Man, the Offspring of God, a Dual Being—Immediate Revelation—Operate With the Priesthood

Discourse by Elder John Taylor, delivered at the Forty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City Thursday Morning, April 8, 1875.

We have met together, as is our wont, on this Conference occasion, to speak and to hear, to deliberate, to reflect, and to teach principles and doctrines that are calculated to benefit and bless, to comfort, cheer and direct the Saints of the Most High, here and throughout the world. But in our meetings, and in our teachings and instructions we need, today as much as we ever did, to be under the guidance and direction of the Almighty. There is no man living, and there never was a man living, who was capable of teaching the things of God only as he was taught, instructed and directed by the spirit of revelation proceeding from the Almighty. And then there are no people competent to receive true intelligence and to form a correct judgment in relation to the sacred principles of eternal life, unless they are under the influence of the same spirit, and hence speakers and hearers are all in the hands of the Almighty.

We are met together for the purpose of trying to benefit each other, old and young, and the generation thus now lives, the generations that have lived, and those who will live hereafter; for there is something in the Gospel of the Son of God that is wide and expansive, and that extends to all circumstances and situations in life. It embraces the past, the present and the future, and in its principles we, both as individuals and as a community, are immediately interested; and so in fact are all the world, if they could only comprehend the situation. We occupy a peculiar position among the nations of the earth. Our faith and its doctrines and principles are different from those of any other religious body in many particulars; our prospects, our hopes of the future, and our ideas respecting man’s present and past differ very materially from the ideas on the same subjects which are entertained by other people. We are not the originators of the peculiar ideas that we believe in, or of the peculiar doctrines which we inculcate. We happen to live in an age of the world when, in the economy of God, certain principles have to be introduced for the accomplishment of his purposes, as a part of the great work he has been engaged in from the time before the world was framed, or “the morning stars sang together for joy.” Certain events have to be brought about; certain circumstances have to transpire; certain doctrines have to be made known, that we may operate in our day with the Almighty in the accomplishment of his designs. The principles of salvation are not so narrow and contracted as some men suppose. God is not contracted in his ideas, feelings, or general dealings with the human family. The Scriptures say that “we are all his offspring,” no matter who we are, or when or where we lived upon the earth. God is the God and Father of all flesh, and consequently he feels interested in the welfare of all humanity, no matter of what age, clime, nation or people; and he has seen proper in the last days, in which we live, to reveal certain principles which were revealed in former ages to other peoples and under other circumstances; and as it was in former days, so in these—he has given these revelations to man for the accomplishment of his designs upon the earth; hence these revelations are of great importance, and while we are called to take an active part in bringing to pass certain events in the program of the Almighty, we are as much dependent upon him for guidance, sustenance, intelligence and protection as any other people, and before we get through we shall find out that it is not in man to direct his own steps. We are all of us dependent, for all things, upon our heavenly Father. We are only an integral part of, and are operating in and with others, according to our intelligence, in our sphere, in the great plan which God organized before the world was, and in which all mankind, of all ages and nations, are deeply interested.

We talk about the Gospel of the Son of God, and there are many curious ideas and theories prevalent among mankind in relation to it. The Gospel is not something new, or that never existed until Jesus Christ came upon the earth; but it is an eternal principle, and it has a Priesthood associated with it which, like the Gospel itself, is without beginning of days or end of years. When God organized the world he had in his mind certain ideas and plans which he calculated to bring about in relation to the inhabitants who should live upon it; and the first great commandment that was given to them was to “be fruitful, multiply, and to replenish the earth, to have dominion over the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, and everything that creeps upon the face of the earth.” Man was created in the image of God, and he was the offspring of Deity himself, and consequently made in his likeness; and being made in that likeness, he was a son of God, and the very object of his being planted upon the earth was that he might multiply. Why? That the spirits which had existed with their heavenly Father might have tabernacles to inhabit and become mortal, and, through the possession of these tabernacles and the plan of salvation, that they might be raised to greater dignity, glory and exaltation than it would be possible for them to enjoy without these; and hence, though a man was made a little lower than the angels, the time will come when he will be a little higher than many angels, for the Apostle says, in speaking of those who had received the Gospel, “Know ye not that ye shall judge angels?” God had a purpose, therefore, in the organization of this earth, and in the placing of man upon it, and he has never deviated one hair to the right or to the left in regard to man and his destiny from that time until the present. He is eternal and unchangeable, and so are his ideas in regard to the world that we inhabit and mankind who live upon it; and he has been seeking, from the commencement of creation to the present time, to benefit mankind, just as much as it was in his power to accomplish, consistent with certain laws governing and regulating the same, that he could not violate any more than we can.

There are certain ideas that men entertain pertaining to the world that we live in, that it is enough for them if they have only something to eat, drink and wear. These ideas, of a sensual nature, men seem to be governed by to a very great extent. Jesus, in his day, said to the people, and to his disciples especially—“Take no thought for the morrow, what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed, for after all these things do the Gentiles seek.” That is the acme of their zeal, energy, struggles, perseverance and thought. “What shall we eat, what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed?” Said Jesus—“Consider the lilies of the field they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” God takes care of the beasts and the fowls, the creeping things, and of everything that lives and moves upon the earth; he regularly provides for them their breakfast, dinner and supper, and if he did not do it they would have to go without. He provides for us also, and has taken care of us from our birth up to the present time, and we are not so independent as many of us think we are in very many particulars. Witness, for instance, our breathing. We breathe what we call the breath of life; is it by any action of ours? God made us and planted that principle within us, and sleeping or waking our lungs continue to play. There is some thing remarkable about it. I have sometimes gazed upon an old man, just on the verge of eternity, perhaps seventy, eighty, or ninety years of age, and I have watched the beating of his pulse, the drawing of the breath and the sight of the eye. His breath has been inhaled all the years of his life, not through any agency or volition of his own, but simply by the organism which God made and gave to him. Our pulse beats in the same way, from hour to hour, minute to minute, and our blood flows from the heart to the extreme parts of the system simply by the energy and vitality which God imparts. When we come to examine ourselves we are not so independent after all. What have we to do with the functions of digestion, and many other things connected with the human system? In God we live, in God we move, and from God we have our being, and let him withdraw the breath of life and the pulse stops beating, and in a short time we become helpless, inanimate clay. We are not very independent, we are all of us in the hands of God, and when he withdraws the vital power we go to decay.

God is watching over us, and he is watching over his people. We realize that we possess certain faculties and powers of mind, and these and the power of conveying them to the brain, or thought and reflection, comes from God; we are indebted to him for every power we have, and so are all the inhabitants of the earth; and as I have already said, he has been seeking to benefit the human family just as much as lay in his power, from the beginning until the present time.

The first thing was—“Multiply and replenish the earth.” Then, by and by, through the power of Satan, who I suppose was a necessary influ ence to be used, or he would not have been there, men’s minds got estranged from God, and every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was evil and it was necessary that they should be cut off and that God should commence another seed, and that those men who lived at that time should not have the power to propagate their species in unrighteousness and entail misery upon their posterity. Why so? Because man is a dual being, possessed of a body and a spirit, having to do with time and eternity. Whether we think about and reflect upon, or believe it or not, it makes no difference. We existed before we came here; we exist here in another form from what we did then, and we shall live in another and different sphere when we leave here, whether we believe it or not; and no action of ours can alter it, and no matter what our thoughts and reflections on this subject may be, they will not change the course of the Great Jehovah in regard to man.

Well, when God found that the people were transgressing his laws continually, and that they were raising up a posterity who followed in the same path, to prevent justice being done to spirits unborn by those who were in the flesh, he cut them off and raised up another seed; and change has succeeded change, and God has dealt with nations and with individuals according to his wisdom for the best good of the human family. He raised up Abraham, and Moses; and by and by Jesus came to accomplish certain objects, and to restore the Gospel, which had been lost in consequence of transgression. Jesus preached the Gospel. Was it right? Yes. Why did it not continue? I do not know, but it did not continue, and the Prophets said it would not, and one of them prophesied that a certain power would seek to make war with the Saints of God, and that it would prevail against them, and that they would be given into his hands until a time, and times, and the dividing of a time. And then other events had to transpire, and other plans and principles had to be introduced, and by and by the time came for the restoration of the Gospel again, and Joseph Smith was raised up, and through him the revelations of God and the Priesthood were restored, the same Priesthood that Jesus had, and which existed upon the earth long before his day. There was nothing new about it. Why, Adam, before he left the earth, gathered his people together in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and the curtain of eternity was unfolded before him, and he gazed upon all events pertaining to his descendants, which should transpire in every subsequent period of time, and he prophesied to them. He saw the flood and its desolating influence; he saw the introduction again of a people in the days of Noah; he saw their departure from the right path. He saw Abraham, Moses and the Prophets make their appearance and witnessed the results of their acts; he saw nations rise and fall; he saw the time when Jesus would come and restore the Gospel and when he would preach that Gospel to those who perished in the days of Noah; and in fact he saw everything that should transpire upon the earth, until the winding up scene. He was acquainted with the day in which we live and the circumstances with which we are surrounded. Many other men have possessed a portion of the same power, influence, knowledge and intelligence, and they have obtained it from the same source.

There have been many peculiar circumstances connected with the past history of mankind. Enoch, for instance, occupied a peculiar position in his day, before the flood, when the imaginations of the hearts of the people were evil. In that day God endowed men with the spirit of revelation and prophecy, and they went forth and proclaimed to the people the same Gospel that we are proclaiming now. And Enoch gathered together his people and they were taught of God by the everlasting Priesthood, which holds the keys of the mysteries of the revelations of God, and which has done so in every age of the world whenever it has existed. Those men were taught of God; but they could not stop the evil nor stem the march and progress of iniquity, but they could gather together those who would be obedient to the revelations of God, and they did gather them together, and Enoch and his city being perfected, and the world doomed to destruction, the Lord moved them out of the way, and the rumor went forth—“Zion is fled.” They were taken up out of the way of the world into the keeping of the Almighty. Then came the Flood, then came many other events, and finally Joseph Smith came, through whom God revealed the principles by which he governs the world. Joseph knew nothing about these things until the Lord revealed them. There was nothing particular about him, he was a man like the balance of us. But the Lord, for certain reasons of his own, I suppose, selected him to be his mouthpiece to the nations in this age of the world. Perhaps Joseph, as well as many others, was set apart to a certain office before the world was. Christ was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. Abraham was set apart to his office, and a great many others in the same way; and Joseph Smith came to do his work.

What was that work? Why things seemed to be changed around in a great measure here from what they were in early days. God said to Adam—“Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” What does he say now? He says—“Build Temples! Build Temples!!” What for? “To accomplish certain purposes that I had in my mind before the world was; that you may operate for yourselves, that you may be instructed therein in the laws of life—the laws pertaining to your bodies and to your spirits; the laws pertaining to the living and the dead.” Principles in which all mankind that have ever lived or that ever will live are interested. The Lord took Lehi and his family, and planted them upon this continent, and they increased and spread abroad, and the Lord revealed unto them his law; and after Jesus left the Continent of Asia, he came here and organized his Church and made the people acquainted with the principles of truth, as he did on the other continent, only more so, for they had more light, revelation and intelligence here than there, and they lived in union and harmony here for more than two hundred years. They had all things in common one with another, and covetousness was in a great measure destroyed. The great secret of their success in this direction was that “they dealt justly one with another.”

Well, these various Priesthoods that have existed, and these Prophets that have lived, such for instance as Nephi, Alma, Lehi, Mahoni, Moroni, Mormon and others, were taught and instructed in the principles of life and the laws of God, and they have left their testimony on record, and we have it here, in the Book of Mormon. They administered here in time, and they are all administering in eternity, and they are operating and cooperating with us and with the Almighty for the accomplishment of his purposes upon the earth. We talk sometimes about cooperation; but the plan of salvation, if you please, is a grand Cooperative Scheme, as expansive as the heavens and as wide as eternity; it penetrates through all time, extends through all ages, and reaches men in every position, living or dead; they who have lived, we who now live, and they who will live hereafter are all working together in this grand cooperative plan, and we cannot be made perfect without our progenitors, neither can they be perfected without us, and they are as much dependent upon us as we are dependent upon them. We can build Temples, they cannot; it is not their province to administer in them at present, but it is ours, and we are called upon to do so. They are interested in our welfare, they are our fathers, we are their children; they are laboring there, we here, for our mutual salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God. The plan of salvation is no isolated affair; it is not narrow and circumscribed like the man I have heard of, who prayed—“God bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more, Amen;” but it is as high as heaven, as deep as hell and as wide as the universal creation; it extends to the time that is past and to the eternities that are to come. The living and the dead so-called in Christ are all working for the accomplishment of the same great objects and purposes. Don’t you think that they, behind the veil, feel as much interested in the work as we do? Read the little glimpse given by John in the Revelation, where he speaks about the souls of those before the altar, who prayed day and night that he would avenge them of their adversaries; and again, when the time came when Babylon was cast down there was rejoicing among the angels in heaven. This gives us some faint idea of the feelings entertained by those on the other side of the veil in relation to events here.

Don’t you think that Adam, the father of us all, feels interested in the welfare of his children? I think he does. Don’t you think that Enoch feels interested in the welfare of his people? I guess he does. Don’t you think that Noah does? Yes, and even some of the Prophets, in speaking about events in the future, tell of a time when Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to God. Are they not all interested? Yes. Are not all of you interested in your posterity? Yes, you are. Does the Gospel show you how to take care of them? It does. Does it enable you to bless your posterity as Jacob did? It does, and to seal blessings upon their heads. Does it give you promises pertaining to the future? It does, pertaining to you and your posterity. And are not all of these men engaged with us in the same object? Yes, and they are just as much interested as we are, and ten thousand times more, because they know more; and they have been operating in the various ages, and when they were permitted they have come forth and communicated the will of God to man. And when Joseph Smith was raised up as a Prophet of God, Mormon, Moroni, Nephi and others of the ancient Prophets who formerly lived on this Continent, and Peter and John and others who lived on the Asiatic Continent, came to him and communicated to him certain principles pertaining to the Gospel of the Son of God. Why? Because they held the keys of the various dispensations, and conferred them upon him, and he upon us. He was indebted to God; and we are indebted to God and to him for all the intelligence that we have on these subjects. Who in this generation knew anything about Temples and their uses until Joseph revealed it? Nobody. Who knew anything about baptism for the dead until then? Nobody. Who knew anything about the past or the future? Why, when I commenced to preach this Gospel, years ago, it was enough to damn anybody to even mention the principle of revelation. In this enlightened age we were so far ahead of God that we could have a religion without him, and could go to heaven without him; we did not want any revelation from, or communication with, God. But the Gospel brings us into communication with God, and makes us one with him and with those who have operated before; and those holy men of God who have lived in the various ages feel interested in our welfare, and they are watching over us, and we are better taken care of than many of us think for. Many of us are careless, thoughtless, heedless, reckless, unbelieving and full of doubts and anxiety; but God has given his angels charge concerning us lest we should dash our foot against a stone. God’s bowels of mercy have been extended to us in spite of our waywardness, folly, weakness, corruption and imbecility.

We have an organization that was planned and ordained by the Almighty. We have the First Presidency—President Brigham Young, set apart by God to occupy the position that he does, and his Counsel. Who told men about such an organization as this? God. What did we know about it till then? Nothing. Who knew about the organization of the Twelve? Nobody. Who knew about an organization of High Priests? Nobody, yet they had them in various ages of the world, according to the record that we have. Who knew about an organization of Seventies, and of the various Quorums of the Priesthood, and the duties that should devolve upon them? Nobody. Who knew about the organization of Bishops? Nobody. Have they not got Bishops? Yes, but they are not in the right place, and they are not bishops, they call them so, but they are not bishops. I remember introducing brother Hunter to a gentleman in Provo. “Mr. So and So,” said I, “this is Bishop Hunter, our presiding Bishop here. In England you have your lords spiritual, but,” said I, “this is our lord temporal, and he attends to the affairs of our bread and cheese,” &c. But elsewhere their bishops are made spiritual officers, which Bishops were never intended for. Who knew anything about other organizations of the Priesthood that we have, such as Elders, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, and their various duties? Nobody. Where did this originate? With God. Where is the pattern? In the heavens. When will this Priesthood cease? Never. It originated with God, and when we get through with the affairs of time you will find just the same organization, the same Priesthood, the same power, the same principles that exist here. Why? Because the things which exist in the Church of God here are patterns of those which exist in the heavens. God said to Moses—“See that thou make all things according to the pattern that I showed thee in the mount.” The pattern that we have is a pattern of that which exists in the heavens, the organization of the Priesthood that will exist throughout eternity. And these are heavenly things committed to us in the flesh for our benefit, and for the benefit of the world that we live in. It is not to save or bless me or my family alone, or you and your family alone; but it is to bless and save all who will avail themselves thereof, who have ever lived, and all who live now or ever will live.

When the purposes of God in regard to the earth shall have been fulfilled, the earth will resume its former paradisiacal glory, and go on to be celestialized. To help on this good time we are requested to introduce certain principles, and we have heard a good deal said about the United Order. Who would not want to be united with an order like this that I speak of? The order into which we are now requested to enter is a very, very, very little portion of the other, that is all; but as we show by our acts that we cannot, or will not, be one in temporal things, how can we be one in spiritual things? Says Jesus—“If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?” But we do believe in these principles, and we are governed by them to a certain extent, and we are desirous to do what is right, and God desires to help us. What shall we do then? Why, keep his commandments, and obey the counsels of his servants, and esteem it a privilege to be one with them.

[Continued on Page 1, Vol. 18.]

Self-Reliance—Help the Feeble—Keep Out of Debt

Discourse by Elder Erastus Snow, delivered at the Forty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Wednesday Afternoon, April 7, 1875.

If I can be heard I desire to make myself understood, for I have a few reflections to present to the people. I love this people, because I am persuaded that the very great majority of them are seeking after truth. We desire to improve and to pursue the path that will lead us onward and upward in the scale of being, to develop the powers within us that pertain to the Godhead, created as we are in his image, bearing in mind this injunction of one of the Apostles—“Let this same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, when he found himself in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with him.” No other people that I have any knowledge of upon the earth have such faith, such aspirations, such hope for the future as the Latter-day Saints possess, as is taught us in the sacred books of our holy religion, and as was taught us by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and which are manifested by the Holy Ghost in us. We look for greater things than any other people; and we must labor to develop within ourselves and within our children the gifts and powers that are within us, and which are embraced in our faith. Anything, therefore, that serves to stultify us in anywise tend downward rather than upward.

The subject of self-reliance was spoken of this morning, in our individual capacity and in our family relationships; yesterday brother Wells gave us some very excellent instructions, some beautiful truths, touching national or political economy, portraying the necessity that exists for nations, or communities like ours, becoming self-sustaining, self-reliant, and taking a course to be free from bondage and oppression and of being needlessly beholden to others, and, instead of letting our eyes wander to the ends of the earth, lusting after everything we see or hear of, educating and training ourselves to so curtail our wants that we can supply them by our own industry. What is true of nations and communities is true of individuals, and the principles applicable in one case are so in the other; and unless these principles are appreciated and applied in our individual and family capacity, they will not be in our larger national capacities. As communities, that which stands chiefly in our way is the pride of life—the natural ambition that is within us, which in and of itself is a godlike and noble principle, prompting us to go forward and to imitate those who are higher and further advanced than ourselves. It is this which stimulates nations, communities, families and individuals to improve. But there is a true line of demarcation which we should learn to tread, and, as far as in us lies, we should neither vary to the right hand nor to the left from that true line; if we do we shall receive the reward of our error.

To say that we are not mutually dependent upon each other, is to say that which is not strictly true; and I believe that our Father has organized us and society so that we should be mutually dependent, in order to cherish those principles of friendship, love, charity and brotherly kindness, and those noble social qualities that make us feel that we are one family, the children of one parent, and tending to one common end, and that we are in duty bound to work for each other as well as for ourselves. But the Lord requires no man or set of men to sacrifice themselves for others entirely, nor does he justify any man or people in leaning entirely upon others and doing nothing for themselves. In all the works of God we see this principle predominant. He has made ample provision upon this earth for all the inhabitants thereof to become self-sustaining, by using the bounties and gifts which he has bestowed upon them, and putting forth their hands and appropriating to their use the elements of life and prosperity with which they are surrounded; and though he permits the birds of the air and the fowls to prey a little upon our crops, and to pick the berries that grow in the mountains, yet even these have to arouse themselves from their nests and go in quest of their food, and all God’s creatures on the earth are required to exercise the powers and faculties they possess to avail themselves of the bounties which heaven has so plentifully placed upon the earth for their sustenance. Industry is required of us, and coupled with industry, frugality and economy, without which the rewards of industry are squandered and lost. Industry, frugality and economy are parts and portions of our faith and holy religion. We are dependent upon our Father and God for our being, and all our faculties; for the earth, our dwelling place, and the elements around us; but, in order to avail ourselves of these blessings, he requires us to use the faculties we possess, to be industrious, economical and prudent, and to exemplify that charity and brotherly love which pertain to our holy religion. The Lord has said that the idler shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer. One of the rules of the United Order says—“Thou shalt pay thy brother for that which thou hast of him;” and those rules not only make it obligatory to pay or discharge our present indebtedness, as fast as in us lies, but henceforth to contract no debt beyond our ability to pay, or without having a reasonable prospect before us of fulfilling our engagements. These principles become necessary not only to be spoken of, but to be treasured and lived up to in order to preserve and maintain confidence between us as brethren, and to entitle us to the consideration of friends and brethren to assist us when our time of adversity shall come.

Those who are entitled either to free education, free meals, free clothing, or to be freely housed, entertained, comforted and blessed, are those who are industrious, prudent, frugal, using the faculties they possess, but who, through sickness, misfortune, or old age, are unable to minister to their own wants; or children of tender age who require the care of parents, friends or guardians. To all others it may be said—Bear your own burdens; and we may also quote the words of the Apostle Paul, when he says—“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ;” also in another place the same author says—“Let every man bear his own burden.” Both are true and correct when we understand how to apply them correctly. Let all men and all women bear their own burdens according to their strength, and when that fails let somebody else take hold and help them and so fulfill the law of Christ. So let every father and mother begin the work of education with their offspring, and teach them to bear their own burdens at the earliest practicable day, and let them begin to learn and receive this practical education of which our President gave us such illustrations this forenoon, such an education, both physical and mental, as shall fit them for all the practical duties of life. Let no mother, in her misplaced sympathy and her love, and her anxiety to serve her offspring, wear herself needlessly out in waiting upon them when they are able to wait upon themselves; but make such provision as is necessary, which children are not able to make themselves, and teach them to wait upon and serve themselves, and also repay their father and mother for the labor bestowed upon them. Let them have a place for their hats, bonnets and clothing to be hung up in, and instead of going round the house after them, picking up their shoes and other things, take them and, if necessary, spank them, and make John understand that it is his duty to hang up his hat, and Sally to put her sunbonnet in its proper place. And when they want a drink, let them understand that there is the cup and there is the pump, and teach them to help themselves, and bring a drink to mother, instead of mother waiting upon them; and so commence and so continue that practical education. And when they are able to begin to hoe the potatoes and sow the onions, teach them how to do it instead of doing it all yourselves, and leaving them to lie in the shade or to run round the streets, wearing out shoe leather and learning mischief. If you are too old and feeble to take the lead in the performance of these several labors, take your rocking chair into the shade under a tree somewhere, and sit and give directions and tell James or John what to do and how to do it.

This practical education has been before this people all the days of our lives; or I will say that our President and leader has kept prominently before us the great and important lessons of self-reliance. His doctrine has always been that the best way to relieve the poor is to show them how to help themselves. To continue to hand out your food and your substance to the beggar who comes to your doors without putting him in a position to help himself and to supply his own wants is to encourage him in folly and wickedness, and is throwing away the blessings of heaven which God has placed in your hands. Shall we not feed the hungry? Yes. Shall we not receive the stranger into our gates? Yes. If any come along who are weary, hungry, without money and need relief, shall we minister to their wants? Yes. Shall we feed them? Yes. Shall we give them rest? Yes. Warm them by our fires? Yes. Let them stay and rest themselves under our roof? Yes. How long? Until they are able to begin and do something to help themselves. And supposing, when they have stayed one night and had their suppers, and their breakfast next morning, then dinner, and supper again, and then stay another night, and finally, finding that they fare very well, they want to stop altogether, then we should say, “Here is a spade, go and dig that ditch,” or, “take this axe and cut that wood,” “take this team and haul a load of wood,” or put them to something by which they may use their powers and minister to their own wants; and if they demur at this then say—“Well, you can go without eating until you are willing to hoe the potatoes; you can go out and cut your own wood, make your own fires and camp where you please, you cannot have shelter longer under my roof, the good things which God has given me are to bless and happify my fellow man, not to encourage vagrancy and idleness.”

These are no new principles before the Latter-day Saints. Our motto is “The Hive of Deseret,” and here is the place for the working bees, the place where they sting the drones to death. There has been a tendency with some of us for a few years past to try and live by our wits, or with as little physical labor as possible, and to watch the corners of the streets and various places for some advantage, or some way or other by which we may obtain something for nothing; and some succeed—they find some unsuspecting person ignorant of the value of things, and they obtain something for nothing, something that is valuable for that which possesses very little value. I speak not in reference to legitimate trading. There is a legitimate trade and traffic recognized by all right thinking men of the world everywhere. A legiti mate interchange of commodities is profitable to all and makes all better off, and it is as necessary to the prosperity of any people as any other class of labor. In my present remarks I refer to that class the members of which, in common California parlance, are called bummers and hoodlums. Some among us have been in the habit of giving way to this spirit too much, and when the reacting comes we are repaid for our folly. We are in the habit too, of allowing ambition to prompt us to make improvements and to build for ourselves convenient and tasteful habitations; to adorn our persons, and those of our families. This is all noble and good, but in our efforts in this direction some of us overreach ourselves, that is, we go beyond the means which are legitimately at our command. We run a little too fast and we stumble, and by and by we find that there is an accumulation of debts upon us.

The credit system has always seemed to me to be an evil to mankind in general. To the capitalists, who accumulate so much means that they cannot take care of it, the credit system is a benefit, for they trust it to others to speculate upon, and so distribute it more or less through the community. In this respect the credit system may not be altogether without benefit to the world at large. But as for our community, composed mainly of laboring people, of comparatively small means, depending upon our industry, economy and frugality for all that we have and for all that we expect to have, I am persuaded that the credit system is and always has been a positive evil, though there may be even among us exceptional cases. But I am satisfied in my own mind that it is better for us to pay as we go, instead of obtaining credit from either brethren or strangers, and so endanger our freedom. We have done this too much, and in a great many instances our possessions are mortgaged to pay for our past follies. We have ceased to be free, we are in bondage, for debt is a yoke of bondage to all those who are brought under it, though some wear it much lighter than others. Some adopt the philosophy—“Let those worry whom I owe,” while others adopt the philosophy of worrying because they owe, and they are greatly troubled about procuring the means to pay their debts. It is for the benefit of this class I speak, the other class is to be shunned. Let those who are troubled about paying their debts take warning and, having once had their fingers in the fire, be careful about putting them in again; and let all who still have them in the fire, and feel the smart, be as prompt and diligent as possible in freeing themselves from this yoke of bondage, and discharging their debts. This credit system involves us all more or less. Our great mercantile institution, in attempting to supply the wants of this great community, is under the necessity of resorting to the common credit system of the commercial world; and our several cooperative associations in the settlements throughout the Territory wish to avail themselves of the same privileges, and ask for time. They want goods on credit. And then in our individual and family relationship we adopt the same principle, and we think it hard if our home merchants do not extend to us the same privilege; and the wife and child are teasing the husband and father for this, that and the other from the stores, whether he has the means to pay for it or not.

What is the remedy for all this? To my mind the proper remedy for this is for us to educate ourselves into the feeling that we can do without things until we are able to pay for them; that if we need a hat we will try and make one out of bamboo, straw, leaves, or imitate the Indians and use the covering that nature has provided for us. If we need shoes and cannot pay for them, that we will patch up the old ones, or, if we can’t do that, we will find some buckskin, or go barefoot, for barefoot came we into the world, and it mattereth not whether we have any shoes when we go out. If our clothes are getting scarce, hunt up the old ones and patch them up and make them last until we have earned enough to buy some new ones.

But says the wife, or perhaps the husband, and if not they, then the sons and daughters—“Neighbor so and so has got a new bonnet, and my playmate yonder has got a new hat, and somebody else has a new pair of boots and I do not see why I am not just as good as they are;” and says the wife—“my children are just as good as the neighbors’ children, and if they can have new hats, shoes or clothing, mine shall, and if father has not the means to pay for them he must run in debt for them at the store.”

This is not the doctrine, or the system of education I would inculcate among this people, for it tends to bondage, and downward rather than upward, because it leads to dishonesty; for when we are in debt the tempter tempts us to resort to dishonorable, unrighteous means to free ourselves therefrom. And furthermore, if we will indulge in every lust of the eye and yield to the pride of life, and seek to gratify them beyond our legitimate means, the tempter prompts us to resort to lying, swindling, thieving and all manner of mischief to supply and gratify these wants. It is an old and truthful adage that honesty is the best policy. I would apply it to nations, communities and individuals.

In days of commercial prosperity, when capital is being diffused, and men of means use both capital and credit for great achievements, such as building railroads, towns, cities, factories, mills, etc., then is the time we are allured on to excesses. Prosperous times, high interest, big dividends and great bargains stimulate others to seek after the same things, and not infrequently resort to unjustifiable means to acquire them. It is not best for us to go out into the mountains to hunt nuggets of gold; it is far better for us to go out and find a few raspberries, or a place to sow some onions or to plant some potatoes. These would supply our wants in a moderate way, without crazing our brain. But nuggets of gold turn the heads of many to leave their legitimate pursuit and follow a phantom. Nuggets of gold are not to be met with very often, and where one person finds one, ten thousand spend months hunting for them but never find one. But ten thousand might sow onions and plant potatoes and perhaps not more than one, unless through folly and neglect, would fail to reap the fruit of his labors. It is not great dividends that are going to make either the United Order, or any of our cooperative associations prosperous, permanent and successful, but honesty and straightforward business habits, and contentment with reasonable profits and rewards for our labors.

The last year or two has been a time of pecuniary stress, not only throughout this community, but more or less in all parts of the land, though perhaps the effects of the reaction of this overtrading is felt in this community after it has been felt and measurably overcome in the great central marts of commerce. This community, on the outskirts of this great credit system, is now feeling the pressure of that reaction. What should we do to afford relief? It is not to be expected that either our banks or our great trading institutions can bear this strain alone; they have not been brought into this condition by their own acts which they could have well remedied, it has been by the acts of this whole community in overtrading, overliving, exceeding their legitimate bounds in every respect, and the weight and strain of this reaction centers upon these great central institutions which we lean upon. They must not go down, for if they do, we go with them, and we all suffer. We must commence to remedy the evil where the evil commenced, and that is at home, by retrenchment. Every man and every woman must pay their debts as soon as possible, and instead of hunting around for opportunities to contract new ones they must hunt around for means to pay their old ones, and let every dollar be used for that purpose before new debts are contracted; and do without the sugar, tea, coffee, boots, hats, bonnets, ribbons and clothing until the old scores are wiped out.

God bless you. Amen.

Temporal Affairs—Consistency Necessary in Business

Remarks by President Brigham Young, delivered at the Forty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, on Wednesday Afternoon, April 7, 1875.

There is a little matter of some importance to lay before the Conference, concerning those little insects that have done so much injury to our fruit the last two years. I mean what are called the codling moths. We had better go to work and see whether we can destroy them: and when we have done all we can, perhaps we may have faith that the Lord will rebuke the devourer. We wish to recommend the people who have orchards, in this county and throughout the valleys of the mountains, to meet together and enter into some arrangements and adopt such mea sures as will enable us to destroy these little pests. I recommend that brother Woodruff give out an appointment for a meeting of all who are engaged in raising fruit. Brother Woodruff is the President of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society, and I should like for him and all interested in this subject to confer together and adopt such plans as they may think necessary and best to kill, not only the millers, but the worms before they become millers. They put me in mind of what I heard brother Kimball say, some years ago, at the time the revelation on celestial marriage was published. Brother Kimball got to talking upon celestial marriage, and he made a comparison; said he—“The cat is out of the bag; and that is not all—this cat is going to have kittens; and that is not all, those kittens are going to have cats.” Well, these worms make millers, and the millers make worms, and if we wish to get rid of them we must go to work and kill both of them off. I want to have arrangements made for destroying these insects before Conference adjourns, while the brethren are assembled here from the various parts of the Territory.

There is another item I wish to bring before this Conference, and especially before the brethren and sisters who have stock in Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution. There was quite a number of them together on Monday last, and the desire universally expressed on that occasion was in favor of continuing the business. If we do, I have some propositions to make; and, as I suppose there are as many of the stockholders here this afternoon as were together on Monday, and perhaps a good many more, I will make them now. I propose to the brethren and sisters that we build a house to do our trading in, and that we own it and pay no rent. I also propose that we get clerks who will wait upon the people and do right; and then I propose that we go to that place and do our trading; and if we want a cent’s worth of candy, get it; if we want a dollar’s worth of maple sugar, and they have it, get it; and if we want five yards of calico, have clerks who will cut it off for the person who wants it and will pay for it.

Our brethren who are engaged in the retail trade may say—“You are going to make a retail store of this.” Yes, for ourselves and for all who will patronize it.

My proposition is that we build this store independent of the capital stock; we have none too much of that, and would rather add to it than not; and we will get our business settled up just as quickly as possible, and as fast as possible do our purchasing abroad upon a ready cash principle, without asking credit.

I have said, not only to my brethren here, but to our creditors in the city of New York, “If you have any dubiety or fears with regard to crediting this Institution, I am very much obliged to you for having them, and I hope and pray that you will never trust it any more.” I do not wish to injure the credit of the Institution, but I wish that we could not get anybody to trust us, but that we would do our trading altogether upon the ready money principle. We are perfectly able to do it, and could have done it from the beginning, if we had taken the course that we should have taken, and never asked credit, and never traded beyond our means. It is within my knowledge and the knowledge of thousands of this people that this institution has saved our community from one to three millions annually in prices. Our merchants have hearts that are too elastic, entirely too elastic; they are so elastic that they do not ask what they can afford to sell an article for, but they ask what they can get the people to pay; and as much as the people will pay, so much will the merchants take—a hundred, or a thousand percent, if they can get it, and then thank God for their success. They put me in mind of some men I have seen who, when they had a chance to buy a widow’s cow for ten cents on the dollar of her real value in cash, would make the purchase, and then thank the Lord that he had so blessed them. Such men belong to the class of Christians referred to on one occasion by Charles Gunn; and, if you will excuse me, I will tell you what he said about them. He said that “hell was full of such Christians.”

Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution has saved an immense amount of means to this community, and we wish to continue the business, hence I propose that we put up a building, and then, instead of paying somebody in New York, St. Louis, Sacramento or San Francisco, three, four, five, six or eight thousand dollars to insure it, that we insure it ourselves and save that money. I will tell you why; if another man can make money by taking my means and insuring my property, I certainly can save as much as he can make, consequently I keep my money and do not insure my property. I have about as many buildings as anyone in this Territory, and I never yet paid a dollar to insure one of them, or any of my property, or myself. My faith is to build a house so that it will not take fire; but when I ride round here and see stovepipes running through the roofs of houses and through wooden partitions, as many of them do, I do not wonder that we want fire companies. If I had the dictation of the building of a city there never would be any use for a fire company, and never any need to have an insurance company, but we need save all this clerk hire and the expense of keeping large offices. What a saving that would be to the people! Build your houses and your cities so that they will not take fire unless you purposely set them on fire. When we see an insurance sign over a door, and then read a list informing us that hundreds or thousands have insured, say in this city, then we may look for fires. Some will get their buildings insured as high as possible, and then they will accidentally take fire on purpose. Some of you recollect a circumstance which transpired here some years ago. Certain merchants got broken up with their pockets full of money, and they had a large amount of pork on hand, but they could not sell it. Finally they got it insured and stowed it away in a cellar belonging to brother Branch, who lived near to the Seventies’ Hall. The pork got on fire in the cellar and was burned up, and all the insurance in the world could not put out the fire. But the house would not burn, and how they could burn the pork without burning the house, was a mystery to me. Whether they got the insurance money I do not know. These are facts right before us, and ought to teach us a lesson.

If we call for the brethren and sisters who hold stock in the Institution, we shall expect them to meet together and decide with regard to building a house in which to do our trading.

I think we had better hold our Conference during the continuance of this wintry weather, and wait until it moderates before we adjourn to go home.

Education Necessary—Mormonism is Truth—Conversion of Indians

Remarks by Elder Orson Hyde, delivered at the Forty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Tuesday Afternoon, April 6, 1875.

I do not know that I ever beheld a more pleasing sight than that which I behold here today. So many children, of both sexes, most of them born in this Territory, assembled here to offer up a song of praise to God our heavenly Father. To hear their childish voices chime in with the voices of those who are older and more experienced, is really something that I admire, and intelligence cannot refrain from doing so.

I am pleased at the opportunity that is offered me on this occasion. I do not expect to detain you any length of time. Be this, however, as the Spirit of the Lord may direct. I listened to some very excellent remarks in the former part of the day, and I will say that if the loaf has been broken by more able and competent hands than mine, it will not be unbecoming in me to try and gather up some of the fragments, that we may enjoy the whole.

Here, perhaps, are some five thousand of the rising generation before me who, in future time, will become actors upon the stage of life. How important it is that their characters be formed so as not only to reflect honor upon their parents, but also upon the cause of Zion in which we are engaged. How beautiful it is to see the rising generation growing up in intelligence, and in good will and kindness one toward another. As our settlements spread to the east, west, north and south, a certain element appears therein which some of you may understand and recognize by the name of modern civilization. This element, which seems to be uncongenial with the spirit of purity, righteousness and integrity, has reached down as far as our place, and it seems that nothing will satisfy it short of saloons, grog shops, whiskey holes, and other concomitants of modern civilization. I want to say to our young friends—avoid these dens as you would avoid the source of pestilence, keep far away from them, and betake yourselves to learning. No doubt you do, but there are some, perhaps, who do not to the extent that they might. Instead of being in the streets of a night, making unearthly noises, as some do, seemingly under the influence of modern civilization, keep at your homes, study your books, and spend your time in improving your minds. Sometimes, when preaching in different parts of the Territory, while the congregation were listening to the words that were being spoken, I have seen our little boys in the streets playing at ball, or engaging in other recreations, and while such a course has been innocent on their part, it has been an evidence to me that they have not received that attention and instruction from their parents which I consider parents owe to their children; and while the parents would seek to enjoy the words of life themselves, they have seemed to be thoughtless with regard to the whereabouts of their children. This being the case, it is necessary that we pay more particular attention to our children, and to know that they are at the house of God. To be sure, children cannot profit by every word that is spoken, their minds are not capacious enough to comprehend every idea that may be advanced; but every once in a while, a word will take root in their hearts, and grow, and this will enable them the more readily to appreciate and understand that which they may hear in the future.

I realize that, as a parent, I have not been so faithful and diligent in this respect as I should have been, and I feel that I am far from being a proper example to my brethren and sisters; but sometimes when I have been about to open the meetings and have seen that all my children were not there, what have I done? I have left the stand, gone into the streets and found my boys, and brought them in and seated them in the congregation, that they might not set an unworthy example before others. Not only so, but sometimes when I have gone to bed at an early hour mad, after having had a nap, I have waked up about the usual bed time and found my boys not at home, I have got up and gone into the streets in search of them, and have searched until I have found them and brought them home.

I feel that, as parents, we cannot bestow too much attention upon those who are rising up to inherit our responsibilities and to bear off the kingdom in the eyes of all the nations of the earth. I know that I come short of my duty in this respect, but I am trying to fulfill it in this as well as in many other directions, and I cannot rest, either day or night unless I know where my children are, and what they are doing. By following the dictates of this feeling I have been able, under the blessing of God, to rejoice in the society of my children, both morning and evening, and to know where they are; and I have proved that they will learn to respect the wishes of their parents, and now I have the pleasure to hear them say—“Father, may I go out to such a place tonight?” and they will set one hour or two hours. I reply, “Yes, if you will go nowhere else, and behave yourselves and make no disturbance in the streets, go, and God bless you, but return at the time you say. I will sit up until you come home, then we will have prayers together before we go to bed.” It is very pleasing to me to call my wives and children together in the morning and to spend a few minutes in giving them a few words of kindly instruction. I have practiced it until it is as much of a pleasure to me as it is to eat my breakfast when I have a good one, and I feel lost without it. I say to this requirement and to that requirement—Stand aside until I discharge this duty. I do not make these remarks because I wish to show myself any better than anybody else; but if there is any blessing or benefit, brethren and sisters, to be derived from what I have said you are abundantly welcome to it, and to act upon it, or something similar to it that your own better wisdom may devise, but do not neglect to cultivate the tender minds of your children.

It is good to have Sabbath schools; they are a source of amusement and recreation as well as of mental and intellectual improvement and development. But is this all that is necessary and needful? Our day schools should not be neglected. What are we here for but to raise up children and endow and qualify them for future usefulness? Says one—“It costs so much to keep up schools.” It costs some persons something to do it, then there are others who let a school bill be about the last one they pay, and after having availed themselves of the labors of a teacher for the benefit of their children they allow him to go unrewarded until his ambition sinks within him, and he concludes to go to some other business, and thus we deprive ourselves of the best class of school teachers, and we have to put up with persons of second- or third-rate ability. We ought to employ the best talent that can be procured as school teachers. I have been through the world considerably, one time and another, but I have never yet seen a city in which a good educational system was maintained in which the people suffered in character or prestige, or where poverty was increased in consequence thereof; but it has added to their influence and prestige and improved their morals, and surely if heaven will thus prosper the efforts of parents to educate their children there is no reason why we should not go into it a little stronger than we do.

Perhaps you who dwell in this city are far in advance of those who dwell in other parts of the Territory—my remarks are more particularly intended for us country people, who do not live in the full blaze and refulgence of intelligence, but away yonder in the corners, on the outskirts and in the by-places, for I know that many among us do not pay that attention to education that we should do. Suppose that in a coming day we come up before our heavenly Father and say—“Father, thy pound hath gained ten pounds, or five pounds,” as the case may be. “I have acquired so much and have laid it up in store.” Another one says—“Father, I have here those whom thou gavest me, and have lost none of them; they are all here. I have no gold or silver, but I have gems, in the persons of these children; they are bright and intelligent, and are calculated to radiate society wherever they are. I have bestowed everything upon them which I could command to improve and elevate them, and I have withheld no opportunity from them.” I am inclined to the opinion that the latter would receive much more commendation than the former, though he heaped together millions, especially if his children were not educated.

“But,” says one, “I am poor and cannot do it.” Well, so far as my experience has gone, those who are willing and determined to educate their children generally find the means to do it, while those who complain of poverty, as a general thing, make poverty the scapegoat to bear of their unwillingness to teach and instruct their children, or to put them in the way of instruction. Now brethren, what shall we do? I would suggest to all parents—I do not mean those in this city particularly, for I am not called to instruct with regard to these things here, yet if any are disposed to be benefited by my remarks, even in this city, I have not the least objection; but I would suggest to all parents that it is our duty, when we employ a good teacher to keep his heart whole, and his spirit up by paying him what we agree to pay him, and pay it before he starves to death or is forced to go away and engage in some other occupation. If you have got a good teacher, keep him, at almost any price, to educate your children. Suppose a man had forty children—some have as many as that—and they were all well trained and educated, how much honor would that reflect upon the father, upon the mother, and upon the community in which they dwell? Would it not be a cause of pleasing remark to the intelligent so far as they were known? Most assuredly. Well, now then, brethren and sisters, pay the teacher. We think a good deal of a horse or a span of horses, and they are animals given to us by Providence for our comfort and convenience; but to turn them out, after working, without food or care would certainly be cruel on our part. And to employ teachers and then not reward them so that they can feed and clothe themselves certainly reflects no honor upon any community; and I say that if we care for our teams, we certainly ought to care for our teachers, and pay them according to agreement; then their ambition is kept up to the highest pitch and they feel inspired; but if we subject them to the inconvenience of earning their wages three or four times by collecting small sums from one and another, they become discouraged and are finally compelled to turn their attention to some other vocation.

Brethren and sisters, these are important matters. Our children are entrusted to our care and management, and unless we do our best to cultivate and improve them, have we any right to be the agents in bringing their spirits from the realms of day to earth and then neglect them? Are we justified in doing this? It seems to me not, it seems to me that we are not doing our duty towards them.

Our enemies reproach us and our children on account of our alleged ignorance and general inferiority. Be this as it may, there was not intelligence enough in the “big tent” nor in the Rev. Dr. Newman to make headway against the small amount of knowledge that exists here in the Mormon community. Act as we may and do what we will, we cannot satisfy the accusers of our brethren. The name of their accusations is Legion; and we are not disposed to make any great effort to satisfy them. It is ourselves and our God that we labor to satisfy—by no means ignoring the friendly hints of all honorable men.

I feel thankful for this opportunity of bearing my testimony, and I bear my testimony that what is called “Mormonism” is the truth of God, and that the Lord is fulfilling his word in the last days. There are some very curious sayings in the Bible respecting John the Revelator, one, of which is—“If I will that he tarry until I come, what, is that to thee?” which led to the saying that that disciple was not going to die. But Jesus did not say that. Certain Nephites on this continent wanted to live to bring souls to Christ until he came. Their desires were granted to them, and they were permitted to live, or they had the promise that they should not pass behind the veil until the second coming of the Savior. Whether the saying of the old Prophet had anything to do with this matter I cannot tell, but he said—“Lord, they have digged down thine altars, killed thy Prophets, and I am left here alone, and they seek my life.” The answer of the Lord was—“I have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have never bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” Whether that has reference to any characters that were not to pass away, but that were to live and be witnesses in the earth and bring their testimony to a focus in the last days—the days in which we live—to make the truth of God blaze like the light of heaven upon all the world I cannot say, I do not know; but the Lord has not left himself without a witness, and some of you will no doubt recollect that, three or four years ago, I told the Saints in this Tabernacle that the testimony in favor of the truth of “Mormonism” would increase and that the source of evidence in its favor would multiply and grow stronger. Now we hear of a remarkable movement that has recently commenced among the Indians. Before proceeding further on this subject I will say that we have labored in our weakness among the Indians, trying to convert them from the error of their ways, and to persuade them to cease shedding blood, committing depredations on the white people, and to turn their attention to agriculture. I recollect going away up here to Snake River to visit a settlement that had been made there for the purpose of instructing the Indians in agriculture, and, if possible, to reclaim them from their disposition to steal and shed blood. I have also been to other places where similar efforts have been made; but we have not been able to accomplish much. I do not say that no good was done—perhaps some little good was done. But it seems that the time had not come for the means to be brought into requisition which Heaven had ordained to be used in the reformation of the Lamanites. For some time past, the Indians have been telling us very strange stories. They say that certain strange men have visited them and spoken to them, and have taught them what to do in order to be saved in the kingdom of God. Strange men have come to and talked with them perhaps an hour at a time, and while the Indians are looking at them they vanish out of sight, and they know not where they go. I do not know that it is so, but this is what the Indians declare and testify to, and I am a little inclined to believe that there is something in it, for you know the Apostle Paul, in speaking to his brethren, said—“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Perhaps one of these old men might come along in disguise, incognito, not in his real character, and appear like any other man, clad as any other man, and stay overnight with some of the brethren.

Some say that the “Mormons” have no Priesthood, power or authority from God; but if this be so why do these good old men who go to the Indians send them to the “Mormons” to be baptized? Why do they not send them to the Methodists? You have Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Catholics right here in town, why do not these men who come to instruct the Indians tell them to go to some of these bodies to get baptized? It is singular that they should tell them to go to the Latter-day Saints. It is a good deal like the angel who told Cornelius to send to the house of one Simon a tanner, and call for Simon surnamed Peter, and he would tell him words whereby he and his house might be saved. Why send to Peter when Cornelius and his house lived among the Pharisees and Sadducees? Peter had the keys of the kingdom; the angel knew that, and said he—“Go to Peter and he will tell you words whereby you and your house can be saved.” These men say to the Indians—“Go to the “Mormons” and they will tell you words whereby you can be saved;” but if we had no Priesthood, no keys of the kingdom, no power to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, why should these old men, who declare that they are more than a thousand years old, and tell the Indians that their fathers were white and that they shall be if they only do as they are commanded, I say, why should these men tell the Indians to come to the Latter-day Saints? There is something singular about it. What can the world of mankind say to it? How can they meet it? I will tell you. It is a wave of evidence which, like a wave of the sea completely submerges everything on which it flows, it overturns every objection that the world can offer. God Almighty will vindicate his own cause—he has got the means prepared for that.

Now let me say to you, brethren and sisters, look well to these little children. Teach them good morals, teach them, when you go to meeting, to go with you, and be sure that you do not stay behind just because you do not feel exactly the spirit of it. If you do not feel the spirit of it yourselves, feel it for the sake of your children, and bring them to the house of God that they may be taught and instructed. I recollect very well in early days, sometimes I heard a good and kindly word from a sectarian minister, there were no other ministers when I was a boy; but they sometimes spoke words in my hearing that I have not yet forgotten, they took root in my heart, and I still bear them in mind. I exhort you, bre thren and sisters, to cultivate the morals of your children, for we are not going to stay here always; we shall be gathered with our fathers by and by, and these little ones will have to assume the responsibilities which we now bear. Hence I say qualify them for the positions which they will be called to fill in future. Teach them that which is good and right, and may the blessing of the Father rest upon you and upon all Israel, and may we live to see the truth of God triumph!

I feel thankful that God has heard our prayers. Says the Lord—“By this you may know whether God hears you, if you receive the things which you ask for.” If you receive the things you ask for, know ye that God has heard your prayers. Who is there among the Latter-day Saints who has not prayed for the removal of an unjust judge? If there are any who have not done it they ought to be turned out of the citadel. I believe you all have. Well, the Lord has heard our prayers in that respect, and not only so, but I will say, that if we were to pray against every official who is a bigot, a fool and an ass, the Lord would hear our prayers and turn him out no matter by what agency it is done. Let us try it. Never pray against a liberal, good man, whether “Mormon” or Gentile; if he is a fair and honest man, and is willing to live and let live, let him live just as long as God is willing to let him, and do not pray against him. But if he tries to overthrow and destroy us, or to withhold from us our rights, let the volume of our prayers ascend up to God for him, and if he does not hear from it some time I shall wonder. But he will hear from it, you may be assured of this. Why should we despair when the means of self-defense and self-protection are embedded in our own spirits, when we have the weapons right here? Not carnal weapons, not the sword, not the deadly rifle, but we have something more potent—the sword of the Spirit. This is our means of self-defense and self-protection, and let us use it. I have tried it. Not that I have any reason to boast, but I have great reason to be thankful to God my heavenly Father. I do know that when we want anything special, if we will make that a subject of continual pleading; if we will go into our closets and shut the door, and lay the matter before the God that made us, lay our hearts, as it were upon the altar and importune at his feet, in process of time he will hear us and avenge our wrongs, no matter what the wicked do or how much they may rage; and there is no subject on the face of the earth that is exempt from the influence of our prayers, high or low, rich or poor, noble or ignoble.

Let us exercise ourselves in this direction and teach our children to do the same. You know it is said that the religious world despair of converting us old Mormons, us old heads who are dyed in the wool; but they hope to convert our children by insidiously sending their missionaries to establish schools in our midst, by which they hope to entice and win their tender minds over to their side. That is the tack they are taking. Well, brethren and sisters, you do your duty toward your children; pray for them morning and evening; instruct them by means of little short sermons every day, then you may turn them out to go to school if you like, as far as I am concerned, even to our friends of the sectarian world, and if they can exert a stronger influence than you with your prayers and instruction, and the parental tie that binds them to you, it will be something very singular, and I do not believe they can do it.

One young minister, a very kind, gentlemanly man, has appeared among us down in Sanpete. I have not a word to say against his morality or behavior, it is all very nice, and to all appearance he is a polished gentleman. He has spoken in several of our settlements, and, in his way, has endeavored to teach the people. Said I, on one occasion, to Bishop Peterson, “What did you think of that man’s sermon last night?” I did not happen to be there. Brother Peterson’s reply was—“So far as morality was concerned it could not be beat; but when you come to doctrine and principle he was entirely ignorant. Our little children know better.” In order that this minister might be properly posted with regard to some of our doctrines, I took the liberty of sending him the Deseret News, containing an excellent argumentative discourse by brother Orson Pratt. I did that for the purpose of informing his mind in reference to the arguments he would have to meet and controvert if he successfully prosecuted his labors in this country. I hope and I expect that he read it, for it certainly would not do anybody any harm to read it.

Brethren and sisters, I will not detain you longer. My remarks have perhaps been a little scattering, but scattering shot sometimes hit more birds than a rifle shot. Suffice it to say, you have my best wishes for your success and prosperity. May peace be with you, and God bless you and me, and the Twelve, and the servants of God with whom we have labored from the beginning; and may our lives be spun out as long as they tend to the honor and glory of God. And that we may obtain a mansion and crown in the realms of bliss, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

The Gathering—Knowledge of Salvation Enjoyed By the Latter-Day Saints—Build Up the Kingdom of God

Remarks by Elder Charles C. Rich, delivered at the Forty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Tuesday Morning, April 6, 1875.

I have been gratified this morning in listening to the instructions that we have received in relation to the principles of life and salutation. It is no doubt the desire of every individual to obtain eternal life in the kingdom of God. But to do this it is necessary that we hear and obey the commandments which he has given on this subject, as well as on the manner of building up this kingdom upon the earth. In every dispensation of God to man he has had purposes for his people to fulfill, and a labor for them to perform, and those purposes and that labor have not always been the same in every respect; but as far as the principles of eternal life are concerned, they have been and will be the same from all eternity to all eternity. When Noah was upon the earth he was required to build an ark; Enoch to build a city; the Prophets, in their several dispensations, had a labor to perform, varying somewhat according to the nature of the circumstances by which they and the people to whom they were sent were surrounded. The Apostles, chosen by the Savior, had to proclaim the everlasting Gospel to all the world, and the same may be said of the servants of God in our day. But in every dispensation those who have been willing to receive the everlasting Gospel have been required to sanctify themselves by living according to its precepts, that they might prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord.

As we have been told, the dispensation in which we are living is one of great importance—it is the dispensation of the fulness of times, in which all things which are in Christ will be gathered together, both those which are in heaven and those which are on the earth. The labor which is required of the Saints cannot be performed short of their being gathered together, for it is absolutely necessary that they should, in all things, observe the commands of God in building up his kingdom here on the earth, which they could not do while in a scattered condition. The building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth, is a labor which will require all our time and attention, and our best efforts, and we have no time to idle away or to spend in foolishness, but our eyes should be continually single to the glory of God, and our efforts should be as the efforts of one man for the accomplishment of his purposes.

We meet together in Conference for the express purpose of taking these matters into consideration, and of being instructed in our duties and in the requirements made upon us by our heavenly Father in spreading forth his Gospel among the nations, that the honest in heart therein may hear and embrace them and be gathered out with the Saints, and thus have a better opportunity of accomplishing their mission upon the earth. I esteem such opportunities as the present as glorious, and as a means of great blessing to us all. How is it possible for us to build up God’s kingdom on the earth unless he directs our labors, and bestows upon us the influence and guidance of his Holy Spirit? It is not possible; and as the labor which he requires of us is of the greatest interest and importance to us, and indeed to all of the inhabitants of the earth, it behooves us to seek diligently unto him that we may become the honored instruments in his hands of building up his kingdom. This is no mere fancy or chimera on the part of the Latter-day Saints. We know that among the sects of the Christian world there is nothing certain about the life to come, or about their acceptance with God. The most they attain to in this respect is a mere hope—they hope they are accepted, and they trust their sins are forgiven; but with the faithful Latter-day Saints the case is very different—they know and can bear testimony by the gift and power of God that they are right in his sight; they know they have received the everlasting Gospel; they know that they are laboring in accordance with his mind and will, and they know that they are building up his kingdom here on the earth. This knowledge is a source of joy unspeakable to the Saints, and possessing it they can leave native lands, homes and possessions, parents, friends and everything they value and hold dear, if necessary, in order to perform and accomplish the labor which the Lord requires at their hands.

The principles which have been laid before us this morning in regard to our becoming a self-sustaining people, are plain and easy to be comprehended. They are self-evident to every reflecting mind, and are worthy of our earnest attention, for while we are dependent upon others for this, that and the other which is indispensable to our well-being and comfort, we can plainly see that our course is not only not the most advantageous to ourselves, but also that it is not the most pleasing to our heavenly Father, for in the revelations given by him in the early rise of this Church, his Saints were requested to pursue such a course in their home affairs as would make them self-sustaining. We have seen times in our experience here in this Territory, when it has been extremely difficult for us to obtain from abroad many things which we needed, and there is little doubt that we shall see such times again in the future; hence the very great necessity to adopt a policy in regard to temporal matters that will free us from the inconveniences that would arise in such a contingency, and that can only be done by producing as far as possible, according to our circumstances and the possibilities of our climate and Territory, everything that we need to sustain ourselves in comfort and convenience.

In the Gospel we find a remedy for every evil. A faithful observance of its principles will eventually free and deliver us from the consequence of every evil practice; and the principles of the Gospel we believe in are easy to adopt, and they are as applicable to a community as to an individual. We are told that in union there is strength; then, if as a community we will go to and, as the heart of one man, carry out the counsels of the servants of God, it will be easy for us to avoid any difficulties which we otherwise might have to encounter. A glance at matters abroad in the world will show the difficulties which the people everywhere have to contend with, and if we could trace them to their source, we should no doubt find that they arise through the absence of the principle of union; and one of the principal reasons of the great difference between us and them is, that we observe this principle much more generally and perfectly than they do, and hence we free ourselves from many of the difficulties and troubles under which they labor. This union will become stronger among us, in temporal as well as spiritual affairs, in proportion as we observe and keep the commandments and counsels of our heavenly Father. He has said that his Saints should become the richest of all people. But how will this be brought about? If we follow our former notions, and the notions of the world in general, what more can we do than they have done? We might say, simply, that we could bring about the very same result here as they have there; but that would not spread comfort and happiness, so far as temporal things are concerned, among the whole of his people, and hence if his promise unto us on this subject is ever fulfilled, it will only be by our following his counsel in all things.

How thankful we should be that we live in an age of the world when God is again willing to speak to his people, and to tell them what he requires of them! I say, what a blessing this is to the Saints, and to the whole world if they would receive it! But it is written that as it was in the days of Noah, so should it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. This was verily so—the people were not willing to hearken to him, they would not believe his testimony, neither would they receive his counsel. It is measurably so in our own times. The world at large manifest the same unwillingness to receive the counsel of heaven as they have done in any preceding age. But a few have been ready and willing to receive the testimony of the servants of God, and they have been gathered out from the nations for the express purpose of preparing themselves for the coming of the Lord, and to engage in the labor of building up his kingdom upon the earth, and also to do a work for the salvation of those who have gone before. Then it is for us as Latter-day Saints, to hearken to the voice of God, and to give diligent heed to all things which he has proclaimed to, and which he requires of, us in these days. If we take this course, his blessings, which have been bestowed upon us liberally in the past, will be dispensed more abundantly. In these things we have a right to rejoice, and as Saints of the Most High God we do rejoice in the knowledge of the fact that his hand has been over us from the day that the Church was organized with six members unto the present time. His hand has been visibly manifest in our behalf, and his blessings have been showered upon us, and we have been led by his power and dictated by his servants all the day long. If this had not been so, we should not have occupied the enviable position which we occupy today, our enemies would have overcome us long ago. But the outstretched arm of the God we serve has been over us, and his mercies and blessings have been freely bestowed upon us, and we have been sustained, and we shall be from this time forward. We have need to exercise faith; we have need to put our trust in him, and we have need to labor as he directs us. I presume that the feeling of all who have received a knowledge of the truth of the Gospel, is to do everything that the Lord requires of them, and that they will devote all their energies of body and mind to the building up of his kingdom here upon the earth.

That we may pursue this course and adopt this policy, and perform the labors that may be continually required of us, and ultimately be saved and exalted in the celestial kingdom of God, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

The Saints Have the Priesthood—The Kingdom of Heaven to Be Set Up in the Last Days—The Saints Must Be Self-Sustaining

Discourse by President Daniel H. Wells, delivered at the Forty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, on Tuesday Morning, April 6, 1875.

Today we have met together, as is our custom on the 6th day of April, according to appointment, in commemoration of the day on which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. We are professed Latter-day Saints, and have been called forth in this age of the world to be co-workers with our Father in heaven in bringing to pass his purposes and establishing his kingdom upon the earth, to be the recipients of the authority of the holy priesthood, to stand in holy places and to administer in the ordinances of the house of God, that once again upon this earth his authority and kingdom may be established, and holy and righteous principles and the institutions of high heaven have a place. We are the honored instruments, or may be so, of being co-workers with God, and he will through us his servants, his children, bring to pass his purposes if we will let him. This is a great, glorious and holy calling, and it is a happy thing for us to be born in a day and generation when these things are coming forth, for we can thus have part and lot in this matter. It is no joke or fantasy, no matter of mere enthusiasm, to rise in one’s mind for a few days, weeks or months and then dissipate away into thin air; but it is our high duty and privilege, as long as we live, to bear off these principles that have been revealed, and to sustain and uphold the institutions of heaven, and that authority through and by which the mind and will of God our Father are made known unto us upon the earth.

This work commenced small. Great and glorious instructions were given to a few in the commencement, and through the blessing of the Almighty they have been sent forth to the nations of the earth and, in obedience thereunto, a great people, in comparison with what the church was originally, have gathered to these mountains, and the work of the Lord has continued to grow and increase, taking root downward and bearing fruit upward. It is true that many have undertaken to run the gospel race and have faltered and fainted by the wayside, still the work has progressed and has been onward and upward until the present time; and during the forty-five years of its ex istence upon the earth this church and kingdom has never seen a day or an hour that it has not been growing and becoming greater in the earth, in numbers as well as in intelligence, for the stream of light from heaven has not been withdrawn or cut short, but has continued to flow to the minds of the children of men, bearing testimony to the hearts of the honest, and elevating them in the scale of human existence. I take pleasure in bearing this testimony, knowing that it is true, and also knowing that the great desire among God’s people here in Zion is to sustain and bear off the principles of truth and righteousness in the earth.

We are here for this express purpose, and to avoid the evils and judgments which are abroad in the earth. Are the judgments of God abroad in the earth? They are, and the word of the Lord to his Saints is—“Come out of her, O my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues.” This was spoken centuries ago, but it is specially applicable to us, and to the work of God in the last days. But if we do not divest ourselves of the sins of the world, have we any assurance that we shall escape the plagues and judgments of the Almighty? By no means. We gather up to these mountains that we may not be partakers of her sins. This is the appointed place where God can work with his people on the earth; and in order that he may be able to do so effectually it is necessary that we divest ourselves of every evil, stand before God blameless, and become united as the heart of one man in sustaining the cause of Zion. The responsibility of building up this kingdom rests in a manner upon us, who have taken upon us the name of the Most High. We have gathered together that we may build Temples to his holy name, wherein we may receive the blessings of time and eternity, both for the living and the dead. It becomes us, then, to enquire how we may best set ourselves about this great work; we must find out the design of our Father concerning us, and to do this we must have communication with him, and we must live so that we can have the Holy Spirit to direct our minds, and to qualify us the better for the performance of the duties which devolve upon us. The channel has been opened between the heavens and the earth by which we may learn the mind and will of our Father concerning us. But when we have learned that, it is our business to go to and unflinchingly carry out and accomplish that which he requires of us according to our best skill and ability.

Is it necessary that we should obey the principles of the gospel, which we are told is the power of God unto salvation? I think that no one will deny that. We must repent, we must be baptized for the remission of sins, receive the administration of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and then go on with the light of the Spirit, having received the testimony of the truth of the work, and maintain that work against every opposing obstacle. What is a man good for who flies the track the very moment an obstacle presents itself in his way? Such a man will not obtain salvation and exaltation in the presence of God; he who does that must be unflinching in the path of duty.

Is God ever going to establish his kingdom and bring to pass his purposes on the earth? All believers in Christianity say so, and they all pretend to believe it; but when will it be? As soon as the Lord Jesus finds a people who are willing to take upon them his name, and will follow him through evil as well as through good report, and who, if need be, will even go to death in the maintaining of the principles of truth upon the earth. Just as soon as he finds a people who will be united and will not sift their ways to strangers, but will hold that which he bestows upon them for him and for his kingdom, will he establish that kingdom upon the earth. What right has a Latter-day Saint, who has taken upon himself the name of God and has enlisted under King Emanuel’s banner, to strew the blessings he receives from God to the wicked. Are they given to him for that purpose? No, they are given him to use for the building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth. It is said, and we profess to believe it, that the kingdoms of this world are to become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and that that kingdom and its fulness shall be given to the Saints of the Most High. It is not to be given to the wicked, or to a people who will hand it over to the wicked as fast as the Lord hands it over to them. We may as well learn this lesson today as at any other time. The blessings of the Lord are not bestowed upon the Latter-day Saints to be placed by them in the hands of the wicked. When could the Lord establish his purposes with a people who will act in that way? Never in the world. The time will come and is now hastening when the people of God will not be a dependent people, that is, dependent upon the outside world; of course they will always be dependent upon the Lord, but the day will come when they, under the blessing of heaven, will be an entirely self-sustaining people, and the Lord is ready and willing, as he ever has been and ever will be, to sustain the efforts of his people in this direction. They must put forth their hands to be self-sustaining, and then the blessings of the Almighty will attend them even more abundantly.

The Lord has, from time to time, through his servants, given forth a line of conduct or principle for us to be guided by, so that we may become more united than we have been hitherto; and while it may be said that we are slowly approaching that point, we are far from having advanced in the principles of unity to the fullest extent, and hence we cannot realize the blessings that will accrue when that unity which the Lord desires to see among his people is fully established. But we have commenced, and we can work in that direction, and it is our bounden duty to do so; and the farther we progress the more will his blessings be multiplied towards us; and if we continue in the path marked out for us by the Almighty through his servants, we shall ultimately attain to a fulness. This is the way I understand it.

We have come up here to be taught in his ways that we may walk in his paths. Men should not mark out paths for themselves to walk in, they are not capable of doing so. You may say that this infringes upon man’s agency and independence; but it makes no difference what may be said or thought of this, it is true, and we need only look abroad in the world to see the difficulties which beset the people on every hand to find ample confirmation of this statement. Are the people satisfied with the paths they have marked out for themselves? No, nowhere on the face of the earth. There is one whose guidance we need, he is wiser than we are, for he has passed through all the ordeals and trials of a lower estate, and has gained an experience far beyond the experience of men, and he is now willing to lead and guide his children here on the earth if they will only allow him to do so. But men generally think they know best themselves, they are not willing to be guided by the God of heaven, they give the preference to the paths marked out by themselves. Are their own counsels the best? No, they are not, and the Latter-day Saints ought to know it by this time. A great many of them do know it; some do not, but I trust that they will, and that they will continue to learn and progress in these things, until they know beyond all question that God’s way is the best, and that it is not only superior to man’s way, but that there is no other by which men and women can build up a community which will be wise, virtuous and happy, and by which the resources of the earth may be developed and the elements used so as to best promote the general good. God’s way is as much better than man’s way, as the heavens are higher than the earth.

There is no true principle, no true philosophy, no good thing that comes from any source except that which I have been speaking of. No matter through whom, or by whom it comes to the children of men, it has emanated from that source—from God our Father. Then why can we not implicitly trust him, and put our faith and confidence in him? We may rest assured that he will withhold no good thing that will prove beneficial to us. He never did and he never will reveal a thing to the children of men but what, if it can be carried out according to his design, will prove an advantage and a blessing to them. Men may undertake to change that which God has revealed, and try to make it mean something else; but it is folly to do so. In taking this course they go into by and forbidden paths, and, being then without the light of truth, they are compelled to grope their way.

Now, what is necessary in building up the kingdom of God on the earth? We are not talking about building up his kingdom in some far-off realm, away

“Beyond the bounds of time and space Where human mind can never trace The Saints’ secure abode,” as our sectarian brethren sing about. I do not understand this to be the work of the Saints of God upon the earth at all. I understand that the kingdoms of this world are to become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, just so soon as the God of heaven finds a people who will be obedient to his law. Well, what is necessary then? Why, in the first place there must be a people to govern, and a king to rule over them. It takes that much anyhow to constitute a kingdom. The people must have a place to dwell. They must have land, streams of water, valleys, mountains, ranges, grass, timber, rock, canyons and everything we find here on the earth, the elements with which it is covered and surrounded, and which are found in its depths in order to obtain a sustenance. All these things are necessary in any kingdom. The people want houses to live in, orchards for fruit, also vegetables; they want land susceptible of irrigation and cultivation, cattle, horses, carriages, wagons, vehicles to transport things in and to do business. All these things are necessary in building up the kingdom of God. There must also be schools, Temples and cities built to the name of the Most High, according as he shall direct. It is necessary to build Temples that we may attend to the ordinances for those who have gone before, for millions of them have lived according to the best light they had, and they were moral and exemplary all the days of their lives, and did all the good they could. Without Temples they could not have the privilege and opportunity of being officiated for in the ordinances of the Gospel of salvation devised by our Father in heaven before the world was organized. This plan of salvation was devised before this earth was organized and made habitable for the children of men to dwell on, away in the eternities back, “when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy,” if you know when that was. We have to obey that plan of salvation here in our earthly probation in order that we may have the privilege of going back into the presence of God. We need not go to tinkering that plan of salvation, for we cannot make it any better if we do. The world have been doing so ever since men came to dwell upon the earth. But I do not see that they have done anything to improve it. God’s plan of saving his sons and daughters stands just the same today as it was in the beginning, and it will continue so through a never-ending eternity. I am not aware that God ever asked us here to help to devise a plan for our own salvation, I never heard of any such thing. He had the right to do it himself and he did it, and it is for mankind to receive it if they choose to do so; and if they do choose so to do it is nobody’s business, they have that power if they have a mind to; and other people have a right to believe in and embrace man-made systems and to hold on to them if they choose to do so, and it is none of our business any more than it is theirs if we choose to obey the plan the Lord has revealed. We are on an equal footing in regard to this matter, and all we ask is hands off and show us fair play, the same as we are willing to extend unto you, that is all. We have a right to ask and demand that, and to maintain it, and we expect to do it.

But we who have embraced the principles of truth, should we not begin to divest ourselves of some of our notions and ideas, and go to and build up the kingdom of God more perfectly? In our hearts and feelings we desire to do it, but our traditions, to which we cling with such tenacity, sometimes prevent us from coming quite up to the mark, and we do not advance in this direction perhaps quite as fast as we should do. The line is marked out; the Lord through his servants is continually showing us the way, but I sometimes think that we are slow coming to it. We should become more self-sustaining. We have been drifting in the wrong direction for the past few years. It is necessary for us to turn a short corner and drift in a direction that will make us self-sustaining. If we do this we shall become more independent and more closely united, and in a short time we shall find that it will be the path of prosperity. It is a matter of good political economy for any community to become self-sustaining; and not only to raise and manufacture what they need for their own use, but also some for exportation. Then the balance of trade will be in their favor. But I do not care whether it is the people of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, the United States, England, or any other community or nation, political economy says that they must export more than they import, or the balance of trade will be continually against them, and any country or community in that position will be drained of the circulating medium, and will be more or less impoverished thereby. If a community wishes to become wealthy, it must manage to produce not only all it needs for the wants of its own members, but also to partially supply some of the wants of its neighbors. This is sound philosophy and political economy in any community, and particularly so with the Latter-day Saints. We have the elements around us, from which with our own industry and economy all our wants can be supplied in abundance, if our labor is applied in the right direction, which can only be done by laboring unitedly and according to the counsel that may be given us by the Lord through his servants. By taking this course we can produce almost everything necessary for our own consumption and a great deal to export.

We have commenced in this order, and some of our settlements have progressed more than others; and I am glad to believe that we are drifting in the right direction. I hope to see this work continue, and can promise the blessing of the Almighty upon those who will persevere therein. They will succeed if they are wise and do as they are told, and they will be blessed of the Lord and will come off victorious.

These things are worthy of our attention, they constitute part of the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth. It is a material kingdom, and not something ethereal that we cannot comprehend nor have any part or lot in. It involves our everyday life, labor and duty, just as we pass along; it is not beyond our reach, but is right within the purview of our ability to accomplish to a certain extent. We cannot jump at a single leap to its fulness; but the small wedges break the big rock. Drill the holes here and there, then put in the wedges and tap them lightly, and after awhile these taps will break the big rock in two. That is the way the Lord has worked with this people. We commenced small, went in at the small end of the horn, and we are bound to come out at the big end, we cannot come back through the same channel. Here we are, a spectacle before the heavens and before the world, a handful of Latter-day Saints. What shall we do? Pursue that suicidal policy in regard to sustaining ourselves that is calculated to impoverish us and to make us depend upon our enemies, those who would only be too glad to see us overthrown, wasted away and destroyed? No, no! Latter-day Saints, we will not take any such a course as that, not if we know it. Well, let us be careful and learn what is the proper course to take and take it, that we may grow, increase in wealth, in numbers, and in every good and perfect thing that the God of heaven is willing to bestow upon us. Let us beautify the earth, bring forth from the elements those things which are necessary for our subsistence; work, be industrious, live prudently, economically, and walk in the path that the God of heaven marks out for us. Then we shall be successful; then the blessings of the Almighty will flow unto us abun dantly, and we shall have great cause to rejoice continually in the name of the Holy One of Israel. We have done this to a certain extent as we have passed along, and according to our faithfulness we have received the blessings, and beyond our expectations, for we could not have expected as much as we have received. We may go on still more gloriously if we will be more faithful.

May the God of heaven bless us and help us to see the path marked out for us to walk in, and thus help us to be faithful and diligent, and put away our own devices and traditions that we have inherited from the fathers, inasmuch as they are wrong, and we have been led to see that wrong, and our judgments convinced concerning the work of the Almighty. Let us put away these things that are of no profit, and seek to that which is good, which comes from above, and which is for our own best interests here, and for our eternal welfare in the world to come. That we may do this unitedly, as the heart and voice of one man, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Congress and the Saints—Efficacy of Prayer—Strength of Character Necessary—The True Church—Gathering to the Mountains

Discourse by Hon. George Q. Cannon, delivered in the Fourteenth Ward Assembly Rooms, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, March 28, 1875.

If I were to consult my natural feelings this afternoon, I should sit and listen to someone else speak rather than give utterance to any of my own feelings. But I do not suppose that this would be satisfactory to anybody else, at least to most of the Saints, and especially to Bishop Taylor. I therefore rise to say such things as shall be suggested to me by the Spirit of the Lord on this occasion.

To one who has been absent for a long time from home, the privilege of mingling with one’s brethren and sisters, those of the same faith, who have the same views, and who are laboring for the same objects, the privilege of returning and associating with them is very delightful, at least it is so to me, and it takes away from me whatever disposition I might have under other circumstances to speak. My feelings, upon returning after a lengthy absence from home, have seemed to me entirely too big for utterance; I could not command language to give proper expression to them. Where one is at home all the time, this, probably, will not be appreciated.

During my absence I have enjoyed excellent health and I have had a good deal of peace; in fact I may say, as it will probably be satisfactory to many to know, that I have enjoyed myself far better than I could have expected. There has been a very different feeling in Washington during this last session of Congress from that which prevailed during the first session, that is so far as we are concerned. There has been a greater feeling of liberality, a disposition to look upon the people of Utah more as fellow citizens than, I think, was manifested during the first session of this Congress. There were times during the first session when it seemed to me that it required all the faith and energy that I could muster to resist that oppressive feeling which probably, many who are here, have experienced when they have been brought in contact with a strong feeling of opposition. It is more of a spiritual feeling, a feeling that appeals to the spiritual senses, than anything that I could describe of a physical character. There were times during the first session when that feeling was very strong, especially during the pendency of the McKee, Poland and other bills framed for the express purpose of giving our enemies power over us. But I had comparatively little or none of that feeling during the last session; although, as you are doubtless aware, so far as I myself was concerned, my seat seemed to be in greater peril during last session than it was the first session. A portion of the Committee on Elections reached a conclusion upon my case, a technical majority of the members of the committee present having adopted a resolution to exclude me from my seat. They varied the language usually adopted on such occasions to make it, I suppose, not hurt so badly, by calling it exclusion instead of expulsion. But notwithstanding this was the case, and it might be said that I stood in greater peril personally, I enjoyed myself much better, and there was greater liberality and a greater disposition manifested to deal justly and fairly with us who live in this Territory. Whether this feeling was the result of last Fall’s elections or not I will not say. You who are politicians can judge for yourselves. I suppose that everyone who has democratic inclinations or proclivities will be very apt to attribute this change of feeling to the fact that the democrats obtained some victories last Fall. But whatever the cause was, the fact is as I have stated; and as it is a matter, doubtless, of some interest to all of you, and it is not contrary to our views to talk, on a Sunday, about matters that pertain to our temporal salvation, because our temporal and spiritual salvation are so intimately blended that they may be said to be inseparable, of course I do not think it improper to allude to it.

My feelings respecting us as a people, at the present time, outside of what I see at home, are of a more cheerful and hopeful character than I have had cause to indulge in for years. There are some things at home which if I were to look at them very closely, would discourage me in some respects, because I think that we are far from being what we ought to be; and you know our views on these subjects are that we cannot expect much prosperity, for ourselves or for the cause with which we are identified, so long as we ourselves are not in a position to warrant the bestowal of that prosperity upon us. Believing, as we do, that God our Eternal Father is at the foundation of this work, and that his providence is over it and controlling all things for its good, we, of course, cannot imagine that he is going to give any very great prosperity to this cause, or to us as a community unless we are in a position to be benefited thereby; he is not going to bestow blessings upon us that will injure us, and which, instead of proving advantageous, would prove destructive to us. On this account I have entertained some doubts concerning our future since I returned home, as the result, probably, of very partial observation, however, for I have had very limited opportunities of seeing or of judging correctly about this. But to have a great degree of prosperity, there should be more faith manifested by us, more union, more love, and more of those graces which ought to adorn the character of the Latter-day Saints.

But I think there is a bright and very encouraging future for us as a people. In Congress, as I have said, there has been a greater disposition than has been manifested for years, to accord to Utah her rights. There has been a feeling, which some have taken pains to foster, that the best means that a Federal official could take to obtain office, and then to retain it after he had obtained it, was to declare war among the people in whose midst he was sent to act. This has actually been the policy that has been adopted by some in this Territory for years, and, judging from their actions, the idea has been that no better passport to favor with the Administration could be urged than the fact that an official was inimical to the people and was laboring strenuously to destroy them and their religion; and every man holding office, who has not adopted this policy has been placed under a ban, and has been made to feel that he stood in jeopardy. The result has been antagonism and hostility between classes when there should have been union; in fact, where there was already too great a disposition for it to exist naturally, it has received encouragement from those who have had this feeling; and a great many in high places, legislators and others, have seemed to think that in passing laws it was only necessary to know that they were designed to operate in Utah, to receive their sanction, without caring any thing about the nature of the laws themselves. Hence the favor with which were received such bills as Cullom’s, McKee’s, Frelinghuysen’s and others which have been introduced into Congress, intended to operate exclusively in Utah.

During this last session I heard the enquiry made, when a bill was introduced—“Is it intended for Utah alone?” and many members were ready to jump to their feet and oppose it because it was so intended. This was a marked change, and I could not but notice it. The patience which the Latter-day Saints have manifested now for four or five years in the midst of the judicial difficulties which have environed them, has been productive, of good effects abroad, it has, in my opinion, produced a reaction in the public mind. Many persons have become familiar with the actual condition of affairs here, and their sympathies have been awakened by what they have heard, and they have felt disposed to do what they could in a quiet way to relieve us from these difficulties; and if we continue to exercise patience and long-suffering in the future as we have in the past, there is no doubt in my mind about the results. It is our duty to do this. It is a duty made incumbent upon us by our religion to be patient, forbearing, and long-suffering, and if we encourage these feelings in ourselves and in our children, putting our trust in God, relying upon him continually, there is no doubt in my mind as to what the result will be. Men may point the finger of scorn at us and ridicule us because of our religion; but if we are true to its principles, if we abide in the faith which God has revealed unto us, we can afford to submit to all of this obloquy, and everything of that character. It will pass away and be forgotten, but the virtues which we possess will endure and have their effect.

It has afforded me the greatest pleasure to speak about the condition and management of affairs in this Territory. I could point with a great deal of pride to the fact that we were a lightly taxed people, probably as lightly taxed as any community within the confines of the Union; that we were out of debt; that Salt Lake City had, at the last report, a goodly sum in its treasury, besides, nearly an equal amount in assets; that every other municipality in the Territory was in the same condition; that our county organizations were free from debt; that the Territory itself did not owe a dollar in any form, but had a large amount to its credit. This speaks volumes to a great many people, especially to men acquainted with government, and who, themselves, live in the midst of tax-oppressed communities, groaning under public debts created by unwise and dishonest officials. They could appreciate facts of this kind, and they bore volumes of testimony respecting the good order and wisdom that have characterized the operations of those who have had charge of public affairs in this Territory.

Another thing to which my attention was called a great many times, was the grasshopper scourge with which Utah had been visited so frequently. A great many had inquiries to make on the subject. Kansas, Nebraska, and part of Iowa were afflicted with grasshoppers this last season, and the people were exceedingly desirous to obtain legislation in their behalf—they wanted Congress to relieve them by sending seeds and by giving them pecuniary assistance! Tales of distress came by every mail to members of Congress, in which the writers plead piteously with them to have Congress extend aid to the sufferers, as you have doubtless seen in the papers, particularly in the New York Tribune, which had a column daily containing the names of Sunday School children, servant girls, widows, and other persons who had contributed their mites to help the sufferers in the districts ravaged by the grasshoppers in the States I have named. Knowing that Utah had been afflicted by grasshoppers, a good many came to me to enquire how we had got along, and it was a great source of satisfaction to me to be able to say that notwithstanding some of our settlements had suffered from the devastations of grasshoppers five years in succession, there had been no clamor, and that no begging appeal had gone up or out from Utah to other portions of the United States, although many of our settlements had their entire crops destroyed years in succession. I distinctly remember that Wellsville, in Cache Valley had its crops destroyed five years, while scarcely a settlement in the Territory escaped a visitation of this kind three years in succession.

All these things, when mentioned, called forth admiration. Men would say—“There must be something very peculiar about your organization to enable you to manage these things so well. Were not your people overwhelmed with debt, their farms all mortgaged?” “No.” “How did you sustain yourselves?” “Well, we believed in assisting each other; and if our people lived in a State like Kansas or Nebraska they would be too proud to call for help from the rest of the nation because their crops had been destroyed one year. We believe in helping ourselves; we believe in laboring and in asking the blessing of God upon our labors, and in putting our trust in him, believing that he will sustain us, and thus far he has done so.”

I allude to these things because they are of public interest. So far as our admittance into the Union is concerned, it is generally acknowledged, I believe, among the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, that Utah was fully entitled to statehood, and that it ought to have a state government. And, gentlemen would say—“If it were not for your peculiar institution, you would be admitted readily.“ “No,” I remarked, “you mistake, sir; it is not that, there is something more than that. I know that the general opinion is that it is our system of marriage which prevents Utah from being admitted as a State, but it is a mistake, if we did not believe in that there would be something else.” This they would be loath to admit, but many admitted so far as the elements of a State were concerned, in having a substantial footing in the land and being wedded to the soil, in having developed the resources of the country, agricultural and mineral, and in establishing manufactures, that Utah, with her railroads and other improvements is ahead of every other Territory. But, as I have said, the idea was that we were scarcely fit to be admitted because of our “peculiar institution.” I occasionally remarked when talking on this subject to members of Congress—“You are determined to make what you call ‘the peculiar institution’ of Utah of national importance; you commit, according to my views, a great blunder by so doing. Suppose there is one out of every ten among the people of Utah connected with polygamy—some think that is a high estimate—and that there are one hundred and fifty thousand people in Utah, and some think that is a high estimate also, that would make fifteen thousand people in Utah Territory who are either polygamists or connected with polygamy. Now think of it, here you are the representatives of forty millions of people, and by your action in a national capacity you uplift the practices of fifteen thousand people from obscurity and give them a national importance in the eyes, not only of our own country, but in the eyes of Europe. Does it seem statesmanlike that the practices of fifteen thousand people should be made so prominent?” You talk to men in that strain, and many would say—“Certainly, it is folly, we ought to leave it to the arbitrament of time;” but there were others who thought it was comparable to slavery. But slavery was the practice of eleven millions of people at the time of the rebellion, hence there is no comparison between them. But it seems as though, in the providence of God, men are determined to give this an importance to which it is not entitled, if the number of those who practice it be taken into account. It seems that men are determined to make it public, to advertise it, and have it known.

But notwithstanding all these things we are gaining influence. There is no people today on this continent of our numbers who attract so much attention, and concerning whom there is so much interest felt as the people of Utah. So also with the delegate from Utah Territory; he has always been one of the members to whom strangers have been most desirous to be introduced. This has been the case from the time of the first delegate, and I do not think the interest has lessened of late. So that, not only are the people objects of interest, but everything connected with them and their history, and notwithstanding all that is said about us we are growing in influence in the nation, and it has surprised me to see how widely our influence is spreading, and how many channels it occupies and how wide its ramifications extend throughout the nation. How difficult it is to strike us a blow without hitting somebody else! How difficult it is to do anything inimical to us without others feeling that they will be injured by that action! This has surprised me wonderfully this past winter, and in fact this past two years. I have seen the growth of the influence of this people and its increase in many directions. Many acknowledge while they deprecate it. Of course this has caused me to rejoice more than I can tell. I have felt that God’s hand has been with us as a people. I felt so during the first session. The passage of the Poland bill, in its present form, was to me one of the most wonderful manifestations of Providence I ever beheld; that which has occurred this last session has been equally so, because I have believed that I could see the hand of God in it all; I believed that his providence was over us; I believed that the prayers of this people, offered continually unto the Lord, were heard and answered by him. A very prominent gentleman remarked to me one day—“Mr. Cannon, it is wonderful how you retain your seat, it surprises me, one would think you would have been ousted long ago, considering the efforts which have been made.” I made some remark in reply, and, the conversation continuing I remarked, calling him by name—“There are over a hundred thousand people in Utah Territory praying for you members, and for me, and they are a sincere people, and their prayers are heard.” Said he—“I do believe that is the case.” It may seem a trifling thing, in these days of unbelief, to think that God hears and answers prayer; but it has been a great satisfaction to me all the time to tell my fellow members that we were a praying people, and that God was being supplicated by you to avert every blow.

It is something refreshing at this time in the midst of the unbelief of men to meet with a man who believes that God lives, and that he hears and answers prayer. You would be surprised to find how few such men there are in this world, especially in public life. The belief in God, that he exists, that he takes any cognizance of human affairs, and that he hears and answers prayer is almost extinct; it is a rare thing to find a man who entertains it. Yet men do not ignore God entirely, but they deny his interposition in human affairs. On this point we stand out in marked contrast with every other people. We believe that God’s providences are over all, that not a hair of our head falls without his notice, that not even a sparrow can fall to the ground without his being aware of it, and that he hears and answers prayer when we supplicate him in faith in the name of Jesus for those things that we need; and we have this lesson to teach. I believe that the day is not far distant when there will be a reaction in this respect. There is at the present time a determination, apparently, to swing to the extreme of infidelity; but I look for a reaction. I believe that the example, teaching and influence of the Latter-day Saints will be attended with good effects. I think it is the duty of everyone, not offensively, not in a manner to disgust, but in a proper, wise manner, to endeavor, as far as possible, to inculcate by example and by precept faith in God and in the efficacy of prayer to him.

Of course there were times when inquiries would be made respecting our belief, and many persons scarcely think that we believe in Jesus Christ and in the Bible. Some have the idea that we are a sort of heathen; or, in other words, that we have discarded everything connected with Christianity. Others have no definite ideas in regard to our belief, their minds being fully occupied with the marriage system of the “Mormons,” they having heard of that and not much else, and they suppose that we do not believe in anything but mar rying and living in polygamy. When you converse with men of intelligence, who have any comprehension of truth, and relate to them our views, they acknowledge that we are a different people to what they imagined. I have remarked when in conversation upon our principles that if the gratification of licentiousness were our object, we could do that in a much more popular and in a much cheaper manner than the way we have adopted. I told them that it was only necessary to follow the example of some public men and we should get along without any difficulty, and there would be no fault found with us at all. Many would acknowledge that this was true if the object we had in view was the gratification of sensuality. But wherever I have had the opportunity, I have endeavored to impress those with whom I have conversed with the idea that we regarded men and women guilty of immoral practices as being guilty of the worst possible crime next to shedding blood. I have said that we regard murder as the greatest crime in the sight of God, and that next to that we look upon unchastity and unvirtuous actions. This has created some surprise, but it is a lesson that we have yet to teach mankind on this point, and I trust that we shall be true to our principles.

I have heard, since I returned, and in fact I heard it before, that there is a disposition on the part of some to yield to the temptations that surround us, young men and young women falling away and being guilty of unchastity, young men going to billiard saloons, gambling saloons, drinking saloons, indulging in the habits of smoking and swearing; and not only young persons but men of mature years. I am surprised at it. I am surprised that Latter-day Saints should have so little strength of character, and so easily yield to these wicked influences. Do you think that anybody respects a man who takes a course of this kind? Certainly not, yet there are some who think they gain respect by so doing. Let me say to you that a wicked man, a man who is unchaste and unvirtuous, has no respect for a man who is like himself. A man who is profane will admire a man who will not indulge in profanity. You never saw a man who was a drunkard and who indulged in the use of intoxicating drinks who did not admire the man who refrained from their use. He may banter and ridicule him, but in his secret soul he admires him; and so it is with all evil habits, and I would not give a fig for a Latter-day Saint who could not in the midst of all these temptations, be sincere and true to his convictions and live the religion that God has revealed to him; such men are not worthy of the name, and sooner or later they will lose the name and their standing and place in the Church. I knew, so far as my experience has gone, that men respect sincerity. Men despise Latter-day Saints who do not act consistently with the principles they profess, while, whatever a man’s religion may be, he will command respect in proportion as he clings to and honors the principles which he professes, under all circumstances under which he may be placed.

The Lord is working with us as well as with the nation, and I feel sure he will cleanse from our midst everything that is impure and ungodly. I expect that we shall have ordeals that will cleanse everything of this character from our midst, and that everything that can be shaken will be. In former days we had mobs to contend with, and other diffi culties that were trying to the faith of the people, and those who were not grounded on the rock fell by the way. If they could be frightened, or if threats or difficult circumstances could affect them or their faith, why, of course, they dissolved their connection with the Church. But I rather think the day of mobs has gone by. We certainly have been led to expect that the time will come when we shall be delivered from the power of mobocracy. What then will be the means of trying the people? Probably prosperity, good circumstances, the increase of wealth, the effects of which are far more trying on a people than poverty. The influences which attend wealth and comfortable circumstances will probably have the same effect on the people in cleansing from our midst that which is unsound, as mobocracy and the difficult circumstances connected with it had in former days. But I never expect to see the day when the Latter-day Saints will be free from influences which will test their fidelity to God, and be a means of removing from their midst that which is unworthy to be associated with his Church. That is my feeling, and has been for a long time, and I believe that God is causing us to pass through these circumstances expressly to test, prove and try us, and see whether we will be true to him or not.

He has revealed to us the everlasting Gospel; the everlasting Gospel! the truth as it is contained in this book (Bible); he has taught us what to do in order to gain favor in his sight. How many of you who are here today have seen the time in your early life when, if you could have known that God would bestow upon you the gifts of his Holy Spirit as they were enjoyed in ancient days by his servants, you would not have felt as though you could travel the earth over to obtain such precious blessings? I suppose there are scores in this congregation today who have had such feelings, they have felt as though it would be the greatest boon that could be bestowed upon them to have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the various gifts thereof that were bestowed upon and enjoyed by the ancient Saints. God has bestowed these blessings upon us; he has revealed unto us the truth; he has shown unto us how we can obtain a remission of our sins, and in accordance with his word delivered eighteen hundred years ago by his Son Jesus and by his Apostles, that if we believe in Jesus, if we repent of our sins and are baptized for their remission, we shall receive the Holy Ghost.

These blessings have been promised to and bestowed upon us; the Church has been organized in its ancient purity and simplicity, with Prophets, Apostles, Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists and all the officers which existed in ancient days. Is not this a blessing which people should appreciate? This has been given unto us, and we have been guided by the spirit of revelation and prophecy. There has not been one moment since I have known this Church that we have not had revelation to guide us, and it has been all of a character that we could understand. It has not been some man who was operating over the people, speaking in muttered tones as an oracle to the people, so that they could scarcely comprehend what he meant; but it has been in plainness and simplicity, so that every man and every woman in this Church has been appealed to go and ask God for themselves, and they have had an opportunity of knowing for themselves concerning the truth of the doctrines taught and of the counsel that has been given. This constitutes the great strength of this work, and how we ought to appreciate the blessings which God has bestowed upon us in this respect.

Now if we were left without any testimony of our own, and had to receive the ipse dixit of some man in authority, and to act blindly upon that, it would be very different, it would require a much greater degree of faith than we have to exercise at the present time. But how was it in the days of Joseph? Was there a doctrine taught which was not accompanied by the testimony of the Spirit to the minds of the people? Certainly not. How has it been in the days of the Prophet Brigham? It has been the same. When the servants of God proclaimed that God had established his Church, that he had restored the everlasting Priesthood and its ordinances, they were told to go and ask God for themselves, and they had an opportunity of testing the truth of that which was taught unto them, and there was no chance for imposture.

Many think that the people called Latter-day Saints are a deluded, ignorant set, led by cunning priestly leaders, who exercise power over them because of their shrewdness and ability, and that the people are a blind herd led at the will of these shrewd deceivers. We know that this is not the case. We know that the most frequent appeals that have been made to the Latter-day Saints have been to investigate for themselves and to know for themselves. When we started out from Illinois and traveled over these plains, were we following President Young because he said, “Come on?” Were we striking out blindly into the wilderness, hoping that he would find some place, and trusting to his sagacity and shrewdness? Certainly not, that was not the feeling; but every Latter-day Saint who crossed the Mississippi River, who was indeed a Latter-day Saint, had a testimony that he or she was going in a direction that God was leading, and when night came each was as confident that he was in the path that God required him to walk in as ever the children of Israel were when led out of Egypt. When I look back at those days, and consider the circumstances that surrounded the people, I wonder and am astonished at the faith, calmness and confidence they manifested. When the crickets came down from the mountains in 1848, and devoured nearly the entire crops, I cannot recall now any murmuring, or expressions of distrust, fear or apprehension, but there was a calmness and serenity of feeling among the people which, when I reflect upon now, surprises me. Then I was but a youth and had no responsibilities, but I have had responsibilities since then, and I have wondered how men having wives and children and the care of a great people resting upon them, as our brethren had who were here then, could maintain their equanimity in the midst of those circumstances. Yet throughout this valley there was not a murmur or expression of distrust, and if there were fears indulged in they were not publicly expressed. So it has been all the time. God has been bearing testimony to the Latter-day Saints by his Holy Spirit, giving unto them evidence which has been of a most satisfactory character; and every man and woman, boy and girl, ought to live so that they will have this testimony within them, that they may know concerning the doctrine and the counsel that is given; that when President Young speaks, we may know for ourselves whether it is from God or not, and when any other teacher among us speaks, we may know whether the doctrine he advances is from God or not; and so that, if necessary, we could go to the stake, and have no doubts on the subject. Or, like Daniel of old, be cast into the den of lions and have no fears; or, like the three Hebrew children, be cast into a fiery furnace. We pray that God will restore to us the faith once delivered to the Saints, and this is the kind of faith they had, and it sustained them in the midst of all their trials and afflictions. And men and women have had this faith who have not had the fulness of the Gospel as we have; thousands of them, in what are called the dark ages, suffered the most painful deaths for the sake of their religion; and they were sustained by the consciousness that they were doing that which God required at their hands, that they were living up to the light of truth as far as they had it. And now, living with the facilities and opportunities that we have, we ought to have still greater faith and power, and be able to endure far more for the sake of this great truth, for I tell you, my brethren and sisters, it is one of the most inestimable of blessings, it is beyond all price, the knowledge which God has given to us, that he hears and answers prayer. To think that in the midst of affliction, when you are harassed and oppressed, when, your family probably is sick, and you are surrounded by circumstances which human aid cannot relieve, there is a Being, all powerful in heaven, who is near at hand, to whom you can offer your supplications and make your appeals, with a certainty that he will hear and answer them. What is there to compare with it in value on the face of the earth? Who would not give all they have to have that knowledge? Who would not be stripped of everything they hold valuable, so far as earthly possessions are concerned, for the sake of such knowledge as this?

This is the knowledge that you have. If you have obeyed the Gospel in sincerity, everyone of you should have in your heart, no matter what your circumstances may be, or what difficulties and trials you may be called upon to pass through, the knowledge that you have an abiding Friend who will hear and answer your prayers, and will never desert you. I delight to bear testimony that God does hear and answer prayer, that he will bless and deliver those who put their trust in him. And I wish that all of us would cultivate more of this spirit, and teach it to our children. We hear about infidelity increasing. Why does it increase? Because men and women do not live so as to know that God lives. That is the reason. If they were to live in close communion with him, there would be no chance for infidelity to increase; but the fact that they do not thus live causes that increase. We should teach our children to pray to and to have faith in God. If we do this we shall see good effects flow therefrom: faith will increase in the land and will spread abroad, and we shall be the means in the hands of God of raising up a people who believe in him, and who, if necessary, would go to the stake to show their faith in the truth of their doctrines.

That God may bless you, my brothers and sisters, and help you to overcome everything that is evil, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Man is the Offspring of God—Truth is Eternal—The Doctrines of Christ—The Law of Gravitation—Free Agency

Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, delivered in the Sixteenth Ward Assembly Rooms, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, March 14, 1875.

I will read a few paragraphs which you will find recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, commencing near the middle of the second paragraph of a revelation given December 27, 1832:

“In that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also 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, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; 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.”

We will now pass on to the ninth paragraph of this same revelation, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet:

“All kingdoms have a law given; And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or lesser kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.

“All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified. For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and 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 is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.

“And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons; And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets. And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years— and these are one year with God, but not with man.

“The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also giveth their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand? Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power. I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended. The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him. Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound.

“Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field. And he said unto the first: Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance. And he said unto the second: Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance. And also unto the third: saying, I will visit you; And unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.

“And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord. And then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the third, and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth. And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season—Beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last; every man in his own order, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him, that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in his lord, that they all might be glorified.

“Therefore, unto this parable will I liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof—every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season, even according to the decree which God hath made.

“And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you, to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near—Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you; And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.

“Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.

“And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your mind become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.”

I have read these sayings from a revelation given a little over forty-two years ago, to that youth, called Joseph Smith, a farmer’s boy. Do they sound like the ravings of a madman? Do they sound like something that was invented or composed by the wisdom of man, or do they sound like the truth? Joseph Smith was not a learned man, he had to work for his living when he was a lad; and when God called him and gave these revelations through him he had not studied any more than the generality of the young men who now sit in this congregation, and probably not near as much. Yet these words were given to him, and they contain information and knowledge far beyond that which you will find recorded in the writings of the learned, information expressed so simply that a common mind can, in some degree, grasp it, and yet so sublime and so great that when we come to investigate its depths, it requires greater powers and greater understanding than what man naturally possesses.

We are told, in the part of the first paragraph that I read, that God is in the sun of our firmament, that he is the light of the sun, and that he is the power of the sun by which it was made. We are also told that he is in the moon, and that he is the light of that heavenly luminary, and the power by which it also was made. We are also told that God is in the stars, those worlds so distant from ours, those great centers around which, no doubt, millions on millions of opaque bodies revolve as our planets revolve around our central body, the sun; that he is in those stars, that he is their light, and the power by which they are governed; or to come home directly to our earth, he is in the earth, and is the power and light and glory that is attached to the elements of our globe.

This would seem to exhibit before us the nature of that Being whom we worship. We worship him because of his glory, greatness, goodness, justice, mercy, knowledge, and wisdom. We worship him, because he has the power to govern and control the universe, and because he has commanded us so to do. He is a personage; and we are told that in the beginning man was created in his image. We are also told that we are his sons and his daughters, that we were begotten by him, before the foundation of this world; that we are his offspring, as much so as the little children in this room are the offspring of their parents. Seeing then, that he is a personage and that we are in his image, we can form some idea of the general outlines and resemblance of that personage, but can we form an idea of the intelligence that he possesses? We have but a very limited idea of that. He comprehends all things, all things are before him, all things are round about him, and he is the great and supreme Governor of all the works of his hands.

We are told that the same light which shines from the sun, from the moon, and from the stars, is the same light that quickens the understandings of the children of men. But who is there in this congregation, or upon the face of the earth, that can tell how that light operates in quickening the understandings of men? It is the same light by which you are enabled to see each other, and surrounding nature. The light that proceeds forth from all these heavenly luminaries, with very great velocity, is the same light that quickens the understanding. Do you know how that is done? I do not; yet this is what God has revealed. He is the light that is in all things. Do you or I comprehend how that light is connected with all things? No. These are lessons which we have got to learn in the future, when we ascend in that scale of knowledge and intelligence now possessed by celestial beings. How long it will be before we comprehend these things I know not. How our capacities may hereafter be enlarged, I know not; how they will be developed and quickened so as to comprehend all these great truths and principles, I know not; but we are told in this revelation that the light that quickens the understandings of the children of men, and lighteth all things is one and the same and that it is also the life of all things. What are we to understand by this? Have we life? Yes, we certainly have. Where did we obtain this life? When was it created or made? There is a revelation upon this subject which says that intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created, neither indeed can be. Is it then eternal? Yes. Then this light that shines is eternal in its nature is it? Yes, because it is the same light that gives life to all things. Did our spirits, that have power to think and to reason, have life before the foundation of the world? Yes. And what gave them this life? The elements, composing our spirits were eternal; they were never created, neither indeed can be; they existed from all eternity, and were, at a certain period, combined or organized in the form of our spirits; and hence the pre-existence of man before the world was made.

This same light which gives us life, and without which we could not abound, proceeds forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space. Can we get away from it? No; for it fills all the intermediate spaces between world and world, between one system and another, and between universe and universe; “and there is no space in which there is no kingdom, and there is no kingdom in which there is no space;” hence, this being the case, all eternity, as far as your minds can possibly stretch, is filled with kingdoms, and with this power of God, this light which is the life of all things, and the law by which all things are governed.

Perhaps you may ask me why I dwell on this mysterious subject? I answer, why did the Lord dwell upon it forty-two years ago, if he did not want us, in some measure to understand it? Would he speak at random? Would he give a revelation without expecting that the people would ever try to understand it? If the Lord wished us to understand something, and condescended to reveal something, why should we, after forty-two years of experience, think that we are stepping over our bounds in trying to approximately comprehend what the Lord desired us to understand, in some measure, forty-two years ago? It is an old sectarian whim and notion, to suppose that we must not try to understand revelation. You know that when they come to something in the divine records which they do not understand, they will say—“Oh, the Lord never intended us to understand that, that is a mystery, we must not search into these things, they are mysteries.” Just as though the Lord would reveal something that he never intended or wished the human family to understand. Saying nothing about the Deity, it would be an act of foolishness on the part of a man to attempt a revelation of something that he never intended his fellow men to understand. The Lord is more consistent than man; and if he reveals anything, he surely intends that thing to be for the profit and edification of the pure in heart.

I was going to say that we had dwelt too long on baptism for the remission of sins. But no, we should still retain that in our remembrance. Not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, we ought to go on to perfection. I believe that King James’ translation of that passage says—“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.” But the translation given by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, through the Prophet of the Lord puts in the little word not. “Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.” I do not want the people to leave baptism, or to cast from their minds, and forget the first principles of the doctrine of Christ; but, on the contrary, you should always retain them in your memories. When you repented you did a good work; retain that good work in your minds. When you were baptized for the remission of your sins, through the ministration of a servant of God divinely authorized, you did a good work; retain that in your minds, do not leave that principle. When you had hands laid upon you for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that was confirmed upon you, you were obedient to one of the principles of the doctrine of Christ; do not leave that, but retain it in your minds. Do not suppose, however, that those first principles are the only ones to be learned; do not become stereotyped in your feelings, and think that you must always dwell upon them and proceed no further. If there be knowledge concerning the future; if there be knowledge concerning the present; if there be knowledge concerning ages that are past, any species of knowledge that would be beneficial to the mind of man, let us seek for it, and that which we cannot obtain by using the light which God has placed within us, by using our reasoning powers, by reading books, or by human wisdom alone, let us seek to a higher source—to that Being who is filled with knowledge, and who has given laws to all things and who, in his wisdom, goodness, justice and mercy, controls all things according to their capacity, and according to the various spheres and conditions in which they are placed.

When we reflect upon this subject, the query naturally arises in our minds—if he has given a law unto all things and has set bounds and conditions to every law which he has given, will it hurt any intelligent being to learn concerning those laws as far as he possibly can? I think not. To illustrate this, let us suppose that a learned man, by years of research and study, has discovered many of the great laws of nature, and that he has a family of children growing up, do you think that he would be displeased with his children because they had a curiosity and a desire to know something in relation to that which their father understood? No, you say, he would be pleased to see the intellectual faculties and powers of his children expanding, and to hear them inquiring about this, that, and the other thing, with which he was perfectly familiar, but of which they were ignorant. Furthermore, if it would be pleasing to a father to hear his children making such inquiries, would it not be still more pleasing to him to impart useful information unto them? You reply, “Oh yes, nothing would delight me more than to impart useful instruction to my children, and to aid them in developing their mental powers.” Well, that is just the way our heavenly Father feels in relation to his children. Anything that would be for our good to know—and all knowledge is for our good if we make a right use of it—he is willing to impart, if we but seek unto him in a proper and acceptable manner. Let us then keep all the commandments, and laws, and conditions which God has appointed for us to keep. It is our right and privilege to knock, and we have the promise that it shall be opened to us; to seek, and when we do seek, to do so with the expectation of finding. In this way we may receive more and more information and knowledge, concerning the things of God, and the works of his hands. There are many things that we can learn, already within our reach, without any special and direct revelation, that is, when I say special revelation, I mean without the Lord revealing directly by a vision, the ministration of an angel, or by direct words, as he revealed many things to the ancient revelators, seers, and Pro phets. There are a great many things that we can learn independently of these direct revelations; but still we need the help of the Lord, in some measure, in our researches, to learn anything; we need the influence of the Spirit of God to quicken the light that is within us, for light cleaves to light, and the Spirit of God is light, and it cleaves unto the light that enters into the composition of the spirit of man; and when we keep his commandments the Lord is ever ready and willing to quicken the judgment, inform the mind, and lead us along in our thinking and reflecting powers, that we may have power to understand a great many truths, without his coming out and saying—“Thus saith the Lord.”

There are a great many truths which might be revealed to me in words which I should not be able to understand; that is, a law of nature might be revealed to me in words, but I could not understand the principle involved therein after it was thus revealed. For instance, I could reveal a great many things to school children in words, which they could not possibly comprehend. I could give them a revelation that would take them perhaps two or three years deep study to comprehend, and yet it could be printed in a very few words. Just so with the Lord—he could reveal in a few words, a principle to us which it would take us years of study and reflection to understand. Suppose, for illustration, we take the principle of force or gravitation, by which things fall to the earth, and by which the planets are held in their orbits, and do not fly away from the great central luminary of our system—the sun. We will suppose that we know nothing about this law of force, called gravity, and that some man among us should get a direct revelation, expressing that law; if he had never studied sufficiently to understand the nature of these words, the very words that he would receive would be incomprehensible to himself. For instance, the law of gravity is expressed, in the words of Sir Isaac Newton, as follows—“Every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other particle with a force varying indirectly as its mass, and inversely as the square of its distance from every particle.” Now supposing that law had been given to Newton, or to the world, and that there had been no knowledge of mathematics among men, what would they have understood about the law? They might have said—“There is a formula which comprehends the law of the force of the universe;” but what would they know about it? If, however, they understood the terms used, they would know how the force varied at different distances from the attracting or gravitating body. That is the real revelation; it is not the words. A thousand things might be revealed to this congregation, but if merely revealed in words, they perhaps would not know anything about them. We must understand the nature of the thing, the nature of the idea comprehended in any law in order to have it a revelation to us; words are nothing but signs of ideas; if the ideas are not understood, the words will be a mystery.

When we undertake to investigate the laws which govern the various departments of nature, we are investigating the laws of God. Says one—“Do you mean to say that the law of gravitation, which was discovered by Sir Isaac Newton, by which all the bodies in the universe are held in their proper position, is a law of God?” Yes. If he has given this law of force to all bodies, then it is one of his laws, and all who study that law study one of the laws of God. To illustrate this still more familiarly to the minds of the congregation, we will say—here is brother Kesler, who, I presume has been teaching school in this house. Perhaps he has some students in algebra, and perhaps in geometry; then, perhaps he has many scholars who know nothing about these things. Now suppose that brother Kesler should call up a class, the members of which know nothing whatever of the sciences I have named, and should express certain rules in algebra to them, would that be a revelation to that class? It would in words, but what would they comprehend about it? Not a thing; it would be as dark as midnight. There are the words in which the rules are expressed, but could the students in that class put those algebraic rules into operation? No, a process is necessary in order to enable these children to understand the revelation, and that process is one of slow growth, mastered a little today, a little tomorrow, and a little the next day, and by and by, in one or two years, they would probably comprehend the algebraic revelation given to them so long before in words. It is so with arithmetic, with grammar, geography and almost any branch of science taught in our common schools or universities. No wonder then, to me, that Paul in speaking of a man, who was caught up to the third heavens, said he saw things that were not lawful to be uttered, that could not be uttered; for if he had undertaken to utter them, he would have uttered something that the people could not possibly comprehend, until they had learned previous principles. Such a man might tell about certain laws which prevail in heaven, and certain glories which he saw there, but yet, unless the people to whom such things were told had placed themselves in a position to have the Holy Ghost, or the visions of heaven opened to their minds, the words uttered would not be a revelation to them, for it would be altogether beyond their powers to comprehend.

The revelation which Sir Isaac Newton obtained concerning the forces of the universe, has been developed from his day until the present time. The whole learned world of mathematicians have brought all their faculties and powers to bear upon this one little law which I have expressed to you, and have they got through with it? Oh no, it is just beginning to unfold to them some of the common phenomena of the universe, and that is about all. In about a century hence, if the Lord should spare the world, and men make as much advance in these matters as they have done in the century past, this law, there is no doubt, will be carried out into a great many channels and branches that we know nothing about now. Says one—“If it requires so much study on the part of the learned world to unfold and comprehend this one law, it is discouraging to think that there are perhaps hundreds of other laws as intricate as this to investigate before it is possible to come to an understanding of them.” We need not be discouraged upon this subject; for if we do the best we can according to the position in which we are placed, and the opportunities which we have, we do all that the Lord requires; and by and by we shall be placed in a condition in which we can learn much faster than we can now. We need not be discouraged. Perhaps the man who, under a sense of discouragement, gives up and does not make the best of his present limited opportunities, will be limited hereafter in the life to come, and will not be allowed to progress very fast, because of his laziness and his want of desire, courage and fortitude to pursue certain channels of knowledge that were opened up to him here in this life. But when we see individuals not only willing to receive some few of the simple principles of the Gospel of Christ, but are willing to press onward towards perfection as far as opportunities present themselves, we may rest satisfied that they will be honored of the Lord according to their diligence, perseverance, fortitude and patience in striving to understand the laws which he has given to all things.

We might, if we had time, point out a great many other laws. The law of light, for instance, and the law of the velocity of light, or the manner in which light is permitted to go from world to world, and in touching upon these and similar subjects we should be describing to you the power, wisdom, greatness and majesty of the Creator, who has constructed all these things according to law, and all of them are governed by his laws. It would seem almost impossible to untutored minds, if we were to tell them that a motion could be transferred from world to world at the rate of one hundred and eighty-five thousand miles every second of time. Wonderful. We almost start back at the declaration, and almost doubt the possibility of the velocity thus indicated. But incredible as it may seem to the uneducated, it is a certain thing; it does not rest upon the imaginations of the children of men; it is just as certain that light travels at nearly that rate from one creation to ano ther, as it is that men can time the speed of horses with a watch held in their hands, and the most ignorant will admit that it is perfectly easy to do that. Well, it is just as easy to demonstrate the velocity of light, and it has been done not only by one law, but by many laws; not only by one phenomenon, but by many phenomena, and it is a thing that cannot be disputed by those who have investigated and are capable of understanding the methods of demonstration that have been given.

What causes this immense velocity, and who constructed the great etherial medium that intervenes between all worlds, by means of which a jar can be carried from world to world with that immense velocity? It was God, that Being who is said to be in all things, not by his person, but by his Spirit and his agency. He constructed this great medium so that it should communicate vibrations or jars, from world to world at that rapid rate.

We see an illustration, on a small scale, here on the earth, in connection with our atmosphere. Who constructed this atmosphere and gave it its elasticity, and all its principles and powers, by which sound is communicated from place to place at a very rapid rate? God. He constructed all these things. Sound, we are told, flies at the rate of ten hundred and ninety feet in a second. How does it travel with that velocity? Do the particles from a sounding body—for instance a bell that is ringing—travel all that distance? Oh no, it is merely the vibration, or wave that is sent through the great mass of the atmosphere, from the sounding body to the organ of the ear; and it is sent at the rate of speed I have mentioned—over one-fifth of a mile in a second—and we call that very rapid velocity; but what is it compared with a hundred and eighty-five thousand miles a second.

When you study all these things you are learning lessons concerning God. He it is who has thus organized all these materials of nature, has given them their properties, endowed them with their elasticities, placed them in certain proportions; or, as one of the inspired writers says—“He has weighed the mountains in a balance.” Everything is adjusted in the best possible manner, to carry on his operations throughout the great universe which he has constructed. But I do not wish to dwell lengthily upon these subjects; of more importance than all these laws which govern the materials of nature, are the intelligent beings who inhabit these creations. God, in constructing these materials into creations and worlds, has done it for a wise and noble purpose. The great purpose that he had in view was the intelligent beings who should occupy these creations. No law was given to our earth and its materials, or to the planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and the various asteroids, merely for the sake of giving laws; but the Lord had a useful design in view, namely to add to his own glory and to the happiness of millions of his sons and daughters who should come to people these worlds I have named, that they might be prepared to be redeemed from their fallen condition, as the people of this creation are to be redeemed from theirs.

Inquires one—“Do you mean to say that other worlds have fallen as well as ours?” Yes, man is an agent; intelligence cannot exist on any other principle. All beings having intelligence must have their agency. Laws must be given, suited and adapted to this agency; and when God sends inhabitants on various creations he sends them on the great and grand principle of giving them an opportunity to exercise that agency; and they have exercised it, and have fallen. Is there anything revealed to prove that other worlds have fallen as well as ours? Oh yes, read some of the other revelations. I might quote you one which now occurs to my mind, given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, revealing anew that which was formerly revealed to Enoch, before the flood, concerning the vastness of the creations of the Almighty, and many other things. After speaking of these innumerable creations, Enoch exclaims—“Thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom out of all the creations thou hast made.” Why should the Lord take Zion from all these creations? Because all of their inhabitants were not worthy. The very expression shows that there were only a few on each of these creations that he could denominate Zion. You know what Zion means: it means the pure in heart, and only a few could be selected from each of all the creations which have been made, as worthy to be taken to his own bosom as a Zion. Does not that show that they have fallen? If they had not transgressed, but had always been obedient, the Lord, as an impartial Being, would have redeemed all the inhabitants of these creations and taken them all to his own bosom. But it seems that only a few had the privilege of being gathered into the bosom of God.

Says one—“There is another thing I would like to have explained, about the parable you have read. ‘Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field; and he said unto the first, go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the light of my countenance.’ And he said unto the second in the same manner, and unto the third, and so on unto the twelfth. And when they had fulfilled certain conditions, their Lord comes unto them, and they are made glad with the light of his countenance, during their hour. After he has visited the first, he visits the second, then the third, and so on until the twelfth, each man in his own order, according to his time and season. Now what does all this mean?” The Lord wanted to represent these kingdoms so that we could understand what he desired to impart, and he gave it as a parable, in order to assist our weak comprehensions to understand something about Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and others of the various worlds that he has formed. Says the interrogator—“I do not comprehend this idea of the Lord’s withdrawing from one and going to another.” In order to comprehend this let us come back to our own globe. Do we not expect that the Lord will, by and by, come and visit us and stay a little while, about a thousand years. Yes, and then we shall be made glad with the joy of the countenance of our Lord. He will be among us, and will be our King, and he will reign as a King of kings and Lord of lords. He will have a throne in Zion, and another in the Temple at Jerusalem, and he will have with him the twelve disciples who were with him during his ministry at Jerusalem; and they will eat and drink with him at his table; and all the people of this globe who are counted worthy to be called Zion, the pure in heart, will be made glad by the countenance of their Lord for a thousand years, during which the earth will rest. Then what? He withdraws. What for? To fulfill other purposes; for he has other worlds or creations and other sons and daughters, perhaps just as good as those dwelling on this planet, and they, as well as we, will be visited, and they will be made glad with the countenance of their Lord. Thus he will go, in the time and in the season thereof, from kingdom to kingdom or from world to world, causing the pure in heart, the Zion that is taken from these creations, to rejoice in his presence.

But there is another thing I want you to understand. This will not be kept up to all eternity, it is merely a preparation for something still greater. And what is that? By and by, when each of these creations has fulfilled the measure and bounds set and the times given for its continuance in a temporal state, it and its inhabitants who are worthy will be made celestial and glorified together. Then, from that time henceforth and forever, there will be no intervening veil between God and his people who are sanctified and glorified, and he will not be under the necessity of withdrawing from one to go and visit another, because they will all be in his presence. It matters not how far in space these creations may be located from any special celestial kingdom where the Lord our God shall dwell, they will be able to see him at all times. Why? Because it is only the fall, and the veil that has been shut down over this creation, that keep us from the presence of God. Let the veil be removed, which now hinders us from beholding the glory of God and the celestial kingdom; let this creation be once perfected, after having passed through its various ordeals, after having enjoyed the light of the countenance of our Lord, in our hour and in our season, and let all things be perfected and glorified, and there will be no necessity for this veil being shut down.

Says one—“Do you mean to say, then, that there is a faculty in man, that he can behold the Lord and be in his presence, though millions on millions of miles distant, on another creation?” Yes, just as easy as we can behold one another here in this room. We shall then see as we are seen, and know as we are known, and there will be a perfect redemption. In this way all the creations that are redeemed can enjoy the continued and eternal presence of the Lord their God. I mean those who are made celestial, not those who are in the lower orders, who are governed by telestial laws, but those who are exalted to the highest degree of glory, those who will be made kings and priests, those who have kept celestial law, obeyed celestial ordinances, and received the Priesthood which God has ordained, and to which he has given power and authority to administer and to seal on earth that it may be sealed in heaven. The people who are thus glorified are said to be taken into the bosom of the Almighty; as Enoch says—“Thou hast taken Zion from all these creations which thou hast made, and thy bosom is there,” &c. He does not mean that the Lord God is right within a few rods of every individual; this would be an impossibility, so far as the person is concerned; but he means that there is a channel of communication, the privilege of beholding Zion, however great the distance; and the privilege of enjoying faculties and powers like this is confined to those high and exalted beings who occupy the celestial world. All who are made like him will, in due time, be able to see, to understand and to converse with each other though millions and millions of miles apart. With all the imperfections of the present state men have invented means by which they can converse with the inhabitants of the uttermost parts of the earth. We may sit down in our chimney corners and converse with the people in Asia, England, France, and in the four quarters of the globe; we can bid each other “good night,” or “good day,” as the case may be; and if man with all his imperfections can do this by using some of the gross powers and materials of nature, why may not that God who has power to control and govern all these materials, so organize and construct the machinery of the universe that we may be able to communicate intelligence a distance of millions on millions of miles in the twinkling of an eye, so that, according to the words which are revealed, we may be considered to be in his own bosom, where we can converse with him, see him, hear him, &c.

Time will not permit me to pursue this matter any further. Some of the items of this subject occurred to my mind a little while before I came into the house. I have been in the habit of preaching a great deal in the 13th and 14th Wards, where many strangers attend who wish to hear about our doctrines. But having a congregation of Saints before me today, I thought I would touch upon things that are revealed in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. It contains many ideas that are great and grand in the extreme, and which are calculated in their nature to inspire every faculty of the soul of man with desires to know and comprehend more of the things of God.

May God bless you. Amen.

Second Coming of Christ—The Kingdom of God—Immediate Revelation—a Highway Cast Up—Gathering of Israel—One Universal Government on Earth

Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, delivered in the Fourteenth Ward Assembly Rooms, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, February 28, 1875.

I will read a passage with which the Latter-day Saints, especially, are familiar—“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.” This is the third verse of the 18th chapter of the prophecies of Isaiah.

All people who have any confidence in the Old and New Testaments, and who have read the pages of the Bible, are expecting certain great and important events to transpire upon the earth; they look for an entire change to come over the nations, and also for a universal kingdom to be established on the earth never to be overthrown. These things are so clearly predicted in the prophecies of the holy Prophets, that I believe all who profess any faith in the Bible are looking for something of this kind to take place. All who believe in the New Testament believe that the Son of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is to come, not as he did formerly, in a meek and lowly manner, born in a manger, hated, derided, buffeted and spit upon, and finally crucified by the hands of wicked men, but that when he comes again, it will be in very great majesty and glory, accompanied by all the armies of heaven and by the Saints of all dispensations, who will be raised from the dead at that important time, and who will be caught up into the clouds and come with him. All people who believe in the New Testament believe that such an event as this has got to transpire. Those who believe in the Old Testament, and discard the New, believe that there has to be a great change come over the inhabitants of the earth and over the whole of this creation. The Old Testament speaks of the day of the Lord, when the sun will be darkened, when the moon and the stars will refuse to shine, when the Lord will punish the wicked for their wickedness, when sinners will be swept from the face of the earth, and when there will be none but the righteous left. It is believed that a day will come, when the wicked among the inhabitants of this globe will be burned as stubble, and when there will be neither root nor branch left of the proud and of them that do wickedly. So that believers in both the Old and New Testaments, or in either of them, are expecting that such a great and terrible event will come. But very few, however, of the inhabitants of our globe have taken into consideration the great preparatory work for this grand change; they have not searched the Scriptures in regard to how this work is to be accomplished, and who the persons will be who will be ready and prepared to abide that day; how that great change will come, and what the signs of it will be they know not, and yet the Bible is very plain and full in relation to these matters.

The words of our text communicate to us the knowledge that a proclamation is to become so conspicuous at that day, that all the inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth will be required to see and understand, when the Lord commences this work, when he lifts up an ensign on the mountains. I suppose that a great many have been looking for the Lord to do something, but in what portion of our globe he would commence his work they did not know. There are some few, who have searched the Bible diligently, who have been looking for the kingdom of God to be set up on the earth in the latter times, never to be destroyed. Some have supposed that the kingdom that was built up by the early Christians, some eighteen hundred years ago, was that kingdom predicted by the Prophet Daniel. Others, not being able to reconcile the ideas communicated by Daniel on this subject, have looked forward to a day when there should be, literally, a kingdom established on this earth by the power of God in fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel. Those who have believed, or tried to believe, that the ancient Christians constituted that kingdom, have been at a loss as to how it could exist broken up into a thousand fragments, a thousand different classes of people with as many different faiths clashing one with another. They have said in their hearts—“Is this the kingdom of God, where there is no union?” Some two hundred millions of the human family professing Christianity, and yet contending one with another about their doctrines and principles, one believing a doctrine and another condemning that doctrine and believing something directly different. Another discarding both these doctrines and believing in something else, and so on, until inextricable confusion is the result. They have looked upon the babel thus created as something so different from the nature of that kingdom predicted by the ancient Prophets, that they have been unable to reconcile the idea in their own minds that it could possibly be the kingdom of God.

Suppose that we quote the passage in the second chapter of Daniel, in regard to the setting up of God’s kingdom. It is there said that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had a dream, which portrayed before him all the kingdoms of the earth for many generations, under the similitude of a great image, whose head was of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet part of iron and part of potter’s clay. Besides the image he, in his dream, beheld something entirely distinct therefrom, and forming no part nor portion of it, cut out of the mountains without hands. It was called a stone from the mountains, which smote this great image, representing the kingdoms of the world, upon the feet, and when the feet were smitten all the other kingdoms crumbled to pieces, and they were carried away before the force of this little stone like the chaff of the summer threshingfloor, and no place could be found for them; but the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

Now, ancient Christianity, or, in other words, the kingdom which God set up eighteen hundred years ago, did not accomplish the prediction or fulfill that which was spoken by Daniel; neither was that kingdom which was then set up at a time when this great image had been completed. No feet nor toes of the image were yet formed when the ancient kingdom of God was set up on the earth. It is true that Nebuchadnezzer, and the Babylonish kingdom over which he ruled, representing the head of gold, had existed. The Medes and Persians, who succeeded him, had existed, and they represented the breast and arms of silver; the Macedonians or Grecians existed, representing the third kingdom that bore rule over all the earth; the great Roman empire had begun to exist, but it was not yet divided in its two legs of iron as it was several centuries after Christ. The feet and toes of the image were not yet formed, but it will be noticed, by the testimony of Daniel, that when that stone, cut out of the mountain without hands, that is, without the hand of human wisdom; when that should be cut out and should commence its rolling forth from the mountain, the very first attack that it should make would be on the feet and toes of the image.

The ancient kingdom of God could not do this, for the reason that the feet and toes on the two legs of iron were not yet in existence, and hence that kingdom did not represent the one that Daniel spoke of, though the kingdom then set up was the kingdom of God, but not the one that was to bear rule over all the earth, as predicted.

Another reason why that kingdom was not the one spoken of by Daniel is this—the kingdom spoken of by the ancient Prophet, that was to be set up by the God of heaven, was never to be destroyed, but it should break in pieces all other kingdoms and should stand forever, and never be left to another people. Did the kingdom commenced by Christ and his Apostles fulfill these predictions? No. Why not? Because it was predicted both by Daniel and by John the Revelator that the kingdom which was to be built up in the days of Christ’s first coming, instead of prevailing against the kingdoms of the world, was to be overcome. It was written concerning that kingdom that war should be made upon it by the powers of this world, and that they should prevail and overcome it. Not so with the latter-day kingdom—that never can be overcome or prevailed against.

Was the prophecy of John and Daniel, concerning the former-day kingdom being overcome, fulfilled? Yes. Certain powers arose and made war upon that kingdom, and spread forth their doctrines and principles until all nations became drunk with the wine of the wrath of the fornication of that great ecclesiastical power. Instead, then, of the kingdom of God overcoming the nations, it was overcome and banished from the earth.

Perhaps some may inquire—“Do you believe, then, that the Christian Church has been so overcome that it has not existed on the earth?” That is what we believe, that is one of the principles taught by this people during the last forty-four years of the existence of this Church. Says one—“You have no charity.” Yes, we have charity just as far as the Lord God permits us to have charity; but we have not charity sufficient to call darkness light, nor the doctrines and creeds of men the doctrines of heavens. We have not charity sufficient to say that that which is organized by human wisdom is of God, or that the traditions and commandments of men can be substituted for those of God. Charity does not lead us to make these assertions. Perhaps you may inquire—“What evidence have you then, that the kingdom of God was overcome, besides the predictions that you have quoted?” We have this evidence—in the kingdom of God there were always inspired Apostles. There is no testimony in this sacred volume, the New Testament, that the kingdom of God ever existed without Apostles in it. Where are your Apostles inspired of God, modern Christendom? Where have they been for the last seventeen centuries of the Christian era? If you had had Apostles during that time they would have continued to exercise the functions and gifts of Apostles: they would have received revelation from heaven, and those revelations would have been just as sacred as the revelations that were given to the first twelve Apostles, and it would have been just as necessary to have them compiled in the sacred canon as to compile the revelations of those who lived in the first century of the Christian era. This, then, is a testimony and a very important one too, that the kingdom that was set up anciently did not continue, but was overcome, so much so that Apostles had no existence on the earth, and they have not had for many long centuries of darkness that are passed and gone.

Recollect now, that in the New Testament order of things, given for the organization of the true Christian Church, Paul says—“God hath set in the Church first, Apostles, secondarily Prophets,” &c. Take away, then, this first officer of the Church, and say that no Apostles are needed to inquire of God and receive revelations, and you do away with the foremost and most essential member in the kingdom of God from what you call the Christian Church. “Secondarily Prophets.” Who does not know that for seventeen centuries past the Christian world so-called has not believed in any prophecy, that is the foretelling of future events, or in inspiration from heaven? Who does not know that all new revelation has been discarded, not only by the great mother Church, called the Roman Catholic, but by the Greek Catholics, and also by all her descendants, her daughters, the various Protestant sects? They have all denounced everything in the shape of new revelation. But the kingdom or Church of God never did, and it never can, exist without inspiration and new revelation, without inspired Apostles and Prophets; therefore this, besides the predictions that I have named, proves to every person who believes in the sacred text that the kingdom of God has not been upon the earth for a long period of time.

We might go on and show other reasons why it has not been upon the earth. In order for the kingdom of God to be upon the earth there must be a continuation of authority. Says one—“Authority for what?” Authority to administer its ordinances. Where that authority ceases the sacrament cannot be administered; where that authority ceases no person can administer baptism, or the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. In fact, where that authority ceases all the ordinances of the kingdom of God cease. Says one—“Have they not had the Christian ministry among the Roman Catholics, among the Greek Catholics, and among all the Protestants who have dissented from those two ancient Churches?” Yes, they have had a ministry, but has that ministry had divine authority? That is the great question to be determined. If they have had divine authority, then the kingdom of God has existed on the earth just as long as that authority has existed; if they have not had divine authority, the kingdom of God upon the earth ceased when that authority ceased. How are we to determine this? Says one—“Determine it by the standard, the holy Scriptures.” In appealing to them we find that Paul says—“No man taketh this honor unto himself, save he be called of God as was Aaron.” Every person who has read the Old Testament Scriptures, knows that Aaron was called by immediate and direct revelation in his day. He was not called by revelation that was given several hundred years before he was born, to Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac or Jacob; he was not called by some commission that was given in former generations, but by direct revelation in his day. Can no person, then, take this ministry to himself, unless he is called the same as Aaron was called? So says Paul. Have any of these ministers, among all these so-called Christian denominations, been called by new revelations? If they have, they deny their own words, for they have incorporated in their disciplines, creeds and articles of faith that the sixty-six books contained in the Old and New Testament are all the revelations that God has ever given to man. Is that so? Let us search these sixty-six books and see if any man that lived in the second century of the Christian era is mentioned therein, or in the third or fourth, or in any succeeding century down to this day. Has any man in the Christian world from the days of the ancient Apostles down to this time been called by name to the ministry? If so, that will alter the case. But I find that this ancient compilation of revelations does not mention by name a solitary individual who has dwelt on the earth for the last seventeen hundred years, hence none of them have been called by ancient revelation; and, in order to be called, according to the declaration of Paul, as Aaron was, they must be called by new revelation.

Says one—“Stop, that will not do, the very moment that we admit new revelation, we say that the canon of Scripture is not full, and that will lead us right in opposition to all the declarations and traditions of our fathers, therefore we will not take that ground, and we will not say that we have been called by new revelation as Aaron was.” How will you get around it, then? Says one—“I think that we can get authority from this good old book, though our names are not mentioned therein as being called as Aaron was, by direct revelation.” Well, let us examine. What authority do you think you can get from this ancient record? Says one—“You turn to the last chapter of Mark. It is there written that Jesus said unto his eleven disciples, after he rose from the dead—’Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.’” Indeed! Does that call you? Did it call Paul, Timothy or Titus? Did it call any other person that lived even then, except the eleven to whom Jesus spoke? No, it did not; every other person who received any call had to receive it by new revelation. Even then, in that age, a commission given to eleven men did not commission the twelfth. A commission given to those eleven men did not commission any Christian minister who lived in the first century of the Christian era. Hence we find in the 13th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles that there were certain prophets in the Christian church at Antioch—do not be astonished, professed Christians, that there were prophets in the Christian church at Antioch—“And the Holy Ghost said unto them,” prepare yourselves for hearing a new revelation—“separate unto me Barnabas and Saul unto the work of the ministry to which I have called them.” Here then was a new revelation for Barnabas and Saul in relation to their ministry and calling. But could they undertake their ministry by virtue of some old commission given prior to their calling? No. Timothy, who lived contemporary with the ancient Apostles, was not called by virtue of a commission given to the eleven, neither was he called by virtue of a commission given to Paul and Barnabas; but he was called as the Apostle Paul has declared in his epistle to Timothy—“Neglect not the gift which is in thee, which was given thee by the spirit of prophecy, and by the laying on of the hands.” What! Did Timothy live in the day of Prophets, and when Prophets could find out in relation to his calling, and lay their hands upon him and set him apart to the work of the ministry unto which God had called him? Yes, and so with all the rest, and no man can take this honor to himself, save he be called of God as was Aaron.

God is a very consistent being; he does not do things at haphazard, but he is very orderly in his work, and everything in his kingdom is consistent and according to law. That is the way the Lord works. He is far more consistent than the political governments of our day; and even they, with all their imperfections, would never be so unwise as to re ceive a foreign minister simply because some other foreign minister had been called. Supposing that a man from Great Britain should go to Washington, and should declare to the President of the United States, and to the various authorities of the government there—“I am a minister plenipotentiary, I have authority from the British Government to transact whatever business it may have to transact with the Government of the United States.” “Very well,” say the President and those associated with him at the head of the Government, “let us see your credentials.” “My credentials!” says this man. “Bless you, I have not any new commission. The authorities of Great Britain have not said anything to me about being sent to represent them in the United States, but nevertheless I have authority to act as their minister.” “Well, what is the nature of your authority? pray tell us.” “Why,” says he, “having access to some old documents I found, in searching them over, that there was a man called about fifty or sixty years ago to act in this nation as minister plenipotentiary for Great Britain.” “What has that to do with you?” say those who are questioning him. Says he—“I did not suppose that I needed any new commission, so I just took this old document and put it in my pocket, I thought it would authorize me to act as minister because one that is dead and gone acted by virtue of the authority it conferred.” What do you suppose our Government would think of such a minister? Don’t you think they would regard him as a little insane, or beside himself? They certainly would. Do you suppose that God has less wisdom than our general Government? Do you suppose that he lets things run at random? Or does he have a system to his kingdom? If our Government would not receive a man on an old commission given to a person dead and gone, why should it be supposed that the Lord is so inconsistent as to say that Tom, Dick and Harry, and all the world, or part of it, were called to be ministers because a commission was given to eleven men some eighteen hundred years ago? Why, that commission did not authorize any but those to whom it was given; and to my mind it looks supremely ridiculous for any person to claim that he is commissioned to preach and to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, because eleven men received authority to do so eighteen hundred years ago.

Says one—“You are very uncharitable.” Can’t help it; if that is uncharitable, I will confess that I am uncharitable, and I cannot help it; though I believe that true charity leads us to believe things that are reasonable, consistent, and in accordance with the word of God, and that I try to do. However numerous my own imperfections may be, it is my real desire, and has been from my youth to the present time, to be consistent. These are some reasons, among a multitude that might be named, why we, as Latter-day Saints, believe that the kingdom of God which was set up in ancient days has had no place on the earth for some seventeen centuries past, so far as the eastern continent is concerned. The kingdom of God was set up in ancient America, and it existed until between three and four centuries after Christ, consequently when we say that it has not existed upon the earth for upwards of seventeen centuries past, we have reference particularly to the nations of the east.

Says one—“That is an awful condition for our earth to be in to have no Christian Church upon it for so long a period. Cannot help it. If it is a woeful condition, it is necessary for us to search the Scriptures in order that we may learn if God ever intends to alter this order of things, and if he ever intends to again establish his kingdom upon the earth. Daniel, in his prophecy, has informed us that such will be the case. He saw the time when that great event would take place. He saw the four great kingdoms which should bear rule over all the earth. The fourth great power which bore rule over the world was the great Roman Empire, which was represented by the two legs of the great image which he saw. And as the world grew older this empire was divided, and the various kingdoms which sprang therefrom became so weakened that they were represented, not by iron altogether, but by iron mixed with miry clay. They had not the strength of former kingdoms, and they are the kingdoms of modern Europe and the Republic of America, which has been built up by people who have come over to the American continent, and have established one of the wisest and best governments upon the face of the whole earth, but yet not established altogether after the order of the kingdom of God.

All these modern kingdoms as you now behold them, the Scandinavians, for instance, in the north, and the Germans, Italians, Swiss, French, the Spaniards and Austrians, and all other kingdoms representing Christendom, have grown out of the great Roman Empire, which once had dominion over all these lands, and they were represented by the feet of the image spoken of by the Prophet Daniel.

It is comparatively an easy task to locate the kingdoms represented by the various portions of the completed image. The head of gold we may place away in Asia, representing the Babylonish Empire, with Nebuchadnezzar at its head. Next the Medes and Persians, represented by the breast and arms of silver; their location was also in Asia, running partially into Europe. Then came the Macedonians and Greeks, represented by the belly and thighs of brass; and finally the Romans, represented by the legs of iron. Thus we can locate the great image, with his head in Asia, his feet reaching over here to the western continent, all of them governments of human institution instead of having been organized by divine authority; they have all been organized without having a direct “Thus saith the Lord” in relation to the matter.

By and by the time came when, in the providence of God, it became necessary to set up his kingdom on the earth. How is it set up? Is it cut out of the mountain with hands, that is, with human wisdom alone? Oh no, the Lord spake; the Lord sent his angel; the Lord gave commandment from the heavens; the Lord informed his servants how to organize his kingdom; the Lord fulfilled that which he spoke by the mouth of the ancient Apostles; the Lord sent that angel which he promised that he would send in the 14th chapter of the Revelation of St. John. What did he send that angel for? To restore the Gospel of the kingdom. “Then you mean to say that the kingdom of God cannot be established without the Gospel being sent, do you?” Yes. “But,” says one, “have we not got the Gospel in this good book of ours, the Bible?” We have a history of it. But can you and I embrace it? No, I have already proved that we could not be baptized, and baptism is one of the first essential ordinances to become citizens of the kingdom of God. I have also shown that we cannot legally partake of the sacrament, because it requires a divinely authorized person to administer it. We cannot have hands laid upon us for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, because that requires God’s ministers to administer it, and the Lord would not pour out the Holy Ghost through an unauthorized minister. Hence you see, however much we might read the history of the Gospel as preached in ancient times, and the history of the organization of the ancient church, it could not do us any good so far as receiving the ordinances is concerned. It is true that we might be benefited by observing the moral principles taught therein, and being moral, virtuous, upright and just before all men; but to become citizens of the kingdom of God requires divine authority, and therefore it was necessary that we should have something more than a mere history of the Gospel, and that something was, and must be, authority sent down from heaven. This is what John predicted. I will quote the passage for the benefit of strangers, for our people are familiar with it, even our Sunday school children understand it. The passage I refer to is contained in the 6th verse of the 14th chapter of Revelation. It reads as follows—“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.” Accompanying this message of the everlasting Gospel brought by an angel were these remarkable words—“Fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.” That is the eleventh hour, the last time that he will send laborers to labor in his vineyard. When he sends these last laborers to prune his vineyard for the last time, he communicates the message of the everlasting Gospel by an angel sent from heaven. Not for one people or one nation only, but to be preached to every nation, tongue and people that dwell upon the earth.

This alone, if I had not brought any evidence or testimony to prove that the kingdom of God has been done away from the earth, this alone proves it. If there had been any people on the face of this wide world of ours, who had the Gospel, it would have been unnecessary to send an angel from heaven with it. If there had been in any part of the earth a people who had the everlasting Gospel, and authority to administer its ordinances, do you suppose that an angel would have been sent from heaven to restore that Gospel? Such a supposition is unreasonable. All we would have had to do, would have been to find them and to have them to administer baptism, the laying on of hands and the other ordinances of the Gospel unto us, and then to have ordained us to the work of the ministry. But no; so completely had the world of mankind apostatized that no authority existed; no kingdom or Church of God, no voice of revelation, no Prophet or inspired man among all the nations, hence God sent his angel in our day, and here I hold in my hands a book of between five and six hundred pages, containing the everlasting Gospel as it was taught on this continent by the risen Savior eighteen hundred years ago. Jesus, after he had finished his ministry and burst the tombs at Jerusalem, came to this western hemisphere of ours, and chose twelve disciples and ordained them and sent them forth to preach the Gospel among the inhabitants of this land. Those men went forth and organized the Church, and the doctrines and Gospel which Jesus administered on this continent were recorded in this book. When the angel came from heaven he brought this book to light. He did not reveal it to the great and learned of the earth, or to those who were wise in their own eyes, but he found a farmer’s boy between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and set him to do this work, and it has come forth, and the Gospel is revealed.

But there is one thing I wish to state now very pointedly, that though this angel brought forth the everlasting Gospel and revealed it by the Urim and Thummim to Joseph Smith, the unlearned farmer’s boy, yet that did not authorize Joseph Smith to baptize you or me; it did not authorize him to lay hands upon me nor you for the gift of the Holy Ghost; it did not authorize him to administer the Lord’s supper; it merely revealed the fulness of the everlasting Gospel through him for the benefit of every people, nation, kindred and tongue of our globe. “Well,” says one, “if he could not baptize you, how were you first baptized?” I answer that the Lord was consistent, and that when he sent this everlasting Gospel by his angel, he did not forget, when the work was translated by the Urim and Thummim, to again send an angel from heaven to ordain individuals by the laying on of hands to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, and to call them as Aaron was called, by new revelation. Angels were sent down from heaven, and the Apostleship was conferred, that same authority which Peter, James and John and the rest of the Apostles held in ancient days was conferred, and many others were called and the Church was organized, not by the wisdom of man and by his cunning and craft, but everything, even to the very month and day on which it should be organized was revealed of God from heaven, and no person was called to the work of the ministry, only by revelation. The Apostleship was conferred by revelation, and the work began and spread forth, and the people began to believe in this everlasting Gospel, and the Church was organized again with inspired Apostles and Prophets, according to the ancient pattern.

It may be said—“This is a very high pretension.” We do not pretend this thing of ourselves; all the glory is unto God. He sent the Gospel, he restored the everlasting Priesthood and Apostleship, and to him be all the glory. He bestowed these blessings; we received them and we feel thankful for them. And in connection with the restoration of the Priesthood, and the kingdom—for God calls it his kingdom—in the midst of this people, though they may be hated, persecuted, driven time and time again, and finally driven into these mountain wilds, yet the kingdom is here, it is not overcome: God’s kingdom is here and it will endure forever, for that is the prediction of Daniel.

Is this an appropriate place for the kingdom, away up in this mountain region, so isolated from all the nations? We are not so isolated but what we can fulfill the prediction given in ancient times through John; not so isolated but what this Gospel, which was sent by an angel from heaven, can be published to all the nations of the earth. Look at what has been already accomplished, during the short period of its existence. Forty-five years have not rolled over our heads since we were organized with only six members. What has God done since then in rolling forth his work? He has sent missionaries by hundreds, not only to the inhab itants of the various States of this Union and to those of British America; but he has sent them by hundreds to foreign lands. They have lifted up their voices in the midst of the British nation, among the Welsh, the Scotch, the Irish, among the Scandinavians of the north, among the Germans, among the French, the Swiss, the Italians, among the Hindostanese and the inhabitants of South Australia and New Zealand, and various islands of the sea; and from the midst of these various peoples a hundred thousand souls have been gathered to these mountains, whence the kingdom of God—the stone cut out of the mountains—is to roll forth, until it fills the whole earth. We did not come here with the idea of fulfilling that prophecy. I doubt whether there was scarcely one among us, when we were driven here, who entertained the idea that this was the appropriate place for the kingdom of God. It is true, we had read in Daniel that the stone should be cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it should accomplish the great work that God had decreed, in filling the whole earth. We had read this, but did we realize it when our enemies cannonaded us from our lands and homes in the States? While living there we were driven time after time, and finally were driven to these mountains; and before leaving, our enemies made us enter into an agreement that we would not stop short of the Rocky Mountains, and that we would go even beyond the summit of the Rocky Mountains. Said they—“You must do this or we will kill you. We have killed your Prophet and some of your best men, and we have robbed and driven you four or five times; and now, this time, we will not suffer you to stop within our borders, you must go beyond the Rocky Mountains.” We started because we were obliged to; we got here; and now we are becoming quite a people. But what was the object of our enemies in driving us here, into what was termed the Great American desert? They no doubt thought that if we once got here, we should surely perish, for they supposed that no human being could ever gain a livelihood by cultivating the earth in this desert. The only inhabitants it then contained was a few Indians, who lived by digging roots, and catching and drying crickets, and grasshoppers and rattlesnakes, with now and then a rabbit; and these Indians would, once in a while, be able to partially clothe themselves with rabbit skins. Our enemies thought—“If we can only get the ‘Mormons’ into that desert, that will be the end of ‘Mormonism.’”

We are here, what have we done, with the blessing of the Lord and his multiplied kindness and mercies upon us? We have found that God has blessed the land and blessed the exertions of his people. He has blessed them in building up many cities, towns and villages, for some four hundred miles in extent, in the very heart of these great interior mountains of America. He has blessed us in erecting several hundred schoolhouses; he has blessed us in reclaiming the desert, and with many blessings that might be named. All praise be to him! He it is who has sent rains upon this burnt and parched-up soil. When we came here, Salt Lake was twelve feet lower than it is now. We took all these little streams and turned them on to our land, and according to all natural supposition, the waters of Salt Lake would have become lower and lower. Why? Because all these streams were cut off from entering it. But instead of becoming lower and lower, we find that, after taking stream after stream, and rivulet after rivulet to irrigate our crops, God has actually sent rains from the heavens in such abundance that Salt Lake is now about twelve feet higher than when the pioneers came here in 1847.

Is there anything said about this desert in prophecy? Yes. You can find many prophecies in Isaiah, David’s psalms, and other Prophets, predicting that, about or near the time of the coming of the Lord, “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be made glad for them.” That the “desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing.” Isaiah further says that “the Lord shall comfort Zion; he shall comfort all her waste places, he shall make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” Also that he would “cause springs of water to break out in the desert, and that the parched ground should become pools of living water.”

How is it brethren? I appeal to you who are acquainted and were here in 1847? Many of you know that, in places where there would be a little spring then, about sufficient to water half an acre, now there is water enough to water land sufficient to sustain several hundred families. This is a literal fulfillment of the prophecy which says that “the parched ground shall become pools of living water.”

Now let us come more directly to the words of our text. I had almost forgotten the text. “All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign upon the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet; hear ye.” It seems then that God is going to lift up an ensign upon the mountains. What do you mean by an ensign? According to the definitions given by our lexicographers an ensign is a kind of a standard to which people rally and around which they gather. The Lord is going then, to lift up an ensign on the mountains, and it is to be so wonderful in its nature, something of so much importance that not part of the people are required to understand it; but in the language of Isaiah, “all ye inhabitants of the world,” all nations, languages and kindreds are required to see, when the Lord lifts up an ensign on the mountains: “When he bloweth a trumpet hear ye.” What kind of a trumpet? The trumpet of the Gospel, that which takes the Gospel to all these nations, calling upon them to flee out of their own lands. Gather out from the nations, come together in one, go up into the mountains where the kingdom of God is established for the last time. What for? To escape the judgments and tribulations which must come upon the nations of great Babylon.

There is an indication in prophecy where these mountains, in which this ensign is to be raised, are located; the Lord has not left us in the dark concerning this matter. Let us read the first verse of the chapter from which our text is taken. “Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: 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.” I will also read the fifth and sixth verses—“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. 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.”

It seems, then, that the Prophet saw in vision a land that seemed to represent two great wings, and a land, too, that was beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, from where the Prophet delivered this prophecy. Palestine, the land where Isaiah dwelt when he delivered this prophecy, was northeast from Ethiopia, and he speaks of a land shadowing with wings beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. We have not any map in this room, or we might point out how the two divisions of the continent of North and South America resemble two great wings, connected together at the Isthmus. I scarcely ever look at the outlines of the two divisions of this continent as depicted on a map, without being reminded of the wings of a bird; and I presume that when Isaiah, in vision, saw this western continent, it made the same impression upon his mind, and, as he did not know what name would be given to the continent of America, he had no better way to give expression to his ideas, than to call it the land shadowing with wings, in other words, having the appearance of huge wings, and that it would be beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, from where he dwelt. If you trace the maps, and pass through the land of Ethiopia, where could you find a land the outlines of which so much resemble the wings of a bird, as the land of America? I do not know of any. And it seems that this land so described, had a woe pronounced upon it. “For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruninghooks and take away and cut down the branches. They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountain, 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.” This is an awful judgment to come upon that land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.

But first, before this judgment is to come upon the wicked of that land, the Prophet speaks of a message, or something that should concern all the inhabitants of the world and the dwellers on the earth, showing that the people will, in God’s mercy, be warned before these awful judgments come; showing, also, that after the raising of the ensign on the mountains, the inhabitants of this western continent will be among the first to experience these terrible judgments.

The harvest is said to be the end of the wicked world; and if it is so, “afore the harvest,” that is, before the final end comes he will visit the inhabitants of the land shadowing with wings, beyond the rivers of Ethiopia with judgments that are terribly severe, that will cause them to lie by hundreds and thousands unburied, from one end of the land to the other, to be meat for the fowls of the air and the beasts of the earth. Why? Because the judgments will be swift, giving no time for burial.

Inquires one—“Do you really believe that such judgments are coming upon our nation?” I do not merely believe, but I know it, just as well as I knew, twenty-eight years before it commenced, that there would be war between the North and the South. We knew that by a revelation which God gave through his servant Joseph Smith, twenty-eight years before the war of the rebellion commenced; and it was published in the languages of various nations years and years before the war was inaugurated, and it took place precisely according to the words of the Prophet, and it began in the very locality specified in the revelation, namely, South Carolina. We know that these judgments are coming with the same certainty that we knew concerning the war of the rebellion.

But there will be a chance to escape from these judgments for all who are willing to gather to the place of refuge which God has appointed in the mountains; all people can rally and gather to that place if they wish to do so. This is spoken of in many places. Let us turn to the fifth chapter of Isaiah, and see what is said there, concerning the ensign. In the 26th verse we read—“And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the ends of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly.” An ensign for the nations lifted up from afar! Isaiah, where were you, when you delivered that prophecy? In Palestine. What land would be far off from Palestine, where you resided? I think this American continent would be about as far off as almost any portion of the globe.

When the Lord commences this message it will be sent from the nation “afar off” to the ends of the earth; and there will be a gathering connected with it, of that people who shall come with speed swiftly. The Prophet probably did not know the nature and power of steam in the days to which he referred, and that the gathering would be effected by means of steamboats and railroads; but he did understand that there would be some very swift method of conveyance. He did not understand the meaning of railroads, and many things connected with them, for they are a modern invention, and the terms used in designating them are also of modern origin. But he saw in vision that people should come with speed swiftly from the ends of the earth, when the Lord should hiss unto them. He, of course, described the events he saw in the best language at his command. In his sixty-second chapter, Isaiah says—“Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” It seems then that he did describe something about making these railroads. “But,” inquires one, “what did he mean by saying ‘go through, go through the gates?’” I do not know. Probably he did not understand what a tunnel was in those days, but when he saw in vision a long train of cars, without any animal power to draw them, dart into the mountain, and emerge on the opposite side of the mountain, I do not know that he could describe it in any better language than by saying—“Go through, go through the gates;” and then, when he wanted to represent the smoothness of the railroads, I do not know that he could do it any better than by saying—“Cast up a highway, gather out the stones,” etc.

With the casting up of this highway a proclamation was to be made. How extensive? In one region of country? Oh, no. “Behold, the Lord has proclaimed unto the ends of the world, behold thy salvation cometh, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” What else? “They shall call them the holy people.” What people? Why, the people that should lift up the standard spoken of in the preceding verse. Lift up a standard for the people, prepare the way for the people; behold they shall call thee the redeemed of the Lord; thou shalt be called, sought out, a city not forsaken. Jerusalem was not sought out, neither has it been a city not forsaken. Everyone knows that Jerusalem was in existence before Joshua led the people into the land of Canaan, it was an ancient city among the heathen before it was conquered and taken possession of by the house of Israel. And everyone knows that Jerusalem was to be forsaken for a good many centuries before the generation should come that this proclamation should be made, or this highway should be cast up, or the ensign should be raised upon the mountains, when the people should be called a holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, called, sought out, a city not forsaken, etc.

I can bear testimony, so can a great many other men, that when we came here in the summer of 1847, and sought out this city, the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we sought it out by the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of revelation which rested upon us, and we were guided by that Spirit. We did not lay out a little narrow tract of land, half a mile square, but understanding the purposes of God in some measure, we laid out this city with broad streets, and extended it over an area of several square miles, and as you see it at the present time. Why did we take this course? Because we knew by the Spirit of God that rested upon us, the great work that the Lord our God intended to accomplish here in the midst of the desert. We knew that he would gather his people from the various nations and establish them here in Zion, as a standard or ensign to the nations, that as many as would might gather here before the judgments should come. Read the 11th chapter of Isaiah about this same ensign. “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, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

Before Judah and the ten tribes of Israel could ever be gathered an ensign has to be lifted up for the nations. Not for Judah and Israel alone, but for the nations afar off, for the Gospel has been restored for the benefit of the Gentiles—every nation, kindred, tongue and people—as well as for the benefit of the dispersed tribes of Israel.

So far the work has progressed, so far the Lord our God has stretched forth his hand to establish his kingdom upon the earth. But what is the destiny of this kingdom? Read the Prophets; hear what Daniel says. He saw the kingdom of the latter days, which, in its commencement, was like a stone cut out of the mountains without hands, become a great mountain and fill not only the American continent, but the whole earth. What else does Daniel say? “And the kingdom, and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens shall be given into the hands of the Saints of the Most High, for his kingdom is an ever lasting kingdom, and it shall stand forever.”

It seems then that this is the destiny of this kingdom. If you want to know the destiny of the nations of our globe, it is this—one government, one kingdom, not half a dozen empires, republics, and this, that and the other governments, but one kingdom, everlasting in its nature, will have dominion over the whole of our globe. But are you not committing treason to preach in this way? If such predictions mean treason, perhaps it would be well enough for some of our good judges to get out an indictment against the Prophet Daniel and other ancient Prophets, and bring them up and try them, and see if they are treasonable characters or not. We are preaching their words; and if it is treason to preach the Bible, would it not be a good plan to burn it up, and not have such things for the people to read and preach about? But if we have the liberty in this glorious land of ours, to believe the Bible and the prophecies it contains, have we not also the liberty to tell them from that good Book what is going to take place on the face of the earth? I think so. And I have, this afternoon, as simply as I know how, in the simplest language I have at my command, endeavored to convey to your judgments and understandings that which God has spoken by the mouths of his ancient Prophets, that you may know what he is now doing, and what he intends to do until the consummation determined upon is performed upon all the face of the earth, and the elect gathered out from the four winds of heaven. Amen.

Redemption of Zion—Persecution—Baptism of Indians—Second Coming of Christ—Every Jot and Every Tittle of Divine Revelation Will Be Fulfilled

Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, delivered in the Twentieth Ward Meetinghouse, on the Evening of Sunday, February 7, 1875.

I will read the third paragraph of a revelation that was given in 1834. It commences on page 292 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

“But verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren which have been scattered shall return to the land of their inheritances, and build up the waste places of Zion. For after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing. Behold, this is the blessing which I have promised after your tribulations, and the tribulations of your brethren—your redemption, and the redemption of your brethren, even their restoration to the land of Zion, to be established, no more to be thrown down. Nevertheless, if they pollute their inheritances they shall be thrown down; for I will not spare them if they pollute their inheritances. Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be. Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence. But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.”

It is many months since I met with the people here in this Ward. I recollect when I was here last I partly promised to say something about the redemption of Zion. What I may be able to communicate to you in relation to that great event, regarded as of so much importance by this people, I am unable to say. I may not be able to throw upon the subject any special information more than what you are already in possession of. All that any of us know, and all that we possibly can know in relation to the future is that which God in his mercy reveals. The Lord understands the future as well as the past and the present, and his Spirit understands that which is to come, and the promise is that that Spirit shall be given to us through the prayer of faith, so that we may be able to comprehend in some measure the things of the future. The promise of the Savior to the ancient Apostles was, that when the Spirit of truth should come he should guide them into all truth, and show them things to come. That same Spirit, imparted to the servants of God in the 19th century of the Christian era, is just as capable of opening up the future, lighting up the mind of man and showing him events that are to take place, as it was the first year after the crucifixion of Christ, on the day of Pentecost, or in any other former age of the world—it is the same from eternity to eternity, and it is just as needful for us, as Latter-day Saints, to know the things of God, as it was for the former-day Saints to know them. The great and important thing with us is to exercise sufficient faith before the heavens, that God may pour out the spirit of prophecy upon us. The same faith will procure the same blessings, and the spirit of prophecy was considered by the ancient Apostles as one of the best gifts, far greater than the gift of tongues or than the gift of interpretation of tongues. It was a spirit that was given for the edification of the Saints of the living God, and the same spirit is promised to all his servants who live faithful before him.

I well recollect, when I was but about nineteen years old—forty-four years last fall—that believing Joseph Smith to be a Prophet, and being led by the Spirit, I went a journey of two hundred miles to visit him. I well recollect the feelings of my heart at the time. He inquired of the Lord, and obtained a revelation for your humble servant. He retired into the chamber of old Father Whitmer, in the house where this Church was organized in 1830. John Whitmer acted as his scribe, and I accompanied him into the chamber, for he had told me that it was my privilege to have the word of the Lord; and the Lord in that revelation, which is published here in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, made a promise which to me, when I was in my youth, seemed to be almost too great for a person of as humble origin as myself ever to attain to. After telling in the revelation that the great day of the Lord was at hand, and calling upon me to lift up my voice among the people, to call upon them to repent and prepare the way of the Lord, and that the time was near when the heavens should be shaken, when the earth should tremble, when the stars should refuse their shining, and when great destructions awaited the wicked, the Lord said to your humble servant—“Lift up your voice and prophesy, and it shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.” This was a particular point in the revelation that seemed to me too great for me ever to attain to, and yet there was a positive command that I should do it. I have often reflected upon this revelation, and have oftentimes inquired in my heart—“Have I fulfilled that commandment as I ought to have done? Have I sought as earnestly as I ought to obtain the gift of prophecy, so as to fulfill the requirement of heaven?” And I have felt sometimes to condemn myself because of my slothfulness, and because of the little progress that I have made in relation to this great, heavenly, and divine gift. I certainly have had no inclination to prophesy to the people unless it should be given to me by the inspiration and power of the Holy Ghost; to prophesy out of my own heart is something perfectly disagreeable to my feelings, even to think of, and hence I have oftentimes, in my pub lic discourses, avoided, when a thing would come before my mind pretty plain, uttering or declaring it for fear that I might get something out before the people in relation to the future that was wrong. But still, notwithstanding all this, there is one thing that I have endeavored to do, and that is, to inform my mind as far as I could by reading what God has revealed to both ancient and modern Prophets, in relation to the future, and if I have not had many important prophecies and revelations given directly to myself, I certainly have derived great advantage and great edification from reading and studying that which God has revealed to others; and hence most of my prophesying throughout my life, so far, has been founded upon the revelations given to others.

We are told that Zion—this people, the Latter-day Saints, are called Zion—shall be redeemed and restored to the lands of their inheritances, and in consequence of this promise made to us by the Lord, many of us have felt much anxiety to know when the Lord would fulfill this great revelation, and some perhaps who were little boys and girls when it was given, and now greyheaded—for it is about forty-two years since—have not considered or reflected much about what God has promised to do with, or what blessings he has promised to bestow upon, this people. In their family prayers they have heard their fathers pray to the Most High to remember Zion and to redeem Zion, and to restore his people to the lands of their inheritances, and perhaps some of them have reflected upon the subject. Some may have thought it was merely a form of prayer which their fathers had learned, without any expectation of anything of the kind taking place, and they have felt careless about it, knowing nothing about whether Zion was ever to be redeemed or not. But those who have reflected upon the subject, and who have made it a matter of prayer and of deep study, in order to know the times and the seasons, and the mode in which God would bring to pass this great event, have been full of hope, expectation and desire, and their constant prayer has been, before the family altar and in the public congregations, that the redemption of Zion might be brought about soon.

We are promised that after much tribulation comes the blessing. The Lord says—“I the Lord have decreed a certain decree that my people shall realize, that after their tribulations they shall be redeemed, and restored to the lands of their inheritances.” Little did we suppose when we were driven out from Jackson County, the place where God has promised to give his Saints their inheritances, and in the regions round about, that nearly half a century would pass over our heads before we would be restored back again to that land. This long period of tribulation, and the dispersion from our homes and inheritances, have been the cause perhaps of a great many going down to the grave without having the opportunity and privilege of returning to participate in the blessings that were promised. Now, it would be a source of comfort and consolation to those who are still living, to whom this promise was made, if they could be assured in their own minds that they would live here in the flesh to behold that day. But let me say a few words in relation to this. We need not expect, from what God has revealed, that a very great number of those who were then in the Church and who were driven, will have the privilege of returning to that land. We need not expect anything of the kind. “Why not?” inquires one. Because the Lord informs us that but a few of those who were then driven out should stand to receive their inheritances. We read this, or indications thereof, in several revelations, the language being something like this—“You shall be persecuted from synagogue to synagogue, and from city to city, and but few shall stand to receive their inheritances.” Now if a great portion of those who were driven out should live and they should be restored back again, they might afterwards say—“This does not seem to agree with the revelation, here are pretty much all that were driven out.” But this will not be the case. When you come to count up, a few years hence, those who were driven forth from that land, you will find that there will be very few indeed; there will, however, be some out of that number, but only a very few. There will be some that will live to behold that day, and will return and receive their inheritances, they and their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, according to the promise.

We have a special promise in relation to that land given to us as Latter-day Saints, a promise which I believe I have formerly repeated in this house. It was first given on the 2nd day of January, 1831, at a general conference of pretty much all the Saints who lived in the State of New York, held in the house where the Church was first organized. The revelation was given in their presence, written by a scribe as the sentences fell from the mouth of the Prophet Joseph. Among the great things then made known was the following—“I hold forth and deign to give to you greater riches, even a land of promise, a land upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord shall come; and this is my covenant with you, that I will give it unto you and unto your children after you, for an everlasting inheritance; and you shall possess it in time and possess it again in eternity, never more to pass away.” If there are any strangers here I will say, for their information, that this is the reason why we call that land a land of promise. And though we have been deprived of it, now for upwards of forty years, some of us hold deeds for portions of it which we purchased, paying our moneys to the United States officials, who sold it to us at the government price, but we were not permitted to live upon the lands thus purchased. You may think this rather a curious thing in this great American republic, one of the most liberal governments on the face of the whole earth; but if it is a strange thing it is known as the truth to thousands and tens of thousands that we were dispossessed of our inheritances. The land is still there, but it is occupied by those who do not own it.

Inquires one—“Why were you driven from that land?” I might answer you by repeating the words of our enemies, for they have published their reasons for driving us from our homes. One reason was that we pretended to speak in tongues, which was considered a mortal offense against religionists. This was one accusation that they brought against us, as you will find in their published declarations, in which they pledged their lives, their property and their sacred honor to dispossess us of our homes.

Another accusation was that we professed to heal the sick. What a terrible crime it was for a man to lay his hands on sick persons and ask the Lord to heal them, and then if the Lord healed the sick they should not be worthy to keep their land, but should be driven from their homes and be deprived of their property!

Another reason was that, besides believing in the gifts of speaking in tongues and healing the sick, we assumed to foretell future events. They did not like that at all. To think that people should believe in that part of the Gospel in the 19th century was too much for our enemies, and they said—“We cannot have such people in our midst, to corrupt our morals, and to introduce the old-fashioned religion that is taught in the New Testament. We have a religion that does away all these things, it does not believe in the order of things that the New Testament sets forth, and you pretend that this New Testament religion is to be enjoyed in our day; our wives and children must not be corrupted by it.”

These were the main reasons for driving us, as set forth in their published program. I did not know, in those days, that it was a crime for the Latter-day Saints to believe in this part of the New Testament; I really thought that, in our country, the Constitution guaranteed to us the privilege of believing the whole of the New Testament as well as a part; but it would seem to be otherwise, for forty years have passed away and we are still disfranchised so far as our property is concerned. We have appealed to the United States government to bestow upon us our rights as American citizens. Have they done it? Oh no; they have referred us, however, to those persons who drove us out of the State, supposing that they would have the magnanimity to restore to us our rights. Who ever heard of mur derers, robbers and thieves turning round and restoring that to their victims of which they had plundered them? I scarcely ever heard of such an instance; there may be some few instances in history, but they are very rare, in which a person will repent and try to restore fourfold. The United States Government told us that we must appeal to those who had murdered, robbed and driven us from our homes, for the redress we sought. But we have had the revelation of the Lord pretty well fulfilled—“You shall be persecuted from city to city and from synagogue to synagogue, and but few shall stand to receive their inheritances.”

We were driven from Jackson County, in the State of Missouri, in the Fall of the year 1833, and three or four months after that event the revelation was given from which I have read this extract, promising that, after much tribulation, we and our children after us should be restored to the lands of our inheritances.

Have we had much tribulation? Yes. Look at the many times we have been driven since that revelation was given. We were driven out of Clay County, then out of Kirtland, in Geauga County, now called Lake County, Ohio; and after that we were driven from Caldwell County, from Davies County, Ray County, and several other surrounding counties in the State of Missouri, and finally expelled from the State, leaving a great many thousand acres of land for which we hold the deeds to the present day. After that we settled in the State of Illinois, in Nauvoo. We were there but a few years when the Prophet, his brother and several others were killed, and again we were driven, and finally there was a treaty made with this people. Now, whoever heard of one part of the United States making treaties with another part of the United States? Or whoever heard of the people in one part of the country making a treaty with the people in another part? That treaty was in words like this—“You must leave all the States of the Union, you must not stop this side the Rocky Mountains, you must go beyond the Rocky Mountains; if you will do this you may depart in peace, but we will take your houses and lands and occupy them without remuneration, we will not pay you for them; but if you can get away without selling your property and you will agree to go beyond the Rocky Mountains you may have the privilege of going, otherwise we will kill you.”

What were the crimes of which we were accused in the various places from which we were expelled? If any of our people had been guilty of breaking the laws it was in the power of our enemies to bring us before their courts of justice, for in all these places they held all the civil offices in their own hands. But they very well knew that, so far as the laws of the country were concerned, they could not reach this people. Why? Because we were not guilty of the transgression of any of their laws.

When we were driven from Nauvoo there were some unable to leave—poor, feeble and sick; Nauvoo was a kind of a sickly place and a great many people were sick there and many of the sick, infirm and poor had to be left behind, being unable to leave with the main body of the Saints. We walked over the Mississippi River on the ice and wandered and wallowed about in the snowdrifts of Iowa with our teams and wagons, but these poor people could not get away in time. The mob were very anxious to come in possession of our property, and hence after the main body got out one or two hundred miles from Nauvoo, where there were no inhabitants, cut off from all resources, and unable to obtain any information from our poor brethren, the mob was so anxious to get the property of which they had forcibly deprived us, that they attacked the city with cannon and musketry, and finally drove these poor people out and compelled them to cross the river, where a great many of them perished. Were not these tribulations? Yes, and they were all foretold years before they came to pass. “After much tribulation comes the blessing, and this is the blessing which I, the Lord God, have promised unto you, that after your tribulation you shall be redeemed and be restored again to the lands of your inheritance.”

Since our arrival in these mountains we have had a hard time here. We have had a land such as no other people would ever have pretended to occupy. It was once considered the most dreary, desolate, barren place on the face of all North America, a land where it was supposed that no human being could subsist, or in which if he undertook to subsist by the labor of his hands by cultivating the earth, he would perish. But by hard labor and perseverance we have made ourselves comfortable homes in what was formerly a desert, and the Lord has been very favorable to us and really has blessed us far beyond anything we could have anticipated when coming here, and he has caused that the seasons should be very fruitful as a general thing; and this land, which appeared so desolate, barren, parched up and so full of drouth, has be come a fruitful land, and the Lord has fulfilled many and many a prophecy recorded in Isaiah and the Psalms of David in relation to making the desert blossom as the rose and making it like the garden of the Lord. It is thus prophesied, and that it has been fulfilled no one can dispute, who will reflect and realize for a moment what the Lord has done since we came here to this land. When the pioneers reached here, in July, 1847, we went out to what is now termed Black Rock, over beyond the first point of the western mountains; we went into the lake to bathe, and we could walk up to that rock, the water being several feet below the dry ground on which we walked to get to it. What do you now behold? Ten feet of water over that ground on which we walked. The Lake, since then, has been continually rising, until ten or twelve feet of water have been added to it. We might naturally have supposed that it would have fallen that much instead of rising. Why? Because the waters, which before then had been continually emptying into the Lake were withheld from it and used to irrigate the soil and evaporated again into the heavens. This, according to natural appearances, would have a tendency to lower the streams; but with all the use of the waters and of the streams for the irrigation of crops, &c., there has been a continual rise in the Lake. We read numerous prophecies referring to the last days, in which it is said that the wilderness should be like the Garden of Eden, and that the desert should be made to blossom as the rose, that it should blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing, and that they should have songs of melody, thanksgiving in the desert, &c. I might quote you numerous chapters in Isaiah and in the Psalms of David, relating to this subject, but I have not time, I want to pass along to some other points.

Notwithstanding all these favors and blessings since we came here, we have had to wear ourselves out, so great has been the labor we have had to perform. We could not go out before breakfast and cut and haul a load of wood, as we could in Jackson County; we could not go out and get in one day three or four loads of logs and poles to fence our farms as we could in places where we formerly resided. But we had to expend an immense amount of labor, and a great deal of capital and means was expended in working roads up into these difficult rugged canyons in order to get timber for building and fencing purposes, and for fuel. Then we had to stop up of nights to take the little amount of water allotted to each man or family, for it was necessary to husband it as economically as possible in order to bring our crops to maturity. This excessive labor has worn many out, and sent them to untimely graves. It is a marvel to me that we have been able to build schoolhouses and educate our children in any degree, especially when considering the vast labor that has been required of them, for as they began to grow up and ought to have been at school, they have had to be in the mountains herding sheep, or at work irrigating the soil; and under all these multiplied difficulties, it is certainly astonishing beyond measure, that the people throughout all the settlements of Utah Territory have been able to build schoolhouses and to educate their children, but the feeling, on the part of both parents and children, has been to acquire as good an education as possible under the circum stances. Would any other people have accomplished this? No. Had any other people come to this desert wild and undertaken to cultivate the soil they could not have done it, they would have broken up; there would not have been union enough among any class of people on the face of the American continent to accomplish what the Latter-day Saints have accomplished in reclaiming the desert. Others would have fought over the water and thousands of other things, where this people have been peaceable and quiet, and subject to good order.

Having now brought the people down to the present period, and having seen the fulfillment of ancient and modern prophecies, literally before our eyes, the question now is, What prophecies to be fulfilled in the future relate to this people and to the great events which must take place when Zion is redeemed? I will endeavor to point out some things that must take place before Zion is redeemed, besides the tribulations which we have endured. One thing which I will name is contained in the Book of Mormon, in the teachings of Jesus. It is a matter which directly concerns the Saints, and something which they must fulfill and accomplish before the redemption of Zion. I will read the passage. The words it contains are the words or our Lord and Savior after he had risen from the dead, and when he descended from heaven upon this American continent, and taught the Israelites who dwelt on this land. The passage I refer to commences with the second paragraph of the 7th chap. of the book of Nephi, pages 464 and 465 of the Book of Mormon. It reads as follows:

“And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen: Ye are my disciples;”—this did not mean the twelve Apos tles chosen at Jerusalem, but the twelve chosen by our Savior on this American land—“and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren of Jerusalem. Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment, that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land. This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them: That other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. But, verily, I say unto you that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity that they knew not of you. And verily, I say unto you again, that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of them,”—that is the ten tribes. “And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said they should hear my voice; and they understood me not that I said that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice— that I should not manifest myself unto them, save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me.

“And verily, verily, I say unto you, that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about, whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak, are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father that I shall go unto them”—these other sheep he is now speaking of were the ten tribes whom he visited after he had visited the people on this land—“and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold, and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them. And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles,”—that is, they should come forth in the latter days, manifested unto the Gentiles as it has been to this great nation—“that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfill the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel.

“And blessed are the Gentiles, because of their belief in me, in and of the Holy Ghost, which witnesses unto them of me and of the Father. Behold, because of their belief in me, saith the Father, and because of the unbelief of you, O house of Israel, in the latter day shall the truth come unto the Gentiles, that the fulness of these things shall be made known unto them. But wo, saith the Father, unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles—for notwithstanding they have come forth upon the face of this land, and have scattered my people who are of the house of Israel; and my people who are of the house of Israel have been cast out from among them, and have been trodden under foot by them; And because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people, who are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, that after all this, and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them.”—Has that been fulfilled? Have the Indians been hated? Have they been cast out and trodden under foot? Have they been despised? The people who are acquainted with the history of the Indians can answer this question.—“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel”—that is the Gospel contained in this book which he promised to bring forth unto them—“and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth,”—you can judge whether this is true or not so far as the American nation is concerned—“and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my Gospel from among them.”

Now here is a point which I wish to speak upon and explain before I go on to the next sentence, which has a bearing upon something which we have yet got to do. The Lord has told us in this saying that if the Gentiles should not believe in this book—the fulness of the Gospel—and should be lifted up in their pride above all nations, and be filled with all manner of lyings, mischiefs, whoredoms, abominations and every kind of evil, that he would bring the fulness of his Gospel from among them. I wish to state that when I read this in 1830 it was a great mystery to me. Recollect this was written and printed before there was any Latter-day Saint Church in existence, and yet here was a prophecy that the Lord would bring the fulness of his Gospel from among the Gentiles if they did not receive it. When the Lord commanded us to go up and settle in Jackson County I thought to myself—“Well, if we build up a great city here, according to that which is predicted in the Book of Mormon, we shall be right in the midst of the Gentiles, and how will it be possible for that prophecy ever to be fulfilled?” It was a mystery to me, I could not see it. I knew it was true, for God had given me a witness and evidence that I knew as well as I knew that I lived that that book was true; but yet I could not understand how the Lord would bring the fulness of his Gospel from among the Gentiles if we were going to be permitted to build up a city in Jackson County, Missouri, and stay there. But some seventeen years after the rise of this Church circumstances rolled round by which the Lord fulfilled this prophecy in taking the main body of the people from among the Gentiles. Not voluntarily altogether, for we did not all feel perfectly willing to leave our houses. We had been driven four times before from lands and homes, and we did not really feel willing to leave; but still, rather than be shot down and mobbed, as many of our people had been, we concluded to move the fifth time, and we did so because we were obliged to, but little did we think then that we were fulfilling a prophecy in the Book of Mormon, such a thought had not entered into our hearts. But we were brought out west here to these mountains, and I do not know of another place on the face of this vast continent where we could have been so completely isolated from the Gentiles, the wicked who had rejected the Gospel, as we were by coming out en masse to this land. “If the Gentiles shall sin against the fulness of my Gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my Gospel from among them.” It was done, the prediction was fulfilled to the very letter. You might have passed through the land there for hundreds and hundreds of miles, from city to city, and inquired for an Elder who had authority to baptize for the remission of sins and to build up the Church and kingdom of God, and the answer would have been—“There is no such person here.” “Where are they?” “They have gone away beyond the Rocky Mountains,” more than a thousand miles away from civilization as they called it. When we got here and again searched the prophecies we found that the Lord had been as good as his word, and had literally fulfilled that which he had spoken concerning taking his Gospel from the midst of those who had sinned against and rejected it.

There is one thing which I am now about to read which has not yet been fulfilled, and which we must fulfill before Zion is redeemed. I will read it—“Behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my Gospel from among them, and then I will remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my Gospel unto them.” Now then, we are here in this land, the house of Israel are scattered all around us, some in the great basin, some in Arizona, some in Idaho, some in Colorado, some in Montana, some in one place, some in another; I refer to the American Indians, all remnants of Joseph and belonging to the house of Israel. They have become very degraded in consequence of the apostasy and wickedness of their ancient fathers. This people—the Latter-day Saints, before they can ever return to build up the waste places of Zion and receive their inheritances in Jackson County, Missouri, have got to exert themselves to bring the remnants of Joseph to a knowledge of the truth. We have not made any very great exertions in this direction unto the present time. The Lord has given us time since he brought the fulness of the Gospel from among the Gentiles to lay a foundation so that we could commence this missionary work in behalf of and among the remnants of Joseph. We have got the foundation laid, we have succeeded in building many cities, towns, villages, &c., for some four hundred miles north and south; we have got our farms fenced and our water ditches dug, and we have begun to prosper in the land, so that now, I think, is the time for us to wake up our minds in relation to the scattered remnants of the house of Israel.” “Behold, then I will remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my Gospel unto them.”

It seems that the Lord is working among that people, and that he is determined this prophecy shall be fulfilled whether we take it in hand or not. What do my ears hear? What do we all hear? Messengers are visiting these wild tribes in the basin, and in the regions round about hundreds of miles apart. These messengers come to them, and they speak in their own language in great plainness, and tell them what to do; they tell them to repent of their sins and to be baptized for the remission thereof; tell them also to cease roaming over the country and to cultivate the land; tell them to go to the Elders of this Church and receive the ordinances under their hands.

Who are these messengers? Read the Book of Mormon and you will find what God promised to do for the remnants of Joseph fourteen hundred years ago, about the time that most of them were becoming wicked and corrupt. The Lord said when their record should come forth in the latter days that he would send his messengers to them, and among these messengers he mentioned three persons who lived some eighteen hundred years ago, three of the Twelve who were chosen on this land. The Lord made a promise to these three that they should administer, as holy mes sengers in the latter days, for and in behalf of the remnants of the house of Israel, which should fall into a low and degraded condition in consequence of the great wickedness and apostasy of their ancient fathers; that they should be instruments in his hands in bringing these remnants to the knowledge of the truth. We hear that these messengers have come, not in one instance alone, but in many instances. Already we have heard of some fourteen hundred Indians, and I do not know but more, who have been baptized. Ask them why they have come so many hundred miles to find Elders of the Church and they will reply—“Such a person came to us, he spoke in our language, instructed us and told us what to do, and we have come in order to comply with his requirements.”

Perhaps you may inquire—“May not this great work, the redemption of these Indian tribes, take place after we have returned to our inheritances?” No doubt but what there will be a great work transpire among the Indians after we do return; but let me say to you that there will also be a great work performed among them before we return to receive our inheritances and before the redemption of Zion. In order to prove this I will read what Jesus has said further on this subject. After having foretold a great many things that should transpire in the latter days our Lord and Savior also spoke of that portion of the Gentiles which would repent and receive this book called the Book of Mormon, and he makes the following promise unto them—“If they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my Church among them.” This the Lord has done, and the Church now numbers over a hundred thousand right here in this great desert. “I will establish my Church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among those of the remnant of Jacob unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance.”

A great many have desired to know what this means. Are you Mormons going to be numbered with them and wander about with them in these mountains? Are you going to hunt as they hunt, and lead a wild, nomadic, vagabond life as they do? No. What is the meaning of it then? The meaning of it is this—the Lord God made a promise to the forefathers of the Indians, about six hundred years before Christ, that all this continent should be given to them and to their children after them for an everlasting inheritance; and he made a promise also by the mouth of Nephi, one of the first colonists who came from Jerusalem, some twenty-four hundred years ago, that, when the Gentiles in the latter days should come forth upon the face of this land and receive the records of the descendants of those ancient colonists, they should be numbered with the remnants of Jacob in the inheritance of the land. Not numbered with them to come down to their foolish, degraded, wicked, warlike customs, but numbered with them in the inheritance of the land.

Another thing mentioned in prophecy is that they, “the Gentiles,” shall assist my people, the house of Israel, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem; and then shall they assist my people, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, that may be gathered in unto the New Jerusalem; and then shall the power of heaven come down and be in the midst of this people, and I also will be in their midst. And then shall the work of the Father commence, at that day, even when this Gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, in that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people.”

What I wish to call your special attention to now, so far as these sayings are concerned, is this—the Latter-day Saints in these mountains never can have the privilege of going back to Jackson County and building that city which is to be called the New Jerusalem, upon the spot that was appointed by revelation through the Prophet Joseph, until quite a large portion of the remnants of Joseph go back with us. Now then, here is a work for us, and we have no need to pray the Father to return us to Jackson County until that work is done. We can pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus, to convert these Indian tribes around us, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth, that they may fulfill the things contained in the Book of Mormon. And then when we do return, taking them with us, that they shall be instructed not only in relation to their fathers and the Gospel contained in the record of their fathers, but also in the arts and sciences. They will also be instructed to cultivate the earth, to build buildings as we do, instructed how to build Temples and in the various branches of industry practiced by us; and then, after having received this information and instruction, we shall have the privilege of helping them to build the New Jerusalem. The Lord says—“They,” the Gentiles, who believe in the Book of Mormon, “shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.”

Now, a great many, without read ing these things, have flattered themselves that we are the ones who are going to do all this work. It is not so; we have got to be helpers, we have got to be those who cooperate with the remnants of Joseph in accomplishing this great work; for the Lord will have respect unto them, because they are of the blood of Israel, and the promises of their fathers extend to them, and they will have the privilege of building that city, according to the pattern that the Lord shall give. Do not misunderstand me, do not think that all the Lamanite tribes are going to be converted and receive this great degree of education and civilization before we can return to Jackson County. Do not think this for a moment, it will only be a remnant; for when we have laid the foundation of that city and have built a portion of it, and have built a Temple therein, there is another work which we have got to do in connection with these remnants of Jacob whom we shall assist in building the city. What is it? We have got to be sent forth as missionaries to all parts of this American continent. Not to the Gentiles, for their times will be fulfilled; but we must go to all those tribes that roam through the cold regions of the north—British America, to all the tribes that dwell in the Territories of the United States, also to all those who are scattered through Mexico, and Central and South America, and the object of our going will be to declare the principles of the Gospel unto them, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth. “Then shall they assist my people who are scattered on all the face of the land, that they may be gathered in to the New Jerusalem.”

Will not this be a great work? It will take a good while to gather all these tribes of South America, for some of them will have to come from five to eight thousand miles in order to reach the New Jerusalem. This will be quite a work, and yet we shall have to perform it after the city is built.

What then? After they are all gathered, “then shall the powers of heaven come down and be in the midst of this people, and I also will be in your midst.” Now I do not say that this will be a period after his second coming in the clouds of heaven, but I believe that it will be a coming prior to that time, when he comes to manifest himself to all the nations and kindreds of the earth. It will be a fulfillment of that saying in the Psalms of David—“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock. Stir up thy strength and come and save us.” He is called, in a peculiar manner, the shepherd of Israel. This is what is meant also in the blessing of Jacob upon the twelve tribes of Israel, or more especially upon the tribe of Joseph. You recollect he called up his twelve sons to bestow upon them his last prophetic blessing. He told them that he would inform them what should take place in the latter days. Joseph, he said, is a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall. As much as to say that the descendants of Joseph would be so numerous that they would not all stay on the old homestead near Jerusalem, but some of them would run over the wall, that is, go to some other place. “The archers have sorely grieved him, they have shot at him and hated him, but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hand of the mighty God of Jacob; from thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel.”

Now who can explain and tell us what this means? Can any of the wise commentators of the day? Can any of those who have studied theology all their lifetime, tell us why it is from Joseph that the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel is to be made manifest? Says one—“It cannot have reference to his birth, because Jesus descended from Judah, instead of Joseph, out of the loins of Judah, through the lineage of David. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” Why then this peculiar saying of the old Prophet Jacob, about the tribe of Joseph, that from thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel, if he was not born of Joseph, and did not descend through that tribe? This is a very curious kind of a saying. But he will be made manifest in the character of a shepherd, and that shepherd will lead Joseph as a flock, and he will stir up his strength and will save the house of Joseph. But it will be in his own time and way. First, a remnant will be converted; second, Zion will be redeemed, and all among the Gentiles who believe will assist this remnant of Jacob in building the New Jerusalem; third, a vast number of missionaries will be sent throughout the length and breadth of this great continent, to gather all the dispersed of his people in unto the New Jerusalem; fourth, the power of heaven will be made manifest in the midst of this people, and the Lord also will be in their midst, in the character of a shepherd, and he will lead Joseph as a flock, and he will instruct and counsel them personally as he did their ancient fathers in the days of their righteousness.

This is what we must look for—these are the things that must be fulfilled, and for which we must seek and pray in an understanding manner. Not asking God to redeem Zion before he has redeemed a portion of the remnants of Joseph; not ask ing God to establish this people upon their inheritances in Jackson County, until the other things are fulfilled in their order, and in their times and seasons.

Perhaps some may inquire—“Have you any idea, brother Pratt, how we will be redeemed when we have accomplished this work you have spoken of?” Not much, I do not pretend to have a great deal of understanding upon the subject; but there are some few things revealed, some of which I read to you at the commencement of my remarks. Speaking of the redemption of this people, the Lord says—“Behold I will raise up a man like unto Moses.” This did not mean Joseph Smith, he was already raised up and was among us. He was the one who received that revelation; he was the one who brought to light the Book of Mormon, and translated it by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. But the Lord, who understands the end from the beginning, saw that when his work was completed, he would be taken away, and that another would be raised up. When this was first given I used to inquire, in my own mind, whether it meant Joseph, and I got it into my heart that Joseph, perhaps, would lead us until he became a very old man; I was in hopes all the time that such would be the case. I, like many others, did not seem to understand that this was a prediction of the future.

When Joseph was taken away, and our beloved brother, President Young, was appointed to take the lead, and received the keys and the power of the holy Priesthood that had been conferred upon Joseph, I was in hopes that he might be the man, and I still have a lingering hope that such may be the case. But he is now becoming aged, and how long the Lord will bless us with his presence I do not know, but this much I do know, that either he will be preserved, or that some other personage will be raised to fulfill that prophecy. “Behold I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power, therefore I will raise up unto my people a man who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel, for ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, with an outstretched arm, and as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.”

It seems then that this people, at some future time in their sojourn here in this land, may possibly be in bondage greater than they are at the present time. I try to hope for the best, and to think that the bondage we are in and have been in for years, in consequence of the efforts of those who are striving to take away our rights as American citizens, and to trample us down in the dust; I say I have been in hopes that that would be all the bondage that was meant here in this prophecy, but I do not know but what there may be a greater signification to these words. I do not know what the purposes of the Lord are in relation to this particular thing. It may be that we shall have our rights completely taken from us; it may be, if we do not live sufficiently faithful before the Lord, that he will yet bring us into still greater tribulation than that which we have hitherto had. It may be that we shall yet be in bondage like the Israelites in the land of Egypt; for the Lord has said that, when this man should be raised up, he would redeem his people by power out of bondage, and they should be led as their fathers were led at the first. Says the Lord—“I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers—’mine angel shall go before you, but not my presence’—but I say unto you that mine angels shall go before you, and also my presence.” It was, in ancient days, a great calamity to Israel, when the Lord swore in his wrath that he would not go up in their midst, but that he would send an angel before them. Why did the Lord do this? Because of the wickedness and stiffneckedness of that people. He had redeemed them out of the land of Egypt, and they would not hearken to the words of Moses, they would not obey the voice of the Lord, but they stiffened their necks and hardened their hearts against the counsels that they received, and for this reason the Lord was under the necessity of leading them for forty years in the wilderness, considering them unworthy to go into their choice and promised land, and he swore an oath that all of that company—hundreds of thousands—who had come out of the land of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, except Joshua and Caleb, should not enter into the Land of Promise, so great was their wickedness; and he fulfilled his word. So provoked was he on one occasion at their rebellion, that he threatened to consume them in a moment, but Moses plead with the Lord to spare his people, lest the people around about should say that the Lord could not bring his people into the Promised Land. Moses said—“Remember thy covenant which thou didst make with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our fathers, that they and their seed should have this land for an everlasting inheritance.” “No,” said the Lord, “I can raise up seed unto you Moses, that you may go in and possess the land.” “No,” said Moses, “remember that ancient covenant, that thy people may not be deprived of their inheritance;” and the Lord finally concluded to hearken to the voice of Moses, and to let them go into the land. But said he—“My presence shall not go up with you, lest I break forth upon you in my wrath, and you be consumed in a moment, but I will send an angel with you.”

In these last days, in redeeming his people from bondage he has told us in plain words, that his angel should go before us and also his presence; and as, in the deliverance of Israel in ancient times the waters were divided and plagues sent forth upon the Egyptian nation, it would not surprise me at all if there should be similar power manifested in the redemption of Zion. There may be a few individuals go to prepare the way, to purchase a little more land and get things in orders; but when that is accomplished, this people as a body will return to that land, the Lord going with them.

In ancient times, so long as the Lord did continue with Israel, he manifested his glory over their camp by a cloud by day; and whenever the cloud arose they followed it, and wherever it rested, there they pitched their tents and remained until the cloud moved again, when they again journeyed on. Now, if Zion is to be redeemed after the same manner, you need not be surprised if the Lord God should let his glory, in the form of a cloud by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night, be over all the camp of Zion. This is what I look for; perhaps I am a little enthusiastic, but it is really what I look for and expect; and when the Lord says that his presence shall go with us, I expect he will be in the midst of this people as he was in the midst of ancient Israel until they rejected him from their midst.

Did he converse with them in the wilderness before he left them?

Yes, he talked with them out of a burning cloud in the burning mount, he spoke in their ears by the voice of a trump, and sounded in the ears of all the house of Israel the ten commandments, and they all, men, women and children, heard it. Do I look for similar manifestations of God’s power and presence when Zion is redeemed? I do. He may not come down upon any mountains, but he will converse with this people as audibly to men, women and children, as he did in ancient times. Zion must needs be redeemed by power, with an outstretched arm, the angel of the Lord going before the camp of this people, and they will return, and a remnant of the Lamanites with them to build up the city of Zion in Jackson County.

How about our inheritance when we get back there, our farms, &c.? We need give ourselves no uneasiness about that, there will be no speculation, no grabbing in those days; no one to say—“I am going to take up all the land round about so that I can speculate with it in selling it to my brethren.” No such thing as this, not a solitary soul among all the Latter-day Saints will receive an inheritance in this way. Another person is to come for the special purpose of dividing to the Saints their inheritances. “Behold,” saith the Lord God, “I will send one mighty and strong, clothed with light as with a garment, whose bowels shall be a fountain of truth, who shall utter words, eternal words, and who shall divide to the Saints their inheritances by lot.”

Have you read this revelation? It was published in the fourteenth volume of the “Millennial Star,” and it has been published in other publications. Says one—“If the inheritances of the Saints are to be apportioned by lot, a good man, perhaps, will be put off with the poorest inheritance, and some not so good will get some of the best, it is all haphazard.” Oh no, we find that lots cast by divine appointment in ancient times were cast upon a principle which designated the very thing which the Lord desired. How was it on a certain occasion about casting lots to discover the transgressor among all the hosts of Israel? A certain man had taken a gold wedge, and the people had been forbidden to take it. No one knew anything about it, but the transgressor, and he hid it in the earth. Lots were cast and the lot fell upon a certain tribe, it did not designate the man at first; they cast lots again, and it fell upon a certain portion of that tribe; they cast lots again, and it fell on a certain family, and finally it fell on a certain man in that family, and being called up, it proved that he was the very man among all the hundreds of thousands of Israel. Now here was a casting of lots by divine appointment, and the Lord, who orders all these things well, caused the very thing to be revealed according to his own mind. And when the lots are cast for this people to receive their inheritances, the Lord will so order it that every man will be rewarded according to his works, and that too by lot, however great the miracle may be.

Now I have told you about all I know, so far as it is revealed, concerning the redemption of Zion. There is one little thing, however, that I wish to name—that there will be quite a company of us before the redemption of Zion. Saith the Lord, in a certain revelation—“Let mine army become very great, and let it become sanctified before me, that they may be as fair as the sun, as clear as the moon, that their banners may be terrible unto all the nations of the earth.” We learn from this declaration of the Lord, that before Zion is redeemed we are to be quite a numerous people; and this agrees with what is in the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah—“A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.” That is our destiny. However much our enemies may howl, whatever may be our future tribulations, the Lord God has decreed that Zion shall become a strong nation, that the armies of Israel shall become very great, and not only very great, but they will be sanctified before him, and there will be such a power made manifest in their midst, that their banners will be terrible to all the nations of the earth. They will not be terrible because we outnumber the nations, but this terror of Zion which will be among the nations, will be because of the power of the great Jehovah that will be manifested in their midst, something that the nations will discern and understand; and when telegraphic dispatches are sent forth to the most distant parts of the earth, it will be said—“Who can stand before the armies of Zion? Behold, the Lord God is with them as a cloud by day, and as a pillar of fire by night.” Fear will seize upon the nations of the earth, and the banners of Zion will be terrible.

These are some few things pertaining to the redemption of Zion. I would to the Lord that we were righteous enough to know a few more! There are a great many things that I would like to know about the redemption of Zion that I do not know, and I presume that you also would like to know them. But what the Lord has revealed is very plain when connected together; and when we reflect upon it, it is aston ishing to us to think that in our day the Lord has decreed to perform such a great work in the midst of the earth. It will be astonishing to us when the time comes for the Lord to gather in, from every part of this great continent, these poor, miserable, degraded Lamanites, that his servants may have power over them in order to bring them to civilization. It looks impossible to us, but remember that that is the day of the Lord’s power, and that then will be fulfilled the saying in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, that the Spirit of the Lord shall be shed forth upon the hearts of those who are ordained to that power; that every man among these remnants of Joseph will hear the Gospel in his own tongue, by the power of the Holy Ghost shed forth upon those who are ordained unto this power. There is such a saying as that in the Book of Covenants, and when that day comes the Lord God will work mightily by signs, wonders and miracles in various ways that will have an influence over these remnants of Joseph to convert them and bring them to a knowledge of the truth, that the prayers of their ancient fathers, and of the Prophets and Elders who once dwelt on this American continent, may be fulfilled upon their heads.

I do not know that I have done justice to the subject of the redemption of Zion; if I have not, it is because I do not sufficiently understand it. I do not know that I know anything in relation to the matter only what God has revealed. I have had no vision, no revelation in relation to that particular subject; yet I know, from what has been revealed to me, that these things are true, and that, in their times and seasons, every jot and every tittle thereof will be fulfilled. Amen.