deal with them. This High Council has no right to condone sin. This is an error that people fall into. If men transgress and violate the laws of God, they have no right but to deal with them according to the law of God. Treat them kindly; do the best you can for them, but do not condone their crimes. Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Deacons, and High Councils are placed in the Church as they formerly were, for the perfecting of the Saints; not to pass over iniquity because of certain influences. No influence of any kind ought to control you, only the pure principles of eternal truth as laid down in the law of God. No man can inherit a celestial kingdom who does not keep a celestial law. No man can inherit a terrestrial kingdom unless he abides a terrestrial law, and no man can inherit a telestial kingdom unless he abides a telestial law. And it is for us to see that these laws are executed. We must purge ourselves from sin.

Then, in regard to this affair. As I have already said, I think there was a little weakness in Sister Ferguson and in those sisters. And is there not a little weakness in all of us? I have many weaknesses and infirmities. Shall we condemn one another? No. But I wanted to point out some of these things for the benefit of this Board of Directors, of Sister Ferguson, of this High Council, and of all concerned, that we may be enabled to look carefully, dispassionately and intelligently into all of these matters, and seek for the Spirit of the living God. It is your privilege as a High Council always to know the right, if you are living your religion and keeping the commandments of God, and to have the inspiration of the Most High to guide you in your acts, and if you have that and seek unto the Lord, He will bless you and guide you in all of your doings. And so He will bless all men who seek unto Him, for as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God. And we have to discriminate between the laws of the world and the laws of God. We have no need to break any just and equitable laws, and never mean to.

Now in regard to the position of the United States today. What a pitiful example we have when we come to look at it. They talk about our debauchery and corruption. Why they have twenty criminals right among us to our one, and more than that. I have read that in Springville, out of the outsiders there, 45 percent of them are in some way or other, some lesser and some greater, violators of the law. Yes, according to statistics that are clear, pointed and plain they have from 20 to 80 violators of the law to the Latter-day Saints one. Well, that is not much for us to boast of, for we ought not to have any. But, then, the idea of our being accused of licentiousness and crime, and these pure people being sent out here to correct our morals!

But it is all right. We will try to do right, maintain the law and sustain all correct principles. We put up with a good deal of indignity. Still we will do right and leave ourselves in the hands of God; for if we do right and cleave unto Him, He will take care of us; He will avenge the cause of Zion, and judge the men who are fighting against her; and I say now, as I have before, over and over again, Woe! to them that fight against Zion, for God will fight against them. We will pursue our course and observe the law of God, and keep His commandments.

And I say God bless this High Council with the President and his councilors; God bless the brethren and sisters associated with the Hospital; and those sisters who may have unwittingly done wrong; they will try and do better; and Sister Ferguson, if she has walked a little too strait, she will try to be a little more pliable; and we will all try to move along and feel that we are living among the Saints of God, and that we are of one family and one household.

God bless you all and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Brother Angus M. Cannon asks: Do we understand you to sustain the decision of the Council? Certainly I do. I feel always like sustaining such things. And I will say, moreover, that it is very seldom I find it necessary to change what has taken place and been decided by the High Councils, among all the High Councils there are in the Church. And why should they not do right? Men that are disinterested, men who are working for nothing, men who are seeking to adjust difficulties among their brethren, and who meet together from time to time and spend hours and days and weeks in adjusting these difficulties, simply for the love of God and humanity and to correct error and establish the principles of righteousness, etc.

In regard to Sister Ferguson, I give you my right hand of fellowship and say God bless you, and try and be a little more humble. And I will do the same to those other sisters. God bless you all. Try to ameliorate the wants and sufferings of humanity, and seek to do all the good that lays in your power; for as you do good to others God will be good to you. God bless you all in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The following are the remarks made at the investigation, or trial, by President Angus M. Cannon, and the decision of the High Council in the case above referred to:

President Angus M. Cannon proceeded to review the evidence which had been adduced in the investigation. He took the charges seriatum. With respect to the first charge—that of taking morphine to excess—he held that there was no evidence to support the allegation. It was admitted by Sister Ferguson that she had been accustomed to take morphine to relieve her from pain induced by neuralgia of the heart; but never, except upon one occasion, was she rendered incapable of attending to her duties by the taking of this drug, and it was very supposable that severe pain was the cause of her administering what appeared to be an overdose. But was she to be denounced as a confirmed morphine taker because upon this one occasion she had administered an overdose of this drug? Was that circumstance to be used as a means to destroy her communion with the Church, to destroy her reputation, and to brand her as being an habitual slave to this terrible medicine? By no means.

With regard to the second charge—that of being false—President Cannon said he had not discovered anything in the evidence to substantiate that Sister Ferguson was false. She might have appeared to be arbitrary, commanding, in her desire to have respect and obedience from those under her charge; but a good deal of this kind of feeling appeared to have arisen from jealousy and from watching for faults, and when found, magnifying them to a great extent.

In reference to the third charge—that of stealing medicine from the Hospital—it had been proved that Sister Ferguson took some pills once, and they were administered to an outside patient of the Hospital, she took this medicine as was her right, for the use of outside patients. And as to the taking of brandy—about which so much had been made—all the evidence upon that point was that Sister Ferguson had asked the nurse once for a “sling” of brandy to be brought to her room, and she felt that she had need of it. Was it criminal for her to take a little brandy under those circumstances? Was she to be proclaimed as a drunkard? Not by any means.

Fourth charge—that of malpractice in the case of an old woman by the alleged administration of morphine—was held to be entirely unfounded. The old woman referred to was in a bad state of dropsy, and in a dying condition when brought to the hospital; she suffered great pain; and doubtless, as a doctor, and considering it the right thing, sister Ferguson did administer morphine for the purpose of relieving the patient from pain and getting her to sleep. The patient subsequently died. But because of this was sister Ferguson to be accused of causing her death? No.

The very fact of the sisters having signed those charges showed that they conceived them to be right. They expected this matter to be investigated. They expected to meet Sister Ferguson face to face. The question had been asked, did Sister Snow prompt the sisters to write those charges. The reply was elicited that Sister Van Schoonhoven made a draft of the complaints and that Sister McLean copied it. Sister Snow took it for granted that the charges were true, not thinking, probably, the damaging effect they would have upon the character of Sister Ferguson. This being the case it was concluded that it would not do for Sister Ferguson to be allowed to continue in her position. He (President Cannon) had no doubt that Sister Snow believed every word of the charges, and after considering the easiest mode of letting Ferguson down, the Executive Board asked her, finally, to resign. They did not see, apparently, that this would come out and damage, as it had done, the reputation of Sister Ferguson; but having become a party to this thing, they shouldered the responsibility. On the other hand, while he maintained that these charges had not been sustained, still, under the circumstances, he thought the wisest thing the Board could do was to ask Sister Ferguson to resign her position in the hospital. Her resignation was not asked with the intention to hurt her. But the devil took advantage of the position and used it to the injury of Sister Ferguson. He would say, however, that if Sister Ferguson would live humbly before the Lord and take what had transpired for good, and listen to counsel, the Lord would bless her, and the Lord would bless those sisters who had erred in this matter unwittingly, if they would take hold of Sister Ferguson and help her along, and thus promote union and fellowship in our midst as the sons and daughters of God upon the earth.

The decision therefore in this case will be: That these charges are not sustained against Sister Ferguson before this council; but I do think the sisters acted wisely under the circumstances in asking her to resign. That is my judgment. But that the evil one has magnified these charges to the injury of Sister Ferguson in that investigation was not had at the time. And I would say to these sisters, take hold of Sister Ferguson by the hand and help her to sustain her reputation and practice before this people, and as you seek to build her up so the Lord will build you up and bless you by increasing your influence for good.