The Advantages of the Latter-Day Saints, Compared With the Disadvantages Under Which Noah Labored, Etc.

A Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, April 6, 1856.

I feel very grateful to my heavenly Father and to His servants, that I have the privilege of rising this afternoon for the purpose of speaking a short time to the assembly that is before me. Whether I may be able to make those in the outskirts of this vast congregation hear my views, so as to distinguish and understand what I may say, will be better known after I get through.

When I seldom speak before a public congregation, I find that my voice in some small degree fails me, but as I begin to exercise my lungs, and preach some 5, 6, or 8 times a week, I find my voice sufficiently strong, to make a very large congregation hear. It is certainly a source of great joy to me, to see such a vast assemblage of people called Latter-day Saints. There are, perhaps, as many assembled on this occasion, as ever have been assembled, at any one time, since the organization of this Church. Look back upon the history of the past, since the rise of the Church of Christ, and contemplate the various scenarios through which we have been called to pass; it is rejoicing to the mind of the humble servant of God, to think that the Lord has sustained us by His merciful hand, by His outstretched arm and by His kind providence, and has bestowed upon us so great and choice blessings.

How very different we must feel from many who held the Priesthood in ancient times; for instance, in the days of Noah; how very different we must feel compared with what that Patriarch felt. When he looked upon the small assembly of believers converted through his instrumentality and that of his sons, his soul must have been sorrowful, because of the world. (Elder Pratt here blessed the sacramental bread.) How very different, as I was observing, those holding the Priesthood under the present dispensation, must feel compared with those who held the Priesthood in ancient times. If Noah had not been nerved up by the Spirit of the living God, and armed with power from on high, he must have been discouraged under the difficulties that surrounded him. Called upon to publish repentance to the generation in which he lived, in connection with his sons; called upon to proclaim the downfall and destruction of all the nations of the earth, if they would not listen to his heavenly message; called upon to put works with his faith, and prepare an ark of safety for the salvation of those who would listen to his voice, he labored and toiled for a long period; and beholding the hearts of the generation to whom he preached, perfectly sealed up against the truth of heaven, he no doubt sorrowed over their wickedness and abominations; and unless he had been sustained by an Almighty power, he must have been overcome by the discouragements and difficulties which he had to encounter; but the great God, who accomplishes His purposes by few or by many as seemeth Him good, sus tained him, strengthened him, gave unto him power from on high, and inspired him to perform the work assigned to him, and to save himself with his own household.

How very different is the case with us at the present period. Although in one respect, we have reason to mourn and lament, when we see hundreds of millions of the inhabitants of the earth, rushing down into the vortex of ruin in their wickedness. When we behold this, it is calculated to give sorrow to the heart. In another respect, it is the same as it was in the days of Noah; but a few, comparatively speaking, among the hundreds of millions who now dwell upon the earth, have their hearts open to hear and receive the truths of heaven.

“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the coming of the Son of man.” There are but a few who heed the warning voice of the Latter-day Saints, but yet, that few are calculated to uphold and sustain each other in the midst of the wickedness with which they are surrounded. The more there are united with one heart and one mind, the more can be accomplished in the name of the Lord. There are some things that cannot be performed, although we had the power of working great and mighty miracles; indeed, the great God Himself who has power to control the heavens over our heads, and the earth upon which we stand has not the power to do that which would be naturally impossible, or in opposition to the great, necessary, and fundamental truths of nature, which are eternally unalterable, and cannot be otherwise than they are; for instance, He has not power to be personally present among all the nations of the earth at the same instant of time; consequently, He needs agents to assist Him in carrying out His purposes and His works, where He cannot be present Himself personally. So it is in regard to those who have faith in God; though they may be able to say to yonder mountain, be thou cast down and become a level plain, and it should obey them; though they might have power to say to the Salt Lake be thou dried up and it should obey them; one thing they could not have power to accomplish, and that is, for each to be on a mission at the same instant of time in Europe, Asia, Australia, in the Pacific Islands, and among the various tribes of Lamanites that are scattered over this vast continent.

These are the things that each one alone could not do; hence the more there are engaged of the Saints of the living God, having the same faith, bound together by the same great principles of righteousness, being of one heart and of one mind, the greater will be the works which can be accomplished in the earth; because such a people can spread forth on the right hand and on the left, and can proclaim to millions and millions of people, the glorious tidings of salvation at the same instant of time; while one man alone, though he have power to work mighty miracles, could only proclaim them to a few. In this respect, then, we are blest and we rejoice. Again, we rejoice, in another respect; the Lord our God has clothed His servants with power to bring the honest in heart together from the various nations and kingdoms of the earth, so that their strength might be collected in one, in order that their union and power might be greater, for the accomplishment of that which could not be accomplished in a scattered condition. In this respect, then, we are favored, as well as being favored with the privilege of spreading out our missionaries to the four quarters of the globe.

But it may be asked, “What can be accomplished by a concentration of Saints, in one Territory, that could not be accomplished by them while scattered here and there?” I will answer you. If we were scattered forth, only among the people of the United States, instead of over the nations and kingdoms of the earth, we could not organize ourselves, so as to be governed by our own laws; but by a concentration of the Saints from the distant nations of the earth into one Territory their numbers give them power which they never could gain in a scattered condition. By their numbers, they can appeal with faith and confidence, and with a degree of assurance to the parent government of the United States, and say, “Give us a free and independent State.” Without sufficient numbers, it would be useless to ask for admission. Hence, in the concentration of numbers, we are blest, as well as having power to preach to millions in all parts of the earth at the same time.

In what respect would it be a favor and a privilege for the inhabitants of this Territory, composed mostly of Latter-day Saints, to be organized into a free and independent State of this great republic? Among the many privileges resulting from a State government, I will mention one, namely, we should then have the privilege, according to the great principles contained in the Constitution of our country, of electing our own officers. The people would have the privilege of selecting those whom they desired, instead of being ruled over by those whom they desired not. Would not this be a favor? It certainly would.

We should have the Constitutional privileges, as a free, sovereign, and independent State, which are enjoyed by all other States of this Union: in other words, we should more fully be made partakers of the blessings which our Lord promised to us, more than twenty-five years ago, which I will repeat from the Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 62, paragraph 2—

“It shall come to pass that they (my servants) shall go forth into the regions round about, and preach repentance unto the people. And many shall be converted, insomuch that ye shall obtain power to organize yourselves according to the laws of man; That your enemies may not have power over you; that you may be preserved in all things; that you may be enabled to keep my laws; that every bond may be broken wherewith the enemy seeketh to destroy my people.” In other words, that you may not be tyrannized over by unrighteous governors, judges, and officers, that you have no voice in electing or appointing who may, according to their own will, trample upon your rights as American citizens.

The prophecy which I have quoted has been fulfilled in part, indeed it has been fulfilled to a very great extent. True, we are not a free and independent State; but we are organized according to the laws of man; we have the privilege of making laws, not for one little village, or to govern one little city, or only a few miles square, but we have already the privilege of making laws, the influence of which extend over many villages, cities, valleys, settlements, and counties.

All this has come to pass in fulfillment of the prediction, uttered more than a quarter of a century ago, when the Church was not a year old, and very few in numbers. Have we not reason to rejoice in the high and inestimable blessing, already received in fulfillment of the word of the Lord, especially when compared with the few privileges enjoyed by all the other nations of the earth?

Where can you find a people or nation, that scarcely begin to have the liberty and privileges which the Latter-day Saints enjoy here in these mountains? They cannot be found. What wretchedness, tyranny, oppression, and every other evil that can be named, are already falling upon the nations of the earth! Pestilence, plague, the want of confidence in officers, rulers, governors, kings, and emperors, is everywhere manifest; and, in fact, there is, at the present time, scarcely any confidence between man and man; businessmen have lost confidence in their neighbors with whom they transact business; and why? Because of fraud and bankruptcy. In a moment, when all is supposed to be favorable, when it is believed that debtors are handling their millions, a sudden rumor breaks upon the unhappy creditor, like the roaring thunder of heaven, proclaiming that their debtors have become bankrupt. Confidence is gone, it has taken the wings of the morning and flown away from the nations, and found a resting place within these peaceful vales.

Will confidence again be restored, while the wicked rule? No; it will grow weaker and weaker. Officers will not have confidence in one another; the people will not have confidence in their rulers; and rulers will not have confidence in the people. Why? Because rulers have oppressed the people; they have trampled upon their rights; they have governed with partiality and injustice; consequently, they know that the people, if they had the power, would revolutionize their governments and overthrow their power; therefore, they have no confidence in the people, and the people have no confidence in them, neither in one another.

Merchants and the great men of the earth have but little confidence in each other; hence, their business transactions are continually being broken up. Many become bankrupt with millions in their pockets, which is calculated to destroy confidence.

What is to be done? I will tell you what will be done. The day is near, even at our doors, when the wise and thoughtful among the great men, rich men, and heavy capitalists, will look to these mountains and to the inhabitants of these peaceful vales for safety, not only for themselves, but for their abundance of riches. They will come, bringing their riches with them, to secure their own safety, for there will be no safety but among the people of God; and they will say, “Behold they are united, they are strong, they are at peace, they can be depended upon, they are not bankrupts, they will not cheat their creditors while they have millions in their pockets. We will go up there, and we will deposit our riches in their midst for security, and there also we will dwell, for there is no safety abroad for us.”

Latter-day Saints, do you think, when you hear me relating these things, that I am in earnest and mean what I say, as a reality; or do you think that it is merely a wild fancy that passes through the imagination, like a dream of the night?

Do you suppose that these things are mere chimeras of the brain, or like castles in the air that vanish away with the bidding? No; you know them to be facts, predicted years ago.

I am declaring to you realities, as they do and will exist, and as they will come to pass, as sure as the Lord God lives, and rules, and reigns in the heavens. Where can the people look for confidence and safety, if not in the kingdom of God which is built up in the last days, and which, according to the Prophets, shall never be thrown down, and never perish?

Do you suppose that the nations of the earth are always to be in ignorance in regard to the greatness, dignity, power, and majesty of the kingdom of our God? No, brethren, no; God has decreed that He will exert the very powers of heaven in this last dispensation, to give His Saints power, dominion, and rule in the earth.

If all our ancient fathers who died in faith, holding the power of the Priesthood and the blessings of the celestial kingdom, are to be engaged, as the powers of heaven, to bring about and accomplish the purposes of the Lord in the last days, in the establishment of this kingdom, we may be sure that their united faith, together with the faith of the Saints here upon the earth, will bring to pass and accomplish that which could not be brought to pass in any former dispensation; for faith is a powerful principle—it comes by hearing, it increases by union, and it is made stronger by numbers.

Where there are two or three who go to lay hands upon the sick, they, if faithful, generally have more confidence before God than if they were to administer singly; they prevail more before the Lord; and hence, the commandment is, that two or three lay hands upon the sick and pray over them, that they may be healed. We are instructed to send for two or three Elders, because it is supposed that two or three will accomplish more than one can by officiating singly.

Again, we are told that where two or three are assembled to worship the Lord in the right and proper way, they have claim to greater blessings than the man that bows down to worship by himself; and why is this? It is because, if united and pure in heart, their faith is greater. What mighty faith and greatness of power will be in exercise when all the ancient fathers, Enoch and all the inhabitants of his City, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph who was sold into Egypt, Moses, and all the ancient and modern men of God upon both the eastern and western hemispheres, are met together with one aim and with one object in view, to bring about and accomplish the great purposes of the latter days? Something will have to move when so great an amount of faith is united before God. No wonder, then, that the Lord has said that He has put forth His hand to exert the powers of heaven to roll forth this kingdom in the latter day! No wonder, then, that the Lord, through His servants, has predicted that the glory of Zion should become greater and greater, until the nations of the earth should fear and tremble because of her. No wonder, then, that there should be power enough centered among the Latter-day Saints to excite the distant nations of the earth, and cause many of them to come from afar to worship in His house upon the tops of the mountains!

The faith of the ancients was exercised to bring about this event—the ushering in of the latter-day work. They not only exercised faith to accomplish and bring about the purposes that pertained to their own day; they not only exercised faith to preach glad tidings of salvation to the generation in which they lived, but their faith reached down to the latter day, as the day of rest. Through a long period of darkness of many generations which were to intervene between their day and the latter time, they saw that day of redemption when they should reign most gloriously on mount Zion with immortal bodies.

They felt interested, then, in the sceneries that were to come to pass in the latter days; they felt interested in the glories that were to open upon the world, when their children should be made partakers of all that their fathers desired to accomplish and bring to pass in their own day, that which they sought for and found not, because of wickedness.

If we had to depend upon our own faith alone, to bring about this latter-day work, it would be rather discouraging. The powers of darkness are so strong that our weak human natures might be overcome were it not for other powers that have great influence to aid and assist us. There are evil influences that are ever ready to throw iniquity in our path, and unless we were assisted by beings more powerful than we are, we should most certainly fail to accomplish the work assigned to us.

Consider all these things, Latter-day Saints, and be filled with joy and give thanks to that Being who has thus gathered and established you here in these peaceful Valleys. You say, “It is a rugged country, that it is difficult here to procure a livelihood;” but let me say, that many of you have not been here long enough to try it.

Let me say to this congregation, that there are resources yet undeveloped in this Territory—resources that are able to make you the richest of all people upon the face of the earth, if you only unite yourselves with one heart and one hand to carry out the purposes and plans that are devised by the Presidency of this Church. Let them plan, let them devise and lay out before this people the great work that has to be performed in this Territory. I do not mean that they shall tell you where you shall go out and plant a hill of potatoes, or when you shall pick up a basket of chips, but I am speaking of your greater duties—the important purposes and measures devised and planned by the Presidency of this Church for the general good of this people.

If you will be strict to carry out those plans and measures, and constantly hearken to all counsel from the proper source, you will become the richest of all people upon this earth. Why? Is it because this country is so much better than any other? No; but because the people are better calculated to develop the riches of the country than any other people upon the earth; and even if the resources were not half so great, the people here, if they abide counsel, can unitedly turn everything to the best advantage, and thus far surpass other countries of much greater facilities in other respects. [Blessed the sacramental cup.]

Who are there under the sound of my voice that doubt the divine authenticity of the great work in which they have enlisted? Who are there that doubt the divine authenticity of the Priesthood organized in this Church and kingdom? Are there any that doubt the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon? You that have searched into the history of this Church; you that have read the sacred, pure, and heavenly principles contained in the Book of Mormon, and in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; you that have heard the sacred principles proclaimed from Sabbath to Sabbath by the mouths of the servants of God, holding the authority of heaven, the living Priesthood in your midst—you that have seen the power of the Almighty working with an invisible hand among the nations of the earth, but very visible to you in bringing about His purposes, establishing you as a free people, organizing you according to the laws of the land, breaking off your yokes and enabling you to worship God according to the great revelations and commandments that He has given; you, that have been so highly blessed, ought never to doubt.

What Latter-day Saint with all these things before him can be justified in doubting the divine authenticity of this work? No one can. I will tell you what makes people doubt; it is when they fall into wickedness; when the devil begins to enshroud their minds with a veil of darkness; when the devil presents to their eyes the great microscope that he has had in existence ever since the fall of man; when he magnifies the faults of their neighbors, and enlarges the weaknesses and imperfections of those holding the Priesthood, then they exclaim, “Oh; this cannot be the latter-day work, it is not the work of the Lord, the Priesthood must be in transgression, they are all wrong”—(President B. Young: that is the devil’s looking glass.)

Such is the devil’s looking glass or microscope that is calculated to magnify everybody’s faults but the individual’s looking in it: and when he wishes him to see his own, he turns the glass the other way, so that his own faults can scarcely be seen. You know that when you look through the big end of a telescope, or when you look into a convex mirror you see objects diminished, and it is just so, when the devil presents your own faults and your own imperfections. It is then, Latter-day Saints, that you doubt; it is then that you feel miserable, and it is then that you are almost ready to apostatize and deny the faith.

But when you can get the Lord’s microscope and look into your own conduct instead of the conduct of others, and see your own imperfections and your own faults and can have a realizing sense of your own follies, of your own unworthiness before God, and begin to humble yourselves and repent and turn away from sin, then your doubts are gone; they have fled; they trouble you no more; you have an abiding witness in your own hearts, a greater witness than prophecy and its fulfillment, greater than the printed word, greater than the testimony of the servants of God. You have the testimony that assures you every moment that this is the work of God; you feel it; think it in every thought; your whole souls are swallowed up in the work in which you are engaged; you feel that there is nothing that you own or possess, nothing upon the face of the whole earth to be compared with the greatness of the value of the principles which dwell within your own bosoms.

I am speaking to men and women who know by their own experience that these things are true; every one of you can bear testimony of them, who have ever tasted the good Spirit of the Lord, and that have felt its influences upon your hearts.

You very well know, that when you enjoy this good Spirit, you have no trouble, let what will take place, it is no trouble to you, so far as you are concerned. You feel resigned; you are in the hands of that Being who placed you here upon the earth; you feel strong in the midst of weakness; you feel that God is your help, and that He will succor you; you know that He lives and that He loves and cherishes you, and that He has a good feeling towards you, like that which dwells in the bosom of a tender parent towards his own child; you know that the Almighty God has this tender feeling towards you, when you do right; and therefore, you have no trouble.

If you go hungry, you are not troubled; if called to sacrifice your own lives, you will not be troubled, but you would say, “Father, I have done thy will; if my work is finished let me come into thy presence; let me behold thy face in peace; let me dwell in the society of the sanctified; let me go where my works shall be continued, where I can accomplish more good, and do more for thy cause.”

These are the feelings of a righteous man and of a righteous woman.

Perhaps this will be the last opportunity that I shall have as an individual of meeting in a general conference with you for—I was going to say, for a long period of time, but I will say, for the short period of two or three years. I know not how long it may be, before I shall have the privilege of meeting again with the Saints in these Valleys of the mountains, whether I ever shall, I do not know of a certainty, but I feel that I shall again behold the faces of the Saints in Utah; I feel that I shall again lift up my voice upon the mountains and in these Valleys and bear testimony of the great and important truths which we have received; I feel that I shall again meet with you to rejoice in the flesh, in this mortal tabernacle. (President: Prophesy!) I could almost prophesy that I shall, but when it comes to prophesying about myself, I feel a little delicate in doing so; but if the Lord will, I wish to live upon the earth to do much good.

I have been in the Church almost twenty-six years, lacking about four months, and I have endeavored to do some little good; but really when I look back upon the twenty-six years of my life, or nearly that, which I have spent in this Church, when I look back upon my feeble labors, and my feeble endeavors, they seem to have been very small.

And although I have traveled much, and preached much, and written much, and tried to do some little good, yet after all, when I compare that which I have done, with that which it seems to me I ought to have done, in days gone by, I feel very weak, and am anxious that I may not be taken from the earth, until I have done more.

I feel willing to perform any mission, whenever the First Presidency of this Church require it of me. If they say go to China, East Indies, Australia, Europe, England, or wherever it may be upon the face of the whole earth, I hold myself in readiness.

These have been my feelings from the commencement; I do not know that I have ever backed out from any mission that was given to me; but have always rejoiced in every mission up to this time.

I believe that two years ago this day a mission was appointed me while I was yet in Washington to return here, and then go back to Cincinnati to assist brother Spencer and others in establishing a stake of Zion in that country; and I came home with that expectation, to return again the following spring; I had no other idea, when I came home, nor until the word came from the Presidency, saying, brother Pratt you need not go to Cincinnati.

That released me from that mission, but I felt just as willing to go upon that as I do to go on the one that is now before me; I rejoice in all those missions, and I wish I could do more good when I go upon a mission.

I am sometimes troubled lest I may not be able to retain a sufficiency of the Spirit of the Lord and the power of the Priesthood, to accomplish the work required of me acceptably before God. I believe that I am troubled about that more than anything else, and especially when there is a mission which places a great weight of responsibility upon me, where it is expected that my brethren will require a great deal at my hands. But inasmuch as you have lifted your hands to sustain me, in connection with my brethren that have been appointed to various nations, I feel to say before you, brethren and sisters, with uplifted hands, God being my helper, that I will endeavor with humility and untiring obedience to the commandments of God, to do some little good; I will try to carry out the counsels and instructions of the First Presidency of this Church, as they shall give them from time to time.

And inasmuch as I feel to bear this humble testimony, not in my own strength, not in my own name, but in the name of the Lord, I feel also to crave your assistance and your prayers and supplications that the Spirit of the Lord may be poured out upon brother Benson, and upon the other brethren who are appointed as missionaries, and upon your humble servant, that we may perform a good work—a work that shall be acceptable to you, to the Presidency of this Church, and to God, and return heavily laden with sheaves, which is my earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Salvation of the Soul of the Greatest Importance—Benefit of the Useful Sciences, Etc.

A Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, February 10, 1856.

Being requested to speak to the people this morning, I cheerfully rise for that purpose, ever esteeming it a great privilege to address the Saints upon the important principles connected with our salvation.

I esteem the privilege of proclaiming salvation above any privilege that may be named. The subject of salvation is one of far greater importance than any other subject which can or does interest the human family; although, apparently, we might suppose that the accumulation of the comforts of this life was the one that most interests mankind, judging from the actions of men.

Why this is so I cannot tell, unless they think that they can thus lengthen out their lives, and by this means have the advantage of their neighbors.

It is very seldom that we ever hear of the people of this land perishing for want of the comforts of this life, and I doubt very much whether they would if they were not so much interested as they appear to be in respect to riches.

Not that I would discard the command given soon after the fall—for man to till the earth and earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; not that I discard the idea of being industrious, of laboring to procure food and raiment, of beautifying our habitations and inheritances, but these are only temporary considerations, items of a secondary moment.

To secure to ourselves eternal life and future salvation is a subject of so much more importance than all other subjects combined, that it certainly ought to be foremost in our minds and conversation.

If our hearts were supremely placed upon this subject we should converse most about those things that pertain to salvation, instead of being all the time fearful that we were going to perish so far as this mortal life is concerned.

Instead of being afraid that we were going to suffer a little inconvenience, we ought to consider the life of the body in the light that our Savior speaks of it in one of the new revelations, “Care not for the body, nor for the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul,” or in other words, care most for the future salvation and everlasting life that are in store for mankind.

Suppose we should be brought to such extremities that we should all perish with starvation, what of that? If we have done our work may we not as well perish in that way as in any other? Is there any great difference in the kind of death that we die? Does it matter much whether we perish for want of food, or whether we are martyred, or whether the great change which we must all undergo comes in a more common way?

In my opinion, it does not make much difference which way that change comes, but we ought to be in such a frame of mind that we can rejoice in all circumstances.

If we all knew that we must perish under our present scarcity of food, what of that? Ought we not to rejoice in the privilege of exchanging this present life for one which we hope to be more happy, for one where we shall receive greater blessings, greater privileges, where we shall have more solid enjoyment, and where our intellectual faculties will be far more expanded?

Instead of exercising so great an anxiety as to where we shall get a little flour, a little cornmeal, a few potatoes, or a little beef with which to nourish these bodies, our enquiries should be, are our hearts right before the Lord our God, are we keeping His commandments, are we living up to our privileges, do we esteem all the words of the Lord as we ought, or are we a little careless and indifferent?

Every person ought to have those ideas foremost in their minds, for the Lord has told us that it is His business to provide for His Saints. At the same time it is necessary that we should be diligent, and endeavor to do our best to do His will in all things, and to find out what His will is concerning us, that we may be able to do it.

I have from my observations last fall and this winter, and from observations previously made, been firmly convinced that we have all been a little unfaithful as a people. This is my opinion according to the light and knowledge I have upon the subject, and it has been more fully impressed upon my mind since last Conference than during any other period of our sojourn here, for I have traveled in most of the settlements to hold Conferences; in connection with my brethren of the home missions, and from the little observation I have made, I am convinced that we have not all fully lived up to our privileges as Saints of the Most High God.

For instance, at a place north of this City, and containing almost inhabitants enough to fill this house, a Conference was lately appointed. Several went from here, according to the missions given us, and when we got there, instead of finding a place suitable for the people to assemble in, we found a very small log building which, perhaps, by crowding, might contain a hundred persons; and it was also quite dilapidated, having scarcely a whole pane of glass in any of its windows.

We stopped near this log building and waited until half an hour after the time, as we did not see many passing to the meeting, and then we went in and found about twenty persons sitting in the cold room, which had scarcely one window but what was more or less destitute of glass.

After a while we opened our meeting, and those few individuals sat shivering while we addressed them. The remaining portion of the citizens were busily engaged with the care of their cattle, and in other occupations, and with them the Conference was only a secondary consideration.

The few who attended our first meeting went and persuaded a few of their neighbors to come, and after holding a few meetings we succeeded in getting this very small house pretty well filled; whereas, if the people had come out as they ought, the place would not have held a quarter of them. Ogden City is the place I have alluded to.

We found that instead of the people’s assembling at the proper time they came about an hour after, and instead of keeping sacred the Lord’s day they worked at almost every kind of labor.

I have also observed in other places that the Lord’s day is scarcely regarded at all. Perhaps the people would attend meeting at times, but often after it is over, “hurrah for the horses, mules, and carriages,” and directly six or eight young men and women are in each carriage riding out for pleasure. This does look as though they did not rightly value the Lord’s day, it looks as though they did not care whether they went strolling over fields and prairies, or how they spent their time.

I mention those things in order to show the recklessness and carelessness manifested by some of the young people who are growing up in these valleys of the mountains.

I will mention another practice that in my opinion is often carried to excess, though of no harm in itself; it is a pleasant exercise, but may be so indulged in as to bring condemnation. I have reference to dancing and dancing schools; I do think that these things, and occasionally our parties, are carried to excess.

I will include myself in these matters, and consider that my remarks also apply to myself. Some may ask why I deem these matters carried to excess; because often the minds of the young are not only thus unduly placed upon the follies and vanities of this life, but these things have a tendency to draw their minds away from the things of a hundred times more importance.

Suppose that a person should go to a dancing school for two or three years, and become the most expert dancer in the world, become so proficient that the toes and feet would at every step be placed in the proper position, the hands be held gracefully, and every motion, gesture, and figure be properly made, in short, become as perfect as anyone that ever exhibited on “the fantastic toe,” what of all that? How much is the mind improved by the operation?

“But” says one, “does it not have a tendency to make one nimble and graceful in appearance?” Yes, and so equally do other exercises that would be more useful, for they tend to make persons hardy and athletic.

Think of the time consumed in learning how to take every step properly, when it might be used to a hundred times more profit, for after all, “It is the mind that makes the man!”

These bodies are secondary when compared to the mind, for the body is only the shell, or the outward case. If our minds are neglected, I do not care how graceful the body may be, the usefulness is not there.

What particular advantage would it be to this generation, if you should spend twenty years in learning all the technicalities of gracefulness? It might be of some use, but of very little in comparison to a well informed and instructed mind. I do think that our minds are too much taken up by these things, but I would not have you to understand by my remarks that we should entirely deprive ourselves of these pleasures.

It is well enough to occasionally exercise ourselves in the dance, for it was not prohibited in ancient days, and it is predicted that the old and young should enjoy themselves in the dance in modern times; but I am not aware that this has reference to using all our time in dancing.

There is one thing I would like to encourage instead of that carelessness which is now manifested by many, and that is to store our minds with the arts and sciences; not with foolish conjectures, not with vain philosophy, not with something that will fly away with the beams of the sun, but with useful facts, those which have been sought out by men influenced by the inspiration of the Almighty and recorded in books.

Suppose that you and I were deprived of all books, and that we had no faith to get revelation, and no disposition to understand that which has been sought out, understood, and recorded in books, what would be our condition? Suppose that we had not sufficient faith and application to acquire information concerning mathematics, astronomy, geography, mechanism and their kindred branches, or a knowledge of the elements and materials of our globe with their various combinations for useful purposes and their application to machinery, and also of the laws by which machinery acts, and the laws governing motions; then suppose that the present knowledge was all shut out, it would, under these conditions and independent of the aid of the Almighty, require an indefinite period in which to make any great progress in the knowledge that is even now extant.

I am speaking upon the principle naturally, upon that which is revealed without the Holy Ghost to inspire us. Now suppose that we have books to enlighten us upon useful knowledge, how much more easy it is for us to get knowledge that has been systematized so that we can obtain in a few minutes, that which would otherwise take us years to acquire.

This is the benefit to be derived from the use of books; hence when we say that books are useful we have reference to books that contain useful sciences and knowledge; those facts that are demonstrated by experiment, and not to books filled with the wild theories of speculative men, for those books are laden with humbug in lieu of knowledge.

Who does not know that fifteen minutes’ study would acquaint persons with discovered and recorded laws which might otherwise take a series of years to become familiar with? By reasoning and trying to generalize our ideas we may gain much useful information, but shall we therefore consider books of no use? Is there no wisdom in availing ourselves of the labors of those who have developed truths?

It is still knowledge, notwithstanding it has been discovered by others. Truth is truth, and take it wherever you may find it, or from whatever source it comes, it was truth from all eternity, and it will be truth to all eternity. There is a great fund of useful information laid down in books.

Is not all truth good? Yes; and when we speak of true and useful knowledge we have reference to that which pertains to God, or to the workmanship of His hands; and when there are books that pertain to God, or to the things of His kingdom, or the workmanship of His hands, they must be of use, of some service to the human family.

Therefore we need not despair and think that we shall, by and by, come to the end, to a time when there will be no knowledge in books. When you have thoroughly learned botany and searched out all its laws, and perhaps all botanical creation, so as to perfectly understand the nature and uses of the great variety of roots, trees, barks, and herbs, you have become familiar with only one branch of the works or laws of our God.

When you are master of all the knowledge there is in books about chemistry, and have arranged the chemical affinity of the various gases, and their uses, what have you found out? You have only found out another branch of the great works of God.

We have mentioned only two branches of the great works of our God, pertaining to which we can acquire knowledge and understanding. We might refer to many others, viz., astronomy, geology, mineralogy and metallurgy, all of which would be useful in our works and discoveries.

Indeed, had it not been for the discoveries in those sciences, civilization would never have risen to its present state in the world, we should not have been blessed with many of the luxuries of life that we now enjoy. And these are only a few of the various branches of His works, out of the number of what are generally termed sciences.

We might go on and enumerate many arts and sciences by which mankind are benefited, especially in machinery and the laws of evolution, explaining and defining what machinery will do and what it will not do.

How many hundred years have been spent by numerous individuals, in order to discover perpetual motion, whereas fifteen minutes labor, with a knowledge of the science of mathematics, would enable a man to demonstrate that it is an impossibility for us to form a machine that when set in motion will supply its own motive power, and not stop until it is worn out. Mathematics would have shown those persons that they were in search of theories and principles which could not be found out.

Again, alchemists tried for generations to transmute the coarser materials into gold, and hundreds of individuals have spent all their time in the pursuit of that vain phantom, when with a knowledge of the chemical properties already sought out, no one would ever think of accomplishing transmutation.

We as a people, with the privileges that we have, the opportunity of being in these valleys where the world and the enemies of this people do not tyrannize over us, I do verily believe, have not lived as faithfully as we ought, have not lived in proportion to the knowledge we have in our possession. In this respect many of the youths in our Territory are not trying to improve their minds in a way that will render them the most useful to themselves and to others.

I will say to numbers of the youth, your time is spent in frivolity; year after year is spent in this manner by many of the young men in this Territory. If we were being driven from city to city, and had not the opportunity of getting good, competent schoolmasters, those circumstances would be a good excuse.

But having been here a sufficient length of time to build houses, to establish ourselves in peace in the midst of plenty, flourishing upon the mountains, in the valleys, and upon the hills, with all these blessings is it not a shame that we should let so much precious time pass away without being more wisely improved?

When I have had a good exercise in dancing, I take hold of my books and business, and think no more of dancing until I have a seasonable opportunity of going forth in the dance again.

I mention these things that parents may take hold of them, that they may be induced to lead their children in the right way, to set an example that those who are of a proper age may reform, that we may see the rising generation growing up armed with wisdom and knowledge, with the principles of salvation, with the principles of true science.

Have we had a high school here? Not in this Valley. “But,” says one, “we have had a parent school, and that is what we consider a high school.” Yes, we have had a great many things in name, but mere name is not what is wanted. We have had a University in name, and that is greater than a college, for it is expected that in a University all sciences will be taught, but as yet we have had no such University.

Have we colleges? I believe none, even in name. Have we had academies? I believe not. If we have, they have been very inferior to those in the Eastern States. Go to the schools in the New England States and see the order that is kept in them, see the improvement of the youth who are taught in them, and then come back to our high and common schools, and you will see that the common schools of the East will far surpass any that we have yet had in our Territory, for in those schools many of the higher branches of education are thoroughly taught.

I have spoken plainly on these points, and in accordance with my feelings.

What constitutes civilization? The acquirement and correct application of useful knowledge.

Do the world comply with the principles of civilization? They do in part; they have acquired knowledge in part, but they make a very bad use of it.

Have the Latter-day Saints made any better use of their knowledge? They have. After all I have said I must praise the Latter-day Saints a little, but I hope you will not get proud because of it.

You have qualities which I esteem very highly, and which but few in the world have, viz., principles of honesty, of integrity, and of union. You have a foundation laid, and if you will rightly build upon it, it will far outreach the present civilization of the world, and I have no doubt but that you will build upon it.

Build upon the great and glorious principles that commenced in the heart by receiving the principles of salvation. The Latter-day Saints have laid their foundation right, and when they take hold and rear the superstructure, it will be one of the greatest ever constructed by the inhabitants of this earth.

I do not despair when I see such a foundation, for if we are not now altogether what we should be, I believe that the Lord will whip us into it; I have no doubt of that.

Lay hold of the principles of knowledge, treasure up earthly knowledge and heavenly knowledge, a knowledge of things at home and of things abroad, of the laws of nations, of the principles of the most useful arts and sciences, of things past, present, and to come, that when we are abroad preaching the Gospel we may be armed with the full treasures of knowledge, and be able to easily circumscribe those who are of the world. Fancy the things that we have to do in this dispensation!

I am as convinced that the Lord will whip us into this diligent course, as I am that I am standing before you. Why? Because this is the kingdom, this is the people and the Church of the living God, and just as surely as He is our God, will He purify this people by famine, by war, by sickness, by death, by various judgments, and by the flame of devouring fire.

We cannot escape the course of purification. What is more visible to the eye than the dealings of God, our Father, with us for the past year? First came the innumerable swarms of insects by millions, sweeping off our crops, then the drought drying them up as does the sun the dew, consuming nearly all the insects had left. How was this? Because the snows were kept from the mountains during the previous winter.

What next? The drought continued month after month, preventing the grass from growing as it has done in falls of previous years, and thus leaving our ground destitute of feed.

Then what? A severe winter, deep snow, so deep as to cover the few spears of grass that were left. Thus one calamity after another, one punishment after another, is enough to convince us that all proceeded from the hand of the Lord our God.

Has He not a purpose in this? Is it not an affliction to us, to you and to me? Do you not feel it? Will it not learn us a lesson? Yes, it will.

I feel to say in my heart, O Lord, chasten me, let thy chastening hand be upon me, if thou seest there is no other way of escape. I would much rather be chastened than to heap up an abundance of this world’s goods, and neglect some of the most important duties of my religion. Hence, when I pray in relation to myself, my prayer is for the Lord to chasten me, and also in relation to this people my prayer is, O Lord, let thy chastening hand be upon this people, until they learn to obey those good and wholesome counsels that are poured out from this stand by those who preside over us.

They are clear, their garments are clear, and I am a witness, for I have been here, except on a few occasions, and have witnessed these things. And I have heard some of the most touching and forcible discourses and arguments from our Presidents, calling upon the people to be more economical, and faithful in keeping the commandments of God; and they have exhorted us to these things with all their energies and powers.

I have also seen that many, who have had those teachings drop into their ears, would go away, and say, “What a blessed sermon we have heard today,” and that be the last of it. Many of you who have heard the instructions I have alluded to are witnesses to this; many of you have heard that saying, and seen it followed by that conduct.

If those instructions be not observed, will not the good have to suffer with the careless and disobedient? Yes, they generally do; but a truly good man or woman will not be forgotten, neither will they be tormented.

If they have not a handful of flour, and no potatoes, yet they feel well, and if they die all is well; but the man whose heart is not right feels the smart.

How much better it would be for the Lord to chasten us, or even to send us down to our graves, than to suffer us to live in carelessness, with our minds given up to the vanities and foolishness of this life instead of attending to the things that are of real value and importance.

In ancient days the righteous had to suffer with the wicked, for we learn that Achan took the wedge of gold and hid it in the earth, contrary to the instructions given by the Lord, and in a day or two the Israelites were smitten and driven before their enemies, and no doubt many of those who perished were good men. There was sin in the camp, and when they found it out that it was with Achan, and he was punished, they prevailed against their enemies, because the sin was put away from their midst.

It was similar in the case of Korah, Dathan, Abiram and some 250 others who rose up to be Presidents, they were usurping authority which did not belong to them, and the fire of the Lord broke out and swept off upwards of 20,000 of the righteous and wicked.

Soon after, when Moses had separated the righteous from the wicked, the earth opened and swallowed up the leaders of the rebellion. In this case the righteous suffered with the wicked, and it was done in order to show that the righteous, or the people of God, could not have wickedness in their midst without suffering, and also to show how the Lord hated rebellion, wickedness, and that which was evil.

In another instance, when the fire of the Lord was kindled, the only thing that would stay the plague was for Moses and Aaron to run in between the living and the dead. But do you suppose that all on one side of them were wicked, and those on the other side righteous? No, this is not probable; but there was wickedness in the camp of Israel.

Are we all strictly righteous and obedient? No, for there are many, even in this community, who take the name of God in vain. How often have I heard the President of this Church speak against profanity in the strongest terms; and yet there are some who will continue to indulge in this evil practice.

In ancient times when a man took the name of the Lord in vain, he was not only cut off from the Church, but a severer punishment than merely cut ting him from the Church was inflicted; those who were found guilty of that crime were taken without the camp and put to death.

I do not say that that would be wisdom now, but I mention this one practice on the part of some, to show that the Lord abhors wickedness.

Aside from the profane there are others who are guilty of other sins, and there is room for all of us, as brother Kimball has often said, to become a great deal better; room and opportunity for us to study the oracles of God and to regulate our lives by them, that we may become righteous men and women.

We should do this not only for our own sakes, but that our children may grow up an honor to humanity, and not as children who will be unfit to associate even with the world, to say nothing about associating with Saints and angels.

I have now spoken freely upon the subjects which I have touched upon, though when I arose I had no idea of speaking as I have. It was my intention to have spoken upon the spiritual gifts, upon tongues, visions, and revelations, and to have shown the necessity and importance of seeking earnestly after those gifts, as we are commanded, but I have been led in a course directly from that subject. Why it is I know not, unless the Lord wants us to overcome that we may be prepared for the things that are coming upon the earth, which may He grant for His Son’s sake. Amen.

Salvation of the House of Israel to Come Through the Gentiles

Remarks by Elder Orson Pratt, made in the Bowery, at Provo, July 15, 1855.

It is with a great degree of satisfaction that I arise to bear my humble testimony before the Saints here in Provo, in connection with the testimonies that have been borne to you by the servants of God who have addressed you heretofore. We have had some great and good instructions imparted to us since our meetings commenced here the day before yesterday. We have had instructions which are of the greatest importance—instructions that pertain both to our temporal and future prosperity. The teachings imparted have been clothed with wisdom, and the gift and power of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, which has inspired the hearts of the servants of God who have addressed us from this Stand, and more especially has this been the case with regard to the instructions that have been imparted to us this forenoon, setting forth our relations, as Gentile Saints (or Saints that have received the Gospel from among the Gentiles), with the house of Israel. Perhaps there is no subject that could be presented at the present time that is of so much importance, and that has so great a bearing upon the human family, as the one set before us this forenoon. It is one on which the salvation of the Latter-day Saints depends. It is one, also, on which the salvation of the remnants of the tribe of Joseph upon this American continent depends. It is one that we must not only understand, or reason about, or think of, but one in which we must engage every faculty and power of our minds, if we would be blessed as a people. It is for this object, as has been plainly shown to you this forenoon, that the angels of God descended from the eternal world and spoke in the ears of mortal man. It is for this object that the heavens have been opened, and the everlasting Priesthood sent down and conferred upon chosen vessels. It is for this object—namely, the salvation and redemption of the poor, lost, degraded sons of the forest, that God has given the Urim and Thummim, and caused to be translated one of the most glorious sacred records, or histories that was ever introduced into the world by mortal man. It is for this object that we have been permitted to leave the land of our forefathers, to traverse the sandy deserts and plains of Nebraska, and to locate ourselves here in the midst of these lonely and peaceful vales; it is that we might fulfil and accomplish the purposes of the great Jehovah, in the redemption of the remnant of Joseph who dwelt here before us. I shall not, perhaps, make a great many remarks this afternoon, as there are others present who no doubt desire to bear their testimony before the Saints; yet I feel to make a few observations in relation to that degraded people, and in relation to ourselves, and our duties in regard to them; not that I expect my feeble abilities will impart anything that is of much consequence or importance, more than what has already been clearly portrayed before your minds this forenoon.

With these preliminary remarks, I will select a passage of Scripture as a text. It reads as follows—“Woe be unto them that are at ease in Zion.” I think we will find this text in the predictions of Isaiah. We shall also find it in the Book of Mormon. I will repeat the words—“Woe be unto them that are at ease in Zion.” Do you think, brethren and sisters, while so much depends upon our exertions and conduct, that we can come to these valleys, or go anywhere else on this American continent, and settle down upon our farms, or engage in our merchandise or in our business transactions, and be at ease in Zion? It is of no use thinking of this for a moment; for the day, even the time of the re demption of Israel, is now nigh at hand; and Zion, instead of being at ease, must travail in pain to be delivered. When the Saints first began to assemble themselves together in Jackson County, Missouri, and began to build fine houses and open rich farms, and were surrounded with every facility for becoming rich in this world’s goods—when they were thus inclined to settle down in pleasant places, with their affections placed upon the things of the earth—upon their houses and their lands, upon their grain, their flocks and their herds, and when the great and important duties required of them as Latter-day Saints were laid aside, or, at least, placed on the background—when they thus settled down, and were determined to enjoy their own Zion at perfect ease, did the Lord suffer them to remain at ease? No. He suffered them to be uprooted, to be driven from their houses and inheritances, and to be afflicted, tormented, and oppressed. Why did the Lord suffer this? Because the people felt a disposition to be at ease in the land of Zion, and to neglect the important duties required at their hands. This has been more or less the case from the day that we settled in the western part of Missouri until the present time. We have forgotten who we are; we have forgotten in a measure what God has been doing with us as a people; we have forgotten his purposes that he has determined to accomplish in our day and generation; we have forgotten the degraded, forlorn condition of the sons of Joseph; we have forgotten the predictions of the holy Prophets among their fathers, who so earnestly prayed to the Most High for themselves and their children to the latest generation, whose prayers have been recorded in the records of eternity and preserved in the archives of heaven, to be answered upon the heads of their posterity in the last days. We have forgotten these things to a great extent, and are dwelling at ease in Zion, and neglecting the great redemption of Israel.

It almost seems sometimes that the people are determined to take their rest and be at ease before their great labor is accomplished or their day of rest comes. They build houses, they plant vineyards, they sow their fields, they gather together large flocks and herds, they multiply their goods and substance, they surround themselves with the comforts and luxuries of this life, and say to themselves, “We will enjoy ourselves and be at ease in Zion; we will remain upon our farms and in our fine houses; we will engage in our merchandise and in various occupations; we will let the Lamanites take care of themselves, and we will let the purposes of the Almighty roll round without our help.” And after all these things, they will pray every day that the Lord will roll round events, accomplish his purposes, and fulfil the covenants made with the house of Israel, and yet not lift one solitary finger to facilitate the answer to their prayers.

As it was said this forenoon, God is not going to do this without our agency and exertions. What says the Apostle Paul concerning the Gentiles? “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet now have obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these (that is the house of Israel) also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.”

The Apostle shows plainly that blindness in part happened to Israel, and that you Gentiles, as a consequence, obtained mercy. Has not the light of truth shone upon our minds, that these Lamanites, who are of the house of Israel, might, through the mercy of us Gentiles, obtain mercy?

[Elder Pratt then asked a blessing upon the bread.]

Through the mercy of the Gentiles, it is decreed that the house of Israel in the last days shall obtain mercy; that is, through the believing of the Gentiles, or, in other words, through the Saints of the living God who have embraced the covenant of peace from among the Gentiles, and have separated themselves from the wicked Gentile nations. It is through their mercy, through their long-suffering, patience, and forbearance, that the house of Israel are to find salvation and mercy. And if we do not accomplish this work, we shall suffer; and I just as much believe this as I believe that the sun shines in the firmament of heaven. Without this people become the saviors of Israel, we shall be accounted as salt that has lost its savor, and therefore no longer good for anything but to be trodden under the feet of Israel or of our enemies. Whosoever will not extend the hand of mercy to redeem this people will go down, and lose their influence with God and all good men. We are placed here as saviors upon the mountains, and God has placed us here because we understand principles that they are ignorant of. We know about God; we have learned something of Jesus Christ and of the redemption wrought out by him; we have also learned some little of the future state of man. We are in possession of knowledge which is hid from all the rest of the world. Shall we, therefore, dwell at ease upon our farms and in our habitations, and suffer these sons of the forest to remain in eternal ignorance of the great truths that we are in possession of? If so, woe be unto this people, or any other people that are entrusted with the sacred things committed to our charge, and who do not use them according to the mind and will of God; for it is his mind that they should be used for the redemption of those that are unacquainted with these principles by which alone salvation can be obtained.

But how can we save this fallen remnant of Israel? Can the redemption of this widely scattered and degraded race be brought about in a moment? It cannot. We have heard from the lips of our President, who spake by the wisdom of the Most High and by the power of the Spirit which rested upon him. He has pointed out the way, and shall we not walk in it? Shall we not give heed to his sayings? We are commanded to be of one heart and of one mind; and in this case in particular we are required to be united in all our exertions, and to use all the power and faculties of our minds for the salvation of the nations of Joseph. Will the brethren reach forth the helping hand, and try to redeem the sons of the forest with whom we are surrounded? I believe they will; for the purposes of God must be fulfilled; and we are the people who have to do the work; and to those who do not take part in it, I will apply the words of my text—“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.” And this woe will find them out; it will surely come upon them, and sorely afflict them from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof; and when the night cometh, it will not cease; it will follow them day by day, until they learn by sad experience that there is no such thing as being at ease in Zion until Zion has travailed in pain and brought forth her children, and especially when the work is of the importance of the one now before us, and required at our hands. Here are numbers of the Lamanites before me. How much good it would do them, if they could only sit down and read as we can concerning their fathers! Place yourselves in the same position, and imagine that you had lost all that was good and great, and suppose that you were among a people who understood all this knowledge, and suppose that they were not willing to put forth their hands to impart the blessings they enjoyed to you, how would you feel? You would feel as God feels, and the same as the old Prophets and Patriarch of the Nephites feel, who are now in the heavens, and who are acquainted with the purposes of God that are now transpiring upon the earth. How do you think they would feel, if they were to come down and look upon their descendants, and see them wandering in darkness, without the knowledge of God or their ancestors, and then turn and see a people in their midst who were in possession of the sacred records and prophecies of their fathers, and yet that people so careless, and so much at ease, that they used scarcely any exertion to impart the heavenly knowledge to them? Perhaps some may inquire, How are you going to impart information to so dark and degraded a people as our red neighbors? Do as brother Young has counseled, instead of driving them out from your midst to some desolate region. Cultivate their friendship; be forbearing and kind, and show a sympathetic spirit for them. Build for them a good schoolhouse, and let the people be engaged in teaching them the English language, both old and young, as far as they are willing to be taught. Teach them concerning their forefathers, the carrying forth of the Book of Mormon, and the plan of salvation which is revealed to us, with the promise of eternal life to all those who believe and obey. They require to be taught in order that they may have faith; for how can they believe without being taught by those whose right it is to teach? Teach them to read; and if you can persuade them to be attentive, it will not take them long to acquire a knowledge of our language. If you can possibly afford it, feed them and keep them from perishing with hunger. Just as long as they have to hunt in the mountains and canyons for food, and to eat snails, snakes, and crickets, in order to keep themselves alive—I say, so long as they have to do this, you cannot make them think of God. They will think of their hunting, and of procuring something to prevent starvation; for they must procure something to subsist upon, even if it is by stealing. Then if you want them to learn knowledge, and to acquire it in the best way, and with the least expense to yourselves, feed and clothe them, and then instruct them; and if you can get their minds bent down to study our language, it will be but a very short time before they will read as well as the best of us. Get them so that they can read the record of their forefathers—the Book of Mormon, and they will soon learn what God intends to do for them; and then the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon them, according to the intelligence and capacities they have for receiving the light of truth. In this way they may soon be fitted and prepared for a greater amount of knowledge, and receive the eternal Priesthood upon their heads, and then they will go forth to the surrounding nations, tongues, and tribes of their own people, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth. And this is the place for us to work; and we have the liberty and the means to first begin directly here at home; and when we have instructed and taught those directly in our midst, not merely by our theories, but by our precepts and examples, then will be the time to go and convert those in South America and in the distant regions of our continent. But if we cannot convert those whom we have around us, and persuade them to hearken to the Priesthood, it is but very little use to go to others at a greater distance; for here is the place. God has not sent us as a people to dwell in the southern extremities of South America; but he has caused us to be located here; and hence here is the place where he intends us to work. We are called upon to begin here in the city of Provo, on the lands that these Lamanites call their own, and where they have chosen their homes. You may say in your hearts that “it would be so much labor and trouble—it would cost us so much of our time and means to convert those around us, that we have not courage to perform the great undertaking.” But what were we sent here for? The Lord has caused us to come here for this very purpose—that we might accomplish the redemption of these suffering, degraded Israelites, as predicted in the sacred records of their forefathers, and this is what we are told by our President; and therefore we can have no excuse, for our duty has been plainly told us. This work is of the greatest importance of any work of the present day. I believe with all my heart, as expressed by our President, that this people will be our shield in days to come; and I believe that if we lose this shield by our carelessness, or by settling down at ease in Zion, it will be woe to us that call ourselves Latter-day Saints. Yes, it will be woe to us if we do not accomplish this work that is given us to do. Do you not know that they will be the principal actors in some of the grand events of times to come? What says the Book of Mormon in relation to the building up of the New Jerusalem on this continent—one of the most splendid cities that ever was or ever will be built on this land? Does not that book say that the Lamanites are to be the principal operators in that important work, and that those who embrace the Gospel from among the Gentiles are to have the privilege of assisting the Lamanites to build up the city called the New Jerusalem? This remnant of Joseph, who are now degraded, will then be filled with the wisdom of God; and by that wisdom they will build that city; by the aid of the Priesthood already given, and by the aid of Prophets that God will raise up in their midst, they will beautify and ornament its dwellings; and we have the privilege of being numbered with them, instead of their being numbered with us. It is a great privilege indeed (and we are indebted to their fathers for it), that we enjoy of being associated with them in the accomplishment of so great a work. It is to their fathers and to God that we are indebted for the enjoyment of such great blessings in fulfillment of the prophecies. Their ancient Prophets among their ancestry looked with interest upon their children, and they interceded day and night for their redemption. In answer to their prayers, an angel has flown through the midst of heaven to preach the everlasting Gospel to the nations; and it is therefore to them that we are indebted for many of the privileges that we now enjoy. If we are thus indebted as a people—woe be unto us who are gathered from among the Gentiles, if we neglect to pay the debt by our exertions to save them! Woe to us who have contracted the debt! For a day of judgment and retribution will come, and there will be no escape! No lawyers will be there to quibble and bring up technicalities of law; but the debt will have to be paid, for to their forefathers are we indebted for the light and knowledge that we possess. Therefore, let us bestir ourselves, and perform those duties incumbent upon us, and then we shall receive our reward. I do not wish to take up the time when there are others of our brethren that have not had the privilege of speaking; but I did feel to say these words. I felt to shout glory to God this morning when I heard our President speak of these things. My advice to you, my brethren and sisters, is the same as to myself—Let us wake up to a sense of these things; let us sacrifice whatever is required of us for the salvation of this people. With regard to going to foreign nations to preach the Gospel among the idolatrous heathen, I will say, for my own part, that I would prefer going and laboring for years in those mountains to save Israel; yes, for years, if that should be required by the First Presidency, though I stand ready to go to China, or to the islands and nations of the Pacific, or to any other part of the world, when counseled so to do. What are these sacrifices to the glory that is to follow?

[Elder Pratt asked a blessing upon the cup.]

Brethren and sisters, may God bless you, and may his Spirit inspire you when you lie down at night, and in your dreams of the night, when you rise up in the morning, and when you go about your temporal labors. May He inspire you continually to search and find out what your duties are to the remnants of Israel that are in your midst. I ask that God will give you this spirit of inquiry and earnestness in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Kingdom of God

A Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, July 8, 1855.

I have been highly pleased with the remarks that have fallen from the lips of brother Grant, who first addressed us this morning. The subject of the coming of the kingdom of God, and its organization upon the earth, is one of vast importance to the present generation, as well as to all past generations, who are equally concerned with the present. Ever since the day that men were organized upon the earth they have been equally concerned in regard to that period—that eventful period when God’s kingdom should be established upon the earth. That day or period has been looked forward to as the day of the perfection of their glory and exaltation.

And when that time comes, all governments, and systems of government, that have been organized upon this little creation of the Almighty, contrary to the order of heaven, or in other words—all governments that have not been theocratical in their nature, but that have been organized in a greater or less degree by man’s wisdom, will be done away.

The Almighty in some degree controls among mankind, as far as they will let Him. He controls the destinies of the nations, so far as they will permit Him; yet He does not control them so far as to destroy the agency of the human family, consequently they, through their own corrupt notions, have departed from the great principles of government given by the Lord to man in the beginning. Man kind have felt a disposition to seek after some kind of government of their own; they have all seemed to manifest a feeling to have a different government from the one established by the Almighty; and hence, they have all rebelled against His government, and they have introduced creeds and systems of their own manufacturing.

If there had been a government upon the face of the earth, from the creation of man to the present time, according to the mind and will of God; you would not have seen in the present age, and in generations that are past, different nations, different classes of people, having different governments, as we now behold them, but there would have been a oneness of nationality—a unity existing over all the earth. But mankind have existed for ages past in a divided state—in a broken condition, because of their rebellion against the laws and government of heaven.

If God made this earth, and all things that pertain unto it, and if all were created for His honor and glory, He has the right to govern and control them by His own laws; and He has a right to enforce that government, and show Himself able to control the works of His hands, and it is the duty of all men to render obedience to His requirements. The government of heaven would not have been separated from the government of men, or in other words, there would not have been two kinds, one called ecclesiastical, and the other a civil government; but inasmuch as they have rebelled, and become corrupt and wicked, governments have been introduced of a different character; and the Lord has, in some measure, sanctioned those governments, so far as there were good principles existing among them.

All good principles and laws have emanated from the Almighty, and have come to man by inspiration from Him. For instance, the government of the United States, or the Constitution, came from Him; it was given, we believe, by inspiration, and there are many things connected with the various institutions of men that are very good. There are many good laws and good institutions in the government of the United States, as well as among many other governments, but the government of the United States is one of the best that has been organized among men upon the face of the earth for many generations.

“Did the Lord have a hand in the organization of the United States government?” asks the enquirer. Yes, the Lord had a hand in framing its Constitution. Why did not the Lord at that time, introduce a perfect government—a theocracy? It was simply because the people were not prepared for it—they were too corrupt and although they had more integrity, more virtue, more honesty, and more sympathy and feeling for that which is just and upright and good, than any other portion of the inhabitants of the earth, and probably more than a great many now have, yet they were far from being prepared for the government of God, which is a government of union.

They were far from that, consequently the Lord inspired them to introduce a government that He knew would be just suited to their capacity, and hence it was that He inspired Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, and others to introduce those measures which they did, and to carry them out, and they were such as were just suited to the conditions and circumstances of the people; hence the government of the United States we, as a people, venerate and defend.

Why do we do this? We do it because God had His hand in the organization of it; He controlled it so far as He could do so without interfering with the agency of man.

We have seen plainly and clearly that had it not been for the organization of this government, as has wisely and justly been said, where would have been the liberty of the Latter-day Saints.

This government, then, was organized to suit the people and the circumstances in which they were placed, until they were prepared to receive a more perfect one.

But will the government of the United States continue forever? No, it is not sufficiently perfect; and, notwithstanding it has been sanctioned by the Lord at a time when it was suited to the circumstances of the people, yet the day will come (I will say it on my own responsibility and not that of this people), the day will come when the United States government, and all others, will be uprooted, and the kingdoms of this world will be united in one, and the kingdom of our God will govern the whole earth, and bear universal sway; and no power beneath the heavens can prevent this taking place, if the Bible be true, and we know it to be true.

The Lord will govern all things that He has made and created, for it is entered upon the records of heaven that all nations shall bow to His authority; and, consequently, we respect the government of the United States, because it has good principles in it, and not that we think it will endure forever.

Many great and glorious principles are contained within the Constitution of our country, not to say that it is perfect, but it is perfect so far as it pertains to the rights and privileges of the children of men. But there is a nucleus of a government, formed since that of the United States, which is perfect in its nature. It is perfect, having emanated from a Being who is perfect.

But some may enquire, is it right—is it lawful for another government to be organized within the United States, of a theocratical nature? Yes, perfectly so! Does not the Constitution of our country guarantee to all religious societies the right of forming any ecclesiastical government they like? Certainly it does, and every intelligent man knows this to be the fact.

The nucleus of such a government is formed, and its laws have emanated from the throne of God, and it is perfect, having come from a pure fountain; but does this make us independent of the laws of the United States? No, this new government does not come in contact with the government of the United States. In keeping our covenants, and observing our religious laws and ceremonies, or the laws that God has given to the children of men, we are not required to violate the principles of right that are contained in the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Had not the government of the United States been framed, where would have been safety for this people? I answer, nowhere. If this Republican government had not been organized upon this continent, the kingdom of our God could not have been protected; but the hand of the Lord has been in it, and superintended its organization, and no one can hinder its progress.

If this government had been formed in any other kingdom or nation upon the earth except the United States, where would have been the privileges and liberties of this people? Without the interference of the Almighty, and the manifestation of His miraculous power for our protection, we should have been rooted out of the earth.

God foresaw this—He knew what would take place long beforehand, and He saw that it was not only necessary to have a day set for the preparation, and also for the beginning of the Latter-day work, but it was likewise important for the different kingdoms and nations which were in existence, and that had been organized by man, to go to work and start up some religious reform, and for the people to struggle against their mother church, and to fight against her tyranny and oppressions, that religious liberty and freedom, and the right of a free exercise of their religious opinions, might be guaranteed to the human family, not all at once, but gradually. We find that at the Reformation, when the great struggle for freedom and religious liberty took place, some of them were wrought upon to come to this new continent for the purpose of securing to themselves religious freedom and religious right; and inspired by the Almighty, as was Columbus who discovered this land, they planted their feet upon the American soil.

They were an humble people and God began to work in their minds, and they continued to increase, for awhile, in union and love, having obtained privileges which before they were deprived of; and no doubt they imagined to themselves that universal freedom was about to be ushered in, but it was not exactly so, neither was that degree of liberty and freedom to suffice which they had then secured, but it was like John the Baptist’s mission, merely to prepare the way. It was said of John, that among all that were born of women there were none greater than he, and yet the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than he; and of all governments that had arisen among men, there were none so great and good, as the government of the United States, and yet the government of God in its very infancy was greater than it.

And why was this? Because its laws emanated from a more perfect Being.

It was for this purpose, then, that a republic was organized upon this continent to prepare the way for a kingdom which shall have dominion over all the earth to the ends thereof.

Hence, the Prophet Daniel has told us, that the kingdom of God should be cut out of the mountains without hands; in other words, when the kingdom of God should be taken from the mountains, it should be taken by the power of the Almighty, and not by human hands; it should be organized by the Lord, and governed by His laws. God, who interests Himself in the affairs of men, was to speak from the heavens, and inspire His servants to give laws and revelations to His people, informing them that His kingdom was to be taken from the mountains in His own due time, and that it should increase until it should become a great mountain and fill the whole earth.

Do the people suppose that they can frustrate the designs of the Almighty, and put to death the Prophets who are sent unto them, and fight and war against them, and belch out their rage, and threats, and persecute them as they have done, without being brought into judgment?

The wicked suppose they can do this with impunity, but there is a God who holds the helm of the ship of Zion, and who will carry out His purposes with regard to the Saints of latter days, in which the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom, and the dominion under the whole hea vens, shall be given to the Saints of the Most High and they shall possess it forever and forever.

I was highly delighted with the remarks that were laid before us by our beloved brother this morning. And in speaking concerning the corruptions that men have brought into our midst, I perfectly agree with him, for all such corruptions and wickedness must be done away; they will not be suffered to exist in the kingdom of God; I mean by this that when there are crimes committed, they will be visited with their just reward and that immediately.

In that kingdom, when its laws go forth, there will be officers of peace, and they will lay judgment to the line, and the axe will be laid to the root of every tree that will not yield fruit, and it will be hewn down and cast into the fire, and be utterly burnt up.

I have not said much the past winter in regard to the corruptions that have been practiced in our midst, and why? Simply because there are men here, higher in authority, and whose place it is to rebuke sin; and they have borne testimony of the wickedness and corruptions that have been sent into our midst. I do not mean to say that all are corrupt, there are honorable exceptions, but all know that there have been men sent here, who were as corrupt as hell itself.

Such characters, if they had met with their just desserts, would not now have been living to disgrace humanity. These are my feelings, and I will here say, that I have felt to be of one heart and one mind with the Presidency in relation to these things. Brethren, in saying these things, do we feel like excluding all the outsiders, so called? No, God does not design it; He never intended that this people should live exclusively by themselves.

God will so order it, that we shall have a hundred of them, where we have had one; and we shall find that the time will come when all nations shall come, but they will have to walk straight.

David has said, in speaking of that time, that when the wicked rulers, and corrupt kings of the earth, should come up to Zion, they should, while yet afar off, be seized with fear and trembling, and hasten away; for it will be no place for wicked and corrupt characters; but there will be millions of others who will come up to Zion, besides the Saints of God; they will come to behold the glory of God which will rest upon Zion. They will come in such numerous hosts that the gates of Zion will have to be open day and night to receive them; they will come as a multitude of nations, swarming in day and night.

Kings, nobles, and great men, from all the principal nations of the earth, will come flocking to Zion with their armies, and their servants to view the grandeur of Zion; and they will have to be obedient to the mandates of the great King who shall issue forth His laws from Zion, or it will be no place for them to abide in.

We need not think that we can get into any place where we will not be associated with the Gentiles; for the Lord intends that we shall be among them all through this mortal state, and even in the Millennium we find that there will be two classes of beings upon the earth. And if there are corrupt individuals found, they will be visited with punishment according to the deeds they are guilty of.

Then, I rejoice; I look forward to the day of glory, when the glory of Zion shall be like a light upon a hill which will illuminate the whole world; and the great men of the earth will come to see the glory of God, and be taught in the holy commandments that will proceed forth from our midst; and they will look upon Zion, and wonder, and be astonished.

May the Lord bless us, and may the Spirit of the Lord abide with, and continue to surround and overshadow us, and may we not be fearful because of the oppressor and the wicked, but trust in the living God, and He will continue to protect us all the day long, and no power can prevail against us. If we were not one-tenth as numerous as we are, what would it matter; if God be on our side, He can use up the wicked, and protect us.

And as has been said by the First Presidency, all that we have to fear is our own wickedness, and corruptions, and liability to depart from the true faith. If we will be true and righteous, and if we will have faith in God, this is all that is required.

If we are faithful to our covenants, the fury of the oppressor will not harm us, and where will be the strong arm of man? It will be like the flax in the flame, like a moth-eaten garment, the wicked shall vanish away, and there will be no place found for them.

Then hearken to the counsel that proceeds from the First Presidency, and hold up your heads, and do not let them droop, and in this way, we shall prosper, and obtain a holy dwelling place in the presence of our God forever. May God grant these blessings for His Son’s sake. Amen.

Funeral Address

By Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Council House, Great Salt Lake City, June 30, 1855, over the Mortal Remains of the Honorable Leonidas Shaver, Associate Justice of the Supreme, and Judge of the First Judicial District Courts of the United States, in and for the Territory of Utah.

Friends and Brethren, we have assembled ourselves together on this solemn occasion to commemorate one of our departed friends, who has suddenly been taken from our midst.

It is customary among most of the nations of the earth, on an occasion of this kind, to deliver what is termed a funeral sermon. I have been called upon quite unexpectedly this forenoon to perform this office. I do not expect to be lengthy in my remarks, but shall endeavor to say something in relation to the present condition of man, and his future state.

We have been placed upon this earth for a wise purpose, in a state and condition of being to prepare ourselves for a higher state and order of things. These are the objects for which man exists here. Generations have come and gone. Millions and hundreds of millions of human beings have peopled this globe, and have departed hence, and we must all follow in the footsteps of the generations that are past.

It is a decree of Jehovah who governs and controls the destinies of worlds, who controls all intelligent beings, that man should die. No one can escape this decree! No one can prevail with the grim monster death, and overcome him, but we must all sooner or later meet that enemy of mankind, and be laid prostrate in the tomb.

Why is it that so great and good a Being, a Being who is full of benevolence and love, a Being who is filled with mercy and compassion, should suffer such a dire calamity to befall the human race? Why is it? Is it because He delights in the sufferings of mankind? Is it because he delights to see them writhe in pain and distress? No: it is because man has sinned; it is because he has offended his Maker—because he has transgressed sacred and holy laws, because he has subjected himself to the monster death, to the miseries, wretchedness, and vanities of this life. It is not, however, because we ourselves have sinned that death comes upon us; but it is because of the original sin; for all will admit that infants that are incapable of sinning against God, who are unacquainted with His revealed will, who discern not between good and evil, fall victims to the destroyer, as well as others. If, then, this curse seizes upon the innocent and upon those who have not transgressed the laws of heaven, it must be in consequence of the original sin that so great a calamity is in the world.

“By man came death,” says the Apostle Paul. Again the same Apostle says, “As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom. v, 18.) What free gift? The free gift of salvation from the grave, the salvation of our bodies, or in other words, of our corporeal systems. The redemption of our bodies from the grave is brought about through the atonement of Jesus Christ; hence we have had no agency in bringing death into our world, and we have no agency in the redemption of our world. One man brought death into the world, and one man brought redemption from death.

This redemption is just as extensive as the curse, so far as the body is concerned. The curse affected all, and the bodies of all will be redeemed. When I speak of this redemption, I wish to be distinctly understood, that I mean the redemption of the body from the grave. If the fall lays all mankind low in the dust, the redemption will bring them forth from the dust. If the fall shut them out from His face and presence, the redemption will bring them back into His presence to behold His face.

Jesus was lifted up by sinful men upon the cross; what for? That all mankind might be lifted up from the grave to be judged before God; not for Adam’s sins, but for their own personal sins; hence there is no person dwelling upon the face of the earth that is free from the original curse that came in consequence of the transgression of Adam.

If we had no sins of our own, we should ever remain, after this univer sal redemption of our bodies, in the presence of God, but if we individually have committed sins, we shall be again cast out from the presence of God, unless we have complied with the great plan of salvation revealed by our Savior.

The great question raised by many with regard to the extent of the atonement, is, “Will all mankind be saved eternally in the presence of God, in the celestial kingdom, who have personally sinned?” No; they will not. There is a certain class of mankind that will be saved in the fulness of celestial glory, and partake of all the blessings held forth by the plan of redemption. But this applies only to those who are faithful and obedient.

There are others who will partake of a portion of this redemption; but they will differ from the first, as much as the moon differs from that bright luminary of heaven—the sun. Hence Paul, in speaking of the redemption of man, says, there are bodies celestial, and bodies terrestrial, and the glory of the celestial is one and that of the terrestrial another, and by the glory of the stars he represents a third class of beings. And again, in order to show the difference existing in this third class, he says, as one star differeth from another star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead.

Here, then, are three distinct classes of beings in the eternal world, all of whom partake of happiness, each to be rewarded according to their works: one is represented by the sun, another by the moon, and a third by the glory of the stars, that is, by the apparent glory of the stars, or as they appear to us, and not as they would appear to individuals who are in their immediate vicinity.

This third class, it appears, differ in glory while the others are alike. In this third class there is a difference according to their works. Some will shine forth like the brightest stars in the firmament; while others, whose works have not been so honorable, will be like some of those stars that appear to the naked eye in the heavens much inferior.

Who are those individuals who will enter into the higher state of glory? I answer; they are the individuals who keep the law of God, who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who repent and forsake their sins, who receive the ordinances of the Gospel, who are baptized in the likeness of Christ’s death, who arise from the liquid element in the likeness of his resurrection, who receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, who walk steadfastly in all the principles revealed for the salvation of man, and who continue faithful to the end.

These are the righteous who will be admitted into the highest glory. Their glory will be full; it will be like the glory of the Son of God; as the Apostle John has said, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Their bodies will come forth from the grave fashioned like unto His glorious body, and in every respect they will inherit the same glory that the Son inherits, and hence they are one as the Father and Son are one.

Now many religious societies are so uncharitable in their feelings, that they suppose that all who die, not having received the plan of salvation, will sink down into a night of endless darkness. I speak of a certain class of Christians; they suppose there will be only two places—heaven and hell; and that all those who do not enter into heaven will sink to hell, where they must remain eternally.

But these are not the views of the Latter-day or former-day Saints. They believe that all will be judged according to their works. If they do not receive the fulness of the plan of salvation, yet, if they are among the honorable men of the earth, having dealt uprightly and honorably one with another, and have lived up to the light which they are in possession of, they will in due time be redeemed, and partake of a degree of glory; such will be exalted to all the happiness and greatness, wisdom and knowledge, light and intelligence which they are prepared for, or capable of receiving. It is true, they may have to associate in the intermediate state with beings, and powers, and principles that will not be pleasant; for the spirit world is, in some respects, like the world we live in.

Beings that enter the spirit world find there classes and distinctions, and every variety of sentiment and feeling; there is just as much variety in the spirit world as in this; consequently, they have to grapple with those powers and influences that surround them. Spirits have their agency between death and the resurrection, just as much as we have here. They are just as liable to be deceived in the spirit world as we are here. Those who are deceived may assist in deceiving others, for they have their classes, their theories, and their opinions. Almost everything that we see here is the same in the spirit world. They are mixed up with every variety, and are as liable to be deluded there as here.

Although the righteous enter into a state of rest and peace, and enjoy happiness in a great degree, yet their happiness is not complete, they are not perfected in glory. It is only their spirits that are there, and they will have to mingle more or less with inferior minds, and different dispositions; but still they will enjoy a great degree of happiness, for their own consciousness of having done right imparts pleasure, consequently it is a state of rest, of peace, free from the imperfections of mortality; but to say that they will be free from all association with beings that are sinful and inferior to themselves, we do not believe. It is true, they will go back to where Jesus is; they will have communion with him, and behold his face, but they will not always remain in one particular place or position; they will have their works to perform, as we have in this life.

If they are clothed with power and authority in this life, they do not leave their Priesthood when they leave this body, hence John heard them sing, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; And hast made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign on the earth.” We perceive that the Priesthood does not die with their bodies, the kingly authority does not cease with the mortal bodies: it is an office that continues forever, that continues in the spirit world, as well as after the resurrection. Those that receive their authority from heaven, will have to magnify it, and set a good example; and every person receiving an office in this Priesthood, and afterwards dying, will have to perform all the duties and exercise the functions thereof, in order that they may be useful to those spirits in an inferior state. If they hold the Priesthood before the resurrection, do we suppose that they will sit down and have nothing to do? No: there will be other individuals that will not hold the Priesthood, and that have not had the Gospel, and they will be sent to them, to enlighten their minds, and enable them, who will, to rise in the great scale of moral and intellectual excellence.

They will naturally have to mingle with all, as we do in this life; and this will be calculated to make it rather unpleasant; but they are wil ling to do this for the salvation of those who have died without the Gospel. Jesus himself set the example and pattern for others. While his body lay in the silent tomb, his noble spirit was not idle; hence, Peter says, that Jesus, being put to death in the flesh, was quickened by the spirit, by which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison that were sometime disobedient in the days of Noah, &c. Jesus entered the prison house of those persons who were destroyed in the mighty flood, and preached to them. Those antediluvian spirits had suffered in the prison some two thousand years, and upwards; they needed some information, and Jesus went to enlighten them.

Why were they shut up in prison? It was because they rejected some light in the days of Noah. It is true, that Noah and his three sons could not preach to all the world, but they had rejected some light, and they had to go to prison to atone for that sin.

It is not as some have supposed, that such characters have to go into a lake of fire and to welter there forever and ever. These persons were destroyed by the flood; they were shut up in prison and confined there; and after a long period, light broke in upon them, and the prison doors were thrown open. Jesus came for that purpose, not only to benefit the living, but also the dead—to open the prison doors, and break the chains of darkness. Jesus went and preached to the antediluvian spirits. What did he preach? Did he preach, “You must remain here to endless ages without hope of redemption?” If this were the proclamation, what was the use of going to proclaim it? What would be the use of telling those beings that they were to remain in misery, and that there was no chance of escape? No use of proclaiming such news in the ears of anyone. Peter tells us why he preached to them: he said, “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, and live according to God in the spirit.”

This was the object, then, that they might have the same Gospel that men have in the flesh. If we acknowledge they had not the opportunity of receiving it in the flesh, they must have it in the spirit world; for in the great judgment day all men are to be judged by the same Gospel, and consequently, in order to judge them, it was necessary that they should hear the same Gospel that was preached upon the earth, that they might have the privilege of entering into the presence of the Lord their God, or, if they rejected it, be justly condemned.

Jesus has set us the pattern, he held the Priesthood which was conferred by his Father, to redeem those spirits, that they might come forth in the morning of the first resurrection and receive eternal life, and partake a portion of that glory of which I have spoken. If Jesus did this, may not his servants do it also, being blessed in this life with the same authority from heaven, and holding that authority after death? May not they be engaged in the same benevolent purposes? Yes, they may.

These are our views, the views of the Latter-day Saints. And we believe that the spirits of the just will be sent on missions of mercy to those in prison, who had not in this life the opportunity of obeying those principles that I have referred to.

Much might be said with regard to the future state of man between death and the resurrection. We might go on and contrast the difference between man in the flesh, and man in the spirit world. There are many points of contrast, as well as of agreement, in these two states of existence. But we have not time to take up and contrast the difference between disembodied spirits, and those that are in an embodied state.

By way of conclusion, we will say, that all men will come forth and take bodies, some celestial, some terrestrial, and telestial, to occupy degrees of glory and be rewarded according to their works, unless they have sinned against the Holy Ghost. There are certain sins that cannot be forgiven in this world nor in that which is to come; to say that such shall be forgiven, we are not authorized, but all others, after suffering for their evil deeds, will come forth from the grave to receive for their good works, those that have done evil having suffered according to their evil deeds; and thus the justice and mercy of God will be displayed. All will partake of them according to the degree of light that has shone forth in their day.

We are called upon on this solemn occasion as a Territory to mourn the loss of one who has occupied a distinguished position among us, one whose course has been an exemplary one to all mankind, that is, so far as we are acquainted with him. He has now left us, but we expect to meet with him again and see his face. And it is not long before all now present will again meet with this distinguished individual.

May God bless us and enable us to be prepared to meet with each other in the eternal worlds, and to receive according to the justice and mercy of God. Amen.

Trials of the Saints—Redemption of Zion—Second Coming of Christ—The Word of Wisdom

A Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, May 20, 1855.

I have been much interested in the remarks that have been made by brother Jackman, for they have been according to my feelings, they were right to the point, and many useful ideas have been thrown out before us, and his words have been full of meaning. Although he has considered himself bashful before the people, yet the Lord has put into his heart those things that are calculated to interest the Saints.

We see, from what has been portrayed before us, the trials and difficulties that we, some of us, have had to endure in this Church; we also see, from what he has explained, the patience of the people in passing through those difficulties; no murmuring, no complaining, no faultfinding, but all taking hold with one heart and one mind to do the will of God, under the most straightened circumstances.

We can contrast this feeling with what we see manifested by some of our new emigrants; some of them come in here feeling dissatisfied, having become so in crossing the plains; they will differ with each other, lose the good spirit, and allow themselves to be controlled by an evil influence; I say we can see, from the discourse of brother Jackman, a great contrast between those that first came here, and those that now come. Now the question might arise in the minds of some, “Were the pioneers who came here so much better than those persons that now come?” I think not. “Then why was there no murmuring, nor faultfinding, nor apostasy?” The reason is obvious; those who first came here had more experience in such matters than the new emigrants have, who come here almost without experience in those things which they naturally come in contact with when crossing the plains.

In fact there are very few in the world that would do any better than the “Mormon” pioneers did the first year they came here. It requires experience to enable people patiently to pass through the scenes of trial that were endured by the pioneers, and those who first came into these valleys. Take our late emigration that have crossed over the plains, and let them be driven a few times from their comfortable habitations, and let them wander for months in the cold winter, and then send them off on an expedition, such as the pioneers took to this country, and you would see them quite a different people: you would see them altered and improved by the course of experience they had passed through; they would be benefited by certain kinds of experience which others have passed through before them; and, if attentive, they would add many important items to their former stock of wisdom and knowledge.

Consequently, it requires experience, not only for the old members, but for the new; and should the new members be permitted to come from the old countries, and meet with no poverty, no affliction, it would not be known whether those persons would endure such trials; and hence the necessity of such trials to give people experience.

It is true, they have had some things to pass through in the old country of a trying nature, but they have not had a series of different trials to encounter; therefore, there would be no telling whether they would stand or not, if called to pass through similar scenes of trials to those passed through by the earlier settlers of this Territory.

Then, it is not surprising to me that the Lord takes certain measures to bring those persons into difficult circumstances; in fact, we have the Lord’s own declaration for it, that He will try this people, not in some things, but in all things, to see if they will abide in the covenant, and He says, “If they will not, then they will not abide in me.”

Here, then, we perceive that each will have his share of trials, either in the beginning or in the advanced state of the Church. We do not know what they will be, only so far as God has revealed in His word. He has told us that we should be visited with famine and sword, with pestilence and distress; all these are predicted, and laid before this people in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. The Lord says, unless His servants should hearken to the words and counsels that He gives unto them, famine, trouble, and distress would overtake them. Now what benefit or what glory is there to an individual who is placed in circumstances that he cannot help but do right? For instance, suppose there were no intoxicating drinks in the world, what glory and credit would it be to an individual to say that he had kept himself from those things? If his father and his forefathers to the third or fourth generation of them, had died from drunkenness, he would have nothing to boast of; for he could not be a drunkard; therefore, I say, if this temptation was set before us as the forbidden tree was before mother Eve, and we withstood the temptation, then there would be some merit in it, far more than there is for a person to keep himself sober, because he is obliged to do so. So we may take other things in the same light.

Why did the Lord suffer the Hittites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites, and various others, to live among Israel? He had two purposes in view; one was to scourge Israel when they went astray from His commandments; and the other was to see whether they would overcome or not; He placed them where they would have temptations to test their fidelity; then, if directly in the face of the Law of God, they would falter or yield, and give way to the customs and vices of the heathen, they were not worthy of the glory of God, nor of being called His people.

But if the heathen had all been swept away, and those temptations had not been presented, where would have been the merit? It would have been very small indeed.

A commandment was given, forbidding the children of Israel to marry with the heathen; it was commanded that the sons of Israel should not take wives from among the heathen, neither should they give their daughters to the heathen.

Now there was temptation in those days, set before the children of Israel, and sometimes they would break through, and go beyond the bounds, like old Solomon, who transgressed, after God had appeared to him three times, and had given him many choice favors, and manifested Himself to him in dreams, and also when he spread forth his hands to pray God to bless the temple which he had built, then the Lord manifested Himself in the presence of all Israel, to His servant.

He was lifted up in the midst of Israel, and a kingdom and govern ment were given to him, far surpassing all the kingdoms and governments upon the earth, and yet, after all these things, and after the Lord had given him many wives, he took that which was forbidden; he took the daughters of the heathen nations; and he, being their head and their king; set this wicked—this evil example before all Israel, so that if they had followed his foolish and wicked ways, they would have been destroyed, but from the account we have, he was overcome by the temptations laid before him, and consequently the wives that he had taken led him away, so much so, that in his old age, he, in order to please those wives whom he had taken from among the Gentiles, bowed down to their gods. Here then were two evils, first, in taking heathen wives, and the next, in tampering with, and bowing down to their gods; and the Lord will judge him for all those things, just as He will us—according to the works we perform while in this state of probation.

If Solomon, in all his glory, had been contented with all those blessings given him, and had not yielded to the temptations laid to ensnare him, he would have increased in his glory and in his dominions; his glory would have increased in this world and in the future; but the Lord desired to try him.

This shows us that, though a man may be set upon a throne and be exalted high among men, yet he has his temptations, and blessed is he if he endures them and is faithful to his trust; and if he be in distress, bears it all with patience, for he will always have his trials, and no person will escape, all men must be tried and proven.

These are reflections that occurred to my mind while brother Jackman addressed us, showing the contrast between those who first came here, and those who now come. I was led to enquire, why there was such a vast difference; and the thought occurred to me that it was because of experience, for those who have been here from the first, have been pretty well buffeted, and before they came here they had learned how to submit, when the Lord saw proper to put upon them a chastisement.

Should all this people here in Utah be called to pass through such scenes as some of us have been called upon to encounter, I believe there would be many who would say, “Let us endure these things with all submission and patience before God.”

In order to do this, it is necessary for us, in our prosperity, to remember the Lord our God, for if men and women will not remember the Lord, when the heavens smile upon them, and when health is in their habitations—if they will not acknowledge the hand of God then, and be thankful for the blessings that they receive, you may be sure that they will not be so well prepared to endure trials, and to pass through adversities, as those who have, in the days of their prosperity, humbled themselves before the Lord, and acknowledged His hand in all things.

There are individuals in this Territory, of a careless disposition, and you may mark them, and those that have waxed fat, and their hearts are upon the things of this world, that when tribulations come, they will be the ones to quake and fear, while those who have taken a different course will be able to stand.

I heard brother Joseph, when speaking of those that were sick in Nauvoo, make remarks similar to those that I have now made. He said, that those who would not, when in good health, call upon the Lord, and acknowledge His hand in all things, and remember him, would not have faith when it was needed—he said that those individuals would have but very little faith in the days of their calamities and affliction.

Then seek to get faith and spirit sufficient to assist us in the days of our afflictions, that we may be prepared for all the vicissitudes of life. We ought to know that we are well off at the present, but all do not realize this fact.

How often I have thought of the remark made by the Prophet; nothing can be more true than that remark; it carries its own evidence with it, that those individuals who have wealth and riches in abundance, but do not remember the Lord, when troubles come, they will be in the greatest distress, generally speaking.

I do not know what the Lord will hereafter do with this people; I have not myself a sufficiency of the spirit of prophecy to understand all the events of the future; and I doubt very much, whether there is an individual in this Church that does know; but we do know, as far as the things of the future are revealed; and we may know many things by dreams and visions, but when it comes to principles, and to what the Lord will do with this people, I doubt very much whether there is an individual in the world, that knows the changes and variety of scenes through which this people will be called to pass.

There are, in many revelations, not only in modern but in ancient prophecy, predictions touching the scenes of the last days, and the trials of the Saints; and we ought to be prepared for whatever is to come, troubles, distress, famine, war, or anything else.

The Lord has said that great prosperity awaits us; far beyond what we now have, but I doubt very much whether this prosperity will come before we have passed through some further tribulations.

There are revelations in relation to the nations of the earth and this peo ple, that seem to indicate that we will have to pass through some things that we never have had to encounter, and it seems to me that we will have to stand forth and defend ourselves against our enemies. And we have got to be tried as Israel was, and to see whether our sons will marry Gentiles, or our daughters Gentile husbands.

Now if there were no Gentiles among us, we could not see whether there was any integrity among the people. Do you suppose that this people will be kept away from the Gentiles? No verily, the Lord does not intend that we should dwell separate from the world altogether. From this time forth, it is our duty to warn our sons and daughters, day by day, and night by night, and week by week, as has been told us from this stand to warn our sons and daughters, as God did our first parents, concerning the forbidden fruit. When He set the forbidden fruit before them, He said, “If you eat, it will make you mortal, whereas you are now immortal, but you may choose for yourselves.”

Now how do we know, but when the gates of Zion shall be open to the nations, that the Gentiles will come flocking in, like a flowing stream? A flowing stream is one that runs continually; and the Gentiles will, in that day, come to us as a flowing stream, and we shall have to set our gates open continually, they will come as clouds and as doves in large flocks. Do you suppose that the Gentiles are going to be ignorant of what is taking place? Now this will not be the case, they will perfectly understand what is taking place. The people will see that the hand of God is over this people; they will see that He is in our midst, and that He is our watchtower, that He is our shield and our defense, and therefore, they will say, “Let us go up and put our riches in Zion, for there is no safety in our own nations.”

Those nations are trembling and tottering and will eventually crumble to ruin, and those men of wealth will come here, not to be baptized, but many of them will come that have never heard the servants of God; but they will hear that peace and health dwell among us, and that our officers are all peace officers, and our tax-gatherers men of righteousness.

They will come, not to be baptized, but they will come with their old traditions and customs, and they will flee to Zion with their riches, but they will come in favor of their old customs, and of their old Gentile notions of religion; and if God is merciful unto them, so as to cause them to leave their native land, that we may take them up, and teach them, and nourish them, and bring them up to the standard of truth, all will be right; but if they neglect to observe and obey the instructions given, and to follow the good examples set before them, so much the greater their curse and condemnation.

If our sons and daughters will marry among them, they are much worse than the Gentiles are; for we have been instructed, and ought to know better.

But notwithstanding all that I have said, there may be a time to come, I do not know how long it will be, but the time will come when righteousness will be laid to the line and justice to the plummet.

There will be a certain degree of freedom used with those persons who may come unto Zion, but not so far as to partake of their deeds; but on the contrary, you are strictly prohibited from joining in their evil practices.

But if the Saints act wisely they may set an example before them that will do them good, and if there is any good or righteousness in them, an upright, holy example will bring it out. All this will take place, and there are many here that will live to see those things, and I rejoice that there is but a comparatively little time for those things to be accomplished.

I look at matters perhaps a little different from some that get away off this way and then the other, and when they get disappointed will apostatize.

In order to explain my feelings I will bring up one little example; for instance, it was expected that when the Saints gathered to Jackson County, there would be a perfect paradise, and that there would be an end to trouble and to opposition. And when the Saints were driven out from Jackson County, almost all in the Church expected that they would speedily be restored; and a person was considered almost an apostate that would say, they would not come back in five years, or ten at the furthest; but the prevailing opinion seemed to be that it would take place immediately.

When Zion’s Camp went up, and found the Saints all scattered abroad, what did we hear? Why, all in camp were on the tiptoe to have Zion redeemed immediately; perhaps some would stretch their faith and put it off for five years; but those were considered weak in the faith. This was their extreme enthusiasm.

I was appointed to visit all the Saints in Clay County, to strengthen them, and I proved to them from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that it would be very many years before Zion should be redeemed; and some would believe it, and some others would think that brother Pratt was rather weak in the faith; but I endeavored to show them that such and such things had got to be fulfilled before the redemption of Zion; and time has proved the truth of what I advanced.

Now let us see if they have not got to the other extreme; twenty-two years have passed since that time, and if we look around now, is it not the other way, the very opposite? The people think of almost everything else but the redemption of Zion, and speak to individuals about it, and they put it off a great distance ahead. But I do not feel to go to this extreme. I will give you my opinion; so far as the revelations go, in speaking of this subject, I think that this event is nearer than this people are aware of.

Again, take the subject of the coming of Christ, and as far back as 1831, I remember that I came on from New York to Kirtland, Ohio, and I found many Saints thinking that Christ would come immediately. Though I had but little experience, yet I had applied myself to the written revelations, for they were not then printed, but I frequently got the privilege of reading them, and copying some of them, and therefore, I had an opportunity of judging more correctly, perhaps, than those who had not the same privilege.

No doubt they felt exceedingly anxious to have him come, as we all do, and this anxiety overcame them, and hence they were mistaken. I have no doubt that there are others in the Church that think it is a far off event, an event that will probably take place in the days of their youngest children; but from what is written, I look upon it as an event that is much nearer than is generally supposed.

It is true, there is a great work to be performed, but the Lord has a great many to perform it. If He had them all concentrated in one vast body from England, Scotland, the nations of Europe, and the Islands of the sea, he could soon accomplish the work, notwithstanding its vastness.

A great work has to be brought about; how many years, or scores of years, it will be, I know not, but from the scenes we behold among the people, the breaking up of the nations, and the signs of the times, and the present aspects of the European war, and from the shutting up and closing up of the proclamation of the Gospel in many lands, the coming of Christ seems to be near at hand, yet Zion must be redeemed before that day; the temple must be built upon the consecrated spot, the cloud and glory of the Lord rest upon it, and the Lamanites, many of them, brought in, and they must build up the NEW JERUSALEM! It is true, so says the Book of Mormon, that inasmuch as the Gentiles receive the Gospel, they shall assist my people the remnant of Jacob, saith the Lord, to build the New Jerusalem. And when they have got it built, then we are told that they shall assist my people who are of Jacob to be gathered in unto the New Jerusalem.

Only a few thousands or hundreds of thousands, then, are to be engaged in this work, and then, after it is done, we are to assist the Lamanites to gather in; and then shall the powers of heaven be in your midst; and then is the coming of Christ.

It will not be before the Lamanites come in, nor before the temple is constructed in Jackson County; but there is a great people to do the work.

I look upon these events as something that will take place sooner than many expect, and it will find many putting it away at a distance. This is evident, from the fact, that he will find them eating and drinking with the drunkard, and marrying, and giving in marriage, to the very hour of his coming.

This shows the state of the world as it is to be at his coming, and if they are to perceive one event after another, why do they indulge themselves in these things? It shows that they do not perceive that it is so near.

It will not be those who have oil in their lamps, for they are ready, and when the sound goes forth, the oil is there; but it will be the others; their lamps will have gone out, and they will have no light; and hence he comes, and men are not aware of it; he enters in and the door is shut, and five out of the ten virgins that have actually gathered, as it appears, are numbered among hypocrites and unbelievers.

How often do I think of this, and the condition of the Saints? Will the Saints be ready? With all the evidence and testimony that they have portrayed before them from Sabbath to Sabbath, is it not strange that so many will be so unprepared for that terrible day of the Lord? It will be a pleasing day to the righteous, but terrible to the wicked.

This ought to brace us up, it ought to keep up our spirits, and cause us to prepare for that time. If I should not do this, I neglect my duty. Should I do wrong because some person in the Priesthood, high in authority, does wrong? No, it should have no influence whatever over me.

We should have the Spirit of light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and especially those that obey the truth. And if we will yield to this influence we will not be led away from the right path; we are not to give way, no, not even to angels who may pretend to come from heaven.

The spirit upon us should enable us to do that which is right, and that which is our duty. For instance, take the Word of Wisdom, which is given for our benefit and temporal salvation. It is true, disobedience to that is not so gross a sin as some others; but still, it is given for our temporal salvation, and should be observed. Now, it would require the servants of God to preach it every two weeks, or at least every month, to persuade this people to hearken to it; and yet they know it is the word of the Lord. If I were to call a vote, I presume that there would not be one that has come to the years of understanding but what would say, it is the word of the Lord.

They go away, after hearing a most glorious discourse upon this and other revelations, and perhaps they will keep the Word of Wisdom two or three days; but it makes their head ache, and then they take a little tea, and it does them good for the moment, and they think the Lord don’t know what they need as well as they do. I do not say that you do say this, but your actions bespeak this. But it is such a trial! It must be a terrible trial, which the Lord said the weakest of all that are or can be called Saints could obey. A thing like tea to have influence over us, so that we can only obey the Word of Wisdom two days, and then break it, until we hear another discourse, and thus breaking our covenants, it shows the folly and weakness of man. It shows how the influence of one man prevails over another.

Why cannot you be independent beings, and say, “I will do this, and that, and the other, let my neighbor do as he may; let my neighbor do as he will, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord?” This is what ought to be.

In making these remarks I take them to myself, although I have, as an individual, been very strict in relation to the Word of Wisdom since I have been in the Valley, and years before. Do not I like the good old tea? Yes I do, and when it is sweet ened up, and a little cream turned in, it is very pleasant, as no doubt also was the forbidden fruit; but it is for me to use my endeavors to have it observed, by setting a good example, that I may have influence over my neighbor and over my family; and I do use that influence as far as is consistent, but it is difficult to persuade persons from their old habits.

I wonder what those persons would do, if called to be martyred for their religion, who cannot do without violating the Word of Wisdom! I am aware that it is not by constraint, and a man should not constrain his family to obey it, but every man will have to give an account of his doings, and abide the consequence, whatever it may be, if it be the destroying angel going through the land to slay the disobedient.

A man may keep the Word of Wisdom so far as tea, coffee, and tobacco are concerned, and still come very short. If he wishes and intends to be right, he must obey this, together with all the commandments and Words of Wisdom. We must regulate our thoughts, our comings in, our goings out, and all our doings and our minds by the Spirit of the Lord, and by the counsels of His servants. Can the destroyer have influence over such a man?

Let such a man stand up and say, “Lord, I have done as you told me, I have kept your words.” Could such a man be destroyed before he had accomplished his work on the earth? I question it. Well, we shall undoubtedly see a time when we shall need such confidence as this.

May the Lord bless us all for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Progress of the Work—Consecration—Preaching to Israel—The Times of the Gentiles—Sanctification of the Saints

An Address by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the New Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, April 7, 1855.

With great pleasure I arise before this large congregation assembled here in the capacity of a General Conference. I feel great joy in having the privilege which is now granted to me to stand before you. What I may say, I do not know, but I trust in that God whom we all serve, that He will pour out upon us the Spirit of truth—the Comforter—that shall enable us to say those things which shall do you the most good.

I do not know that I shall be enabled to make the outskirts of this large assembly hear me, but I will speak as loud as I conveniently can.

I truly feel to rejoice, when reflecting upon the greatness of the work in which we are engaged; I rejoice with that joy which I am incapable of finding language to express. The Lord has truly accomplished great things during the twenty-five years that this Church has had an existence upon the earth—things that no man, unless he were filled with a very great measure of the Spirit of God, could have anticipated in the early rise of this Church. Nothing but the hand of an Almighty Being could have brought about a work of the magnitude which we behold before our eyes. It is the hand of the Almighty; it is the power which He has ordained, and the agencies that He has employed, which have performed that which we behold before us.

I have not only read the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I have grown up, as it were, in their midst. It will be twenty-five years next September since I was baptized into this Church. At that time I am not aware that there were fifty persons who had been baptized into the Church. How many of those persons still live, and are in the faith, I know not; but I believe, from the testimony of our President, which was given before us in the tabernacle yesterday, that if we were to search through the lengths and breadths of our Territory, and among all the various Branches scattered abroad, there are but a very few individuals indeed, of those who embraced the work in the early rise of this Church, that are still living and strong in the faith. Many of them are gone to the tomb; their bodies slumber while their spirits are mingling with the just, waiting the sound of the trump to call them forth to glory, immortality, and eternal lives. How soon we shall follow and lay down these mortal tabernacles, we know not; neither do I, as an individual, care, if I can be prepared in all things, if I can be ready for that day, to stand in my lot and station, and receive the reward that is promised to those who endure in faith to the end; it matters not to me whether the time shall be longer or shorter; and I presume there are thousands now before me who feel on this subject in the same manner that I do; they care but a very little about this mortal tabernacle; they are looking for a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; they are looking for mansions that are prepared in the presence of God their Father; they are looking for immortality and eternal lives.

But we have no promise, unless we endure in faith unto the end; whether we live few or many years upon the earth, we must endure through all the trials, tribulations, difficulties, and persecutions which the Lord sees fit in His infinite wisdom to cause us, as individuals, or as a people, to wade through; we must endure them, and hold steadfast to the faith, if we would inherit the crowns of eternal lives that are promised to the faithful.

In speaking of this, I will qualify my language by saying, that the Saint who has been sealed unto eternal life and falls into transgression and does not repent, but dies in his sin, will be afflicted and tormented after he leaves this veil of tears until the day of redemption; but having been sealed with the spirit of promise through the ordinances of the house of God, those things which have been sealed upon his head will be realized by him in the morning of the resurrection. But it is my desire and my constant prayer that I may so live, that when I depart from this life—when I lay down this mortal body (if I am called upon to lay it down before the coming of our Lord), I may enter into the paradise of rest, and not only conquer Satan, and have power over him here, but have power over him and all his hosts hereafter. These are my feelings, these are my desires, and this is my prayer.

What am I willing to do to accomplish this? I will tell you what I feel willing to do. I am willing to do everything the Lord requires at my hands, so far as I understand His will concerning me. What is property? What is gold? What is silver? What are houses and inheritances, or any of the riches of this world, compared with the riches of eternal life? Have I anything that I have obtained by my own wisdom, or by my own exertions, independent of the hand and providences of the Almighty? No, I have not. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof is His. I am in His hands, and all that I have is in His hands; and if the servants of God require it, if God desires all that I have, it is on hand, at any moment. These are my feelings; and should not these be the feelings of all the Latter-day Saints? (Voice, “Yes.”)

We heard the testimony of our President from this stand this forenoon, concerning himself, and that which God has been pleased to put within his possession. God has been with him, and His hand has been over him for good, and He has blessed him in all things that he has set his hand to do, even as He blessed Joseph when he was sent down into Egypt. He has accumulated by the providence of the Almighty much of this world’s goods; God has given it to him. You heard him express himself before you, that he had made arrangements to consecrate all that he has unto the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If, then, our President—a man of great possessions, with houses and lands, inheritances, cattle, and with an abundance, is willing to consecrate the whole of it for the building up of the cause of God, should not we be willing to follow in his footsteps? Yes, verily.

As I have said in days that are past, the time will come (and how soon we know not), but it will come, when this people will become of one heart and of one mind in temporal things, as well as in spiritual: they will as individuals be identified with the Church, and all they possess, whether it be gold, or silver, or jewelry, or cattle, or flocks, or herds, or lands, or houses, or wives, or children, it matters not what they possess, it will all go as it shall please the Lord, according to His counsel, and His direction for the building up of this kingdom.

But you know that property is the Gentiles’ god; it is sought after more eagerly than any other thing by the Gentile nations; it is worshipped by them, and their hearts are set on their treasures; and their treasures are of the earth and of an earthy nature; and it will take a long time for the Saints to get rid of their old idols—their idolatrous notions and traditions. The Gentile god has great influence even over the Saints; consequently it will take years to eradicate covetousness from our hearts; as our President has told us that the law relating to a full consecration of our property would perhaps be one of the last laws that would be fulfilled before the coming of Christ. Much patience and forbearance will need to be exercised before the Saints will get completely rid of their old traditions, Gentile notions, and whims about property, so as to come to that perfect law required of them in the revelations of Jesus Christ. But the day will come when there will be no poor in Zion, but the Lord will make them equal in earthly things, that they may be equal in heavenly things; that is, according to His notions of equality, and not according to our narrow, contracted views of the same.

Having said this much with regard to property, I wish now to say a few words in regard to one of the most glorious events which has taken place for a long time. It is in regard to sending the Gospel to the house of Israel. O how this ought to rejoice the hearts of the Saints! The Lord told us, in the early rise of this Church, something about the day that is now upon us, and we understood it in a measure; but now the period—the glorious period, has arrived, when we can see the thing fulfilling before our eyes. If you will read the revelations given in 1833, you will find in them a promise made, when the time should arrive for this Gospel to be sent to the house of Israel. If you will read another revelation given on the 7th day of March, 1831, you will there learn also concerning the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles.

I wish to say a few words upon two subjects; first, the times of the Gentiles being come in; and second, their times being fulfilled, and the sending of the Gospel to the house of Israel.

In a revelation, given in March, 1831 (twenty-four years ago), to the Prophet Joseph, concerning what Jesus said to the Apostles at Jerusalem, in regard to the last days, and the day of their redemption, etc., Jesus said to his Apostles, when that day shall come, and the light shall begin to break forth among them that sit in darkness, when the fulness of my Gospel shall begin to break forth, that is the period when “the time of the Gentiles shall come in.” Mark the expression; when the light shall begin to break forth, then at that period the time of the Gentiles shall have come in, and in that generation “the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled.”

Here then, we perceive the two distinctions, when the light begins to break forth; that is, when the Book of Mormon is translated, when the Church is organized, these events bring in the time of the Gentiles, and in the generation that the light breaks forth the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled. We are also told in the same revelation that the Jews who were to be scattered from old Jerusalem, should remain scattered, until the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled; consequently, this is the reason why the Jews have not gathered since the rise of this Church. If they were gathered together—if they had assembled at old Jerusalem, it would have contradicted the prophecies and revelations God has given on this subject. They are to remain scattered, said the Lord, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and their times are to be fulfilled in the generation that their time comes in, or when the light of the fulness of the Gospel begins to break forth.

Another revelation upon this subject says, that after the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, the servants of God should be sent forth to Israel. What shall then take place? Behold, “then cometh the day of my power.” “Then,” when the servants of God turn from the Gentile nations, and shall go forth by commandment of the Almighty, being sent by His Church, the voice of His people, and the Holy Spirit, unto the nations of Israel, “then cometh the day of my power,” saith the Lord. What kind of power? He goes on to tell us, that it should come to pass, that the tribes and nations of Joseph should hear the Gospel in their own tongue, and in their own language, through those who are sent forth and ordained unto this power through the gift of the Holy Ghost shed forth upon them, for the revelations of Jesus Christ.

Now the Lord does not accomplish all things in twenty-four years, but He takes His own time to bring to pass the great work He is performing on the earth. Twenty-five years have passed away, and the voice of the Spirit in the servants of God now is, “Go forth to the house of Israel; for lo, the Gentiles count themselves unworthy of eternal life, go to the house of Israel, to the seed of Jacob, call upon them, hunt them out from the holes, the rocks, and from the dens of the earth; gather them together, that the covenants and promises made to their fathers my be realized and fulfilled.” Israel are upon all the face of the earth. Some think that these American Indians are Israel, and we think that they are too; but they are only one part or portion of the twelve tribes; indeed, they are only a very small portion of the tribes of Joseph, the most of them being the descendants of Manasseh. But Israel dwell upon the islands of the sea, and in the countries and nations of Europe, in the various kingdoms and empires of Asia; some are scattered through Africa, and wherever you go you find the promised seed—the descendants of Jacob. And if we had the voice of a trumpet and could make our speech heard unto the ends of the earth, we would say to all the nations of our globe—to all peoples, kindreds, and tongues, “Hear ye, when the Lord sends forth a proclamation to Israel that are in your midst; for then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that all nations shall see the salvation of God, for His arm shall be made bare in the eyes of all people; it shall be made bare in power, in signs, in wonders, and in mighty miracles, to bring about His purposes unto the house of Israel.”

Who, then, does not feel honored that has been appointed to such a mission by the servants of God during this Conference. Do the missionaries, do the Elders count this a light thing? They should have no such feelings as these; great things result from small beginnings, and the Lord delights to work among the children of men in this way, bringing about great results from small things, that is, from things that are apparently small. This was the case in regard to the organization of this Church with six members only.

Twenty-five years ago yesterday, we were organized into a Church capacity, to whom the Lord gave revelations through the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator who was in our midst, concerning the things that are now about to take place. From six members it has multiplied, and multiplied, until at the present time, there is scarcely a nation under the whole heavens, but what has heard the voices of the servants of the living God. This is something glorious; it is something that is calculated to give joy to the hearts of the Saints of the Most High. What can be more pleasing than to see the prophecies both of ancient and modern times fulfilling constantly before our eyes.

“But,” inquire the people, “do you believe that the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled yet?” No; they are not fulfilled yet. Hundreds and thousands, and tens of thousands of the Gentiles among the various nations of the earth will yet bow to the fulness of the Gospel; and they will come, and the gates of Zion will not be shut day nor night, that the forces of the Gentiles may flow unto her. The Lord will continue to work among both Israel and Gentiles, and His power will increase, the more we send the Gospel among Israel; the more the servants of God seek for the seed of Jacob, the more will the powers of heaven be displayed for the redemption of that people. They are the promised seed; God has not forgotten the prayers of their fathers; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob prayed for their posterity, and they had faith for them, and in them all the nations of the earth are to be blessed. And those that bow down and worship the works of their own hands will forsake their idols when the day of the Lord’s power shall be made manifest in and through the chosen seed. Then will be fulfilled that which was written by the Prophet Ezekiel, that the Lord will gather them with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out: and He will assemble them in the wilderness, and there will He plead with them face to face, like as He plead with their fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt; thus saith the Lord, by the mouth of Ezekiel. He will plead with them by His power; He will plead with them by His angels; and He will plead with them by the revelation of His own face.

And this makes me think of the prophecy delivered by the Prophet Joseph, concerning the Elders in this Church. They were very anxious, in the early rise of the Church, to have the angels of God come from heaven to administer to them, and to have the face of the Lord unveiled in their midst, when they were unprepared for it. By sectarianism and the traditions handed down to us by our fathers, we were not prepared to abide the presence of those holy beings who dwell in the celestial worlds. Joseph, knowing this by the Spirit of truth, arose and said to the Elders, that when the time came that they should go forth unto the house of Israel, when that day should arrive, and their hearts were sufficiently purified before the Lord, then the Lord should appear unto them, that is, in His own time, in His own way, and after His own order, and in His own place. Now this will shortly be fulfilled. Let these missionaries go forth and endure troubles like good and faithful Elders; let them bear all afflictions and trials patiently; let them not be fainthearted when they go hungry and thirsty; and when they suffer cold, and when they are in deep distress and sore difficulties; for be assured that the time is not far distant when God will fulfil these promises that He made by the mouth of His servant Joseph the Prophet; and the face of the Lord will be unveiled.

How pleasant—how glorious it would be, if we had proved ourselves in all things; if we had become pure in heart, with no unbelief, no evil, no abominations, but our hearts perfectly pure before God; if we could behold His smiling face, and look upon Him, and hear the words of His mouth, pronouncing blessings upon our heads. Would not this be worth sacrificing all things for? Yes; how pleasing—how glorious it would be, could we see those three old Nephites whose prayers have ascended up, for something like 1,800 years, in behalf of the children of men in the last days, and have them return to their old native land, and find the kingdom of God prepared and pure to receive them, and could we hear their teachings, and their voices lifted up in our midst.

Should not this be cheering to our hearts? Yes. Is there anything too great for us to suffer or endure, or any sacrifice too great for us to make to be prepared to receive blessings of this description? No. Then let us wake up, and be assured that just as soon as we prepare ourselves for these blessings, so soon they will be upon our heads. Do you suppose that these three Nephites have any knowledge of what is going on in this land? They know all about it; they are filled with the spirit of prophecy. Why do they not come into our midst? Because the time has not come. Why do they not lift up their voices in the midst of our congregations? Because there is a work for us to do preparatory to their reception, and when that is accomplished, they will accomplish their work, unto whomsoever they desire to minister. If they shall pray to the Father, says the Book of Mormon, in the name of Jesus, they can show themselves unto whatsoever person or people they choose. The very reason they do not come amongst us is, because we have a work to do preparatory to their coming; and just as soon as that is accomplished they are on hand, and also many other good old worthy ancients that would rejoice our hearts could we behold their countenances, and hear them recite over the scenes they have passed through, and the history of past events, as well as prophesy of the events to come. How great and how precious are the promises of the Lord, contained in ancient revelation! How great and precious are the promises He is still making almost every week from the stand, by the mouth of the President whom He has appointed over all this Church! How earnestly has He plead with us as a people! Can we not bear witness? Would not the walls of this Tabernacle, if they could speak, bear witness how faithfully we have been warned, week after week, month after month, and year after year, to cease from all evil, to purify our hearts, to do the things that are required at our hands, and not merely say, “Yes, we will go and do it,” but go and do it? It is the study of the servants of God, by day and by night, how to sanctify this people before God—how to lead them according to the law of righteousness, until they hate wickedness and abomination; and when the servants of God see evil rising in our midst they are filled with the spirit of justice, the Spirit of the Almighty fills their souls with indignation against all wicked works, and abominations, and dishonesty, and corruption that may enter these peaceful Valleys. Let us then give heed to the warning voice; let us not count these things as a mere song—as a trifling anecdote to amuse our ears, but let us endeavor to do the things that are required at our hands.

If we have property, let us tithe that property; if we have the privilege of consecrating all we have, and it is required, let us do it freely, and voluntarily, and that will be pleasing in the sight of God, trusting in Him who holds the heavens and the earth in His own hands, who holds the creations of eternity in His own hands, and sways His scepter over kingdoms and worlds without number, and controls them according to His own will and pleasure. Has He not told us, in the early rise of this Church, if we would do His will, and seek the riches that is the will of the Father to bestow upon us, we should be the richest of all people; for the riches of eternity should be given to us, and it must needs be, saith the Lord, that the riches of the earth are mine to give. They are all His; how easily He could turn all the riches of the earth into our hands, if we were only prepared to receive them and use them according to His will. But He knows the time to hasten them, and He knows the secret intents of our hearts as a people; He knows whether we are prepared to use the riches of the earth to build up His kingdom or not, and He will withhold them, until the time shall fully come for Him to bless us according to the promise He has made—until we shall be prepared to receive them; we shall have riches then in great plenty. Gold will be so plentiful that we may find no use for it only to make culinary and other utensils; we may use some of it for paving our streets, and for whatsoever is necessary; we can use the gold and silver which we have not toiled for in the gold mines of California and Australia, to collect for ourselves; we shall have that which others have labored for, but were unworthy because of wickedness to enjoy.

We have heard the Elders of the Church give us some idea how this may be brought about. How easy it is for the Lord to stay the rains of heaven, as He did last season in the United States, and shut up the windows on high, that they should not pour out their refreshing showers on the earth, and cause the grain to wither away, and the earth to become barren and desolate, and to reduce the people to starvation; how easy it is for Him to cause these Valleys to be far more abundantly fruitful than heretofore, and to yield their strength in great profusion to the inhabitants of this Territory, and to make their granaries flow with plenty, so that they should hardly have room to contain it. Do you not think this would be tempting to the starving nations, and would they not give gold and silver, and riches, and all things that are now considered choice and valuable by them for that which would appease their appetites? Yes; the Lord can accomplish all this; the rains are in His hands; all things are in His hands to control just as we can control our bodily members; consequently the Lord is a very handy workman, and can bring about His purposes with scarcely any efforts on His part; all He has to do is to speak the word, and it is done.

Let us then, prepare ourselves for whatever shall take place—to be very rich or very poor; it matters not, if we are doing the will of God, whether we have an abundance, or are like the Indians of our Valleys, with scarcely anything to subsist upon from day to day. But if we do the will of God in all things we shall not be left in poverty and distress. Why? Because the Lord has made a decree upon this subject, you can read it in the Book of Covenants. He says, “Inasmuch as my people will hearken unto me, from this very hour, and do the things I command them, the kingdoms of this world shall not prevail against them.” And again, “Zion shall flourish upon the mountains and upon the hills.” That was said before we came to these Valleys, to inhabit this mountainous district; we were living on those low, broad, flat prairies of the west when He gave us this promise, that Zion should flourish upon the mountains and hills, and that His people should blossom as the rose. This promise was made upwards of twenty years ago, and you can bear me witness whether it is fulfilled or not.

Has not Zion prospered on the mountains, and flourished on the hills? Yes, verily. Never were this people in as healthy a condition, or in as good circumstances as you see them at this day; and we shall flourish more abundantly; and as brother Kimball said to us this forenoon, our riches will be multiplied over five hundredfold if we do the will of God, and not labor for that which perisheth, to heap up riches, but try to keep the commandments of God, and labor for the truth’s sake, because we love the truth, because we love honesty, and righteousness, and goodness; this should be the motive power that should prompt our actions—that should inspire us to do the will of God, because we love that which is good. Then we will be happy; we will be happy whether we are poor, and passing through tribulation pertaining to the body or not, we will be cheerful and happy.

I do greatly rejoice; and when I reflect upon the scenes before me, and upon what He will do, so far as He has revealed it in the revelations, and so far as the Spirit of truth opens the visions of our minds to contemplate these things; I say, when I reflect upon these things, I do not know where to find language to express my feelings—to express the joy and gratitude of my heart for these glorious benefits and gifts bestowed upon the people of God in these last days! O how happy I feel that I have the privilege of being among this people. Nearly twenty-five years, as I have stated, have rolled over my head since I had the privilege of going into the waters of baptism, and being immersed for the remission of my sins; I am still one with this people, and in your midst; and I rejoice—my soul is glad, and I feel to cry, Hosannah to God and the Lamb, who has been so kind and so merciful to me.

May the God of heaven bless you all, and His spirit be poured out upon you, that your hearts may be enlightened; and may He continually multiply the blessings of heaven and earth upon you, is the prayer of your humble servant in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Holy Spirit and the Godhead

A Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the open air, on the Temple Block, Great Salt Lake City, February 18, 1855.

I presume that the people who are now before me feel, with myself, somewhat disappointed in their expectations this morning. We met together here for the purpose of hearing an address from our beloved President, in regard to the views of this people respecting the Government of the United States, and our relations and connection with that Government as a people.

It is certainly a disappointment to me, and I have no doubt but it is to all who are under the sound of my voice, but you see that the house is insufficient to accommodate us all, and in consequence of this, being requested by some of the First Presidency, I have come out into the open air for the purpose of addressing you, according to the strength of my lungs and the wisdom which God may be pleased to give me.

Let us all lift up our hearts in faith before the Lord, that in our disap pointment in not hearing the President, the Lord may still be merciful, and pour out from on high the Holy Ghost upon us, that we may be instructed and edified, and have our minds strengthened by the gifts, and power, and wisdom thereof; for without the gifts and strength of the Holy Spirit to inspire the hearts of those who speak and of those who hear, our remarks will be in vain, and our hearing will be in vain; but keep that Spirit with us, and then, notwithstanding the circumstances under which we are placed, all will be well; and never let the Saints feel discouraged, neither forget to pray for the Holy Spirit to rest down upon them, and upon those who speak to them, that each and all may be directed to act at all times by that Spirit that is able to guide into all truth. This certainly is the object for which we are gathered out from the nations of the earth; this is the object for which we are assembled here today; at least, it ought to be. We ought not to have any other thing in view only to be blessed, edified, and strengthened in the Lord.

I am sure that I have no other object in view, and I am the last person in my feelings that would come out and undertake to speak for the sake of hearing myself and getting the applause of men; for so far as speaking is concerned, I feel more like retiring into some lonely place; for I never did feel a desire to be engaged in public life, only so far as I can do good; but I have a desire to serve the Lord, I have a desire to do good, I have a desire to persuade men and women to become righteous, I have a desire to understand the knowledge and things of God, and those great principles that will be calculated to aid me under all the circumstances of this life, as well as in that which is to come; and for these things I live, and for this cause (believing that it is required of my hands by the Lord) I take a part in public life.

I believe I will take a text, and then I can, perhaps, collect my thoughts and concentrate my mind upon some subject. I am aware that it is very difficult to speak in the open air, but I will endeavor to make all hear. I know of no more appropriate text than one which is expressed in two words, and it is therefore a very short one; and although I have spoken and written upon the subject before, there may be those present who are not fully acquainted with it, and it may also assist the Elders to defend our principles when they are sent forth to preach the Gospel. It is comprehended in the following two words—“Be one.”

Why are we required to be one? What is the object of being one? I do not know of any better way to illustrate this question than this—if this congregation who are now present be fore me, were required to perform some great and mighty works, wherein great strength was necessary to be exerted, and each individual went and tried to perform the work given to them to do unitedly, his acts, being individually and separately performed, would fail to perform the work.

It may be a work of great moment which we are called upon to perform, requiring all the union, strength, and force that are in our minds. If men undertake any work of great magnitude by their united force and strength, they may be able to bring to pass that which they could not accomplish individually; and so it is with regard to the things of the kingdom of God.

We are required to be one in order that our exertions and strength may be united, and have an influence to accomplish our great end and aim; for by our united faith and exertions we shall be able to prove ourselves worthy. The Saints are universally interested, as much as we are, in the building up of this kingdom, which requires oneness of action.

The devil is all the time working in opposition to our exertions, and he feels quite interested in opposing us by all his forces, embodied and disembodied; for he has a great many ways by which he overcomes the human family, and brings them into bondage. He has been a long time in war with the kingdom of God, and has become very wily, and has great experience in his favor, and that is the way he has acquired such a great deal of cunning; although he has not the same degree of knowledge that there is in exercise in behalf of the Saints; for he knows not the mind of God in all things.

That he is thus limited in knowledge is clearly revealed in the Prophet Joseph’s inspired translation of the book of Genesis. He has many years of experience, and so have his associates; for they have been enga ged in a spiritual warfare for many ages, endeavoring to bring into captivity the spirits of men, to lead them into subjection to his own power; and it requires a strong force to operate successfully against his numerous host; consequently, we read that in the last great battle that shall be fought with this adversary, all the forces of heaven will be brought to bear against him: they will all be united in one great body under the direction of our father Adam, the chief prince, the archangel who was appointed in the beginning to overcome the devil by the assistance of his children. He will marshal all the hosts of heaven, and will be able to prevail against him; and then will the Saints be delivered from his power from henceforth and forever.

Now you see the nature of the thoughts and ideas that the Savior had in his mind when he commanded his people to be one. We have to learn the lesson of union here, and when the time shall come for the commands to be issued forth by the archangel, or the head angel, that his children may be ready, and all under his command really prepared to go and perform the work that is given them to do. How, or in what manner, this battle will be fought, it is not necessary in this discourse to explain; indeed, we do not know all the particulars, for they are not revealed, but we may judge from analogy.

We see how the devil operates with us in this life, for he knows now that our strength is broken; some are in distant settlements, and some here, and others scattered abroad among the nations; and he is all the time operating and laying plans for the purpose of injuring and afflicting the Saints of the living God; and he will not alter his evil course, but will try to entrap as many as possible by his stratagems, and lead them astray from the path of life. That is the way he fights against the cause of God.

Whether there will be any physical force used by celestial beings when fighting against other beings, is not revealed; but suffice it to say, that there will be a spiritual strength and force exercised, and an endeavor made to overcome the minds of men and women, and bring them into subjection and captivity; and when the mind is brought into subjection, there will be a spiritual misery, and this is one of the greatest causes of misery.

It is not this physical body that suffers in such a case as the one we have mentioned; but as I have, years ago, frequently told the people that the body has not life in itself; it is the spirit that has life and feeling, and that is capable of experiencing sorrow and joy, and all those changes of sensation to which we are liable in this mortal state; when we are overcome, the spirit is in bondage, subject to the power of him who has subjected and overcome it, and so it will be with those that Satan finally overcomes; they will become his prisoners, for he will have prevailed against them; and thus they are spiritually subdued.

If they are overcome in their bodies while here, if their minds are bound down in captivity by their great enemy, if they render themselves subject to him, it will produce misery and pain and wretchedness to every such soul. This is compared to a literal pain of the body by fire and brimstone, about which so much has been said by the religious world.

I do not know but there will be a literal hell of this description; for aught I know, the Lord may have worlds prepared with plenty of fire and brimstone in them; but in my opinion the greatest torment the wicked will have, will be the torment and sting of the mind, being brought into subjection to that being that is continually seeking to overcome and entangle mankind in his snares.

Then, it is necessary that we should be one, and hence the Lord said to us in the early rise of this Church, “If ye are not one, ye are not mine.” Why not His? Why will He not accept of us? Because without union, without concentration, it is clear that we cannot enjoy ourselves as the Lord designs we should; in short, exclusive of the principle and spirit of union, we never can accomplish any great work like the one given into our hands.

The Lord, therefore, designed to have His people united in one, to show us the nature of His laws, and the necessity of being united, so that we may enjoy the society of the ancients, and be one with them.

We are also commanded to shun all contentions and strifes, and all those friendly emanations that would create a hell for us, and for those with whom we are associated in our families.

The Lord has no sure foundation to work upon, unless we are united; and consequently in order to prevent discord and disunion, the results of everyone going his own way, He has warned us beforehand, and said that unless we are one, we are not His.

But let us for a few moments examine this text. The Scriptures read in one place that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one. What are we to understand from this expression? Are we to understand that the persons of the Father and Jesus Christ are incorporated in one? No, it has no such meaning as this. Then are they one in substance, as the Methodist discipline, and many other creeds, declare? No; from the very fact that two particles of matter can never be one; or in other words, where one is, the other is not, and cannot be at the same instant of time.

There may be several separate substances existing at the same time, pos sessed of the same properties, perfections, and attributes; the particles of which they are composed may be the same in kind, and be possessed of the same amount of wisdom, power, and intelligence; but still they are separate substances, occupying separate portions of space; so with the persons of the Father and Son: for instance, if we examine the constituents of rum water obtained in Utah and in France, we find them the same, not in substance, but in quality.

A particle of oxygen, or of hydrogen in Europe, is precisely the same in quality as in America, or anywhere else; it is just so with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They are one in the attributes and principles that exist in their substances, the materials being the same in kind and qualities only. But I will not say that the Holy Ghost is a personage, the same as the Father and Son. When I speak of the Holy Spirit, I speak of it as being a substance that is precisely the same in its attributes as those of the Father and Son; I speak of it as a substance that is diffused throughout space, the same as oxygen is in pure water or air, and as being cognizant of every day’s events. And wherever this Holy Spirit is, it possesses the same attributes and the same kind of qualities that the personages of the Father and the Son are possessed of; consequently, the oneness that is here spoken of, must be applied to the attributes, and not to the persons themselves.

This subject has been a great mystery to men in the religious world; they could not comprehend it, and consequently they have conjectured many things in relation to it, without having the inspiration of the Almighty to guide them; and hence, one has got one idea, and another has conjectured in his way and got another idea, quite different from that of his neighbor. And in this way men have got up creeds and systems diverse from each other, and contrary to the real truth; and about these false creeds they have been striving and contending for ages.

For my own part, I see no mystery about it; the subject is plain and simple to those who enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In order to explain my mind more fully upon this subject, I will take a father and son, and a person who lives with them, and works about the farm, and performs such other duties as may be required: let those persons have the same attributes, suppose that one knows as much as the other, and that they all act in union and concert; it could then be said of those three persons that they were one; and no one would, from that expression, suppose them to be one identical person, but everyone would believe and understand that they were one in their knowledge, one in their views, and in their attributes. I understand the same with regard to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

I will tell you what I believe in regard to the Holy Ghost’s being a person: but I know of no revelation that states that this is the fact, neither is there any that informs us that it is not the fact, so we are left to form our own conclusions upon the subject, and hence some have concluded that they were right, and that others were not. It is in fact a matter of doubt with many, and of uncertainty, I believe, with all, whether there be a personal Holy Spirit, or not.

I am inclined to think, from some things in the revelations, that there is such a being as a personal Holy Ghost, but it is not set forth as a positive fact, and the Lord has never given me any revelation upon the subject, and consequently I cannot fully make up my mind one way or the other.

I know there are indications that such is the fact; for instance, where the personal pronoun is applied to the Spirit, as “He shall lead and guide you into all truth;” “he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak;” and “he shall take of the things of the Father, and show them unto you.”

From these and many other passages of the same kind and bearing, we may draw the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is actually a person. Then, again, there are other revelations where the pronoun it is applied, such for instance as, “The Spirit itself maketh intercession with groanings that cannot be uttered.” And many other revelations convey the idea that the Spirit is a diffused substance. Just so in the Book of Mormon, we find many of those terms, and consequently we are left to our own conjecture respecting there being a personal Holy Spirit; but one thing is certain, whether there is personal Holy Spirit or not, there is an inexhaustible quantity of that Spirit that is not a person. This is revealed; this is a fact. And it is just as probable to my mind, that there should be a portion of it organized into a person, as that it should exist universally diffused among all the materials in space.

This Holy Spirit is all-wise, and in many of its attributes much like the Father and Son, and acts in concert with them. It governs and controls all things, and from this some might infer that it has the same knowledge and power as the Father and Son have.

I will tell you some of the knowledge that this Holy Spirit has; it controls all the laws that you see existing around you in the variations of the weather and the changes of the seasons, and all those phenomena that you behold, and that you call the laws of nature; all these are nothing more nor less than the workings of this all-wise Spirit.

You see a stone or other substances fall to the ground, and you ask, What makes them fall, and what controls them? Why will they not rise? Has any person ever found out the cause of this? No; even Sir Isaac Newton’s principles of gravitation have failed to show it; as learned a man as he was, he has only given us an index or key to the effects, but not the cause of those effects. He has taken great pains to show us that when anything falls to the ground, it is the effect of the law of universal gravitation; but he himself declares that the law gives no indication of the cause; he makes this declaration in his writings.

If, then, he knew nothing about the cause of stones falling, and if no other persons know, the inquiry may still with propriety be made—what is the cause of stones or any other substances, when hurled into the air, falling to the earth? This is one of the mysteries of nature not yet discovered, unless we can attribute it to the Holy Spirit’s governing and controlling all things. But is the Holy Spirit in the stone, says the inquirer? And is it that which causes it to fall to the ground, instead of going upward, or instead of going in a horizontal direction? This Spirit is in all things, governing and controlling them according to the eternal decrees of the Almighty. “How do you prove it,” says one? I will prove it by quoting a revelation where it says, “He is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.”

“And the light which now shineth,” meaning the light of the sun, “which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your un derstandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God, to fill the immensity of space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.”

This light, then, recollect, is so universally diffused, that it giveth light to all things. This is the same light that governs all things, and it is called the “power of God.” And this, in connection with another passage in the same revelation, clearly sets forth the doctrine I have presented before you; the passage says that “light cleaveth to light.” You all recollect the paragraph. The revelation goes on to say that “God, who sitteth upon his throne, governeth and executeth all things. He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.”

Well, then, shall we say, when God, or His Holy Spirit, which in many revelations is called God, is through all things, being universally diffused, and in and round about all things, that it is not in a stone when it falls to the ground? No; we will not exclude it from anything that exists, for if we exclude that Spirit from one substance, we might as well exclude it, or attempt to exclude it, from all matter. If God be in all things, He is in the stone. If we were to take the wings of the morning and fly to the uttermost parts of the earth, God is there; or if we make our bed in hell, He is there; and that Spirit is there, not in suffering, but executing the decrees of the Almighty.

All those vast bodies which we behold traveling space, are governed and controlled by the same Spirit. If each of them, or the Holy Spirit diffused through them, did not know enough of those universal laws by which all worlds and all matter are kept in order, they might frequently come in contact with each other, as the orbits of many of them intersect each other in performing their revolutions. Even the stone that is thrown into the air does not go at random, but its path is marked out systematically; according to certain laws and conditions, it always falls to the ground.

Why did the axe rise to the top of the water when commanded by Elisha the Prophet? I will tell you how Elisha made it come up to the surface of the water. The spirit or power that caused the piece of iron to sink, was used to bring it up again, for it required the same power to bring it to the top of the water that it did to take it down. The agency or power that caused the iron axe to sink when it fell into the water, is called the law of “universal gravitation.” There is no attraction towards the earth, as some have supposed, but there is a gravitating power, or a power that sends everything towards the earth as soon as it is left loose in the atmosphere.

Suppose you take the spirit, which is in all things, away from the axe of which we are speaking, would the particles of iron cleave together? No, they would not; there would be no more union of the particles than there is in the atmosphere we all breathe; but it is the Spirit of God that causes the particles of iron to cleave together in the axe, and it is the same Spirit that brings it up to the water’s surface, and that same Spirit causes iron to sink to the bottom of a creek or river into which it may fall; and consequently all these universal laws that appear so prominently before us from day to day are nothing more than the operations of that all-wise Spirit which we are told is “round about and in all things,” and which act according to certain laws prescribed by the Almighty.

It is this same Spirit that acts in connection with the Father and Son in governing all things in the heavens and upon the earth, and through all the boundless extent of space. Cause this oneness, this union among the particles of the Spirit, to cease, and you would soon see all things go into confusion. Take away this Spirit, and you would immediately see some things going up, others down; some moving horizontally; one portion of the earth would divide from the other; one part would be flying here and another there. Unless there was a oneness existing in the innumerable atoms of this universal Spirit, matter would cease to move by law; but they all act in concert, and hence there is no confusion in the operations of nature or of nature’s laws.

I have heard it observed, as an argument against this view of the subject, that if all the particles of the Holy Spirit had the same degree of knowledge, they might get to quarreling with each other. Take away this kind of union that now exists, and you would find one particle contending for one kind of government, and a second for another, and each would think its own method the best; there would be room for a great deal more contention and quarreling where diversity of opinion exists through lack of knowledge, than if they had the same knowledge. In short, if the particles of the Holy Spirit were not one in knowledge, there would be a constant quarreling for want of understanding. Differences of views, arising from the want of the same knowledge, introduce discordant feelings and expressions into every family, and among every class of persons where they exist.

Give to two individuals of the same capacities the same knowledge of anything—let them see and understand so that they shall have the same views formed by that sameness of knowledge, and they will not quarrel about their views, but they will act as one, and consequently will be one in the thing which they understand alike; and just so it is with the planets, the earth, the moon, and other worlds; they act in concert, and the spirit that governs them understands the principles by which this world and all others are governed, and consequently there is no confusion nor discord; no worlds clashing against each other, and breaking themselves into millions of atoms, and scattering themselves throughout space. Why is there nothing of this kind? Because the particles of the Holy Spirit are one.

You do not find one part of our spirits or our bodies fighting against another part. You do not find the spirit that is in our left foot fighting against the spirit that is in the right foot; but they act together, being one. If one hand gets burnt, the other is warned and keeps away from the fire. Why is this? It is because the particles of spirit in both have the same degree of intelligence, and being united in all things, one is warned by the other.

Some suppose that all our intelligence is in the head. I do not believe any such thing; but I believe that if our spirits could be taken from our bodies and stand before us, so that we could gaze upon them with our natural eyes, we would see the likeness and image of each of the tabernacles out of which they were taken. Not only the head, but the figure of the head, feet, arms, hands, face, and of the whole body. If the spirit is composed of innumerable particles possessing knowledge or intelligence, we argue that it is diffused through the system in which it dwells. For if the parts of the spirit had individually no knowledge, then they would not have any knowledge collectively.

How many dead persons would you have to pile together to make a living one? If ten thousand were piled together they would produce neither life nor knowledge. And it is just so with these particles or parts of the body said to have no spirit in them, you might bring them together, and they would know just as much as a hundred thousand dead persons. Consequently, if the whole is intelligent, the parts are. It matters not if the particles are so small that ten thousand of them might be put upon the point of a cambric needle, they all form parts of that intelligent Spirit, and act in unison one with the other in all things; and hence there is a oneness according to the words of our text. No fighting one against the other, but a perfect oneness exists, and is exhibited through all the actions of that Spirit. If the all-wise Spirit gains an existence in man, it endeavors to influence and persuade him to become one with God, as it is one with Him.

Portions of this Spirit, we say, exist throughout every part of space, and they perform all the work of governing, and keeping that perfect harmony which we behold in all nature. All nature is by these means made to submit to the great law of oneness. Then why not we conform to the same great principle at once? We must conform to it, if we intend to enjoy the presence of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ. We have got to become just as much one in our faith and in our actions as our right and left hands are in their actions one with the other.

“But,” say the people, “inasmuch as you are touching upon this principle of oneness, we should like to have you explain to us the passage where it says, ‘The Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, and the Spirit is in them both,’ or words to this effect.” It is the passage recording Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. I will give you our Savior’s own words: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” How often we are told in the Scriptures of truth of this one great and important fact—the oneness of the Father and the Son, and it is as often repeated in the Book of Mormon. Just on one single page of that book we find it repeated a great number of times.

Now Jesus, in his prayer, had no reference to the oneness of their substances, but to the attributes, showing to us, in a most explicit manner, that the attributes that dwell in the Father dwell also in the Son.

Now, let me ask you, if the same knowledge be in two or more persons—if they understand a truth, and any other persons understand it, does that make it more than one truth? Or, if I understand a truth, and some other person in this congregation understands the same, does that make two truths of it? No; it does not. And if this body of people before me were in possession of the same truth as I am, does that make as many truths as there are persons who understand it? No; certainly not: it is all one truth, dwelling in various tabernacles; it is one truth wherever it is found, or whoever may possess it—it is still the one unchangeable truth.

Jesus could with all propriety say, when speaking of the knowledge he had, “The Father is in me, and I in him.”

What does he say concerning us in a revelation in 1831? He says, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, I am in you, and ye in me.” That is as much as to say, that “not the whole of me is in you, because, you are imperfect: but inasmuch as you have received the truth I have imparted, so much of me is in you, for I am the truth, and so much of you dwells in me.” And if you should happen to get a knowledge of all the truth that he possesses, you would then have all of his light, and the whole of Christ would then dwell in you.

There is one revelation that this people are not generally acquainted with. I think it has never been published, but probably it will be in the Church History. It is given in questions and answers. The first question is, “What is the name of God in the pure language?” The answer says, “Ahman.” “What is the name of the Son of God?” Answer, “Son Ahman—the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Ahman.” “What is the name of men?” “Sons Ahman,” is the answer. “What is the name of angels in the pure language?” “Anglo-man.”

This revelation goes on to say that Sons Ahman are the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Son Ahman and Ahman, and that Anglo-man are the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Sons Ahman, Son Ahman, and Ahman, showing that the angels are a little lower than man. What is the conclusion to be drawn from this? It is, that these intelligent beings are all parts of God, and that those who have the most of the parts of God are the greatest, or next to God, and those who have the next greatest portions of the parts of God, are the next greatest, or nearest to the fulness of God; and so we might go on to trace the scale of intelligences from the highest to the lowest, tracing the parts and portions of God so far as we are made acquainted with them. Hence we see that wherever a great amount of this intelligent Spirit exists, there is a great amount or proportion of God, which may grow and increase until there is a fulness of this Spirit, and then there is a fulness of God.

Looking at the subject in this light, there is no longer any mystery in the Scripture that says the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, for they are always one, working together to accomplish the great work of redemption.

The flesh and bones of the Son were not in the Father, neither did Jesus try to convey such an idea. The Apostles understood as we do on this point, and they likewise knew that he had made and created all things; we believe the same, and that he is infinite. Not infinitely expanded in his person, but that the all-wise substance, called the Holy Spirit, is “in all things, and round about all things.”

We see the propriety, then, of this prayer of our Savior’s: “Father, I pray not only for these Twelve Apostles that thou hast given me, but for all those who shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they may be made perfect in one, even as we are one.”

Hence, then, men are to be one with Christ on the same principle that he is one with the Father. Now there is no man that will be so foolish as to think and believe that all men, who shall believe on the Savior through the Apostle’s words, will become the same identical person; this is not the idea conveyed, but they were to have that same truth, so as to make them one in their feelings, desires, designs, and actions for the salvation of the fallen race of Adam.

When we look at all those principles, and reflect upon them, they afford us joy and comfort, and the reflection gives me an earnest desire to be one with my brethren, and to be one upon the principles of righteousness, and not upon unrighteous principles; for if it were possible for men to be one upon unrighteous principles, it would be of no use to them.

You will perceive that in the devil’s kingdom, with all the knowledge that they have gained by a long experience, they are not one. There are disunion and strife continually among them; they are not united upon false principles, and wherever false principles exist in the world, or anywhere else, there will be discord and contentions, and hence he (Jesus) says, “Be one.” This has no reference whatever to being one upon an unrighteous foundation; it has only a reference to being one upon the principles of the celestial law. And as soon as this people are united, and become one upon the principles of the celestial law, the Lord will pour out His blessings more abundantly upon them; when all understand it, they will all be governed by it; they will believe alike, and act alike, and this will make them one.

There is another thing upon which I will now speak, namely, the Omnipresence of God.

Everyone knows that it is absurd to believe in a personage being present in two places at once. “But,” says one, “nothing is impossible with God.” But I beg to differ with such persons, and inform them, that if the Scripture be true, there are things which are impossible with God; for it is said that it is impossible for Him to lie; and if so, it would be impossible for Him to act inconsistent with truth; He could not place His body in Europe and America at the same time, for that would be inconsistent with the simplest principles of truth.

We heard a most excellent discourse last Sunday about the angels being sent to the various nations of the earth, to superintend the affairs and destinies thereof; also about each person upon the face of the whole earth having his guardian angel from the time that he comes into the world. The Holy Spirit acts in conjunction with those angels, and in places where they cannot be, for there are a great many places where those angels cannot be present, and the Holy Spirit being omnipresent is in every place at the same moment of time, regulating the seasons, and governing the planets in their courses. There would have to be a vast number of angels to be present in every place at the same instant of time, directing the movements of each particle of matter throughout the vast extent of space; consequently this is attended to by that All-powerful Spirit that exists in inexhaustible quantities throughout the universe.

The Holy Spirit “is in all things, and round about all things,” holding all things together in every place and part of the earth, and in all the vast creations of the Almighty. If you ascend into heaven, it is there: if you take the wings of the morning and fly to the uttermost parts of the earth, it is there; if you go to the depths of hell, it is there, not suffering, but performing the works of His justice upon the ungodly. Go where you will, through endless space, and you will find the Spirit there, and consequently, when we speak of the omnipresence of God, we have reference to His Spirit, and not to His person. But why is this called the omnipresence of God? Simply because this Spirit possesses the same knowledge that dwells in the persons of God the Father and God the Son, hence God is there, so far as that knowledge is there.

This, then, will account for the great mystery which exists in the sectarian world about God’s being everywhere present. Some of them think and believe that God is a person, and that He can be everywhere present in a personal capacity. Those who are called the wisest among the religious world have made it out, that the persons of the Father and Son can be in them and in every other place at the same instant of time. This is as gross an absurdity as it would be to say that three times three make ten, or three times one make four. But they have drawn this conclusion out of certain passages of Scripture, in order to satisfy their hearers with regard to this intricate subject. They do not wish to acknowledge their ignorance, and therefore they have given out this doctrine, which is diametrically opposed to every principle of science as well as of reason.

The plain, simple Scriptural doctrine is that God’s Spirit is there, which is God in all His power and majesty. All those seemingly mysterious passages which the learned divines have applied to the person of the Father being omnipresent, have reference to that All-wise Spirit of which we have spoken. What effect will this view of the doctrine have upon persons? We answer, that a person who believes and follows this as taught in the Book of Covenants, and the Book of Mormon, will never be confounded. Such persons will be all the time thinking, “If we have anything to do, God is in that thing, and is the law and power by which all things that surround us are governed and kept in such perfect order.” What influence will this have over a man who believes it? It will put him more upon his guard, far more than he otherwise would be; for God cannot be in this board, or in each blade of grass in person, but when we know that the Holy Spirit is everywhere present, being combined with all matter then we have a correct understanding. God cannot be in every place without understanding our ac tions and our thoughts too. Do you believe that the particles of the Holy Spirit have such great knowledge? How much knowledge will they require to enable them to overlook and superintend all the works of God? They will require knowledge infinitely greater than ever we thought of. For instance, they must have a most perfect knowledge of the law of the inverse square of the distance pertaining to universal gravitation, or how could they know the exact distance of those innumerable worlds under their charge, so as to keep them all moving harmoniously as we see them. Particles of intelligence that can do all this, can surely know of the thoughts and intents of the heart; hence, we should always consider, when tempted to do evil, that God is round about us with all the knowledge that governs and controls nature. You see, then, that this view of the subject is calculated to have an effect that will be profitable to us all.

“But,” inquires one, “how are you going to get along with the passage, in Isaiah, where the Lord declared that, ‘There is no God before me, nor shall there be any after me?’” How can we believe this, when we believe in the revelation given through Joseph Smith, which says there are many Gods, and that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are Gods, and that all good men in this Church shall become Gods? Paul also speaks of the only wise God. Perhaps some may suppose that it is translated improperly. But you will find the same thing in the Book of Mormon, translated by the Urim and Thummim; the same things are also contained in the new translation of the book of Genesis, given to Moses, where the Lord declares that, “There is no God besides me.” In these expressions, God has reference to the great principles of light and truth, or knowledge, and not to the tabernacles in which this knowledge may dwell; the tabernacles are many and without number, but the truth or knowledge which is often personified and called God, is one, being the same in all; God is one, being a unity, when represented by light, truth, wisdom, or knowledge; but when reference is made to the temples in which this knowledge dwells, the number of Gods is infinite.

This explains the mystery. If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds. But the attributes of Deity are one; and they constitute the one God that the Prophets speak of, and that the children of men in all worlds worship.

One world has a personal God or Father, and the inhabitants thereof worship the attributes of that God, another world has another, and they worship His attributes, and besides Him there is no other; and when they worship Him they are at the same time worshipping the same attributes that dwell in all the personal Gods who fill immensity. And hence the Lord says, in one of the revelations of these last days: “Ye are tabernacles in which God dwells, man is the tabernacle of God.” Suppose that there should be a thousand, or one hundred and forty-four thousand, which number John saw, and they should have the inscription “God” on their foreheads, not placed there to make fun of them, but to describe their persons and the authority they possess. Suppose they should all receive the same knowledge, would not God dwell in them? If man is the tabernacle of God, then God dwells in them all, being only one God; but when we speak of them in their personal capacity, we say that John saw a hundred and forty-four thousand Gods; if we speak of the light or truth in each that governs them all then there is but one God, and He is in all worlds, and throughout all space, wherever the same identical light or truth is found; and all beings, from all eternity to all eternity, have to worship and adore the same one God, and always will have to worship Him; though they worship Him in so many different tabernacles, yet it is the one God, or in other words, the same light or truth that is worshipped by all. When we look at the subject in this light, there is no mystery about it. Only look at it in the light that it is revealed to man in these last days, and there is none of that darkness and sectarian foolishness which characterize apostate Christendom; and we cannot understand nor explain one single principle correctly, and are in the dark and cannot see the way before us; but when we talk and act under the immediate influence of the spirit of revelation, then we can see that which the world are ignorant of. When we undertake to talk of the great and glorious principles revealed in our day, and speak of the great and glorious light now revealed, and of which the world have been ignorant for so many generations, and assert that the Lord has seen fit to reveal the fulness of the everlasting Gospel to Joseph Smith, an illiterate man, the religious world spurn at it and drive it from their dwellings.

How came the Lord to pass by all the great and good men with their wisdom—how was it, I say, that He passed by the learning of this generation to reveal the doctrines and principles of our holy religion? Because He was determined that no flesh should glory in His presence. How was it that Joseph Smith was enabled to make those doctrines as plain as the alphabet? It was because God was with him; God was in the work; and we would just as soon worship that Holy Spirit or intelligence in Joseph Smith or in any person else, not the person, but the God that is in him, as to worship the same attributes somewhere else. And when we find the Father of Jesus Christ, we will worship Him, not the flesh and bones, but the attributes. The Savior tells us that he has revealed a great many things, that we may know how to worship in spirit and in truth. How can a man call on the name of God acceptably and understandingly, unless he knows about His attributes, and unless His doctrines are revealed? How can the poor ignorant Indians of the forest worship acceptably until they are taught about God and about Jesus? They must understand a great many things in order to enable them to comprehend the things of God, and be baptized in an acceptable manner. If we would worship the Father and the Son, we must know something about them.

We should study the laws of God, and get a perfect understanding of all things that are revealed, and we will find that we can comprehend all that is for our present good.

I do not know but I am taking up too much time. I have been led in my mind to explain some of these things, I have done it from the fact that the Elders go abroad among the nations of the earth and meet with much opposition. For instance, when the learned and the wise begin to controvert the revelations given to Joseph the Seer, let them (the Elders) know what arguments to bring forth to sustain them, and you will see, brethren, how easy it is to show that there is but one God when speaking of the attributes, but that there are many Gods when speaking of the personages in which the same attributes dwell, and you can make it clear and plain. These things I published on my last mission, according to the knowledge I had, knowing that they were views that the Christian world came in contact with; and knowing also, this morning, that they were things that the Elders would need to understand, I have spoken as I have. If the Elders would inform themselves, they would find that they have a strong armor to support themselves with, and their testimony would be so powerful that the arguments of our enemies would fall to the ground; indeed, when on my mission, I could not find any to investigate or to controvert what I set forth, and this was a disappointment to me. I could not find any opposition, only through the papers; and consequently, I had to throw out our views and leave the public to judge. Amongst all the papers and periodicals that are published in the States I have never seen one of the arguments set forth in the Seer met by good sound reason; ridicule and denunciations were the only weapons used against us; and this has always been the case. You will find when truth is set before the people they will appeal to ridicule, from the fact that they have no arguments.

Having said this much, may the Lord bless you, brethren and sisters, and His Spirit rest upon us all, and may we feel the importance of being one in all things that are good, virtuous, and upright. Amen.

The Ancient Prophecies

A Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, January 7, 1855.

I have been requested by brother Kimball to speak a few words upon the subject of the Ancient Prophecies. I will commence without any preliminaries, for we have not time in one short discourse to take up the prophecies systematically, and trace them down in their fulfillment to the present period; neither have we time to refer to one hundredth part of the prophecies relating to the present period, or those that relate to the future; but we have time to say a few words and glean up some few ideas that have a bearing upon the present generation: and I shall endeavor to make my remarks as plain and as simple as possible.

The Latter-day Saints that are now sitting before me, and those who inhabit this Territory, are here in fulfillment of prophecy. We inhabit these mountains because the ancient Prophets have predicted that such an event should take place, and we are fulfilling their predictions in this respect.

We believe in that sacred record called the Book of Mormon. Why? Because the ancient Prophets have predicted that such a book should be revealed in the latter times; and it has come, accompanied with sufficient evidence to produce conviction in our minds; but if any person could persuade us that the Book of Mormon is not the book predicted by the ancient Prophets, we have sufficient light and information in the prophecies to convince us that such a book must come, and we should with one accord look for a book of a similar description.

This latter-day work that we have received, is considered a very strange work, in the estimation of the world; but in the estimation of the Saints it does not appear strange, why? Because it is the very thing that the Lord, by the mouth of His Prophets thousands of years ago, predicted should take place: and we are the very people that are enjoying the fulfillment of those predictions. We will, therefore, in the first place, bring up some prophetical evidences which prove the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon; not but that we have other proofs, that are clear and lucid, and demonstrative in their nature, to establish its divine authenticity.

In regard to the prophetic evidences of the Old Testament in relation to this book, we will first turn to the 29th chapter of Isaiah, and see what he has said upon this subject. In the first verse the Prophet addresses himself to the City of Jerusalem, called Ariel—“Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow.” We will observe, in relation to this prophecy, that the Jews of the city where David dwelt, were distressed; and notwithstanding they prolonged their sacrifices after they ought to have been done away, they were distressed, and brought down, and afflicted with heaviness and sorrow.

After having foretold the distress of the inhabitants of that city, the Prophet commences concerning another people, and says, “And IT shall be unto me as Ariel.” Now here is something to be distressed, to be brought down in heaviness and sorrow, and afflicted similar to the city of Ariel—it is some nation the Prophet speaks of that were to meet with similar affliction to that which should come upon the people of Jerusalem, the city where David dwelt. “And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.” Against whom? Against that people who should be afflicted similarly to what the inhabitants of Jerusalem were to be afflicted. “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.”

This people, then, that the Prophet here alludes to, were to meet with a similar destruction and affliction to that which should come upon Ariel, and they were to have forts raised against them, and fortifications. Now is not every year bringing to light ancient forts and fortifications upon this continent? It is well known that, within a very few years past, large and extensive volumes have been published describing the forts, fortifications, and ancient ruins that have been found in the midst of the United States. In the large volumes published by the “Smithsonian Institution” in Washington, one of the most learned institutions of our country, are found descriptions of a great number of those ancient ruins; they are situated in the States of New York and Ohio. These discoveries have been published within a few years past.

The ancient inhabitants of this country were eventually brought down, and their ruined cities, temples, and synagogues proclaim in silent grandeur that a great and mighty nation have fallen—they have been brought down and distressed like the Jews at old Jerusalem—like Ariel. But many antiquarians have supposed that they have been brought down, and nothing left of their history, but their old ruins, to proclaim their former greatness. It is not so; for the very people that were thus to be brought down were to speak out of the dust. What! Were they to be resurrected to converse with us? Was this what the Prophet had reference to? No; this is not what he has reference to in this passage, as you will find by reading the following in the same chapter; their whispering out of the dust and speaking out of the ground, was a work to take place before the destruction of the nations of the wicked.

Now wherein is this prophecy been fulfilled, if not in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon? That book has come out of the ground; it was found in the State of New York, in the midst of those forts and fortifications that are so plentiful there. That sacred record was found written upon plates that had the appearance of gold; out of the ground it was taken; and it contains the words of the ancient Prophets that lived among this remnant of the house of Israel that were brought down, and whose speech should whisper low out of the dust; it whispers in the ears of mortal man; it proclaims repentance to the present generation, like the voice of one crying from the dead.

“Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.” Any person that will take the trouble to read over that book that has come forth out of the ground, and that whispers to us out of the dust, will find that the multitude of the terrible ones among the ancient Nephites have passed away as chaff, they were destroyed upon this land by hundreds and by thousands, by judgments, and calamities, and war.

“Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.” This verse has reference to what follows in the next—“And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.” Here you perceive is another thing taken up by the Prophet in connection with the whispering of the words of that nation out of the dust; immediately following that remarkable event there was to be a dreadful destruction, not upon Ariel—not upon Israel—but upon the multitude of all the nations of the earth that should fight against Mount Zion. Three things, then, are declared in succession—one is the destruction of a nation, another the speaking of their words out of the dust in the ears of the living, and the third that which immediately follows, namely, the destruction of all the nations of the earth that should fight against Mount Zion; this latter event has not yet been fulfilled; but is just as sure to be fulfilled as the other portions of the prophecy that have taken place; just as sure as the Book of Mormon has whispered out of the dust, and spoken in the ears of this generation, in fulfillment of the words of the Prophet Isaiah, so sure will the Lord of hosts visit the multitude of all the nations of the earth, that fight against Mount Zion, with thunder, and earthquake, and with the flame of devouring fire, and they shall be as the dream of a night vision, they shall pass away from the face of the earth and be as chaff blown to the four winds of heaven, and no place shall be found for them. But we pass on.

The Prophet now comes back, after having foretold the destruction of the nations following the coming forth of this work, to the thing he was speaking of previously, and gives us more particulars upon this subject, and informs us more particularly in what way the Lord shall accomplish this whispering out of the dust; he says to the multitude of those nations about to be destroyed, “Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.” He could not have used language to describe the present generation better than he has done; they are drunken, as John the Revelator saw them, with the filthiness of the abominations of old Babylon; they stagger, not with strong drink, but with the traditions of men, which they have inculcated from generation to generation, and which have become instilled into the minds of the people. “For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” He calls upon this people on whom the spirit of sleep was poured out, to stay themselves and wonder. Wonder! What about? Why, says he, “And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

See how clearly the Prophet has illustrated the coming forth of this work. He describes a book, and the words of a book, and even goes on to particularize, and informs us that the words of that book should be sent to the learned. All who are acquainted with the history of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, know that it is a fact, that several of the words of that book were copied by Joseph Smith, and sent by the hands of Martin Harris from Ontario County to New York City, and he exhibited them to the most learned men that could be found, to see if they could translate them; among others he went to Professor Anthon—a professor of great celebrity. Mr. Anthon examined the characters, as he himself has published since that period. He states that there was an ignorant farmer came to him, and he had some ancient characters or writing that he could not un derstand: he supposes them to be characters selected from many alphabets, mixed together; he has published enough to prove that such a circumstance did transpire, that an unlearned man did come to him with words professing to be copied from a book. Mr. Smith did not know anything about this prophecy at that time, for he was unacquainted with the contents of the Bible; he was brought up to work. This part of the prophecy was fulfilled to the very letter; the “words of the book,” not the book itself, were sent to the learned. If Mr. Smith had sent the plates to New York the terms of this prophecy would not have been fulfilled.

The next verse says, “And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” Now Mr. Smith was not a learned man, as acknowledged by all our opposers. It is true he had some of the common rudiments of an English education, he could read, and write a very bungling hand, and this was about the extent of his education. When the book was given to the unlearned man, he did not reply to the Lord as the learned Mr. Anthon did to Martin Harris, that it was a sealed language and he could not understand it, but said he, “I am not learned.” What was the Lord’s answer to this unlearned young man? He answered him in the words of Isaiah which I have already quoted, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth,” &c.

What should we naturally conclude the Lord intended to do, from this expression? He said that He would do a marvelous work and a wonder, after that He had presented the book to the unlearned, and after that he, when he was told to read it, had made an excuse that he was unlearned. We should naturally suppose that the Lord intended to make this unlearned man read the book; that was indeed the fact, he was commanded of the Lord to read it, and he translated it by the means of a Urim and Thummim, which is well known to be a instrument used in ancient times, through which people inquired of the Lord. Aaron had one in the center of his breastplate, and when anything came before him he could not understand by his own judgment, he enquired of the Lord, by the Urim and Thummim, and that was the end of controversy. In this way the Lord made this unlearned man read the book. Did this not cause the wisdom of the learned Mr. Anthon to perish, and the understanding of the wise of this world to come to naught? It required inspiration and power from on high—a marvelous work and a wonder to be wrought, in order to translate this book of upwards of six hundred pages, and reveal the history of one half of our globe to the astonished nations of the earth.

Now to prove positively that the Lord did cause this book to be translated by the unlearned, and that it was read by somebody, we will quote the 18th verse of this chapter—“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” We see the fulfillment of this before us at the present time. Here are hundreds and thousands of poor, that were bound down with the curse of oppression and tyranny in foreign lands, who, through the medium of this book that has been translated by an unlearned man, and through the medium of the proclamation of the glorious Gospel contained in the same, have been made to rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. The blind has seen out of obscurity, and the deaf has heard the words of the book, and they have come forth from the nations of the old world—from under the hand of tyranny and oppression, and have been planted here in these rich valleys; and if you do not believe that they rejoice, get into some of their splendid parties, and stand in one corner and look at them.

There will be a great deal of rejoicing by and by, when the time shall come that the multitude of all nations that shall fight against Mount Zion will be as a night vision, when they will be perfectly swept away from the earth. See what the Prophet says in the next verse—“ For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off.” This is one cause of their joy, “All that watch for iniquity are cut off,” &c. “That make a man offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.” No wonder, then, that the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel when those events take place.

But how is this book to affect the children of Israel? It is not only intended to make us rejoice, but is going to affect the nations of Israel; if you do not believe it, see what the Prophet says about it—“ Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.” When this book comes forth, when it is translated, when it is carried to Israel by the authority God has ordained and established upon the earth, and they publish its glorious principles in their ears, “Jacob shall not be ashamed;” though they have been for 1,800 years past kicked and cuffed about, deprived of what is called citizenship among the various nations of the earth, and trampled down and destroyed by hundreds and thousands, and though they have wandered about without Prophets and inspired men, without the Urim and Thummim, without visions and angels from heaven, and without the powers and manifestations of the glory of God that were among their fathers; yet, when the Lord sends this sacred book among them, they shall not be ashamed. What have they been waiting for? For the Lord to bring forth this book. And they never could be redeemed, but would remain trampled down by the Gentiles thousands of years to come, unless the Lord should bring forth this book—that is one of the principal means for the redemption of Jacob.

The Prophet continues, “But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.” Yes; they shall be brought together, be assembled in one, and the covenants made with their fathers will be fulfilled. Another glorious effect this book will have with the honest among the nations of the earth—“They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” Every person that is now before me knows very well that there have been many honest, candid, sincere individuals among all the various nations of Christendom who have erred in spirit; they wanted to learn the truth, as we have, but they erred in spirit, and murmured too. How often have my ears heard the murmurings of the honest in heart in something like the following language—“I do not know what to do; it is strange there should be so much confusion, one teaching this, and another that.” They would murmur because of the divisions and contentions they saw among religious societies. But here is something that will do away with those errors, for the book will not only cause the blind to see out of obscurity and darkness, but those that erred in spirit shall come to understanding. In what way? How can they come to understanding by this book? Because of the plainness of the doctrine of Christ contained in it. If any person will take the opportunity to inform themselves concerning the contents of that book, they will find the doctrine of salvation—the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead, and every principle pertaining to the redemption of man, set forth in such a plain, simple, convincing manner, that it is almost impossible for any individual who believes in its divine authenticity, to err in doctrine; it makes a people of one heart and of one mind, so far as their faith is concerned, if they can once be satisfied it is of God.

This is only one chapter of prophecy in relation to the great work of our God in the last days. We might refer you to many others. Indeed, there are some others I will refer you to, if time will permit.

This book professes to be a record written by a remnant of the house of Joseph; while the Bible is admitted to be a record of the Jews, containing a history of Palestine and the adjacent nations, interspersed with doctrine. The Book of Mormon is the history of ancient America, interspersed with the prophecies of numerous Prophets who once lived on this continent. The Lord has confirmed this book by innumerable evidences which I shall not notice in my remarks in this short discourse. He has united the testimony of the ancient nations of America with the testimony of the Jews; we wish to know if there is any indication in the prophecies of the union of the testimony of these two books in the latter times.

We will refer your minds to the 37th chapter of the prophecies of Ezekiel, where we shall find some thing very definite on this subject, commencing at the 15th verse—“The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another in one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.” Ezekiel went and did as the Lord told him, and took two little sticks and wrote for Judah and Joseph; after he got through writing he put them together, and held them up before the house of Israel. “And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?” “It is a strange thing that you should write upon one stick for Judah, and upon one for Joseph, and hold them up before us; explain the mystery to us.” “Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” “Just as these two sticks are one in your hand, so I will make the stick of Joseph and Judah one in mine hand, but the sticks whereon thou writest shall be one before their eyes.”

Here then was a symbol represented before their eyes in language that could not be misunderstood; it was a symbol of two records; for it is well known that records were kept in ancient times on parchment, rolled upon sticks, the same as we keep our maps at this day. All the prophecies of Jeremiah for many years were written and rolled round a stick, and were called a book; so in Ezekiel these sticks represent two records, one the record of the tribe of Joseph, and the other of Judah: and the Lord promises, through that symbol, that He himself would take the stick of Joseph, and put it with the stick of Judah, and make it one in His own hand, showing that it was to be a work He would accomplish Himself in the last days.

“The sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them,” now mark what follows these two sticks, “Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.” Has that ever been fulfilled? Does this have reference to their gathering from Babylon before Christ? No. They were scattered since that, and the ten tribes were taken away before that time, and they never have been gathered. But here is a prediction that they should never be divided into two kingdoms any more at all, but that they should become one nation upon the mountains of Israel, never afterwards to be scattered. Notice, He declares to them that before He will do this, He will take the record of Joseph and put it with the record of Judah, and make them one in His hand, and then accomplish this gathering of Israel.

Now, my friends, you may go to work with all your Christian benevolent societies, to gather the Jews from the nations; you may combine all the wisdom and learning of Christendom, and put all their exertions, and all the funds they can rake and scrape together from the two hemispheres of the earth, and after all, you never can accomplish the gathering and restitution of Israel until the Lord does it in His own way, by uniting the records of Judah and Joseph to accomplish this work. Then, and not till then, will the house of Jacob rejoice in the Holy One of Israel, and no more be made ashamed.

Now, is there any indication about the house of Joseph coming to America? Says one, “If I really thought these American Indians were the descendants of Joseph, I should be inclined to think that the Book of Mormon was actually the record of Joseph.” Let us see what the Prophet Jacob, the old Patriarch, said, concerning the house of Joseph. He calls up the two sons of Joseph, and pronounces a peculiar blessing upon them, laying his right hand upon the head of the youngest, and his left hand upon the head of the oldest, and he blessed them, saying, “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day. The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” When Joseph saw his father lay his right hand upon the head of the youngest of the lads, it displeased him, and he held up his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head, saying, “Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.”

Turn over to the next chapter, and you will find a remarkable prophecy concerning Joseph. After having blessed the two sons of Joseph, he calls up his twelve sons before him, and commences to bless them, beginning with Reuben; when he comes to Joseph he pronounces upon him a peculiar blessing—“Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall,” &c. As much as to say that all the branches that descended from Joseph would not remain in one country connected with the parent tree, but they should be so fruitful and numerous, in order to fulfil the prediction uttered in the 48th chapter, as to become a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth; that they would have to leave the parent tree, and the place of their first inheritance; they would have to “run over the wall,” over the great wall of waters that intervened between them and this great western hemisphere.

In order to show that they were to inherit a land greater than that which they possessed by Jacob’s forefathers, the old gentleman continues in this blessing, and says, “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.” That is, the blessing of Jacob prevailed above that of Abraham and Isaac. The Lord promised Abraham and Isaac they should have the land of Canaan, and their seed after them, for an everlasting possession. That, you know, is not a large country; but says Jacob, “I have a greater blessing than that. I prevail above that of my progenitors, and I will confer this blessing upon you, Joseph. The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors.” How much above? “Unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.” That is as much as to say, that “my blessings are not only to inherit this small country, called the land of Canaan, but they extend unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills; I have a larger country than this conferred upon me, and because you have been a good son, and because your children are good, and because you have taken care of your brethren in the land of Egypt, I will give it unto you. These blessings shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.”

In order that Joseph might become a multitude of nations his branches had to run over the wall; he had to come to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills; he had to be located in a large country where his seed could have room to grow into a multitude of nations. Where can you find a multitude of nations who descended from Joseph? You may go through England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Europe, Asia, and Africa, but they are not to be found in any of those lands. The origin of those nations can mostly be traced, and it can be proved that they are not the descendants of Joseph. When you have passed through all those countries, and cannot find a multitude of nations from Joseph, cross the great waters that intervene, like a wall, between the land of Palestine, or the eastern hemisphere, and the American continent, and what do you discover? A multitude of nations, evidently having sprung from the same origin, as is indicated by very many striking characteristics.

Here then is the only land on which that prophecy has been fulfilled. If it is not fulfilled here, it cannot have been fulfilled on any other portions of the earth with which we are acquainted. Moses speaks of this and of Joseph, in particular, when he was about to be taken out of the midst of the children of Israel. He pronounced a blessing on the twelve tribes, beginning with Reuben. When he blessed Joseph, his blessing was peculiar indeed. And of Joseph he said—“Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that croucheth beneath, And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.” If Joseph only inherited a small portion of the land of Canaan with the rest of the tribes, why does Moses bless his land more particularly than the adjacent inheritances of the other tribes? There could not be much difference in the qualities of lands that lay side by side.

Here we get a clue to a land that was to be blessed above all other lands—a distant land from Canaan as is expressed by the words, “the utmost bound of the everlasting hills,” and sufficiently large to hold a multitude of nations springing from Joseph. Remember that they were to be blessed not only with the precious things of the earth, and the fulness thereof, but with the precious things of heaven. What are the precious things of heaven? Are they anything else but revelations? Can you think of anything else that could be called the precious things of heaven? After the children of Joseph came to this land, they were blessed, as Moses predicted, with the precious things of heaven; the Lord opened to them things past, present, and future, unfolding His great purposes that were to take place in the latter times; He unfolded to them mysteries and things too great to be uttered by man. Many of these things were written; they kept their records, and they were handed down from Prophet to Pro phet: at last the people fell into great wickedness, and the principal nation was destroyed; and one of their last Prophets was commanded to deposit the records where they were found by Mr. Smith. Their words have “whispered from the dust,” and they have come forth among the nations, accompanied by an abundance of evidences.

Before this was offered to the world, the Lord confirmed it by opening the heavens in broad daylight, and sending down an holy angel, who descended in the presence of four individuals, three besides Mr. Smith, and the angel took the plates, and turned them over leaf after leaf, while, at the same time, the voice of the Lord out of the heavens told them it had been translated correctly, commanding them to send forth their testimony to all nations, kingdoms, tongues, and people. They accordingly attached their printed testimony in connection with the Book of Mormon. This was done before they were permitted to go forth and build up the Church. The Lord was determined that this generation should not only have the sure word of prophecy to convince them of the truth of this work, but living witnesses to bear testimony to what their eyes had seen, their ears had heard, and their hands had handled in relation to this matter, that they might have evidences so great as to leave them without any excuse.

We will now pass on to some other prophecies in relation to the gathering of the people together. You know we have already referred you to prophecies relating to the gathering of Israel when this record should be brought forth. But Israel are not the only ones to be gathered, but many of the Gentiles will be gathered also and numbered with Israel. We might first refer you to some prophecies to show you that this work is not to commence among Israel first, but among the Gentiles; that the Gentiles are the ones to whom the standard should be first raised. This is what the Apostle Paul says in the 11th chapter of Romans, “For as ye (Gentiles) in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their (the Jews) unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.” Through whom? Through the Gentiles; for it is through their instrumentality that the Lord is bringing forth the record of Joseph to the world in the last days, as a standard of doctrine, a plan of salvation, raising it up in the midst of the Gentile nations, that we, as instruments in His hands, might go forth and gather the house of Israel, that through our mercy they also might believe, and be brought to the knowledge of the truth. Isaiah, in his 49th chapter has informed us that this work should commence, not among the Jews first, but among the Gentiles.

We will read a portion of that chapter—“Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” That is, the sons and daughters of the house of Israel. “And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.” Here we perceive, that when the great day shall come for the house of Israel to be restored to their own lands, the very first work He accomplishes in relation to that restoration will be to lift up His hand to the Gentiles and set up a standard among them. This shows plainly that it will not be some man among the Gentiles that will rise up uninspired, like the old reformers, setting up his own doctrines and opinions: it is not a work of that description, but it is a work which the Lord Himself has to perform; “and I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and I will set up my standard to the people, and then after I have done this they (the Gentiles) shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders, kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers,” &c. The same things are predicted, also, in the 11th chapter of this prophecy, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt,” &c.

Now the Lord will not accomplish this by getting the people together in the capacity of missionary societies, without Prophets, Apostles, and the word of the Lord to direct them; but it is the Lord who says, “I will set up my hand the second time,” &c. How did He set His hand the first time, to gather Israel out of Egypt? Did He do it by a company of uninspired men, without miracles, angels, signs, and wonders? No; but He set His hand the first time by signs, wonders, Prophets, miracles, sending angels from heaven, by dividing the waters and causing Israel to walk through the midst of the sea without suffering harm, and by coming upon the Mount, and proclaiming the law in the ears of all Israel; when He undertakes to gather them from the nations of the earth, you will find a work of still greater magnitude highly necessary to accomplish that great gathering. To take a nation from the midst of another single nation where they were all collected, and lead them off eleven days’ journey to another land, is a small work compared with the gathering them from all the nations of the earth, and assembling them in one. When He sets His hand again the second time, He says, “He shall set up an ensign for the nations;” which is the same thing as spoken of in the 49th chapter. The standard that I have proved should be lifted up to the Gentiles, is the same thing as the ensign mentioned in this place. “He shall set up an ensign to the nations” “and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth,” &c.

Do you believe they can be assembled before that standard—that ensign, is raised? Can they be assembled in some other way, and the prophecies be fulfilled? In vain would it be for the nations to undertake to accomplish this thing in any other way than the one the Lord has pointed out by prophecy. Mark what He says in the 15th verse, “And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” Do you believe the words of the Prophet? Do you believe that when the Lord sets His hand the second time to gather Israel from the four quarters of the earth, and lifts up a standard and ensign among the Gentiles to accomplish it, they will go through the sea dryshod, as they did through the Red Sea anciently? If you do not, you do not believe this prophecy. I am now speaking to a people that do believe it; they believe it shall be like as it was in the day that Israel came up out of the land of Egypt; not spiritually, but literally, as then.

We, as Gentiles, have cause to re joice; that is, we who are numbered with the Gentile nations (for there may be many of the blood of Israel among us)—I say, we have cause to rejoice that the Lord has lifted up His hand, and set up His standard, and raised His ensign, and called upon us to bear this ensign—this standard, to the nations of the earth, and to proclaim it in the ears of the Gentiles first; what for? That the times of the Gentiles may be fulfilled, that the fulness may come in, and then all Israel are to be saved, as it is written, “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Therefore, we are the people identified with the Gentiles, to whom this standard has been raised; and it has been raised too on the mountains, for the Prophet Isaiah has told us that it should be accomplished on the mountains. We refer you to the 18th chapter of his prophecy. In it is a proclamation to all the world. They are commanded in that day to both see and hear—“All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye. For so the Lord said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruninghooks, and take away and cut down the branches.” What becomes of them after they are cut down? “They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.” What an awful destruction; the multitude of all the nations will become like the dream of a night vision, they will pass away. All the nations are here called upon to see and hear at the time the ensign is lifted up: will they see? No. The spirit of deep sleep is poured upon them; the Prophets, and Seers, and rulers are covered.

In order to show still more clearly that the Gentiles are to be the characters that are to carry this ensign to the nations, we will refer you to the last chapter of Isaiah—“For I know their works and their thoughts: and it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.” How is He going to do this work? He says, “I will set a sign among them.” The same thing as spoken of in the passages already referred to—“And I will send those that escape of them unto the nations” (here go the missionaries)—“to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame.” They will go among the idolatrous nations, to Hindostan, Siam, China, to the Sandwich Islands, etc. “And they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.” The Lord did not send these messengers to declare His glory among Israel first, why? Because a certain work had to be done among the Gentiles first; they were to carry this sign, ensign, or standard, proclaiming the doctrines of Jesus Christ so as not to be misunderstood; they have to carry it to the isles afar off, and declare His glory first among the Gentiles.

What next? A mission to Israel; and these same missionaries “shall bring all your brethren (Israel) for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.” The children of Israel will be gathered just as literally as they formerly brought an offering into the house of the Lord. In the last days, when the Lord shall set a sign among the Gentiles, He will as literally bring all Israel back to their holy mountain in Jerusalem, as He brought them from Egypt anciently. After that His people have been gathered out from the nations, they will have the privilege of going to look upon the carcasses of those that transgressed against the Lord; their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched.

Now, we have a great work before us; we are a little handful in the mountains, but you know what Isaiah said, “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.” However little we may be, we must become a thousand; though we are a small one, it will be but a little while before we shall be a strong nation, not a weak one; and we will have missionaries in every part of the nations of the earth afar off, and we will declare His glory among every nation, people, kindred, and tongue; and as fast as we get the people to believe in the standard the Lord has raised up, we will introduce them into the kingdom, baptize them for the remission of sins, and lay our hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, as he has commanded us, and they will receive the Holy Ghost, and be filled with mighty faith, and they will be armed with the power of God, in great glory, and will come from different nations with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads, and nothing will be able to compete with the work of the Lord; but it will progress and continue to roll on, until every nation hears, and every heart is penetrated, and the heavens and the earth shall come together.

That is what we look for, for the union of the heavens and the earth; we are dwelling here, separate from our brethren in heaven; we want to get back to them, and they to us, and we want to be united, and accomplish what the Lord intends to be accomplished in the last days; and before we get through with it, we shall see greater wonders and signs than that little transaction of bringing Israel out of Egypt: that will almost be entirely forgotten among the great displays of His power in the last days.

There is to be a house of the Lord built in the last days. “What! Are there not plenty of houses of the Lord? Go into New York, and many other great cities, and you will find Saint John’s Church, and Saint Peter’s, and the Church of Jesus, and many houses which profess to be houses of the Lord; and yet you tell us that there is to be a house of the Lord built in the last days.” Will it not be a wonderful thing when the Lord gets a house upon the earth? Yes—He has been so long without one. People have been building houses to Him, the same as Israel built sepulchres for the Prophets whom their fathers had killed; so it is with the good Christians in the nineteenth century. Did He tell them to build houses unto Him? Did He give them the pattern to work by? Did He point out the location upon which they should be built? No; the Lord had no hand in their works. But, what says the Prophet Isaiah, in the second chapter of his prophecy? He predicts, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall he exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” What can there be so attractive about the house of the Lord as to cause all nations to flow unto it, and to cause the Prophet to notice the very spot on which it should be built? It is not to be built in the city of New York, or in Boston; those are comparatively level countries, almost on a level with the sea; but, “it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains.”

We have got up here over four thousand feet high, and we are going to build Him a house, by the word of the Lord, and by the inspiration of the Almighty, according to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, commanding us to build one to His name; and it will be a house different from all others, that will attract the attention of the nations; and all nations shall flow into it. What for? Isaiah tells us, “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” In two places the Lord is going to give revelations; the one is in Mount Zion, and the other in Jerusalem. What shall follow this? “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” What a happy, peaceable time! But before the Lord can introduce such a joyful time, He has got to cut down the branches of the wicked with pruninghooks, and let the fowls and beasts of the earth have a good supper; “and the fowls shall summer upon them, and the beasts shall winter upon them.” When He has got the rebellious eaten up, the rest of the nations will come flocking unto the mountain of the Lord’s house, to be taught in His ways, and instructed in His paths; and they will get so perfectly instructed, that they will not wish to learn war any more, and will convert their weapons into farming utensils.

That happy, peaceable time, so often predicted by Prophets, will come; that is the reason, my hearers, we want to build a house of the Lord in the top of the mountains; it is in order to fulfil ancient and modern prophecy, and the commandments which the Lord our God has given to us. There must be something wonderful, indeed, to attract the attention of all nations; unless there is to be a very great power manifested, it would not attract the attention of the people afar off; if only some few sick people were healed, it might, perhaps, not be heard of only for a few miles from the place where it happened. It must be some tremendous power among that people that build the house of the Lord. What kind of a city will this Zion be, and how will the dwellings of the people be lighted up? Isaiah has told us, in the fourth chapter, “And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense.” No wonder that the nations afar off flow to Zion. Did you ever hear tell of a whole city lighted up in that manner? You have heard of the invention of gaslights, but this does not attract the attention of the nations; but there is to be a city called Zion, and a house of the Lord in the top of the mountains, that are not to be lighted up with gas, but by the glory of the God of Israel—“I will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion,” &c.; not on one house alone, but upon every dwelling place, “a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night.” The nations will be struck with wonder, and will say, “If that people have such great power, let us leave our own lands and countries; for it must be that those people are the people of God, for their houses are enveloped in a flame of fire every night, because of His glory: let us go up there, and know what His will is concerning us.”

But the prophecies are so full upon these subjects, and the time so far expired, that I will stop where I am, without saying any more.

Language, or the Medium of Communication in the Future State, and the Increased Powers of Locomotion

A Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 22, 1854.

By the request of President Kimball, I arise this afternoon for the purpose of speaking to the Saints upon whatever subject may be presented to my mind; at the same time earnestly desiring that the prayers of the Saints, who sit before me, may ascend up before the Lord in my behalf, that I may be able to speak those things that will be calculated to edify you, and do you good.

It is delightful to me, to speak of the things that belong to the salvation of the human family—to speak of God and of His works, plans, and purposes, so far as they are revealed for the salvation and benefit of man.

But, at the same time, I realize that there is but a small degree—a very small degree, indeed, of the purposes of God unfolded to the mind of man. The amount of knowledge, which we in our present state are in possession of, is extremely limited, so that when compared with that vast amount of knowledge that fills eternity, we might say that man, in his highest attainments here in this life, is, as it were, nothing. However far he may expand his intellectual powers, and faculties by studying, by meditation, by seeking unto the Lord diligently for the inspiration of the Spirit, yet all that he can possibly receive and attain to here is, comparatively speaking, nothing. Moses was a man possessed of like passions with other men; he was a man similar to ourselves, but he had by his perseverance, diligence, and faithfulness obtained great favor and power with God; so that by this favor and through this power, he was enabled to obtain greater information and knowledge than the rest of the human family that were on the earth at that period; and far greater in some things than what we have attained to in this generation; at the same time, when the grand and wonderful intelligence of heaven was portrayed before the mind of Moses, and knowledge was poured out from the heavens upon him, he exclaimed before the Lord, “Now I know for this once that man is nothing.”

If there were a being then upon the face of the earth, that had a reason to suppose that man was something, it was Moses; but yet in the midst of the visions of the Almighty, and the vast field of knowledge that was opened to his mind—while he was yet gazing upon the workmanship of the hands of God, and looking into the intricacies of the construction of this world—in the midst of all this, he considered himself nothing. That is just the way I feel; and I presume it is the way that almost everyone feels who contemplates the greatness of God, and the immensity of knowledge that there is far beyond our reach in this present state of existence. At the same time, when we compare our knowledge and our intellectual powers with the glimmerings of light that we see manifested in the brute creation, we may exclaim that man is some thing—that he is advanced far beyond the apparent manifestations of knowledge that exist among the lower orders of beings. He is, indeed, something compared with the small glimmerings of light that exist in the brute creation, in the beasts of the field, in the fowls of the air, and in the fishes of the sea; all these have some degree of knowledge and understanding; and some of them have some degree of information and knowledge that man is not in possession of. Man designates such intelligence by the name of instinct; they seem to be guided by a principle that man, naturally speaking, is not in possession of; but yet, when we contemplate the reasoning powers and faculties of man—the rational faculty—the abstract ideas that are capable of dwelling in his mind, and then look at the brute creation, we see a vast difference between the two.

Mankind, in one sense, are far above the brutes, and not only this, but they are above even some of the angels; for there are certain orders of angels that are far beneath man; they have not progressed in the great scale of being—in the scale of wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence to the same extent as we have; and consequently they are beneath us; they are lower than we are; they have not attained to the same degree of information that we are in possession of; hence we read that man shall judge angels; the Saints are to judge, not only the world—the wicked world, and also one another, but they are to judge angels. Why? Because they are superior, or will be at the time they shall sit in judgment and decide upon the cases brought before them by the angels; they will rule over the angels, or in other words, the angels will be subject to them. This we read in the laws that God has revealed to this Church. We read that there are a certain class of beings, who, because they have not fulfilled the law of God, will, in the next state, enjoy no higher privileges than those of the angels; they will remain angels, while others who have kept the celestial law in all its bearings—in its ordinances, and institutions, and have claimed the privileges of the Saints of God, will be exalted to a higher sphere; they will have greater knowledge and information, and those angels being of a lower order of intelligence will be subject to them, and will minister for them, in carrying out their purposes and designs in the wide field of action in the eternal worlds.

All these, then, in one sense of the word, are something, instead of being nothing; for all of the works of God are intended to show forth His wisdom, power, and goodness, whether it is in the formation of man, in the formation of the brute creation, or in the formation of the highest or lowest order of intelligence. God is there; His intelligence and power are there; His wisdom and goodness are there; and all His works are marked by His great and glorious attributes.

There is something calculated to give great joy and happiness to the mind of man in the idea of improvement, so long as there is anything to be learned—in the idea of progressing and expanding those principles of light and intelligence that already exist within these tabernacles. There is a joy—a satisfaction, existing in the mind of the righteous man, in the discovery of every additional truth; it matters not whether he himself attains this truth by experience, by reason, by reflection, by immediate revelation from higher powers, or by a revelation from his fellow man. It matters not how or in what way or manner he obtains this new truth, it is calculated to inspire his heart with joy and happiness. We see this illustrated in some small degree in the scientific discoveries of modern ages, as well as in those of ancient times.

If we can depend upon the declarations of the discoverers, who, after long and toilsome researches after some hidden truth, at length, have obtained the key that leads to that truth; they make use of it; the door of knowledge and wisdom is unlocked to them, and they find out and discover something new; it is demonstrated to their minds, and they know it to be true. There is a perceptive faculty, existing in the bosom of man, that is capable of perceiving light and truth, when it is clearly manifested; such truths are as certain and as sure to him as any other truths; when he obtains the knowledge which he has long hunted after, and spent years, perhaps, in close meditation, reasoning, and study in order to obtain, it gives him such a joy, satisfaction, and ecstasy, that he is hardly capable of retaining himself in the body. The mind of that great man Sir Isaac Newton, one of the great discoverers in modern times, was exercised in a wonderful manner. About the time he unfolded the great law that governs the bodies in the universe, which he termed the law of universal gravitation; his mind was so affected, so full of joy, and so overcome, when he was about laying bare the great truths this law unfolded, that he had to obtain the assistance of someone present in carrying out the calculations.

If these scientific truths will have such an effect upon the mind of man, how much greater ought the joy to be, in the hearts of the children of men, in relation to those still greater truths that pertain to eternal life and the exaltation of man in the eternal world!

If those truths which only have a bearing upon the present state of existence, are calculated to impart joy and happiness so intense, as almost to overpower the mortal tabernacle of man, are not those still greater truths that proceed from heaven by the ministration of angels, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and by the visions of the Almighty, calculated to impart still greater joy and happiness to the mind of man? They certainly are.

There is something glorious in the contemplation of that period of time, when we shall come in possession of greater truths, even before we do obtain them; for we have the promise given to us by the Almighty, that more truths will be revealed and unfolded; and just the bare anticipation of these truths, before they are revealed, are calculated to give great joy and happiness to the mind of man. Now what do we anticipate brethren and sisters? What are we looking for? I stated to you last Sabbath, that we were looking for a future existence after this mortal body shall crumble back to its mother elements. I also endeavored last Sabbath to inquire into the nature of this future state of existence in some small degree; at the same time, reminding you that in one short discourse it would be utterly impossible to point out the apparent differences, or at least, the real and supposed differences that will exist between man in his present state, and in his future state. There will be a great difference in many respects, and in other respects, a very little difference.

Now let us touch, for a few moments, upon a principle in regard to the communication of knowledge between man and man, in his future state. We know how we communicate knowledge one to another here; it is by speaking, by writing, by arbitrary sounds that we convey our ideas one to another, and reveal knowledge, instruction, and truth one to another. This is a very imperfect medium of communication, consequently man progresses slowly, very slowly, indeed, in obtaining truth. But supposing that we could have revealed to us from on high a language more pure and heavenly, that is a perfect language, so far as it can be made perfect, and be adapted to our present state of existence; let such a language be revealed to us; let us learn it; let us obtain a knowledge of all the various symbols of the same, by which we could communicate our ideas one to another, perfectly, without any ambiguity or uncertainty in the ideas, would not this be a medium by which mankind could greatly enlarge their ideas and knowledge of things? Could not those that have progressed in the principles of truth and righteousness more readily impart their ideas to others? Now we find, in consequence of the imperfection of our language, that it is very difficult, indeed, to communicate readily our ideas to others, so that we have to spend years and years to instil into the minds of children and youth, some very easy and simple principles of knowledge. It is in one sense owing to the weakness of the capacity and intellect in early age, but it is still more owing to the imperfection of language by which these ideas are communicated. [The speaker here asked a blessing upon the bread.]

We were speaking upon the imperfect medium, here in this life, by which we convey our ideas one to another. Let us now compare our present means of obtaining knowledge with the facilities which are no doubt, in store for the people of God. Will there be a pure language restored? There will; through the testimony of the prophets. We are also told that tongues shall cease. We are to understand by this that the great varieties of languages and tongues that have existed on the earth for many ages, are to be done away; they are to cease; now something must take the place of those imperfect, confused languages and tongues. What is that something? It is a language that is spoken by higher orders of beings than ourselves; that is, beings that have progressed further than ourselves; it is that same language that was spoken for nearly two thousand years after the creation; that was spoken by Adam and by his children, from generation to generation that came down to the flood, and was taught extensively among the children of Noah until the Lord by a direct miracle caused the people to forget their own mother tongue, and gave them a variety of new tongues that they had no knowledge of, and by this means scattered them abroad upon the face of the whole earth; and now that same Being that destroyed the memory of the people at the building of the tower, so that they could not remember their own mother tongue, and the same Being that gave to them new languages and tongues, will operate again by His power to do away with this curse, for I consider it a curse, and the blessing will be as great and as extensive as the curse, in destroying it from the face of the earth. This is a poor medium of communication between man and man. Whether this pure language here spoken of, which is to be spoken here upon the earth among mankind in their mortal state, is to be as perfect as the language that has to be spoken in our immortal state, is not for us to say; but still we may draw some conclusions upon this matter, from the fact that things in the eternal world will in some measure be different from what they are here.

For instance; how do you suppose that spirits after they leave these bodies, communicate one with another? Do they communicate their ideas by the actual vibrations of the atmosphere the same as we do? I think not. I think if we could be made acquainted with the kind of language by which spirits converse with spirits, we would find that they do not communicate their ideas in this manner; they have a more refined way; I mean that portion of them that are in the school of progress; they have undoubtedly a more refined system among them of communicating their ideas. This system will be so constructed that they can, not only communicate at the same moment upon one subject, as we have to do by making sounds in the atmosphere, but communicate vast numbers of ideas, all at the same time, on a great variety of subjects; and the mind will be capable of perceiving them. Perhaps there may be some who consider this altogether an improbability. They may consider it very improbable that the mind should be able to take in a vast collection of ideas, on different subjects, all at once, and be able to digest and comprehend them; if the mind has such faculty as this, then there must necessarily be a language adapted to such a capacity of the mind; not an imperfect medium of communication to convey a few simple ideas upon one subject at a time, as is done here, but a language exactly adapted to the capacity; if the capacity is greater, then the language must be more refined than what it is here, in order to communicate in the same ratio that the capacity is capable of receiving and understanding. It is impossible for man to communicate, by our present language, any more than one chain of ideas at the same time. There may be other ideas suggested to the individual who is hearing, but the ideas of the individual who is speaking are always in one line, giving one idea at a time; and the mind seems hardly capable here in the mortal tabernacle, for some reason, of receiving more than one idea at a time, or at least a very few, and such ideas follow each other in quick succession. In the spirit state, we have reason to believe, that inasmuch as there is such a vast field of knowledge to be learned, their medium of communication will be adapted to the nature and capacity of the mind to grasp in a varie ty of subjects and digest them all at once.

Well inquires one, “Can you imagine up any such system, or language in this world?” I can imagine up one, but it cannot be made practicable here, from the fact that the mind of man is unable to use it. For instance, the Book of Mormon tells us, that the angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, and man when under the influence of it, speaks the language of angels. Why does he speak in this language? Because the Holy Ghost suggests the ideas which he speaks; and it gives him utterance to convey them to the people. Suppose the Holy Ghost should suggest to the mind of an individual a vast multitude of truths, I mean when in the spiritual state, and he wished to convey that intelligence and knowledge to his fellow spirit; suppose, instead of having arbitrary sounds, such as we have here, to communicate these ideas, that the Holy Ghost itself, through a certain process and power, should enable him to unfold that knowledge to another spirit, all in an instant, without this long tedious process of artificial and arbitrary sounds, and written words. The fact is, if celestial spirits were so organized, and so constructed, as to close up their own ideas in their own bosoms, from those in a lower condition, or to disclose them at their own pleasure, according to the mind and wisdom of the Holy Ghost, and others were so organized and constituted as to receive these ideas by the power of the Holy Ghost, it would be just as good a communication between man and man—between spirit and spirit, as any other medium, and perhaps far better. Now, I have quite an idea that this will be one of the great helps in the eternal world, by which knowledge will be poured out more abundantly upon the mind of man; it will be by this aid; by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that they will progress faster than here, they will learn more rapidly; the intellectual powers will be more expanded.

There is something of this nature that God has revealed. You may think I am now reasoning altogether upon conjecture, and only to be received as such; well, we will let it go as such; but still there are some glimmerings of light and intelligence, which God has revealed in regard to these superior beings in the eternal world, which show us that some such economy will be carried on in the future world. For instance, how does God perceive the thoughts of our hearts? Is there not here a language by which He can discover and discern the thoughts and intents of the heart? Are we not told in many of the revelations how that God can perceive the thoughts of man, and that for every idle thought we are to be brought into judgment? Yes, He discerns the thoughts, and the intents of the hearts of the children of men. Suppose we had some of that power resting upon us, would not that be a different kind of a language from sound, or from a written language? It would. If spirits could commune with spirits, and one higher intelligence commune with another, by the same principle through which God sees the thoughts and intents of the heart, it would be nothing more than what has already existed here in this world, according to that which is revealed.

Much might be said upon this subject; it is a glorious subject to contemplate; and it is that which gives joy to the mind of every righteous man who desires the truth; he knows how happy the principle of truth makes him here, when he discerns it, or it is revealed to him; and if he can get his mind fixed upon a more glorious economy, wherein truth can be unfolded more rapidly, and in such a way that there can be no possibility of mistaking it for error; the very an ticipation of it is calculated to inspire the heart of every individual to be faithful in all things, that he may enter into the enjoyment of those blessings which are ahead.

There are a great many things to be contemplated, in connection with man in his future state, compared with his present. One principle I mentioned to you last Sabbath; that mankind would be able, through the power of the Holy Ghost, to obtain a knowledge of a vast number of things at once, and of a vast portion of the works of God all at once, the same as Moses did when he looked upon every particle of this earth and discerned it by the Spirit of God, not only all the various continents and islands, but every particle of the interior of it; all was presented before his mind at once. He did not have to reason out the knowledge concerning these particles; neither did he have to look at one particle of it at a time, but he had the faculty by which he could look at more than one thing at once; he could look at almost an infinite number at the same time; for there are more particles in one grain of sand than we could number in all our life if we lived to be a thousand years old; and if Moses could look upon every particle, and behold the whole all at once, he must have had the capacity of looking in all directions in the same moment, and of beholding it by the Spirit. Here was a language by which he conversed with nature; with the works of God; and the Spirit that is in connection with the works of God—that is in all creation—conversed with Moses, for the Spirit of God is in all things, around about all things, through all things, and the law by which all things are governed. When that Spirit, which is thus diffused through all the materials of nature, undertakes to converse with the minds of men, it converses in a different kind of language from that we use in our imperfect state. It communicates ideas more rapidly—more fully, and unfolds a world of knowledge in a moment. But the Lord told Moses that a man in the flesh could not see all His glory, without seeing all His works; and that no man could behold all His works and afterwards remain in the flesh. Though the Spirit opened the mind of Moses, so that he could converse, as it were, with this one world, and discern every particle of it, and understand all about it; yet there was a stopping point; he was not permitted to gaze upon the particles of the moon, the sun, the planets, and fixed stars, and of the other worlds which God had made, only so far as God thought fit to open his mind to gaze upon His works; but the same Spirit is in the sun, and is the power thereof by which it is governed; the same Spirit is in the moon, and is the power thereof by which it was made; the same Spirit is also in the planets, and fixed stars, and it is the power thereof by which they are governed. I say the same Spirit, existing in all these worlds, could converse with the mind of man, as it conversed with Moses, and unfold their particles, and all things connected with them with the same ease as it unfolded the particles of this earth.

So you see that there is a language in the spirit world that can communicate more to the mind in one minute than could be learned here in a hundred years of intense study and reasoning. There is an eternity of knowledge. There are worlds, as it were, without number; kingdoms without number; personages without number; intellectual beings of all grades and orders without number; and all these have their laws, their governments, their kingdoms, their thrones, their principalities, their powers, all moving and acting in the sphere in which they are placed; and they all have their way of communication one with another; therefore, when the Apostle says, that tongues shall cease, he had reference to the imperfect tongues upon the earth; knowledge will not cease, but knowledge in part will be done away, not knowledge in full. Says the Apostle Paul, “We know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” These imperfect things will be done away, and we shall be able by the power of the Holy Ghost to obtain a language by which the angels speak, and by which a higher order of beings speak, and by these means attain to a greater degree of knowledge, that will produce a greater amount of happiness.

What is the body compared with the mind? Just nothing at all comparatively speaking. Hence the Savior says, in one of the new revelations, “Care not for the body, nor for the life of the body; but care for the soul, and the life of the soul.” Again, the Savior says to his Apostles, Why take ye thought for raiment, what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” The body is of but little worth compared with that being which dwells within the body, it is not a perceptive being; if it is, we have not learned it; the body is not capable of feeling pain; if it is, we have never learned it; it is the spirit then that receives joy, happiness, and pleasure, that rejoices, fears, and hopes; it is the spirit, then, that possesses all these feelings and sensations of joy, happiness, pain, or misery. And when we speak about the dissolution, and death of the body, it is only the crumbling back of these coarser materials of earth, but the intellectual being lives, and will enjoy happiness to a greater extent. It is only our transition state, as it were, like some worms that creep out of their shells in the form of a butterfly; instead of crawling around like a snail, they burst their shells, they take the wings of the morning, and fly to the uttermost parts of the earth; not only their sphere of knowledge is extended, but their power of locomotion; so it will be when we burst these mortal shells; it is not death in one sense of the word, but it is only getting out of the prison we got by the fall. If Adam had not fallen, we should not have come here; but having come here, and these mortal tabernacles having produced pain and distress upon the spirit, we look forward to the joyful time, when we shall burst them, and our sphere of action become more enlarged, and our locomotive powers become greatly increased.

Only look at the sluggishness of man in the mortal tabernacle, and then compare it with those swift messengers sent from the eternal worlds to administer to all the creations of the Almighty; they are sent from world to world; they do not have to travel as we do, taking three months to get a thousand miles across the plains, but they mount up as with wings of eagles, they run and are not weary as we are, they walk and are not faint. I do not know whether they get fatigued or not in that world; but it seems that we, who have come into this world, are in conditions and circumstances wherein we need to replenish the mortal tabernacle; we need refreshment, and have to lie down and sleep that the body may be refreshed. Give me that state where the active faculties of man—where the intellectual powers will never become weary, when they will be like God who rules the universe, whose eye is ever upon the works of His hands; every moment discerning the intents and thoughts of our hearts, and who governs creation with His power. Let as look forward to that state of more advanced happiness when this mortal shell shall be laid off; and when we, in the spiritual state, shall be enabled to enjoy those enlarged powers of locomotion which we have reason to expect.

How much do we expect? That we may fly swiftly to other worlds on missions. We would not want to occupy three months time in going from the earth to the moon, or from the earth to the sun, as we do in crossing these plains with ox teams, but we wish to go with greater velocity. If we go with the velocity of light, we should travel at the rate of one hundred and ninety-two thousand miles every second. There are substances in nature which are moving with this velocity. What is it that moves with this velocity? Is it anything else but spirit? The light we see is spirit. What does the Lord say in one of the new revelations? “Ye shall live by every word that cometh out of the mouth of God; whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit,” consequently the light that comes from the sun is spirit. How fast does that spirit travel? It can be demonstrated that it can travel one hundred and ninety-two thousand miles per second; if then one portion of spirit can travel with that velocity, it is natural for us to suppose that any other portions of spirit can travel with the same velocity, and thus we shall be able to accomplish, and perform a greater amount of righteousness among other worlds and beings, than if we were compelled to lose three fourths, or nine tenths of our time on the journey.

Let us look forward to a different state of being from what we are now in; it will be different in some respects, and in other respects it will be the same. We shall be there, and fully conscious of our having been here, and remember all our actions; this is clearly taught in the Book of Mormon. The wicked will remember all their wicked actions; their memory will be perfect there, and every act of their lives here will be imprinted on the tablets of the memory. Here we can remember but few things; almost all the knowledge we have at one time, at another is gone from the tablet of our memory; but still it is there, and it will come out, like the daguerreotype likeness; that which appears to be erased from the mind will stand forth in bold relief and we shall read it, and be conscious that we were the beings that did so and so in this life. The righteous will remember all their acts, and it will produce a pleasant sensation upon their minds; we treated upon the subject of memory last Sabbath.

May the Lord bless us, and may His Spirit be continually poured out upon us, and may it inspire our hearts with truth, and with a desire to work righteousness all the day long. And do not forget to look forward to those joys ahead, if we do, we will become careless, dormant, and sluggish, and we will think we do not see much ahead to be anticipated, but if we keep our minds upon the prize that lays ahead—upon the vast fields of knowledge to be poured out upon the righteous, and the glories that are to be revealed, and the heavenly things in the future state, we shall be continually upon the alert; we are beings that are only to live here for a moment, as it were. Let these things sink down in our minds continually, and they will make us joyful, and careful to do unto our neighbors as we would they should do unto us. Lest we should come short of some of these things is the reason I have touched upon the future state of man the two Sabbaths past, to stir up the pure minds of the Saints that we may prepare for the things that are not far ahead, and let all the actions of our lives have a bearing in relation to the future. May the Lord bless us for Christ’s sake. Amen.