Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

and in some of the sectarian churches in this city within the last few weeks that Abraham was an ignorant man; that God overlooked sin and crime in his case because of his degeneracy and ignorance. It is remarkable that we live in a time when those who profess to be the followers of Christ will ridicule the man whom the Lord held up and called righteous, and call him degenerate and ignorant; he who was held up through the mission of Christ as a perfect man, the father of the faithful. There are anti-Christs among this people; we hear anti-Christ doctrine from time to time-doctrine which is not in accordance with any of the scriptures that have been handed down to us, nor in accordance with the teachings of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our people should be warned of these doctrines, the doctrines of devils and of men, that are taught in some of the congregations of the world today by those who profess to be the followers of Christ Spiritualists, Christian Scientists and others. Those who advocate them claim that they are

Christ's. But they do not teach the doctrine of Christ? They deny the car dinal doctrines our Savior taught while He was upon the earth. Why don't they teach the one Lord, the one faith, and the one baptism that was taught by our Savior and His disciples? Why is it that they deny faith in the true and living God-a God with body, parts and passions. How is it that they deny these things? Why do they deny true baptism? Jesus says, "Except ye are born of the water and of the spirit ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God." If they believe in the doctrine of Jesus Christ, why do they spiritualize away the resurrection, the fundamental doctrine which Jesus taught while He was upon the earth? I say our people should beware of them. Where can you find Latter-day Saints that have become discontented with our doctrines, that have joined any of these sects that have been instituted by men, if they have been faithful and kept themselves free from the sins of the world; there is a cause for apostacy; there is a cause for sin; there is a cause for rebellion; there is a cause for disobedience. They do not come by chance. It is all right to prove all things and hold fast to that

which is good, but we should be estab. lished in the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ; we should have a testimony of the divinity of this work, for it is God's work and He will see it through. He will cause that it shall triumph over everything that is man、 made; and He will choose those things which seem to be naught to bring to naught those that be. God bless you.

Amen.

ELDER RUDGER CLAWSON.

My brethren and sisters: This idea of having short speeches and songs interspersed meets my mind exactly. It is an arrangement which seems to please the people. In Boxelder Stake we have our opening exercises, then we have the sacrament, after the sacrament singing again, then a short sermon, then a song, then another short sermon, and after that the concluding exercises; and that generally brings us to half past three, and we close our meeting. This is a custom we follow at all times, except during our conferences, when we go a little be

yond that hour. When this meeting shall have closed you will remember that the Temple choir has done a great deal in helping to make it interesting and instructive.

I sat in the Tabernacle and looked out upon the vast congregation of Saints, I was impressed with the remark of President Cannon when he reminded us that the Church had grown from a small beginning, from an organization of six members in the year 1830, to what we witness today. I remember the time when President Young was in our midst, and a large canvas was stretched through the centre of the Tabernacle, and at conference time there were no more people assembled to hear the instructions of the servants of God than we have in this hall today. We now have this congregation and an immense congregation assembled in the Tabernacle, and I see hundreds of people passing back and forth; and there are hundreds of Saints upon the streets of Salt Lake City at this moment walking back and forth, and visiting among their friends. And there are other hundreds of people that could not come to this conference being detained at

the

home owing to the lateness of the season, as they are putting in their seeds, trimming their trees, and putting things in order. We have grown to be a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains; and the peculiarity of it all is that this people are held together. You go down into the Utah Stake of Zion, meet with the people there in conference, and you will find the same spirit prevailing in their midst as we have witnessed at this general conference. If you go up into the Boxelder Stake you will find the same spirit prevailing there. If you go down to Old Mexico and meet with the Saints in that part of the country, there will be the same good spirit of the Gospel; and so in Canada, and in all parts of the Church. How is it that this people are not wandering away into false doctrines and into heresies and becoming darkened in their minds and contending one with another? It is the marvelous power of God that holds them together. I used to wonder, years ago, how it would be when the Church grew in numbers and spread out, filling the land north and south, east and westhow they could be held together and kept as one people having one faith, one baptism and one understanding of the Gospel. There is no power under the heavens that could accomplish this wonderful thing but the power of God; and it is a testimony to me of the truth of this great work. If I saw nothing else about it, this would be convincing to me. We are established in the mountains, and the character of our organization, the character of our teachings, the character of our temporal work, is such that we are attracting the notice of the world; and the rich men, and the learned, and the dignitaries of this world who go forth and visit from place to place, feel that their journey is not complete until they have visited Zion. They come into our meetings and learn something of our doctrine or organization; they go out upon our streets, visit the lake, and they see that wonderful building there; they go into our Tabernacle and are entertained there by musical selections from the great organ, and observe the remarkable accoustic properties of that building; they go out and look upon our Temple, and little experience I have had in the they see a building there that is fifty world, I have been delivered from many

Saints go into that building they are at first impressed by its surroundings, by the spaciousness of the rooms, and the beauty of the furnishings; but after awhile they forget all that; they have no time to think about the building, they are so deeply impressed by the spirit that is there. A place where they can enter and leave the world behind them. They are not troubled in that house by the cares and the anxieties and the troubles of this world. The world seems to be far beneath them. They have no time to think about it. They are swallowed up in the spirit and power of God. In reflecting, I have been struck with the idea that had it not been for the condescension of God to His servant Joseph Smith the prophet, that magnificent building would be of little use to us, as there would have been no occasion to build it. We could not have used it if we had had it. Its arrangement is such that it would be good for no other purpose except the purpose designed by our Father-the performance of vicarious ordinance work for the living and for the dead. And it is through the blessing, mercy, and condescension of the Lord that we enjoy these blessings, and that we are permitted to go into the house of God; and that we are permitted to receive the Priesthood and go forth and work out our salvation in fear and trembling.

I rejoice in these things, and I am truly thankful to be associated with you in this work of God. I have a desire in my heart to magnify the Priesthood and to follow counsel. I know there is safety in counsel. With the

years ahead of the times, and it must surprise them greatly when they learn that that building was commenced in the days of poverty, and in the days of the afflictions of this people. But the grandeur of that building, which is estimated to have cost between three and four million dollars. The beauty of its finish, the richness of its furnishings, are nothing compared to the spirit that you find in that building. Strangers who look upon it and contemplate the work of the Latter-day Saints, have no conception of the spirit that dwells in that holy Temple. When

difficulties, I have been protected and shielded from harm, by following advice. I know that my Priesthood, my calling and the authority that God has given unto me, will be of little use in this world except I shall be submissive and willing to follow counsel. Let us reflect upon these things. Let us be wise in our day and generation, that God may be pleased to accept of our labors and crown us heirs with His Saints in His kingdom. I trust that this may be the case, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

The choir sang "Along the river of time we glide," after which

ELDER MATTHIAS F. COWLEY. My brethren and sisters: I desire your faith and prayers for the few moments that I shall occupy. I have very much rejoiced in the teachings of this conference, including this meeting; and the beautiful songs of praise which have been rendered, must of necessity impress the hearts of Latter-day Saints with the spirit of spiritual refinement, and tend to lead us to exercise our thoughts and influence our acts, when we shall leave this conference, in a strong devotion to the cause which we are so honored as to be identified with.

I desire to ask my brethren and sisters, and in order to be consistent, I will covenant with you, (as we shall get the reports of this conference) to read carefully all the instructions which have been given by President Snow, his counselors, the Twelve Apostles, and the presiding council of the Seventies, whose representatives are with us in this meeting, and that we shall digest at our leisure the counsel which has been imparted. The instructions are important, and their propriety should be a testimony to us that they have been dictated by the inspiration of the Lord. We have been instructed at this conference with teachings that should lead us to respect and venerate the Father and the Son, and to cherish with profound respect the name of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and also his successors down to the present administration of the affairs of the Church. We have been counselled to utilize the means, the material substance with which the Lord has SO generously

blessed us in these mountain valleys, more liberally in the advancement of In the work of God upon the earth. connection with this we ought to encourage the work for the salvation of the dead. Our contributions to the temples ought to be more liberal; and the Saints who are home, and especially those who have been blessed with means and have considerable leisure, ought to go to the Temples in their respective districts and work the redemption of for the dead. If you have not names in the line of your own family genealogy, there is an abundance of genealogical records which have been prepared by the inspiration of the Lord upon the hearts of men, not Latter-day Saints. Since the Prophet Elijah visited the Kirtland Temple and turned the keys of salvation for the dead, that spirit has brooded not only in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints, but it has operated largely in the hearts of men who do not understand the spirit which actuated them to write genealogical histories. We ought to work for the redemption of the dead.

We have been cited by President Snow and others of the brethren to the necessity of paying our tithing, and we have been reminded that this law has been established to some extent as a source of education, to bring us to the observance of the higher law-the law of consecration. Zion can only be redeemed upon that law. Now, if we would come to that higher law, we must act upon the law of tithing, and we must pay our tithes honestly and fully in order to secure the blessings which are attached to that sacred requirement which God has established as a law in His Church. We have been reminded at this conference by numbers of the brethren that we should utilize the temporal blessings which have come to us in making the Latter-day Saints more of a self-sustaining people. I do not understand the design of God to be that His Saints shall be dependant upon any nation. I do understand that the decree has gone forth that Babylon shall fall-Babylon, the mother of harlots and the abomination of all the earth. Suppose her institutions should fail, and we should be cut off from that communication with the ou

side world that we now possess, what is our condition so far as material interests are concerned? We do not manufacture clothing enough to clothe our people; we do not manufacture boots and shoes enough for footwear; we do not manufacture the head-gear that adorns and shades the heads of the men and women of this Church. We do not utilize the elements with which the Lord has so abundantly blessed this land and work them into utensils that are essential for the benefit of the people as we should do. The time is coming when God will require us to do it, when He will require that the apparel and other articles of usefulness shall be of the workmanship of our hands, and it is the duty of the Latter-day Saints to use the manufactured materials that can be produced in this land by our own efforts. I do not think that we should be a covenant breaking people. I remember a few years ago, when Brother John W. Taylor and myself lived in the Fourteenth ward, on a certain occasion his father, Elder Orson Pratt, and Elder George Q. Cannon came to a meeting in that ward and they read to us what was designated as the fourteen rules of the united order, and there were a great many truths enunciated in that document. We made solemn covenants that we would observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, and that we would not justify our young people in going to pleasure resorts upon that day; that we would not justify them in profanity, nor in the use of any unbecoming language. We made covenants that we would not take the name of the Deity in vain nor speak lightly of His character nor of sacred things. We made solemn Covenants that we would sustain one another in our material interests, and that we would utilize the means which God had placed in our hands to manufacture the articles that were necessary for our use in the establishing of the work of God in this land. A great many other covenants were made, and we lifted up our hands in solemnity before God, just as we have done this afternoon to sustain the Prophet of God and his associates, who have been called to be the living oracles of God unto this Church. I will read a passage or two of ripture to show the responsibility

we are under, and then I will close. I wish to say to the Elders of Israel that when they are called upon to bear testimony, or preach the Gospel at home or abroad, they are forbidden to do so, except through the prayer of faith, they receive the spirit of God and preach by the power of that spirit. In speaking of those who are called upon to preach the Gospel, it says they "shall reason and expound the scriptures unto them.

"And, behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this Priesthood whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth; "And this is the ensample unto them, upon that they shall speak as they are moved by the Holy Ghost, and whatsoever they should speak when moved upon by the Ghost, shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation." Doc. and Cov. Sec. 68. 2-4.)

Young brethren and sisters, what you have heard President Snow say in regard to doing the will of the Lord, no matter what the world might say was the will of the Lord, the voice of the Lord, and will be the power of God unto salvation unto all who have the integrity of heart and the courage to obey it. And whatsoever counsel is given by the Bishops, by the Presidents of Stakes, by the presiding authorities in every department is the word and will of the Lord when they are actuated by the light and intelligence of the Holy Spirit. "Behold, you are they who are ordained of me, and ordained priests and teachers." This calling, speaking of the Twelve, "is to declare my Gospel by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, and according to the callings and gifts of God, unto men." This is the way they are to do it-by the spirit and revelation of Almighty God. "Wherefore, lift up your voice and spare not." We are not to spare or neglect. It is the duty of the servants of God in every capacity to declare the truth and not mince it. "Wherefore, lift up your voice and spare not, for the Lord, God, hath spoken. Therefore, prophecy, and it shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost."

"And again the Elders, Priests and

Teachers of this Church shall teach the principles of my Gospel, which are in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the Gospel;

coven

"And they shall observe the ants and Church articles to do them and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the spirit;

"And the spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith, and.if ye receive not the spirit, ye shall not teach."

I might read many more verses, but this will suffice. Let us seek for the companionship of the Holy Spirit, that it may be our guide in all of our ministrations and in all our ambitions, and in applying to our conduct the excellent counsel and instructions which have been given unto us during this conference; and inasmuch as we do this the spirit of Almighty God will be with us and the spirit and peace of the Almighty will dwell in our homes.

Have your family prayers every night and every morning, and let every man, woman and child attend to his or her secret prayers, that we may come near unto the Lord. Pay your tithing and the God of heaven will bless you. May peace be with you my brethren and sisters, and be taken to your homes and rest upon your children and your flocks and your herds and upon the soil which God has given us in this choice land, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

ELDER JOHN W. TAYLOR.

Before closing, wish to bear my testimony to what has been said, and concerning this Gospel. I know that God lives, and that every man and woman can have this testimony if they will devote themselves to God and keep His commandments. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, full of inspiration, and a man that had the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ continually delivered unto him; that the gifts and blessings that were in the ancient Church of Christ exist in the Church of Christ in our day.

I wish to say to my young brethren and sisters, do not be led away by the sophistry of the world, "for straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life eternal and few there be that find it; and broad is the gate

and wide is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat." If you will listen to the words of the Prophets of God, and will walk in that straight and narrow path, you can have a testimony of this Gospel. There are a few that enjoy these gifts and blessings, but it is a rare occurrence where a man go among this people and see these gifts and blessings manifest in their midst. I feel that there is a responsibility resting upon this people. I will read a few verses, before I take my seat-the testimony of Moroni the Prophet:"

"And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

"And whatsoever thing is good, is just and true; wherefore nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that He is.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinua »