The Lord is Teaching Us Valuable Lessons in Our Present Experience—He is Teaching Us to Rely Upon Him and to Exercise the Faculties He Has Given Us—Nature of the Government of the United States—the Elements of a Variety of Governments Enter Into It—Physical and Moral Courage—the Judge of the Third District Court not a Christian—a Concubine Was a Wife and It Should not Be a Term of Reproach—the Character of Abraham Vindicated—Sympathy for Our Enemies—When the Saints Learn to Be Strictly Impartial, Judgment and Rule Will Be Given Them—Not All in the United States Are Arrayed Against Us—Weakness of the American Government—Power of Secret Societies—Zion to Be a Place of Refuge and Safety—President Cleveland’s Opportunity to Be Just and Great—We Must Purify Ourselves that Liberty May Come

Discourse by Apostle Moses Thatcher, delivered in the Tabernacle, Logan, Cache County, Semi-Annual Conference, Thursday Afternoon, October 8th, 1885.

There have been a great many very excellent things said at this conference, and in attempting to add thereto, I desire the assistance and aid which come through the faith and prayers of the Saints—that I may be inspired by the Spirit of God to utter such things as may tend to our edification and good. It will doubtless be somewhat difficult to make all hear unless a goodly degree of order is maintained. Of course I am aware that it is not an easy task for mothers to keep their nursing babes quiet in a crowded house like this and upon a warm day; but we hope to have as good order as possible under the circumstances.

I have rejoiced very much in the testimonies which have been borne during the meetings of this Conference, and they find in my heart a responsive chord. I do not feel that we are living in unprofitable times, and notwithstanding the trials, temptations and injustice with which we are surrounded, I view the present as times in which the Lord is teaching to His people very valuable lessons. It has often been asserted, by our outside friends, that the union of this people was maintained by reason of the influence which their leaders hold over their minds. If this statement were true, and the influence exercised is unrighteous, the leaders of the people should be removed. But if the influence which they exercise over the minds of the people is for good, it ought to be maintained. As an Elder in Israel, I hold that the influence which binds together this people to be the spirit of God, and that the Almighty, the creator of the heavens and the earth, is not dependent upon one man or many men, and that the Lord will demonstrate to all the Christian world, that the religion which is called Mormonism is the religion of the heart for the masses of the people who have espoused its cause; and if, in the experiences of the past few months, and that which is yet in the future, the Latter-day Saints learn to rely on God, learn to receive for themselves heavenly communications for the guidance of their feet, though it may cost the exile of our leaders or the imprisonment of those who have worked as their servants, they will have received that which is of much value; and although it cost much, it will be worth more than the cost. We can see now that a few who have relied upon others, who have sought the counsel of their file lenders and have depended upon that counsel when they can no longer reach those leaders, falter and fall by the wayside. I believe that God intends that every man and every woman in His Church and kingdom shall exercise the faculties which He has given them, that in the exercise of their agency He designs to exalt them in eternal glory. So long therefore as the people rely upon their leaders they are not manifesting that degree of faith, they are not in a position to think and reflect for themselves as they should. I have known the time of the Presidency of the Church and of the Apostles taken up in frivolous matters that ought never to have gone beyond the family circle, at least ought not to have gone beyond the confines of the Ward organization. But times have changed. We approach not now so easily the Presi dency of the Church. We receive not their counsels with that facility that we have done in the past. And although we miss their presence much—for this people love their leaders—in their absence the channel of communication between the heavens and the earth is open to this people as it never could have been under former circumstances. Men and women are now learning that their prayers can be heard, and that if they are not able to receive the counsels of their brethren, they can in all places and under all circumstances, receive the counsels of God, their Heavenly Father.

Men, communities of men, governments, nations, powers, and principalities have never yet been able to build walls so strong, or make iron doors so thick as to prevent the prayers of a righteous man ascending unto his God, hence every man and every woman who keep the commandments of the Lord can have a light and a lamp for their feet, and those who have oil in their lamps will not be uncertain as to the course they should pursue. The revelations of the Lord will inspire them and direct them in the ways of truth and right.

When we reflect on the growth of governments, civilization, the rights of men and the liberties which we so much enjoy, to what source do we look as the one from whence they came? The great government of which we form a part—the most liberal, the broadest and the deepest in its foundation, the greatest government which God has ever smiled upon—except when he has administered according to His own will in the affairs of men—to whom is due its birth and expansion. To men who were willing to bow in obedience to the mandates of kingly governments? No! But rather to men who were inspired by God, their heavenly Father, to reach forward to a higher and a grander civilization and liberty. Had the Pilgrim Fathers and others who were unwilling to bow to the mandates of European powers not fled to the land of America, we should have had no government like this. It was founded as a refuge in which the oppressed of every land and clime should find a resting place. Not Republican altogether, not Democratic wholly, not theocratic, not aristocratic, not monarchical, but a combination of them all. For this government, in the strictest sense, is not a republic, as I understand it. The laws of a republican government are enacted by a central power. Were the United States such a government, the laws which govern the citizens of all the States and Territories would be enacted by Congress, instead of by their several Legislatures. In the purest sense, democracy consists of a government in which the people are governed by laws enacted with their mutual consent and by their direct vote. We cannot consistently call the government of the United States theocratic only in so far as the people acknowledge the rule of God. If we pick up a coin, a $20 gold piece, we can see impressed upon its face the words, “In God we trust;” and insofar as this is true, and expresses the sense and feelings of the people, this government is theocratic, but in no sense beyond that. A Territorial government may be said to be in a large sense monarchial, in that the governor of the Territory has conferred upon him by act of Congress absolute veto power, and the legislators who are chosen by the people, may labor for sixty days, unite their profoundest thought in expressing the wishes and wants of the people, and they may frame laws by which the people might be governed according to their choice, but by a single stroke of the pen the Governor of the Territory of Utah can veto every act of the Territorial Legislature. Is not this, then, monarchial, and is it not in a very strong sense a one-man power? It would seem to be at least autocratic. And in the sense that the people of the Territories have no choice in the governor or in the judges who administer the laws, or in the marshals who enforce the process of the courts and in every other way wherein the government takes upon itself the government of the people, without the consent of the people, is it not an aristocratic government—the government of the many by the few? Thus, if my conclusions are correct, the government of the United States is theocratic insofar as the people trust in and obey the laws of God; it is republican in a partial sense; it is democratic in another sense; and it is certainly, so far as the Territories are concerned, monarchial and aristocratical. Thus we have a combination of the elements of a variety of governments entering into this great Union. But, as was clearly shown this morning by Brother F. D. Richards, in the disposition of the people to have Congress enact certain proscriptive laws, we as a people are being deprived of many of the rights and privileges for which our forefathers contended, for which they pledged their sacred honor, and for which many of them devoted their lives. But, knowing the manner in which public opinion is manufactured in this great land of ours, I have personally a degree of charity and of sympathy, not only for Congress, but for the President, his Cabinet, and for the supreme judiciary of our nation. It is no unusual thing to see men manifest physical courage. You can see it in all nature. Tread upon a worm and it will turn and sting you if it can. Men, for the love of the things of this world, will often face physical danger in every form. They will dig down into the bowels of the earth, navigate the raging seas, and penetrate, as it were, to the North Pole—they will face the cannon’s mouth when it belches forth death and desolation in all its horrid forms; they will face death and destruction in all its horrid forms; they will face death and desolation in every shape; but when you call upon them to manifest moral courage, when you call upon them to stand up and maintain the right because it is right, when that right is unpopular, you appeal to something that gives but weak response. I have seen men that would face danger in almost every conceivable form, shrink and cower before one breath of scorn. They could not bear it, and hence you see them make promises and apologies because of the influences that surround them. Now, this is a popular government, and it would take a very courageous President to do justice to the Latter-day Saints. Why? Because the great majority of the nation are prejudiced against us. Not that they are aware of any harm or wickedness having been done by this people, but because of falsehoods that have been circulated against the Latter-day Saints. Therefore, I say that were Mr. Cleveland to administer, or cause to be administered all the laws in Utah impartially, he would be manifesting a degree of hardihood, a degree of moral courage that certainly has not been exhibited by any recent President of the United States. This country has produced few men like Charles Sumner, who stood up in the Senate of the United States and fought slavery. He stood there singly and alone, but he espoused a righteous cause, and by degrees he made adherents until this nation was converted and the Supreme Court of the United States that declared that a black man had no rights which a white man was bound to respect, was overturned at the point of the bayonet and the sword. Such men as Washington, Jefferson and Adams—such men as Cromwell, Knox, Luther, Wycliffe, Huss and Jerome, stand along the shores of time as beacons that have lighted the way to the higher liberty we ought to enjoy in this glorious land today. When I say we, I refer to the nation as a whole, and not to the Latter-day Saints as a community. If we could enjoy our constitutional rights, we would be of all people upon this earth the most happy; because, with all our faults and failings, God smiles upon no people upon the earth as pure as are the Latter-day Saints, and happiness consists in purity—the living of a holy life before the Lord.

I was very forcibly struck, a few days ago, with the remarks made by the Judge of the Third Judicial District. I don’t think him to be a Christian; if he is, he does not understand the Scriptures as I understand them. In referring to remarks which had been made by an individual who had been convicted by the jury, the judge remarked that he did not wish to hear any more hypocritical cant, and in referring to the wives of the Latter-day Saints on one occasion he mentioned them as concubines; and some of our brethren have looked upon that as being a reproach. Well, of course, you can convey contempt in the manner in which a word is uttered. But I do not look upon the word concubine as being a contemptuous term by any means. All concubines, anciently, were considered wives, but all wives were not concubines. A concubine, then, was a maid servant married to a free man; and although her mistress still maintained some jurisdiction over her actions, the fact that she was a wife gave her an honorable position—made her a legal wife in the sight of God.

Again, the judge, in referring to what father Abraham did, said, “Abraham not only lived with his wives, but also with his wife’s handmaids; in other words,” said the judge, “the same as though you were to live with your hired girls. Now, while that might do for Abraham,” said he, “it will not do for this enlightened age.” Now I desire to show by these remarks that the judge of the Third District Court is not a Christian, and that if he has any hopes of eternal life, he does not understand the plan and the promises of the great Jehovah; for Abraham was a friend of God; Abraham talked with God face to face, and although it may be thought that he lived in the dark ages, would to God that the Christian world would walk in such darkness today! If, then, the acts of Abraham would not do for the Chief Justice of the Territory of Utah, neither would the city in which Abraham dwells do for that judge; and when he passes into eternity and behold the names of the twelve apostles written upon the twelve foundations of the Eternal City he may admire their beauty and grandeur, but when his attention is drawn to the twelve pearly gates, he will find engraven thereon the names of the twelve sons of Jacob by his four wives, and their great grandfather Abraham will be within that city. Without its walls shall be sorcerers, adulterers, liars and whoremongers, and those who love to make a lie. Jesus bore testimony to the virtues of Abraham. He proclaimed himself to be a literal descendant from him, tracing back his lineage to the loins of David, another polygamist; and when he, Jesus, spoke of Lazarus, who picked up the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and who was so poor and wretched, whose sores the dogs licked to his ease, delight and comfort—when Jesus spoke of this Lazarus, he spoke of him as being in the bosom of Father Abraham. But the rich man, who perhaps had had control of him, and who had kicked and cuffed him, and looked upon him with scorn as he picked up the crumbs—as we pick up the crumbs of liberty grudgingly dropped from the table which our fathers made in the day of oppression and dread—I say, when that rich man looked upon Lazarus in his degradation, he was then but his serf and slave; but when he looked upon him over that wide gulf that separated them, he saw him in the bosom of Abraham, and he pleaded that Lazarus might be sent to dip his finger in one drop of cold water, that the thirst might be slaked in his throat, and that his burning tongue might be relieved. The answer was, “Lazarus had his ill things while upon the earth and thou hadst thy good things. Now, behold Lazarus has the good things and thou hast thine evil things.” “Well, said the rich man, if he comes not to me send him to tell my friends and my neighbors of the condition of affairs here.” The answer was made, “They have Moses and the prophets, and if they heed not these, neither would they listen to one though he rose from the dead.” If the Judge of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Utah is a Christian, how will he feel when he comes into the presence of Father Abraham, whom he has sought to cast reflections upon? Will not the blush of shame be upon his cheek? And if there is an eternal God, and if that eternal God is the creator of the heavens and the earth and all our spirits; and is the friend of Abraham, how can that Judge bear his presence? I would rather be the poorest Latter-day Saint on earth and bear chains and fetters upon my limbs until my flesh dropped from my bones than to be in the attitude of the man who must bear, without the spirit of God, the measure of unjust judgment which he has measured to others. For this reason, my brethren and sisters, I say I have the most profound sympathy for all those whom we sometimes denominate our enemies, and I am not able to forget the fact that whatever their condition in this life may be, they fought not on the side of Satan in the eternal worlds when Satan rebelled against God because the Almighty was unwilling to adopt his coercive plan of human redemption. God was determined that every man, woman and child born into the world should be free. I say, because God would not adopt his coercive measures he rebelled against Christ, and one-third part of heaven followed him, and he fought against Michael and the hosts of heaven, and was cast down to earth with the hosts that followed him. But you can find no living man or woman that ever breathed the breath of life that fought on his side; for the condemnation that came upon them was a loss of opportunity to take a body. Therefore, those people who seem to be our enemies are such only by reason of their blindness, and because their eyes are closed against the things of God, and if the judgments of God are to come upon them according to the predictions of the prophets, we can well afford to have charity and sympathy for them, and we do as a people. I tell you that I can pray for my enemies; I can pray that God may lead them away from darkness, that He may touch the eyes of their understanding that they may see, and in their hearts repent.

It is awful to think for a moment of the terrible condemnation that will surely come upon men who endorse the shedding of innocent blood; but we must, at last come to love our enemies and pray for them who despitefully use us. And when we are prepared to do this from the heart, we are prepared to say to this world, “I am not afraid of anything you can do.” The power of the Spirit lifts the body out of the reach of harm, the spirit of Christ has gained the victory, and we can say when under the influence of that spirit, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” I can pray for the President of the United States, with a desire in my heart that God will direct him aright, that he may have moral courage sufficient to do that which is just; because, unless the rulers of this nation are actuated by the spirit of justice, they cannot be sustained by the Almighty. And although we may find prejudice on the right hand and on the left, we shall never have given unto us the victory until we learn how to govern upon principle. When men are tested, when they are brought before the courts, cases should be tried, not men. Whenever the Latter-day Saints shall have reached that high degree of excellence in the administration of the laws of God as to judge impartially between the Saint and sinner, when they shall be willing to give Satan his rights as quickly as a Saint or a brother, then will judgment and rule be placed within their reach, and I pray that it will never come before that time.

Whether a man is a heathen or a Christian, when the kingdom of God is established, he will have his rights and liberties extended to him. There will be no bias, no prejudice, everything will be done according to the laws of justice and equity. Have we always, as a people, I may ask, manifested a disposition to act upon the basis of principle? You can answer the question for yourselves. Have you been willing, as Latter-day Saints to extend to the Gentile as readily his rights, under your municipal, your county or your Territorial government as you would extend them to a Latter-day Saint? If you have, then have we administered upon the basis of principle; but if we have not, then have we not come to an understanding of that which the Lord has revealed; for when His kingdom bears sway there will be thousands and millions of people who do not subscribe to our religious views, who will be gladly governed by the laws of God’s kingdom; and the Chinese in the empire of China, the Hindoo in Hindoostan, or the Christian in Europe, may read the laws that govern Zion, and, with mathematical accuracy, figure out the liberties they can enjoy under the laws of the kingdom of God. There will be no prejudice or packed juries in the kingdom of God that will bind the innocent and set the guilty free. God will govern His kingdom as He governs throughout His universe, by the laws of justice and equity.

What I say to the Latter-day Saints is, let us be of good cheer. I never have seen a better day than this. The kingdom will come off victorious, and those who have hated us will see the day when much woe and affliction will come upon them.

We hear talk about 55,000,000 of people being opposed to the Latter-day Saints. I offer to you this afternoon my testimony that this is not true. There are not 55,000,000 in this glorious government of ours who are opposed to the Latter-day Saints; it is a great mistake; there are thousands in the United States today, who are anxiously waiting for the solution of the “Mormon” problem, who are praying for the deliverance of this people. It is a great mistake to suppose that every man, woman and child in this nation are opposed to this people; there are scores that, while they have not courage to come out and speak a word for them, have a warm throbbing in their hearts for the victory of this people and their cause, and they are not blind to their surroundings either. As an American citizen I deplore it, but I tell the Latter-Saints this afternoon that this great government is not strong, and the reason is, they have torn up the foundations of the structure that was built by our fathers. They have tipped up the moorings of the great ship. They have allowed mob rule to get power in this land, and like a dark cloud, secret societies are gathering around. And while it may be smiled at, yet I tell you this nation stands as it were upon a mine. When the Knights of Labor and the different brotherhoods can say in calm language that within thirty minutes they can stop the motion of every car wheel between Omaha, Nebraska, and Butte, Montana, I say to you there is power there. More than five years ago, certain secret societies instituted what were called the Pittsburgh riots. The State militia was called out to quell them, and they were not able to do it. The army of the national government was appealed to, and a United States officer told me that when he led his soldiers to Pittsburgh he feared to give the word of command to fire upon those insurgents, “for,” said he, “I did not know whether they would obey or turn round and fire upon their officers.” I have heard merchants of Chicago and New York declare that they had private arms stacked away in their business houses because they could not trust the municipal, the county, the State, or the national means of protection; will you tell me that a nation is strong thus situated? It is not. The iron heel of the monopolist has long been upon the neck of labor, and the great question which is looming up in this nation today is that of labor and capital. Would to God we had statesmen with eyes clear enough to see! Would to God that they would pull out of their eyes the “Mormon” mote and behold the beam that threatens the nation. The occurrence at Rock Springs, and the mutterings we hear from the Atlantic to the Pacific ought to be a warning that the day is not far distant, unless the Democratic and Republican parties open their eyes to the situation, when desolation and war will be in this government. When men who live in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, have said to me, “Mr. Thatcher, why don’t you renounce this objectionable feature of your religion, the nation is opposed to it, the civilization of the age does not want to permit it—why don’t you renounce it and live in peace?” I have said to them, “I thank you for your kind sentiments; I thank you for the kindly feelings that you entertain,” and as an evidence that I feel it, I will say when this nation, having sown to the wind, reaps the whirlwind; when brother takes up sword against brother; when father contends against son, and son against father; when he who will not take up his sword against his neighbor must needs flee to Zion for safety—then I would say to my friends come to Utah; for the judgments of God, commencing at the house of the Lord, will have passed away, and Utah, undisturbed, will be the most delightful place in all the Union. When war and desolation and bloodshed, and the ripping up of society come upon the nation, I have said to such, “Come to Utah and we will divide our morsel of food with you, we will divide our clothing with you, and we will offer you protection.” I will tell you, my brethren and sisters, the day will come, and it is not far distant, when he who will not take up his sword against his neighbor, will have to flee to Zion for safety; and it is presupposed in this prediction that Zion will have power to give them protection. We are not going to do it outside of the government, either; we are going to do it inside the government. There is no power in this land to turn this people against the government of the United States. They will maintain the Constitution of this country inviolate, and although it may have been torn to shreds they will tie it together again, and maintain every principle of it, holding it up to the downtrodden of every nation, kindred, tongue and people, and they will do it, too, under the Stars and Stripes. They will stand with their feet firmly upon the backbone of the American continent and maintain the principles which cost their fathers so much, and those principles cannot be taken away by men who violate their oath of office, and betray their trust.

I tell you that there are boys growing up in these mountains who have the principles of human liberty grounded deep in their hearts, and they will maintain them, not only for themselves, but for others. God speed the day I say—if the nation pursues its downward course and tears up these fundamental principles of government which have made them strong—when the Constitution may be rescued and all men and women shall be free again. I pray that Grover Cleveland may stand up as the chief executive of the greatest nation that there is on God’s footstool today and say to the waves of public opinion and public pressure that the nation must be ruled upon the principles of righteousness and justice. If he would do that, he would make himself a name that would be embalmed forever upon the pages of history. But if he will not do it—if he is not morally strong enough to do it, and if Congress will not come forward and help him do it, we will say, “O, God, we put our dependence in Thee,” and where Thou leadest we will follow, and we will seek to maintain our rights, until the Almighty grants them unto us. May the spirit of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ be in your hearts, for above all things it is the most precious; and when you come before the judges take no heed of what you shall say or the answers you shall give, but trust in God, and if you go before the judges silent as did your Lord and master, if they choose to nail you upon the cross or stretch you upon the wheel or the rack, or if they thrust you into dungeons or prisons, it is nothing more than was done to your Master before you. Let us trust in God. I tell you nothing of importance has ever been attained in this world without a hard struggle against the opinions and prejudices of men.

God grant that we may soon regain and forever maintain our liberty. But may it not come as long as we have an adulterer, a fornicator, or whoremaster who professes to be a Latter-day Saint. As long as such as these partake of the Holy Sacrament with this people, let bondage continue. But let us purge out these things, let us be pure and holy before God, cherishing the principles of justice in our hearts, and the day of liberty will surely come, which may God grant, is my prayer. Amen.

The Speaker’s Dependence Upon the Inspiration of the Holy Ghost—Comprehensive and Exalted Nature of the Plan of Salvation—Satan’s Coercive Scheme—The Sons of Perdition—The Testimony of Jesus—Physical and Moral Courage—True Religion is Practical—One Straight and Narrow Way to Eternal Life—True Religion Compared to Genuine Coin—True Faith is Inseparably Connected With Works—Baptism of Water and of Fire—Apostles, Prophets, Etc., Placed in the Church—God’s Impartiality to His Children—Testimony Obtained By Obedience—All Will Be Saved Except the Sons of Perdition—God Has Prepared a Place for All—Paradise—Salvation Beyond the Grave—The Saints Will Have to Endure Persecution—Patriarchal Marriage—Conclusion

Discourse by Apostle Moses Thatcher, delivered in the Tabernacle, Logan, Sunday, Aug. 28, 1885.

In seeking to address the audience this afternoon I feel a degree of weakness and of dependence upon the Holy Spirit, known to the Elders of Israel; and that I may secure the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost to direct me what to say, I desire an interest in your faith and prayers. Nothing to my mind can be greater sacrilege in the sight of the Almighty than to undertake to speak in His name without the inspiration of His spirit. We may talk upon the branches of human learning and knowledge, speaking after the manner of men with but little of this feeling of timidity, but not when we undertake to speak of the principles of life and salvation, of the plan of human redemption as it has always existed—as it existed before the foundations of the world were laid, as it will continue to exist until every child of God except the sons of perdition shall be brought back and exalted in a degree of glory far beyond the comprehension of the finite mind. It has sometimes been said that Mormonism, so called, is narrow, proscriptive and selfish; yet those who comprehend it, even in part, have never made such an assertion.

God so loved the human family that He gave His only Begotten Son to die for the sins of the world, and in all the dealings of God with the human family, the careful student will find that the deepest, the strongest, the chord that gives forth the sweetest music, is that which vibrates under the touch of this infinite, almost incomprehensible, love of the Almighty. The chief corner stone, the foundation of our faith is built upon the doctrine of vicarious salvation, founded in the deepest philosophy of love. The doing by others the things that we are not able to do for ourselves, is a divine principle the practice of which saps the very foundations of human selfishness, and it exalts, glorifies, and so far as understood and practiced, brings those who obey it into a nearness with God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is in no sense narrow. It is broader than eternity, deeper than earth, higher than the heavens. Note the affection of earthly parents. Their child may stumble and fall, his feet may traverse bye and forbidden paths, he may do ten thousand wrong things, but in the midst of all, the love of father and mother reaches out and yearns for the reclamation and redemption of the wayward one. This love, implanted in the human heart, is of divine origin. It is the mainspring that prompts saving efforts. The plan of salvation being permeated with it, strikes unerringly at human selfishness, and bidding us do unto others as we would have others do unto us, cannot possibly be narrow.

Whatever may have been the efforts of Satan and the hosts that follow, whatever they may do in the future to destroy, a merciful and loving heavenly Father’s plan is broad enough to save and will save, in some degree of glory, every human being that has or ever will breathe the breath of mortal life except the sons of perdition who, sinning against light, put Jesus to an open shame by denying the efficacy of His atoning blood after knowing of its power. Thank God these will be few in number. Whatever may be the views of uninspired sectarians as to the utter condemnation of the heathen, and of the unsprinkled infant who dies before the dawning of reason upon its intellect, none but those mentioned will be consigned to eternal condemnation and to the misery and torments of what is called hell. Men will be judged by the deeds done in the body. If, therefore, a man, in full possession of intellectual faculties sins against light as the son of the morning, Satan, sinned against light, no power on earth or in heaven can save him. For he has deliberately, while freely exercising his own agency, elected to be damned. To such the sealing powers, the keys of which were restored to the Prophet Joseph by Elijah, are of no more avail than were they when Satan, followed by a third part of the hosts of heaven, sought to enforce against the decree of God and His Son Jesus, his coercive scheme of human redemption, which scheme in its very nature was calculated utterly to destroy the agency of man, thus denying him the means of growth and final intelligent exaltation. Satan knew of the existence of God and of His Christ, His firstborn, and he knew of their power, honor, glory and dominion. But being envious and full of ambitious pride was anxious to supplant all for his own advancement. He fell, and was cast down as those will be who follow him and do the works of their master, sinning against knowledge and the light of heaven.

The coercive, agency destroying plan of Satan, having been rejected by the councils of heaven, a better, more noble plan, one founded in unselfish love that distills the mercies of God in the human heart, as the dews of heaven moisten and gladden the parched earth, was adopted. This plan, while holding the keys of the Godhead in the authority of His priesthood, is yet simple and easily understood—so plain is it that a wayfaring man need not err. There is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth it understanding; the sinful who listen and obey are led to repentance, and, through the doors of baptism of the water and spirit are brought out of wickedness to the enlightenment of pure knowledge, until in obedience to heavenly law they secure the keys of power authorizing them to pass by the angels, inherit glory, become heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ; and, having abiding in them eternal lives shall beget, throughout the endless ages of eternity, the souls of the children of men to the honor and glory of God, and create and have dominion over worlds.

Such is the high destiny of obedient man. But Satan was an accuser of his brethren from the beginning, hence the rejoicing of angels when he and his kind were cast down to earth bodiless, estateless and powerless, except for evil. Wandering spirits in the realms of darkness, seeking everywhere and under all circumstances to enter, defile and destroy the souls and bodies of men. Where God is he can never abide, nor can those having received the testimony of Jesus who deny it. Such can never, if they reject the truth, sin against the light and put Jesus again to an open shame, abide the presence of God. When through the atoning blood of Christ their spirits and bodies are brought together in the resurrection of the wicked and are judged according to the deeds done in the body, the second death will pass upon them. The first death resulted in a temporary separation of body and spirit, but the second will result in eternal separation. As the rebellious in heaven lost their first, so these will lose their second estate and become like the first.

How many people in this world today are capable of becoming the sons of perdition? And those are the only ones of the human family who will not be saved in some degree of glory. Are there two hundred thousand mature, intelligent human beings throughout the Christian world today who have knowledge enough to enable them to become the sons of perdition? How many in the Christian world have that testimony of Jesus which the Apostle declared was the spirit of prophecy? Such a testimony is stronger than can be the testimony of the existence of any earthly thing as evidenced by the five senses. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so is the testimony of Jesus above earthly information for it penetrates every fiber of the human organism. A slight degree of inspiration, without such a testimony enabled the Waldenses about whom Brother Leishman has been speaking, to endure, while singing songs of joy and rejoicing, the horrors of fagot, wheel and rack. A comprehension of the testimony that rewards, in time and eternity, enabled the Apostle Peter to meet undismayed the death of crucifixion. It caused the disciples of Jesus to take gladly the spoiling of their goods and bear patiently the contumely heaped upon them. How few can comprehend it! Physical courage is common enough even in this degenerate age. Exhibitions of brute force can be witnessed on every hand. The crawling worm as it drags its slimy term, will turn and fight for existence, and the lowest of God’s creatures struggle for life. A sensitive, refined human being, made in the image of God, may face physical danger in every form, meeting without fear the wild savage, while the dark messengers of death whistle by his heedless ears. Without a tremor, he may listen to the whir of grape and canister, and the shriek of shell, as they scatter desolation and ruin all around; but a sneer of contempt from the lips of the scornful, or envious hate expressed in fierce sarcasm, may dull the very marrow of his bones, causing him to quake like an aspen leaf. Thus the physically brave may quail, falter and fall under the attack of the scornful egotist, whose sneer to many is like the poison of asps. But he who has the testimony of Jesus springing up in his heart like a well of living water hath that higher courage which tends upwards, step by step, to a comprehension of the inspiration that enabled the Savior while suffering the agonies of death to utter the heaven-born sentiment of divine love expressed in the words, “O, God forgive them for they know not what they do.”

No man without the Holy Ghost can testify that Jesus is the Christ; neither could any men under similar circumstances utter from the heart such sentiments of forgiveness without the direct inspiration of the Almighty. Christians may assimilate, preach about, and praise a love that passeth the comprehension of the finite mind, but no mortal can love his enemies and pray for the forgiveness of those who despitefully use and would kill him, without the testimony of Jesus, and the knowledge accompanying it.

God will forgive whom He will forgive, but for us it is required that we forgive all men. Whether they ask forgiveness or not? Yes, whether they ask it or not! This doctrine is founded in the deepest philosophy and leads up to final victory for all who through obedience to the commandments, have gained for the spirit ascendancy over the passions of the body and are thus enabled to love even their enemies. Scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites love each other. The distinguishing characteristic of a Saint is that he can do more. And his ability to do more comes of the knowledge that the love of God abides not in the heart that harbors hatred of a single human being. He who preaches and practices the doctrine of hate knows not God. As we judge of the quality of a tree by the fruit it bears, so also may we judge of the quality of a religion by the fruit it bears and not by the professions of its adherents.

I say to the Latter-day Saints, if the religion you have received fails to prevent you from bearing false witness, it is either untrue and not the religion of Christ, or it is not grounded in your hearts. True religion is bound to be practical religion, teaching the merchant to give sixteen ounces to the pound, thirty-six inches to the yard, and in every way to be honest and truthful. It will teach the laborer to do honest work and the employer to give honest and fair wages for the work. It will unveil hypocrisy and place a premium on the execution of equity and justice; it will supplant malice with charity, hatred with love, distrust with confidence. It will silence the voice of envy and remove the foot of oppression from the neck of the poor. Its church steeples will cast no shadows over the homeless, starving, shivering child of God, left miserably to perish under the very droppings of the sanctuary. True religion will do these and ten thousand kindred deeds of charity, whenever and wherever practiced. The fearful wrongs everywhere seen in the Christian world were not foreordained, nor are they any part of heaven’s economy, but are the fruits of the acts of sinful man, the results of God’s laws broken and trodden under feet of men whose wicked injustice blotch and mar the harmony and peace of the universe.

True religion refreshes the heart as gentle rains the parched and thirsting soil. The law and prophets hang upon perfection—the doing unto others as we would that others should do to us, under the practice of which the grinding monopolies, cruel wrongs and awful sacrifices known throughout the Christian world would melt away as snow before the rays of the sun. Millions may profess to follow the meek and lowly Jesus, but if the misery and sorrow of Christians is the fruit they produce, their religion is lifeless, untrue, or has failed to act upon their hearts. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there be that find it. Simple, unmistakable, yet how few, how few indeed, seem to understand that unchangeable declaration of Christ.

Ministers claiming to speak in His name daily contradict and seek to nullify its force. Some years since I remember to have read a sermon preached by the Brooklyn divine, the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, in which his mighty intellect—he is conceded to be one of the foremost thinkers of the age—seemed to grasp material with which to bridge the gulf separating the various Christian denominations, by comparing the kingdom of heaven to the City of Philadelphia, leading into which were many railways, over each of which many trains, with many cars containing many people, passed daily. All starting from different points, traversing different roads, but all going to Philadelphia—that is, heaven. How generous, how charitable, how humane! But however pleasing the doctrine it lacks one important ingredient, it is not true. Beecher says there are many ways. Christ said, straight is the gate, not gates, and narrow is the way, not ways, etc. As they separate, and disagree, let us leave Beecher and follow Christ. One is an authority, the other is not. Jesus, the Mediator of the Covenant, the Captain of our salvation, through whose atoning blood our sins are washed away, and by whose merits and our faithfulness we shall be brought again into the presence of God the Father, has declared that a man cannot enter the Kingdom of God except he be born of the water and of the Spirit; and yet think of the audacity, the blasphemy of those claiming to act in His name and for Him, while denying His statements and rendering His laws, in the estimation of those whom they teach, nugatory. And yet these same people are quick to brand as nullifiers all who seek to test in a peaceful way the special, proscriptive laws of man. These things indicate that which is genuine and detect that which is spurious. Let us obey the laws of God, the laws of no Christian nation should conflict therewith.

As the value of a coin is largely determined by its purchasing power, so the value of a religion may be partly determined by its cost and largely by the blessings it will bring. Becoming familiar with the coin issues of our country the careful, prudent man is able in many ways to detect counterfeits. Note for instance the authorized issue of gold twenties. Above the eagle, the nation’s emblematic coat of arms, and surrounded by stars and rays of light are the words, “In God we trust;” around the face margin “United States of America” and “Twenty Dollars.” On right and left scroll connecting at top of shield we find the words, “E pluribus Unum;” in its left talon the eagle grasps a bundle of three arrows. On the reverse side we find the impress of the head of the “Goddess of Liberty” surrounded by thirteen stars representing the thirteen original States. Across the diadem on her head, is the word “Liberty,” (on certain silver coins of more modern issue “Liberty” is printed on the shield upon which the Goddess sits). These, with date of issue and a small letter indicating the mint that coined the issue are the distinctive features of the coin alluded to. Now supposing any person, high or low, ignorant or wise, should offer you a coin in exchange for twenty dollars value lacking any of these distinctive features, would not your suspicions be aroused? If so, what would you think of a person offering you a coin as genuine bearing none of the distinctive features named except the words, “In God we trust?” And what would you think of anyone who would receive it, as an authorized coin? Do you think our Government would acknowledge such as genuine? What would be the penalty for issuing and attempting to circulate such an authorized and genuine coin? Let the thoughtful reflect upon these questions.

Now examine the genuine plan of human redemption impressed by the die of inspiration, issued by the Almighty and endorsed by His Son; Faith, a principle of power; Repentance, turning away from sin; Baptism, being buried in the water; and the Gift of the Holy Ghost conferred under the hands of those having the authority of the Holy Priesthood to officiate in the ordinances of the Gospel, are distinctive features of that plan, obedience to which shows its value in signs following, casting out devils, healing the sick, speaking in tongues, testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy, the sealing powers, keys and tokens of endless lives, thrones, dominions, all heights, all depths, heir with God, joint heir with Christ.

Think now of an offer as genuine of a plan having none of these ex cept, “Believe in Christ and you shall be saved.” Accept it, try it, and see if it will purchase those gifts and blessings mentioned, or any of them. Failing in this it would not be genuine though the form, in every particular, corresponded with the authoritative plan. Hence none need be deceived.

Brother Leishman indicated by his remarks that salvation predicated alone on belief was nowhere taught in the Scriptures. This needs qualification for it is written:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This being in the same chapter and in connection with the same subject, it is clearly seen that the belief spoken of contemplated works. Now what is faith or belief? It is a principle of power by the exercise of which worlds were made. Christ Himself declared that he that said he believed in Him and kept not His commandments had not the truth in him. True faith, then, merges into, and is inseparably connected with works. The Apostle James testifies that faith without works is dead. In the sense that true faith leads to true works, we understand the sayings above quoted. And that, I presume, is what Brother Leishman meant. Now I believed that I would come to this Tabernacle today. In this respect I had a living faith and it prompted to the work necessary to bring me here, hence I am in your presence. Had my faith been dead, how long do you suppose I would have remained absent?

If you believe in Jesus you will keep His commandments, and the assertions of man or any number of men can never change this divine decree. Again He said: “Verily, verily I say unto you (speaking to Nicodemus) except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” How forcibly can thousands realize this truth among this people. How true, how potent, and yet how little comprehended is that saying Christ further declared to Nicodemus that, except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit he could not enter the kingdom of heaven.

It would seem that not only man, but other creations of God respond to this law. The earth upon which we dwell had its birth out of the waters. And, when the debasing, corrupting sins of man defiled the face thereof, they were remitted—swept away by immersion. The windows of heaven being opened and the fountains of the deep broken up, the earth was literally baptized in water, as hereafter, abiding the law of its creation it will be literally baptized in fire and the Holy Ghost. Thus, though men may lightly consider the foundation upon which rests the plan of human redemption, heaven and earth testify of it.

God dwells in eternal fire, and no human being who has not been baptized in water and Spirit can abide that which will come, when the earth is immersed in flames, mountains melt with fervent heat and run down like wax. To prepare humanity for the great day of the Lord Almighty, He placed in his Church Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers; that they might do the work of the ministry and bring us to a oneness of faith in Christ Jesus. Any church with less than these should show the command authorizing the change. If the Savior has made such change, or any change, it is important for us to know it. But if He has made no change, He will surely hold us responsible for accepting any that men have made. Can a church not even bearing the name of the Redeemer, and having neither Apostles nor Prophets, bear the fruits enjoyed by the disciples of our Lord in the days of and subsequent to His ministry? Do any of them ever claim to have such fruits? Who among them have the endowments of the Comforter, whose mission it was and is to bring the teachings of Jesus to the memory, show things to come and lead into all truth? God neither changes nor is he a respecter of persons; the causes, therefore, which lie ordained to produce certain results in one age will produce them in another. What would we think of an earthly father who, having bestowed every care in the education, advancement and exaltation of his firstborn; giving instruction, encouragement, sympathy and love, but to children born later only the history of his doings with their older brother? Quick to hear and answer the prayers of the first, deaf to the supplications of others. A living testimony to one, doubt and despair to the rest. The fruits of knowledge to one, dead forms to the others. Could such a father be considered impartial, generous or just? No. And yet men would have us believe that God deals with His children in just this way. I bear my testimony that it is not true. The Apostle James declared that “if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” Men tell us that He has ceased to communicate with His children. Thus Joseph, the unlettered boy, was confused, perplexed and made most miserable. The Methodist, with good intentions no doubt, said to him, “Lo, here is Christ.” The Presbyterian, with equal sincerity, bade him follow them, while the Baptist called on him to seek Jesus, in their way. In the midst of all this confusion and conflict, obeying the injunction of James, he sought wisdom direct from God, and got it; receiving in time authority to organize the Church of Jesus Christ, perfect in all its parts, as it existed anciently. By the knowledge of the things of God revealed to him, and by the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood received from John the Baptist, and of the Melchizedek Priesthood received from Peter, James and John, and not by the learning of man, he did this great work which is genuine—the Gospel of Christ with all its gifts and blessings. And, as Jesus testified, so we testify, if any will do the works of the Father he shall know whether the doctrine be of man or of God.

In the things of this world men are on the testimony of their fellow men, adjudged innocent or guilty; and if the inducements of wealth are offered as a reward for testing the statements of men few refuse, but when eternal life through a knowledge of the plan of human redemption is promised on simple conditions, how few are willing to test it. Thus are the words of the Savior verified, “many are called but few are chosen.”

When less than fifteen years of age an humble, unlearned (in the knowledge of the world) Elder promised me in the name of the Lord that if I would obey the first principles of the Gospel as taught and administered in the days of Jesus, I should know whether the doctrine was of God. I obeyed and proved his words true. I received a testimony and the spirit of prophecy. Not from Joseph Smith or Brigham Young or John Taylor, but from God. Unhappy is the condition of the Saint who has not received it, for in the midst of scorn, hatred, ostracism and persecutions of the world, it is the lamp that shines along the narrow way that leads to the presence of the Creator. It is the well of living water springing up unto eternal life, the inspiration that testifies of a love stronger than death; willing to endure all things while pleading with humanity to receive the message of a merciful, long-suffering and loving Father. For this reason the Elders of Israel gladly take the spoiling of their goods, and, as it were, their lives in their hands and go to the ends of the earth delivering their message while patiently enduring the whips and scorns, derision and insults of those whom to save they would perish. With such love as this in their hearts, how many have wandered without sympathy, friendless and alone save the companionship of the Holy Ghost, in the streets of London, Liverpool, Paris, New York, and other large cities and densely populated regions of the world! And how truly have they verified the words: “If they hated the Master so also will they hate you.”

Read the fierce resolutions and burning expressions of hate issuing from religious and other societies and organizations. Do they inspire you with feelings of bitterness in return, or with profound feelings of sorrow? Can you mourn for those who do these things ignorantly? Can you think of Paul as he persecuted the early Saints in the belief that he was doing God’s service, and pray for these too? Thousands who have been deceived by those who love and make lies, honestly believe that it would be God’s ser vice to drive the “Mormons” from the land.

Let us remember that all these, and those also who judge us wrongfully, harshly, cruelly and with malice aforethought, having knowledge of their injustice, were true to God in heaven when Satan and a third of the hosts there fought against Christ and Michael. They kept their first estate, and whatever in their blind wickedness they may be led by the power of darkness to do here, let us pray for them, and, as far as possible returning good for evil, treat them with kindness, for they are the children of our God. Deceived now and inspired by the Prince of Darkness, but they will be saved hereafter if they sin not against the Holy Ghost in shedding innocent blood. Ignorant, low and wicked, they may be drunken, blasphemous, bearers of false witness whose testimony may lead to the imprisonment of the innocent; defilers of men and women and the workers of all manner of iniquity; if they shed not innocent blood God will save them, though in the fitness of things, many will be outside the walls of the beautiful city among that class in whose society alone they are prepared to go.

When persecuted, driven, and many killed, the Saints implored the President of this great nation for redress: He answered: “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.” Another President ordered, on misrepresentations, an army to Utah. How will the Almighty deal with these? They will be judged as you and I will be judged, according to the deeds done in the body. According to the light they had, will they be held responsible.

To an extent our history as a people is but a repetition of the history of the early Christians. Paulines, Waldenses and Huguenots knew the cost of being true to their convictions. We speak of them now as reformers, brave, valiant, Godfearing men and women. They were not so regarded by those who delighted in killing them.

God has prepared a place for all. Outside the gates will be sorcerers, adulterers, the lover and maker of lies, and those that lay in the gate making men offenders for a word will be there among dogs, but the means of increased knowledge and a power will be within their reach. Thousands of honest men are anxiously watching the issues of our day, and while they have not moral courage to express interest in our sympathy for the Saints in their hearts, they feel both. The Lord will reward such according to their merit, for He is just. But those alone who have obeyed or will hereafter obey the Gospel in its fullness, can pass into the presence of God, and dwell forever in the celestial kingdom.

The doctrine of salvation by faith so extensively taught and believed is founded on a misunderstanding of the sayings of the Savior to the thief who requested Christ to remember him when He came into His kingdom and was answered, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

The expression of the thief brought no promise that he should be saved. Where and what is paradise are important questions. It is not heaven, nor is it where God dwells, for on the third day after the crucifixion, Christ declared to Mary that He had not yet ascended to His God and her God. Where then did He go on that day in which He promised to meet the thief in paradise? The Apostle Peter says that being put to death in the flesh He was quickened in the spirit by which He went and preached to the spirits in prison that were disobedient in the days of Noah. Thus it would seem that paradise is a place where the spirits of the disobedient are imprisoned, and as Christ preached His Gospel to them, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the thief also heard there, the conditions upon which he could be saved, for, says Peter 4:6, “for this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. Now in connection with this clear and comprehensive doctrine, which plainly shows that there is salvation beyond the grave, how easily understood is the saying of Paul on the same subject—“If the dead rise not at all, then why are they baptized for the dead.” Thus verifying and testifying to the unmistakable declaration of the Master that no man, whether alive or dead, can enter the kingdom of God without the baptism of water and of the spirit. Baptism of the living for and in behalf of the dead is founded in the doctrine of vicarious salvation—the doing for us that which we cannot, under certain conditions, do for ourselves. So also is the blood of the Lamb, without effort of ours, the vicarious means by which our bodies and spirits shall be reunited after death.

The opinions of men as to where and what paradise is, are of but little value. It is at least the abode of spirits, good and bad. A place of peace and rest for the good, of imprisonment and punishment for the bad. Referring to the Territory we might say we are in Utah, yet those who are here in Logan are not in Salt Lake City, nor are any of you in prison though you are in Utah.

If every human being who has, or ever will live is to be judged by the law of redemption as Christians believe, and there be no repentance beyond the grave, how then shall infants and heathens who never heard of Christ or his law be redeemed? To say nothing about the dead what is to become of the four hundred millions of Chinese now inhabiting the empire of China, who do not, and in all probability will not in this life, know anything about the Gospel? What about the two hundred and eighty million followers of Muhammad, who, like the Chinese, have never heard of water and spirit baptism! Then think of the billions who have died equally or more ignorant of these vital questions, and tell me that God intends to mix them up with infants a span long, who died without being sprinkled by some poor, narrow-minded priest without authority from heaven, and I will tell you that I don’t worship that kind of a God. Christians may do so, and speak of him as bodiless and passionless; he certainly would have no passion either of justice or affection. The God we worship is full of compassion, justice and love. Hence the broad scope of His plan of human redemption, reaching the living and the dead, in time and in eternity. I can comprehend how a demon might want to consign to eternal punishment without a hearing, without law, His creatures, but how men can pretend to worship a God possessed of such attributes is a mystery.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—He who created the heaven and earth and is the father of all spirits, will not thus condemn. He will judge men by the light they have had and by the deeds done in their bodies; and His judgments will be full of mercy for those who have ignorantly erred. As for innocent children Christ has fixed their status: they are of the kingdom of Heaven. Wicked and foolish men may teach to the contrary, but they cannot effect the result. Mortals entrusted with a little brief authority, as they suppose, may exercise unrighteous dominion over the bodies and souls of men, imprisoning many, killing some. Many a saint may hereafter be commanded to worship the golden image or perish in the fiery furnace, deny his faith or be cast down into the lion’s den. You have among you Latter-day Saints some who would, if necessary, give their lives for you and the cause which they have espoused. They are willing to die for the testimony of Jesus. It would seem from prophecy that such an event is foreshadowed. For when the souls of those whom the Revelator John saw under the altar of God, and who had been slain for the testimony which they held, cried: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” they were answered, “until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

If violent death comes to some—and it will—can they meet it as others have, rejoicing in the truth. Can those in whose hands the scales of judgment balance unevenly, change the color of your hair, add one cubit to your height, slow or quicken your pulse? Can they remove pain, rebuke death and increase your years? No. What can you do for them? You can’t change the decrees of God who has written on the archives of heaven that with what judgment we judge others so shall we be judged, and that we shall, receive the measure that we have measured to others, but we may pray Him to defer the day when this shall be, in hopes that men may repent and make restitution here. How little did those who caused the enactment of the special decree that entrapped the Prophet Daniel, think of the consequences! How little did they think of the fasting, sleepless king whom they had deceived and made the instrument of betrayal. How gladly did that king, who dreaded the weight of innocent blood, hear the voice of the Prophet testifying of the temporal salvation which God had wrought in subduing and rendering harmless the lions. How sorrowful, how pitiable on the other hand, the condition of Daniel’s accusers when the decree, the passage of which they had caused, was turned on them. They, their wives and children being cast into the den, the touch of God removed from the fierce beasts, the bones of the hapless victims of their own works, were crushed and broken even before their bodies reached the bottom of the den. So shall it be with all such. God hath decreed it, man cannot change it.

Well, says one, “these doctrines are scriptural and all right, but the Mormon church is nothing but a Polygamic Theocracy, alien to the Government that permits its existence.” Under certain conditions, and regulated by revelation, we believe it is true, in plural marriage, and so far as the word theocracy conveys the idea of the government of God in the affairs of men, we are willing to be called theocratic, and we confess that we prefer the motto, “Vox Dei vox Populi” to “Vox Populi vox Dei,” for we think that the voice of God should be the voice of the people, but we very well know that the voice of the people is very often far from being the voice of God.

As to patriarchal marriage its results are said to be bad and that there are, in consequence, many breaking hearts in Utah. In reply to these assertions I have to say, in reference to results it is not true, for its fruits are good. The mental and physical condition of the issue of such marriages bear this out unmistakably. “If, however, the cry of a single “Mormon” wife in Utah or elsewhere, whether in the monogamic or polygamic relation, falls upon deaf ears and unresponsive hearts, God will hold the responsible parties answerable. Should the day ever come when the cries of the daughters of Zion pass their husbands unheeded and reach the ears of the God of Abraham, it will be a sorrowful day for the elders of Israel. And further let me say, I know of no Mormon husband whose wife’s body or soul is subject to him except in love, as he, in like manner, is bound to be subject to Christ and His laws. Nowhere in the world are women freer than in Utah. As God hates putting away, husbands among this people can put their wives away only for causes mentioned in the holy writ; but wives, on the other hand may claim freedom and support on other and more numerous grounds. Here, man regards his wife as a helpmeet, companion and part of himself, with whose assistance alone he can pass by the angels and inherit eternal, celestial glory. She is not to rule over him nor be trampled upon, or abused by him, but, having been taken out of his side her place is near his heart, to be loved, cherished, protected. Husbands, be ye therefore kind to your wives. When they ask for bread give not a stone, for love give not hate, for as God lives, if you are harsh and cruel to them so shall you, in return, receive harsh and cruel treatment until the utmost farthing be paid.

We were not sent here to manifest the fruits of the flesh but those of the spirit; and if the hearts of any of the wives of the elders of Israel are breaking, by reason of their husbands’ conduct, may God have mercy on such husbands, for knowing better, they sin against light in transgressing their covenants. The allegiance of a wife in this Church is not due to an unfaithful, deceiving or cruel husband. And he who regards his wife as the creature of his sinful pleasure, made and given to gratify his fallen nature is unworthy of a wife or to be the father of children. Were I to seek to find happiness in the marriage relation, I should expect to find it most abundant, perfect and pure in Utah, notwithstanding all that is said to the contrary. And this conclusion is reached after years of observation here and abroad. Nowhere exists so great confidence between husbands and wives as in Utah. Nowhere is sexual impurity regarded with greater disgust, or chastity esteemed more highly. Philosophers, preachers and moralists may insist on the enforcement of Roman instituted monogamy, but its practice throughout the Christian world is fraught with all manner of deceivableness, of iniquity and sexual abomina tions. Better practice what we preach and preach what we practice, leaving no room for distrust; for, as between man and wife, where confidence dies, there you may dig the grave of love. Destroy one and the other cannot exist.

In conclusion, let us be considerate of others, kind and courteous to all. By your fruits shall ye be known. A number belonging to different Christian organizations have, I understand, been and are holding conference meetings in Logan. Every facility for their peaceful enjoyment while here, should be extended, and those having an inclination to hear should hear them, conforming, in a respectful manner to the rules that govern their gatherings. Whatever truth they have is of God, and belongs to the Gospel, which is a perfect law of liberty.

Note carefully the predictions of the Prophets, watch the signs of the times, remembering that the end will not come until the Gospel is preached as a witness to every nation and people. Without apprehensions as to the final result, let us not forget that while God will forgive whom He will forgive of us, He has required that we shall forgive all men. In the knowledge of the use of this key, there is happiness here, and exaltation hereafter. May a full comprehension of its meaning be granted to every honest heart, is my prayer. Amen.

The Speaker’s Pleasure in Again Meeting With the Saints, and Partaking of the Sacrament—The Companionship of the Holy Ghost is More Precious Than Gold—Future Destiny of the Saints—Their Love for the Mountains—Blessings Only Appreciated By Contrast—Nobility and Scarcity of Moral Courage—Tyranny of Public Opinion—We Cannot Love God and Hate Our Fellow Man—Men and Women Do Wrong When They Yield to the Influence of Satan—What Constitutes a Son of Perdition—Agencies Which Men Use, Compared to Electricity—Truth Has Ever Been Fiercely Opposed—Our Trials Are Agreeable to God’s Purposes—Conclusion

Remarks by Apostle Moses Thatcher, delivered in Logan Tabernacle, Sunday, April 13, 1885.

My brethren and sisters, I have spoken but little in public during the past three months. And without the assistance of your faith and prayers, through the medium of which I may enjoy a portion of the Holy Spirit, to direct my mind and inspire my thoughts, I have no wish to address you this afternoon. I believe, however, that I appreciate the privilege of meeting with, and of enjoying your society once more, and I am especially delighted to hear again the sweet melody of the choir, and rejoice in listening to the testimony of my brethren; but beyond and above all these things, I am grateful for another peaceful opportunity of partaking of the sacrament with the Saints; for as often as we do so worthily, we renew our covenants with our Heavenly Father, and receive the promise of the Holy Spirit through whom comes communion with God. To us such communion is worth more than all earthly things. Men devote their time and talents—the best energy and deepest devotion of their lives in the acquirement of perishable wealth; and of which, when acquired, they often make golden gods to pay homage and soulless worship to, imagining that in these things are found fame, honor, worldly glory and earthly happiness. Gold, when compared with the riches of eternity, becomes almost valueless, and yet it is the creation of God, and no man has ever brought an ounce of it into the world, nor can he take a grain of it out of the world. But notwithstanding this fact known to all, men for its brief possession willingly encounter untold dangers, in traversing deserts, climbing mountains, navigating seas, and battling with angry waves; they willingly endure the heats of torrid and the colds of frigid zones, often sacrificing the endearments of home and friends, and sometimes truth and honor. Created by the Almighty, gold, when honestly acquired, becomes a means of ministering to the comfort and convenience of man; but there is that which the Lord bestows upon the honest, obedient and good, of far higher value. The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, hath the power of peace and bestows salvation upon obedient humanity, regardless of their earthly surroundings. Let us, therefore, secure the Holy Ghost, and in the testimony of the Father and of the Son which He alone bestows, we shall have secured the “pearl of great price,” which the world can neither give nor take away. Let us gain the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and the doctrines of the Priesthood will distil upon our minds as the dews of heaven, and the gates that lead to peace and happiness in time and in eternity will, by the power and authority of his keys, stand wide open for us to pass through to exaltation, dominion and glory.

Since the beginning of the new year I have been almost constantly on the move, having, during that time, traveled a distance almost equal to that of half the earth’s circumference; most of it being by rail, but at least a thousand miles was accomplished with teams, on horseback and on foot. I have examined a country never before seen by me, consisting of waterless, timberless plains, and mountains rugged, wild, and uninhabited. During my absence, my reflections have been mainly in reference to the future destiny of the Saints of the Most High. And these reflections have led me to note the striking attachment they have manifested of late years for countries “exalted above the hills.” In our choice of locations we cling to the mountains as naturally as a child to the bosom of its mother. As during our infancy we have clung to them, learning to love their crags, canyons and valleys, so, I believe, we shall continue in them until we grow strong, and be able not only to stand erect, but to walk forth with godlike dignity at least respected, if not honored by all peoples. We are not strong now. We are weak and few in numbers. But there is much in the training we are receiving calculated to make our posterity strong physically and bright intellectually. In illustration of a part of this training I am reminded of some of the remarks of the last speaker, Elder Villet, who recently returned from an Italian mission. On reaching his native land, according to his statement, he found the food offered him exceedingly distasteful, but later he ate it with relish. Hunger changed and improved his appetite. That hunger was the result of de privation. And in like manner, love of liberty and a keen relish for its blessings are intensified by the constant encroachments made upon our rights by those who little dream that, in sowing to the wind they will have to reap the whirlwind, when their rights will, also, not only be invaded, but taken away from them; for the measure which they meet to others, will, in the eternal justice of God, be measured back to them. The Almighty hath decreed it. Who can prevent its fulfillment?

In further illustration, I am reminded of a well known elder in the Church whose name in this connection I feel not at liberty to mention, but who, gathering with others from England to Zion, became, in the course of years, wealthy and cultivated, as many having abundant means do. Luxurious habits of living finally satiated his appetite, and he went back to old England, anticipating among other things to enjoy, when there again, the famous “roast beef” of his native land, the like of which, in his opinion, this country did not, and never could produce. After searching in vain he declared, on coming back here, that there was no beef in England half so good as that raised in Utah. Had the beef of that country deteriorated? No, but our English brother’s appetite, through being pampered, had. Had he eaten it once a week, as was doubtless his former habit, instead of three times a day, as is too frequently the custom here, the difference in quality of English beef had perhaps remained undiscovered by him until this day. In parallel, who shall declare that blessings so abundantly flowing to our nation from blood-bought freedom and human liberty bestowed without stint from heaven, have not pampered the average American’s appetite or relish for blessings that men of other ages have fought to establish and longed to enjoy.

Ponder this matter carefully, deeply, and you will find few truths more apparent. Consult railway, banking and commercial kings; statesmen, philosophers, priests and people, and then note the voice of pulpit and press, and you will find an indifference born of pride that plainly, unmistakably, indicates that the rights and liberties for the securing of which our fathers pledged their fortunes, honor and lives, are now received by their children, in most instances, as inherent blessings flowing as a natural consequence rather than as gifts for which daily gratitude is due.

Not so with the Saints. They of all people on earth are most appreciative, most grateful. And why? The answer is simple: their most sacred rights being daily encroached upon, their conscientious convictions sneered at, their religious privileges trampled under foot, and even the domain of their heaven-inspired thought invaded, they could not if they would fail to regard with intense appreciation and undying love the bequests of the fathers. The very threats, as well as the attempts of the wicked to deprive them of blessings wrung from tyrants by revolutionary sires, will but teach the Saints more accurately to estimate, by the cost, their value; and your high estimate being transmitted to your children, will bud, bloom and ripen into most glorious fruit, as delicious and sweet as that produced when first the tree of liberty was moistened with the blood of patriots. Let others therefore become pampered, gluttons, if they will, but for us and our children, fewer privileges well appreciated, are better than many, without gratitude.

Impress these things upon the minds of our children, and among these mountains will grow up a race of free men whose views will be broad, high, and deep enough to appreciate liberty themselves, and to wish to have all others enjoy its blessings. By contrast, they will learn this and much more. If they taste the bitter, the sweet will be to them all the more agreeable.

You who for years have had peaceful possession of homes with society of families and friends, can greatly increase your estimation of such blessings by going abroad occasionally. I have tried it many times, always, I trust, with profit. And yet wherever I go it has been my good fortune to find friends. There may be present those who may think, “if we have friends abroad, why don’t they speak out in our favor using their influence to stop the persecutions of the wicked against us?” A pertinent query, perhaps, but I am not quite sure that the Lord wants them stopped; indeed I rather incline to think otherwise. And while there are thousands and hundreds of thousands of people in the midst of the Christian world who, if left to their own agency, would be just, generous, and good men worthy of the blessings of the Lord, but who today are surrounded by circumstances which they can neither control, nor have they the moral courage to even combat. And for this reason they dare not publicly express their sympathy for, nor utter a protest against the wrongs heaped upon us. But notwithstanding this condition, which all must concede to be deplorable, let us have charity, remembering that moral courage is heaven-born and so precious that the world has at no period of its history ever been overstocked with it. It is a sentiment than which none is more noble, beautiful or grand, emanating from God it abides not in an ignoble, quaking heart. Demanding what the truly courageous alone can give, self-sacrifice, moral courage numbers in her ranks at no time vast multitudes. It is a sentiment of which, at no time, even among us, have we had too much; but wherever found it shines brightly like a star of the first magnitude, like a diamond of the first water that cannot be successfully imitated.

A man with right convictions and the courage to stand by them in life and death hath moral courage, stamina, and the help of God. Testing its quality we will find it here as elsewhere, good; too good indeed to abide with those whose acts are predicated not on principles of justice, equity and truth. He who possesses moral courage weighs according to equity, unbiased by popular clamor, unswerved by private prejudice. In trying cases he judges cases, not men, and on this principle Satan himself, tried before such a judge, would stand the same chance to get justice as would an angel of God. And, by parity of reason, an angel would stand as good a chance to get justice as would a veritable devil, although a discussion of that kind might innovate modern jurisprudence as practiced in some countries not far distant from here. Now, let me, if I can, bring this matter home to your hearts. Suppose judgment without appeal was irrevocably placed in your hands with none to say, why do you so? Now imagine in your midst a despicable character, a Judas Iscariot, ready to betray for thirty pieces of silver, or to gratify a hatred born of hell, your best friends—the servants of the Lord, or, Benedict Arnold like, sell human liberty, God’s best heritage, for gold. Popular clamor demands punishment, and at the same time brands the accused as traitor, apostate; an assassin of good character, a murderer of peace and good order. Now bring him to judgment without malice, without bias, protecting him from insult while giving him every right, every privilege, every immunity guaranteed by the law of God and man and pass upon his case, not upon him nor his reputation, according to the rules of equity without fear of popular criticism or condemnation, and you have demonstrated in actual practice what a beautiful and heavenly thing moral courage is. Without it God would cease to be God. Without it we cannot be His people. He who habitually sacrifices principle at the shrine of policy or power, cannot be a Saint. Unless those who rule, govern, control and judge under the rules and restrictions of principle, the liberties of those who are subject to them are constantly endangered. And here let me say that public opinion is often the worst tyrant this world has ever known. It crucified Christ, killed His disciples, martyred Joseph and Hyrum, drove the Saints into these mountains and continues to track them as persistently and unrelentingly as bloodhounds ever tracked a fugitive slave. Avoid therefore at home and abroad, the seductive influence of the hateful tyrant, public opinion, which, wrought to frenzy by popular clamor, is always dangerous, often destructive.

Planting your feet firmly on principles of eternal justice, emanating from God, the billows of hate, born of envy, and malice, will beat and foam harmlessly about you. And, when judgment shall be given into your hands, friend and foe, Pagan and Christian, white and black, Saint and sinner, will alike receive evenhanded justice, which here let me say, never has been and never will be bestowed under the pressure and bias of public opinion, or by men claiming to be a law unto themselves. Place moral courage in the judgment seat and the Saint, as to righteousness of judgment, has no advantage over the most wicked apostate sinner on earth, their rights being held equally sacred.

The reason this high moral, godlike plane has not long since been reached, is because of human imperfections and the darkness that clouds and narrows the souls of men. We as the Saints of the Most High God, having received the light, should struggle upward until we reach it; and when we do, then, and not until then will the Almighty give us dominion, rule and government. When we are prepared to exercise judgment in righteousness the Lord will mightily increase our influence and power, and millions will flock to the standard of Zion to avoid oppression and wrong elsewhere.

This being among the greatest of all the great lessons that God has decreed we shall learn, I say speed the means by which we may most readily accomplish the task. If persecutions, unjust judgments, imprisonments and martyrdoms, be the means, let us receive them then not with feelings of delight because of the woes that will surely come upon those who inflict these things upon us, but because the standards of value are established by the cost of things received, and by this rule we know that no good thing has ever come into this world without having cost the equal of its value. Nor has any great thought or noble idea ever been introduced that had not to fight its way inch by inch. Think of what the principles of the everlasting Gospel, that are freely given, has without money, without price, cost? Agony that caused the Son of God to sweat great drops of blood. And that being too little, He must needs be insulted, spat upon, scourged, adjudged to die, and that, too, by a heathen who knew Him to be innocent of crime, and finally He was ignominiously crucified by those whom He came to save. Humiliated, deprived of judgment and sacrificed, the Lamb of God descended beneath all things that He might arise above all things, leading captivity captive and giving gifts to men, while holding the keys of death, hell, and the grave.

Had Christ been unable to accomplish that foreordained work, this world would forever have remained without a Redeemer. Expiring on the cross, amid the taunts and jeers of the wicked, in the agony of death, crying: “Why hast Thou forsaken me,” yet was He, being the spotless Son of God, able to say, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

No shadow of hatred, no tinge of revenge, can be found in that inspired sentence. From its utterance, under those terrible circumstances, let us learn what He then taught so clearly, namely: That we cannot hate man, however wicked and cruel he may be, and love God at the same time. As an aid to the comprehension of this great truth, it may be well to remember that man, however low and debased we may find him in this world of trial, is not naturally vicious, nor would he of his own inclinations seek to destroy human agency. God made man, and he is, therefore, naturally good. But, under the influences of him who rebelled in heaven, his judgment warps, his heart hardens, his whole nature changes, and, while hatred misplaces love, envy, malice and jealousy supplant in his heart the nobler sentiments of justice, mercy and charity. The sea captain who unselfishly, and without hope of earthly reward, placed the life boats and as many of the helpless and weak as they would safely hold in charge of his under officer and, with the stranger, remained and nobly went down with his ship, was the natural man. The ignoble, selfish, unnatural man would desire to save his own worthless life, at the expense and sacrifice of untold numbers of others.

The natural woman clings to her husband, keeping sacred the covenants made with him, and loving with undying affection the fruits of the union. The unnatural wife and mother is true to neither. Cain as the murderer of his brother, was an unnatural man whose soul was sold to Satan under the provisions of an unholy alliance. And where men steal, rob, commit whoredom, bear false witness, inflict unlawful, cruel punishments, and kill, they, too, have listed to obey him whom they serve. But, notwithstanding all this we should never forget that all such, however debased, corrupt, wicked and low, kept their first estate by fighting in heaven against him, whom, by reason of darkness and destructive influence, they now willingly serve. Let us remember how the angels’ song of rejoicing when the “accuser of his brethren” was cast out of heaven, was turned into lamentation when they beheld the sorrows and woes he would bring upon the inhabitants of the earth, by reason of his treachery, deceit and cruel murders. When we look upon the dark, sinful works of men ever tearing down and destroying but never building up and saving, when we think of these who rack their brains vainly trying to stop the onward progress of God’s work; when we think of proscriptive, special retroactive laws, and those who enacted them, of mission jurists who condemn with malice, of test-oath commissioners who fetter the innocent and free the guilty, of governors who trample beneath their feet the liberties and rights of a people with whom they have no interest and for whom they have no compassion, of marshals who fraternize with criminals while putting spotters and spies on the track of men good and true, who to save their lives would commit no dishonorable act; of juries packed and pledged to convict, and of Christian ministers who gloat and glory in, and hound all this on, how should we feel?

We should feel, while despising their wicked ways, that they who do them are the children of God upon whom Satan hath laid his hand hoping to ruin both body and soul, and cast them down to hell. Can we behold their wickedness, endure their aggressions, persecutions and malice, without hating them? If so we are Saints. If we cannot, are we not sinners?

Read the vision of the three glories and learn that a compassionate Father has decreed that even these shall not be cast into outer darkness, but shall be saved with a glory beyond, far beyond the comprehension of the finite mind.

There is but one class of human beings whom God hath decreed shall endure eternal punishment, utter and everlasting condemnation, and they are the “sons of perdition.” How few, thank God, will be their numbers and, correspondingly how fruitless and barren after all will be the efforts of Satan to frustrate the designs of the Almighty in his glorious plan of human redemption!

You, my brethren and sisters, know what constitutes a “son of perdition.” To become such, a man, by the testimony of the Holy Ghost, must know that God the Father and Jesus the Son live, and are the authors of salvation. Belief is insufficient, positive knowledge is necessary. I say that this which I hold in my hand is a book. Do I base the statement on belief or knowledge? I do not believe it to be, I know it to be a book. And my testimony to the fact would be taken everywhere, because if required to state how I know this to be a book I could say I see the binding, paper, and imprint of the type. I tap the lids and leaves and hear sounds. I smell the binding, paper and ink. I put them to my lips and tongue and taste them, and with my hands and fingers feel them. Thus all my senses combined furnish evidence that together give indisputable knowledge; and yet the testimony, the turning away from which, and thereafter denying the efficacy of the atoning blood of Jesus, putting him, after having positive knowledge, to an open shame again, is as much stronger than my testimony that this is a book, as God is stronger than man. In the one instance, knowledge is founded on the evidence of the five senses—seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling; in the other, every faculty of the soul, every fiber of the body, receives testimony direct from God, through the Holy Ghost, and he who after having received, denies it, sins against light just as much as Satan did when his ambition and pride led him to rebel against God; and no power in heaven, on earth or in hell can keep such a man out of the realms of the damned, where he has, in the exercise of his own agency, elected to go. People without this knowledge cannot be damned; those with it should be if they turn away and deny it. Those who persecute and hate this people, have it not, and while they may have to dwell without the gates of the holy city, among dogs, liars, thieves and whoremongers, they cannot be damned in the literal sense, as we understand eternal condemnation, forever hid from the face of a merciful but just Father. Think of these things, ye Latter-day Saints, who expect to come up through much tribulation while your garments are being washed white in the blood of the Lamb. Chains and fetters may bind your limbs, and the rack and wheel of the Spanish inquisition may be revived to torture your bodies, but prison walls have never yet been made thick enough, nor iron bars strong enough to keep a good man’s prayers from ascending to his God. And if He wills to let trials and difficulties gather around us, they are but for our good. Offenses must needs come, but woe to those by whom they come. I love my family and the Latter-day Saints with my whole heart, and enjoy their society beyond measure, and yet as a test, God may require the sacrifice of their society temporarily, and that my heart remain unhardened. Let the wicked do what they may, remember we cannot hate man and love God at the same time. Love of God banishes or consumes hatred as electricity consumes iron.

While in the city of San Francisco recently, I witnessed an exhibition of the incandescent electric light, produced from stored electricity previously generated and forced into vats, composed of substances unknown to me. These, though filled with the subtle power, are cold and unresponsive to the touch of the hand; but wishing to give a sample of the destructive agency of the power sleeping in those vats, the professor in charge requested us to note the result when touched with the piece of wire held in his hand. While explaining, the piece of wire turned in his hands accidentally, and fell about midway of its length across one of the vats, and instantly, as quick as lightning, for it was lightning, it became ten thousand flying sparks, and that part in the professor’s hand like molten lead, was burning into the flesh before he could shake off the liquid mass. It is said that electricity once generated, remains electricity until it comes in contact with substances which, consuming, it returns to its original ungenerated condition. Thus it may be seen how man plays, as a child with sharp tools, with agencies that may consume him instantaneously. Subservient to his call he flashes thought around the world by means of electric wires, conveys his voice thousands of miles, and rivals the light of the sun, but when the universe shall roll up like a scroll, the earth melt with fervent heat, and mountains run down like wax, unregenerate man, full of pride, will learn what God hath in reserve for those who hate Him and despise His works. As this earth was cleansed by a literal baptism of water, so will it be purified by a literal baptism of fire, and all the proud and those who love iniquity, will be burned up, even as stubble is consumed by fire. Happy then will ye be if you have been tried as gold in the furnace seven times heated. Better welcome a few trials now, that tend to increase your love of God and of your fellow man, than to go heedlessly like the dumb brute, to the sacrifice. Let us pray only for deliverance from such trials as harden the heart and wither the soul, but not from such as, bearing patiently, testify of integrity. What matters trials, persecutions, scorns, scoffs and contempt so long as we remain true to God, and the covenants we have made with Him and each other? So long as we violate neither these nor our consciences, which should be void of offense, we are safe. But in our struggles to maintain the right in a world filled with strife, we may draw consolation in reflecting upon the fact that every pure thought coming to us from above, meets fierce opposition, and our fallen natures contend against its permanent lodgment in our hearts; and in like manner every heaven-born truth has in every instance, had to fight its way inch by inch before it could bear abundantly the fruits of righteousness. Nothing good has come into this world since the fall of man, that has not met the fierce, concentrated and persistent opposition and hatred of the wicked. Thus we find how true is the inspired saying: “there must needs be an opposition in all things.” Enlightened, inspired thoughts crystallizing into undying truths, have in every age caused great sacrifices, often human life to establish them, but those who have had the moral and physical courage to stand by their convictions in life or death, shine as beacon lights along the shores of time, and their works will bear glorious fruits in eternity.

Let us endeavor to imitate all worthy examples, following as nearly as we can in the footprints of our Master, who, if we are faithful unto death, will give us the crown of life with the keys of death, hell and the grave, by which we may descend down into the depth of darkness and misery into the abode of the damned, and there bid those who have despised, hated and persecuted us, look up, repent, and receive deliverance at the hands of a compassionate Father, whose mercy and salvation extend beyond the grave into eternity. Thus, in becoming mediators, ministers to those who despitefully used us, we shall find the mystery of glory that cometh from doing good for evil and loving those who have hated us.

May God grant that we may speedily and thoroughly learn the great lessons that He is now seeking to teach us, and which are of so much importance we should learn. The trials through which we are now passing are but a part of the great program of the Almighty, long since predicted by His holy prophets. Let us meet them in a proper spirit, trusting in Him always, and our victory will be complete. Amen.

Hatred Towards Saints—Its Cause—Hope of the Saints—Constitutional Rights—Loyal Intentions

Discourse by Apostle Moses Thatcher, delivered at the General Conference, Friday Afternoon, April 4th, 1884.

I rejoice in the remarks that were made this morning by the brethren, and feel that they were prompted by the Holy Ghost. It was truly remarked by our aged and venerated President, that unless sustained by the Lord, we cannot, as a people, accomplish His work; and it certainly must be apparent to every thoughtful mind, that man in and of himself is very weak, that he is unable, alone and unaided, to accomplish that which will result in his own salvation. It is not difficult to understand or to comprehend the power of God, as it is manifested in the affairs of nations; but we cannot always see how He manages and controls individuals. And yet no human being without His permission breathes the breath of life, for He is the giver of life; and when we, as a community or as individuals, sense this, manifesting by our works a goodly degree of faith and humility before God, then we are in the light. But people, on the other hand, who undertake to exhibit their own wisdom, or to depend upon the knowledge of man will, if they continue in that spirit, be led into darkness, and their life will result in failure.

During the past few months, I have thought much upon a particu lar subject, which has weighed heavily upon my mind by reason of the enmity, the malice and hatred which I have seen manifested towards the Latter-day Saints. And I have been led to believe that they are hated more for their virtues than for their supposed vices. In connection with this subject, I have been led to believe that many among this people are apt to have compassion for the guilty. And I must confess myself that I have never heard judgment passed on any man by the authorities of the Church without more or less pity in my heart for that man. We are generally apt to be too lenient to the falsifier, who becomes the accuser of his brethren. We are too apt to look with pity upon one who may have fallen from the path of chastity, and forsaken the ways of the Lord. There is something in the human heart that is drawn out in sympathy and compassion for the erring. I will not attempt this afternoon to show whether this is a correct or an incorrect sentiment; whether it is a failing or a virtue; but I have noticed on the other hand, when hatred prompts action, there is but little if any mercy shown. The shafts intended for the innocent are often dipped in doubly distilled poison, before they are sped from the bow of envy by the hand of malice. It was so in the days of the Savior. Thrice tried and thrice condemned, followed to the cross with but little human sympathy, he endured the agonies of a cruel, lingering death. How much sympathy do you suppose Cain had when he slew his brother Abel? Did Cain hate Abel because he was innocent, or because he was guilty? His hand would have paused; he would have reflected had Abel been as guilty before God as he was. But because he was pure, and because God recognized his purity by accepting his offering, there arose in Cain’s heart envy, malice and hatred, that could only be appeased with blood. It has been so in every age of the world. You may trace human persecution; you may trace the history of those who invented the rack, the thumbscrew and the wheel, and you will find they have always been moved by one spirit, that same spirit which raised the rebellion in heaven, and that sought the glory and power of God the Father, and that found its culmination in sending to perdition Lucifer and those that were cast out with him. And Milton, interpreting the spirit that prompted Lucifer in the course he pursues, makes him say, “It is better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.” And wherever we find that spirit, we find a spirit of envy, a spirit of malice, a spirit that desires to destroy that which is more excellent and worthy than itself. In this way, after a just comparison between our persecutors and ourselves, we can account for the persecution to which we have been made subject.

Let the youth of Zion contemplate the character of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and see how evidences of prejudice, hatred and malice were heaped upon him until those that were prompted by it, succeeded at last in slaying him. They perpetrated this deed without mercy, without pity, innocent and guiltless as he was.

How is it today? Converse with certain people in Salt Lake City, those who have made it their business to hate, to lie about, and to do all in their power to persecute and despoil the Latter-day Saints, and you will find lurking in their breasts exactly the same spirit manifested by the wicked towards the Saints of God in all ages of the world; divest them of their malice and hatred and there would be little left.

We hear a great deal about the immorality of this people; but allow me to say, if we permitted ourselves to be led into wickedness; if we would adopt the ways of the Christian age; if we would cast our children into reservoirs and ash pits, on vacant lots and dung heaps, or throw them on to the railroad track; if we would transmit to our sons and daughters disease, and encourage them in ways that lead to death, hell and the grave; we should then have assimilated, as some of our would-be Christianizers have expressed it, with “American institutions;” in other words, then we should be hail fellows well met with the office seekers, with adventurers, with libertines and other destroyers of other people’s peace and happiness. It is because we cannot do this; because we refuse to “assimilate;” because we prefer to row against the current of corruption; because the fruits of our labors, political, financial and social are good, and bespeak a higher and better civilization, that we are hated and ostracized, and not because of any immorality that may exist in our midst. We are sensible of the fact that we are not of the world; that if we were, the world would love us as its own. We are sensible of the fact that we have come out from the world, and that, too, for a wise purpose in the wisdom of God. In these mountains we expect to establish the foundation of a civilization that will yet be the admiration of the world. We expect to bequeath to our children the blessings of physical and mental strength such as will enable them to stand the test that will be required of them; and the very principle and tenet of our religion, against which the Christian feeling of the age appears to be so much shocked, will be the chief cornerstone in the hands of the builder of rearing the structure that will be different from anything else in the world. Because we practice celestial or plural marriage, we are branded as lawbreakers; we are told that we seek to violate constitutional law, and the enactments of the Congress of the United States. Upon this point I desire to make a few remarks.

I was born in this country. I can trace my lineage to the revolutionary fathers. I love the institutions of my country; I love and venerate the Constitution. But I am not so ignorant, I am not so blind that I cannot see that anything which you or I may do may be made contrary to law, and may be called unconstitutional; but I hold that the Constitution was made broad enough, high enough and deep enough to enable us to practice our religion and be free before God and man. I hold that if Congress has a right to enact a law in relation to marriage, it might just as consistently make a law affecting baptism, or prescribing the manner, if at all, the sacrament of the Lord’s supper should be administered. “What will you do about it?” says one. I do not pretend to know what others will do, neither do I pretend to give advice in the premises; but I do say this: that no nation or government has ever been able to crush the religious sentiment of any people unless it crushed the whole people. The nearest approach to success in this direction that I can find in history, was that of Charles IX, advised by his wicked mother, when he slew the Huguenots in the streets of Paris. But even this kind of treatment did not succeed, and never can succeed. For a persecuted religion will be an investigated religion; and in my opinion it is truth that receives the thrust of the enemy far more frequently than evil.

I wish to bear my testimony in relation to the Latter-day Saints and their position. We will abide in these mountains, and we will plead with our government; we will continue to petition Congress and submit our memorials to the President of the United States; and we will continue to love our country, defend its interests, and be free men in these mountains. If we were aught else, if we could be bound hand and foot as abject slaves, we should be unworthy to be citizens of so great a Republic as is ours. It cannot be done, and for this reason: We have come from the nations of the civilized world of our own free will and choice, expecting to enjoy and to bequeath to our children the freedom guaranteed by the laws and institutions of our country; we came as intelligent, independent men and women, and a people who are intelligent and independent cannot be made slaves. The result will doubtless be this: We shall be crowded upon from time to time—but no more, I apprehend, than God in His wisdom will permit—and the very acts of persecu tion and unfairness that will be directed against us, will bring out and develop the elements of excellency that will make our young men statesmen, and that will make them lovers and defenders of right and liberty, until, in the due time of the Lord, there will grow up in these mountains a race of people that will not only defend the Constitution, but defend the flag of the nation, and at the same time be willing to extend the principles of freedom to all who desire to receive them. It is a great mistake to imagine that the “Mormons” are opposed to the government. They are not opposed to the government; there is not a feeling of secession about them, and they do not propose to be forced on the other side of the fence by any alliance formed either in Utah or outside of Utah. We expect to stand upon the platform laid broad and deep by the fathers. We expect to defend our rights as American citizens, and to do less than this would be unworthy a free people.

Before closing I wish to bear my testimony in regard to the people in the world. I am perfectly satisfied there are thousands of good and honest men and women in our nation who, if they knew our true status, and understood the facts as they are, would defend our rights to the uttermost of their power. But they have been hedged about; and reports misrepresenting and belying our true character have been so widely circulated, that they have been led to believe them; but as we are becoming better known we may expect to find men and women with a high degree of moral courage, here and there, defending us, and speaking favorably of us. There is no such feeling exhibited in our nation towards us today as two years ago; and even that, hostile as it was, did good. The evil that the ministers and priests and politicians together, sought to bring upon us was, through the wisdom of God, overruled for our good. And so it will continue to be, whatever the enemies of truth do for the purpose of crushing it, will eventually be found to be the very means used to establish it. We have confidence in the wisdom and power of God, and are abundantly able to wait and labor, to work on in the path marked out for us to walk in, fully believing that in His own due time He will accomplish His “marvelous work and a wonder,” and bring about those happy results foreshadowed in the promises made to His people, both ancient and modern. Amen.

A Comparison—Wrath of Man Made to Praise God—Fall of Senator Edmunds—Fate of Those Who Oppose God’s Work—Persecution for Religion Unavailing—Case of the Huguenots—Intemperance—Startling Statistics—Drink, the Cause of Other Evils—Appeal to the Saints

Discourse by Elder Moses Thatcher, delivered in the Large Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Saturday Afternoon, at the Annual Conference, April 7th, 1883.

I feel very grateful indeed for the happy and peaceful circumstances with which we are surrounded this day, and I cannot help realizing how different they are to those which surrounded us a year ago. The pressure from the outside world at that time was very great, and the power of him who has been an oppressor from the beginning was exercised throughout this nation for the hurt of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But when perils have threatened we have learned to appeal to the invisible forces of heaven against the visible forces of earth, and in no age of the world with which I am acquainted has the right ever failed to succeed if those who maintained it were directed, sustained and upheld by the power of God our eternal Father. When men make it their special mission to contend against this great work, they do not realize that God is a power, they cannot comprehend that exercise of faith that turns aside the shafts of our enemies and delivers us from the snares which shrewd politicians and wicked and ungodly priests lay to entrap the people. How well I recollect a conversation I had about a year ago, with a very thoughtful man, a man connected with the Church, but who at times is given to view things from the natural standpoint. It was shortly after the arrival of the Commissioners who came to Utah to administer the provisions of the Edmunds’ law. This brother was not ignorant of the exertions which has been made throughout the Union to secure the enactment of that and other proscriptive measures, nor was he ignorant of the intent of leading politicians in the Republican party to forge chains with which to bind us, while depriving us of our liberties. He understood full well the means which had been used; he was not ignorant of the tearful waves of prejudice which had swept every State in the Union. Realizing what the intentions of the wicked were, and understanding the mighty power of a mighty nation, he felt exercised and desired to know if something could not be done to compromise the question; in other words; if it was not possible to submit to the President and Cabinet certain propositions by which the people might be enabled to maintain their rights and liberties. I have not forgotten what my reflections were while listening to his remarks, and I remember the reply which I was led to make. It was this: We had been gathered from the nations of the earth. We came to these mountains to serve God without respect to the thoughts or suffrages of other people. We came here to maintain liberty of conscience and freedom of worship, the provisions of the Constitution of our common country, and not to compromise them upon any terms whatever; that I knew of no earthly wisdom upon which we could safely rely in maintaining those rights; that if the religious, political and social affairs of the people were given over to the management of a hundred of the wisest uninspired men to be found in Zion, they would utterly fail to accomplish the purposes of God, though they might in their efforts to please man, sacrifice liberty and the freedom of conscience, violate the sacred provisions of the Constitution, and make those whom they sought to serve pliant slaves, unworthy of the blessings which of right belong to a free people; that the adoption of such a policy would, within six months, place us in such a condition of confusion and misery that God alone could relieve our distress; that if, on the other hand, we would exercise faith in Him, live our religion, be prayerful and humble, He would bring us off, as He has done many times before, victorious. Can we not see how the Lord has stayed the passions of men and made their wrath to praise Him? Let us reflect upon the difference between the power exercised by the great leading light of the Republican party during the passage of the Edmunds’ bill in the Senate of the United States a little over a year ago, and the exercise of the influence of the same man a year later. Senator Edmunds, when he first called up his bill was, in the Senate, almost supreme. By the power of his intellect and the fierce invective of his tongue, he ruled, as it were, absolute master, and his bill, unconstitutional and unjust, passed the Senate with but little opposition. Few statesmen cared then to measure arms with him, but mark the results when God did so a year later.

Had the faith of this people changed? Did we believe more in the laws of God in March, 1882, than we did in March 1883? Certainly not. Why then was Senator Edmunds unable to carry out his views and measures regarding this people in the latter as he had succeeded in doing in the former year? Because God is a force in the world and its affairs, whether men acknowledge it or not. His power always has been, and always will be greater than man’s power.

Men may think what they please and sneer at what they may be pleased to call fanaticism, but this I know, shame and confusion was the part of Senator Edmunds when, after six hours vain endeavor to force the passage of another infamous measure against us, he stood up in the Senate and confessed that he could see by the ruling of the presiding officer, and by the votes of his opponents, that it was impossible to carry the measure which he had in hand, and therefore moved for an adjournment. Was his defeat, chagrin and shame accomplished by the wisdom of man? We think not. We at least are willing, as we always have been, to acknowledge the hand of God in these things. God not only holds the destinies of nations in His hands, but He holds also the destiny of individual man. He can humble those who measure arms with Him, as He has done many times in the past. We fear not the power, nor do we gloat over the fall of man, public or private, but we have learned by experience that when they rise up and contend against this people and the principles of liberty and right, God marks them, and their course thenceforth is not upward but downward. In March, 1882, when in Washington, D.C., in company with other brethren, visiting Brother George Q. Cannon, then our honored delegate, I remember the sentiments expressed by some members of the Republican party. They would come privately and say: “We view this bill—referring to the Edmunds’ bill—as infamous in its measures; we can see that it is unconstitutional, that it seeks to rob a whole people of their political rights. But our profession is that of politics; we have no other business, and numerous petitions are coming here daily from our constituents, praying us, commanding us, to pass some law for the suppression of “Mormonism.” Now what shall we do? If we comply not with their demands our constituents will, at future elections, reject us at the polls.” Was not a similar argument used by the Jews, when they said, “If we let him thus alone, all men will believe in him, and the Romans shall come and take away our place and nation?” Fearing that, they crucified him, and what was the result? The very thing they sought to save was that which was speedily lost. When weighed in the balance they were found corrupt, cruel, vindictive, murderous; unable to maintain principle, defend justice, or do what they knew to be right. A disposition to oppress swayed their hearts and tyranny marked their actions to such an extent, that God rejected them as a people, scattered to the four winds and made of them, in the midst of nations, a hiss and a byword.

In this connection let anyone who feels disposed, take the pains and trouble to look over the Congressional Record and see how those who were willing to sacrifice principle at the shrine of everything that was wrong, willing to sacrifice the liberties of a people poor and oppressed, examine and see how many of that character have been returned. Have not more than fifty percent of them been rejected at the polls? Ask the democrats how this has come about, and why it has come about, and they cannot tell you. Ask the Republicans and they cannot tell you. But ask God, who holds the destinies of nations and peoples in His hand, and He can tell you. On the other hand examine the record of those who fearlessly stood up in defense of Constitutional liberty, maintained inviolate their oath of office, sustained the right, and were true to themselves. They too felt the pressure of priestly inflamed public sentiment, but bowed not to its tyrannical demands. They too realized the dangers and perils that might beset their efforts for future recognition at the polls, but having moral courage they planted themselves on principle, not prejudice, and their constituents, in a great measure, have endorsed their policy and sustained their heroic conduct. If I have been correctly informed, a much greater percentage of those who sustained right on the “Mormon” question in the 47th, have been returned to the 48th Congress, than of those who pursued the opposite policy. We should entertain no fear of men or nations, for they cannot prevent the Almighty from accomplishing His purposes, or bringing to pass His decrees. History, so far as I have been able to trace, no where records success gained by hatred and persecution over men pledged to principle, justice and truth.

Mens’ convictions, religious beliefs and just religious practices cannot be persecuted out of them. The nearest approach to success in this direction was, perhaps, the massacre of St. Bartholomew in France, wherein seventy thousand defenseless Huguenots perished miserably, victims of the malice and cruelty of Roman Catholicism.

That shocking butchery of men, women and children was acquiesced in by Charles IX, then King of France, and when his ally Philip III, of Spain heard of it he laughed, the only time he was known to laugh in his life. The Pope of Rome illuminated the eternal city, caused medals to be struck off, mass to be performed, and named Charles “the defender of the faith,” in commemoration of those horrid deeds of blood and misery.

Notwithstanding the Pontifical approval bestowed upon the king for that seventy thousandfold murder, he was till his death daily and nightly haunted by the thought of his victims until his misery and remorse caused, it is said, drops of blood to ooze through the pores of his skin. Through these cruelties the Huguenots received a fearful shock, but the consciousness of men continued to assert independence and the right to worship God untrammeled continued to grow. The freedom we now enjoy is but the fruit of the struggle for right, which persecution ultimately solidified, united and made strong in the broad, deep foundations of the freest nation on earth; thereby preparing the way for the mission of Joseph the Prophet. Much improvement had been made, but in relig ious matters Joseph found the people insincere, and the practices of the Christian world inconsistent and unsound. Guided by the light of heaven he struck a death blow at the idolatrous worship of a bodiless, passionless God, which the teachings of false priests had erected in the imagination of the people. In doing so he disturbed a sea of malice which since has known no rest. But though that angry sea may roll fierce billows of persecution, skepticism, infidelity and priestly hypocrisy must yield, for Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Almighty came as a forerunner and teacher of true faith in God that cannot be conquered; it will prevail. God’s kingdom will rise and shine. They say we are endeavoring to establish a theocratic government. What is theocracy? The kingdom and government of God. Who will contend against it—will the Latter-day Saints? No. It is our duty to contend for it, and to assist to build it up. It is a government of purity. It is a government of the people, and for the people; it maintains liberty and right, and is always opposed to oppression and misrule. I would like to dwell upon the subject, but time will not permit, as I desire to touch upon another at present, of deep interest to us.

We have been called out from the nations of the earth to serve the Lord. “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” In this connection I desire to touch upon a few practices existing among us that are not pleasing in the sight of God. Intemperance is one of them; the use of alcohol, the use of intoxicating drinks that fevers the blood and maddens the brain, incites to sin, debases man, destroys his better judgment, drives the Spirit of God from his heart, and renders the daughters of Zion unsafe in his company. What is the condition of the Christian nations in this respect today? Two hundred thousand men and women crowd the poorhouses, prisons and asylums of Great Britain alone. Seventy-five percent of them the wretched victims of alcoholism. Can we think a business legitimate and honorable that deprives a hundred and fifty thousand men and women of comfortable homes, drives them wild, and sends them as driveling idiots and paupers to the asylums and jails of a Christian nation, which derives a revenue from the liquor traffic of $150,000,000 per annum, and finds even that enormous sum inadequate to meet the expenses entailed by reason of its use? We cannot consistently so consider it.

Aside from the debauchery, misery, ruin and death caused by the use of intoxicants, the waste in Great Britain is simply startling. Seventy-five million bushels of grain—equal at our present rate of production to what Utah would yield in forty years—is annually consumed in the manufacture of liquors there. The inhabitants of Britain expend yearly for intoxicating drinks over $640,000,000. During the past seven years they have expended for the same purpose more than sufficient to cancel their national debt, or build a new house for every family in the kingdom, and schoolhouses in which to educate all their children.

Had the money expended there for liquor during the past half century been invested in five percent interest bearing securities, it would now be equal to the entire capitalized wealth of the nation, including her cities, railroads, ships, factories, mines, farms, fields and gardens. And yet in view of these figures, taken from parliamentary returns, we hear of the cry of want and complaints of oppression. Do the people not oppress themselves in the use—excessive use of things that weaken and corrupt their bodies and darken their minds?

Is the condition of our own nation in this regard much better? But little if any. In 1882, according to official reports, the people of the United States paid nearly twice as much for liquor as they did for bread. More than the entire value of the products of all our woolen, cotton, boot and shoe factories. An amount equal to seventy percent of the wages earned in all the manufacturing institutions of the country, during the same period. Three hundred millions of dollars, more than was paid for Governmental, state, territorial, county, city and school taxes combined. Enough to school the children of a nation numbering 300,000,000, or six times as numerous as ours for the same year.

The nation consumes in liquor the value of all the public and private libraries of the country every sixty days, and spends annually nine times as much for drink as for printing and publishing.

Now what can we say for the people of Utah? In the main they are temperate, but there is room for much improvement. Here, I have no means for acquiring exact knowledge from statistics, but I venture the assertion that more money is spent even in Utah for alcohol than is expended for the education of our children, or the support of the Territorial government. Do we not expend more means in the purchase of stimulants than we pay to sustain the Church and Kingdom of God on earth? And in doing so are we not, though perhaps thoughtlessly, undermining the virtue of our boys, and the chastity of our girls? Do not inebriates and harlots usually go hand in hand, and saloons and houses of ill repute grow up side by side?

Had we the means of ascertaining the facts I am satisfied we should find that nine out of every ten cases of the lapse of virtue among us, could be traced to the use and influence of liquor of some kind. I am led to this conclusion by positive knowledge in a few sad cases that have come under my personal observation. Again, the love of liquor is transmissible. No man, therefore, can be a true servant of God while entailing misfortune and misery—perhaps decrepitude and idiocy upon his posterity. If any among us cannot control their appetite for drink, at least let them not transmit their thirst as a heritage to their children, who should be begotten in purity and brought forth untrammeled by unnatural and debasing appetites that tend to the lust of the flesh. A man addicted to intemperance cannot subject himself to the will of God, nor can he govern his passions to the sanctification of his body, failing in which he cannot reasonably expect to govern others in righteousness for their salvation. How then, are such worthy to stand at the head of families in Zion? To me few sights are more painful than to see a sorrow stricken wife bending over the wash tub and working like a slave to support herself and children; and perhaps her drunken husband, who warms his miserable, useless body on the sunny side of walls frequented by others of his kind. If we could gaze through the sorrowful eyes down into the pain-stricken hearts of such wives—and there are some even in Zion of that kind—we should hardly find a blessing there for those who lift the tempting cup to the lips of their fallen husbands. It is true the liquor traffic, among Christians, is regulated by law and disposed of generally under license, but that does not make it an honorable business, nor does it in any way, so far as I can see, restrict the evils that follow its use. To regulate and license the manufacture and indiscriminate sale of whiskey may, in some places, be a necessary and unavoidable evil, but such laws as moral and reformatory agencies have certainly proven failures. The poor, half-starved children, depraved men, and ruined women that nightly visit the gin palaces of London, Liverpool, New York, Chicago, and other great cities, speak unmistakably of failure. The crowded prisons, poorhouses, insane asylums, testify of failure. The gambler who resorts to forgery as a means with which to retrieve his fortune, the sot that wallows in the gutter and blasphemes the name of God, the raving maniac whose reason drink has dethroned, the murderer who took the life of his brother while intoxicated and dies with a curse upon his lips as he falls through the trap of the gallows, all testify of the woe, utter failure and irreparable ruin wrought by the use of alcohol, made easy of access by the regulations of law.

Let me, in the name of the Lord, urge the Saints to abstain from its use. It weakens the body and impairs the mind. When the highest order of physical excellence is required, science interdicts its use. Men trained for great bodily effort and long endurance are forced to be temperate or be defeated. Those who compete for collegiate or literary honors understand the value of tem perance. In view of these facts, the Elder, High Priest or Seventy who is addicted to the use of liquor, is unfit to perform the labors which God requires of him. Is it possible that we as Elders of Israel, at home and abroad, cannot see the results of these things? Do we not know that like begets like? Do we not know that men whose blood is fevered and whose judgment is blinded are not fit to multiply and replenish, not fit to be in that holy law of matrimony ordained and made sacred by the Almighty? Let the world talk about and deride the institution of celestial marriage. What concerns us more in Utah is the fact that there are not men enough who understand the laws of life, and who stand pure and holy, upon the higher basis of that sacred law, to become the husbands of all the pure and today marriageable women in Zion. God foresaw what the nations would do. We were told yesterday by Elder Erastus Snow that men of great influence in the world were preaching the doctrine of human limitation, which leads to murder. And yet these very men will preach morality to you and me. While killing their own offspring, and urging others to do it, they tell us we shall not obey the laws of God pertaining to increase. I say we will. And upon natural principles, upon scientific principles. The boys and girls who live according to the law of the Lord will become the head and not the foot. They will have stronger bodies, stronger minds, and by the force of the “survival of the fittest,” will, eventually, under the direction of divine revelation, govern the affairs of the world. It has been so predicted; God has decreed it, who will prevent it? Let us therefore unite in turning our faces against the evil practices so prevalent in the world. Let us begin to understand and live according to the laws of nature, realizing that violations thereof bring penalties which sometimes are transmitted to the third or fourth generation. In the transmission of life God has devolved upon His creations the highest and most delicate functions, and which, if abused, entail misery and often premature death. God has His glory in the perpetuation of life. With wonder and admiration, we behold life everywhere. We see it struggling in the vegetable kingdom and breathing in the animal creations. Cut down and trample under foot the noxious weed, and yet by the law that governs its increase it struggles upwards, and unless utterly destroyed matures seed for new life, and thereby perpetuates itself. All nature responds to the eternal law of increase. Man, being prompted by him who rebelled in heaven, alone seeks to defeat life, and bring confusion and death. While he and his emissaries strive through the commission of horrid crimes, even murder, to limit human increase, let us as Saints sanctify body and soul being pure in heart and mind, a fit lineage through which noble spirits may possess tabernacles unto the glory of God the Father of spirits. Let fathers and mothers in Zion beget children, as Samuel the ancient prophet was begotten, and I tell you there is no power on earth or in hell that can stop the progress of this people. We will increase and spread abroad until Zion shall arise and shine, and the Kingdom of God shall have supremacy and sway forever. Amen.

A Few Questions Every Latter-day Saint Can Answer for Himself—The Fruits of the Spirit—The Proper Use of Riches—No Comparison Between Earthly Wealth and Eternal Riches—Principle Must not be Sacrificed for Riches—Consecration—Satan Rebuked—We Ought to Cultivate the Fruits of the Spirit—The Work of God Onward and Upward—The Fate of Those Who Sacrifice Principle at the Shrine of Greed—Conclusion

Remarks by Elder Moses Thatcher, delivered at the General Conference, Saturday Morning, April 6th, 1833.

The thought frequently arises in my mind, are we as a people honest and sincere in the professions we make? Do we prove by our dealings, our acts and conversations, that we sincerely believe in all of the principles of the Gospel which we have been willing to preach to others; or do we sometimes in our weakness, preach one thing and practice another? Do we manifest more of the fruits of the flesh than of the spirit? Do we manifest greater love for the things of this world, and the honors of men, than we do for eternal riches and the honor of God? These are questions every Latter-day Saint ought to be able to answer for himself.

We are bidden of Paul to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and to be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. The purpose that the Lord had in view in gathering us to this land, is at least partly reflected in this language of Paul, namely: that we may sanctify the body by developing the fruits of the spirit. Honesty and sincerity are fruits of the spirit; to be true to God and each other are manifestly fruits of the spirit; purity of thought and action is fruit of the spirit. Injustice, unrighteousness, dishonesty, intemperance, impurity, insincerity and hypocrisy are fruits of the flesh. All these are sometimes manifested in man’s undue love for the things of the world, and in his contempt for the things of God. Those who live for eternal riches are thoughtful, devoting time and reflection and study to the word of God; they are the people who desire the Lord to search and prove them, and know their hearts, and see if there be any wickedness in them. You see true religion manifested in such people by their attention to the sick, by their administering to the orphan and widow; you see them friends to God’s poor. You see them opposed to oppression of every form, opposed to the encroachments of those who would do the people harm. You see them urging the people to works of righteousness not only by precept but by example also. You see them, as Elders of the Church, willing to go to the ends of the earth to preach the Gospel abroad, or to devote their time and talent to the education of the youth at home. They are earnest, and sincere; they live in the light of the Spirit, doubting not the principles of eternal truth. They are not filled with doubt and apprehension, but are full of faith and good works. They desire to see the people advance and prosper, securing temporal wealth while seeking earnestly to obtain the greater riches, the riches of eternity. They are they who appreciate the authority and power of the Priesthood, the efficacy of prayer, through which the sick are healed. To be worthy instruments in the hands of God, to administer in His name is more gratifying to them than are the riches of the world.

During the short time I may speak I desire to direct my remarks especially to the young upon this point, for here as elsewhere we are subject to laws producing constant changes. Today, the Latter-day Saints are far more prosperous in the things of this world than they were a few years ago; and it is right and proper they should be. The Lord desires to bestow these things upon His people. There is no harm in the possession of properly acquired riches; there is no harm in wealth. God created the riches of the earth; He created the ability of the mind, the intellect and faculties of the man which enables him to accumulate wealth. But the love of riches is dangerous. Excessive love for the things of time has led men in all ages to forget their God, and indulge themselves in things wherein there is no profit. This is what we, as individuals, and as a whole people should avoid. Exces sive love of riches, an unnatural desire to accumulate wealth at the sacrifice of principle—and at the expense of God’s honest and deserving poor—produces a gulf of separation over which preaching can never throw a bridge. We should realize that God being the Father of us all, loves the humble and deserving poor as much as He loves the rich who are alike worthy. We should realize that all are friends and brethren equally, if equally worthy, able to approach the throne of God.

I have heard expressions from some young people recently to the effect that, “The theory of the Gospel is all right, and while it is beautiful, we cannot deny the fact that even in Israel there is great power in wealth.” Of course there is. There always has been and probably always will be, because the possession of wealth produces power. We see this manifested everywhere, in the history of every nation; but when we contrast the power of earthly wealth with that of eternal riches, there can be no comparison, the one being transitory, the other eternal; the one is measured by time, the other by eternity. A man may be true and honest before the Lord, and yet be rich in the things of this world. God has had servants in time past who were wealthy, and yet devoted as any could be. Abraham, Job and David for instance. It is true the subsequent fall of the latter might be traceable, to an extent, to indulgences and luxuries resulting from his use of wealth. But I contend the riches of the earth belong to the Lord, and He can bestow them upon whom He pleases, and it will be His good pleasure to bestow them upon His people when they are in a proper state to receive and use them to His honor and glory. But it is a mistake for our young people to imagine that it is better to lay aside the work of God, to refuse to go on missions, labor in the ministry at home, or act as teachers in the Sunday Schools—it is a great mistake, and I will tell you why. Riches, unless they have been acquired under the approbation of God, will not produce happiness. The possession of riches may give influence, power, fame, adulation, even among us, but unless those who possess it are men of God, unless they are men of faith, believing in the atoning blood of Jesus, unless they believe in the Priesthood of God, and its right to direct in matters both spiritual and temporal, they are not happy, they do not possess the riches that will guide them safely through the veil into the presence of God. They may believe all the ordinances that faithful men believe; they may have their wives sealed to them over the holy altar of God; may have their children married according to the new and everlasting covenant; come to conference meeting; pay their tithing; and finally consecrate all their goods; but if their hearts are not converted, if they are not free with the freedom wherewith Christ once made them free, if they have gone back into the bondage of the world, they have lost their golden opportunity. As they die without faith, so will they rise without faith. If they have been infidel to principle, slow to hear, if their hearts have been hardened, and they have fought secretly or openly against the principles of the Almighty, when they wake up behind the veil they will find that in their love for the things of this world they have lost that which it may take ages to regain.

I bear my testimony that these things are true. And while there are wealthy men in this Church whom I respect and who I believe to be good men, yet it is a dangerous thing for our young people to conceive the idea that they must sacrifice principle at the shrine of policy, and be hypocrites in order to advance their interests and wield the influence and power of wealth in the midst of this people—such an idea is dangerous, and it is a thing that we, as Elders in Israel, should guard against. Give me the influence, give me the faith and prayers of a man who is willing to go to the ends of the earth for Christ’s sake, and has healing virtues in him, power to comfort, bless and heal the sick, bind up the brokenhearted and lead to eternal life, rather than the influence of any man without these, though he may be as rich as Jay Gould. It is proper and right to use the wealth of this world in beautifying Zion, for the benefit of those worthy who need it—for the widow and the orphan, and for the benefit of honest industries and righteous poor who need assistance. A man should be as willing to financier for the good of the whole people as for himself in the same capacity. The same energy should be displayed in the one case as in the other. We should learn to do for the people of God that which we are anxious to do for ourselves. We should learn that the Spirit and power of God will lead unto all righteousness, but that a man cannot be dishonest and enjoy that Spirit; that he cannot monopolize the natural avenues of wealth, depriving the poor of their rights, and enjoy the spirit that comes from heaven. Greed often pushes men beyond legitimate acquisition into respectable robbery. If there are such in our midst, when trials come, when dark days approach, there will be shaking in the marrow of their bones; and faith will decrease as wealth wrongfully acquired increases; and as such come to their end darkness will be before their eyes, they will fear the things that are beyond the veil; their faith will waver; they will not know whether the atoning blood of Jesus Christ will reach beyond the grave or not, but if it should they will not know whether they will be able to stand in the presence of God, without a blush. I bear you my testimony that men who devote themselves to the riches of this world at the sacrifice of principle, will rise in the resurrection poor, miserably poor! They will be in greater poverty than the poorest in all the House of Israel.

We had better think of the revelations of Jesus Christ. We have talked a little about cooperation in the past. We have sometimes alluded to consecration. I heard a story in regard to a brother in Farmington, a few years ago. The question of gathering the poor Saints from England came up in an evening meeting. The brother had two cows, and he donated one for the purpose mentioned. In going home a spirit of darkness said unto him: “You have been very foolish. You have given away one of the two cows you possessed, while Brother so-and-so, a much wealthier man than you, has only given five dollars. Now, you have done a wrong thing, a foolish thing.” And thus was this brother tempted until he turned around and said, as though addressing himself to Satan: “If you don’t cease tempting me, I will go back to the Bishop, and give him the other one.” [Laughter.] Now, that is just as I feel. If at any time the Lord has blessed me with means, and I am tempted not to do as I should, because of the actions of others. I hope I shall always when tempted, feel to draw near unto the Lord, and ask His assistance. I would rather give all I have—and it is not much—and be like an Indian, clothed in a blanket, and be acceptable to the Lord, than be clothed in velvet and surrounded with riches, feeling that my prayers were never heard by the Almighty.

There is no reason why we may not have all the fruits of the Spirit in our midst. There is no reason why we may not have the gifts and blessings of the Gospel. A circumstance somewhat marvelous came recently under my personal observation. A little boy was thrown from a horse violently, his head striking the hard ground with great force, causing severe concussion of the brain. The doctor was called, the Elders also. The eyes of the poor little fellow were fixed and stony; all were greatly alarmed for the case was a serious one, the physician saying that blood was evidently clotting on the brain; the right side was paralyzed; the wrist almost pulseless. He went into convulsions while the Elders were administering to him, and many present believed that he was dying, but the grasp of death was broken by the power of faith. Unbelief was rebuked, and health and reason were speedily restored. Next morning the boy was running about the rooms with no soreness about his head whatever! I say the gift of healing by the power of God exists in the Church, and it might be far more prevalent if we would live for it.

I bear my testimony, in conclusion, that this is the work of God. I know that its destiny is onward and upward; whatever lies may be concocted, whatever powers may combine to retard its progress, God will eventually make it the head and not the foot. There are boys growing up in these mountains who will so learn to love liberty, and will so desire to see all humanity free, that they will maintain the principles of our national constitution and all just principles, and will invite the oppressed of every land and clime to enjoy liberties which God will maintain in His Kingdom—the liberty wherewith Christ will make them free.

On the other hand I bear my testimony that men who, in the Church or out of it, sacrifice principle at the shrine of greed, who take away the earnings of the honest poor, who monopolize the avenues of trade to the oppression of God’s honest people, will wake up beyond the veil disappointed, unhappy, grieved and damned. They will be damned in that God will so quicken their minds, that they will see the past, and understand the future. They will fully comprehend that in the brief space, perhaps, of a few years, they sacrificed opportunities, and gave away chances whereby they might have become kings unto the Most High God, and saviors on Mount Zion; that they gave all these blessings for the love of self, the honor of men, worldly riches; and the testimony of widows and orphans will come up against them before the eyes of the Lord, and they will see it and comprehend it, and in the conception of their great loss, they will feel that they have been damned.

I pray that we may be faithful and true to our religion, and that we may have the guidance and inspiration of the Most High. I pity a man that has no inspiration. I pity any set of men who seek in their ignorance and blindness to retard the progress of God’s Kingdom.

There is a day of deep trial for those who love the things of this world more than they love the things of God. If we have such among us, I earnestly hope and pray that the Spirit of God may rest upon them, that they may see the error of their way, repent, turn unto the Lord, and be saved. Amen.

Synopsis of a Temperance Lecture, Prohibition Advocated—Effects of Drunkenness Illustrated, Statistics, Etc.

Discourse by Elder Moses Thatcher, delivered before the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association of Hyrum, March 7th, 1883.

In responding to the invitation of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association of Hyrum, I beg to say that press of other matters has prevented me from preparing myself to speak upon this subject as its importance demands, but I can submit some statistics which show the effects of intemperance on the human body and soul more forcibly than anything I can say.

Intemperance, license and prohibition have recently been somewhat fully discussed through the columns of the Utah Journal. Those who advocate strict prohibition as a means of checking intemperance among our people, seem firmly impressed with the idea that every pos sible safeguard should be thrown around the youth and those of mature age who have not, within themselves, the power to resist temptations that are fast sapping the foundations upon which have rested the prosperity, morality, and purity of great Christian nations, that are now wallowing in the filth and degradation of intemperance. Holding that there are some, even among the Latter-day Saints, too weak to resist the tempting cup when pressed to their lips by the hands of false friends, yet who are too good to be left to destroy peace and happiness, desolate home, and die, perhaps, in the gutter, I am an uncompromising advocate of prohibition. No man is permitted to sell poisoned food. Who does so knowingly, to the destruction of life, answers the law on the charge of murder. Why should any be held less guilty of crime for dispensing liquid poison?

Put the essence of tobacco into the mouth of a rattlesnake and see if the venom which makes its fangs the instrument of death, possesses neutralizing force sufficient to counteract the more deadly poison of the vegetable drug. And yet I have seen tobacco in pieces larger than my hand in barrels from which my brethren and friends had drank the whiskey that extracted from that tobacco its deadly narcotic properties.

I have beheld with horror the effects of double-distilled, tobacco-poisoned whiskey. Untainted by it, I have seen man face perils that spoke of death, and under the sway of reason and calm judgment offer his coat to save the life of his companion; when the fierce blast of a winter storm was searching the marrow of his bones, chilling his vitals and clutching with icy hand the benumbed, almost frozen spark of life. This was the natural man, whose generosity the fear of death could not conquer.

Driven wild with whiskey, the heart beating like the quick throb of an overworked engine, reason dethroned by distilled poison burning like living coals in the brain, he who offered the coat to save, sped the ball which pierced the heart of his friend, whose warm blood, rushing through the murderous rent, curdled in crimson clots on the frozen snow, and the hearts of two mothers broke.

Who shall declare that to be a legitimate business which, in its effects, makes man a demon, dyes his hands in blood, and sacrifices tender and loving hearts upon the altar of intemperance? How can any man with one spark of the milk of human kindness in his heart, offer to his fellow man that which he knows may destroy the body and ruin the soul? How can any father or brother ask our lawmakers to legalize and thereby become responsible for the crimes of those who seek to lead the weak and unsuspecting into temptations, which if yielded to, generally end in misery, pauperism, and ignominious ruin?

Look at the home of the drunkard who would move heaven and hell in order to secure the means for gratifying his unnatural appetite! Is it a cheerful, prosperous, beautiful and healthful home? Does he educate his children and feed and clothe them well, or does he permit them to go barefooted, half-clad, and otherwise exposed to disease and suffering? Does he not pay whiskey bills while denying wife and children the means with which to keep the wolf of want from his door? Look at the waste of property all around him! If he has a house, look at the tattered rags hanging from the broken windows, the leaking roof, creaking doors, fireless hearth and general cheerlessness of the place he calls home. Gaze through the sorrowful eyes down into the pain-stricken heart of his wife, and see if you can find a sentiment there which calls for a single blessing upon the head of the man who has assisted in the degradation of her husband. Look at his lean horses and starving cattle, if he has any left, as they perish in the pitiless storms that chill their marrowless bones, and say that no act of prohibition should be enforced to assist in checking such an one in his downward course.

Is it possible for the inebriate to confine the results of his intemperance to himself? No, it is not pos sible! It extends to others in spite of all he can do, and insofar as it injures them, his agency should be curtailed. With kindness and long suffering, with gentleness and good will? Yes! and if necessary, by removing with every legitimate and lawful means the temptation which he cannot resist unaided.

Should the acts—the agency of the brother who, a short time ago, deserted his post at midnight and left exposed, by reason of his engendered love of liquor, a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of property intrusted to his care, be in any way restrained?

Do intemperate men usually stand at the head of banking, railroad, manufacturing and commercial affairs? Do they stand at the head and control matters in which the Lord and good men have delight?

Contrast the intelligent look, the energy, the mental and physical endurance of the temperate man with those of the intemperate. Contrast the difference between their surroundings, homes and families, and then say which you prefer, and which you will imitate.

I will now submit for your consideration an account of some of the evils of intemperance in England, and its cost. In the year 1879, the inhabitants of the United Kingdom expended for intoxicating drinks, $640,716,320. The names of 3,000,000 persons were registered on the books of the “Poor Law Unions” during that year, and 94,000 lunatics were in the asylums. In 1877, 320,000 were apprehended for drunkenness; 75,000,000 bushels of grain—an amount equal to what Utah, at our present rate would produce in forty years—is used yearly in the manufacture of intoxicants, which cause there annually 120,000 premature deaths. “It is the opinion of the best informed individuals that the cost of the mischief resulting from drinking, viz., Pauperism, Crime, Disease, Waste of Grain, Accidents, Loss of Labor, &c., amounts to fully as much as the cost of the drink itself, and, therefore, if the direct and indirect cost of the drink be added together, it will give about thirteen hundred millions of dollars as the amount the nation loses yearly through intoxicating liquors.”

In return for this stupendous outlay the nation reaps a harvest of crime, misery, destitution, vice, disease, ruin and death. If the money was paid to rid the nation of such evils, it would be proof of common sense, “but to buy them at such a price, is supreme folly,” and would seem utterly impossible to an intelligent people. “During the seven years ending in 1879 the inhabitants of the British Isles spent for drink, $4,820,189,180, and paid for Poor and Police Rates $505,723,590. During the same time, 3,334,110 persons—nearly ten per cent of the entire population—were convicted of crime, and 1,271,838 were apprehended for drunkenness.

From the above tables (taken from Parliamentary returns) it will be seen what an enormous amount of money is spent on intoxicating liquors. Side by side we see the crime and drunkenness with the consequent taxation, &c. How we suffer in other ways from the liquor traffic can never be realized.

The money paid for drink during those seven years would cancel England’s national debt, and leave $1,000,000,000 to spare. It would pay for 26,082 miles of railway which is 10,000 miles more than was then being operated in the United Kingdom. Had the money been invested in building houses it would have erected a new one for every family there, and built schools to accommodate all the children in that country.

Had the money spent by the English people during the past 50 years for liquors, been invested in securities realizing five percent per annum, principal and interest would now exceed by $5,000,000,000 the entire capitalized value of all the wealth of the United Kingdom, including its money, lands, railways, collieries, ironworks, quarries, mines, houses, mills, and every other description of property.

Now all these things have grown and developed under the fostering care of legalized crime. In other words, intemperance in England, and intemperance in the United States, if not the offspring of legalized crime is at least the bloated pauper of a system of license that encourages drunkenness. And for this reason, having shown you some of the fearful effects of intemperance, I unhesitatingly condemn the system of license under which it has grown to such proportions. In contrast I cite you to statistics, compiled by the best authority, showing that drunkenness has decreased from 40 to 90 percent in the State of Maine, where prohibition has been enforced. [The lecturer here read from the writings of Hepworth Dixon, a beautiful description of the happy condition of the people of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, who had adopted “prohibition,” and concluded by adopting as his sentiments the following sound principles of Dr. Albert Barnes, enunciated in his sermon, “The Thorne of Iniquity.”]

“I lay it down as a sound principle in regard to legislation that society should not by its laws protect evil. This, perhaps, is sufficiently clear from the remarks already made; but the importance of the principle in itself, and the application which I intend to make of it, require that it should be made a little more distinct and prominent. The position is that the purpose of society in organizing a government, and the purpose of a government under such organization, should not be to protect evil in any form. The law is made for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for man-slayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons (1 Tim. 1:9), and not to protect those who practice these vices, or protect anything which will give facility in practicing them. The true object of legislation is to prevent, not to protect evil. God never instituted a government on earth with a view to its throwing a protecting shield over vice and immorality. He has never commissioned men to sit in high places to accomplish any such work. The end of government, so far as it bears on that point at all, is to suppress crime, to punish wrongdoers, to remove iniquity, to promote that which is just and true. And it matters not what the evil is, nor how lucrative it may be, nor how much capital may be invested in it, nor how much revenue may be derived from it, nor how many persons may have an interest in its continuance—the business of the lawgiver is to suppress it—not to protect it; to bring it to as speedy an end as possible, not to become the panderer to it, or the patron of it. What would be thought of a government that should, under any pretext whatever, take under its protecting care thieves, counterfeiters, and burglars? A third principle in regard to legisla tion is equally clear, and equally important: It is that society should not undertake to regulate evil by law. Its business is to remove it—not to regulate it.”

Having an abiding faith in prohibition, backed by local option, I would have the Y. M. M. I. A. of Hyrum, use their influence to have illicit liquor dealers here, discontinue their degrading, unlawful traffic. This failing, rise up and help the city authorities to enforce the law.

If there are any in favor of license to sell liquor in Hyrum, please manifest it. [Not a hand was raised.] Who are in favor of temperance and prohibition? [Every hand was raised.] May God bless and preserve you from the blight of intemperance and the sin of drunkenness.

The Mission of the Holy Ghost—Commissions of the Ancient and Modern Apostles—Unbelief, Division, Superstition and Fanaticism—Sincerity No Evidence of Truth, But Always Entitled to Respect—Marriage Commanded of God and Forbidden By Man—Moral Courage and Anti-“Mormon” Legislation—Righteous and Unrighteous Dominion—The Purity of the Elders of Israel—The Worship of Wealth and Its Poverty—Public opinion and Independence of Character—The Latter-Day Saints Never Destined to Be Slaves—Persecution and Its Consequences—Exhortation to Loyalty, Long-suffering, Kindness, Integrity and Righteousness

Discourse by Apostle Moses Thatcher, delivered at the General Conference, Saturday, April 8th, 1882.

I have been very happy in attending the meetings of this Conference. I have rejoiced in listening to the remarks of brethren who have spoken; and earnestly hope that I may be influenced and guided in the remarks I may make, by the same spirit and power which has actuated them. Realizing as I do, that God is working in the hearts of the Saints and is, at the same time, holding as in his hands the destiny of nations, I have seen no happier day than this. And, while proscriptive, ex post facto laws, abridging the liberties of the people have been, and others may hereafter be enacted by the lawmakers of the nation, still the honest and good, the meek and pure in heart rejoice in the Holy One of Israel, who while preserving their lips from uttering guile makes steadfast their feet in Zion, that they slip not.

I am not aware that we, as a people, have any policy marked out by which to meet the issues or overcome the annoyances which may be forced upon us, but with those who merit the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, all will be well. The sight of the eye, the hearing of the ear, the touch of the hand may each and all be deceived, but, the instructions of the spirit are in all things correct. The combined senses may misguide or fail, but he who happily secures the companionship of the Holy Spirit, walks in the ways of life and neither fears, becomes weary nor faints by the wayside. Christ as the author of human redemption—himself a willing sacrifice—comprehending by his divine nature, the fulness of this great truth, commanded his disciples to tarry at Jerusalem until endowed with power from on high —until he should send the Comforter whose mission it was to show them things to come, bring all things which he had taught to their remembrance and lead them into all truth.

They had listened to the words of life and light as the marvelous sermon on the Mount came from the divine lips of their Lord and Master: they had seen him touch the eyes of the blind, making them to see again, the ears of the deaf to hear, and had witnessed his power quicken into life, the decomposing body of the dead; they had traveled throughout the land of Judea with, and perhaps watched many weary nights to keep him from the injury of those who desired to harm him; they had eaten and drank with, and slept by him, listening by night and day to the inspired instructions; but, notwithstanding all the experience thus gained during years of unsurpassed opportunity for learning the truth as it was in him, they were not yet fully qualified and authorized to preach that perfect law of liberty—the Gospel of their Redeemer. Hence the command, “Tarry ye in the City of Jerusalem until ye be endowed with power from on high.”

The Comforter which came to them is the same that has come to us, and his mission then, as we have demonstrated it now to be, was to bring things to the remembrance, show things to come and lead into all truth. No man has authority to preach the Gospel and administer its ordinances without a commission from Jesus Christ; and the seal of such commission has always been, and always will be the gifts, blessings and endorsement of the Holy Ghost, which, not only leads to the form, but also to the power of godliness.

It is this that cheers the hearts of the Latter-day Saints, brings knowledge of things past, present, and to come, unites and makes them in their testimony, hopes and aspirations, distinct from all the world—a peculiar people.

The Elders of Israel acting under the authority of an endless Priesthood, bear the message of peace, of life and salvation to the inhabitants of a fallen world. Without money and without price they visit the ends of the earth and, while warning the wicked of the judgments to come, they urge the honest and good to gather, before the coming of the great and dreadful day when Babylon shall fall. Bearing a faithful testimony, they speak of that which they know and testify of that which they have experienced, saying, “do the will of the Father and you shall know whether the doctrine is true or false.” In this, their testimony differs from that of the ministers of all other religious denominations, and they not only speak as having authority, but they have it. Where, outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is there a man authorized to make the promise of the knowledge of God by revelation as the reward of obedience to the principles of the Gospel? Who, beside the Elders of this Church are commissioned to perform ordinances in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost through which, and by which, the Comforter comes to the obedient penitent, leading him into all truth and showing him things to come? Who, beside them are authorized by God, commissioned by Jesus and endorsed by the Holy Spirit to preach repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands, saying to the inhabitants of the earth, “believe in the doctrines of Jesus Christ, repent of all sins, be immersed in water for their remission and have hands laid upon you for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and you shall know these things to be true, for, through obedience to the law of life, comes the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy.”

Ask the members of the so-called Christian sects if their ministers come to them offering such a test of their authority to speak in the name of Him who descended beneath all things that he might arise above all things—ask them for the testimony of Him who led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men, what gifts they have to offer, what promises of godly knowledge they have to make? Ask them for the testimony of Jesus and to show the plan of salvation built upon the rock of revelation against which the gates of hell cannot prevail, and you will be made painfully to feel that they have none of these things. A form of godliness they may exhibit, but the power, they do not have.

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.”

Such was the commission given to the Apostles anciently, and the gifts and blessings, some of which I have enumerated, following the believer whose faith led to works, were evidences of the authority of the Lord’s disciples who bore that commission. Their testimony being true and faithful, received the endorsement of the Holy Spirit.

Unlike ministers of the various Christian denominations the Elders of this Church claim no part of the commission given by the Lord to his ancient Apostles, but they do claim, and do have authority from Jesus Christ to preach his Gospel, and the signs that followed believers then follow them now, as thousands can testify. Most so-called Christians have long since discarded the idea of works, holding that salvation coming only by grace, belief alone, is essential.

Now, I hold that they have not only discarded all works, but belief as well. My reason for so doing is I think logical and conclusive. Jesus declared that certain signs should follow them that believe, but modern divines do not even pretend that any one of the signs enumerated follow those that accept their teachings. Therefore, relying upon the words of the Lord, we must, we are bound to conclude that they do not even believe the Gospel, or if they do the promise of Christ certainly fails. I am aware that such a conclusion gives a choice between but two horns of a disagreeable dilemma, but we had nothing to do in the arrangement of matters which have brought it about; we only speak of facts as they exist. Again, ask the ministers of any of the Protestant churches where they got their authority to preach? They will tell you not from the Roman Mother Church which claims Apostolic succession from Peter, but they will refer you I think, in most instances, to the words of Jesus already quoted, wherein he instructed his disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, etc. They will tell you that here is where they get their authority, and they claim that commission is to them as well as to those to whom it was di rectly given. Let us submit the test and see how this claim stands. Those who anciently had the commission and authority were endorsed by the spirit and power of God which caused certain heavenly gifts and blessings to follow those who believed their testimony and teachings. Do any of those gifts and blessings follow the believers in the teachings of modern divines who claim the same authority and commission? No, not one. They the ministers themselves hold them nonessential, and hence done away. They are, indeed, done away so far as our Christian friends are concerned, and so is the authority and commission of their ministers done away, so far as the endorsement of their teaching by the Holy Ghost is concerned.

I desire here to bear my testimony that the gifts and blessings enumerated by the Savior as those that should follow believers, do follow in this day, the authoritative preaching and administration of the ordinances of the Gospel, and that the Elders of this Church are clothed with authority from God. It did not come from the Roman Mother Church, nor from any of her Protestant daughters, but was restored to earth in our day by Peter, James and John, to whom Jesus Himself gave it. In their charge it was authority that bore fruit as testimony of its efficacy and divine power; committed to the charge of God’s servants it does likewise in this age among this people.

Lacking the revelations of the Holy Ghost, men and self-constituted ministers are not led into all truth but teach, instead thereof, opinions and vain imaginings. As an instance I refer to a sermon preached not long since by an eminent divine in the East for whose liberal views and outspoken advo cacy of them in many respects I entertain admiration, for they have, in my opinion, a tendency to liberalize the ideas of some who otherwise would have inclined to religious bigotry or, on the other hand to infidelity. In seeking to illustrate how the various Christian sects were moving heavenward, this divine compared the kingdom of God to the city of Philadelphia, which has numerous railway connections leading from almost every direction but all centering in that city. Upon these numerous railways daily move many trains composed of numerous cars containing many people traveling from various directions on different roads, but all bound for the city of Philadelphia. Now this doctrine being broad and liberal would certainly commend itself to every thoughtful and charitable Christian did it not, when tested by the Master’s perfect standard, reveal a defect—a fatal one too, which all who rely upon it must eventually find to their disappointment and sorrow. The doctrine however attractive, is absolutely untrue, for Jesus Himself has declared that there is but one way, “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way (not many ways like the roads leading to the city of Philadelphia), and few there be that find it.”

Now why do eminent, educated, influential men, who have chosen the ministry as a profession, and who pretend to teach the Gospel to others advocate as doctrine ideas so diametrically opposed to the eternal truths advanced by Christ himself? The answer is simple, lacking the inspiration and revelations of the Holy Spirit—having no Comforter to lead them into all truth, bring things to their remembrance and show them things to come, they teach for doc trine the opinions of men. Being filled with worldly wisdom but not the power of God. “They divine for money and preach for hire.” Again Christ prayed that his disciples might be one with Him as He was with the Father, and that all should believe the words of the disciples that they might be one with Him, as He was one with the Father. Are Christians claiming belief in those words, one? No, the various denominations are not only divided against each other, but in some instances are divided among themselves. During the late civil war, as was stated yesterday, members of the same church south of the Mason and Dixon line were praying for the destruction of their brethren of the same church north of it, while, on the other hand, those north were making a like petition to the same God against their brethren south of that line. According, however, to their own idea of God, He could hardly have heard and answered either party; for, having no body he could not hear, and having no passions he would have been indifferent, had he been able to hear.

Notwithstanding this, however, many, very many on both sides were destroyed and, as we believe, needlessly. Of one thing we may be certain, and that is the members of the various Christian denominations are not one. Therefore there is but one of two conclusions at which the reasoning and thoughtful can arrive. Either God has ceased to answer the prayer of His Son, or the various conflicting religious sects are not believers in the Gospel. And as they put great stress upon faith or belief, I have endeavored and think I have not failed to show that they are not even true believers, for they are certainly not united and one with Christ as He is one with the Father, nor as His ancient disciples were one with Him.

In mentioning these matters, I have tried to do so in a respectful manner, having regard for the feelings of those who differ from us in religious affairs. There are many people in the world who do not believe as we do, but for whom I entertain a high personal regard; for according to the light they have, they are moral, honest and just, and are as devoted to what they believe to be right as we possibly can be. Thousands and hundreds of thousands of people in the world are just as sincere as we are; but to be sincere in a matter does not make that matter true.

While at the City of Mexico recently, I saw many exhibitions of religious devotion and sincerity. On certain feast days people there do strange things. I have seen women walk upon their knees three miles over rough stony roads, being rewarded at the end of their painful journey with a plaited crown of thorns placed upon their heads, while being carried upon the shoulders of strong men, amid the cheering multitude, who praised them for having accomplished what they believed to be a saintly, meritorious task. Again, I have seen ladies of refinement, wealth and influence trail their rich satin and velvet robes through the dirt and filth accumulated upon the floors of the great cathedral, for hours they would kneel in adoration before an image, while being jostled by ignorant, degraded, vermin-covered Indians, worshipping at the same shrine. On other occasions I have witnessed for weeks together the revelry of Catholic maskers who frequented the streets, theaters and balls, night and day. At some of those masked balls it was said scenes were enacted that were so immoral in their tendency that the general of the Mexican army issued orders prohibiting officers and men of the army from attending them. And yet, at the termination of the thirty days’ dissipation, religious sincerity caused those poor, ignorant people to feel free from sin after confessing to their priests and receiving absolution for all their abominations and securing a great black mark in the form of a cross in their foreheads. Now, while these things, and many others which I have no time to mention, appeared very repugnant, immoral and debasing in their practice and tendency, yet I respected those people in their religious belief, customs and ceremonies as I desire to respect the people of other creeds so long as they do not infringe upon the rights and liberties of others. For God intends that all should be absolutely free in such matters. When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden, the doctrine of free agency was fully established and endorsed by the Creator, for He there gave a conditional commandment, obedience to which was to perpetuate life, disobedience was to bring death, but the choice was left with the man and woman, and from that day to this he has intended that man should act upon his own agency; that he should be permitted to receive the truth, choosing the path that leads back to the presence of God and the knowledge that comes from above; or, on the other hand, to reject it, following in the path which leads to ruin and destruction.

In this great American government a man should be free to worship the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; he should be equally free to worship a mountain, a stream, the sun, moon, or anything or not to worship at all; so long as his practice and belief do not interfere with the inalienable rights guaranteed to man, so long should he be free.

From the time when God gave to man and woman their free agency in the Garden of Eden, making the law and defining the penalty for breaking that law, I can find nothing in the revelations that would bind or fetter the soul or the body of the children of men. There was, however, one unconditional command; it was given in the generation of the heavens, when God created man and woman in His own image; and that command still rests upon the fishes of the sea, upon the fowls of the air, upon the beasts of the field, and all beating throbbing nature naturally obeys the edict, “multiply and replenish the earth.” This great unconditional, unrepealed law is still in force. The Roman Catholic church, as it has done heretofore, may issue edicts binding certain members of that church to celibacy, making the union of man and woman obnoxious, but that great command is nevertheless still binding. The Roman church and our own Government, in their blind efforts to defeat the purposes of God, may continue to forbid marriage, and thus fulfill ancient prophecy, but their efforts should not surprise us. Is there anything occurring in the midst of the Nation today that we have not anticipated? I have recently returned from the east, and I rejoice exceedingly in what I saw manifested there. Does God hold the members of Congress responsible for their acts as he does the Elders of this Church? No. They will be judged by the light they have and no more. They are, many of them, educated, and are men of influence, possessing, however, but little genuine moral courage. Notwithstanding the evident disregard for principle manifested by some of them touching affairs in which we are interested, I confess that I lose confidence in them with the deepest regret, and find it most difficult to withdraw the faith formerly reposed in the lawmakers of our great nation. I still desire and hope to be able to continue praying for them and for the President and cabinet, that they may honor the positions to which the people have called them. We will uphold, sustain and pray for them at least until God rejects and condemns their works. There is salt in the nation yet. I try to comprehend the feelings of faithful Abraham when pleading for Sodom and Gomorrah; which, had they contained five righteous men, might have been spared.

Now, I think there are a great many more than five righteous men—righteous according to the light they have, in the United States; good men too, who, while they cannot see as we see, and while they cannot endorse our peculiar ideas in regard to the plan of human salvation, love liberty, cherish the memory of our forefathers, and regard the foundations of this great government so highly that they could not even under the pressure of public opinion, vote for a measure so radically wrong, a measure so thoroughly unconstitutional as every lawyer must know the Edmunds law to be. There were a few honorable members of Congress whose high regard for the labors and sacrifices of our forefathers precluded them from advocating that infamous measure which strikes with deep intent and a spirit born of hatred, at the very foundation upon which our government and the liberties of the people rest. Those honorable gentlemen, in opposing the bill, counted the cost by realizing that their course in the matter might offend their constituents, who by reason thereof, might retire them forever from the walks of public political life.

Now I must admit that it would have required nerve and genuine moral courage to enable members of the Republican party to vote against the passage of that bill when the party lash was being swung around them as I have never before seen a party lash used. To overcome the fear arising from the contemplated action of constituents at home, and the cut and the sting of the party leaders in Congress, required more courage than we could reasonably expect from members of the dominant party. Moral courage is a virtue possessed by few men in this gilded age in which ambition, rather than principle, too frequently is the moving cause which prompts to action. When, therefore, party leaders, sarcastic and unscrupulous, shake their fists under the noses of their timid followers, daring them to place themselves upon record as advocates of “Mormonism” by opposing measures intended for the bondage of “Mormons,” it is indeed difficult, and we ought not to expect weak men, under such circumstances, to do what is right.

I remember before going East, certain petitions to Congress were being circulated in the midst of the Latter-day Saints, which were afterwards, I understand, signed by about 65,000 people, and what was the prayer of those petitioners—did they ask Congress to endorse polygamy, or in the least manifest sympathy for the marital relations of the Latter-day Saints? No. The burden of the prayer of this community was to give us a trial before condemning us, to hear our cause before convicting and executing us; in other words, that an investigating committee be sent to the people of Utah to see them as they are; to come, if need be, into our homes and pry into every detail of our social relations, and then judge the tree by its fruits. If the children of the Latter-day Saints, as has been asserted, are frail in body and weak in intellect, we asked the statesmen of our land to come and demonstrate it for our benefit and their information, or send a competent and reliable commission to investigate the matter for them. If we are all immoral people—as we have been accused of being—we want the nation to say so through the mouths of honorable men. That is what we prayed for. Our petitions were not heard, I doubt if they were even read, and, yet, have we any feelings of enmity towards our nation because of it? I have not, not in the least. There is not a man, woman or child in all this broad land for whom I have one particle of hatred. Thank God for that. That is what my religion has taught me. And while I know that I am by no means perfect in keeping that higher law which Jesus gave, namely, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, I am trying to become so. That is a law of the Gospel which we must all eventually observe in spirit and practice. I am trying to pray for men who by night and day use their influence and every means in their power to crush out a people whom I love, and who are innocent before God of the vile slanders constantly heaped upon them. When we, as Saints of the Most High, shall have learned to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us—shall have learned it so well, that prayerful humble practice impresses it upon the tablets of our hearts, from which every desire to oppress our fellow man has been eradicated, then, and not till then will the government rule, and dominion be given into the hands of this people.

Zion will be redeemed, God’s kingdom bear sway and His people, under Christ Jesus our Lord, will rule when the law goes forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Much has been said about the domination of the “Mormon” Priesthood. In Europe, in the States of the Union, and even in Mexico it has been stated that “Mormons” are controlled like slaves, being obliged to yield obedience, right or wrong, to the behest of Church leaders. I bear my testimony that the statement is utterly untrue. No part of the Union possesses a freer and more independent people than these mountain valleys. Indeed I hesitate not to say that their equal in fearlessness of wrongful church, political or other influences cannot be found elsewhere. They neither crouch beneath public opinion nor cower before the pulpit and press. The names of prominent businessmen of Eastern cities, with whom for years our merchants have done business, appeared in the public prints as the vice-presidents of anti-”Mormon” meetings; thus making them seem to join in the raid against our people. When asked regarding the matter a number confessed that their names had been used without either their knowledge or consent. But they had not the moral courage necessary to stem the current of public opinion and run the risk of incurring the displeasure of the press by withdrawing their names; and, while disclaiming to me personally, any sympathy with the anti-”Mormon” raids, then so numerous in the East, they dare not publicly so express themselves. Now, while expressing sympathy for those who, under any circumstances, could be placed in such a position, I am bold to assert that nowhere in Utah among Latter-day Saints could such a thing be found. Such domination, ecclesiastical, political or social does not exist in Utah among the “Mormons;” possibly it may exist in the midst of those comprising their enemies, and known here as the “ring.” Whatever may have been said or whatever may hereafter be asserted regarding the domination of the “Mormon” Priesthood, I know no people who regard more highly the individual rights of man or who are more willing to defend them than the people called “Mormons,” who here, as elsewhere, have the moral courage to protect and defend their names while maintaining their individuality. I don’t think they would hesitate to defend the oppressed whether Jew, Gentile or “Mormon,” nor would they sacrifice in their lack of independence, principle or persons at the shrine of public opinion or popular prejudice. The “Mormon” Priesthood dominates the affairs of the “Mormon” people upon the principles of righteousness and equity. Outside of these it has neither power nor authority. I wish this were equally true with the religious, political and social organizations throughout the Union; but it is not, as I have already shown. When principle is sacrificed to prejudice there can be neither safety nor stability. Acting upon such a basis men become great in small things, but small in greater matters.

Did principle or a proper regard for the rights of man prevail in the Senate and House of our National Congress, pending the passage of the Edmunds law? It is true a number of honorable members in each branch recognized and protested against the passage of that unconstitutional and un-American measure, but how few, if any, comprehended the opportunity afforded a great statesmen to stem the current and by the force of patriotism and the power of right, rise above the waves of popular prejudice and, striking out of disguises stand proudly upon the solid foundations of constitutional law while victoriously battling for human freedom and the natural rights of man. Such an opportunity had made Webster, Clay or Sumner even greater than the great men we now esteem them. The thought of such as they were, the devotion to principle, liberty and right exhibited by Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and others in their struggles for human freedom, have made me proud to be an American citizen. But when I see sacred principles, for the establishment of which our fathers devoted property, honor and lives, trampled under foot by our national lawmakers, in order to answer the fanatical demands of religious bigots against a few thousand loyal citizens in Utah, I blush and almost wish I had been foreign born.

Aside from these drawbacks evidencing the degeneracy into which statesmen are falling, I have ever been proud of my citizenship. Of but one thing have I ever been prouder and that is of my allegiance to God and His laws, and a love for His kingdom and people. For these I have patiently, and almost uncomplainingly, endured the scorn and ridicule of many people in various countries. This I could never have endured, being naturally proud and perhaps oversensitive, had it not been for the comforting influence which accompanies a knowledge of truths revealed in our day.

During twenty-five years of experience in the Church, having been more or less in the missionary field since I was fifteen years of age, I have met thousands of people in Europe and America who thought of “Mormonism” and the “Mormons” only with contempt, believing the system to be a fraud they thought of its advocates as wicked deceivers. Under other circumstances I have been thrown into contact with men and women who, while appearing chaste and fair without, were foul and corrupt within, but who nevertheless, would act as though the touch of a “Mormon” Elder was pollution. Hundreds of times I have been forced to notice the reluctance of men, themselves not averse to the destruction of chastity, to publicly appear in the company of Elders, whom I knew, would suffer their right hands to be burned from their bodies rather than look upon a woman with lust, much less seek to destroy virtue, or defile themselves with the unclean.

Whatever the world may think or say to the contrary, the Elders of this Church are the purest men on earth, and there are abundance of facts with which to substantiate the assertion. They are not all, perhaps, what they should be, but take them as a whole—consider their works, their sacrifices, trials and temptations, and in that virtue that comes of chaste thoughts, words and actions, they have no rivals in this world; for, as married men, they are true at home and abroad to their marital vows; as single men they are equally true to God and their covenants. With men of the world these things may be of but little moment, with us they are of vital importance, for upon the basis of sexual purity shall be perpetuated that which is noble, good and lovely.

The love of wealth, a desire for luxury, or an ambition for fame may move the world, and stir men to ceaseless activity; but for us and our children there is more happiness, peace and salvation in the quietness and purity of our simple homes, than can be found anywhere else.

In some of the Eastern States, especially in the larger cities, the evidences of increasing prosperity appear numerous. Trade and commerce, pushed by enterprise and capital, are accumulating wealth in the hands of the far-seeing and shrewd very rapidly, and the luxurious habits manifested in the erection and decoration of magnificent, palatial residences, is only equaled by the rich personal ornaments of their owners. To excel in these things the highest ambition of the worldly is excited to the utmost extent, and intelligent men and women too often sacrifice truth and honor in the mad strife for gain. Wealth, or the love of it, is fast becoming the God of the Christian world. To what extent their idolatrous worship produces happiness I am not aware, but am personally satisfied to cast my lot with the poor, despised people of Utah; who, having less of the things of this world, have more of the imperishable things of God. Possessing the keys of inspiration, we are able to draw upon the only true source of happiness, and our path, if we are faithful, will grow brighter and brighter, until the perfect day. Were we able to convince the rulers of nations of this fact, they would, I have no doubt, willingly forego all earthly hopes of worldly fame and the honors of men, and meekly receive that which has been so freely given to us. If God were to open the eyes of the Queen of England and the President of the United States, as He has opened our eyes, I think they would rejoice as we have rejoiced, with a boundless gladness. But they, like millions of others, having never been born of water, cannot even see, much less enter the kingdom of heaven. Could they do so and receive the manifestations and revelations, the companionship and instructions of the Holy Ghost, they would willingly exchange the honors and emoluments of their offices, for the persecution and slander to which all who live godly in Christ Jesus are subject.

They have their mission and work to perform; we have ours. We would gladly confer upon them and others a knowledge of that which we have received from God, if we could, but we cannot. The wealth of this world can neither purchase such knowledge, nor can the influence of the mighty and great ever become potent enough to secure it for themselves and convey it to others, except upon the simple conditions prescribed by the Master and to which we have yielded a willing obedience.

As this people have been obedient to God, so have they been loyal to the government. I desire to ask those composing this vast congregation, if you are a disloyal people you are frequently accused of being so. Do you not regard the Constitution of our nation with respect and veneration? Have you not taught your children that the Declaration of Independence is the highest bill of rights which man has ever bequeathed to man? Have you not held up to them for emulation the character of the father of his country, the great George Washington? When recently gazing upon his monument in Washington, D.C. which has been so many years in building, I asked myself the question: Is all this mass of polished marble being accumulated and put together with such accurate nicety and at such vast expense because George Washington was willing to float with the current of public opinion, right or wrong, or is it because he had those noble sentiments which beat and throb in generous hearts for freedom? He, while possessing many ideas of the English aristocratic school, was no weather-cock to be turned by the passing breeze. How few men in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, appear to have been close students of history. Had they been such they would have seen in the characters of Washington, Jefferson, and the Adams’s something far different from that possessed by the average statesmen of our day. Close students of history should be able to sense the fact, that in emergencies when the waves of popular feeling run high, great men whose hearts beat for liberty and freedom come to the front but they do not float with the tide, nor are they swerved by prejudice or biased by public opinion.

Public opinion followed Jesus Christ into the garden of Gethsemane when, alone and unwatched by His Apostles, He prayed to the Father for strength to endure suffering which caused drops of blood to ooze from every pore of his agonized body. Public opinion followed him to the bench of the heathen judge who, being above the prejudices of the age, washed his hands of innocent blood and said: “I find no guilt in this man.” But the self-righteous Jew—the hypocritical Scribe and Pharisee—cried out, “Crucify Him!” “Crucify Him!” “His blood be on us and our children.” Public opinion has caused rivers of human blood to flow; sacrificing, it is said, sixty millions of lives during the reign of the inquisition. Who can think of the dark and cruel work of those days and years of religious superstition and bigotry without a shudder of horror?

In the museum at the City of Mexico I have gazed upon the mummied forms of men and women who lost their lives under the pressure of the religious public opinion that fed flames, and instituted racks, in that land.

Public opinion, backed by persecution, drove our fathers across the deep, and planted the Pilgrims upon Plymouth Rock, ready to perish if needs be for God and liberty. Had they been of the class predominating today in our National legislature, a free government on this land would have been unknown to the present generation. But they were noble, self-sacrificing men who, loving liberty better than life, could neither cringe to the dictates of kingly power nor bow to the behest of priestly authority. Hence, that conscience might be free and God worshipped accordingly, they braved the dangers of the sea in search of a land of freedom, a home for the oppressed. And here, upon the choice land of Joseph, still persecuted and hated, the survivors prospered and grew and became strong under the blessings of God, until their noble hearts and generous brains produced thoughts and actions that led to one of the grandest and most successful efforts, in the interest of human freedom, the world has ever known. How strange, how unreasonable it seems that the children of those noble ones, should ever become oppressors. Thus attesting the truthfulness of the saying: “The oppressed of today may become the oppressors of tomorrow.”

Persecution, prompted by religious bigots, and urged forward by public opinion incited to deeds of violence, and sacrificed in a cool, premeditated and bloody manner the Prophet Joseph and the patriarch Hyrum Smith, at Carthage in the free and sovereign State of Illinois. Unappeased with the blood of martyrs, it devastated cities, villages and farms, pillaged homes, killed defenseless women and children, and finally drove us as a people into these mountains. I remember as a child, the pains and sorrows of those days of destitution when the aged and the young together walked weary miles with blistered feet in the hot sands that formed a part of the wilderness which stretched out between the so-called civilization and the place of peace and rest, so much desired by our people. Heat and cold, hunger and thirst, were each and all forgotten in the intense desire to be free from the cruel persecution of our enemies. We asked for neither riches nor fame, but around the camp fires at night the people were inspired with but one prayer during the weary days of that long journey—it was for peace and rest—freedom to worship God without being molested, without being persecuted by cruel, relentless enemies. For the enjoyment of these blessings we were willing to forego the comforts of life, associate with savages, and dig roots with which to keep body and soul together, as many of us had to do.

For a time we enjoyed comparative peace, but bitter prejudice manufactured and fostered by Christian divines and political demagogues, has followed us with malice unparalleled. Securing the support of public opinion it sent, in 1857, all army to Utah to despoil our people, while sedition ripened in the heart of the nation. In 1862 it culminated in a congressional enactment against a religious tenet, notwithstanding the positive and explicit prohibition of the Constitution which forbids Congress to pass any law “respecting the establishment of religion or preventing the free exercise thereof,” it urged and succeeded in passing the Poland law, under the provisions of which “Mormon” citizens were deprived of trial by an impartial jury of their peers, and by the decision of biased judges were not only subject to, but some of them actually were, tried by packed juries. At the demand of the clergy of the various religious denominations throughout the Union the Edmunds bill, substantially as it was drafted by clergymen and carpetbag officials here, became law; and without excuse or apology citizens in Utah are deprived of franchise, a sacred, blood bought right, without which no American can ever feel proud or properly exercise the liberties bequeathed by our fathers to their children.

Now what does it all mean? What can be the object of this unjust, inexcusable, unholy raid? Can it be possible that the dominant party holding the reins of government, desire to make of the people of Utah a race of slaves—fit subjects for fetters and chains? I hope not. But if such is the object would it not be well to transport us to the flats of the Mississippi River, to the swamps of Louisiana, where association with the black freedman might accustom us to the chains of slavery that now lie rusting in the blood of thousands that were brave and true—willing sacrifices at the shrine of human liberty and the equal rights of man.

There, perhaps, restraining bonds might fret and gall until the love for liberty and the rights of free men might be forgotten. Not so in these mountains. They are high and noble and grand. They are the mighty bulwarks of our God. The snows that drift upon their lofty peaks, the waters that leap down their steep sides and rush through their rugged gorges, are full of the harmony that accords with our love for freedom. The very air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the soil we walk upon, inspire the soul with thoughts and a love for liberty undreamed of in lands that produce oppressors. Loyal citizens of a great government, honest, frugal, just, charitable and obedient to constitutional law, we desire to continue while fulfilling our mission of peace on earth and good will to man, but while our surroundings remain unchanged and Nature’s bulwarks stand, with the blessings of God we never can become slaves. Oppressions, frauds and wrongs we may for a time endure. We may as in the past be subjected to annoyances and to the petty tyranny of small tyrants, but we know in whom we trust, and we are not ignorant of what the final result will be. Traitors may arise and seek to trample upon the provisions of the Constitution, but right here in these mountains—on the backbone of the continent—will grow the men who will preserve intact that sacred inspired charter of human rights, under the just provisions of which millions will rejoice long after usurpers and traitors shall have been buried in oblivion. And right here in this connection I desire to repeat what I have said in public once before. In reviewing the tribulations through which the Saints have passed, and while contemplating the wrongs which they have endured at the hands of despoilers, I have felt and said, rather than be robbed as my father on several occasions was, on account of his religion, I would endeavor to have facts plainly submitted to the President of these United States, so that he might fully understand the situation, and then, before I would permit my possessions—the hard earnings of year’s of toil—to go into the hands of those who covet our property, and who would rob us, as our fathers were robbed, I would deed it to, and make a present, if he would accept it, of all the property I have to the President and his successor in office forever, as a perpetual reminder, that here, in free America, whole communities of citizens have been plundered, persecuted and deprived of the peaceful possession of property without cause and without redress.

It is said “there are no persons in Utah who desire the property of the “Mormons” except upon the fair basis of purchase.” I would be glad if this were true, for I wish to think well of all men, and especially of fellow citizens, but I fear recent movements and present indications will scarcely warrant belief in the statement, and if future developments of the plot of conspirators do not demonstrate that polygamy was the chosen pretext with which to excite and blind the public mind, while unscrupulous tricksters sought to transfer the revenues of the Territory and virtually the property of the majority of the people through increased and excessive taxation, to the control of the insignificant minority in this Territory, then I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. The passage of the Edmunds bill and the means used to make it law, are but a part of the plot concocted in this city and endorsed by certain parties east against the rights and liberties of the people of Utah. The peculiar mathematical calculation by which Governor Murray succeeded in counting about 1,300 votes for a person almost unknown here, a greater number than over 18,000 cast for Hon. George Q. Cannon, the people’s choice for Delegate to Congress, was but another part of the program, and one which has, thus far, deprived us of representation in the National Legislature, and rendered nugatory, to the majority in this Territory, the sacred right of franchise. The late President Garfield, in a public State document, declared, in effect, that as a person who plotted against the life of the king in a monarchical government committed treason, so one who tampered with the ballot-box and thereby deprived the citizen of his right of franchise also committed treason. If this be sound doctrine and authoritatively enunciated, what crime has the Governor of Utah Territory committed? If the canvassing of those votes and the issuance of a certificate of election to a man who received only about one-fifteenth of the whole number, foreshadow the future action of our chief executive, what have the people of Utah to expect, by way of justice, from him? Being neither of, nor from among us—depending upon others for the tenure of his office and the amount and payment of his salary, we have, perhaps, no reason to expect sympathy or disinterested service, but we do have a right to expect unbiased justice in the administration of official duties.

No American citizen having the love of liberty and the rights of man at heart, can endorse the course pursued by the Governor in the Cannon-Campbell case. I cannot and never expect to. From childhood I have been taught to respect officials because of the dignity of their offices, and it may be possible to respect the office after having lost confidence in the man occupying it. As people, our regard for the Government ought perhaps to enable us to do this in the future, as in the past. Faithful, loyal citizens can afford to do it, and much more, if necessary.

But says one, “You are thought to be neither faithful nor loyal to the Government, and it is believed by many that you make secret covenants against it.” In answer I have this to say: The brain that concocted and the heart that prompted such accusations were possessed by the wicked and cruel. We have proven our loyalty under circumstances most trying circumstances in which actions were more weighty than words, deeds than promises.

The patient, heroic endurance of the “Mormon” battalion while making their wondrous march of 2,030 miles, the planting of the Stars and Stripes on these mountains and in these valleys, then Mexican soil by their fathers, brothers, sisters and wives are historical facts, and so are the circumstances under which these things were done, historical facts establishing love for, and loyalty to our country that no honest man can ever question. As to making secret covenants against the Government, I never was requested to do it, and would have spurned the request and the person making it if I had been. As applied to this people the charge is false as those who make it. I think, however, I can understand why these false and unjust accusations are made. We have been treated from the beginning like an unloved child, when asking for bread we have been given a stone, for a fig we have been given a serpent. Now, who ever knew a father to be just to an unloved child? Or one unwilling to listen to the accusations of the favored against him? And here may be applied the saying “We can forgive those who injure us, but those we injure, never.” And that is just the position we occupy. We have been injured, repeatedly injured, and those who have injured cannot forgive us. They hate us because they know they have wronged us. If statesmen and lawmakers disregard the Constitution by overriding and trampling on its provisions in their efforts to solve the “Mormon” problem, I hold the act to be no less treasonable than if performed by private citizens. I say treasonable because disregard for the Constitution by the nation’s lawmakers, must ultimately result in their rejection by the people, or in the dissolution of the Government. Thus the charge of lawbreaking and disloyalty might more consistently come from, than against us. Of one thing we are certain: that which is a crime to an individual or a community cannot become a virtue in lawmakers, even though advocated as an expedient. George Washington, in his farewell address to the American people, foreseeing, perhaps, what might occur, uttered the following forcible sentiments: “If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modifica tion of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.” Very different are these sentiments from those uttered not many years since by a prominent republican leader in the House of Representatives, who, when asked if he, as a lawyer, would state to the House that the measure introduced by him, and then under consideration by it, was in its provisions in harmony with the Constitution, answered with a sneer, “Why, any justice of the peace would tell the gentleman it is not constitutional, but it is a measure we want and one we shall pass, and by the time its constitutionality is tested, it will have accomplished the object we have in view.” The same sentiments as those we have referred to were clearly and unhesitatingly uttered by members of Congress pending the final passage of the Edmunds bill. They show the drift of the party, perhaps the spirit of the times, in which the sentiments of Washington are below par. Other members, while not entertaining such views, lacked moral courage to oppose them. Some of them came privately and confessed that the Edmunds bill was an infamous measure; but, said they, What can we do? Public sentiment is against your people, and we dare not defend you; if we do, our constituents will withdraw their support, and we shall be retired.” The force of such reasoning we may not comprehend, but we do feel that we have no desire to have any man sacrifice himself or his prospects for us. We are used to oppressions, and with the help of God we can stand all the special ex post facto laws and bills of attainder which Congress may pass and the President approve, and we don’t expect much sympathy or friendship from the outside either; for we have proven years ago that a man never has fewer friends than when he needs them most, nor more than when he needs them least. Does a knowledge of this fact tend to destroy our confidence in man? No, I think not, but it does tend, by showing how weak and unreliable man is, to increase our trust in God.

In asking for a commission of honorable gentlemen to visit Utah to investigate affairs before passing judgment upon us, we did express as I said before, a hope that we might be fairly tried before being convicted. The signers of these petitions knew, and their enemies here knew that the charges constantly heaped up against this people could be proven utterly false if a chance to do so were afforded. But that is just what certain parties did not want, fearing that a thorough investigation conducted by honorable men would defeat their plot against the people of Utah. I speak of these matters as I understand them. I am not and never have been radical, but have desired always to view things from an impartial standpoint.

Irrespective of creed or color, I think there is room in Utah for all who wish to locate in the Territory, and those who are here and others who may come hereafter, should be protected in the enjoyment of their rights, and should be free to exercise them so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. In these matters Gentile, Jew and Mormon should stand upon the same level. So far as I am concerned I would contend for, and if necessary defend the liberties of the one as soon as I would those of the other. Naturally I am inclined to be timid and am disposed to shrink from troubles rather than to court them believing it to be better to suffer wrong than to do wrong; but there are circumstances under which even the cowardly throw off their timidity, and fearlessly assert their rights. I am not able to say how patient, long-suffering and kind this people may prove under the oppressions which wicked plotters may bring upon them; but of one thing I am certain and that is, God will permit nothing to occur to our hurt. Nor will he, if we are faithful, permit the wicked to do anything that will not ultimately prove beneficial to those who love and obey Him. With the companionship of the Holy Spirit the doctrines of the Priesthood will distil upon our minds as the dews of heaven, and we have nothing to fear. The time may be near at hand when men’s souls will be tried, but those possessing the inspiration of the Almighty, will hear the test as the faithful and true in other ages have done. Unaided by the power of God, we might be placed under circumstances that would cause us to fear and tremble and possibly plead for life at the sacrifice of allegiance to Him. Under the pressure of fear Peter denied his Lord and Master, but that transpired before he was “endowed with power from on high.” From the day of Pentecost, when he received the Comforter, until his death no power on earth or beneath could have induced him to do such a thing. This fact is attested beyond doubt, by what we know of his life and labors subsequent to that awful night, when the powers of earth and hell seemed to prevail even over the Son of God.

Deprived of the sustaining powers of the Holy Spirit, the Latter-day Saints might yield to the fear of artillery, bullets and bayonets, so often recommended by Christian divines as the best means with which to solve the “Mormon” problem; but with that spirit such agencies become impotent. Confidence in God destroys fear, and a knowledge of the resurrection of the just, takes away the sting of death. The inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit have prompted the Presidency and Apostles of this Church to open meetinghouses and Tabernacles for ministers of various religious denominations to preach in while our Elders were being persecuted, hunted and sometimes whipped by members of these same denominations. The contrast between the treatment which we have given and that which we have received is very great. And if we have not under every circumstance “turned the other cheek to be smitten,” we have at least tried to do good for evil. Without purse or scrip our Elders have faithfully sought to preach the Gospel in every Christian land; and while we, here in Utah, have extended courtesy and kindness to ministers of Christian denominations, many of our Elders have wandered like outcasts, sleeping under the hedges and in the woods with leaves as their only covering, like their Master, having no place other than that provided by nature, to lay their heads. Others when provided with places of rest have been called out and flayed with hickory withes. Poison has been administered in the food of some, and others have been killed.

How exactly similar this treatment is to that received by the Saints of old; and yet Christians appear to be utterly unable to learn a lesson from the parallel. To them nothing good can come out of Nazareth, and the kingdom of heaven they cannot see, for they have not been born again. The world loves its own, but it loved not the disciples of Jesus because he called them out of the world. On the same principle the world cannot love us. Let us realize this fact, and while being just to all men, let us live the religion of Jesus Christ, and trust in God. If we are pressed on all sides from without, it will tend to unite and make us all the more solid. Snow is soft and yielding, melting easily under the genial rays of the sun, but press it hard from every side and it congeals into a frozen mass, and in that state is capable of resisting mighty forces.

Pressure from without, as observed before, will tend to unite and make us better and stronger. Better because the spirit manifested towards us by the wicked, will cause us to lay aside the little envies and jealousies that may have existed among us. Stronger, because the hatred of our enemies will teach us to trust more fully in God. And in doing this we shall learn to follow the example of the faithful and true. A special law was passed for the sole purpose of entrapping the three Hebrew boys. It failed. When questioned by the wrathful king they could not say whether God would preserve or suffer them to perish, but they could say that “they would not fall down and worship the image which the king had made.” No fault could be found with Daniel, so those who were jealous of his growing influence and power succeeded in securing the enactment of a special law which they knew he must violate or be false to his God. But Daniel was true to God, and with his face turned toward Jerusalem, prayed as before. How many Daniels or Hebrew boys we have among us I do not know. Lions’ dens and heated caldrons, prisons and dungeon cells, the rack and the rope, have each and all been used to punish those unwilling to forsake God, or disobey His laws. They have their terrors, but the bloodstained pages of history attest that they have been failures when applied as means with which to change men’s religion, violate conscience, or coerce the human mind. As it has been in the past, so it will be in the future; the faithful being inspired with the Holy Ghost, will set their hearts upon the redemption of Zion, and relying upon the promises, will turn their faces towards Jerusalem, pray as before, and follow Jesus Christ in life and death. Let the wicked rage and the adversary exert his power, the righteous will gain the victory, and when thrones are cast down the Saints shall prevail.

Let us maintain the Constitution of our country, and all laws enacted in conformity therewith, realizing that the destruction of the Constitution must lead to the ruin and destruction of the Union. Let us honor the rulers of the nation and uphold them, by faith and prayers as long as it is possible to do so. I desire to regard the President as an honorable man. As the chief executive of a great nation he should have the confidence and respect of the people. Should he select honorable, unbiased gentlemen for the Utah commission, as I have reason to hope he will, they can do much towards modifying the unjust law under which they must act, but whether such are appointed or not, we must continue to pray for our enemies and those that despitefully use us, until by and by we shall learn the lesson so well that when the little stone cut out of the mountains without hands shall roll forth, become a mighty mountain, fill the whole earth, and the Saints of the Most High have the rule and dominion they will never be disposed to oppression.

I pray for the peace and blessings of God to be with all Israel, and with the honest everywhere. Thousands are misguided and deceived by priests who preach for money and divine for hire; ministers who make merchandise of the souls of men. The mother of Harlots has “made all nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,” just as John the Revelator saw she would do, but among those nations are many honest, upright ones. For them I pray. In conclusion let me impress upon your minds the spirit of inspiration given through Joseph the Prophet, while incarcerated in Liberty Jail, while suffering the abuse of his enemies, and while being deprived of his liberty and the association of family and friends for the Gospel’s sake, he says. “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.”

May God enable us to learn these things, and to be true and faithful to Him, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Manifest Blessings of God to the Saints—Proper Education of the Young—Infidelity the Result of Ignorance

Discourse by Elder Moses Thatcher, delivered at the General Conference, Tuesday Afternoon, April 8, 1879.

In trying to address so large an audience, I earnestly desire an interest in the prayers of my brethren and sisters, that the few remarks I may offer may be dictated by the Spirit of God. There are many things that we, as Elders in Israel, should always be pleased to speak of, and particularly in this the case in reference to the kindness of our Father in heaven towards us as a people. We are permitted to dwell in peace, surrounded with the blessings of life and liberty, having pleasant homes wherein to dwell, and God to be our Father and Friend. When I look around upon the homes of the Latter-day Saints and see how the elements have been changed and made so propitious, enabling us to produce food and clothing, the necessities and many of the luxuries of life, my heart is exceedingly grateful, for I must confess there is no land with which I am familiar where the blessings of God are so abundantly bestowed as in our own. It appears to me that every bud is not only willing, but does blossom, and where seed by man is sown broadcast in the ground it comes forth, bearing twenty, thirty, or fifty fold. This, my brethren and sisters, is not the result of the work of man; but it is the blessings of our Heavenly Father. And how any human being can look upon the mountains by which we are surrounded, and gaze upon the beautiful fields and smiling nature seen on every hand, and not be able to acknowledge God in all these things is beyond my comprehension. In speaking to the young people particularly I have had sometimes pleasure in referring to the works of man, comparing them with the works of God. And while I believe it proper for us to look with pleasure upon the accomplishments of art and science, and upon the skilled workmanship of man, yet I would have our young people always realize that God is the originator; I would have them understand, as the arts and sciences are being developed and new discoveries are being brought out by what we call the genius of man, that God understood all these things before they were made known to us. And while having them admire and wonder at the grand achievement of man in chaining the lightning, thus making it to serve his purposes; and while it was the work of man that molded and fashioned the metal into the wire over which intelligence is transmitted by the power of electricity, I would help to lead their minds beyond, so that they may comprehend that the material of which that wire is composed was the creation and work of God, and that the electricity itself is at the bidding and mandate of the great Jehovah.

I believe, my brethren and sisters, if we take proper pains in the education of the young, employing the right kind of men and women to be their preceptors, that instead of the seeds of infidelity being sown in their minds, we will have faith, and in that faith we will have the manifestations of power.

In talking with the learned of the world we find that they have but a faint conception of God and Godliness. Were you to tell them that they hate God, or that the carnal mind is at enmity against God, they would not understand you. And yet, when we come to the actual facts, we find that the learned and many professors of Christianity really do hate God. I do not mean to say they hate the God they themselves picture in their own minds; but that they hate and fight against him whose attributes and character are portrayed within the lids of the Bible. The Supreme Ruler of the universe, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, is not only the tender and loving Being that the pious Christian of the 19th century pictures him to be—he is not only willing to love and cherish and save the human family, but he is also a Being of justice and judgment, having always power enough to inflict punishment upon the breakers of his laws. Yet modern divines think with horror of a God who would inflict punishment, on the plea that such would be revengeful; and yet, neither they nor any of our professed Christian friends would for a moment find fault with the judge of an inferior earthly court for passing judgment on a criminal, though it might lead even to the loss of the life of a fellow creature.

Having but a very short time to occupy this afternoon my remarks must necessarily be brief. But before closing I feel to bear my testimony that here in Utah is a people who are trying to serve the Lord. And I testify too, that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of the living God, chosen of Him to open up the last dispensation to man—the dispensation of the fulness of times; and that his successor, Brigham Young, was an apostle of the Lord Jesus, and a prophet, seer and revelator. And I feel to bear my testimony that this same power and revelation rests upon his servant, Brother John Taylor. If we would live for the light of God’s Holy Spirit we might see not as with eyes through a glass darkly, but with eyes that see clearly having also ears capable of hearing, and hearts full to understand.

It is our duty, as young men, as middle aged men and as aged men to bestow great care and attention on the education of the young. It is not particularly the duty of the father, as I understand it, to place in the hands of his son the writings of Payne and other infidel authors unless they follow up the reading of such works with good sound argument, and then place the Bible and the Book of Mormon in their hands to be read and studied, and, when necessary, correctly explained showing wherein the Lord has wrought out the literal fulfillment of many of the predictions therein recorded. If they would do this with prayerful hearts and with the wisdom God may give them, there will be little or nothing to fear from the readings of infidel works. I take the broad ground that in infidelity is ignorance. You meet the infidel and you will find him as a general thing, ignorant in regard to that which is laid down in the Bible, which he claims to disbelieve. It has been so from the beginning. It is a truth that has been uttered on many occasions by the servants of God, that it is easier and more natural for mankind to believe a hundred falsehoods than to accept a single truth. It must be apparent to all, that it is more in harmony with our fallen nature to do wrong than to do right. Let six boys be taken, for instance, and be carefully taught in the principles of morality, virtue and truth; and another six in the follies and wickedness of the world and see which of the two sets will make the most rapid progress, those in the right, or those in the wrong? All will readily agree with me that immorality is more easily acquired than the virtues, and hence we may conclude that we are in a fallen world, and that we have the battle against sin to fight.

May the blessings of God rest down upon the Latter-day Saints. And by way of conclusion I will say, if we want to dream dreams or see visions, it is our privilege to do so, but we must first purify our hearts and seek to love the Lord our God with all our might, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves; and to do unto others as we would have others do unto us. And permit me to say that in all my experience in life I have found as yet but one thing that can afford true happiness and true enjoyment, and that is a conscious ness of keeping the commandments of God. And if we, Latter-day Saints, will live near unto him, he will be near unto us. And instead of having to call in physicians to minister to the members of our families when sickness makes its appearance, the power of God will be upon us in such rich abundance as to enable us to rebuke it from our dwellings, and to invoke the blessings of health to attend us and ours, which was the case years ago in the primeval days of the Church. If we have lost any of these blessings it is not through any fault in the Lord, or that there is less power and efficacy in the priesthood we bear, but rather in our own lack of faith in the promises made to the faithful. Amen.