Imatges de pÓgina

the Lord brought him to life again and has made him mighty in the earth to declare His word unto the people. This is no vain thing; it is a reality. The Lord has a mouthpiece on the earth in the person of President Lorenzo Snow. Many of the Saints have lately heard his voice on a certain subject, relative to the welfare of the people of God. The Lord spoke to him and he spoke to the people. When President Snow was inaugurated as President of the Church every one present at that time felt a testimony from the Lord that he was the right man in the right place. I want to bear testimony to you that the Lord has spoken to President Snow in relation to the law of tithing. The Lord has looked down upon the people and beheld their condition, and seeing that they were straying to a certain extent from the laws of the Lord, He brought this subject forth unto us, and I bear record that it is from the Lord. It means, too, just exactly what it says-that we must from this time forth pay our tithes and offerings to the Lord. Not half do it; but do it completely.


I have had the experience of being a Bishop about eighteen years in the Church, and the Bishops have to deal with tithing matters. I can truthfully say, in looking over the history of my ministration, as a Bishop, that there were very few people indeed who paid their tithing. I can call to mind a few that in my judgment paid their tithing in full, but they were very few in the Ward where I presided. This is important matter, my brethren and sisters. It applies to all of us. No man or woman is exempt. I do not know of any members of the Church being exempt from this law, even if he or she has to draw support from the Church. The tithing is due on whatever they draw. I say to you that if we will from this time on renew our diligence in regard to observing this law, the Lord will redeem us, and, as Brother Lund said, our faith will be increased. You mark it, the people who pay their tithing will have an increase of faith and an increase of prosperity. It is the shortest and easiest way to extricate ourselves from debt and to redeem the mortgages on our homes. I heard a man bear record to me two

or three years ago on that point. He said: "I have paid my tithing recently, and I have been prospered. The way is opening up and things are becoming more easy with me."

I would not advise you, my brethren and sisters, to worry or to lose any sleep over anything, but go along in the even tenor of your way, do your duty before the Lord and before your family, and set an example that is worthy of imitation. A great many of our people are in bondage. In other words, they are in debt. Their homes are mortgaged, their farms are mortgaged. This is all wrong. We should not place ourselves in bondage. Perhaps there are mitigating circumstances in some cases and good reasons why some people are involved; but such cases are few. A great many people have entered into these obligations unwisely. They have spent their means unwisely and have nothing to show for it. We want to begin to redeem ourselves; turn our faces to the Lord and intreat the Lord about our affairs. There is no wrong in going into our secret places and telling the Lord our circumstances, and if you will do this, you will find relief. You will have the suggestions of the Spirit, and ways will be opened up that you will not have thought of. If you will pay your tithing honestly before the Lord, He will hear and answer your prayers and the day will come when this people will be redeemed and their mortgages will be lifted. For the Latter-day Saints are a good people and the Lord loves them. If we were not a good people, we would not have the promise of being forgiven. I think I have heard President Snow say that if we would do better now, the Lord would forgive us for the past. This is an intimation that the Lord loves His people, because there are many pure and devoted Latter-day Saints among them. Of course, we are not all what we ought to be, but we may become what we ought to be by turning our attention to our duty in the callings of the Priesthood.

The idea has been common in the past that the Church could do everythingit could build every meeting house and every tabernacle almost throughout the land. Numerous applications were

made to the Church, and in the goodness and sympathy of the souls of the Presidency and brethren they have conceded to our wishes in many instances, and tens of thousands of dollars have been appropriated to the people that we could have got along without. Now, I know a little about the affairs of the Church; not a great deal; but if you Bishops and Presidents of Stakes will take my counsel, you will not ask the Trustee-in-Trust for anything until his hands are relieved. We do not want him weighed down with obligations. We want to hold up his hands; to lift the Church from under its obligations, and to become a free people. We want to become lenders, and not borrowers, and we can do it, if we will set ourselves to accomplish the work. The Lord does not require, nor never has required, anything of us but what we can accomplish if we set our hearts to the work. We need to be very careful and very economical in our own affairs, and we will prosper in the land.

The people in the north, and perhaps in the south, have met with some reverses this year on account of the frost destroying their crops to a certain extent. I have heard it said that in one of the Stakes of Zion there is at least ten thousand dollars worth of grain injured by the frost. A great many of the brethren perhaps are more or less discouraged because of this. We say to you brethren, be comforted, and be of good cheer. The hand of the Lord is in all these things and prosperity will come to you. Your fields shall be fruitful and the frost shall be stayed, because of your diligence in serving the Lord. He brings things upon us sometimes to try our faith and our devotion to His work; but He will lift us up, and we will be placed on a plane where we will have joy and consolation in the goodness and mercy of the Lord to us. Who that has watched the course of events for the last forty or fifty years has not seen the hand of the Lord over this people in these mountain valleys, where, in early times, it was thought impossible to raise grain or vegetables? These valleys have been made fruitful; the elements have been tempered to the good of the people, the blessings of the Lord have been upon the land and the

people as a whole are becoming wealthier every year, getting better homes, better surroundings, better meeting houses, better school houses and everything better. The blessings of the Lord are upon us, if we can only acknowledge the hand of the Lord in them..

My brethren and sisters, I do not want to weary you at this time, but I want to see the Saints prosper. I know this work is true. I learned this man years ago. I left the grave

of In father, the fireside of my mother, a boy alone in the world, without a cent in my pocket, to associate myself with the Latter-day Saints. Why? Because I had a testimony from the Lord that this work was true, that Joseph Smith was a great Prophet of God, and that his brethren of the Twelve were great men of God and Seers and Revelators. The Church will never be left without a Prophet nor without Seers and Revelators. My life has not been all smooth sailing. I have had the hard and the rough times in the early days here, but I have had testimony upon testimony that this work is from God. If you do not know it is true, it is because you have not sought as diligently as you ought to do. Every member of the Church may know that this is the work of God. Every young man may know it, whether he goes on a mission or stays at home, every young woman may have divine evidence from the Lord. You all may know it, if you will seek for it earnestly and devotedly. What greater blessing can we have than to be able to give a reason for the hope that we have. Whether we live or die, it matters not, so long as we are in the line of duty, and so long as we can say: know "Search me, O God, and my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me."

May the Lord bless us and fill us with His power and manifest His blessings unto us, that we may go home with the spirit of this conference and disseminate it throughout the land, that there may be an awakening among the people, and that the Lord may approve of us and our labors and bless us accordingly. God bless you. Amen.


Effects Produced by the Lives of Great Characters -Blessings of God Secured by Obedience-When the Lord gives Commands He opens the way for the Obedient to Fulfill them.

I rejoice exceedingly at again having the opportunity of meeting with the Latter-day Saints in General Conference. I have listened with a great deal of pleasure to the remarks that have been made by the brethren who have spoken, and I earnestly desire that the time which I occupy may be for our mutual benefit, to strengthen us in the faith of the Gospel, and to inspire us with a determination to press forward in the discharge of the many duties and responsibilities resting upon us as members of the Church. We all, no doubt, look around in life and from our observation of men, or from our reading of the lives of those who have died, form our ideals, and we try to live and to be like those whom we admire. There is no character with which I have been familiar through my reading that has inspired me more than has Nephi of old. I can never read the life of that man without being inspired with a desire to be faithful, diligent and true to the Lord, that I may be abundantly blessed of the Lord, as was Nephi. If we all could be inspired with a determination to live as this man lived, there is no question in my mind but we would grow and increase in the Spirit of God, and in power and ability to do the will of our Heavenly Father on the earth. Alma says that the Lord granteth unto men according to their desires, whether they be for life or death, for joy or remorse of conscience. As Latter-day Saints, let us have a desire to live lives of usefulness, and to be instruments in the hands of God of accomplishing much good.

I have read and spoken time and time again from the section of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants from which Brother Woodruff read this morning.

I have felt a desire in my heart to be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and to bring to pass much righteousness of my own free will. I have endeavored to impress this also upon the minds of those with whom I have been laboring since being called to minister among the people. I desire to read a few words more from this same section.

After telling us to be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and not to wait to be commanded in all things, the Lord says:

"Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments?

"Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled? "I command and a man obeys not, I revoke and they receive not the blessing.

is not the work of the Lord, for His "Then they say in their hearts, this promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurken beneath, and not from above."

I know scores of Latter-day Saints who have been commanded of the Lord time and time again, but nave failed to receive the blessings promised through the fulfillment of the commandments of God, because they have obeyed not. Yet they have accused the Lord of failing to fulfill His promises made to those who obey His commandments. I have ever known that those who pay not their tithing are the ones that criticise the expenditure of the tithing. Those who are approached for donations for laudable purposes, sometimes under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, and who refuse to contribute, are the ones that criticise the Presidency of the Church and the Apostles for calling upon them for means. But I find that the men who obey are those who testify that the promises of God are fulfilled. Therefore, it behooves each and every one of us to be true and energetic.

I desire to read a few words from the writings of the Prophet Nephi. After hearing the testimony of his father, and after they had gone into the wilderness Nephi says:

"16. And it came to pass that I Nephi, being exceeding young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father, wherefore I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.

"17. And I spake unto Sam, making known unto him the things which the Lord had manifested unto me by his Holy Spirit. And it came to pass that he believed in my words;

"18. But behold Laman and Lemuel would not hearken unto my words; and being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts, I cried unto the Lord for them.

"19. And it came to pass that the Lord

spake unto me, saying, blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.

"20. And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments-"

This is the point that I desire to impress upon your minds.

"And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands."

I say to the Latter-day Saints that this last statement is one of the testimonies of the truthfulness of this record, because this is a land choice above all other lands, and God has blessed the people upon this land. He has fulfilled the words recorded in this book time and time again, that those who should come up to fight against the people of this land should not prosper. After Nephi had been thus abundantly blessed of the Lord, when he returned to his father, who had received a commandment from the Lord that his sons should go back to Jerusalem for the brass plates, Laman and Lemuel were murmuring against this commandment. But these are the words of Nephi:

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father, I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

"And it came to pass that when my father had heard these words he was exceeding glad, for he knew that I had been blessed of the Lord."

We will all be blessed of the Lord if we have this same spirit and realize that no obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey. I heard Brother Lyman once remark in a meeting of the Quorum of the Apostles, that he knew of no man who had ever been blessed by one of the Quorum of the Apostles or by the Presidency of the Church and had been sent out to fulfill a mission that had failed to do so. There might be those whose hearts they did touch, but there were those whose hearts could be reached. There never was a member of the Quorum of the Apostles sent upon a mission, but


what sooner or later fulfilled that mis-
sion. This is a testimony of the state-
ment of Nephi: "For I know that the
Lord giveth no commandments unto the
children of men, save He shall prepare
a way for them that they may accom-
plish the thing which He commandeth
them." Let us realize this and that the
keeping of the commandments of
will bring to us the light and inspira-
tion of His Spirit. Then the desire of
our hearts will be to know the mind
and will of the Lord, and we will pray
for strength and ability to carry it out,
thereby following in the footsteps of our
Lord and Master Jesus Christ. After
the sons of Lehi had gone up to try
and get the plates and were driven
back, and Nephi's brethren desired to
return to their father, Nephi said unto

"That as the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness, until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.

"Wherefore let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord." Here is the key: Nephi knew how to be successful. Let us therefore be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord.

"Therefore let us go down to the land of our father's inheritance, for behold. he left gold and silver and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord."

After they had been driven the second time and Laban had stolen their gold and silver that they had offered him for the plates, Laman and Lemuel murmured again, and said that Laban could command his fifty and would slay them. And Nephi replied:

"Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands."

That is the kind of faith to have. Let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of God and then we know that we can win the battle, though we may be opposed by a man with his tens of thousands. The final result was that Nephi got the plates. We find recorded here also that Nephi was commanded of the Lord to build a vessel. His brethren laughed at him when they saw he was sorrowful because they

refused to help him to build the vessel. of Doctrine and Covenants, the followNephi said to them;

"Behold, my soul is rent with anguish because of you, and my heart is pained; for I fear lest ye shall be cast off forever. Behold, I am full of the Spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has no strength."

Nephi continues:

"And now it came to pass that when I had spoken these words, they were angry with me and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me, I spake unto them, saying: In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay their hands upon me, shall wither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall smite him.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them, that they should murmur no more against their father: neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship."

On another occassion

when Nephi was in affliction, having been bound by his brethren on the ship, and they unbound him because they were afraid of the storm, Nephi said:

"Wherefore they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists: and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.

"Nevertheless I did look unto my God, and I did praise Him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord, because of mine afflictions."

We find here a man of faith; a man who submits to affliction without murmuring. In all his history we find that he followed the commandments of the Lord. The Lord said to him in the beginning that if he followed His commandments he should be prospered in the land, and he was prospered. I wish to bear my testimony to the Latter-day Saints that all of us who will obey the commandments of God will be prospered in the land. Sacrifice doth bring forth the blessings of heaven. I bear my testimony to the truth of what Brother Lund has said today, that if the people will pay their tithes and of ferings, they will not only be blessed in their material affairs, but they will be abundantly blessed with increased outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord. We find recorded in Section 130 of the book


"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated:

"21. And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

I bear witness to you, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, that material and spiritual prosperity is predicated upon the fulfillment of the duties and responsibilities that rest upon us as Latter-day Saints. I have rejoiced exceedingly that the debts which the people owe to the Lord in tithing have been forgiven by the Prophet of God. But I want to say to those who are able to pay those debts, it will be a great deal better for them if they will do so, notwithstanding they have been forgiven. If the Lord will help me, I propose to pay every debt that I owe in the world. I propose with the help of the Lord to in fulfilling be true to my fellowmen every obligation that I have entered into with them. But above all and beyond all, I propose to fulfill my obligation, to the best of my ability, to God my Heavenly Father. I have been ridiculed in the public prints because I said that a man's duty was to pay his debts to the Lord if he did not pay his debts to his fellowman. I repeat that. God my Heavenly Father has blessed me with a knowledge of the Gospel. I do know that God lives; I do know that Jesus is the Christ; I do know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God; I do know that Lorenzo Snow is a Prophet of God; I know that God loves me; that He blesses me; that I am one of His children; that I am under obligations to Him; and that all I have on earth, all that I will ever receive here or hereafter, I am indebted to Him for it. Therefore, I say, shall I not fulfill the duties and obligations that I owe to my Creator and loving Parent before I fulfill my obligations to my fellowman. Has any man ever loaned me money because he loved me? No; he has loaned it to me because he wanted his interest. With the help of the Lord I propose to keep the commandments of the Lord, and then I do know that I shall be able to pay all that I owe; because I know that God blesses those who keep His commandments. I kn

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