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I ask what kind of a husband he is. "Well, he shakes the quilts, he puts the carpets down, he helps wash the dishes, he helps dress the children," etc. Well, if it takes all that to make a good man, you cannot count me in among them. I would rather go on a mission, and I would rather stay and die with my neck in the collar. I think it is honorable to do these things when you are at home, but if I have to do them, I want to stay at home but a very little while.
The Lord has been with this people. We have gathered to this goodly land, notwithstanding the displeasure of the lieve that God gave a man the Holy Lord in His judgments which He meted
I do not be
Melchisedek Priesthood and ordained him a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ, to be tagging after one little woman and spending his whole life in that way. That is what I want to say to you Seventies; I have said it and I don't propose to take it back. The Lord bless you. Amen.
out to His Church in the days when they were inhabitants of the States of Missouri and Illinois; although, in the beginning of their settlement in those States, the Lord was with them, and His Spirit, to a very great degree, inspired the leaders of the people and inspired many of the Saints to hearken to the commandments of the Lord. But it was with the Saints as it was with the Nephites and Lamanites in the days when they inhabited this land. There were times when the people were full of faith and good works and were earnest in keeping the commandments of the Lord, and then there were times when the Nephites and Lamanites dwindled into unbelief and grew covetous and selfish and became lifted up in the pride of their hearts, and, finally, the favor of the Lord was withdrawn from them, and they wandered in darkness and unbelief until the judgments of the Lord awakened them again to a sense of their fallen condition, which occurred many times, as we are informed by the history of that people. Now, the Lord decreed, through His servants, the Nephite Prophets, that the people who inhabited this land should serve Him and keep His commandments, or they should not prosper in the land.
The choir sang the anthem:
Benediction by Elder F. S. Bram
An overflow meeting was held in the Assembly Hall, at 2 p. m. Elder M. W. Merrill presiding.
Opening hymn page 79, sung by the congregation, "Glorious Things Sung of Zion."
Prayer was offered by Elder Christian D. Fjeldsted.
"I know that My Redeemer Lives," was sung by the Temple choir.
ELDER SEYMOUR B. YOUNG.
My brethren and sisters, I hope you will give me your faith and attention, that the Spirit of the Lord may rest upon me, that we may be edified together.
The solemnity of these great gatherings and the spirit thereof that has seemed to fill every breast, causing us to come together, and the words of inspiration to which we have listened during this conference, have given me
food for reflection, a little deeper, I think, than I have ever had before. It has aroused within me a new determination and a resolve, the Lord being my helper, to assist you and to ask you to assist me, as a band of brethren and sisters, as servants and handmaidens of the Lord, to be more faithful in the future than we have been in the past.
Reference was made today by our Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Lorenzo Snow, to the judgments of the Lord that came upon the people in the State of Missouri, in Jackson County, in 1833. The Saints were driven from their homes and stripped of their possessions, not because they were the most wicked people upon the face of the land, nor because the Lord had cast them off forever, but because He was reminding
them of the covenants they were under and the necessity of their keeping them. He was reminding them, I say, of these truths, by these chastisements which He had permitted to come upon them, renewing their faith and confidence in Him and humbling them before Him that He might again bless them and pour out upon them blessings and favors which he had in store for His faithful children. And truly, as President Cannon reminded us, the revelation of the Lord, in 1834, was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, saying that inasmuch as the people had been chastened and had repented, the Lord was willing to accept of their repentance, if they would turn unto Him with full purpose of heart and serve Him and keep His commandments. Now, although they were awakened from their slothful condition and were caused to repent of their former neglect and sins, through the grace and favor of the Lord, after having been chastened sufficiently, yet we are informed that they again became slothful and careless and failed to keep the commandments of the Lord, and, finally, He permitted their enemies to drive them from the State of Missouri to Illinois, where they built a city under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith, in Hancock County, called Nauvoo, or Commerce. Here the Saints prospered for a little season, although the land upon which they had settled was unhealthy and malarial. Malarial fever seized the Saints in Nauvoo and in Montrose, situated just across the river, and they suffered very sorely from sickness and disease of a dreadful nature for a number of months after settling in that place. To such an extent did they suffer that the Lord was moved to compassion on account of their condition, and He whispered to His Prophet Joseph Smith, who called some of his valiant brethren around him and went from house to house in Commerce, or Nauvoo, and in Montrose, administering to the Saints and commanding them in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from their beds of affliction and walk and be made whole. Wherever they went and these commands were given in the homes of the Latter-day Saints, they were obeyed,
and the sick were healed instantly.
I cite this to show that notwithstanding the displeasure of the Lord and these judgments which He had permitted to come upon His people, He was very merciful unto them whenever they would humble themselves before Him, promising that they would strive to serve Him. He was willing to return unto them if they would return unto Him, according to the words of the Prophet Malachi.
The trials of the Saints in the city of Nauvoo seemed to have culminated into the greatest sorrow they had ever experienced. It was heaped upon them in the martrydom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, in Carthage jail, in 1844. I say, this seemed like the culminating sorrow of the Latter-day Saints, but no one need sup pose, however, that it was because of transgression that these two great men fell under the hands of a guilty mob. These great men were born to a divine mission, even as our Savior Jesus Christ, our Elder Brother, and when that mission was completed on the earth, the Lord had decreed that they should seal their testimonies with their blood. They never shrank from its fulfillment, knowing that this was the decree of the Lord, and knowing also that they were going to their death when they left the city of Nauvoo. The Prophet turned to his traveling companions and said: "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer morning. I have a conscience void of offence toward God and toward all men. If they take my life, I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall yet be said of me, 'He was murdered in cold blood.'"
Shortly after the death of the Prophet, the Lord declared, through Brigham Young-and I am inclined to believe that here again it was necessary to awaken the people, who, from their sorrow, had fallen almost into a condition of lethargy-the Lord declared through Brigham Young, the leader of the Church then, and the successor to the Prophet Joseph Smith, that unless the brethren and sisters laid hold of the work again in prosecuting their labors upon the Temple in Nauvoo,
and finished it, that it might be dedicated to the Lord, they would be cut off with their dead. This aroused the Saints again to a sense of their duty to God and His cause, and they went to with their might, with their faith and works, never ceasing until they had completed that house and dedicated it, renewing, under the direction of President Brigham Young, the ordinances of God's holy house and Temple, for the redemption of the living and the dead. We came to this land of the west, my brethren and sisters, to the Rocky Mountains, "Willing, because we were obliged to," as President George A. Smith used to say. The Prophet Joseph said that the Saints should be driven to the west, even to the Rocky Mountains, and that many then living would yet go to the Rocky Mountain valleys, and that there the Saints should plant their feet and grow to become a great and mighty people. We have seen the fulfillment of this great prediction, thus far, my brethren and sisters, and today we are brought face to face with living truths.
The Prophet Joseph laid down his life because God decreed that it should be so, and He permitted him and his brother Hyrum to be martyred for the cause of truth. Again a Prophet was selected by the power of Almighty God and placed to lead the people, in the person of Brigham Young. After the Prophet Brigham's demise another Prophet was raised up by the power of revelation from God the Eternal Father, and he, too, stood as the leader of Israel all the remaining days of his life, never flinching, never swerving from any duty laid before him, standing in the majesty of his calling to promulgate to the people the word of the Lord; and so it was when President John Taylor passed away. It was so with President Wilford Woodruff, who succeeded to that prophetic ministry, to lead and guide Israel and to declare unto them the mind and will of the Lord. And now another Prophet stands with the same keys of authority, with the same power of the Holy Priesthood resting upon him. And so it is today. Our Prophet, the Prophet of the Lord, the Prophet of the Mighty God of Jacob, Lorenzo Snow, declares unto us as
a congregation today, as the congregation of Israel everywhere, he declares unto us, as our spokesman, as the spokesman of the Lord, that it is necessary for us to reform in our lives. These are the conditions that confront us today, the time when we are to observe the commandments of the Lord and accept of the word of the Lord as given through His servant the Prophet. We could bring up by referring to the history of God's people, both in ancient and modern times, year after year, and decade after decade, instances to show that the Lord has ministered unto His children when they have entered into covenants with Him and have kept those covenants, and He has blessed them abundantly from time to time; then again, at times, He has brought upon them His judgments, showing His displeasure unto them for not keeping His commandments as they should have done. Then they have repented, and again the clouds of darkness and persecution have lifted, and the Saints made to rejoice in the sunbeams, in the light of God's favor and countenance, after the dark clouds have passed.
We are a blessed people. We have our homes here in the valleys of the mountains, which is the land of Joseph, the land of Zion, dedicated centuries ago by the Prophets of the living God to be the land of Joseph, whereon Zion should be established in the latter days, even the New Jerusalem, that is to be built up here, as foreseen by the Prophets of the Nephite nations. At the present time we are living in that day and age of the world when these predictions are to be literally fulfilled. If the Lord can have His way, for He said, on one occasion, to the Saints while they were in the State of Missouri, and since their expulsion from that state, that Zion could be redeemed today, it could have been redeemed before today, if His people were ready for this redemption. Therefore, this proves to me, my brethren and sisters, beyond the power of contradiction, that the Lord is ready to redeem Zion and to make His people a great power, and the head and front in the earth, through His grace, whenever they are prepared for it.
I was very much impressed by the remarks of Apostle Woodruff in regard to the reclamation of lands and the taking of farms, utilizing these beautiful lands in the valleys of the mountains for the Saints and their children and making homes for themselves and becoming owners of the soil upon which the Lord has so mercifully planted His people.
A few weeks ago I attended the National Irrigation Congress, at Missoula, Mont. The State of Utah was there honored to a very great degree. The members of the congress and those who attended knew that Utah was the leader, the educator, in irrigation and in the redeeming arid lands; consequently, they looked to the delegates from Utah to say something to them in regard to the methods of reclaiming the arid lands of this state, and our methods of colonizing. In the territory of Arizona alone, where a few of our people have settled and where four Stakes of Zion have been organized, there are many hundreds of thousands, and possibly several million, acres of land lying idle, ready for the labor of the husbandman. All it needs is the aid and help of the general government to assist us in getting water onto that desert land, by impounding the streams and floods during high water season, in the spring, for use during the dry seaThe Irrigation Congress hopes to obtain this aid from the government in the near future, in order to bring this land into a condition that the farmers may possess it and make themselves homes. This land lies in the great orange belt, and there is no better soil or climate for the production of all the tropical fruits than this now arid land in Arizona, which is lying idle, numbering hundreds of thousands of acres, waiting for the water to be turned onto it.
The Lord brought His people here for a purpose, and that purpose was that they might more faithfully serve Him than they could have done in the land from which they were expelled; also for the purpose of redeeming this barren waste, which had to be redeemed and which needed the power of God to do it, manifested through His devoted servants, who would devote
their lives, time and talents to the redemption of this soil that was so sterile and forbidding in its appearance when the pioneers landed upon it. The Lord knew the character of the men whom He had appointed for this work, and He loved them; and His people have gathered here with the pioneers by the thousands and tens of thousands, from all nations, and from the isles of the sea, and they have come here with the desire and intention of serving the Lord, through His grace and favor. They dedicated to the Lord the land, the water, the elements, and everything surrounding them, in order that His blessings might be upon them and their labors, and upon the soil, and the Lord has indeed blessed His people.
Now we are confronted with another fact: That we have been negligent in paying our tithes and offerings to the Lord. How soon we forget! How easy it is for man to sin, even "As the sparks fly upward," as King Solomon said. Man is prone to do evil and to forget. We are apt to forget the blessings we are in possession of, and to forget the into Giver. When we entered the Church of Christ we covenanted with God, the Eternal Father, that we would keep His commandments and serve Him, that we would accept of His truths as revealed through His Prophets, and that we would not only enter into the waters of baptism as humble children and have our sins washed away and covenant with the Lord to be His faithful children ever after, in spirit and in truth, but that we would accede to Him all He required of us in our temporal affairs, and to give that unto Him a goodly portion of which we possessed, in return for His many blessings, that we would be faithful in paying our tithes and offerings. But we have drifted along, year after year, and today we are confronted with the fact that we have not half paid our tithing, that there is not more than 25 per cent of the people that belong to the Church of Christ today who are honest tithe payers.
In one prominent Stake of Zion, where a conference was recently held, under the direction of President Snow, I heard that not more than 15 per cent of the members of that whole Stake
were tithe payers. This is the condition we are found to be in today, my brethren and sisters, and the Prophet of the Lord has said for us to repent of our sins and turn away from our evil doings and neglect and from our covetousness, and to come near unto the Lord, with full purpose of heart, to serve Him and keep His commandments, to "return unto the Lord," according to the words of the Prophet Malachi, "and He will return unto you." But if we do not return to the Lord the consequence will be most serious and disastrous to the Saints. Never in my life have I heard the servants of the Lord stand before the people and say in such plainness that it was time for
us to receive the word of the Lord and
keep His commandments more fully, for us to repent and turn unto Him. I have observed that where the people of the Lord have failed to hearken to this word and to repent of their backsliding and to turn unto the Lord with full purpose of heart, the judgments of the Lord have come upon them, in every instance. Now, it is time for us to listen and hearken to the words of the Lord, delivered unto us by His Prophet, in regard to the payment of our tithing.
In the northern part of this State, in the Malad valley, we have an Indian colony. It is the best Indian colony, I think, upon the face of the earth today. It is the largest colony that I know anything about that is under the direction of the Church of Christ, numbering about 250 people, organized under a Bishop, who presides over them as any other Bishop would over the white people. They have their Sunday school and Mutual Improvement organizations, etc., and they go to their meetings regularly and attend to their duties very well indeed for a people taken from such a low condition, who so ignorant in the beginning. They are making strides in improvement. A few years ago they began to farm their land, which they had homesteaded, under the direction of the Bishop and those who presided over them. They now possess and live upon their own lands and work it as the white man does. They sow their own grain and harvest and thresh it the
same as the white man, owning their threshing machines and harvesting implements. They sell their grain and lucern seed when threshed, and squander the proceeds, because their white brothers set them bad examples.
If these Indians would save and store
their grain, not wasting or squandering it, they would be much better off. But their Bishop has warned, instructed and counseled them with regard to this, and now they are suffering for their disobedience in not listening to the counsel of those placed in authority over them. Last year they had an abundance of grain and lucern, and they sold it all for whatever price they could get. But this year has been one of disaster to them. Their harvests utterly failed this year, through drouth. They lost all their fall wheat and lucern seed through early and late frosts and the lack of moisture, and now they are almost without the means of sustaining the colony until another harvest. But they are a resolute and patient people, and when their crops fail them, as at the present time, they go out upon the plains and into the mountains and hunt for a living, killing deer and dressing their skins and making gloves and moccasins to take to the towns and cities to sell to the white people. They also gather wool from the sage-bush and other vegetation, where it has been deposited by the sheep in traveling through the country, to and from their winter and summer ranges. By this means they manage to eke out an existence and save themselves from starvation, when their crops fail. They are patient under these terrible ordeals, and I sometimes think they are more patient than their white brethren would be. Bishop Moroni Ward presides over the colony. A man more fitted for the position could probably not be found in Israel. He is a father to his people, and a blessing to them. A delegation of their chief men waited upon him not long ago. They said, "We have lost all our crops. We have no wheat or lucern seed, or means of gaining food and the necessaries of life, because the soil has not yielded anything for us. Now what is the reason?" "Well, brethren," the Bishop said, "have you prayed in your